Cheng Ming Martial Arts represents the complete teachings of Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin as he passed them down to his successor, Grandmaster Wang Fu Lai. It is one of the most complete preservations of Ba-Gua Zhang and Hsing-I Chuan currently taught worldwide.A discussion of the roots of the Cheng Ming lineage inevitably overlaps with the general history of Hsing-I Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang. As a starting point in regards to our system, it is most appropriate to first discuss Master Zhang Zhao Dong, the main teacher of Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin.
Zhang Zhao Dong
Zhang Zhao Dong was a famous Hsing-I, Ba Gua fighter who taught many students back in the 1800s in Tian Jin. He was the student of Liu Chi Nan and older Kungfu brother of Guo Yun Shen and Li Cun Yi. Zhang Zhao Dong was the Chief of Police at the station in Tian Jin. Consequently, Zhang Zhao Dong was a very experienced fighter. He was given such nicknames as “Son of Tiger and Panther” and “Lighting-Hands Zhang”. Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin began training under Zhang Zhao Dong at the age of 18 and stayed until Zhang Zhao Dong pass away.
Wang Shu Jin was born in mainland China in 1903. He began training with Master Zhang Zhao Dong at the age of 18. Wang Shu Jin relocated to the island of Taiwan in 1949. In the 1950’s, Wang Shu Jin was invited to Japan to show Chinese martial arts to the Japanese Karate Federation. He went to Japan a total of 11 times. During those visits, Wang Shu Jin was challenged by many high-level fighters and was undefeated in all that time. Wang Shu Jin is considered the person responsible for bringing internal martial arts to Japan. Wang Shu Jin passed away on September 8th, 1981 in Taiwan due to complications with melanoma.
Wang Fu Lai
Wang Fu Lai was born on the island of Taiwan in 1941. The son of a blacksmith, Wang Fu Lai met Great-Grandmaster at the age of 14. At the time, Wang Fu Lai would ride his bicycle two hours from his hometown to Great-Grandmaster’s school to visit and drink tea. Eventually, Great-Grandmaster decided to begin teaching Wang Fu Lai and started with Zhan Zhuang. It is said that young Master Wang was taught only one posture and did not learn the next one for a whole year. When young Master Wang was allowed to learn Hsing-I Chuan, Great-Grandmaster taught Wang Fu Lai only the first element, Pi Chuan, and nothing else for a whole year.
Wang Fu Lai was able to travel with Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin and witnessed first-hand the many challenges that Great Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin fought and won over the years. Wang Fu Lai’s only martial arts teacher was Great Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin. Wang Fu Lai even lived with Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin for a time training and caring for the household, and Wang Fu Lai personally bore witness to Great Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin’s passing along with his Kungfu sister, Master Huang.
After Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin passed away in 1981, Wang Fu Lai became Grandmaster and lineage-holder of the Zhong Nan lineage and welcomed all challenges from all martial artists in the area to legitimize his appointment so that there could be no doubt that Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin had chosen Wang Fu Lai as his successor and lineage-holder. Grandmaster Wang Fu Lai spent five years to register the newly created International Cheng Ming Martial Arts Association with the Taiwanese government. Grandmaster Wang Fu Lai felt it was important to register with the government because one of the requirements for registration was that the association was “international”. Grandmaster Wang’s vision was to spread Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin’s teachings to the whole world.
As Grandmaster and Chairman of the International Cheng Ming Martial Arts Association, Grandmaster Wang has traveled the world teaching Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin’s martial arts and philosophies. Grandmaster Wang has been to mainland China three times and met with various masters of Hsing-I and Ba Gua to discuss the history and changes in the lineages. He also continues to teach in Japan and support the enormous school that has resulted from Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin’s visits in the 1950s.
Grandmaster Wang Fu Lai has been training the martial arts of Great-Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin for over 50 years. Grandmaster Wang still trains seven days a week, 6 hours a day, (when not teaching), and continues to travel the world working towards fulfilling his duty of passing down the lineage.
We are fortunate in that our Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing-I Chuan, and Ba Gua Zhang all come from Great Grandmaster Wang Shu Jin. This has resulted in a unified and comprehensive system of internal martial arts. Consequently, we do not teach other styles of internal martial arts, external martial arts (i.e. Shaolin, Wushu, etc.) or promote the inclusion of outside styles into our own.