Wudang Blog

Taoist Daily Clothing

 

The main characteristic of Taoist clothing is that it has to be loose and comfortable, the fabric is not spared and a lot of material is used generously to tailor a Taoist robe, exactly what you still can find in Wudang, there are master tailors who are making exactly that kind of traditional Taoist uniforms.

Wudang Taoist Robe

Taoists say that you should not wear tight clothing, especially when you are doing exercises or mental practices. That also applies to tight belts, underwear, shoes, socks, jewelry and all clothing that disturbs your blood and energy (Qi) circulation. These tight clothes put pressure on your stomach, arms, legs, etc. Probably everybody has once taken his socks off and there was a big indentation where it's been digging into the skin all day. In acupuncture they study energy meridians that go all the way from your core to your extremities. Tight clothing impacts the flow of energy through these systems. We have blood vessels and nerves, and if you wear a tight watch that was just clamping down on your wrist the whole day or night, your're not getting the kind of circulation you need to your hands. Similarly, this works with underwear, ties, tight t-shirts, jewelry and anything tight that can impede the flow of energy and fluids in your body.

 

Wudang Masters at the Purple Cloud Temple

 

And now, a little of history ... Taoist clothing, which refers to the costume worn by Taoists, belongs to the Han traditional dress system. It is also known as “Fa Fu” or “Taoist uniform”. Early Taoist clothing, which was not strictly regulated, began to form systems after Lu Xiujing (陸修靜) in the Southern Liu-Song Dynasty. 

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Difference between Qigong and Neigong

Qigong practice involves moving meditation, coordinating slow-flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and a calm meditative state of mind. People practice qigong for recreation, exercise, relaxation, preventive medicine, self-healing, meditation, self-cultivation, and supportive training for martial arts.

Neigong exercises that are part of the neijia tradition involve cultivating physical stillness and or conscious (deliberate) movement, designed to produce relaxation or releasing of muscular tension combined with special breathing techniques. The fundamental purpose of this process is to develop a high level of coordination, concentration and technical skill that is known in the martial arts world as neijin (內勁). The ultimate purpose of this practice is for the individual to become at one with heaven or the Dao.

 

taoist neigong

Practices associated with the word Qigong often have more to do with the study of Qi and the external changes, The use of the word Neigong is often associated more with the inner alchemical changes. Both are intertwined, it just depends on how deep you want to travel or the requirements of the system you study. Shifu Neil Ripski once said "Qigong changes your body, neigong changes your character". 

Essential differences between Qigong and Neigong are that Qigong works from the outside to the inside while Neigong works from the core and spreads outwards. Qigong is like acupuncture where specific qigong movements works to clear certain affected meridians. 

Neigong works simultaneously from the core on all meridians. Neigong emphasizes more on body, qi and spirit and the three treasures of Jin, qi, shen 精气神 Commonly neigong is more difficult to practice and is considered as advanced and most practitioners start with the easier forms of qigong. Examples of neigong forms are Zhan Zhuang, Bagua Neigong and various Taoist alchemy meditation methods.

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Taoist Health Cultivation

In keeping with improvements in modern living conditions, people all over the world are looking to improve their health. As a result there are many different systems of health improvement that are springing up all over. China possesses thousands of years of development in self-defense practices, different artistic forms of self-expression and various methods and systems of health cultivation.The reason that Wudang Wushu has been able to continuously prosper up to today without being drowned out by modern trends is because it maintains a truly unique cultural character; its primary focus is on its oldest and most practically applicable value – health cultivation.
Wudang Taoist Meditation
Ancient Taoist practices apply the theories of combining movement and stillness, internal and external, refining and cultivating, and the physical with the mental/emotional/spiritual as the major focuses for cultivation. These practices are used to balance and fortify the body’s original qi, vitality and spirit. The cultivation of jing, qi and shen as well as the physical body are given significant importance. Specifically in the methods of refining and cultivating one follows the method of the meridians or energy channels of the body. Taoist Health Cultivation uses dao yin (Daoist stretching and breathing exercises), qigong, wushu/gongfu methods in order to harmonize and improve the circulation of the meridians, improve the circulation of qi and blood, and harmonize yin and yang within the body – thereby achieving great improvement in overall health.


