After the pitiful display of fighting from yet another self-stylized master of Taijiquan, many of the obvious questions (and excuses) arise, “who was he?”, “why is he considered a master?”, etc. The “master” who was recently beaten was Ma Bao Guo. He is considered a grandmaster of Hunyuan Xingyi Taiji Gate (浑元形意太极门), a style of his own creation based on Xingyiquan and Taijiquan. According to the lineage chart found on The British Hunyuan Taijiquan Association’s website, Ma Bao Guo’s Taiji connection is to Feng Zhi Qiang’s student Wang Chang Hai. Ma’s connection to Xingyiquan comes from a Master Shang Ji.
Hunyuan Taijiquan style was created by the late Feng Zhiqiang, a recognized Chen style Taijiquan master that studied under the legendary Chen Fake who was said to have brought Chen style Taijiquan out of the Chen Family Village. A good overview of Chen style can be found here.
Feng Zhiqiang was said to have split from the rest of the Chen lineages by combining his knowledge of Chen style, Liu He Xin Yi, Neigong, and other arts into his system of Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan. Feng was recognized as very accomplished martial artist and said to have fought challengers in the past. He is fairly well-respected in the Chinese martial art world, and especially within the Taijiquan circles in China.
Wang Chang Hai is considered to be a master of Chen style taijiquan. This is from The British Hunyuan Taijiquan Association’s website:
Master Wang Changhai (Chen Taijiquan, Chen Shi Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan)
Master Wang is an authentic Taijiquan master. He was born in 1940 and began to study Chen style Tai Chi in 1960. His teacher was Master Chen Zhaokui. Master Chen Zhaokui was an 18th generation practitioner of Chen style Tai Chi. Master Chen Xiaowang – the current standard bearer of the style – was Master Wang’s classmate under Chen Zhaokui.
When Master Chen died Master Wang began studying with Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang. So in 1981 Master Wang began his study of Chen Shi Xinyi Hunyuan Taiji. He worked as an instructor of the Group of Martial Arts at Zhengzhou city in China.
The other system that is mentioned is Xingyiquan. This is a system I personally study. I have often found the system to be akin to Chinese style bare knuckle boxing. Practitioners who train in this system for fighting tend to have a more practical mindset for no-nonsense, and they’re known for competing and winning in Lei Tai events.
When looking at Ma Bao Guo, I think we need to understand something very important about this man. Ma is famous or rather infamous over the past several years for a number of reasons. Amongst Feng Zhiqiang’s descendants, he’s despised for having essentially stole the name Hunyuan Taijiquan and is using despite the actual Hunyuan Taiji Wushu Development Center‘s best efforts to have him legally stopped. He claims to have beaten a British MMA fighter in a highly staged video that he then spread all across Chinese social media.
According to the MMA fighter, Peter Irving, he had no idea that this was going to be put out there like this and instantly regrets it. The video was supposedly made approximately 5 years ago. Here’s what Peter said on his own Facebook account:
Well this is a bit embarrassing, and I’m not quite sure how to respond. I did an acting job a year or two ago as the uke in a vanity project for this old Kung Fu guy Ma Bauguo, which I understood to be just a tribute to him that wasn’t for general release anyway. Recently, probably because of the tension about the MMA fighter challenging traditional martial arts in China, he decided to edit the footage and claim he’d beaten me in a real fight. When I heard I just thought it was a bit ridiculous and I felt sorry for him, and thought he was just rather sad. There’s a lot more important things happening in the world to get upset about than grown men in pyjamas having straighteners.
It turns out though that even BJJ scout had disseminated the edited footage and now I’m embarrassed for me as well as him. He’s an old man, so I can’t really come off looking better by offering to fight him. I suggested instead to Chinese journalists that contacted me that I could take a team of Jiu-Jitsu/MMA fighters to fight his school, and I’ll just put him to sleep without hitting him or hurting him. Anyone got the contact for the billionaire who offered all that money for defending kung fu against MMA?
It is unknown whether anything further came out of this whole debacle with Peter Irving. However, despite the fight on May 17th, 2020, this is not even the first time this year that Ma Baoguo has attempted win a fight by blocking with his fists. Back in January 2020, he was involved in a fight with some random guys that attend a gym. Here he is making delusional statements regarding it (if you don’t speak Chinese, just ask someone who does):
The one factor we have yet to expore here is Ma’s opponent on 5/17/2020, Wang Qingmin. The big question we must ask is, who is he? The short answer is, well, nobody. He is as far as we can tell an average guy who trains San Da Kickboxing for recreational exercise and he’s pretty much just a hobbyist amateur. This should be a wake up call for anyone who defends frauds like Ma Bao Guo, Lei Lei, or any of the many others who support such “masters.”
Note: I reached out to the British Hunyuan Taiji Association, but they have declined to comment at this time.