Fu Zhensong

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Fu Zhensong
Mapo village, Biyangxian, Huaiqing, Henan, China
Died1953 (aged 80–81)
StyleChen-style tai chi,
Ma style Baguazhang,
Cheng Style Baguazhang,
Wudang Sword,
Sun-style tai chi,
Yang-style tai chi
Teacher(s)Chen Yanxi (陳延禧)
Chia Feng Ming
Ma Gui
Cheng Tinghua
Song Weiyi
Sun Lutang
Yang Chengfu
RankFounder of Fu Style Baguazhang
Fu Zhensong
Fu Qiankun

Fu Zhensong (Wade–Giles: Fu Chen-sung; 1872–1953), also known by his courtesy name Fu Qiankun, was a grandmaster of Wudangquan martial arts. He was best known as one of the famed "Five Northern Tigers," and a third-generation master of Baguazhang who founded Fu Style Baguazhang. He was also a soldier and a supporter of Sun Yat-sen.

Early life[edit]

Fu Zhensong was born in Mapo village, Biyang County, Henan province, China. When he was 16 years old, he joined his village's newly created martial arts school, where he studied under Chen Yanxi () from the nearby Chen village, an 8th generation disciple of Chen family of tai chi. He also learned from Chia Feng Ming () (also written in English sometimes as Chia Chi-shan 賈岐山 or Jia Feng Meng), a top student of the founder of baguazhang, Grandmaster Dong Haichuan. After nine years of training, his teachers encouraged him to move to Beijing to learn more. When he moved to Beijing, Fu continued his studies of baguazhang with Ma Gui and Cheng Tinghua, both first generation disciples of Dong Haichuan.

In 1900 he moved back to his home village to teach. He became well known in that part of China for defeating a large gang of bandits that attacked his village; he did so armed with a metal pole. In 1911, Fu Zhensong became a caravan guard/body guard in Shandong and Henan at the request of the Kai Kung Hsin Shan Protection Service.

After the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, Fu traveled to Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, Shanxi, and beyond. In 1913, Fu was hired by the Revolutionary Army as a martial arts instructor, holding this post for a few years. During those years he met the Wudang grandmaster Song Weiyi in Liaoning Province. Fu learned Wudang sword, "lightning palm" and “rocket fist" from Song. These elements later became part of Fu's forms. According to Lin Chao Zhen, Fu created the Dragon form baguazhang and Liangyiquan (“harmonized opposites boxing") after he studied with Song Weiyi.

Military career[edit]

In 1920 Fu joined the central army. The then Brigade Commander (later General), Li Jinglin (“Miracle sword" Li) made Fu head of the 100 person strong martial arts company after he demonstrated tiger fist, leopard fist, connected fist, bagua “cyclone", broadsword and bagua “four sided" spear. Li Jinglin had also learned sword from Song Weiyi, and so he taught Fu further sword techniques. In 1926 the company transferred to Beijing. During a martial arts demonstration, "God spear" Li used his famous spear and Fu used his "four faced" bagua spear in a friendly bout. The match ended in a draw. This increased Fu's fame and both men exchanged their knowledge of spear tactics. Fu Zhensong was married to Han Kun Ru, who practiced the spear and had a powerful technique. Her father was also a famous kung fu master in China.

In Beijing, Fu met Sun Lutang, Yang Chengfu, and many other skilled practitioners, with whom he exchanged knowledge. This exchange continued when the Central Guoshu Institute (Central Martial Arts Academy) was founded in Nanjing. After heavy competition, Fu Zhensong was made Chief Instructor of baguazhang, emphasizing in his teachings fast precise footwork and waist strength. It was here that he taught Sun Luntang the Wudang sword and in exchange, Sun taught him the Sun-style of Xingyiquan and tai chi.

