Making of a Legend: The Life and Kung Fu story of Liu Ji Rong 刘杞荣
Updated: Oct 26
Martial Arts (国术) by He Dun (何顿) tells the story of the making of a Kung Fu legend, Liu Ji Rong (刘杞荣) and gives valuable insights into his techniques, form, and other details of his martial arts practice.
Liu Ji Rong (1912-2005) was the founder of Taikongquan (太空拳), Taikong Ziwu Gwun (太空子午棍), and the author of the book Taikong Ziwu Gwun. Born in the city of Yuanjiang in Hunan Province, Liu Ji Rong trained Kung Fu from a young age. He studied with Grandmaster Fan Zhigui and Grandmaster Liu Baichuan among others, and trained in Southern Fist, Shaolin, Xing Yi (形意), and his specialty, Sanda (散打).
Grandmaster Liu Ji Rong graduated from the teaching training program at Hunan Martial Arts Training Institute in 1932. A year later, he won first prize at the provincial Sanda competition and entered Nanjing National Sports Teacher’s College. In 1934, he became the champion of the 4th Army’s bayonet fighting competition. Then, in 1936, he won both the boxing and wrestling championships at central China sporting games. During the second Sino-Japanese War, Grandmaster Liu Ji Rong served as a martial arts instructor in the army. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he received numerous awards in national wushu competitions. He was a member of the Chinese Wushu Association and served as a tournament referee on numerous occasions. He also served as head coach of the Hunan Wushu Team, advisor to the Wushu Learning Society, and president of the Hunan Taikongquan Association. In 1986, Grandmaster Liu Ji Rong was awarded the honorary title “New China Sports Pioneer.” In 1995, though he was over 80 years old, Liu Ji Rong traveled overseas to various cities such as New York and Las Vegas to spread knowledge of Taikongquan and establish the Taikongquan research association.
Sifu Henry Moy Yee was introduced to Sigong by Master Tak Wah Eng. Under Sigong, Sifu learned the long staff, as Grandmaster Liu Ji Rong is recognized as king of the pole, Taikongquan, the short sticks, Shao-Lin, Tai Chi, Sanda, and Shuai Jiao (摔跤).
He Dun’s Martial Arts (国术) was released in March 2023 and was a recipient of China’s Lu Yiao Literary Award. The book is being translated to English. We will keep you posted.