What is Liu He Ba Fa?

In the Chinese language, the meaning of Liu He Ba Fa is "Six Harmonies and Eight Methods.” It is, in essence, a style of a larger, collective category of internal martial arts. Though sources vary, most would consider this martial arts style to be the quintessential hybrid of Taiji, Xing Yi, and Bagua.

During the late Tang dynasty in the 9th century, the Daoist sage, Chen Xi Yi (Chen Tuan) of the Hua Shan mountains, who was reknown for his methods of cultivating health and longevity, developed a set of movements known as Liu He Ba Fa, the “six harmonies and eight methods” of mind and intention. Recognized as one of the most prestigious and excellent forms of internal art, the moves of Liu He Ba Fa are designed to stimulate and massage the internal organs, while exercising the spine. This form consists of 66 movements, which are often noted for their graceful, spiral turning. These movements are an 'intensifier' of the turning and stretching effects that are already evident through the practice of Daoist Internal Arts. Movement originating from the spine forms the essence of Liu He Ba Fa, and this art is most beneficial to students who have already developed some degree of spinal articulation through practice in other Daoist Arts.


The Liu He Ba Fa form involves 66 major movements, plus two additional moves for opening and closing, making it a total of 68 major movements. It is different from other styles in that each major movement is unique. While the names of the movements repeat, there are no repetitions anywhere in the form. Each movement can also consist of many submovements.

The Legend of Chen Tuan  

In 871 A.D., Chen Tuan, also known as Tunan or Fuyaozi, was born of a high ranked, wealthy family, and being the child prodigy that he was, Chen Tuan's intellect and fame soared, as he knew the Chinese classics by heart and was often visited by scholars from around the province who came to seek this young man's advice and wisdom. In our modern day society, Chen Tuan would have been attributed with the gift of a “photographic memory.” However, in contrast to all of Chen Tuan's academic prowess, he spent a great deal of his time near the water, as he was often fascinated by it. Legends have it that at the age of five, Chen Tuan was playing near a pond when the Immortal Green Dressed Lady first spoke into his life, and from then, remained with him continually, especially in his dreams. It was in these dreams that the Immortal revealed to him the origins of the great teachings that he had been learning in school, and Chen Tuan's insight grew in depth from what the Immortal had taught him. It grew so much that it far surpassed and contrasted the lessons he was learning in class.

Chen Tuan's parents were very proud of their young scholar, and they urged him to take the qualifying examinations to become an official in serving the emperor. Surprisingly, Chen Tuan failed this exam, but with this life path closed, he now had the opportunity to follow greater pursuits. Traveling the world, he dedicated his life to sitting at the feet of the many great masters before him to learn their teachings and wisdom. Amidst all of his traveling, he also spent a great time in retreats of solitude, one of those places being the Rock of Nine Rooms, where he was able to reflect in the knowledge being passed on to him and also to receive further insight from the Five Dragon Immortals.

Chen Tuan was never one to seek popularity in society, but this did not stop the crowds who thronged towards him in amazement at his wisdom.

At one point, a great emperor, Zhao Kuangyin, came to visit him, seeking to invite Chen Tuan to join him in the war. This emperor knew of Chen Tuan's immense wisdom, and he thought that it could be useful in war strategy. Being a Daoist, Chen Tuan did not advocate fighting to the death, and he refused to participate. However, having always been very clever, Chen Tuan challenged the emperor to a game of chess. If the emperor won, then Chen Tuan would accompany him to the war. But if Chen Tuan won, then the emperor must give the ownership of the Hua Shan Mountains to Chen Tuan.

Chen Tuan easily won the game, knowing from the beginning that the emperor would be too distracted by the war to play the game with focus. Winning his mountain, Chen Tuan also used the opportunity to explain to the emperor the dangers of being consumed by the past or the future. Only when one's mind is intently focused on the present will one become increasingly aware of all of the present circumstances. The emperor used this piece of wisdom in his war strategy, and in addition to successfully winning the war, he also won much territory.

The newly acquired Hua Shan Mountains became the training grounds for many of Chen Tuan's practices. It was here that he developed Liu He Ba Fa, otherwise known as “Six Harmonies Eight Methods.” It is said that Chen Tuan's earlier fascination with water deeply influenced the movement and power used in Liu He Ba Fa. The essence of this style is to demonstrate how energy becomes matter which will eventually return back to its original state of energy.

Later in his life, Chen Tuan requested from one of his closest disciples, Jia Desheng, to excavate a nearby cave where he could rest. Taking all of his possessions and writing, Chen Tuan withdrew to his cave, and in 989 A.D., he passed away in there. Guarding the entrance of the cave was said to be a brilliantly colored and multifaceted cloud and veil, so many never dared to enter. Three hundred years later, one of his faithful disciples, Li Dongfeng, ventured into the cave and found Chen Tuan's detailed writings that explained Liu He Ba Fa. With years of intense training in this style, Li then mastered the internal art of Liu He Ba Fa, and he slowly began to share this secret form with others. At first, very few knew of this style, but as the fame of this style spread, many longed to understand the teachings of Liu He Ba Fa.

