Master Cheng Ting Hua (also called Cheng Ying Fang) was born in 1848 in the Cheng family village in the province of Hobei in China. It is told that because he had pock marks on his face when he was young, he received the name « third son with pock marks. »
When he was still young, Cheng Ting Hua moved to Beijing where he took an apprenticeship making glasses. While here he also began his apprenticeship in the martial art of Chinese boxing (shuai chiao). He practiced boxing with such passion that he became relatively known in boxing circles in Beijing.
photo of Master Cheng Ting Hua
Around 1876, Cheng Ting Hua became the student of Master Dong Hai Chuan who was well-known in Beijing at the time for his ability in martial arts. At the time of their meeting, Master Dong asked him to try to throw him with his boxing techniques. Following many unsuccessful tries with his best boxing techniques, Cheng Ting Hua asked Dong Hai Chuan to become his disciple. Thus he became one of the first four disciples of Master Dong Hai Chuan in the art of ba gua zhang.
Cheng Ting Hua taught his art very openly and trained many students over the course of his life. The include people such as his two sons, Cheng Yu Lung (1875-1928) and Cheng You Xin (2nd son), Cheng You Gong, Feng Jun Yi, Gao Ke Xing, Gao Yi Sheng, Sun Lu Tang, Liu De Kuan, Yang Ming Shan, Zhang Chang Fa, Zhang Yong De, Zhang Yu Kui, Zhou Yu Xiang and Zhang Zhao Dong (1866-1951), Geng Ji Shan, Guo Tong De, Han Qi Ying, Hon Mu Xi, Kan Ling Feng, Li Cun Yi, Li Han Zhang, Li Wen Biao, Liu Bin, Liu Zhen Zong, Qin Cheng (1859-1940).
Cheng Ting Hua was killed by a bullet from German soldiers in 1900 during the period of the « rebellion of the boxers. »