Liu Baozhen Biography

The following comes from Explaining the Secrets of Liu Style Baguazhang by Lin Guohua.

Mr. Liu Baozhen (1861-1922) was also called Pinqing. In his youth he practiced martial arts. He was an expert in Chuojiao. His skill was high and his art was deep. At the end of the Qing dynasty he managed the horses in the Shuntian Palace. His foot strength was especially strong and because he was an expert in the leg methods, people called him “Flying Legs Liu.” The Gu’an County Annals has these records. According to the teachers words, Master Dong Haichuan heard that Mr. Liu Baozhen was pretty good; that his skill was high and his art was deep. Dong then disguised himself and went to look for him in Gu’an. Liu Baozhen was quick and had strong talent. He had a generous, heroic and cheerful disposition. Master Dong was delightfully rewarded. Master Dong used Bagua’s yin and yang palms to break his quick legs and accepted his surrender and took him on as a student. Master Dong stayed in Liu’s home for three years. During that time he taught Liu the Eight Posts, Eight Postures, Baguazhang, Bagua Saber and the Piercing the Palaces Striking the Posts methods and the skill of practicing to get the shen to lead the qi. After Liu Baozhen received these teachings, he combined them with his previous studies to make the own unique characteristics of his Baguazhang style and system. Master Liu was also an expert in the saber method. Among the martial community he won the appellation, “Flying Saber Liu.” Then he also met a Buddhist monk in a certain temple in Tongzhou who taught him the art of Qi Men Escaping the Cage. He then created the Eight Gate Nine Palaces Palm method, the Qi Men Array method (Nine Palaces Saber Array, and Sword Array), which is one of the unique factors of his school. When he managed the horses in the Shuntian Palace, he used Qi Men Escaping the Cage’s gauging positions to catch thieves. He was repeatedly successful. His impressive strength cowed bandits and his fame grew throughout the seven northern provinces. He researched the principles of the Yi Jing and realized that it could be used to correct his errors. In his later years he reflected on spirituality and became a Buddhist. He realized that he agreed with the Yi Jing’s creating and transforming the Way and trained in the unfathomable skills of Wuji and the eight trigrams.  Later he died in a certain temple in Tongzhou, Beijing.