|Master Wang's house seemed hidden within an endless maze of alleys and intricate narrow
backroads. As we made our way from the motorcycle into his courtyard, I became increasingly
anxious. We were met by Master Wang's wife who led us to Master Wang's small room off the main
house. There he greeted us and invited us in. He had a large, pleasant smile and asked us to sit. The
room was large enough for a couch, two chairs, a table and a desk. He sat in a chair with the table
next to him and we sat on the couch. The room had some framed calligraphy and pictures of family
carefully placed on the wall above his head.
|I was introduced as Zhang Yun's student who had traveled from the United States to train. Master
Wang was very interested in what I had studied and asked several questions. He then began to talk
about Taiji and internal force. Suddenly, he jumped up from his chair and began to demonstrate some
Taiji and Bagua. I had never seen such movement or power from a person before, especially from a
person of his age. He seemed to grow ten feet and moved with an astonishing grace and with fire in
his eyes. I was in total awe of what was taking place.
|Master Wang asked me to stand and, as he demonstrated the moves on me, I was astounded by his
ability. At times he seemed to vanish as I pushed on him as precisely as I could. Yet if he wished, he
could become like a mountain. Then, hard as I might try, I could not move him. When he touched me,
the wave of energy that shot through me was like that of ten men. Most amazing was the fact that his
force was soft and undetectable until the last moment. He was relaxed and could guide his force freely
wherever and whenever he wished.
|From that day on, I knew that for me this Kungfu was going to be a way of life. I left feeling inspired and
so excited that I could not sleep that night. My translator and I spent every subsequent day and late into
each night discussing my lessons with Master Wang. I studied with Master Lu during the week and
with Master Wang on Sundays. Time moved quickly and one day Master Lu approached me with news
that was beyond anything I had dared to imagine. Shi Fu Zhang Yun had told him if I had done well, I
could be made a disciple of the Kungfu family.
|A Kungfu family has an intricate system of teaching and accepting students. A student must find a
master and ask him for training. For at least three years, the master will teach the student only very
basic principles and skills. During that time, the master observes the student's morals, character and
desire to train. Then, the master decides if he wants the student as a disciple. If the student is
accepted, a large ceremony is held and the student meets the Kungfu family. From that point on, he is
considered a disciple and as such, is charged with passing on the knowledge transmitted by the
generations before him. It is his duty to learn and preserve the techniques and philosophy of the family.
|According to tradition, when a student becomes a disciple, he calls his master Shi Fu. "Shi" means
"master" or "teacher" and "Fu" means "father." Accordingly, a disciple is called upon to respect his
Shi Fu not only as a teacher but also as a father. By the same token, a Shi Fu must look after and
nurture his students not only in their study of martial arts but also in the moral development of their
character and in the overall conduct of their lives. All members of a Kungfu family are considered to be
related to each other as though they formed a biological family. The Kungfu brother of one's Shi Fu, for
example, becomes one's Kungfu uncle, as Master Lu became for me.
|The day I became Shi Fu Zhang Yun's in-door disciple and a member of the Kungfu family known as
Yin Cheng Gong Fa, was one of the most exciting days of my life. At the ceremony, Master Wang told
me that I was the first foreigner to join his martial arts family in the traditional way, having followed the
same course of study and met all the same standards as the Chinese members. I could not believe my
good fortune to be accepted as a full member of Yin Cheng Gong Fa.
|Yin Cheng is Master Wang's special literary Buddhist name (Fa Hou). It means "always to treat people
with honesty and from one's heart." When Master Wang studied Buddhism, his master gave him this
special name as a goal or aspiration to strive for. Gong Fa basically means Kungfu family or "method
of." Yin Cheng Gong Fa, then, refers to the method or Kungfu family of the man known as Yin Cheng.
|Becoming a member of this group was truly an inspiring event for me. The family was made up of
many martial art masters who wanted to study with Master Wang. As a result, it included practitioners
of not only Taiji but also Xingyi, Bagua, Shaolin, Tantui, Tongbei, Baiji, Paotui and many other styles.
Master Wang, himself, knows fifteen or more styles.
|Having practiced for nine years with Shi Fu Zhang Yun and twice intensively with Master Wang and
Master Lu in Beijing, I began to understand the real meaning of Yin Cheng Gong Fa. It is a highly
developed martial arts training system that applies high level principles to the study of the martial arts
and thereby makes it possible for students to understand more fully the meaning and fundamental
tenets of martial arts practice. It offers not only clear explanations of basic principles but also many
efficient techniques and training suggestions for people at all skill levels. Much more than a simple
combination of facts and propositions, it is an integration of traditional wisdom and practice with more
recent modifications that have been developed by Master Wang and others to facilitate training by
practitioners all over the world and at all levels of expertise. It is a system imbued with centuries-old
methods and values that transforms and condenses this knowledge so that students can incorporate it
into any martial arts practice.