Wudang Blog / Health Cultivation
By the Taoist origin of Wudang Kungfu the focus is particularly high on life support exercises.
According to the principles of the bagua (TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine) Wudang Taoists tried to keep away from extreme opposites by compensation. They learned to understand to live a balanced and healthy life. Immortality was not reached by this, but the mental and physical balance was also the meaning of life, the way of the Tao clearer to understand. Since everyone is unique and has its own connection to the Tao, one’s self is important as a model. There is no universal formula or policy, to adapt the Taoists. While there are forms that have the same sequences, but the implementation, intuition and adaptation is individual.
Thus, the application of the Taoist healing arts is only effective if the intuition and identification fits with the Self. Everything before is therapeutic exercise and has nothing to do with the intrinsic values of Wudang Kungfu. Self-knowledge is the way to Wudang Kungfu and the way to your own development. It may be seen from the surface as a bit selfish, but real changes always take place in yourself. Development is always based on yourself and at best inspire the others.
Till there can be spoken about healing, we must understand and analyze ourselves. Each Taoist is his own doctor, we observe our emotional, mental and physical state. This knowledge cannot be learned quickly but requires its own experience and self-reflection. There is no quick way or a universal formula to memorize, also it is advised to avoid persons who assert exactly that. The right approach and exercises to real Taoist healing practice you learn with Michael Weichhardt, from this knowledge you can then find your own way. The healing aspect of Wudang Kungfu is not very beginner-friendly and requires some basic knowledge, both mentally and physically.
Wudang Kungfu acts as preventive cure against the following:
Stress, anxiety, aggression, agitation, depression, negative self-awareness and -befinden.
Joint and muscle pain, muscle cramps, weak bones, spinal complaints, back and shoulder tension.
Cardiac arrhythmia, renal malfunction, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, weakness, dizziness, circulatory problems and poor blood pressure.
If you already have serious health problems, please seek medical attention from a proper doctor. Wudang Kungfu is like TCM, best as a preventative cure.
Connecting with the Tao
Stillness is the root of the Tao. Meditation is the key practice for internal transformation. In stillness we allow the regeneration of the Jing, Qi and Shen – essence, energy and spirit. In meditation we bring the mind into single threaded thought and allow the natural process of internal cultivation to progress. In seated meditation we cage the monkey and tie up the wild horses, bringing both body and mind into the clear and quiet space which supports the regeneration of the Three Treasures of the Body, allowing healing, rejuvenation, transformation so that we can move through the stages from ordinary mortal to extraordinary human, immortal on earth and, eventually, immortal in heaven.
Sit, either in a chair or better, cross legged with the hips comfortably supported. The spine should be straight and unsupported. Place the hands on the knees with the thumbs folded in the palms and the fingers wrapped around the thumbs. Place the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth. Lower your eyelids, women may close the eyes, men keep a slip of light showing through, and focus the eyes towards the tip of the nose. Turn the internal gaze gently to the Dan Tian in the center of the belly. As you inhale gently contract the belly, as you exhale, allow the belly to gently expand. See and not see. Withdraw the senses from the external world and simply be an observer, a companion to the Dantian.
From stillness comes motion. With time a sensation will arise in the Dantian as the Qi begins to move. Remain the observer, do not engage the mind, the awareness, or the emotions and allow the Qi to move naturally.
With stillness internal transformations begin to manifest. The three treasures of the Tao: Jing, Qi and Shen are cultivated. In the first stage Jing is built up until it is mature and Jing transmutes to Qi, then, when the Qi is mature, it transmutes to Shen, then Shen returns to the Void and the Void to the Tao. With each stage of internal transmutation, external changes manifest as well as the body first heals itself, rejuvenates and finally becomes immortal.
It is required that we have a physical body to do internal cultivation and we must both create a “supersonic jet” or superior physical body, as well as to cultivate the very best pilot in order to achieve immortality. Because of the variations in both physiology and energetic structures between men and women there are differences in their internal alchemy practices. For example, where men’s initial focus is in the lower Dantian, women focus on the middle Dantian.
