•"■"•he practices for cultivating human energy were developed over many generations by masters working with their disciples. The teachings were kept as family secrets. Not until the 20th century was this heritage shared openly in China and brought to the West.
The person credited with unlocking these secrets for the modern world is Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai.
Born in 1885 in the Shenxian district of Hebei province, Wang Xiang Zhai suffered from poor health as a child. His father was determined he should improve his physical condition and sent him for training in the martial arts under his uncle, Master Guo Yun Sin, who lived in his village. From Master Guo, the famous Xing Yi master, he learned the secret discipline of Zhan Zhuang.
After his master's death, the young Wang Xiang Zhai journeyed throughout China for ten years, meeting and studying under the great martial arts masters of his day.
By the mid-1920s, he was ready to teach the fruits of what he had learned, first in Shanghai and then in Beijing. When he came to the capital, he was recognized as a master of extraordinary wisdom and prowess. He became a somewhat controversial figure, writing articles and giving interviews criticizing what he perceived as the decline in the country's martial arts traditions. Grand Master
Wang went further: he issued a standing invitation to any martial artist in the country to defeat him. Many took up the invitation, but none could overpower him. Leading figures in the capital gave his system the title Da Cheng Chuan, The Great Accomplishment.
His accomplishment was vast. From his humble origins as a boy suffering from asthma that left him severely weakened, he became an invincible master who revolutionized the martial arts and, after centuries of secrecy, revealed their most profound knowledge to the modern world.
In the course of his studies, Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai delved deeply into the spiritual heritage of Chinese culture, immersing himself in the wisdom of the Taoist and Buddhist traditions. His insight and his love of the arts are reflected in the inspiring poems he wrote for the benefit of his disciples:
In quietness you are like a maiden. In motion you are like a dragon. The mountains seem to fly when you apply your mind, The seas overflow ivlten you apply your power
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