Baguazhang, or 8 Trigram Palm Style, can be traced back to the mid-1800s to a man named Dong Hai Quan. While Dong, like many others, claimed his style came from a wandering Daoist, there are some details of his life which give insight into this art. As a child he was known as a martial prodigy; later he became involved in a sect which believed circle-walking could be used to reach a higher spiritual state - similar to the Whirling Dervishes; it is said he combined these into the early Bagua. He was noticed in the palace using his light body skills and tested. Upon realization of his skill, he was given a position in the Imperial Palace – requiring him to be castrated and introducing him to Opium. He spent the remainder of his life in service to the Emperor with a singular dedication to the perfection of his martial skill and the full development of the style known as Bagua Zhang.

Dong had many famous students and two of his most famous students were Yin Fu and Cheng Ting Hua. Yin Fu was his first student who was originally a Lohanquan practitioner and the inheritor of his Imperial Post. He was soundly defeated by Dong and immediately asked to learn Dong’s unique boxing style. The style and the Imperial Post was then passed down to Gong Bao Tien, who was paid by Zhang, Xiang Wu (a General of the Warlord Li, Jing-Lin and fellow Disciple of God of Spear Li, Shu-Wen) to accept Liu Yun Qiao into training.

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