Records of Selected Dialogues between Dong Haichuan and his Disciples.
by Guang Xia
translated and edited by Joseph Crandall

At the time when Dong Haichuan was in Su Wang’s palace teaching fighting.
 Su Wang asked:  "What is  the name of the art that you practice?"
 Dong replied:  "It is the Bagua School."
 Su Wang also asked:  "Who was your teacher?"
 Dong replied:  "I was taught by a Daoist in Anwei."  (Note:  Dong never gave his teacher’s name.)

 At a garrison in the northern county of Guanwai, Song Dehou (aka Weiyi) came to call, he said, "I received instruction from the Daoist Bi Yuexia."
 Dong replied:  "He is my teacher’s elder brother."

One day, a group of students asked Master Dong when he was going to teach the leaping arts.
 Dong replied;  "You all desire to study this. Do you want to use it to become thieves?"

Another time, a group of students were sparring outside his home. They planned to ask Master Dong to evaluate them.  They went into the house to ask him, but Master Dong was not inside the house anymore.  Upon going out again they saw Master Dong walking in the front courtyard.  The students asked: "Master, when did you walk out?"
 Dong replied:  "You people claim to practice martial arts, but ears and eyes that cannot see and hear both sides are lacking. I was  in the house and I walked out. Still, you did not sense me.  Suppose you have an enemy who wishes you evil, would you still have your lives? Therefore you were not practicing martial arts. To be practicing martial arts, you must be immediately aware of the entire surroundings, and in addition being on guard."

Also one day, a group of students observed that Master Dong ate sparingly. They asked why?
 Dong replied:  "Eat to appease your hunger.  Eating too much creates problems."

Yang Junfeng asked:  "Grandfather, the way to raise the qi for the leaping body skills is so difficult that your disciples' disciples not dare make presumptuous demands.  It must be most difficult to use qi to strike men."
 Dong replied:  "Concering causing qi to strike men, where does qi come from? You must use strength to make the root."

Master Dong one time was chatting and laughing. It was evening and  the Master was happy and cheerful. He said:  "This evening you all will get a secret.  Put out the lamps. You try to find me. Whoever can touch me, tomorrow will get a private lesson."

One time Master Dong was inside his house and wished to look out his window at people. He tore off a piece of the window paper,  put it in his mouth, chewed it up and spat it back out the window, it truly struck Quan Kaiting (who was at that time thinking to secretly trying to kill Master Dong)  in the eye. The next day Quan Kaiting went to his house, knelt down, and asked Dong to be his teacher.
 Dong replied:  "You ask me to be your Teacher? I will not!"

There was a student of Master Dong named Ruan Zhen’gu.  His skill was pure and deep. He would climb up and down the palace walls and roofs easily, walking like he was level ground.
 Master Dong warned him: "Your leaping into the air and walking on walls is very good. But sure enough, you will offend people and make trouble for yourself. Come down or I will have to cut off your head."
Half a year passed, Ruan Zhen’gu now had to use double crutches. His legs could only move 3 to 4 inches when walking.  Dong asked him how he is?"  He replied:  "Teacher, my legs are injured."
 Dong shook his head:  "That’s to bad! It is also good.  So as to avoid stirring up trouble."

One day, a group of pupils of Master Dong asked him about Baguazhang.  Master Dong said: "Grandmaster said:  ‘My way uses turning palms to make the root, it uses the fist tools to make the function, study and practice.  Skill is created to its utmost. You will have no enemy under heaven. By itself it is good for the body.’"

Master Dong, in his later years usually lived with his student, Shi Jidong, and grandstudent Ma Gui.  One day he suddenly felt not well, like the qi was separating from his body. He quickly beckoned a group of students to him.  Dong said: "I am going to die. You are all good and can make sure that the transmission of Baguazhang goes on forever. Then, even though I die, yet I still live."  He stopped speaking, sat up straight, and died.