Master Feng Zhi-Qiang
Master Feng poses in Temple of Heaven park.
Image captured by his student Yau-Sun Tong
Among the many Chen-style followers, the late Feng Zhi-Qiang (1928-2012) of Beijing stands out as a prominent master of great skill. Master Feng, a former member of the Chinese Wushu Association, was the Vice President of Beijing Municipal Arts Association, President of Beijing Municipal Chen-style Taijiquan Research Institute and head of Huaxia Martial Arts Club.
Master Feng's great-grandfather was a well known wushu master, and growing up in such a family, Feng took to wushu in his boyhood. Master Feng began to practice martial arts at eight, he learned a great variety of wushu forms such as Shaolin stake exercises (Tongzi), tongbeiquan, (a kind of boxing imitative of the movements of the ape's back), xingyiquan, and baguazhang from several famous masters before taking up Chen-style taijiquan under the guidance of Chen Fa-Ke, grandson of Chen ChangXing. With over 50 years of martial arts practice behind him, he commands an excellent knowledge of all the northern schools of wushu (kungfu) and is especially well versed in the Chen-style taijiquan.
On his Xingyiquan teacher's (Master Hu Yaozhen) recommendation, Feng began to learn the Chen-style taijiquan from Chen Fa-Ke in Beijing. Besides Feng, Chen Fa-Ke had about a dozen other pupils. Every morning and evening, they practised in Chen's house under the watchful eyes of their master. Eager to learn and diligent in practice, Feng Zhi-Qiang was regarded as a promising student by Chen who had a high opinion of him.
Feng developed a high level of proficiency in Chen-style taiji push-hands (tuishou) as a result of his diligence and determination to engage the master daily, and being repeatedly thrown to the ground. Through intensive training with Chen Fa-Ke, Feng mastered the grappling, throwing, and shaking-strength skills of Chen-style Taijiquan.
Master Feng at the Temple of Heaven Park.
Image captured by Yau-Sun Tong
Some of Sifu Tong's students pose
with Master Feng at Temple of Heaven in 1997.