Learn Tai Chi in its HOME in China!
The Wang Zhi Ping Tai Chi School offers a personalised instruction from insightful and patient teacher with years of teaching experience of people from different countries and continents in a quiet, peaceful and beautiful environment that provides enough personal space to relax and free your mind.
With patience one can achieve anything. I have studied Tai Chi here for two months and I learnt quicker than I could ever imagine. When I started I thought I would learn maybe two forms in the time but have at least doubled that. Credit where credits due, Wang Zhi Ping is a very good teacher and has helped me along my path. When I first arrived in Yangshuo I had only planned on staying only for a few days and then return to Wudang Shan to continue learning Kung Fu, I found a good Tai Chi School, a very good teacher and so I have stayed longer and probably will return in the Autumn. On talking to people in Yangshuo you hear of many similar stories, it is very easy here. Wang Zhi Ping teaches in a very patient manner and with each person at their own speed depending on their skill and what they want to learn. He teaches both Yang and Chen Styles understanding not only the movements but why these movements exist in martial context. I have enjoyed my time, I hope you enjoy yours.
Dear Master Wang, thank you for really good time. I have enjoyed myself a lot and learnt a great deal. You have introduced me to the world of Tai Chi and because of you I now want to continue learning and practicing wherever I am. I look forward to seeing you again in the Autumn.
Today was my last day of Tai Chi, And I wish I could carry on. But due to travelling commitments I cannot. I have been in Yangshuo for 6 weeks and enjoyed every minute of it, the scenery is amazing and the people are really friendly. It is the perfect place to study Tai Chi. The West Street TaiChi Health Centre is set away from all the noise at the base of a mountain, which turns the training into a relaxing and calming experience. Also due to the exceedingly high knowledge and experience of Master Wang Zhi Ping the training becomes a very pleasurable experience. Master Wang Zhi Ping's Schedule is very flexible and he can accommodate to everybody's need, I am so glad I found Wang Zhi Ping School, I have learnt so much in such short space if time, I feel this is a credit to the teaching skills of Master Wang Zhi Ping, I will definitely be coming back in the future.
Clarke Stevens, England
Since I came to Yangshuo 6 weeks ago, the West Street Tai Chi School has become my home away from home. The location of the school is beautiful. It's only a 10 minute walk from West Street, but it might as well be a different world. The school is quiet, peaceful, surrounded by greenery and pamelo fruit trees. The instruction at the school is tough but excellent. The teacher has high expectations of his students which only makes you want to rise to meet them. He is knowledgable of all forms of Tai Chi, and I've seen a huge improvement in my own practice since I began studying here. Plus the amount and quality of instruction for the price is proabably one of the best in China. Studying Tai Chi in China and under Wang Zhi Ping has been a fantastic experience. Best of luck!
Liz Jones, USA
To Master Wang Zhi Ping and all - I have had the most fantastic experience staying here in Yangshuo and training at the School. Many thanks for helping me improve my Tai Chi practice with excellent demonstrations, hard work, much patience and good humour. Xie xie! I wish you and the school every good wish for the future.
Graham Patterson, England
Master Wang Zhi Ping, thank you so much for your expert training in Gi Gong and Tai Chi. I'm sure I have learnt lessons this week that will last for a lifetime.
Owen Pascoe, Australia
We have returned to our homes in Holland now and I would like to thank you again for the wonderfull time we spent at your school. We feel we have learned so many things about taiji quan in such a short time! I really hope I can come next year again for a longer period.
Anneke van Alteren, Holland
Dear Master Wang, I returned from my trip last week as I also visited Hong Kong & Japan. Thank you for your time and effort during my stay. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to repeat it sooner rather than later. I feel my focus and intent have improved but of course there is always room for improvement! Best wishes!
The past five weeks have been one of the best experiences of my life and one that I will carry with me forever. I only wish that I could stay longer, but I must return to my family. I came to Yangshuo specifically to study with Master Wnag Zhi Ping. Previously I had studied Tai Chi in Thailand for a couple of years. My experience here at the West Street Tai Chi Health Centre far surpassed in quality my previous Tai chi Training. Master Wang Zhi Ping is a superb teacher - he is calm, patient abd incredibly skillful. I cannot rave enough about him. In addition, the school is gorgeous, relaxing and beautifully situated - near the centre of town, but world apart. The school is beautiful, Master Wang Zhi Ping is a wonderful teacher and his assistant was very helpful and friendly. Hopefully I will return in the spring next year with my husband to study for another 2 months. Many, many thanks to Master Wang Zhi Ping for all the time and effort he spent with me.
