2nd stop, Taiyuan: Cao Zhiqing

Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, is definitely not the China you see in the coffee table books. Shanxi is the centre of China’s coal-mining industry, and it shows. Anyone planning a long-term stay in Shanxi should first consider whether they mind living with air pollution like this:

View from my hotel

The view from my hotel window

Fortunately, I was not in Shanxi for sightseeing, but to visit one Cao Zhiqing, who practices an interesting branch of xingyiquan coming from Wang Fuyuan, who has been profiled elsewhere on this blog. Although Wang’s main teacher was Liu Qilan, he also received many pointers from some of Li Luoneng’s other disciples such as Song Shirong and Che Yizhai. M Cao’s lineage, in full, is: Wang Fuyuan – Mu Xiuyi – Shang Changsuo – Cao Zhiqing.  He is well known in China for his 2 books on xingyiquan, “Research on Xingyiquan” (1984) and “Practice methods and applications of Xingyiquan” (2001).

M Cao's 1984 book on the theory of Xingyiquan

I was received warmly by M Cao to his house in the centre of Taiyuan. Although 71 years old, he was still sprightly and active and demonstrated xingyi movements with a grace that belied his years.

M Cao mentioned that in the system that he practices, there are several different ways of practicing each of the 5 element fists, with each variation differing either in the footwork or in the arm movement or both. For example, in his system there are at least 8 variations of Pi Quan (splitting fist). Some of these 8 variations differ merely in the footwork used, but others look nothing like a ‘conventional’  Hebei Pi quan, at least to my rookie eyes .

He also cautioned against thinking that the 5 fists can be directly used in a real fight ‘as is’, instead stressing that the 5 element fists are more to train the various ‘jins’ and to cultivate a xingyi body.

M Cao in a posture from xingyi's snake form

With M Cao, as with other masters I will be writing about, if you would like to visit him I would be happy to provide his contact details, just leave a comment below the article concerned and I will get back to you. Note, however, that none of the masters I interviewed on this trip speak English.

About yosaku

Xingyiquan enthusiast
This entry was posted in Hebei Xingyiquan, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 2nd stop, Taiyuan: Cao Zhiqing

  1. Markus Schiesser says:

    hallo Jon
    my name is Markus Schiesser, I am from Switzerland living in Shanghai practicing Yiquan and Wu style Taijiquan. I might go to Shanxi later this year and would love to contact Song Guanghua or Cao Zhiqing. thanks for any information

  2. Jay Huang says:

    Hi, I really enjoyed your stories. I would like to visit some of those masters in taigu, or taiyuan. Do you have their contact info. I practce xingyi and speaks Chinese.
    Thank you
    John Wang

  3. Dannyn WEI says:

    Hi guys, you could visit http://www.cnxingyiquan.com to get more information about him. dwei@tootoomail.com

  4. This article is well thought out and well written with a lot of passion and intelligence. Please keep up the good work on this site!

  5. docnamedtroy says:

    Reblogged this on Ground Dragon Martial Arts and commented:
    “He also cautioned against thinking that the 5 fists can be directly used in a real fight ‘as is’, instead stressing that the 5 element fists are more to train the various ‘jins’ and to cultivate a xingyi body.”

  6. I’d like to visit. I speak and write Chinese fluently. please send me details, great article!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s