() LU HONGBIN   盧鴻賓

 Lu Hongbin, 盧鴻賓, also named Zhaolin 兆麟, was born in the 33rd year of Guangxu 光緒三十三年丁未(1907) in Wen Du village文都村, Xian county 献縣, Cangzhou 滄州市, Hebei province 河北省. The village is located in today's Xiao Ping Wang township 小平王鄉 which is located about 12 km south west of the county city. 

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He loved martial arts from a young age and studied first Xing Yi Quan with his father Lu Chuntang. His grandparents also taught him Xing Yi Quan as this was the style taught within his family and it was a treasured style of Lu Hongbin. It has many forms and the animal forms like eagle and bear are done separately. 

It is possible to trace some moves not typical of Hebei style to early Shanxi versions. Some of these moves, ideas and possible reasons for similarities between styles I discussed with transmitters of Guo Weihan lineage when I met with them in mid 1980's.  See Xing Yi Quan for his lineage.

Lu Hongbin also received teachings from the Daoist monk Liao Kong 了空 on the ways of meditation as mentioned in the book " xing ming fa jue ming zhi " 性命法訣明指. Liao Kong was the teacher of Zhao Bichen 趙壁塵 (b.1860) who taught Sun Xikun this method. This is also a method that Lu Hongbin taught me.   

When living in Hebei country side and during the years he spent in Beijing and Tianjin he used the name Lu Shukui 盧書魁, style name 鴻賓. From around year 1935 he changed to only use Lu Hongbin (acc. to shimu note 1). 

His grandparents were aquainted with the Cheng family and his grandmother Wang Qiaoyun took him to see the Cheng family to study their boxing. While still a young boy he studied Ba Gua Zhang from Cheng Youlong (style name: Haiting) b.1872- d.1928 Nov. After his teacher Cheng Youlong's death he stayed with his older boxing brother Sun Xikun. Sun Xikun established the boxing school "Dao De Wu Xue She" in 1930-31. He is pictured below together with Sun Xikun at the school in Tianjin in 1933 at the two year celebration of the school.  See Cheng style for his lineage.


   
(Cheng Youlong  turning palm)                    (Sun Xikun Ba Gua Zhang)


TIANJIN DAODE WUSHU SHE (1933)


(Front row: Zhao Dianyin, Tian Xijiu, Li Yukun, Sun Xikun, Yang Guanchu, Pan Hualing, Guo Hairun
Second row: fourth from the left is Lu Hongbin.)


Left: Detail from above 1933 photo showing Sun Xikun and Lu Hongbin standing behind him.

In the book written by Sun Xikun (1889-1952 June 30) called "Ba Gua Quan Zhen Chuan" published around mid 1934 there is one table listing staff of the Hebei Guo Shu Guan and among the teaching staff a Lu Shukui 盧書魁 is mentioned but who that is I do not know, if it is Lu Hongbin or the Lu Shukui in the note below. 

There is also a table listing five generations of some boxers and here among the other fourth generation boxers there is a Lu Shukui 盧書魁 styled 鴻賓. This is a list of boxers made by Sun Xikun and not a list of names found on the Dong Haichuan grave.  (see below note 2).

 


VISITING THE GRAVE OF DONG HAICHUAN


Photo: Lu Hongbin on the far left at Dong Haichuan's grave at the old site (from Sun Xikun's book on Cheng style Ba Gua Zhang)

 

THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR

The Sino-Japanese war broke out July 7, 1937 with the shooting at Lugou bridge at Fengtai south of Beijing as a build up from the occupation of Manchuria in 1931. In December 1937 the Japanese massacre of around 300,000 people in Nanjing took place. In 1937 the Japanese also commited war crimes in Yangzhou, Wuhu and bay of Hangzhou. Being occupied and controlled by the Japanese, a foreign power, built a hatred to the Japanese among all Chinese. 

Lu Hongbin was already a member of the secret societies and in the Chinese groups that were active against the Japanese and he taught many students to work behind the enemy's lines. The main aim of his students were to get to the Japanese officers and some were caught and executed. He himself got caught by the Japanese soldiers accused of being with the nationalist KMT (Guo Min Dang) and he was also caught by the KMT soldiers accused of being with the Chinese communists CPC. 

