Seminars in North America
Di Guoyong usually does seminars twice a year at Nick Scrima's club - Chinese Martial Arts Center - in Florida. The club is at 1370 Main Street, Dunedin, FL. The website is www.kungfutoday.com.
Di Guoyong conducted a Xingyi Quan seminars at Nick Scrima's school March 10-11 and 17-18, 2012. For more information on the next one
My photos of Di Guoyong on Flickr
I met Di Guoyong in 2001 when I first saw his videos and asked permission to translate them. I started to train with him in April 2003, until Beijing got shut down with SARS. I trained with him again for a few months in 2004, and whenever possible since then. I have introduced many people to him, and they have immediately recognized his quality and taken to training with him. He is great to train with, a mix of modern and traditional ideas and methods, with a good eye for your mistakes. He is a very giving teacher, but I have always been lucky with my teachers in China and have never found one that held back. I have translated his two volume book on xingyi into three volumes in English. I would like to make it clear that I am not 'pushing' my teacher. I met him because when I saw the excellent quality of his video series I wanted to translate it. We had a real 'meeting of the minds' and I decided to train with him as well. Since training with him I have found that the videos show maybe half of his ability.
Here is an online video of Di Guoyong.
Go to China from Inside for a great interview of Di Guoyong, done around 2003.
A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF DI GUOYONG
"Di Guoyong is one of the founding members, first Secretary General and current President of the Beijing Xingyi Quan Research Association, which is under the administration of the Beijing Wushu Association. He holds the distinction of grade one Wushu judge and has served on numerous Xingyi and Bagua committees, including the national committee to organize an offical set of Xingyi forms in 1995.
He has extensive experience teaching and researching Xingyi and Bagua. His particular area of interest is integrating modern scientific analysis and sports physiology with traditional martial arts theory. His teaching methods have produced numerous Sanda (free-fighting) and forms champions on the national and regional levels. Di Guoyong has authored many articles on martial arts, is preparing a Xingyi manuscript for publication in 2002 and has published a popular series of 10 instructional VCDs on traditional Xingyi unarmed forms and weapons sets, including the separ, staff and sword.
He was born 1948 in Hebei Province, but moved with his family to Beijing in 1960. As a young child, he was often sick and began study of the martial arts to improve his health. In 1963, Di Guoyong began study of Shaolin and Xingyi with well-known Beijing teacher Zhao Zhong. Ten years later, he was introduced by Zhao Zhong to another renown teacher, Wu Binlou, wtih whom he studied the Northern kicking art of Chuojiao Fanzi. In 1975, Di Guoyong began study of Bagua Zhang with the famous Li Ziming and is recognized as a fourth generation inheritor of the style. Additionally, his interest in the martial arts brought him into contact with various teachers that enriched his understanding of both theory and practice.
During the 80's Di Guoyong served as the Xingyi coach to Beijing University's Wushu Association. Additionally, he taught Xingyi at the Beijing College of Foreign Languages and the Beijing Aeronautics College. For the last two years of the decade, Di Guoyong was selected as an ambassador of the martial arts and taught Wushu in the African nation of Cameroon.
Since 1990, Di Guoyong has concentrated on popularizing Xingyi and Bagua through national and international events in the roles of organizer and judge, as well as publication of instructional materials and articles. Currently he teaches students near his home in Beijiing's Haidian District."
Di Guoyong's videos are simply the clearest ever done on xingyi, and among the best in any martial art. He is perfect every time, and explains the actions extraordinarily clearly as if he were teaching you right there. He shows the moves, repeats the actions throughout, shows from the other side, explains the applications. Each video has a performance of the whole action or form, a break down of the individual actions with explanation and discussion, and slow motion of each action or form. The names of each action are clearly written before each one is performed. This series could be a 'how to' model for everyone else thinking of doing a video. The DVDs are the same as the VCDs, just with English subtitles added. They did not really put the advantages of DVD to use (like chapter selection). He regretted that the video company did not want applications, and hopes to make some applications videos in the future.
I have translated the video series, and this is available as PDF files. It translates word for word, as closely as is possible, exactly what professor Di says in the videos. You can improve your Chinese a lot with these materials. This is an authorised translation, and Di Guoyong gets royalties. You can print it out yourself (I've reformatted the original translation that was published as a book, to 8.5 x 11 pages). This is actually a second edition of the video companion book, because as I was reformatting I couldn't help myself, and ended up fixing all the typos I could find, and changing the terminology to match the three volume set, which was done later.
These were taken in 2004. There are lots more photos on Flickr. I tend to become his personal translator whenever he is teaching. We seem to know what the other is thinking, so translating is easy.
This photo is from 2010, after another of the legendary feasts at his house. His wife is the best cook in Beijing, and among the most insistent 'you're not eating enough' people in the world.
Here are Nick Scrima's remarks about Di Guoyong's teaching and my translations:
"Andrea Falk’s translation of Di Guoyong’s Hebei Xing Yi Quan three volume set “Five Element Foundation”, “Form and Theory” and the latest volume “Weapons and Partner Play” mark a milestone, not only for Xing Yi enthusiasts, but indeed for all serious practitioners of Internal Systems of Chinese martial arts. I have been fortunate, with Andrea’s help and assistance, to invite Di Guoyong to the States for instruction in Xing Yi at my school. Di Guoyong’s understanding of Xing Yi Quan is astounding and his teaching thorough, methodical and precise. Although he is a demanding teacher he works just as hard as any of the students; his enthusiasm, physical and mental vigor are contagious. Master Di is the embodiment of good health, vitality and strength that is the byproduct of his many years of dedication and training in Xing Yi Quan. Having experienced Di Laoshi’s teaching first hand I can attest to the value of Andrea’s translations of these Xing Yi works for my own studies and for the training of my students. Even though Di Laoshi typically visits my school twice a year, months go by before his return visit and this leaves a void in his teaching that is filled by the continued reference that I make to his work on Xing Yi Quan which Andrea Falk has so masterfully rendered into English. I highly recommend all three volumes to every serious practitioner of Xing Yi Quan and other Nei Jia arts as well as to anyone who is considering embarking on a study of this wonderful art."