Fu Style Liangyi



Liangyi Chuan is a celebrated “energetic” tai chi form created by Fu Zhensong, passed down to his students and children. It’s a Tai Chi/Bagua fusion form and very unique.  The twisting movements of Bagua are believed to give it extended health benefits via extensive stretching of the connective tissue, and potentially the attendant “organ massage” that is traditionally considered a benefit of Tai Chi, and which may be a function of increased vascular flow due to expansion and contraction of the abdomen.


I first learned a shortened “essentials” version from Bow Sim Mark, then the full form in private lessons with Victor Fu Shenglong, the 3rd generation Fu style lineage holder.  I subsequently learned the full form two more times from Bow Sim Mark, from her brother, acupuncturist Dr. Rui Mai, an expert in Northern Mantis, from her sister Siu Yin Mark, a high-level Fu style master in her own right, from John Dennis Perry, a senior student at CWRI who had also coached me in Shaolin staff and Bagua, and Master Nick Gracenin of DC Tai Chi, who has it from Bow Sim Mark, Victor Fu, and Lin Chao Zhen, a direct disciple of Fu Zhensong. 

Special mention to William J. Scantlebury of East Boston who refused to formally teach, but coached me extensively on this form and all other aspects of true internal art over more than a decade, several times per week. Bill was a master before I even got to C.W.R.I in 1990, and had the most complete understanding of the practical application of internal arts of Bow Sim Mark's students.


The form can be practiced in different ways, quickly with low stances when young, closer to Bagua, and more slowly and carefully when older, closer to Tai Chi.


Here are two videos of the form exhibited by young Bow Sim Mark and an old Fu Wing Fay, both equally excellent, demonstrating that this is an art you can practice for a lifetime:





Astute viewers will also notice small changes to the form between teacher and student—these changes were wholeheartedly supported by the Fu Wing Fay, who had stated that Bow Sim Mark had mastered everything he could teach.*




*As Sifu once explained to me, her sword was the product of three generations of continual improvement.   This was Song Wei-I Li Jinglin Li Tianji.  For internal and waist technique it was Fu Zhengsong refined by his son Fu Wing Fay, in the crucible of Tai Chi.  Bow Sim Mark's Tai Chi is a fusion of Fu & Li—the waist technique from Fu Wing Fay, refined again by his martial brother and lifelong friend Li Tianji.  Fu gave her the foundation, and Li completed her understanding of the art.  This makes sense in that the Tai Chi of both teachers was informed by Chen, Yang, , Wǔ, Sun, and eventually Fu. 


When Fu Wing Fay made his statement she was still in her late 20’s, around the time of this Liangyi video.  In her late 50’s, the age when high-level internal masters seem to reach their peak, having still significant physical capability but the added benefit of several decades of rigorous, daily internal training, she commented that her technique was not high-level at that time this video was shot.  She continued to advance her entire career and continued to make improvements and refinements to this and many other forms.