Yang Lu-Chan, with his second son, Yang Ban-Hou (1st and 2nd
Generations). From Yang Ban-Hou this lineage was passed down to
only three disciples. One of the three was Wang Jiao-Yu (3rd
Generation). Wang in turn passed this style down to only four disciples.
One of the four was Kuo Lien Ying (4th Generation), who brought this
style to the United States in 1965. All the students who studied directly
from Kuo are considered 5th Generation.
As a young boy, Yang Ban Hou was exceptionally talented in martial
arts with outstanding natural athletic abilities. However, he hated the
tough training that was forced upon him by his proud father, Yang Lu-
Chan, and would often run away from home. Each time his father
would find him and drag him back home.
Although Ban-Hou hated his daily training, his natural abilities helped
him and his martial arts improved very rapidly. Thus, his name became
famous and known throughout the Country.
In the 17th Century, when the Manchu from the north invaded China,
the Emperor put out a command to find the best martial artist to teach
his Royal Family and his Imperial Guards. Yang Ban-Hou was
considered the best at that time and was ordered to teach them. Ban-
Hou did not like the invaders, but knew that any refusal to the
Emperor's command would mean death.
Ban-Hou did not wish to teach the true secrets of Guang Ping forms, so
he deliberately altered the movements into soft forms, later known as
Beijing Style. The nightly Tai Chi sessions for the Royal Family were
conducted behind high brick garden walls and closed high wooden
One day, Ban-Hou, on his way to the Imperial Court walking past the
Royal Horse Stable, observed a young stable boy practicing the same
Tai Chi forms he was teaching nightly in the Royal Garden. He
confronted the boy as to how he could know this style of Tai Chi so
well. The stable boy, named Wang Jiao-Yu, confessed that he had
learned the forms by spying on his teaching nightly.
Ban-Hou learned the boy came from the same city of Guang Ping. He
asked the boy if he was serious about learning Kung-Fu from him. The
boy immediately said yes and dropped to his knees to pay respect and
appreciation by bowing to Ban-Hou one hundred times.
Ban-Hou said to him. "If you really want to learn real Kung-Fu from
me, you have to bend down to touch your chin to toe within 100 days."
Wang Jiao-Yu practiced very hard daily and succeeded in touching his
chin to toe way before the 100 days had passed and thereby became
one of the only three disciples accepted by Yang Ban-Hou.
Many years later...
Chi-Li was known as the most elusive and clever burglar's in the
Shantung area. He possessed great talent and was trained in a very high
skill of Chinese Martial Arts. He could easily leap across a canal over
twenty feet wide or just as easily jump up eight feet to roof tops to
escape capture. On this night, the sheriff and his deputies chased Chi-
Li into a dead-end alley, which lead to an ancient temple. When the
pursuers rounded the corner into the alley leading to the temple, they
saw Chi-Li's figure lying on the ground, knocked out cold. The sheriff
and his men were amazed and puzzled as to what had happened to this
lifeless figure lying on the ground. As they looked about the ground for
some explanation, they saw an old man sitting on the granite steps
leading to the main entrance of the old temple.
This old man was known to the town's people as "The old man selling
tea at the old temple." He wore loosely fitted trousers with the pant legs
tied firmly around his ankles. His demeanor was calm as he sat cross-
legged with palms resting gently on top of his knees.
As the sheriff questioned the old man, he calmly denied having any
knowledge of what had happened to the burglar, Chi-Li.
When the sheriff and his men paraded through town proudly with Chi-
Li bound by ropes, words were buzzing through the town that "The old
man selling tea at the old temple" possessed great skill in Kung-Fu.
However, the old man always denied that he knew anything about
martial arts, but was just an ordinary person selling tea.
As the days and weeks passed people who had waited from morning to
night hoping to see Kung-fu gave up and slowly disappeared from the
temple grounds. Eventually, everyone had given up, except for one
persistent young man. Night after night, he would go to the temple
after dark and wait until dawn before going home to sleep.
Finally one night after hearing the town's time keeper, Bong! Bong!
Bong! Bong! The sound of four beats (representing 4 am), as he was
about to doze off, all of a sudden a dark figure appeared amongst a
group of young trees. He was waving his arms and hands in total
coordination of his body and legs, like a slow dance. Whenever he
would push forward with his palms, the nearby tree branches would
bend with leaves rustling as though they were being blown by a strong
wind. With each step, going to and fro, his feet were placed on the
ground very gently and precisely. Yet, even with each movement being
performed very slowly, he could see and feel the great power projecting
When the news of the "Tea Seller" having such great Kung Fu abilities
got out, everyone who could walk wanted to study with him. Finally the
"Tea Seller", Wang Jiao Yu accepted four disciples. One of the four was
Kuo Lien Ying, who in 1965, brought the unique style of Guang Ping
Yang Tai Chi to San Francisco's Chinatown.