Julie Hastings, Thailand
I have enjoyed my 2 weeks study on Yang 24. My only regret is that I have not longer to study the full 42, but I hope to return to complete the full 42 Yang. To Wang Zhi ping and staff I offer my warmest thanks and I hope to see you again to continue my studies.
Don Godfrey, Western Australia
Master Wang Zhi Ping was a great teacher. Learning was fun and relaxing. We spent one week together, but I wish we could have spent more time learning. He taught me the Yang style Tai Chi 24 form. I would highly recommend taking classes at master's Wang Zhi ping Tai Chi School to anyone, I had little experience with Tai Chi and He has made me a big fan of it. Thanks again to him and his staff.
Gregory Kent, USA
Learning Tai Chi from Master Wang Zhi Ping was the best decision ever. He is a brilliant teacher: insightful, patient and precise. I enjoyed every class. I knew basic 16 form Tai Chi, and after one week here, I now have a solid grasp of the Yang 24 form! Much gratitude and praise to Master Wang Zhi Ping for the life long gift of Tai Chi.
Kerry P. Behrens, USA
I was looking for an activity that could bring me well-being and satisfaction. After practising Tai Chi in a local group in Latvia for a year, I've decided to take my Tai Chi to a new level and after a long search and many e-mails between different schools in China I made my decision to travel to Yangshuo to The Wang Zhi Ping Tai Chi Centre. And I wasn't disappointed. The welcome I got in the school exceeded my expectations. Amazing landscape around Yangshuo complemented the experience. That culture was corresponding to my needs. The energy, the calm and the inner peacefulness that I felt in that class had convinced me to follow Master Wang Zhi Ping, so I've visited Yangshuo 3 times for the past three years, in total spending 5 months here. Tai Chi training has helped me a lot. Now, I have more flexibility, less pain and I am more well-balanced energetically, physically and mentally.
Nina Kasapova, Latvia
I never attended any Tai Chi classes before. I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to travel to China for three weeks and I made a decision to take lessons in The Wang Zhi Ping Tai Chi Centre for two weeks in Yangshuo. Now I feel sorry that I couldn't stay longer a study more, but even though I had a life changing experience. Master Wang Zhi Ping is a great and very attentive teacher. His technique is amazing to watch and makes me want to perfect my newly learnt Yang 24 form, which I am practising everyday at home with a great pleasure. I came back home very satisfied and became much calmer and relaxed. I would like to study more and hoping to go back to Yangshuo next year for longer. I would highly recommend The Wang Zhi Ping Health Centre.
Thank you so much to the Master and the staff that was very helpful and kind and made my time in China so special!!!
Polina Clarke, Ireland
Tai Chi classes in The Wang Zhi Ping Tai Chi Centre taught me to be closer to myself. The training of Tai Chi movements has permitted me to develop patience, perseverance, also equilibrium and concentration. In Master Wang Zhi Ping's teaching, I have discovered that there is a lot of depth and details to integrate into the movements.
Victoria Moore, Wales
The Wang Zhi Ping Taiji Quan Health Centre was opened in March 2004 and is the first, and largest, facility in Yangshuo, China. The School site is more than 5000 sq.m of beautiful landscaped training grounds, with its tall bamboo sprays, singing birds, hovering old trees, fruit orchards, and large grassy areas.
The School includes a large main practise area with a Yin-Yang symbol in the centre and a very extensive covered practise area for all-weather training. As such, the staff is very comfortable and experienced with teaching and assisting students of all levels. Learning Tai Chi outside in a beautiful place is a great joy and an essential part of the learning experience as the natural energy and good air helps us to rediscover the natural self within us.
The Health Centre is located in one of the most beautiful Areas of Yangshuo town. It is just adjacent to Yangshuo Park and nestled between picturesque mountains and a mystical lotus lake, allowing for complete privacy and seclusion while still being a short walking distance to Yangshuo centre. The morning walk to the school is a daily pleasure.
