The Life of Wang Xiang Zhai

Wang Xiang Zhai was born in 1886, under the reign of the emperor Guang Xu, in the Qing period,
in the region of Shenzou, and the village of Wei Jia.
Born into an intellectual family, he was slight and delicate as a child, so his family decided to send him to master Guo, an expert in Xing Yi Quan.


Wang was just eight years old but was intelligent and practised assiduously; master Guo treated him like a son and taught him all he knew.
"The best Master is necessary in order to learn properly, and the best pupils are necessary in order to pass on the techniques".
Wang was young and nurtured a great passion for this learning, his master wanted to hand down to him the essence of Xing Yi Quan.
In 1898 Wang was asked to teach the security personnel of a government office, in spite of being only thirteen years old.
For the first time Wang experienced real combat.
That year, master Guo died and Wang trained himself harder than ever.
After a period in the army, he married the daughter of a well-known general. Through her he came into contact with the cultural world. They had three children.
In 1913, at 28 years of age, he defeated the famous master Li, and became responsible for the teaching of martial arts to the Chinese army.
In 1923 he stayed for a lengthy period with master Xie, improving his technique and laying the basis for Yi Quan. In the same year he went south to face master Fang Xi Xuang in combat, master Fang Yi Xuang was the exponent of the Xing Yi of the Southern Shaolin School; Wang faced him in 10 combats, with alternating results.
In 1925 at the age of forty, Wang went back north, knowing that he had improved and developed the technique of Yi Quan.
After a lengthy series of combat with the best masters in all China, Wang came to particularly appreciate: Xie Tie Fu, Fang Yi Zhuang and Wu Yi Hui.
In 1937 at the age of 52, Wang was given the task of teaching Yi Quan at Peking, during which period he completed his writings, which explain his philosophy.
In 1940 at 55 years of age he was invited to Japan for the pan-Asiatic Tournament where he was not once defeated.
At the age of 60 Wang showed ever more interest in health and the therapeutic aspect of Yi Quan.
Many people would follow him in his practices and would train with him in Tien An Men Square.
Thus began the story of therapeutic Yi Quan.
In 1958 he completed his treatise on Yi Quan.
He died in 1963 of a cerebral haemorrhage.