Taoist Meditation
At the present time there are several Taoist Health Cultivation practices that are suitable for all to learn and practice, including Taiji, standing meditation, Ba Duan Jin (the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong), Taiyi, Liangyi Quan, Five Animals Qi Gong, Taihe Quan, push hands, etc. These practices are soft and slow-moving, and are helpful in coordinating breathing and intention/thinking, regulating blood and circulation, and relaxing the spirit and mind. They can help in lowering the degree of blood viscosity, reducing cholesterol, and blood stasis; improving blood circulation, and can greatly improve the condition of blood clotting related problems of the internal organs that may be at risk or in poor health and cause for concern. For example – those at risk of heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (blood clotting), early stage cirrhosis of the liver, etc. can greatly benefit by adopting these practices into their daily lives. By opening the meridians and removing sickness and toxic substances from the body one can therein begin to improve the overall yin yang balance of the internal organs. Taoist Health Cultivation methods can greatly improve and strengthen practitioners’ immunity to sickness and disease as well as slow the aging and deterioration of the different organ system of the body. It can be seen that these practices are quite suitable and beneficial for everyone – especially young children, the elderly and infirm and those suffering from waist and neck problems.

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The Temples of Wudang Mountains

Wudang Mountains are one of the most famous Daoist holy mountains in China. The palaces and temples on Wudang Mountains were all built into the actual mountain face, adhering to the topography of the land, which dictated the scale of the buildings, the spaces between them and their layout. Palaces appear on the tops of peaks, in the middle of ravines, on the edges of cliffs and nestled within rock faces.

Wudang Mountains

Apart from its unique architecture, Wudang is renown for its wealth of cultural relics. Throughout its history, but most especially during the Ming Dynasty, Wudang was the recipient of numerous religious gifts. Feudal rulers and Taoist devotees provided funds for the molding of thousands of statues of gods and the crafting of thousands of musical instruments made of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, jade, pearl and stone.

The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). By that time Taoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China. Taoism is essentially a reinterpretation of an ancient tradition of nature worship and divination. Taoists believe that the Dao (or Tao , meaning "way" or "path") is the origin of all creation and the force behind all the changes in the natural world. Simplicity, harmony, peace and retreat into nature are some of the basic principles of Taoism.

Taoist culture has existed on Mt. Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).The movement began with a few early Taoists settling on the mountain in order to practise their worship of nature. As time passed, more Taoists converged on the mountain, making Mt. Wudang a Taoist holy place in central China. During the Zhenguan period (AD 627-647) in the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong constructed the Wulong (Five Dragons) Temple , the purpose of which was to spread Taoism on the mountain. The temple structure is one of the ways of expressing Taoist culture in physical form. A temple provides a container for the integration of the various elements of Taoism. Mt. Wudang remained a sacred Taoist site for several hundred years. The buildings were enlarged during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, but many of the buildings from this period were destroyed during warfare and battles at the end of the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China.

The greatest period of development was during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). In AD 1413 Emperor Yongle (AD 1403-1424) sent more than 200,000 soldiers and labourers to transform Mt. Wudang into the largest Taoist complex in the world. It took thirteen years to complete construction, which included nine palaces, seventy-two temples and halls, thirty-six nunneries, thirty-nine bridges, twelve platforms and countless stone steps winding their way along the entire mountain. The floor space of all of these complexes came to over one million square meters, although now, with the destruction of many buildings the floor space totals 50,000 square meters.
In 1994 the ancient building complex in the Wudang mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Wudangshan is located in a quite mild area of China. The Temperature in the summer usually dos not rise over 37degree, while in the winter it will not sink under -5 degree. It is a very green mountain with a vast flora and also fauna. Therefor it has since ancient times always attracted people, who want to practice Martial Arts, meditation or any other kind of self cultivation or arts.

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The world of internal martial arts is big and we would like to know which kind of content you are interested in! Feel free write your own blogs right here.

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The Wudang Mountains

Wudang Mountains are one of the most famous Daoist holy mountains in China. The palaces and temples on Wudang Mountains were all built into the actual mountain face, adhering to the topography of the land, which dictated the scale of the buildings, the spaces between them and their layout. Palaces appear on the tops of peaks, in the middle of ravines, on the edges of cliffs and nestled within rock faces.

Wudang Mountains

Apart from its unique architecture, Wudang is renown for its wealth of cultural relics.Throughout its history, but most especially during the Ming Dynasty, Wudang was the recipient of numerous religious gifts. Feudal rulers and Taoist devotees provided funds for the molding of thousands of statues of gods and the crafting of thousands of musical instruments made of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, jade, pearl and stone.