In late 1928 or 1929, at General Li Jinglin's urging, the Central Gymnasium sent Fu south to teach at the Guangxi and Guangzhou provincial school the Liangguang Guoshuguan (the Two Kuang's Martial Arts School.) This school was located in Guangzhou (Canton). Fu became the school's director. Along with Fu, four others were also sent to the south. They were (probably) Gu Ruzhang, Wang Shao-chou, Wan Laisheng, and Li Xianwu. They were all constantly being challenged by southern Chinese martial artists, but always beat all challengers. They thus earned the respectful nickname, the “Five Northern Tigers". Fu Zhensong, Gu Ruzhang, and Wai Laisheng remained in Canton, and spread the Northern styles throughout the province.

In 1937 the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out and the Provincial Martial Arts Academy and the Chin Woo Athletic Association schools were closed down. Fu moved his family further into the countryside for safety, and traveled around the south teaching the Chinese army troops. After the war ended in 1945, Fu began to teach in various schools in Guangzhou. He devoted his life to developing the Fu Style Wudangquan.

In 1953, martial arts exhibitions were held in Canton Cultural Park. Thousands of people packed the park, and crowds of people blocked all entrances. Fu Zhensong demonstrated the dragon form. After his first demonstration, the cheering crowd called for encores, and Fu returned to perform the form, faster and faster. Of this event, a local newspaper said afterwards “words could not describe the speed with which he moved." This exertion overcame him, and later that night Fu died at the local hospital. He believed in constant innovation and continual improvement. The forms he developed express this, incorporating the most useful and practical principles of other styles, and progress from simple to advanced.



Dong Haichuan developed baguazhang after learning circle walking from the Quanzhen School of Taoism. Fu spent 8 years learning baguazhang from Jia Fengmeng, then 3 years in Beijing learning from Yin Fu's top student Ma Gui, and from Cheng Tinghua at the same time. All were first generation students of Grandmaster Dong Haichuan.

Tai chi[edit]

Fu learned Chen-style tai chi as a youth, while simultaneously learning baguazhang. He later learned Sun-style tai chi from Sun Lutang and Yang-style tai chi from Yang Chengfu. From all these styles he synthesized his own form, and balanced left and right.



  • Lin, Chao Zhen (2010). Fu Zhen Song's Dragon Bagua Zhang. Blue Snake Books. ISBN 978-1-58394-238-3.
  • Miller, Dan (1992). "The Pa Kua Chang of Fu Chen-Sung". Pa Kua Chang Journal 2 (6).
  • Liang Shou-Yu, Yang Jwing-Ming, Wu Wen-Ching (1994). Baguazhang. YMAA. p. 40. ISBN 0-940871-30-0.
  • Kirchhoff, Tommy (December 2004). "Evasive Fu Style Bagua Zhang". Inside Kung-Fu: 74–78.
  • Fu Yonghui and Lai Zonghong (1998). Fu Style Dragon Form Eight Trigrams Palms. Smiling Tiger Martial Arts. ISBN 1-929047-15-0.
  • Kwan, Dr. Paul W.L. (April 1978). "The New Wu Shu". Black Belt.
  • Lukitsh, Jean (October 1992). "A Wushu Dream Comes True". Inside Kung-Fu 2 (3): 34–39, 76.
  • Smalheiser, Marvin (April 1996). "Fu Style T'ai Chi and Bagua". T'ai Chi.
  • Smalheiser, Marvin (June 1996). "The Power of Mind and Energy". T'ai Chi.
  • Smalheiser, Marvin (December 2000). "The Power of Yin/Yang Changes". T'ai Chi.
  • Allen, Frank; Tina Chunna Zhang (2007). The Whirling Circles of Ba Gua Zhang: The Art and Legends of the Eight Trigram Palm. Blue Snake Books. pp. 48–51. ISBN 978-1-58394-189-8.
  • Cobb, Nathan (13 March 2001). "Grande Dame of Wu Dang". Boston Globe. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  • Pa Kwa Chang Journal (volume 1, #3; volume 2, #6; volume 5, #2; and volume 6, #6)
  • Pa Kua Chang Journal
  • Fu Yonghui and Lai Zonghong (translated by Joseph Crandall), Fu Style Dragon Form Eight Trigrams Palms
  • Victor Fu’s website, 3rd generation Fu family internal styles.
  • Liang Qiangya’s site. Liang is one of two last living disciples of Fu Zhensong.

External links[edit]