Here is an article written by Guo Shifu of Shi Shiye a number of years ago. We hope our English translation is sufficiently faithful to the original. (Many thanks to gongfucat with aid on a couple of tricky phrases.)
Martial magnate: Shi Chongying
Anyone and everyone lucky enough to witness Master Shi Chongying in tuishou (push hands) or sanshou (free sparring) invariably remarks in wonder, ”How does he. without using any discernible stance or technique, with no more than a simple gesture, send people flying so very far from him?”
This amazing level of skill, so rarely seen today, is the fruit of traditional martial training.
Master Shi, Zhengzhou University’s professor of martial arts, has in the last 22 years dedicated his life to the martial arts. He is Ma (Weiqi) style Baguazhang’s 6th generation successor and 6th generation inheritor of Yang style Taijiquan.
He began his martial journey in the 80s, learning Cheng style Baguazhang under both 5th generation master Sun Chengzhang and 4th generation master Wang Junling. In 1935, Master Sun Chengzhang took part in the national martial championships and stood undefeated in the sabre, spear, sword, and unarmed competitions. For this achievement, he was titled “Great Warrior”.
Because he had such an eminent teacher, and because he was unusually talented in martial arts and hardworking besides, Master Shi Chongying quickly became extremely proficient in Baguazhang. In recent years, increasing numbers of martial artists both within China and without have taken notice of Master Shi’s ability. In 1996, a reporter for Gongfu Magazine* flew down from Florida, USA to interview Master Shi for a cover story. He has also been featured and celebrated by the Henan TV Station, Zhengzhou TV Station, Shaolin and Taiji Magazine, Combat Theory and Practice Magazine, Zhengzhou Evening Paper, Eastern Household Paper, Martial Spirit, and other print and broadcasting bodies.
* Bret Bumgarner believes the English name for this magazine is "WuGong Journal". Thanks for the information, Bret!
Master Shi was born in 1940 to a family of Chinese physicians. He was an active child and began exercising from a young age. At 18, he was inducted into Henan province’s first batch of professional athletes. In 1958, he was named Zhengzhou city and Henan province’s overall gymnastics champion. In 1962, he enrolled in Henan University with a major in gymnastics. After graduation, he was assigned to work in Nanyang, Henan.
While working in Nanyang, Master Shi continued his martial practice, learning many different styles of martial arts under a multitude of experts. Wang Jiaofu of Shenyang had moved to Nanyang in the 70s. Old Master Wang originally came from the birthplace of Mantis Kungfu, Shandong province of Huang county, and therefore began practising Mantis Kungfu at a very young age. At the age of 13, he had ventured alone into Guandong. While in Shenyang, Master Wang had been accepted as a student by Ma (Weiqi) style Bagua 4th generation successor Hu Laiyi. For the next 31 years, he had seriously practised Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan. Because of his inimitable ability, he was known as a rare martial genius. Master Shi became Master Wang’s disciple and from then on martial arts were woven inextricably into his life.
At the time he was initiated into Master Wang’s school, Master Shi was so poor that he often starved. When reminiscing about that period in his life, he would often say, “Times were really hard then. All I had to eat was common vegetables, soup, and bread.”
Nevertheless, he continued training very hard for around 3 hours daily. Once, when Master Shi was sent on business outside the city, he spent the entire train journey practising foundation building exercises.
Master Shi is not only an illustrious martial artist, but also an excellent teacher. Not only does he teach the fighting arts, he develops people. When teaching boxing, his instruction is simple and easily apprehended because he is deft with analogies and knowledgeable in many disciplines. His words come alive, making him a favourite of students. He is also a kindly elder who molds the character of his students with special methods. And yet he is himself still a student as well, and he often tells the picture of the late Master Wang that he will keep on learning from him.
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