To learn Tai Chi you will need patience, motivation, time, discipline and dedication to work hard towards your goals. You also need a level of physical health which allows Tai Chi to be practised without personal danger, but remember that all things are possible with time and effort.
As a new student what you learn will depend on your own background and starting point. You may learn Yang Style for the entire period of you stay or a combination of Yang, Chen and Qigong. Master Wang Zhi Ping will advise you where best to start.
The Wang Zhi Ping Taiji Quan Health Centre aims to promote one of the greatest treasures of Chinese culture: the Tai Chi Martial Art.
Wang Zhi Ping’s Tai Chi has a quality to it which emphasizes natural movement with the Qi and ‘feeling’. If you remain in a mainly conceptual state while performing the Tai Chi.
His style of practice translates into his teaching philosophy which is a combination of guided training on a personal level with lots of practice work by the student and what he call ‘natural movement and development’.
He will use the words ‘naturally’ and ‘fang sung’ – relax, more than any other and wants each student to find their own natural movement. This is the movement of a body undisturbed by the stressful presence of a thinking mind while still functioning at a high level engaged with the World. It also requires that the body be free of the weight from past stress and tension. Perhaps this can be called a Zen Mind or to be in the Tao. This natural philosophy extends to his expectation of development, that the student will develop naturally, as they are ready and at times this doesn’t mean when the students think they are ready. Patience is a virtue all things come in the right time. Movements which seem impossibly difficult at the wrong time, come without much effort when learning later with the body and mind ready.
The School’s teaching methodology is to teach small groups (two student – six student) as much as possible, and sometime so a student will receive personal attention for a while then be given time to practise the moves and integrate them while other students are taught.
Great emphasis is placed on the importance of practice and integration. This means that students are expected to diligently practise each bit of new teaching over and over again before moving on to the next movement, or exercise.
The teachers will supervise either intensively or from a distance, with intervention when the moves are done incorrectly. This allows maximum benefit to be taken from the teaching and time spent at the school.
While the school aims to give students the maximum one – two contact they can offer, this will depend on student numbers at the time. Obviously students attending during low seasons can expect more one – two. Tai Chi is a perfection path and the journey is not easy.
An important aspect of the School’s teach health Qigong except style is it’s use both Yang style and Chen Style Tai Chi.
In essence this is a Chen school which uses the Yang Style and Health Qigong as a path to develop soft movement within the Chen Tai Chi.
Most Western people are not relaxed enough in their bodies to easily achieve a state of ‘Fang Sung’ while performing the Chen. We consider the Yang style and Qigong an efficient tool to achieve this rather than just practising short Chen Forms.
At the same time the school is a good place to develop the Yang Style and for many students this will be all that they require to take away and practice for the rest of their life, so gaining the health and lifestyle benefits of Tai Chi. Even the Yang Style cannot be performed ‘softly’ in the beginning by most people, So the initital stages of practice are simply a matter of imitating the ‘ real’ movement of the teacher as well as possible.
The development of ‘softness’ in the movement takes time and cannot be expected in the beginning. The school uses Internal Qigong exercises, both moving and still to awaken the studen’s Qi and cultivate it. How long this process takes is individual, but the necessary tools are offered and it remains for the student to put them into practice on a daily basis. Eventually the Tai Chi naturally starts to get softer as the Qi fills the movement and at this stage the Tai Chi itself cultivates and purifies the Qi.
The school places great emphasis on basic exercises or movements for the Yang and Chen Tai Chi. Qigong. Chan Si Gong / Silk Reeling and other exercises are practised on a daily basis, usually in the morning. Ba Duan Jin is taught along with a very intense internal exercises to open and strengthen the body and we offer tailored exercises for specific problems. Two person Pushing Hands is a good way to develop sensitive movement and is also taught when appropriate. Finally once a student or group of students have learnt a significant amount of a given form, then performance practice is done together, with one of the teacher leading.
Master Wang Zhi Ping
Wang Zhi Ping is the Principal of the School and a 20th Generation Chen Tai Chi Master.
He has been practising Yang and Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan for the last twenty – six years and has taught for most of those years as well.
His practise is beautiful to watch and extremely inspirational. He fills his movements with what he calls an open heart yet is technically perfectionist with the form at the same time. As a teacher though it is also his good spirit, patience and attention to detail that have made him stand out as a superb Tai Chi teacher.
