Yin Fu's Biography

(1842 - 1911)

Yin Fu, also called De'an and Shoupeng, was from Ji County, Hebei. In his early years he went to Beijing and made a living sharpening scissors and knives, but he had little business. Later he took to selling hot pastries in the streets. He was naturally good at martial arts and had studied Hua Quan. Hearing of Dong Haichuan, he started selling his pastries around the entrance of the Su Palace. When his wares were sold, he would wait outside the palace hoping to attract Dong's attention. This went on for a long time, with Yin constantly asking for news of Dong. Dong's feelings were mixed about Yin, but he eventually called Yin Fu into the palace to receive instruction. At first he studied Lohan Quan. Yin sold his business so that he could study the arts of Lohan Quan and Baguazhang full time. His training was very diligent. By the time Dong left the Prince's palace, Yin had received all that Dong knew of Baguazhang as well as Dong's sword and spear skills. Because Yin was willing to abandon his profession in order to study with Dong, he received all of Dong's skills and was known as his best student. Many of Master Dong's students were actually taught by Yin Fu. 

Yin Fu's disposition was mild and genial. He always appeared grave and serious. His body was long and thin and gave him a frail and gentle appearance. People called him Shou Yin (Thin Yin) because of this.

When his training with Dong was completed, Yin accepted a position in the Forbidden City. The palace superintendents called him 'Respected Teacher'. On entering his school, students first learned Lohan Quan, then Pao Chui, Gong Li, and gradually worked their way up to Baguazhang.

Yin was very skillful in the martial arts and was exceptional in using the judge's pens. His use of the pens gave him much of his fame. One time one of Yin's friends became involved in a contest of privileges between East Granaries and the West Granaries. Yin assisted his friend. Using his judge's pens he managed to remove a violent troublemaker from his friends granary. The troublemaker then hired a Mr. Yang to kill Yin Fu. Mr. Yang tried a sneak attack on Yin, but neutralized the attack and struck back, killing Mr. Yang. The other firm sued for peace and Yin's reputation grew. Prince Su heard about this and summoned Yin to teach Bagua at his palace. He became the general manager of Dong Haichuan's school and was put in charge of inspecting the revenue board troops.

During the Boxer Rebellion, when the Eight Armies were ransacking Beijing, the Dowager decided it was safest to flee the city. She had her choice of all the martial artists in the Forbidden City, yet she only chose Yin Fu as her escort. After Dong Haichuan's death, the city was divided into four sections: North, South, East, and West. Yin Fu took charge of the Bagua practitioners in the southern section of the city.

Yin Fu came from a poor family. As his fortunes changed, he made sure to send food and clothes back to his family in Ji County. He was considered by all of his students as a good family man and father. Yin also later owned a porcelain store.

Yang Junfeng was an excellent martial artist. However he was an ungrateful man and his reputation was waning. He heard of Yin Fu and wanted to test him. Yin Fu knew of his intentions and invited him to visit because he admired Yang's martial ability. Yang, after seeing Yin's conduct, knew him for an unusual man, and could see where his fame had come from. In the spirit of entertainment, Yang requested that they go to the courtyard where Yin's hands would be bound. Then Yang gathered his energy and attacked Yin with both hands and feet. Yin met him close and only moved slightly to evade each of Yang's attacks. After many such steps, Yang fell down. Yang tried again. He repeatedly got close to Yin with his attacks and even tried to use his 'poison touch', yet Yin avoided everything. Yang was deeply moved and then asked to be Yin's student.

Yin Fu died at age 69 in 1911. His son, Yin Yuzhang, also called Peiyao, succeeded him. Yin had many students however those who recieved the true transmission were Ma Gui, Gong Baotian, and Cui Zhendong.