The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). By that time Taoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China. Taoism is essentially a reinterpretation of an ancient tradition of nature worship and divination. Taoists believe that the Dao (or Tao , meaning "way" or "path") is the origin of all creation and the force behind all the changes in the natural world. Simplicity, harmony, peace and retreat into nature are some of the basic principles of Taoism.

Taoist culture has existed on Mt. Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).The movement began with a few early Taoists settling on the mountain in order to practise their worship of nature. As time passed, more Taoists converged on the mountain, making Mt. Wudang a Taoist holy place in central China. During the Zhenguan period (AD 627-647) in the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong constructed the Wulong (Five Dragons) Temple , the purpose of which was to spread Taoism on the mountain. The temple structure is one of the ways of expressing Taoist culture in physical form. A temple provides a container for the integration of the various elements of Taoism. Mt. Wudang remained a sacred Taoist site for several hundred years. The buildings were enlarged during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, but many of the buildings from this period were destroyed during warfare and battles at the end of the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China.

The greatest period of development was during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). In AD 1413 Emperor Yongle (AD 1403-1424) sent more than 200,000 soldiers and laborers to transform Mt. Wudang into the largest Taoist complex in the world. It took thirteen years to complete construction, which included nine palaces, seventy-two temples and halls, thirty-six nunneries, thirty-nine bridges, twelve platforms and countless stone steps winding their way along the entire mountain. The floor space of all of these complexes came to over one million square meters, although now, with the destruction of many buildings the floor space totals 50,000 square meters. In 1994 the ancient building complex in the Wudang mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Wudangshan is located in a quite mild area of China. The Temperature in the summer usually dos not rise over 37 degree, while in the winter it will not sink under -5 degree. It is a very green mountain with a vast flora and also fauna. Therefor it has since ancient times always attracted people, who want to practice Martial Arts, meditation or any other kind of self cultivation or arts.

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Cleaning Your Body With Internal Practice

Detoxing has always been a popular topic for Wudang Taoist practitioners. Cleaning your body from the inside is important for living a long and healthy life. Since the blood flow interconnects with the flow of Qi. Having good blood quality and healthy organs increases the potential of internal power and raise the awareness of your health. Once your body is cleansed your mind can be at ease and your body can save energy.

Our bodies are no super machines and once we overdid it the process can hardly be reversed. Most people do not realize how serious this problem can be, toxins in your body will not show immediately but can be very problematic in years to come.

What is toxic to our bodies?

The first thought should be how to utilize your energy: eating, drinking, breathing. Being mindful of only one of these things and neglecting the others will not lead to becoming healthy. Eating, drinking and breathing are all equally important, and should all be equally prioritized. All of these involve a different section in your body and therefore has a different detoxification process. For example: smoking and eating junk food are still toxic for the balance of your energy, even though they both involve their akin bodily function (breathing and eating).

Changing your life style is important when you know the way you are living is not healthy. Your body will not compromise with your habits, thus will react accordingly to what you put in it or how you treat it.

Be patient and be mindful

The body is a very strong and has had to develop a lot to come to where it is now. Most of the damage can be undone if you're patient and give your training the time that it needs. The Taoist secret to detoxification is no magical formula and can be learned through natural understanding by allowing yourself to feel the impact of your actions on your own mind and body. The Taoist way is self experience through the changes on your body under the current circumstances.

Modern times are difficult and a lot of things will try to fool your body. Chemical substances, food/taste enhancers, stabilizers and genetically modified foods are often used today to make people eat food from big brands and companies. Some have additive properties, some are superior in some way to their natural competitor. Do you simply ignore the fact that this food is unhealthy because everyone is eating it?

Don't make it harder for yourself

Most food is making digesting harder for you than needed. The key is to eat "light food". Spices, salt, fat in excess can make the digestion process harder on your organs; the way you cook is important for your stomach. Don't overcook, but rather, keep your vegetables lightly cooked instead - especially in preparing steamed meal. This type of cooking is very popular in Wudang and also very effective in making digestion easier on your stomach.

Take in mind:
  • Drinking a lot of water while eating will reduce the stomach acid and delay your digestion.
  • Avoid combining a lot of sugar with alcohol. Doing so will make your pancreas happy.
  • Don't sit in a chair too often or too long. Stand up and stretch once per hour.
You should consider:
  • Consume more alkaline based foods, especially if you have hick ups or bad breath in the morning. Certain foods are considered acidic, alkaline or neutral: Acidic: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains and alcohol. Neutral: natural fats, starches and sugars. Alkaline: fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables.
  • Make an effort to expose yourself to clean air as often as possible.
  • Daily Qi Gong exercise to increase the blood flow/quality and improve your body's natural ability to detoxify itself.

