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The Guang Ping Yang style began in early 18th century China

with a martial artist named Yang Lu-Chan. Yang Lu-Chan had become a good fighter on his own merit, but was determined to improve his skill. When he heard stories of the exceptional fighting style of Chen Ch'ang-Hsing, he went to the Chen village in Honan to seek out this master. In those days, a family's martial arts heritage was held as a closely guarded secret and taught only to family members, not outsiders. Despite this obstacle, Yang Lu-Chan's determination and natural ability eventually earned him the privilege of being taken in as a disciple in the Chen village of Honan. After years of training, Yang Lu-Chan returned to his family village in Yong Nien county of Hebei. His skill as a fighter was such that he earned the nickname, Yang the Invincible, from his successful bouts with all challengers.

As was the tradition of that time, the sons of Yang Lu-Chan were expected to carry on their father's legacy.
At a young age, Yang Pan-Hou and Yang Chien-Hou began training under the harsh regimen of their demanding father. Both proved worthy successors, but Yang Pan-Hou possessed natural athletic ability and showed exceptional talent in the martial arts. Yang Lu-Chan and his sons gained a reputation for their high level of martial skills and were eventually summoned to Beijing to train royalty of the Imperial Court, as well as military of the Imperial Guard.

At this time, China was ruled by the northern Manchu who had invaded and occupied the country. Reluctant to divulge his family's martial arts "secrets" to the occupying forces, Yang Pan-hou deliberately omitted those elements which comprised the powerful, effective fighting techniques. What he taught was a softer version, which became known as Beijing Yang style. The Beijing Yang style became quite popular among the ruling class and aristocrats. The complete Yang family marital art without omissions or changes became known as Guang Ping Yang style.
Yang Pan-Hou transmitted the "secret" Guang Ping Yang style to only three disciples.
One of these was Wang Jiao-Yu, a stable boy in the Imperial Stables. Wang Jiao-Yu was a native Chinese, not a Manchu, and was accepted as a student by the legendary master after proving his determination. The challenge that Master Yang put to Wang Jiao-Yu was to perform a leg stretching exercise and be able to touch his chin to his toes within 100 days. Wang Jiao-Yu succeeded in achieving "Chin to Toe" in the 100 day period and became the third generation of Guang Ping Yang masters.

Two disciples who learned Guang Ping Yang taijiquan from Wang Jiao-Yu were Kuo Lien-Yingand Wang Chih-Ch'ien, fourth generation masters in the lineage. Wang Jiao-Yu was said to be well over 100 years old when he took Kuo Lien-Ying on as his disciple. Although Wang was of advanced age, he was able to best the much younger Kuo, who had begun martial arts training as a boy and mastered northern style Shaolin. Duly impressed, Kuo asked to learn Wang's taijiquan and was accepted as a disciple, but only after meeting the arduous challenge of "Chin to Toe" in 100 days. Both Kuo Lien-Ying and Wang Chih-Ch'ien went to Taiwan after the revolution, so the Guang Ping Yang style of taijiquan is almost non-existent in mainland China today. Fortunately, it has gained a following in the United States.
Guang Ping Yang taijiquan was first introduced to the United States by Master Kuo Lien-Ying in 1965.
Master Kuo taught in Portsmouth Square of San Francisco's Chinatown and established the Lien-Ying Tai-Chi Chuan Martial Arts Academy, where he continued to teach until his death in 1983. The Academy is still there, maintained by Kuo's wife, Simmone Kuo.

Every June, there is a memorial held in Portsmouth Square by Master Kuo's former students, to pay respects to the late master, for the invaluable teachings he passed down to them, and for bringing the Guang Ping Yang style to the United States of America.
Chiang Yun-Chung was the only one of Kuo's
students to achieve "Chin to Toe" in 100 days,

carrying on the legacy of his predecessors. He studied taijiquan with Master Kuo for 20 years, first in Taiwan and later in the United States. Chiang was also fortunate to study with Wang Chih-Ch'ien in Taiwan for 7 years. Chiang is fifth generation master of the Guang Ping Yang lineage.

For more information on Master Chiang, go to the "JoAnna Gee Schoon" page and read the section on JoAnna's Shrfu.
The Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi Association
The Guang Ping Yang T'ai Chi Association  promotes and perserves the quality of Guang Ping Yang style taijiquan and provides support for research and education in Guang Ping Yang style taijiquan.

Join the Guang Ping Yang T'ai Chi Association today! Membership benefits include a quarterly newsletter, The Universal Post, and special members pricing on the annual convention. And you'll have the cameraderie of fellow GPY enthusiasts around the world.

Be sure to check out the Association's own website at www.guangpingyang.org for more information.