Shifu David Cheng is a 9th generation lineage holder of Gao style Cheng school Bagua Zhang, 10th generation lineage holder of Hebei Xinygi Quan, 7th generation lineage holder of Yang style Taiji Quan, and 7th generation lineage holder of Northern Shaolin. He is the First Disciple of Shifu Chang Yukai, Ph.D.
David Cheng (鄭謙), martial arts name Guo Xing (國興), was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1981. When he was seven, he was influenced by his father and movies, and began learning Tae Kwon Do and Chin Na, leading to a gradually increasing interest in the martial arts. A few years later, his family moved to New Zealand. Because he immigrated at such a young age, he cherished and highly regarded traditional Chinese culture. When he was 10, he met Master Fa Cheng and Master Tien Ruo, who had stopped in New Zealand while proselytizing around the world. With them, he began learning more about traditional Chinese martial arts and culture, including Shaolin, Hebei Sun Lu Tang Xingyi, and Yang Family Taiji, Buddhism, and Ruism. Although his understanding of these things was at an early stage, it demonstrated the uniqueness of Chinese culture and continued to inspire David Cheng’s interest in martial arts.
Although he was young, he was more patient and persistent than all the other adults in the class and soon became the inheritor of the manual from Master Fa Cheng. After a short year, Master Fa Cheng had to move on to his next destination, South Africa, to continue his proselytization and David Cheng had to stop his studying. Although he continued to self-study, his young age, the maturity that wisdom requires, and having no master prevented him from improving.
When he was in 16, his family immigrated from New Zealand to Australia. Through an introduction from a friend, David Cheng met the Taiwan National Team coach, Shipo Chang, and he began his journey of discovery of Chinese internal and external martial arts. He flew to and from Australia numerous times to learn from Shipo Chang. Whenever he had a slightly longer vacation, he would fly to Taiwan to learn more. The variety of Chinese martial art styles is very large and in order to continue what Master Fa Cheng passed down to him, David Cheng studied Hebei Liu Qi Lan Xingyi from Shipo Chang. Later, because his abilities did not yet meet the height of Chinese internal martial arts, he turned to study Shandong’s Master Sun Shao Tang’s system of Shaolin. At 18 he was selected as a member of the Australian National Kungfu Wushu Team (required score of at least 16) with a score of 62 points. And in 1998, David Cheng represented Australia in the ISKA World Cup Martial Arts Championship and won a World Cup silver medal. After his win at the Championship, he was employed as a Shaolin instructor by the then-biggest Chinese martial arts association of Australia, the Australian Chinese Bagua Taichi Association.
In 2000, David Cheng attended the Beijing International Martial Arts Invitational Qualifying Tournament, winning both gold and bronze medals. Until he graduated from university, he traveled to and from Australian and Taiwan to focus on learning and teaching Xingyi and Shaolin. In 2002, after graduating from university, in order to have more time to study from Master Shipo Chang, David Cheng gave up the opportunity to study for his Master’s degree and instead returned to Taiwan.
In his 3rd year of university, David Cheng pursued body building and injured his 4th vertebrae, causing pain and continuous nose bleeds. Doctors told him that a surgery was needed to correct the injury, but his father was against it because he was too young. So he tried both Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, but both failed to alleviate the pain. However, after studying Taiji from Master Shipo Chang, the problem was cured without any medical help. Only then did David Cheng realize the value of the combined theories of training and personal cultivation in Chinese martial arts. He wished to help more people, so he started teaching Taiji. In 2005, Shipo Chang recognized the improvement and level of David Cheng’s martial arts skills, so he introduced David Cheng to the cradle of Taiwanese martial artists: the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts. David was hired as a martial arts instructor at the college and Shipo Chang started teaching David Cheng Gao Style Bagua Zhang and Qi Family Tongbei.
In 2007, David Cheng was appointed by Master Shipo Cheng to represent Taiwan and participate in the World Cup of Martial Arts in Hong Kong. David Cheng won two gold medals in the tournament and began to feel the importance of striving towards inheriting the art.
During his study, David Cheng followed Shipo Chang’s systematic education and emphasis on inheriting the martial arts as his main focus of training. He was also fortunate to be introduced to and influenced by instruction from Qinsun Ding’s Yang Family Taiji and also the broad martial arts knowledge of Kangyi Liu, who is like a friend and like a teacher to him as well as the owner of Lion Books. Under the guidance and generous teaching of these two people, David Cheng’s comprehensive understanding of Chinese martial arts as a whole was greatly and positively influenced.
In 2006, with the goal of contributing to the lineage and promoting it in Western countries, David Cheng began translating the Gao Style of Cheng School Bagua Zhang Manual [published on 25th April, 2008], under the tutelage of Shipo Chang’s first disciple, Yukai Chang [David Cheng’s current Shifu].
In 2009, Yukai Chang was promoted to the Chinese Martial Arts Research Director of the National Taiwan Sports University, with David Cheng helping as his research assistant. Under this close and frequent contact and because they were of similar mind with the same intentions and goals of working towards promoting the art, in 2014 David Cheng was accepted into the lineage and became the First Disciple of Yukai Chang, and the 9th (Guo/國) generation lineage holder of Gao Style of Cheng School Bagua Zhang. At his discipleship ceremony he was given the martial arts name Guo Xing (國興) by his Shifu.
David Cheng has never stopped his martial arts research, training, and teaching. He is frequently invited to do seminars in Europe and America, and he has also taught seminars in Germany, Spain, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Hongkong, and South Korea. In 2016, he established the Guo Xing Martial Art School (國興武術學校) with branches in Brisbane, Australia and Florida, USA.
The depth and breadth of traditional Chinese martial arts is coveted by many martial artists from other styles, and they have often come to visit David Cheng for instruction. So, in the martial arts community in Australia, David Cheng has earned the nickname: “the martial arts corrector.” Some of his visiting students from other styles include: a former Australian Olympic Super Heavyweight boxer [boxing], an Australian Immigration and Border Protection Security guard [from Henan Xingyi Quan], and an Australian Navy Special Forces member [from Mian Quan], etc.
Apart from teaching martial arts seminars, David Cheng has also been interviewed by Channel V’s host Jian Zhou Chen, famous DJ Wing from UniFM96.7 [with Facebook live], and Hongkong’s Kung Fu Quest.
- 1998 ISKA World Cup of Martial Arts – silver medal
- 2000 Beijing International Martial Arts Invitational Competition – 1 gold medal, 1 bronze medal
- 2007 Hongkong International Martial Art Competition – 2 gold medals
- 2000-2002 – Australian Chinese Bagua Taichi Association – teaching Shaolin
- 2004 – Taipei Physical Education College – teaching Taiji
- 2005 – National Taiwan College of Performing Arts – teaching Shaolin
- 1998-current – private classes, teaching all styles (listed below)
- Taipei Physical Education College Advanced Instructor License
- Chinese Martial Arts Gao Style of Cheng School Bagua Zhang National Level 4th Dan
- Chinese Martial Arts Hebei Xingyi Quan National Level 4th Dan
- Chinese Martial Arts Yang Family Taiji Quan National Level 4th Dan
- Chinese Martial Arts Northern Shaolin National Level 4th Dan
Styles currently taught:
- Shandong Yangming Zai system Zha Quan and Sun Bin Quan
- International Taiji 6 Items
- Hebei Liu Qilan system Xingyi Quan
- Tianjin Gao Style of Cheng School Bagua Zhang
- Anshan Qi Family Tongbei