Putting additional stress on your internal organs will reflect on the outside as well, and if totally ignored can even make you sick.

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The Spirit of Wudang Kung Fu

Wudang SpearWudang Kung Fu is one of China’s most famous systems of Wushu. It possesses a long established history and is well known both in China and abroad. By using traditional self-defense and fighting technique as its foundation, implementing theory derived from the Yi Jing (Book of Changes) and Taoist Neidan technique gradually a distinct system was created that gave shape to a truly unique style of training. The core of Wudang Martial Arts is comprised of the theory of the waxing and waning of yin and yang, the changes of the Bagua (the eight trigrams of the Yi Jing), and the phases and interactions of the Five Elements. Wudang Kung Fu encapsulates the deep and profound philosophical traditions of China including Tai Chi, Yin Yang, Five Element, and Bagua philosophical traditions and theories.It combines this theory with fighting theory and technique, training and cultivation principles, and fighting strategy as methods of searching to understand the natural laws of life.We use wushu as a method of self-cultivation in order to improve our health and our wisdom. This is the great treasure of Wudang Kungfu.

Wudang Kung FuThe entire body of Wudang Kung Fu is comprised of Wuji, Tai Chi, and Liang Yi. Taijiquan, Liangyiquan, Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, Wudang Sword and other internal Wushu systems are representative of Wudang Wushu. Wudang Kung Fu maintains the traditions and unique styles of the different systems.It uses Daoist philosophy and theory to guide, and also combines the study of Daoist medicine, the Yi Jing, and nei dan health cultivation methodology as its overall guiding principles and disciplines.Alongside these it fuses wushu fighting skills and exercises to strengthen the body and places great emphasis on understanding the body’s energy channels and acupuncture points.Wudang Kung Fu greatly stresses the importance of establishing a strong foundation in internal practice.By practicing to synthesize and coordinate the internal qi and the external body there is born a unification of internal and external.Using the qi for explosive power, borrowing power, becoming adept in using the soft to overcome the hard, using stillness to regulate movement, possessing a great unification of soft and hard, nimbly turning, circling, and evading and many other techniques are all characteristic traits of “internal kungfu”.

Relaxed, natural movement, a soft external and strong internal, moving like clouds and flowing water, continuous and unimpeded action and many other techniques are Wudang’s great attributes that distinguish it from other wushu.

Taoist Health Cultivation

In keeping with improvements in modern living conditions, people all over the world are looking to improve their health. As a result there are many different systems of health improvement that are springing up all over. China possesses thousands of years of development in self-defense practices, different artistic forms of self-expression and various methods and systems of health cultivation.The reason that Wudang Wushu has been able to continuously prosper up to today without being drowned out by modern trends is because it maintains a truly unique cultural character; its primary focus is on its oldest and most practically applicable value – health cultivation.

Wudang Taoist Kung FuAncient Taoist practices apply the theories of combining movement and stillness, internal and external, refining and cultivating, and the physical with the mental/emotional/spiritual as the major focuses for cultivation.These practices are used to balance and fortify the body’s original qi, vitality and spirit.The cultivation of jing, qi and shen as well as the physical body are given significant importance.Specifically in the methods of refining and cultivating one follows the method of the meridians or energy channels of the body. Taoist Health Cultivation uses dao yin (Taoist stretching and breathing exercises), qigong, wushu/gongfu methods in order to harmonize and improve the circulation of the meridians, improve the circulation of qi and blood, and harmonize yin and yang within the body – thereby achieving great improvement in overall health.

At the present time there are several Taoist Health Cultivation practices that are suitable for all to learn and practice, including Taiji, standing meditation, Ba Duan Jin (the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qi Gong), Taiyi/Liangyi Quan, Five Animals Qi Gong, Taihe Quan, push hands, etc.These practices are soft and slow-moving, and are helpful in coordinating breathing and intention/thinking, regulating blood and circulation, and relaxing the spirit and mind.They can help in lowering the degree of blood viscosity, reducing cholesterol, and blood stasis; improving blood circulation, and can greatly improve the condition of blood clotting related problems of the internal organs that may be at risk or in poor health and cause for concern.For example – those at risk of heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (blood clotting), early stage cirrhosis of the liver, etc. can greatly benefit by adopting these practices into their daily lives.By opening the meridians and removing sickness and toxic substances from the body one can therein begin to improve the overall yin yang balance of the internal organs. Taoist Health Cultivation methods can greatly improve and strengthen practitioners’ immunity to sickness and disease as well as slow the aging and deterioration of the different organ system of the body.It can be seen that these practices are quite suitable and beneficial for everyone – especially young children, the elderly and infirm and those suffering from waist and neck problems.