Mount Hua -- Hua Shan

In the southern region of Hua Xian County lies Mount Hua of the Shan'Xi Province, being the east section of the Qin Ling Mountains. While most of the peaks in this section are very steep and difficult to climb, the south peak is the highest of them all, and at the very top, there is a large, clear pond whose water never dries up all year long. Many people come to pay their respect, even emperors, such as Tang Gaozhu and Tang Taizhong(Tang Dynasty). Once, Princess Jinxian, the daughter of emperor Rui Zhong(Tang Dynasty), came to Mount Hua to pursue Tao. Because of this incident, emperor Tang Xuanzhong ordered the construction of Woman-Immortal Temple and Silver Cloud Monastery.

Famous Daoists, such as Zhong Liquan, Lu Yan, Liu Chao, Wang Chuyi, Hao Datong, and Tan Chuduan, once lived here. Chen Tuan, one of the founders of Daoism, lived on Mount Hua for almost forty years, which is where he also wrote many of the renown Daoist literature.
*For more photos of the beautiful Hua mountains, please view our photo gallery

Great Grandmaster Wu Yi Hui

A man of gifts, talents, wisdom, and nobility, Wu Yi Hui's story begins in the northeastern part of China in Tieling. Coming from an educated and well respected family, Wu Yi Hui had many opportunities before him, and with it, he became quite talented in the arts, such as calligraphy and painting. But there was one area that far overshadowed the other many talents of Wu Yi Hui, and this area was his martial arts. Even Wang Xian Zhai, the founder of the Yiquan form, proclaimed that out of the thousands he had competed with, Wu Yi Hui was one of the very few who was extremely gifted.

At a young age, Wu Yi Hui began his martial arts training in the province of Pien-Liang, otherwise known as Kiafang. He studied numerous styles of martial arts, and it was here that he learned the Daoist Sleeping Qigong style derived from the famous Chen Tuan. He also studied under many famous teachers, such as Chen Guang Di and Chen He Lu.

His story continued as he was accepted in the Military Academy of Baoding, and he also taught martial arts in many different schools, such as the South Senior High School in Shanghai, the Shuwei Public School, and the Eight Immortals Bridge District YMCA in Shanghai. Wu Yi Hui also received many accolades in his lifetime, such as the National Martial Arts Association provost, Shanghai's Department of Literature and History director, demonstrating Chinese martial arts for the Vietnamese government, and much more.

He was not merely a talented man but a man that lived a life in full dedication to martial arts. Wu Yi Hui was a teacher and a contributor to the legacy of Liuhebafa.


*For more photos of Wu Yi Hui, please view his photo gallery


Grandmaster Lu Gui Yao

Lu Gui Yao's original career was as a businessman in Shanghai, but he always had a passion for martial arts. He studied with the Great Grandmaster Wu Yi Hui for almost nine years, and he was so dedicated that he never missed a single class. Lu Gui Yao spent his time learning the Liu He Ba Fa forms, weaponry, and the Luhong Eight Fists from Wu Yi Hui. After 1994, Lu Gui Yao returned to his hometown of Foshan, which is in the Guangdong Province of China, because of his age. 
He is currently 90 years old, yet still in very good mental and physical health. He officially began teaching again in 1997 and rooted himself in Foshan. Recently, he brought his disciples to Huainan, China to attend the 120th year celebration of Great Grandmaster Wu Yi Hui. Grandmaster Lu Gui Yao did a traditional  Xi Yi lineage of the Liu He Ba Fa form taught by his teacher. The audience gave him a standing ovation for his superior performance. The audience cheered over and over again of how his Liu He Ba Fa form mirrored Great Grandmaster Wu Yi Hui's form perfectly.
Not only is Lu Gui Yao's form still amazing, but his gift in teaching is remarkable. He has taught people from all over the world, a few of those places being China, the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Currently, he is the president of the China Foshan Xin Yi Liu He Ba Fa Association