Many older people in Taiwan told me that the Japanese were looking for him even after he had moved to the island province.


TRAVELLING WITH SUN XIKUN

He travelled either together with Sun Xikun or alone to different parts of Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan, Hebei, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui etc. 

In 1942 he went to assist Sun Xikun in Nanjing. Sun Xikun was also teaching at the Central Guo Shu Academy in Nanjing (Zhongyang Guoshu Guan).

Lu Hongbin spent several years in Nanjing and travelled around in this area of Jiangsu and Shanghai, Hangzhou etc. below is a photo from 1947 before he left mainland to go to Taiwan province. It is a photo taken in Wanzhi, Wuhu. 

 
Below is a detail of above photo:
                    
(Sun Changwu  the second son of Sun Xikun, 
Lu Hongbin, Zhao Jinchi. 1947)


THE TRIP TO TAIWAN

On the 27th of January 1949 Lu Hongbin went from Shanghai on the Tai Ping Lun ( the Taiping ferry) . Read more on this in  Thrilling rescue after ferry disaster ! .


TAIWAN

There were several boxers in Taiwan from the mainland and some of them belonged to the Tian Dao Hui ( see note 3 ).


(Lu Hongbin with Wu Xinxue, student of Sun Xikun, in 1951.)

He was always close to Sun Xikun who was his older boxing brother and a Daoist Master within Tian Dao Hui . The family kept contact with Sun Xikun's second son Sun Changwu in China until his death in 1997. Lu Hongbin came to Taiwan in 1949 and settled in Taibei in the north of Taiwan. 


( Sun Xikun 1889 - 1952 )

His older boxing brother Sun Xikun came, after passing Hongkong, in 1951 April via Jilong to Taibei but moved to Gaoxiong in the south. There he got sick and passed away in 1952 Jun 30, his ashes where moved to Taibei and kept at Shan Dao Temple, he became 63 years old. Sun Xikun had many students while in Tianjin and some are seen in the picture above from his school and some of them went to Taiwan such as Pan Hualing, Wu Xinxue etc. 


WELL KNOWN MARTIAL ARTISTS IN TAIWAN


Second from left is Liu Yunqiao and sitting in the middle with a cane is Han Qingtang and on the far right is Lu Hongbin.

(Above photo was also featured in a Ba Gua Zhang journal with the text:
"Liu Yun Jiao (second from left) sits with a group of well known martial artists in Taiwan, Han Qing Tang is in the center holding the cane and Lu Hong Bin is on the far right"
)


TEACHING BOXING

The teachers of traditional Cheng style Ba Gua Zhang in Taiwan were Sun Xikun and Lu Hongbin. 

Lu Hongbin never claimed to be himself a lineage holder. He was not interested in "generations" of teachers. Now after our teacher has passed away some younger people use his name to list themselves in a certain generation. Why that would be important to them I do not know.  ( see note 4)

While in Taiwan Lu Hongbin was active in giving lectures on Daoism and taught boxing at the same time. He had many students in Taiwan as he taught Tai Ji Quan ( see note 5) in companies, radio and TV stations, parks and Tai Ji Quan organizations. In the beginning and mid 1970s there were also some foreigners who for shorter periods studied Tai Ji Quan in the park with him. I did not practise Tai Ji Quan so I do not know these people more than by name.


(KW and Lu Hongbin mid 70's)


A  "BAI SHI" CEREMONY

Some local boxers in Taiwan asked to do the "bai shi" ceremony to become listed as his " tu di " ( "disciples" i.e. students who had done the bowing to a teacher ceremony). I asked what happened to these students some who I actually had met several times in Taibei  but I never saw around his house and his comment was " what is the use of such a ceremony when they don't practise ? ". 

He used to say " I would rather have a student who has not done the baishi ceremony but practise hard  than having a whole lot of people doing a baishi ceremony and then never practise ".

