Wudang 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.
The 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.
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 (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.