Hung I-Hsiang was born in Taiwan. He studied with Chang Chun-Feng (Chinese: 張俊峰; pinyin: Zhang Junfeng) a master of internal Chinese martial arts from Northern China. Chang introduced these arts to Taiwan in 1948 when he moved there following the communist revolution in China. Initially, Chang met with resistance from mainlanders on Taiwan who objected to his teaching the secrets of internal martial arts to native Taiwanese such as Hung.
When Chang began teaching in the northern part of Taibei, his first group of core students included the three Hung brothers: Hung I-Hsiang, Hung I-Wen (*********) and Hong I-Mien (*********). It is said that Hung I-Hsiang was the xingyiquan (Chinese: 形意拳) specialist, Hung I-Mien was the baguazhang (Chinese: 八卦掌) specialist, and Hung I-Wen specialized in taijiquan (Chinese: 太極拳).
After he had studied with Chang for several years, Hung often led classes for Chang. Because the internal martial arts were still very new in Taiwan, many curious people would come to test Chang's skill. Hung said that Chang would often send him out to show the visitors what the internal styles were all about. Many martial artists in Taiwan remember Hung as being someone who was involved in many fights, both in and out of the martial arts studio.
Hung I-Hsiang internal arts training program included xingyiquan, baguazhang and Wu (Hao)-style taijiquan, Shaolin kung fu and qigong. He suggests that students learn Shaolin kung fu when they are very young, progress to xingyiquan to learn how to develop internal power and then progress to baguazhang and taijiquan to learn how to refine the power. This is also the teaching sequence used by Hung's teacher, Chang Chun-Feng. Hung believed that, in practicing the xingyiquan five elements as an introduction to the internal martial arts, the student can clearly understand the way the body should be trained to move in the internal styles. If the student starts out in taijiquan it is very difficult to develop and understand internal power.
Many of Hung's students dominated the full-contact tournaments in Taiwan. One student, Weng Hsien-ming won the Taiwan full contact championships three years in a row. Another, Huang Hsi-I also usually won his all-Taiwan full contact tournaments with knock-outs. Other famous students of Hung I-Hsiang included Hsu Hung-Chi (Chinese: 許鴻基; pinyin: Xu Hongji), Lo Te-Hsiu (Chinese: 羅德修; pinyin: Luo Dexiu), and Su Dong Chen.
The following schools in North America were founded by students of Hung I-Hsiang or students of his students:
- Hsing-I Martial Arts Institute (Mike Patterson)
- Little Nine Heaven Kung Fu School (James McNeil)
- New York Internal Arts (Tom Bisio)
- American Tang Shou Tao Association (Dale Shigenaga)
- North American Tang Shou Tao Association (Vince Black)
- The Sin Lung Kwoon (Mike Bingo)
- Shen Lung Tang Shou Tao Org. John Price
Other schools of Hung Yixiang's students:
- www.abimoriya.co.il Website of Abi Moriya- student of Hong Yixiang, Yizong Tang Shou Federation, Israel
- Miller, Dan, Pa Kua Chang Journal, Vol. 3, No. 5.
- Frantzis, Bruce Kumar, The Power of Internal Martial Arts: Combat Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi, and Hsing-I ISBN 1-55643-253-4