(Note:  family members like his son, daughter or grandsons never did the above "bai shi" ceremony and neither did 'adopted children' i.e."yi zi" or "yi nü".  Some of the "yizi" did not practise boxing)

TEACHING METHODS

(KW, Lu Hongbin and shimei Lin Yi)
(KW, Lu Hongbin and shimei Lin Yi 1970's)

The traditional teaching methods among the older generations in China are not what we are used to today. Family are still taught in one way and students in another way. It is very different being a student paying tuition fees. You pay a fee agreed upon with the school for a certain period and you hopefully get what you expect. 

When you are part (filii familias) of a traditional family (see note 6 ) with an old style pater familias who not only has a role of a father " yi fu" ( 義父 ) but also a teacher the practise, attention, respect, and effort demanded has no known boundaries. You are bound by the promises you made or maybe your family made on your behalf. You do what you are told to do.

As a teacherLu Hongbin was extremely demanding, conservative and traditional. He was well known not only for his skills but also for his temperament. Some said he was also well known for his bad temperament but I do not agree that he had a bad temperament, he just had a temperament that some people found difficult to cope with.

At home he taught the way he himself had been taught when young. I was told to remember the old rules (see note 7 )  as well as the various degrees of punishment for breaking these rules. Punishment was swift when breaking his rules. 

He did not hesitate to use his hands or a short stick when teaching and when he felt it was needed he would hit hard. 
His teaching methods were not to be discussed, they were often painful and always very detailed. 

Correction down to the smallest detail was part of his teachings. 

He was also sharing some of his knowledge about medicine. He used to say that if you want to know how to break bones, split muscles and tear tendons and make your enemy loose control of all he has (!) you must also know how to heal. If you want to know how to break a man you must know how to heal him.

Only the stubborn with a temperament like himself appreciated his teachings. 

He was not a teacher for everyone. 


PHOTO FROM 1976


(Meeting of Tai Ji Quan organization teachers in Taiwan 1976 december 25th. Sitting far left is Lu Hongbin, from left fourth is Liu Yunqiao and next to him chairman Shi Jue, third from right is Wang Yannian.)


VISITING ABROAD

At the end of 1985 Lu Hongbin went for the first time to the USA to visit his "yi zi" Richard A. Peck and "yi nü" Iva Lim Peck (see note 4) living in Dallas, Texas and then for a visit to Chicago for a month or two and then back to Dallas and back home to Taiwan. He made a couple of trips to the USA and on each visit he would first go to Dallas and then visit Chicago. He never stayed longer away from Richard and Iva Peck in Dallas than a month or two when in the USA. I was at this time living in mainland China but often made trips to visit teacher and the family in Taiwan.

He had many types of students - those who came and went and practised now and then in the parks to those who were more steady students in organisations and companies. There were some private students who also had an easy time studying with him. 

These students mentioned above in Taiwan and USA were what he called his outside students and they studied Tai Ji Quan with him but some students also learned shorter and simplified versions of Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Quan. What he taught was based on what type of student you were. Some got more some got less. 

He would never show much at lectures where there were many different types of people. What he showed at recorded meetings abroad was very basic and not representative of his boxing styles. 

To these students he met at gatherings aboad he often had a smile and was very easygoing, understanding, considerate and liked to tell stories. 

Still many of these students complained about the teacher that he was "too demanding" and that he sometimes showed that he was upset with their lazy attitude when practising. He said many times that nowadays people in the parks just stand around smoking and talking and do very little practise. 


CLEAN, CRISP AND TO THE POINT

(KW and Lu Hongbin 1970's)

When he used his boxing it was always very clean, crisp and to the point. 

BA GUA ZHANG
He was teaching a complete art of Ba Gua Zhang 八卦掌 known for its beauty including many palm forms and weapon forms. 
People still talked about the Ba Gua Zhang performance he had given in Zhongshan Hall in Taibei after coming to Taiwan. 

XING YI QUAN
The Xing Yi Quan 形意拳 that he also referred to as Xin Yi Quan 心意拳 was his treasured boxing, clean, complex and refined with no extra flashy moves. Apart from different sets of moves practised there were also more or less stationary forms. 