Body is a Yin-yang form, which we receive from parents and is called "inborn" .
After birth, we must eat and drink to absorb nutrients, then transport this nutrients to each organ to burn, consume, and extract the essence. After that, our body will gather the essence together through a meridian system, which is the original vital essence and is postnatal. This vital essence after being processed by the kidneys will transform into something ancient Taoists called "Jing." "Jing" can make marrow, which makes blood, which in turn supports the entire body, i.e. the internal organs of the body (heart, spleen, liver, lungs and kidneys), the four limbs, muscle and bones. "Jing" can provide energy to the body and convert to "Qi".
"Qi" can resist cold, heal bruises, and improve blood circulation. "Qi" is the life force of all humans; if we had no "Qi", then our organs would simply stop working, and life would cease to exist. "Qi" can provide life force to body and convert to "Shen." "Shen" can create inspiration and wisdom; it is the chief director of our body. Without "Shen's" direction, one cannot survive, live, and develop. "Shen" can direct every part of one's body. Human bodies are made up of the internal organs, the four limbs, muscles and bones, however, only the "Jing", "Qi" and "Shen" together can turn on each function and make the body operate smoothly.
"Yang Sheng"(nourishing life) is made up of the words "Yang" and "Sheng."
"Yang" means "look after" and "save power", in other words, it means to protect our bodies, to provide the support to nourish our essence, vital energy, and spirit, to use these resources reasonably and to let essence, energy and spirit remain intact for a long time.
"Sheng" means "cultivation" and "production." It is a way to transmute Jing to Qi, Qi to Shen and transform Shen to Void, return void to the Tao. What is more, it is also a way to improve one's Jing Qi and Shen, conserve life energy, and develop hidden potential, and perfect postnatal shortcomings to return to pre-heaven. Sheng will make sure the energy can be used continuously and will be not completely depleted before its time. Nourishing life is about understanding nature, complying with nature, being in harmony with nature, and making use of your natural condition to become intelligent, understanding, healthy, and long-living. People, who has life, body, energy and intelligent, has the creativity and influence. So that he can make contribution to others through that to beautify his life and make it significant.
Health and longevity have a deep connection with the pre-heaven body condition, living environment, and post heaven activities. This being so, we must know how to protect our bodies, conserve our energy, and develop potential, that is to say, we must know how to stay in good health.
Taoism, as well as being a religion, also refers to natural science, human anatomy, and biology, or "Yin-yang and five elements science". The philosophy of Taoism revolves around natural harmony and natural science, the ultimate goal being healthy, happiness, and longevity. The culture and methods for nourishing life date back as far as several thousands years ago, as well as countless longevity people. Before learning these methods, however, we must first understand the relationship between life, body, and nature.
Wudang internal martial arts most notably Taichi Quan, Xingyi Quan, Baji Quan and Baguazhang – utilizes Qigong training as its foundation so that efficient whole-body movement may be employed in a martial arts context. Within these arts the self-cultivation and refinement of the practitioner is emphasized rather than the sport competition that is often found in other types of martial practice within this country. Internal boxing is a traditional martial art and thereby stresses the development of proper respect for one’s lineage, teacher, community and self. As such, it is a powerful tool to empower the practitioner by enhancing feelings of self worth and heightening one’s self awareness. The internal martial arts, furthermore, yield many positive psychological and physical health benefits because they are essentially an extension of Qigong training. Finally, internal martial arts places the practitioner within a healthy and supportive community that is able to uphold the individual for life and is very literally considered to be one’s extended family
Qigong the Foundation of Internal Martial Arts
In Chinese philosophy and medicine there exists the concept of "chi" (Qi), a vital force that animates the body. One of the avowed aims of Qigong is to foster the circulation of this "chi" within the body, the belief being that by doing so the health and vitality of the person are enhanced. This "chi" circulates in patterns that are close related to the nervous and vascular system and thus the notion is closely connected with that of the practice of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.