 *For more photos of Lu Gui Yao, please visit his photo gallery


Master Jimmy Wong

Sifu Jimmy K. Wong began his martial arts training at the Selangor Chin Woo Association (Malaysia) under Mr. Yap Shu Shen. In 1977, Sifu Wong came to the United States to pursue his college education at the University of Houston. Sifu Wong taught Chin Woo Shaolin kungfu at the University. In 1981, he graduated with a B.Sc. in computer science and took a position with Texas Instruments. In 1983, he moved to Dallas and continued his MBA at the University of Texas at Dallas. In Dallas, he soon became acquainted with the 6th generation Yang style taiji master, Mr. Tu ChunKing and studied under his tutelage. Sifu Wong subsequently traveled to Malaysia and Singapore Chin Woo schools for several years to consult with school officials and to extend his expertise in martial arts as well as in lion dance. The Chin Woo authorities were favorably impressed with Sifu Wong's dedication, hard work, and extensive knowledge of kungfu, and provided enthusiastic support and encouragement to Sifu Wong's efforts to spread Chin Woo in America. These efforts culminated in the establishment of the first officially sanctioned Chin Woo school of kungfu in the United States on July 25, 1987. In 1990, he gave up his engineering career to pursue his traditional Chinese medicine studies in China. In China, Sifu Wong met with 5th generation Wu(Hao) taiji master, Mr. Wu Wen Han and Mr. Chen Gu An and became their disciple. In 1994, the World Chin Woo Federation was formed in Shanghai Chin Woo, where Sifu Wong was the USA representative.


During his stay in the US, Sifu Wong has trained a number of grand champions, nationally and internationally. One of his top Shaolin students, Ms. Patty Sun, is the 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1997 female grand champion in traditional forms in the USA National Martial Arts Championships. She was also awarded the 1997 Traditional Athlete of the Year by the USAWKF Hall of Fame. Ms. Sun also competed in the 7th International Yongnian Taijiquan Festival & Championship and received first place in Wu(Hao) taiji form, straightsword, and broadsword. His taiji student, Ms. Kathryn Wong, won the Wu(Hao) taiji forms/weapons champion at the 5th International China Yongnian Taijiquan Championship. In 1991 and 1995, Sifu Wong was the coach and team leader for the USA Chin Woo Lion Dance team in the International Lion Dance Championship in Malaysia and Hong Kong. In 1996, he hosted the Malaysia World Lion King Champions, Kun Seng Keng, in their US tour. This boosted the lion dance culture in the Southwest. He is the USA executive board member for the International Lion and Dragon Dance Federation, Beijing, China.

Sifu Wong holds many National and International Advisory positions to various Kung Fu organizations and has given workshops in many countries. Sifu Wong has taught Kung Fu at the University of Houston, Tai Chi and Qi-gong at the Texas Hei Long Jiang College of Traditional Medicine, Tai Chi and Qi-gong to doctors at the Beijing International Acupuncture Center, Swedish Wushu Federation, Stockholm and Singapore Chin Woo. On April 10, 1999, he established the North America Wu(Hao) Taiji Federation, based in Dallas, Texas, with a strong belief in preserving traditional Wu(Hao) taiji and in bringing this great style from Yongnian, China to the rest of the world. Among many of his efforts in promoting Wu(Hao) taiji, Sifu Wong was the first person to produce a Wu(Hao) taiji instructional video in the United States which received the Dallas Crystal Award for instructional television. This award is the most prestigious award given to local video production. The video was broadcast on local television in the Dallas area and gave Wu(Hao) taiji large exposure to the public. In October 1998, the China International Yongnian Traditional Taijiquan Association granted Sifu Wong the grandmaster title of Wu(Hao) style, the only person outside of China to receive this title. His teacher, Mr. Wu Wen Han, was granted the great grandmaster title. On October 16, 2000, Sifu Wong organized a team of 24 competitors to attend the 7th International Yongnian Taijiquan Festival & Championship held in Handan, China. During the same time, he also organized the construction of 4 monuments in honor of the Wu(Hao) taiji founder, Wu Yu Xiang, and his lineage at the Wu Yu Xiang's home in Yongnian, China. This historical construction was made possible by the contribution of the USA Chin Woo Federation. On July 11-14, 2002, the USA Chin Woo Federation took great pleasure and honor to serve as a host for the 2002 7th World Chin Woo Championships and Cultural Festival.

Sifu Wong also had the privilege to study Water Boxing (Liu He Ba Fa) during his stays in China from Grandmaster Lu Gui Yao, who is the last disciple of Great Grand Master Wu Yi Hui. In 1990, Sifu Wong visisted Shanghai Chin Woo, and he met Grandmaster Lu Gui Yao and studied with him briefly. In 1998, he began to study from Grandmaster Lu formally. Grandmaster Lu Gui Yao honored him as an overseas honorary president of the China Foshan Xin Yi Liu He Ba Fa Association. During this time, he taught a few selected students. But now, he is beginning to publicly accept Liu He Ba Fa students. He started the first official workshop in Dallas, Texas on June 1st, 2008, and he was well received.

Sifu Wong's mission is to spread the traditional Chin Woo Shaolin, Wu(Hao) Taiji and Liuhebafa in the world and make it available to anyone who is interested. He is also the executive board member of the USA Traditional Kung Fu Wushu Federation. Sifu Wong was inducted by the Inside Kungfu Magazine Hall of Fame as the 2004 Instructor of the Year. He is also a licensed Acupuncturist in Texas, and he is the Chief Organizer of the Taiji Legacy International Martial Arts Championships held annually in Dallas, Texas.


 *For more photos of Jimmy Wong, please view his photo gallery





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