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We know that Master Park studied Tang Soo Do when he was younger, and then transferred to Bagua, and only studied Bagua under one teacher, Lu Shui Tian. Blue Dragon Kung Fu's website explains the lineage a little, and indicates there are two unknown elements:

The only written records of the origination of Ba Gua Zhang can be traced to Dong Hai Chuan [...]. However, Lu Shui Tian first learned from one, Li Qing Wu, and stated that his Ba Gua Zhang did not come from Dong Hai Chuan, and was at least 500 years old. In fact, he believed what he learned from Li Qing Wu was much deeper and complete than what he learned from his second teacher, (believed to be Lu Shui Kui, though unconfirmed) who was a Fourth Generation lineage holder in the Yin Fu lineage under Dong Hai Chuan.

So the question is .. How do we trace the lineage, up from Lu Shui Tian? Where does Li Qing Wu's Bagua come from? Who was Lu Shui Tian's second teacher, in the Yin Fu lineage?

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2 Answers 2

As far as the first part of your question, it appears that Li Qing's teacher is unknown from this source:

Lu wanted to learn more, he heard that the best of the fighting arts was Ba Gua Zhang so he sought a teacher. The teacher that he found was Li Qing-Wu (Li Ching-Wu). Not much is known about Li Qing-Wu, and so far, no one has been able to determine who his teacher was.

And for the second, from the same article:

After Li Qing-Wu died, Lu Shui-Tian sought out other Ba Gua Zhang instructors. There is evidence that he spent some time with a Fourth Generation practitioner from Dong Hai-Chuan's lineage. Master Park does not know the name of Lu Shui-Tian's second teacher because Lu Shui-Tian seldom spoke of his background. Whenever Master Park happened to ask a question that related to Lu's background, Lu Shui-Tian would always respond "That question will not help your practice." Since Master Park knew that Lu Shui-Tian's Ba Gua Zhang was very good, he was not particularly concerned about where his Ba Gua Zhang had come from and did not press the question.

So, it doesn't appear that anyone really knows.

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I think this answer is lost to time.

JohnP's answer sources from "The Fundamentals of Pa Kua Chang, Volume 1" by Park Bok Nam and Dan Miller. Park Bok Nam is Lu Shui Tian's successor, and Dan Miller was Park's student and also the editor of the Pa Kua Chang Journal (1990-1997). This book does not mention a 500 year old lineage source. It does say that Lu preferred the teaching of his first teacher.

Lu told Park that his first teacher, Li Ching-Wu taught a more complete martial arts system than his second teacher because it combined straight line Pa Kua methods with the circle walking forms and maneuvers.

According to Master Park's book, Lu Shui Tian (1894-1978) trained in bagua in his youth, and fled to Korea during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), though even the year is unspecified. To find another primary source with more information, you probably need to find someone who trained with Lu Shui Tian in China before the war and also survived the war. They would probably be 100 years old by now.

Also according to Master Park's book: the stellae at Dong Hai Chuan's gravesite list the Korean branch of the lineage with Lu Shui Tian as the only member of its 5th generation.

No known bagua lineage predates Dong Hai Chuan (?-1882)

Park's lineage almost certainly does not trace back to a 500 year old source that is not Dong Hai Chuan. Park himself does not claim this, and the scholarship on this subject currently points to Dong Hai Chuan as the founder, even among bagua schools that claim other sources.

If you are really interested in the origins and lineage of baguazhang, I recommend starting from the Pa Kua Chang Journal (1990-1997). The publication contains interviews with masters and contributions from many of the major figures in bagua and xingyi of the time. The publication was quite dogged about pursuing everything about bagua; I would describe it as everything you never wanted to know about bagua.

Miller and one of his sources were both wildly enthusiastic about researching bagua's origins, as described in Volume 3, Number 1 Nov/Dec 1992:

The primary source of this information is taken from the work of Professor K'ang Ko-Wu of Beijing. While working on his master's degree in 1980-81, Professor K'ang wrote his thesis on the "Origins of Pa Kua Chang." ... Professor K'ang's research was extensive and involved close examination of over 650 documents from the Ch'ing Palace history books and over 230 papers written on martial arts. He also examined the situations of 413 teachers in 24 provinces and cities, personally investigating in 16 cities and counties and 9 provinces. K'ang interviewed over 256 people resulting in over 274 documents. Many of the people he interviewed were elderly boxers of the older generation who spoke openly about their martial art.

In Volume 3, Number 4 May/June 1993, they basically conclude that there is no solid evidence of a bagua source other than Dong Hai Chuan, though Miller leaves open the possibility. K'ang believes Dong Hai Chuan was the sole originator.

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