The 2 Ma's
By Chen Rong Liang
Ma Gui (1857-1941) was from Shandong. He was also called Shiqing. Early in his
life he moved to the capitol. At the age of 18 (1875) he asked Yin Fu to be
his teacher in Baguzhang. He received all of Yin Fu's teachings and at the
same time was coached by Dong Haiquan. Thus his skills in Bagua were very
deep. His outstanding use of the straight arm wrist strike was well known
in the martial community. Using the wrist to strike men is a high skill of
Yin Style Bagua. The wrist strikes are Cutting Wrist, Intercepting Wrist,
Stroking Wrist, Top Wrist, Plucking Wrist, Pulling Wrist, Hooking Wrist, Seizing
Wrist, and Pushing Wrist. In using the Cutting Wrist, for instance, should
the enemy attack with a straight strike, I use my front hand, little finger
side, to cut down on the incoming wrist, then use the rear hand to attack.
With the Intercepting Wrist, should the enemy use his hand to attack my head,
my front hand turns inward, using the little finger side to make a strong
point intercepting cut on the wrist and foil the enemy. Ma Kuei practiced
his wrist striking kungfu for many years and ultimately became quite famous.
Near the end of the Qing Dynasty he used his cutting wrist in the Langong
Palace to break the arm of a martial arts teacher. He was made head of the
palace's many martial arts instructors. He became famous in the capitol and
people called him "Little Kunlun Ma Gui".
he was 23 (1880) he started a business as a lumber merchant. When not occupied
he practiced martial arts. He set up a studio where students could exchange
skills. At that time Cheng Tinghua's and Liu Fengchun's men were in the capitol
and would come to the Lumber shop to practice. Ma Gui also got these seniors
to coach him many times. Thus his martial skills quickly advanced and became
Ma Kuei did not have many students. Only one man, Cao Zhong Sheng (Yin Fu's student),
received some tutoring. Mr. Cao, with his student Lu, wrote a book in 1932
with a short chapter on Ma's life.
In the old Bagua records, not much attention is paid to Ma Weiqi.
Ma Weiqi (1857-1886/7) was a Beijing man. As a young man he liked to fight. When
Dong Haiquan became famous, Ma visited him in order to compare skills. Dong
used his Bagua to defeat Ma. Ma then threw himself down in front of Dong's
school and begged to be taught. Among the students of the Bagua Zhang School,
Ma was known as a person of outstanding talent. He had a fiery temper and
was arrogant. He liked to make men fight. Except for teacher Dong, he regarded
men as nothing. During the Qing Dynasty, Ma ran a coal shop in the capitol.
Business was brisk and he earned the appellation " Big Coal King Ma".
Ma was an expert in Baguazhang, Baguadao, and Bagua Turning Spear. He was
famous for his spear technique. According to rumor, one year the Su Wang Palace
advertised for martial arts teachers. Ma was the first to go. Su Wang ordered
him to demonstrate his martial skills. Ma picked up a Big Spear and moved
into the prince's practice hall to begin. In the hall were many antiques and
precious wall hangings. If Ma was not careful he could damage some pieces
and loose a fortune. They were so valuable that Ma would never be able to
pay for them. But Ma took his spear in hand. Using the Eight Gate Eight Spear,
the silk tassel was never random. He used the 12-character song. He came like
a flying phoenix and went like a comet. The spear strikes were straight. He
was the acme of perfection and caused Su Wang to be profuse with praise. Su
Wang wanted to give him the appointment, only he felt that if this man were
to get angry and violent, he couldn't be controlled. He awarded Ma 1000 double
silvers, and ordered him to return home. Also at that time, in the NE was
a famous caravan escort named Zhao Keli. Out of admiration for Ma's fame he
paid him a visit. Ma only heaped insults on Zhao and as Zhao was young and
had a fierce nature the two men fought. Eventually because Zhao was not an
enemy, Ma used a heavy hand to wound Zhao but did not kill him. These two
stories show that this man's virtue was small.
Ma did not develop virtue, consequently all the Bagua students were not pleased
that he would come and go. One time he had a fight with a man and was injured
again and again. He went to Dong for healing, but the poison from the wounds
had entered his bones. The evil couldn't be cured with acupuncture or herbs,
so he couldn't be rescued. He was 30 years old when he died. Ma had 10 students,
the most famous was Liu Zipei, and he only got a little of the transmission,
no one got it all. Because he had no virtue, he earned the rebuke of the entire
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