The last parts he taught in Xing Yi Quan were the most complex and difficult to understand maybe because they are to some extent close to the oldest styles in Shanxi and remind you in some ways of the Guo Weihan lineage. When I met Fan Jiayuan's students in the 1980's from the Guo Weihan lineage we were all a bit surprised at some similarities found between the two lineages. 

There was no difference in his teaching comparing the years from the 1970's until his death in 1990. 
During all these years I spent together with teacher his spirit was the same.  


(Lu Hongbin with KW and students in 1989-90)


TEACHER PASSED AWAY 


(KW, shixiong Lu Xiaoguang and shidi Richard A. Peck in 1990)

Lu Hongbin passed away on July 27th 1990 at 84 years old in Taibei city, Taiwan. He was honoured by many people at the funeral. Many people from different organizations and government officials took part in the funeral.

 
(shidi Richard A. Peck, KW, shixiong Lu  
and shimu Ji in 1990)

The family at the funeral were closest family members and his nine "adopted children" (see note 4) and among them were his only three non-chinese citizens who were also listed in the local newspapers along with the family members. Those living among his "yi zi" still keep contact with shimu in Taiwan. He left his wife, our shimu Mrs. Lu, Ji Siqi, his son with wife and two grandsons.

    

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 Notes:  
1. Sources of information have been gathered through Lu Hongbin himself, his wife and son. Sun Xikun family material such as books and other items. Some of his activities against the Japanese have also been told by other older Chinese. 

2. Another  Lu Shukui 盧書魁 but with the style name Kongyin 空隱, was a student of  He Jinkui 何金奎 (1885-1965) styled name Yunxuan 云軒, this Lu Shukui was about the same age as his teacher He Jinkui. They were from the Yin style of Ba Gua Zhang and He Jinkui was a student of Yin Fu and married to Yin Fu's daughter. This Lu Shukui was also the managing director of the Hebei Guo Shu Guan located in today's Funei street no.131 inside Beijing no. 159 Middle School. He came from a wealthy family and the third and fourth stone tablets at the Dong Haichuan grave were set up by a group led by him and thus his name is mentioned several times on the stone tablets. He died in mainland China. He is not to be mixed up with the above much younger Lu Hongbin.
(Source  尹氏八卦掌 at taijicn.net  and 八卦掌创始人董海川 Wanancemetery.com.cn )

3. Some boxers who were members of Tian Dao Hui from the mainland in Taiwan were Chang Chun-feng (Zhang Junfeng), Wang Shu-chin (Wang Shujin) both well known Ba Gua Zhang teachers.

4. Lu Hongbin, conservative and traditional, never mentioned himself as a "lineage holder" of any of the styles he taught and never mentioned anything about what "generation" he would have been. As a logical consequence of that he never designated "heirs" to his boxing or "disciples".  Lu Hongbin also had students while still on the mainland in Tianjin, ,Nanjing, Shaoxing and other places.

Those that he taught as his family were his own son and his nine "yi zi", six chinese and three non-chinese citizens. As mentioned above these teachings were not the same as what he taught to his non-family (outside) students. The three non-chinese citizens were  myself and doctors Richard A. Peck and Iva Lim Peck in Texas, USA. Others who studied with him were what he called "outside students".  

Adopted children:
Yi zi: Guo Mingfu, Huang Wenhong, Shen Guoxiong, Lin Mingyuan, Huang Peiyu, Ke Wanji, Pei Ke (Richard A. Peck) , Wei Qingchuan (K.Williamsson);   
Yi nü: Lin Yi (Iva Lim Peck)

5. Lu Hongbin learned Tai Ji Quan from Cheng Youlong who learned the form from "Big Spear" Liu Dekuan and he got it from Xia Guoxun who was taught by his father-in-law Yang Luchan. 

6. "Filii familias" include not only biological children but also adopted children as in an extended family.

7. Rules were from basic easy to understand ones like you had to "pay attention or else.. ", all the way up to very severe problems caused by a "tudi" and severe  punishment that followed. 


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