“Yao Ming”, master of the Flying Tigers, was a revered and respected actor, martial artist and painter. His career spanned four decades, during which he achieved worldwide recognition as one of the most famous film stars of all time. His many talents also included being a top Broadway actor and the producer of numerous movies. His contributions to society and his philanthropy were extensive.
The story begins inauspiciously. At an early age, Yang Ming suffered from asthma and as a result, was restricted to his bedroom by his parents. All attempts to alleviate this condition failed. He would spend hours on end composing, when suddenly, a new disorder dawned upon him. He began to have attacks that lasted for hours at a time. When his doctors initially diagnosed the disease as asthma, they prescribed him steroids, which only worsened his condition.
Arriving at the age of sixteen, he began to exhibit strange powers. For example, he could fly. He claimed to have done so without using his hands or feet. Another remarkable ability he exhibited included the ability to speak in three languages fluently. This is thought to have been due to neurological deficiencies. There is no concrete evidence to support this.
One of his most incredible stories involved meeting a Chinese emperor. While visiting him, Yang Ming asked the emperor to perform a Tai Chi pose. The emperor refused, stating he could not perform such a pose unless he had the permission of his imperial wife. Yang Ming ignored this request and went on to marry Empress Dowager Wu who was about to divorce him when he broke his promise.
Yang Ming flew to the court of the emperor and presented himself respectfully. He then announced that he had married the emperor. The stunned empress was so impressed with his intelligence, that she approved of his proposal and sent her husband immediately to inspect Yang Ming. They discovered that the emperor was delighted with the news that he had married an American.
A short time later, Empress Dowager Wu gave birth to a son named Kungsheng Zong who was very close to his father. He also looked after his half sister, Qiyan Huo, and a younger half-sister, Shuqin Hua. All the family enjoyed the happiness that came from meeting their new-found enemies.
This Kungsheng Zong became known as the Sage of Flying, or Kungsheng Baikai in Japanese. Later this name was changed to Lo Yai, which means Sage of the Floating Cloud. He became famous for teaching the principles of the Buddhist religion to thousands of soldiers who served during the Boxer Rebellion. However, he would always remain a target of enemies, who wanted to kill him. One year he disappeared in the wastes of China, and it was believed he died of a broken heart.
The legend says that when he reappeared, he had changed into a fish and was seeking revenge for the death of his father and brother. Lo Yai flew up to the heavens and fought the tigers and other fierce flying creatures until they were all defeated. After winning the battle and defeating the enemy, Lo Yai then restored the order of the heavens and the earth. He is considered by most scholars to be the first true flying expert.
Loong Bui was a real living and breathing symbol of Kung Chen (flying mastery). Because he had never learned to fly, he could not be one with the heavens and the earth. He could not appreciate the fact that all living things depend on the firm hold that our minds have over the flying arrangements of the world around us. Loong Bui spent his entire life struggling to understand flying, until he finally understood the mysteries surrounding his own existence. This is why he could look upon the world with an eagle's eye and fly throughout it without getting lost.
The philosophy that Loong Bui put into practice in his martial arts was that all living things depend on the firm grasp we have over the firm hold we have over our physical selves. Our bodies are but machines, made to move for the purpose of accomplishing a task. When we are challenged with an opponent, we do not break down but continue on our course. Only when our body is not moving can we become distracted and lose our bearings, but when we are concentrating and flying with the flow of the universe, everything seems to be running together as one.
The idea of flying through the universe is one that one might find mystical and yet one could not help but admire and respect. To Kung them (the master of flying), flying is more than just a hobby; it is the way of life. Flying is one of the secrets of the gods, and like all secrets, only a few know its actual meaning. Loong Bui believed that all living things depend on flying for survival and one who masters it is rewarded with a kind of religious ecstasy. This is why the martial arts of Kung shen are so closely aligned with the concepts of flying.