Grandmaster Liu Yun Qiao was born into a very wealthy Cang county family on February 8, 1909. Cang county is located in Hebei province, northern China, which has often been compared to ancient Sparta - a land of martial arts and war. Because Liu was a sickly child, his family retained the services of Master Zhang Yau-Ting who taught him Kung Fu and nursed him back to better health. Master Zhang taught young Liu the styles of Mi Tsung-I and Tai Tzu Chang Chuan.

Not satisfied with limiting Liu's martial arts training to just one instructor, his influential grandfather also enlisted the services of Li Shu Wen, better known as "Magic Spear Li", the best martial artist in northern China at that time. It was said that Master Li had a quick temper backed by ferocious spear techniques and that he had never tasted defeat in any of the hundreds of challenges he had faced. Although Master Li had many students who were high- level masters in other styles, not just anyone could study with this prominent and dangerous instructor. In fact, Master Li's first disciple was the famous Huo Dian Ge, the bodyguard and teacher of China's last emperor, PuYi.

Master Li stayed with young Liu for more than ten years and taught him Baji Quan ("Eight Ultimate Boxing") and Piqua Zhang. Piqua is the "Yin" - a softer, wider style using palm strikes, whipping power and a longer striking range, while Baji is the "Yang" - a direct, linear style using fist strikes and focusing on battering-ram and cannon-like techniques for close combat.

For more than six years, master and student traveled throughout northern China, during which time young Liu made quite a name for himself and was undefeated in numerous challenges. However, he was also constantly searching for the most proficient and famous martial artists that his family's wealth and position could buy. At the age of 20, Liu met his first defeat at the hands of a Six Harmonies Praying Mantis master named Ding Zi Chen. Needless to say, Master Ding's services were very quickly engaged.

It was around this time that Magic Spear Li parted company with Liu, leaving him in the hands of General Zhang Xiang-Wu, one of Li's senior Baji disciples. General Zhang went on to teach Liu the old Yang Taiji style (as it was before Yang Cheng Fu standardized the form) and the Kuen Wu sword form. He also introduced him to Kung Pao Tien, a famous Bagua practitioner and direct disciple of Yin Fu, who in turn was a disciple of Tung Hai Chuan , the founder of the art. Liu also learned Chen style Taiji quan from the famous Chen Fake, in exchange for teaching his Baji techniques. In 1934, Magic Spear Li was found poisoned and, though there were many theories as to who actually murdered him, his killers were never found, as his enemies were many.

With the arrival of the Sino-Japanese war, Liu enrolled in the Shi-An Military School and became a colonel in the Chinese Army. Liu led his paratroopers and special forces into many forays against the enemy, was wounded on several occasions and captured once. Some of his many wartime exploits are the material of which legends are made.

In 1949, Grandmaster Liu and thousands of others relocated to Taiwan. The rest, as they say, is history.