Another aim of Qigong is to foster a calm and tranquil mind, focused on the precise execution of these exercises. Learning to do them correctly provides a practical avenue for learning about such things as balance, alignment, fine scale motor control, rhythm of movement, the genesis of movement from the body's vital centre, and so on. Many practitioners notice benefits in terms of correcting poor postural, alignment or movement patterns which can contribute to tension or injury. Furthermore the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing in and of itself.
Extending the lifespan to the eternal has been human beings' ideal and pursuit from the time when man had the self-consciousness. This fine ideal and desire is revealed and reflected in religious conceptions, literature and arts from every nationality all over the world.
China, the cradle of Taoism, is a nation with brilliant civilization and long history. Chinese nation, known for its emphasis on life, has longed for the long lifespan and immortality. Many people began to sedulously probe the secret for eternal life from the time of ancient Qin Dynasty. For thousands of years, the ancestors of Chinese people have created and invented various ways with different efficacy to extend the lifespan. The colorful regimen culture reveals the advanced sciences and outstanding intelligence of Chinese nation. The precious heredity of history and culture is worth exploring and utilizing by us.
Taoism is the native traditional religion of China, whose main features is pursuing long lifespan and practicing austerity. Taoism is also a kind of religion that loves life and abhors death. Taoism concerns most about the protecting and prolonging the life as well as longing for the eternal life.
During the founding period of Taoism, Book on Peace and Tranquility and other ancient books showed a tendency to pursue eternal life. The first volume of Taoist Deposits also reveals this kind of meaning. Taoism considers that human being is the noblest creature of all the creatures, and human being regards the life as the most precious. So owing to this concept, Taoism advocates that human being should spare no efforts to cherish the life and promise longevity. Taoism not only carries forward the good tradition of this culture but also puts it into his own creed and practice.
Taoism, consisting of two big parts, never-die belief and regimen ways, assuring "my life is up to me instead of God", has always been pursuing the ways leading to the eternal life. Just with the support of this positive attitude, numerous Taoists have probed the means severely for two thousand years. There are many regimen means in Taoism such as holding the breath, inhalation and exhalation, directing the obstructed place, massage, sex and so on, most of which do effect if they are done in proper way. Professionals and scholars in the fields of medicine and regimen home and abroad have acknowledged all of these regimens. So, if there was neither the firm belief of "my life is up to me instead of God", nor Taoist persevering practice, the heredity of Chinese culture could not have left such a special regimen idea and means. So Taoist regimen is not only occupying an important position in Chinese regimen, but also a treasure house to be exploited.
The real Taoists in the ancient times could control the heaven of the earth, understand the Yin and Yang and breathe the vigor of them, defend the Gods independently and always have muscle. So, they could live forever without end, this is why they could do that.
There are the best men in middle Ages, who knew all the material, were harmonious with Yin and Yang and followed the four times (i.e. following and adjusting the four times, nature regiment), above the common people, concentrated on all their mind, traveled between the sky and the earth, listened and saw around him and in the distance, which were good for health and longevity. (i.e. living in the seclusion to practise the three precious things of life- refinement, spirit and mind, so , practicing spirit and then refinement and spirit are both enough, practicing spirit to change into the mind and then spirit is enough and the mind is refreshed,. The good mind can bring about miraculous functions, until the longevity of will and live-forever), which should be owned to the real Taoists.
Besides, there is a sacred person who gets along very well with the nature and abides all the nature laws. He can moderate his hobby and desire. He has no vicious mind in Universe; meanwhile he never does things out of the world and never follows the others blindly. Outside he is not tired; inside he has no bothering things. Often he regards happiness as his task and self-satisfaction as his award. Then his body strength and strong mind never leave him, so he can live a long life.
Human being is called the child of the combination of the heaven and the earth, the production of Yin and Yang's change. He will die when his mind and spirit are used up. And spirit comes from mind, and idea comes from spirit. so, idea, mind and spirit are the arbiters of one's birth and death, success and failure. They are called the three precious things of life.
