One of the best Internal Kung Fu masters around today
This article was first written in early 2017 and has recently been updated.
I began my journey with kung fu Master Luo Dexiu back in 1999 at a seminar in the UK, I then moved to Taiwan and lived there for 8 years and trained with Luo up to five times a week, and still train with him today.
I generally make my way back to Taiwan every year to catch up on discussions about Internal Kung Fu.
You’ll most likely meet Luo Dexiu teaching a seminar somewhere in the world, you might also think that you know him after attending his lessons a few times. Let me be the first person to burst that bubble.
The problem is that Luo can be quite pleasant and likes to hang out, have a beer and enjoy a holiday of sorts whilst over the course of a few days teaching seminars. Being naturally very polite he will hang out after seminars, reeling off one story after another. This gives some people the impression that they are on much more personal terms with him than they really are. However, over the years he has become more relaxed and friendlier in his regular role as a teacher back in Taiwan, but there was a time when you dared to ask a basic question, as he could destroy you with just a look.
I remember one time in Taiwan years ago, a couple showed up in Taiwan and strolled into the class, all happy and friendly with my teacher. I remember being quite shocked… Here was my master, a kung fu genius, an old school Laoshi (teacher), being confronted by two seminar students from the US, “we only have very little time and so we would like to learn X.Y and Z” they said, Luo spent a few minutes with them and walked off to carry on with his teaching. I never saw them given any more attention by himself, and they didn’t last more than a week. There were many of those situations over the years.
Luo De Xiu is as much a traditional Kung Fu Master as any.
After 1974 Luo began focusing on Baguazhang exclusively and received informal teaching from Master Hong’s two brothers, Hong Yiwen and Hong Yimian. Luo also visited other teachers throughout Taiwan over many years, slowly piecing together a more complete system of Gao-style Baguazhang.
Master Luo has studied and taught Internal Kung Fu for decades and carries on the strong fighting tradition of the Yizong lineage of Internal Kung Fu; there are many practical fighting principles and techniques taught by Luo Dexiu, and he has always provided hands-on demonstration which helps make him one of the most open and generous Internal kung fu masters around.
Since Covid and the general easing of restrictions mainly in Taiwan, removing the need for quarantine in entry. Master Luo has begun to revisit other countries, teaching seminars of roughly four days for each city. I recently caught up with him in Manchester at the end of May 2023, and he was on good form, ruthless as ever in is demonstrations whether we were practising Bagua, Xingyi or Taiji.
In my opinion, Luo Dexiu is an amazing kung fu master, and even though he might have relaxed on certain things over the years, he’ll always be a tough, no-nonsense, old-school kung fu teacher to me.