Yin Fu (尹福) was the first disciple of great Baguazhang Master Dong Haichuan (董海川) 's. His official first name (Ming
名) is Fu (福), his private first name (Zi 字) is Dean (德安), literary name (Hao 号) is Shoupeng (寿彭), and his nickname
is Shou Yin (瘦尹) – Thin Yin. He was born in 1840 in Zhanghuaicun (漳淮村) Village of Ji County (冀县) in Hebei
Province (河北省).

 When Yin was young, he started his martial arts training in his home village. He studied Tantui (弹腿) – Spring Leg
with Master Qin Fengyi (秦凤仪), and other hard styles with other masters. His family was poor, so from his teenage
years he had to work very hard in support of his family. During the 1850's, his home county experienced a flood. To
avoid starvation, the Yin family moved to Beijing. There Yin Fu worked first at a scissors store and later at a grocery
store. His job was selling Shaobing (烧饼) – baked sesame-coated pancakes to passersby on the street. His boss,
nicknamed Shaobing Yang (烧饼杨), taught Yin Fu some martial arts. Yin loved martial arts and practiced very
diligently. He soon mastered the Shaolin 18 Luohanquan (少林十八罗汉拳), and he was eager to study more and
acquire higher level skills.
 At that time, around the middle of the 1860s, Master Dong Haichuan, the founder of Baguazhang, had won his great
reputation due to his Baguazhang skills. Master Dong was the supervisor of guards at Su Wang (肃王) – King Su’s palace,
where he instructed the king and a few others at the palace.  Because he lived inside the palace, commoners really had no
opportunity to study with him. Yin heard about Dong’s superlative skills and was eager to study with him, so everyday he sold his pancakes near the
palace hoping to get a chance to meet with Dong one day. After a long time, Master Dong took notice of the young man. One day Dong called him into
the palace. Upon meeting Dong, Yin said that he wanted to study martial arts with him. Noting his sincerity, Master Dong had the impression that this boy
could be a serious and talented martial artist, allowing him to practice in the palace.

 From that time onward, every day after work Yin would come and train with Dong.  Master Dong, who was also skilled in Shaolin Luohanquan, reviewed
those skills with Yin first, then he taught him Baguazhang. Yin's gongfu advanced very quickly during the next several years. Dong also brought Yin to do
some work for the king. The king liked Yin too, and let him join his guards. In that capacity Yin and Dong traveled together to many other places for the
king. It is said that Dong brought Yin to Mongolia to work on the king’s land for several years. Some people even believe that Dong completed his
Baguazhang system with Yin’s help during that time.

 Yin followed Dong everyday. He then became Dong’s first disciple. Master Dong taught very few students during that period. It was only after he retired
and moved out of the king’s palace in the middle of 1870’s that Master Dong started to teach commoners and accepted many as disciples. Compared to
most of Dong’s later disciples, Yin studied much longer – about ten years more than any of the others. Before Yin, Dong had a few students, but none
continued their training. So generally people think of Yin as Dong’s first disciple. When Dong Haichuan passed away, Yin Fu led other disciples (56
disciples and 11 grand disciples) to make a memorial tablet at Dong’s grave. Yin Fu’s name was first amongst the disciple names listed on that stone.

 When Master Dong retired, Yin took over as the supervisor of the King Su’s security guards. He then worked for the emperor inside the Forbidden City.
The Empress Dowager Cixi (慈禧), the most powerful person in China at that time, liked his skill, and even wanted to study with him. It is said Emperor
Guangxu (光绪) studied with him as well. Yin also taught others, like the guards of the Forbidden City. For these reasons, sometimes Yin’s Baguazhang is
called Gongting Bagua (宫廷八卦) – Palace Bagua.
Yin Fu (Dean)
Troops of the Eight-Nations Alliance in 1900.
Left to right: Britain, United States, Russia, British India, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Japan.
 In 1900, the troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance* (八国
联军) invaded and defeated China. When the military
forces of the allies breeched Beijing’s city wall,
Empress Cixi and the Emperor Guangxu disguised
themselves as peasants and escaped from city.  They
were accompanied by only a few select officials and
security guards. Yin Fu was one of those guards. It was
a highly hazardous mission as the country was in total
chaos. Upon safe return to Beijing a year later, Yin Fu
was richly rewarded by the emperor.

The troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance was an
alliance of nations made up of Austria-Hungary,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United
Kingdom, and the United States whose military forces
were involved in an armed intervention in response to
the Boxer Rebellion in Beijing.
 Later Yin Fu would be put in charge of Lumicang (禄米仓) – the imperial granary. This was a very important position.  Yin Fu had fame and wealth, but
he was true to his roots, always courteous even to common people, often rendering assistance to those in need. He also took a lot of challenges as well
and but never lost.

 It is said that none could defend against his three piercing palms. He won a reputation as a great martial arts master. His favorite weapon was
Panguan Bi (判官笔) –underworld judge’s pen, which is a pair of iron Chinese brush pens. He was also respected as the leader of the Beijing martial
arts society at that time. Universally acknowledged as the best Baguazhang master of the second generation, People respected him and thought he was
qualified to establish his own style - Yin Style Baguazhang (尹派八卦掌). At that time, although there were many famous, outstanding second generation
Baguazhang masters, only Yin Fu, Cheng Tinghua (程廷华), and Song Yongxiang (宋永祥) were considered qualified to establish their own styles.  Of
these three styles, Yin style was the most famous, Cheng style the most popular, and Song style the rarest.
 Yin Fu lived in the eastern part of Beijing, where he set up the Quanchang (拳场) – private martial arts school, to teach
Baguazhang. So Yin style was commonly known as Dongcheng Zhang (东城掌) – Eastern City Palm at the time. The
other names of Yin style are Niushe Zhang (牛舌掌) – Ox Tongue Palm and Liuye Zhang (柳叶掌) – Willow Leaf Palm,
because of the shape of the palm. This palm shape originally came from Shaolin Luohanquan, which was Yin Fu’s main
art early in his early martial arts career.  With Dong Haichuan’s agreement, Yin modified the palm shape of Shaolin
Luohanquan and used it in his Baguazhang style, which meant he respected and never forgot his first master and style.

 Yin Fu taught many students. Especially for the young students, he taught the Shaolin 18 Luohanquan first, and then
Baguazhang. His style of Baguazhang includes sixty-four palm change postures that are practiced in circle walking.
These palm change skills follow the sixty-four gua (卦) – hexagrams of Yijing (易经) philosophy. These palm change
skills are divided into eight sections, and each section contains eight palm change postures.

 Most people believe that Yin style Baguazhang is the original Baguazhang that Dong brought to Beijing. Many even
believe that, when Dong Haichuan first came to Beijing, the Baguazhang curriculum contained only the most basic ideas
and a few skills, that he only worked out the sixty-four palm changes later with Yin Fu’s assistance. When Dong started
to teach his Baguazhang skill to many other students after retirement, he made many changes to the training system.
The shape of the palm of
Yin Style Baguazhang
 First, he taught different people different things according to the student’s ability and skill level at the time.  This is why there are so many different
styles within Baguazhang.

 Second, he taught most of these later students Bada Zhang  (八大掌) – Eight Big/Main Palm Change first, instead having them learn the sixty-four
palm change directly. This was the result of Dong’s experience of having to impart his highly difficult skill to a large number of people of varying levels
of abilities.  Not everyone can be like Yin Fu, and most people, upon encountering the sixty-four palm change set, would find themselves overwhelmed
by its complexity.  They tend to place their primary focus on mastering the large number of highly complex physical movements, to the detriment of the
internal skill development.  The result was that many people would practice Baguazhang as an external rather than as an internal martial art.