From the ancient to present, the people who understand the mystery and know the secret of nature in the world are innumerable. However, all nature laws come into one that it is not good to pay more attention to practice refinement. The nature regimen is one of the ancient regimen. And it follows the nature change law of four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and keeps on the practice of raw food as tonic, taking exercises to keep healthy, rest for refreshment and husbanding one's energy and so on. It complies with the regimen of fostering the three precious things, namely, life- refinement, spirit and mind. It is the gem of Taoist culture, also the ladder of the people who want to join the Taoism.
The three months in spring is time to renew. Everything in nature is full of energy. The energy in human body is also sprouting. So in Spring, one should put emphasis on"sprouting energy": regulate the life style, that is, go to bed when it is getting dark and get up early in the morning, have a walk in dawn and make every part of the body relaxed, in order to make oneself feel pleasant and in good spirits. One should be harmony with his surrounding and treat others honestly. This is what one should do in spring.
In summer, it is the time that everything is in blossom and flourishing, so the energy of human body becomes quite vigorous. One should conserve his growing energy. Go to bed when it gets dark and get up early in the morning; Try to keep a quiet mind and do not get cross easily; treat outside world with a heart full of love. In this way, "growing energy" can be considered.
The three months of autumn is time for harvest. It boasts good weather and pleasant mood. Everything is inclined to harvest, so it is the same with human energy. We should pay attention to maintaining harvesting energy, rest and getting up early . We had better regulate our living clock as the same as cocks, bear in mind to keep quiet and take in the energy; make sure that long energy is far from invasion.
In winter, it is time to hide. The weather gets colder and colder, and everything hides from being seen, so human energy should be hidden inward. So we should develop "hiding energy". Do not move in excess in case that Yang spirits are disturbed; sleep and get up early, pay attention to keep warm but do not sweat, otherwise it is easy to catch cold; keep a quiet mood and not to get wicked intentions ; be in a conscious state of satisfaction and happy.
In a word, "to conserve according to seasons" is an important way of cherishing and maintaining energy. Its aim is to make human body adapted to changes of four seasons. For example, on the day of the winter solstice, the sun is quite new. So one should make a bed against the northern wall of his bedroom in order to get in the energy of the sun. From the first day of the eighth month in lunar calendar, Yin gets stronger and one should warm his feet using mild fire in proper time and pay attention to keep the upper part of the body warm in case of catching cold. In this way, it can keep Yang behind and thin in the upper part of body so that it helps develop Yang and hide Yin. In cold winter, Yang is hidden inward, so one should not sweat in case that Yang leak out and do harm to health. The key point of maintaining energy is to protect Yang. If Yang is lost, longevity will be shorten and nothing can make up for it.
From above, we can see that: Yin and Yang of four seasons is the root of the myriad creatures in the world. Therefore, sacred people try to maintain Yang in spring and summer to comply with the regularity. Myriad creatures start from and end up with its growth. If the regularity is disobeyed, its root is destroyed and it will die. So, Yin Yang of the four seasons is the start and end of myriad creatures, the base of the life and death. If this is disobeyed, all disasters will come. While if it is obeyed, nothing can attack it, this is the very reason.
Thus sacred people cure the disease before they affect them the same as that they rule the society before it comes into disorder. The reason is that when one is already sick, then he gets treatment as the society is already in chaos, then get cured, they are just like to dig well to find water after one gets thirsty, and make the treatment only in great need, but all of them are too late. All the people should be cautious about this.
Tai Chi is an internal training method that was created by the great Daoist priest and immortal, Zhang San Feng at Wudang Mountain. Generally when people discuss “Tai Chi” they are referring to Tai Chi Quan, or the forms practice involved in Tai Chi. However, in Wudang, Tai Chi Quan is considered a part of the greater 'Tai Chi System'. The Tai Chi System is composed of 3 parts: Wuji, Tai Chi, and Tai Yi. Each of these three parts contains their own practices, purposes, and methods of training. Although the Tai Chi System is separated into three parts, they are all integrated and complementary to the others.
