Grandmaster Tony Yang 楊曉東

Xiao Dong (Tony) Yang was born and raised in Taiwan. He has been studying martial arts for over 40 years. His specialties include Bajiquan, Northern Praying Mantis, Taijiquan, Xing Yi Quan, and Baguazhang.

He began studying at age 6 under the instruction of his uncle, a martial arts master. He learned Northern Shaolin and three-section staff. During high school he studied Tang Lang Quan (Praying Mantis Kung Fu). He then moved to Taipei and became a student of Grandmaster Su Yu-Chang, of the Praying Mantis system. It was Grandmaster Su who introduced Master Yang to Grandmaster Liu Yun Chiao. For two years, he studied under both teachers and then became solely a student of Grandmaster Liu. During this time he practiced Taijiquan, Bajiquan, Praying Mantis, and various weapons. He also received personal instruction from Grandmaster Liu in Baguazhang, Piguazhang, Mizong, Bajiquan and numerous weapons. Grandmaster Liu learned his Bajiquan from Master Li Shu Wen. At age 24, Master Yang was allowed by Grandmaster Liu to teach martial arts, a high compliment indeed. He was soon instructing at five colleges, teaching classes in Taijiquan and Praying Mantis. During this time of intense dedication and training, he also taught Tai Chi and sword to elderly students at a mountain temple. Before coming to America, he taught the Chinese Acrobats of Taiwan for four years.

In May, 1980, Master Yang came to the United States and settled in Canton, Ohio. He has since opened his own martial arts school, Wu Tang Center for Martial Arts and continues to teach there. Well versed in a wide range of martial arts techniques, his favorites are Praying Mantis and Bajiquan. The Bagua weapon, Deerhorn Knives (Lu Jiao Dao, or Zi Wu Yuan Yang Yue), is his favorite weapon. They are said to have been invented during the shrouded infancy of Bagua, probably in the Qing dynasty. The weapon can be used to grab, block, or hook an opponent or their weapon. Many moves are designed to disarm the opponent. The original shape only had three pointed ends. Later, a fourth was added to increase its ability to catch, trap and lock. In recent history, Grandmaster Liu modified the shape by making the fourth point recurve. Other names sometimes used include double moon hooks, meridian axes, crescent knives, Mandarin Duck Axes (Zi Wu Yuan Yang Yue), Sun Moon Sword (Ri Yue Qian Kun Jian), and Deer Hook Sword. Two deer-horn knives form the symbol of the Wu Tang organization. The eight points represent the Bajiquan style, inside the circle are yin and yang representing Taijiquan, and together they symbolize Baguazhang.