Gao Ji Wu is the current President of the Beijing Ba Gua Association. Master Gao also carries on his family’s martial arts tradition as head of Beijing Gao Family Ba Gua. The family’s lineage in martial arts began with Gao Ji Wu’s grandfather Gao Wen Chang. Gao Wen Chang was a direct disciple of Yin Fu, himself one of the most famous disciples of the founder Dong Hai-Chuan. Gao Wen Chang also studied with another of Dong’s disciples named Song Yong Xiang and later became a disciple of Liu De Kuan.
Liu De Kuan was a unique individual. A talented martial arts prodigy in his youth, Liu’s skill with the spear earned him the nick-name “Big Spear.” When Liu arrived in Beijing near the end of the Qing dynasty he studied with both Dong Hai Chuan and Cheng Ting Hua. Liu either studied, or was friends with, many of the great martial artists of his day, including Li Cun Yi, the famous Xing Yi boxer. Liu De Kuan is credited with the creation of the 64 hands, which are also referred to as the Ba Gua linear forms.
Guo Gu Min studied directly with both Liang Chen Pu (a direct disciple of founder Dong Hai Chuan) and Liu De Kuan. Guo never married and devoted himself exclusively to the martial arts. He was renowned in the Beijing area for his extraordinary skills in Ba Gua Zhang. Gao Ji Wu’s father Gao Zi Ying, studied with both Gao Wen Chang and Guo Ge Min. From Guo he learned the 64 hands of Liu De Kuan and many other Ba Gua skills.
Gao Zi Ying also studied Da Cheng Chuan with its legendary founder Wang Xiang Zhai, Xing Yi Chuan with Li Cun Yi and Tai Ji Chuan under the great Yang Chen Fu. Gao Zi Ying was highly skilled with many traditional weapons and his ability in pushing hands and chin na (seizure techniques) was superb.
Gao Ji Wu was born in 1942. He began learning Chang Quan (Long Fist or Long Boxing) as a child and later progressed to learning the internal martial arts under his father. I met Master Gao in 2001. I was immediately impressed by his smooth fluid movements and the continuous winding quality of his circle walking. When he saw that I knew the basics he immediately began to teach me Lian Huan Ba Gua Zhang. (the Ba Gua Chain Linking form). Since then New York Internal Arts has sent groups of students to Beijing to study with Master Gao and he has come to the United States to teach.
Master Gao is a generous teacher with a deep knowledge of Ba Gua. From him we have learned the countless applications, the 64 Hands and the 72 Attacking Techniques, Lian Hua Ba Gua Zhang, the Pre-Heaven (8 Animal Form)the Ring Rotating Sword and the Slicing Saber as well as the Rooster Claw Mandarin Duck Knives (Ji Zhao Yuan Yang Yu).
Recently Master Gao accepted our invitation to become a senior advisor to New York Internal arts. We look forward to working with him more in the future.