Wuji is another name for ‘nei dan’ (Taoist meditation practice). The practice of Wuji (loosely translated as 'ultimate emptiness') is for the cultivation of our three vitalities: Jing (Essence), Qi (Energy), and Shen (spirit). We practice Wuji in order to promote the health of these three vitalities; Wuji is also understood as the road to immortality. In order to become stronger and more robust in our health and our lives, we must strengthen and practice our Jing, Qi, and Shen. For more information about Wuji, please visit the Meditation section of the website.
Tai Chi is the balancing interaction of yin and yang. Under the Tai Chi System, Tai Chi Quan is the form that we use to cultivate ourselves and learn to develop and understand feeling in our bodies and how to integrate that into movement. In Taijiquan practice we learn to conceal hardness within the softness of movement and learn to use our breathing through the dantian, and our intention and internal awareness to guide our movement. Contrary to the widespread misconception that Taijiquan is simply a callisthenic exercise for the elderly, it is actually a deep internal practice that requires great dedication and a strong determination.
Tai Yi is the separation of yin and yang. Under the Tai Chi System, Tai Yi Quan is for the use of the energy that we have cultivated through our practice. Whereas in Taijiquan we combine the soft and hard, in Liangyiquan practice, we separate the soft and hard. The power of Tai Yi Quan is explosive, resembling a bomb detonating; its practice is more for use in practical fighting application. While in Tai Chi Quan, all movement is the same speed, with the same balance in softness and hardness at once, Tai Yi Quan movement is slow and soft, followed by fast explosive movement, called fali.
The practice of Tai Yi Quan includes hand, eye, body, steps and explosive internal power. Its characteristics are combination of slow and fast, soft and hard, lightening reflects, and thundering movements. In combat application, it equips one with ways of starting late but reaching first. It is a must for Tai Chi practitioners. In Taoism, it is said that “Tai Chi is formed when combining Yin and Yang; the Two Extremes are formed when separating Yin and Yang.” Infinity is for training in mind, Tai Chi in the flow of internal energy through control of mind, and Tai Yi Quan in using the mind and internal energy for external power. As Tai Yi Quan combines fast and slow, soft and hard, and Yin and Yang, it is called the Two Extremes.
The practice of all of the elements that comprise the Tai Chi System can help us to more deeply understand our bodies and minds and learn the methods to make them cleaner, clearer, quieter, and healthier. Tai Chi training teaches us not only to train our muscles, tendons, and bones, but also to train our intention, internal feeling, awareness, and power.
Qigong is a practice that incorporates breathing techniques and specific movements and postures to help adjust balance in a practitioner’s body and mind, heighten feeling, internal awareness, and bodily communication, and to promote an overall more balanced and healthy existence. As a result of aligning the consciousness and the body in more harmonious communication with each other we find the body healthier, with a stronger immunity to protect against invasive forces like sickness and disease. As well as specific practices for attaining longevity and making the body and mind overall stronger, more robust, and proficient. Having more internal awareness and stronger bodily communication can also help practitioners to find their individual strengths and weaknesses, develop life goals, and learn to train their bodies and minds together.
Wudang qigong has two systems of qi gong practice: hard qi gong and internal, or soft, qigong. Hard qi gong can also be called ‘tong zi gong (桶子功),’ or ‘bucket’ qi gong. There are three levels of training in the practice of hard qigong; beginning with basic level training and moving to the more advanced stages.
The practices of qi gong involve specific breathing technique, as well as the practice of swallowing air in order to cleanse the internal organs and digestive tract, gathering, distributing, and circulating qi throughout the body, storing qi, compacting qi, using qi for explosive power and protection, and strengthening the internal organs. Hard qi gong practice trains the tendons, bones and skin, while internal qi gong practice focuses on the cultivation of ‘essence’, qi, and ‘spirit’.
Combining these practices together with the conditioning of the skin, muscles, and tendons through repeated hitting with various technique and instruments and various movements can increase the strength of the external body and internal organs. The practice of qigong is meant to awaken and strengthen the vast potential each individual has; both internally and externally. It can also teach a practitioner how to be in better communication with their body and thus have better internal coordination as it has been conditioned to higher levels of health and power. Once a practitioner of hard qi gong has trained the higher levels of training they can then break objects over their body and be struck with kicks, punches, etc. without sustaining injury.