 With the introduction of the eight main palm changes, students could focus on the essential internal gongfu training from the beginning, making it
easier for them to understand and master the important Baguazhang skills. When a person could do these eight palm change postures well, he would
then be taught the sixty-four palm changes.  However, by its very definition a high level art could only be mastered by a truly talented few, so most
people never advanced beyond the Big Eight Palm Changes.
 Because Yin Fu studied with Dong Haichuan from a very early time, he kept true to the original way, which was to practice the sixty-four palm change
postures while circle walking. The complete body of skills from this original way was passed down to some of Yin Fu’s disciples, among them, Yin’s
senior disciple and successor Ma Gui. Ma Gui insisted on this manner of practice. But this way of practicing was changed by other disciples. In the
second generation of Yin Style, Yin’s son and some other students accepted the new way and made changes of their own**. They also created a set
of Eight Big Palm Changes just like many other groups did, and taught these in public.  Gradually, this new training method became even more
popular than the original way (which is much more complex and detailed). This is why today we find that most Yin style Baguazhang groups practice
the Eight Big Palm Changes. Only a few Yin style groups still practice the original sixty-four palm change postures.

Some people believe that these changes may have been made by Yin Fu himself, however this is unlikely. The popular spread of the simpler
method is one likely reason  that today we can find most Yin Style Eight Big Palm Changes among various groups are so different in form and style. If
Yin Fu made these changes, it is most likely that all of his students would follow more or less the same or very similar styles of practice. In the period
of Yin Fu 's teaching, the Yin Style Baguazhang system was completed. So it is virtually impossible that Yin taught different students in different ways,
as Dong Haichuan did. Yin’s disciple Cao Zhongsheng (曹锺升) said (in his student Lu Jinggui (庐景贵)’s book: Cao Style Baguazhang) that when he
studied with Yin (who was by then old), that he was taught the sixty-four palm changes. From this book we can find Cao’s practices and skills were
virtually the same as those skills taught by Ma Gui. This means that Yin Fu taught his oldest student and much younger students same things. This is
at least strong evidence that Yin did not change his training method over time.  Of course it is also possible that Yin allowed his students to follow
Dong Haichuan’s idea to make certain changes

 On June 28, 1909, Master Yin Fu passed away. Yin came from a very humble background, and worked hard all his life to advance in his abilities. He
won his great reputation beyond the Baguazhang group, and was respected by the entire martial arts community of his day. Although Yin style
Baguazhang is not popular to be practiced than some other styles today (and fewer still in its traditional way), undoubtedly Master Yin Fu is
considered to be one of the most outstanding martial arts masters who ever lived. Among those who know of the history and lineage of those times,
Yin Style Baguazhang is considered to be one of the highest-level martial arts the world has ever known. This reputation did not come from idle talk
and hearsay, but by virtue of masters who proved their skills and had differentiated themselves in serious regular publicly witnessed challenges.  The
measure of their mastery was not simply in their ability to defeat an opponent, but rather to defeat an opponent well – meaning with efficiency and
means not immediately apparent to the untrained eye. These were the real internal masters.

 Yin Fu taught many students, though few inherited his level of skill. He had a small number of great disciples: Ma Gui (马贵), nickname Mu Ma (木马)
– Wood Ma; Yang Zunfang (杨俊峰),  nickname Ciqi Yang (磁器杨) – PorcelainYang; Ju Qingyuan (居庆元); Gong Baotian (宫保田); Li Yongqing (李永
庆); He Jingkui (何金魁); Cui Zhendong (崔振东); Men Baozhen (门宝珍), nickname Men Dagezi (门大个子) – Men the Giant; and Zeng Zengqi (曾增
启), also known as Zeng Shengsan (曾省三) and Jin Yuhui (金毓慧), author of famous classic poems “Thirty-six Songs” and “Song of Forty-eight
Methods”. Among this group, Ma Gui was the most outstanding and became Yin’s official successor. Yin Fu's son, Yin Yuzhang (尹玉璋), was also
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