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Wudang Store Taoist and Tai Chi Clothing

The difference in the traditional way is the quality of tailoring.

Tai Chi ClothigExperience is important when tailoring clothing for western people. Since there is a lot of difference in proportions and sizes when it comes to western people. The most common problems for beginner tailors with western people are: "long or too short pants or sleeves, wrong collar sizes or shirt lengths." With your measurements Wudang Store tailors real Taoist and Tai Chi clothing that truly fit you! We stand for affordable high quality and custom tailored Taoist and Tai Chi clothing. Every part of clothing has its problem parts. Some areas might last shorter than others. If considered correctly the clothing overall will last very long without breaking. It is important to understand this to get the best quality and the most function from every part of clothing. The traditional way of tailoring is not easy.


Wudang Store mostly uses natural Material with natural coloring.
The fabrics are not heavy chemical colored, this maintains the durability of each fabric. But if you expose our natural fabric to a lot of sunlight the colors might weaken. To our natural fabrics we have: "Hemp, Bamboo, Linen, Cotton, Sheep Wool, Silk" Most of this materials are woven by hand. You can see the difference on each fabric line. The lines are not 100% the same like machine woven. Our natural materials are 100% non allergic, antibacterial and skin friendly. Doesn't smell and will not shrink when washed.

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Wudang Baguazhang

Introduction to Baguazhang

Wudang BaguazhangThe Chinese word Baguazhang, when broken down by character, literally translates to 'Eight Trigram Palm'. The style derives its name and history from the Chinese book of divination, the Yi Jing, or 'The Book of Changes'. Baguazhang derives much of its practice from Taoist ritualistic circle walking and theory. Its practice and application is based on the principles and theories of the Yi Jing, Yin Yang Theory, and Five Element Theory. Baguazhang is one of the internal styles taught at the academy and can be characterized by its main foundation building training known as Bagua circle walking, major use of the palm and fingers for striking, and indirect circular attacks.

Health Benefits of Practicing Baguazhang

The basic practices of walking the Bagua circle and standing in the different still postures of Bagua can be greatly beneficial to one’s overall health.Walking the Bagua circle can help with strengthening the legs as well as promoting better joint mobility, flexibility and circulation in the lower body and establishing a greater sense of balance in the lower body. Because Bagua walking relies on constant movement for correct practice, this also engages the lungs for deeper respiration which can be greatly beneficial for strengthening the lungs as well as aerobic exercise for those looking to lose weight.Wudang Baguazhang
As with all internal Kung Fu practices, correct posture is important in Bagua practice.The Bagua circle walking posture is one that can greatly improve upper body flexibility and fluidity, loosen tense muscles and tendons, strengthen lower back and abdominal muscles and help to loosen up tension that is built up in the waist, back and shoulders. As one becomes more used to the straightened posture, muscles and tendons around the spine are allowed to relax while the spine itself becomes the major support for the full body posture.Improved spine posture helps to promote softer and more elastic tendons and muscles in the neck, shoulders, back, waist, and hips.By strengthening the waist, the health of the kidneys is also greatly improved.
Bagua circle walking also promotes improvement in all circulatory systems of the body and can bring about a greater bodily awareness and improved focus.Through continued development in all of the Baguazhang practices, a practitioner will be able to develop internal feeling and experience a greatly fluidity in movement.

The Practice

BaguazhangAs circle walking is the major foundation building component of Baguazhang training, students who train in Baguazhang must practice Bagua walking continuously. Once a student becomes comfortable with circle walking, they can then move on to learn the different palm changes that comprise the Bagua form. Baguazhang contains a variety of different techniques in application, utilizing the palm, fingers, elbows, quick, evasive footwork, kicks, joint locking, take downs, etc.An accomplished practitioner of Baguazhang can adapt their body to many different movements in striking postures and methods of attack as their body and intention has been trained to be stronger, adaptable, quick, sensitive, and fluid with improved coordination; developing a fluidity of motion that allows for adaptability much like water in a creak swimming around rocks. Fighting application of Baguazhang has been described as flying like a dragon, guarding like an ape, crouching like a tiger, and circling like an eagle. There also is a giant Saber called Bagua Dao which is used for exercising the Baguazhang movements.
 
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