"Taiji is playful, Bagua is evasive, but none is as venomous as Xinyiba."
- Old Shaolin saying
Ji Long 姬龙 (1620-?)
Ji Long (also known as Ji Longfeng, or Ji Jike - Lightning spear) from Longfeng county, Shanxi province was born in 1620 and started training martial arts when he was about 13 years old.
He was engaged in the "Fan Qing, Fu Ming" movement (destroy the Qing, restore the Ming) and was especially well known for being a great spear fighter. During those times of turmoil, common people were not allowed to carry around weapons, so Ji Long started practicing his art without spear (turning it into an art of the fist)
According to one hypothesis, he visited the Shaolin Temple himself and eventually learned and taught material there. It is unknown whether not there was anything called Xinyi or Xinyiba in the temple before that.
The most likely theory however is that it was his disciple Zheng Wukui who brought his knowledge to Dengfeng & Shaolin, since we know for sure that he was from Dengfeng, and that he was Ji Long's disciple.
Wang Zhicheng 王志诚（1680-?）
Wang Zhicheng, one of Zheng Wukui's disciples, was from Xin'an County, Henan Province. He was a famous Martial Arts master during the Qianlong Dynasty. According to the manuscripts, he was taught by Zheng WuKui. He then wrote down everything he learned from him. Hu Zhengsheng has inherited several of his (original!) writings, which summarize the theory of Xinyiba and Liuhequan.
According to us, he is the one who taught Ma Xueli and Dai Longbang (Which also makes more sense chronologically than the common lineage trees). Ma and Dai developed and innovated the style, and invented ten forms, Four Movements, etc. But prior to them, there were no Taolu / collections of movements.
His best and closest students were his 2 sons, who were also the ones who brought their knowledge once more into the Shaolin Temple.
Shi Haifa 释海法 （1750-?）
Hai Fa, also called Xiang Bo, took Shaolin Temple grand monk Ru Xiang as his teacher. He did the odd-jobs at the beginning of his stay in the temple, and then learned Qianjin Feet, Iron Fists, Xuanhua Axe, and other skills, all by himself. He learned also from Wang Zhicheng's sons during their stays in the temple, and also practiced the Xinyi boxing that had been passed down by the monks since Zheng Wukui's days. He was cranky, frank and great-hearted, and was called Black Whirlwind as his nickname. Master Zhan Mo and Zhan De were his outstanding students.
Shi Jiqin 释寂勤 (吴古轮) （1820-1917）
Wu Gulun's monk name was Shi Jiqin. He became a monk at the age of five under grand abbot Zhan Mo. During the Qing dynasty, martial arts were banned, but the Shaolin monks continued their practice secretly. In the year of DaoGuang, a Manchu officer named Li Qing arrived at the Shaolin temple and asked the abbot to make the monks show them his Kungfu skills. The abbot denied that the monks still practiced Kungfu, but after he persisted, the abbot allowed the monks to demonstrate their skills. After the general left the monks realized that the Manchu officers would return, fearing that the monks could pose a threat. The monks were very worried, so the abbot instructed Wu Gulun to leave the temple and carry on the traditions of Shaolin. Before Wu Gulun could leave the temple, he had to follow the Shaolin rules; the rules were that if any fully ordained monk wished to return to secular life outside the temple, he had to fight the 18 guardians of Shaolin in order to prove their strength and ability to cope with the secular life outside the temple. He was the last ever monk to do this. Wu Gulun beat them with ease and disappeared into the mountains to live in an isolated village, where he continued to practice and preserve the secrets of Shaolin Kungfu, most importantly Xinyiba. During his time in the temple, Wu Gulun achieved the highest level of Shaolin traditional Kungfu, XinYiBa, and mastered it. He taught his son, Wu Shanlin, everything he knew about Shaolin Kungfu, and passed onto him the skills of XinYiBa.
Shi Degen 释德根（1914-1970）
Shi Degen was from Guan Di Miao village in Gong Xian, in Henan province. He was sent to the Shaolin temple at the age of three because of his weakness and illness. With the Shaolin monks taking really good care of him, he became stronger and fought his illness and weakness, and began training Kungfu at the age of 6. The abbot of the temple at the time took a real liking to him due to his intelligence and his hard working nature. He was already an advanced martial artist before becoming disciple of Wu Shanlin. Amongst his disciples were some of the most famous masters of their generation, including Zhu Tianxi, Hao Shizhai, Shi Yongwen, Liu Cunliang, and Yang Guiwu, who had learned from him for the longest time.
Shi Degen had many students, but only few of them were taught the skills of Xinyiba. He was also famous for his monkey stick Kungfu.
Hu Zhengsheng 胡正生 （1977）
Master Hu Zhengsheng started his traditional Kungfu training at the age of 12. He first began studying under his first master, Zhang Guangjun, in the Shaolin temple. Hu Zhengsheng took care of master Zhang Guangjun in his old age, helping him to eat, clean and dress himself. When master Zhang felt his passing was imminent, he told Hu Zhengsheng to go and seek a master of traditional Shaolin Kungfu in San Bei village, whose name is Yang Guiwu. After Hu Zhengsheng was accepted by Yang Guiwu as a disciple, he continued his traditional Kung fu training under him for a further 15 years. Under Yang Guiwu, Hu Zhengsheng learned more traditional forms, skills, combat and self-defense techniques and most importantly Xinyiba. After Yang Guiwu became too old and weak to teach new students, he passed on his 500 year old Shaolin Kungfu manuscripts to Hu Zhengsheng, telling him that it was now his time to pass down traditional Shaolin Kungfu to the future generations of Shaolin disciples.