Internal qigong practice can also be called ‘soft’ qigong. Buddhist practice focuses on the cultivation of the mind or spirit with little attention paid to the body. Taoist qi gong’s main focus is on the body and health preservation. Both are considered internal/soft qigong. In internal qi gong the focus is placed on deep breathing without allowing the thoughts to wander too far. The practice of soft qigong does not require the use of large amounts of physical energy. This type of training can help to open the lungs and strengthen respiration, strengthen the organs, and also open the energy channels and meridians of the body. We practice both hard qi gong and soft qigong to connect the body as a composite whole.
The benefits of internal qi gong practice are vast. Internal qigong practice is beneficial for all people and can help with physical and emotional ailments that a practitioner may be suffering from. The main practice of internal qi gong is the practice of taking in healthy fresh qi and expelling the waste, toxins, and unhealthy qi that have accumulated in our bodies over time. Alongside this practice is the practice of collecting qi and storing it in the dantian to strengthen the body and revitalize the energy, and the spirit. After extensive practice and enough qi has been cultivated in the dantian of a practitioner they can then learn to use it to strengthen the five organs and also to use the mind an intention to circulate qi to open the body’s energy channels and meridians. The result being that a practitioner’s body and mind then gradually returns to the calm, soft, supple state of a child.
The practice of qigong is a practice that people of all body types, ages, and goals can partake in. The practice of qigong can help strengthen a practitioner's external and internal bodies, vital energies, spirit. By awakening the potential of our bodies, strengthening their immunity and inter-communication, and understanding them more we can eventually have success in having a clean and calm body and mind.
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.
Introduction to Xingyi Quan
Xingyi Quan is one of the three most famous styles of internal wushu.It is believed to have been developed by Song Dynasty wushu hero and general, Yue Fei and gained wide spread popularity during the Qing Dynasty. Xingyi Quan uses Five Element Theory in its application and relies on the Six Harmonies in its practice and cultivation.The Six Harmonies can be broken down into the Three External Harmonies and the Three Internal Harmonies.
Three External Harmonies：
1.The arms and legs in synchronicity and harmony.
2.The elbows and knees in synchronicity and harmony.
3.The shoulders and hips in synchronicity and harmony.
Three Internal Harmonies：
1.The heart/mind acts in harmony with the will/intention.
2.The will/intention acts in harmony with the internal energy.
3.The internal energy acts in harmony with the power.
In Xingyi Quan great emphasis is placed on the intention leading the power through the body – the body then must work as one cohesive unit to allow for full expression of the explosive power.The intention, internal power, and external movement must coordinate and be synchronized – requiring total focus.
Health Benefits of Xingyi Quan
As in all systems of wushu practice, the fundamentals are most important.And in Xingyi Quan having correct posture is paramount. In Xingyi Quan one starts by first learning the correct posture which is maintained throughout all different aspects of the practice; as can be gleaned from the Three External Harmonies.When practicing Xingyi Quan one must keep the neck and back straight while at the same time being sure not to tense the muscles and tendons; the hips must be relaxed and dropped while the tailbone is tucked in so that the entire spine is straight – from the base of the skull, to the tip of the tailbone.This practice allows for a natural realigning of the spine as the muscles and tendons in the back begin to relax.For this reason it also promotes a release of tension that may be built up in the neck, shoulders, hips, and waist.
The practice of Xingyi Quan is also helpful in building up the strength of the leg muscles, particularly the thigh muscles.It is also helpful in strengthening the tendons and ligaments of the knees and ankles. As Xingyi Quan focuses on the synchronization of the intention and body, and requires focus, one can certainly improve their focus as well as mental organization.In the standing posture and moving practices deep dantian breathing is important to maintain which is helpful in lowering stress and bringing clarity of mind.
