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The History of Wu Ji Jing Gong
By Xue Yongbin 
(With additions and edits by Joe Eber)

Chinese martial arts developed from external power martial arts to inner power martial arts.  Taijiquan (Tai Chi) was created with the development of the internal martial arts.  As Taijiquan developed, there have been many schools that have added and enriched the Chinese martial arts.  Among the schools of Taijiquan in China, there is one school that has preserved and developed the essence of Taijiquan, and that has attached great importance to the skills of attack and defense, and that has made preserving health as the foundation and purpose of the exercise.  This is Wu Ji Jing Gong Tai Chi.

Wu Ji Jing Gong Tai Chi and Qigong attach great importance to the skills of attack and defense.  They are based on research into the theories of Taijiquan and Qigong, as well as other relevant philosophies, arriving at the unity of theory and practice.

The foundation of Wu Ji Jing Gong was established by Master Chen Jisheng, of Tangshan, Hebei Province, China.  Master Chen learned martial arts from his childhood under famous martial arts instructors.  He possessed a high level of skill, and he spent several years improving his martial arts skills.


He had heard of a master whose skills were considered exceptional, where even at the advanced age of eighty years old this man could not be beaten in a match, so he went to seek him out.  He was fortunate to be accepted as a student by this master, a famous martial artist named Master Zhao Qingchang (1830-1927).  From that time on, his level in martial arts was greatly improved.

 Master Zhao Qingchang was considered a Master of many different martial forms; tai chi, xingyi and shaolin, but he was especially famous for his baqua skills, so people called him Zhao Baqua.  Chen Ji- Sheng found him and begged for the opportunity to study with him, but Master Zhao no longer accepted any students.  This did not deter Chen Ji-Sheng, it took many years, but he finally convinced Master Zhao of his sincerity and serious desire to learn.  Master Zhao in turn soon decided that Chen Ji-Sheng possessed a special ability and went on to train him as his successor

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Having studied with many teachers, Chen Ji-Sheng always considered Master Zhao to be his highest level teacher.  Master Zhao had made detailed research about the different martial arts, and he shared all that knowledge with Master Chen in great detail, explaining all the special points of each system.  Master Chen later said: "I was fortunate to be accepted by Master Zhao.  Master Zhao reached the highest level in martial arts, he was perfect; he was proficient in many schools of martial arts; when he practiced them, he was just so good at them in their forms and applications.  The things he taught me were always the most important, and I have benefited greatly from his teachings.  Through learning from Master Zhao, he helped me to understand much more clearly and deeply all that I had learned before."


Master Chen desired to learn more and more, and he would go to other teachers to exchange various points and understandings with other schools of martial arts, and to learn from each other.  He would then return to his hometown to do further research into martial arts with Master Zhao.  Master Zhao did profound research into the essence of the many schools and gave detailed explanation as to their characteristics.  Master Chen absorbed the essence of the many schools of Taijiquan and created Jing Gong Circular Taijiquan.


Based on what he had learned, combined with his own experience and skills, Chen Ji-Sheng created Jing Gong Chan Si Tai Chi.  That is why our form today includes xingyi, baqua, and different styles of tai chi chuan.  It is not only effective for self-defense, but also very good for health.  Master Chen went to a lot of places and visited many masters of martial arts with his Jing Gong Circular Taijiquan, and compared his Taijiquan with other martial arts, and it was obvious that his Taijiquan was better.  He used his form to spar with them and won all the contests.  He wrote a book titled "108 Movements of Tai Chi Chuan”. His other accomplishments include a position as a professor at Nanjing Medical School, teaching tai chi and martial arts. He also served as the head of the Jinan Martial Arts Community.

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Jing Gong Circular Taijiquan attaches importance to tranquility and relaxation and extends them to a very pure state.  Being circular requires coordination of the body, which in turn enables the movement to be circular; this not only gives a winning edge in attack and defense, but also gives obvious effect in preserving and improving health.  Master Chen taught Jinggong Circular Taijiquan in Shandong Province, Shanghai and Nanjing.


