|Kuo Lien Ying, born in Inner Mongolia, China, in 1895, was one of the most distinguished and revered martial artists of the twentieth century. He is credited with bringing the rare and powerful Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi Chuan to the United States.
Kuo Lien Ying’s father was a silk merchant, and the family was independently wealthy. As a youngster, Kuo reportedly had no interest in an academic education, wanting only to learn the fighting arts.
In 1907, at the age of 12, Kuo started training in Northern Style Shaolin Kung-Fu, studying for five years with Master Li Lin, who was especially skilled in Chang Chuan (Long Fist). Kuo became very proficient and skillful at this powerful and rigorous martial arts system, which was originally developed by Buddhist monks in China.
At 23, Kuo became one of only four inner-door disciples of Wang Jiao-Yu, himself one of only two inner-door students of Yang Pan-hou. Yang Pan-hou was the son of the originator of what has become known as Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi Chuan: Yang Lu-ch'an born Kuang-p'ing (Guangping) and known as the founder of Yang style tai chi chuan. After completing “Chin to Toe” in 100 days Kuo was taught the Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi Chuan from the 100-year old master Wang Jiao-Yu.
Kuo, at age 28, studied Xingyiquan for two years with Master Huang Gin Yin, a highly skilled student of Guo Yunshen, himself the teacher of Wang Xiangzhai, who was reputed to be the best Xingyiquan fighter of his time.
Kuo also studied Baguazhang with Chang Hsin Zhai and Chung Ting Hua.
Kuo Lien Ying reportedly was a bodyguard for awhile on the gold caravans through China, protecting the caravans on horseback with his unrivaled rope-dart techniques.
He allegedly became a governor of a province in China, and later a general in the army of Chiang Kai Shek. In 1947, after the Communist takeover, he fled to Taiwan, became a congressman and opened up a martial arts school. Although he left his four wives and eight children in China when he fled Mao Tse Tung, Kuo wooed and married the 21 year old sister of one of his students, Ein Simmone Kuo.
Kuo Lien Ying in America
thanks to Donald and Cheryl Lynne Rubbo for their use of this article.