When beginning to learn Xingyi Quan one must first learn the correct posture and alignment – focusing first on the Three External Harmonies and then gradually moving into the Three Internal Harmonies.When first beginning, the correct posture is first taught.After the posture is correct and familiar and firm foundation in the leg-work is then learned. One must build up the muscle and tendon strength in the legs and be able to perform large, low stepping that is also quick. Once a practitioner is familiar with these fundamentals, they can then go on to learn the next step which is the five basic fists that comprise the XIngyi System.As Xingyi Quan uses Five Element Theory in its application and practice Eech of the different fists corresponds to one of the five elements (water, wood, fire, metal, and earth).Each of these different fists has its individual practice.Once one is familiar with the five different fists, they can thenmove on to learning the Five Elements Linking Form and later to the 12 Animals of Xingyi Quan.
Master Chen Shiyu is the Headmaster of the Wudang Traditional Martial Arts School and it's main instructor. He was born in Central China's Hubei Province and now is the 15th disciple of Wudang Taoist Kungfu. Master Chen Shiyu showed great interest in Wudang Kung Fu. In 1993, he left his hometown and came to Mt Wudang. He learned martial arts from different teachers for some time and then he was honored to have Grand Master Zhong Yunlong as his teacher. The Daoist Master Zhong is the 14th successor of Wudang Wushu of Sanfeng branch. He saw that Shiyu was very hardworking and had a honest and simple mind, so he chose him as one of the closest disciples in 1996. Since then, with the strenuous cultivation from Master Zhong, Chen Shiyu has attained Internal Wudang Kung Fu which was in the past not easily spread out. All his Gongfu styles include Wudang Tai Chi, Eight Immortal, Taiyi, Bagua, Xuangong, and Xingyi and many methods of Taoist health-preserving.
- Master Chen Shiyu became martial arts instructor in 1998 and that year he was also entered the famous Wudang Taoist Kungfu Troupe.
- Master Chen Shiyu won the championship in the Wudangshan Wushu competition in March, 2000. In the same year he went to Wuhan and participated in the Yellow Crane Tower Wushu Performance. He has participated in performances in some foreign countries and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Together with his teacher Zhong Yunlong, he has offered Wudang kungfu show for many principle leaders from China's central government. In 1999, the late Chinese general secretary Jiang Zemin paid a visit to Mt. Wudang. After watching Wudang Wushu show, he gladly wrote: "Wudang Quan is wonderful and everyone can practise it!"
- I In May,2005, Master Chen Shiyu took the troupe to Xinghai Concert in South China's Guangzhou city for Wushu show in the 5th session of Taoist concert. Shortly after, he again took the troupe, together with the mainland Taoism Association, to Taiwan for an Across-Taiwan-Strait Taoism concert.
- In September 2006, Master Chen Shiyu attained the championship of the nationwide Wudangshan-Wushu-Tournament in Wudang Tai Chi (Taijiquan).
- In January 2007, he was invited to Pengyingxianguan in Hong Kong for lecturing of Daoist knowledge and demonstration of Sanfeng Taijiquan.
- In September 2008, he participated in the Wudang area tryouts for the 3rd World Traditional Martial Arts Championships, and attained the first race in both Taijiquan and staff forms.
- In August 2010, he was invited for the documentary of Wudang Martial arts introduction that shot by Chinese Nationwide Central Television.
- In December 2010, he was given a Chinese national honor allowance for Martial Arts heritage reason.
- In June 2012, he was invited to Norway, to teach Taichi.
- In October 2012, he won the champion in the Fourth World Taichi & Health Competition.
- In November 2012, he won a Traditional Boxing Champion and an very important Sword Champion in the Fifth World Traditional Martial Arts Championship Competition.
Master Chen Shiyu vows to bring Wudang Kung Fu to high development, let more people understand it and wishes every lover of Wudang Kung Fu to be healthy in body and heart; succeed the Tradition and bring it to the world.
If you would like to explore Wudang Taoist Kung Fu, you are invited to come to Huilong Temple to study with Master Chen Shiyu! http://www.wudangmartialarts.com/