Master Lu Jitang was physically weak and was often ill.  In 1948 (at 31 years of age), he contracted tuberculosis and other serious illnesses, and his life was in danger. He consulted many doctors and was hospitalized many times, but his condition did not improve.  In his early 30’s he was near death, and the doctors told him to go home because there was nothing more they could do.  Fortunately, at this time he met Chen Ji-Sheng and became his student.  At first, he was taught simple things like peaceful sitting and calm standing meditation.  He found them very effective, and his health began to improve. As he regained his strength, he began to learn Jing Gong Health Preserving Exercises (Qi gongs) and Jing Gong Chan Si Tai Chi (Jing Gong Circular Taijiquan).  Gradually, all traces of the disease disappeared and eventually his health totally recovered.

Master Lu said: "These two exercises both emphasize 'tranquility'.  These two are supplementary to each other, so when practicing, the feel of Qi is especially strong, and it changes a lot, making me feel especially comfortable.  Practicing them had a very good effect on my health which made me very interested in the theory of Jing Gong Health Preserving."  

Since eastern and western medical doctors gave him no hope of a cure, Master Lu was very surprised and grateful that this method of being calm, and this form of tai chi chuan could cure his kind of disease.   He felt that Jing Gong Chan Si Tai Chi had saved his life and must contain a very deep theory.  Master Lu was determined to find out what that was and how and why it worked, and to work out a system for maintaining and improving health to serve mankind.


Master Lu did research into the theories and practices of many schools of martial arts.  He spent a lot of time practicing xingyi, baqua, tai chi and other different martial systems and weapons.  He also spent a lot of time to study Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, medical theory, and philosophy.  He wanted to understand the theory based on tai chi chuan and why tai chi benefits health and longevity.  He concluded that the key point of all is tranquility. He pointed out that tranquility is a balanced and harmonious movement within; by understanding and mastering tranquility, one can use one's potential fully to make the whole body balanced and harmonious, and thus to cure diseases and maintain health."

With decades of hard work, Master Lu completed Wu Ji Jing Gong Tai Chi Health Preserving Twelve Forms and other exercises.  He also gave brilliant and detailed exposition concerning the principles of Taijiquan and Qigong.  Master Lu has made great and unique contributions to the research of Taijiquan and Qigong.  His work has attracted a high level of attention, and he has been spoken very highly for his work.


Through his research and study, Master Lu discovered a systematic theory of a combination of Jing Gong and Tai Chi Chuan. In accordance with human physical structure, he summarized the "24 basic requirements of posture" and also developed the method of "3 levels and 9 steps" for improving practice, so that students progress through a gradual growth process of attainment.

The purpose of practicing tai chi is to enjoy good health and long life, and in that pursuit the key point to success is jing, calmness.  That is why the name Wu Ji Jing Gong was chosen.  Chen Ji-Sheng called his form Chan Si Tai Chi until 1980.  When people began to promote qigong heavily, Grandmaster Lu desired to separate and distinguish his theory from other systems, so he began to use the name Wu Ji Jing Gong Chan Si Tai Chi.  He had combined the two names together and Chen Ji-Shen acknowledged this name.

Zhao Qing-Zhang and Chen Ji-Shen chose to pass the whole of their knowledge onto one chosen student.  Grandmaster Lu was the fortunate beneficiary of the experience and skill of his predecessors.  He felt that this information is of such immense value to the welfare of all mankind that he made the decision to not only carry on what he had learned from his teachers, but to also share it with everyone who has the sincere desire to learn. This is the mission that has inspired his research and teaching for over 50 years. Even in his mid-eighties, his enthusiasm was undiminished.

Grandmaster Lu has made the theory much clearer, acceptable, accurate and more easily accessible.  To that end he has published and sold over 100,000 copies of several books: JING GONG CHAN SI TAl CHI 13 MOVEMENTS, 12 MOVEMENTS FOR JING GONG QIGONG and JING GONG PROTECTING SHORT SIGHT.  Another book titled THE THEORY AND METHOD OF JING GONG was published in Shanghai and later in Taiwan.  From 1983, Wu Ji Jing Gong, has been taught out of China by Grandmaster Lu's students in various places all over the world.

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Over the years, Master Lu has done a lot of work in promoting Wu Ji Jing Gong Tai Chi, he has been to a lot of places both in China and outside China, and he has made great contributions to the popularization and development of Taijiquan and Qigong.  Today, Wu Ji Jing Gong Tai Chi is practiced in China and several other countries.  

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