As one student remarked he enthuses over good movement and posture expressing his level of pleasure in a delightfully vocal and charismatic way that leaps across cultural barriers. He enjoys the experience of movement in such a beautiful inspiring way that all around him want to share a little of what he has.
At he same time he is a very serious teacher, and once the student has move past the beginning stages he can be extremely demanding, pushing the student to work and work, whether it be in terms of leg strenghening doing Chan Si Gong or repeated performances of tiny movements.
Wang Zhi Ping is a 20th Generation Chen Tai Chi Master. His teacher was Wang Zhen Hai, a Kungfu and Chen Tai Chi Master whose main teacher was Chen Zhao Pei, the previous generation main lineage holder of the Chen family. Chen Zhao Pei’s teacher was Chen Fake, perhaps the most famous Chen Master from the past.
Wang Zhi Ping talks little of all this and prefers that students simply look at his Tai Chi movement with their own eyes.
Have a look at the pictures and video and make up your own mind…
|THE VIDEO LIBRARY|
|YANG STYLE TAI CHI|
|Wang Zhi Ping – Simplified Yang Style 24||Chang Chang – 42 Form|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie...|
|CHEN STYLE TAI CHI|
|Wang Zhi Ping – Chen 18||Wang Zhi Ping – Chen 32|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie…|
|Wang Zhi Ping – Chan Si Gong||Wang Zhi Ping – Fah Jing|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie…|
|Tian Gan – Chen Lao Jia Er Lu||Tian Gan – Chen Xin Jia|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie…|
|CHEN STYLE TAI CHI WEAPONS|
|Chang Chang – Chen Sword||Chang Chang – Chen Double Sword|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie…|
|Tian Gan – Chen Sabre||Tiam Gan – Chen Double Sabre|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie…|
|Wang Zhi Ping & Chang Chang||Chang Chang & Tian Gan|
|Pushing Hands||Martial Pushing Hands|
|Click here to open the movie…||Click here to open the movie…|
Hundreds of years ago, those who searched for a way to elevate the human body and spirit to their ultimate level developed an ingenious system known as Tai Chi Excercise. This system, which was inspired by the Tai Chi outlook, has since proved to be the most advanced system of body excercise and mind conditioning ever created. Tai Chi encourages the fulfilment of the individual person, it can be used for health, longevity, self defence, mental freshness and spiritual development, irrespective of culture or religion.
Tai Chi (T'ai Chi) means "the ultimate". It means improving, and progressing toward the unlimited; it means the immense existence and the great eternal. All of the various directions in which Tai chi influence was felt were guided by the theory of opposites: Ying and the Yang, the negative and the positive. This is sometimes called the original principle. It was also believed that that all the of the various influences of Tai Chi point in one direction: toward the ultimate. The Chinese long realised that the two Tai Chi elemental powers must interact, and the harmonious result could bring progress and unlimited development.
According to Tai Chi theory, the abilities of the human body are capable of being developed beyond their commonly conceived potential. Creativity has no boundaries whatsoever, and the human mind should have no restrictions or barriers placed upon its capabilities.
Tai Chi is the practical act of cultivating, purifying, and circulating Qi (life force energy) for healing and healthy life that is deeply rooted in the very nature of the earth and the immense universe in which spreads. Tai Chi is connected meditation with the mind quiet and still yet the eyes are open and the body is active; it is perfection in movement - poetry in motion; it is internal strength and power manifest.
Tai Chi is an internal martial art system which places emphasis on the development and control of Chi (Consciousness) energy within the body. This is achieved with the aid of forms/sequences of movements which are practised in a meditative state of mind. The practitioner aspires to develop a state of ‘fang sung’ within his/her body and mind. For Tai Chi, this state can best be described as a combination of relaxation, alertness, poise and balance. A state of being totally in the ‘Now’ in body and mind. Master Wang Zhi Ping sometimes describes it by holding a glass. The tension in your body should be such that the slightest relaxation of your tension level will cause the glass to drop.
Tai Chi constantly brings up the challenges of polarities, of hardness and softness, of power and subtlety of Ying and Yang. Master Wang Zhi Ping calls this - natural movement, it is spontaneous and unaffected without conceptual ‘faking’. It is a spiritual perfection path of the highest order for those who wish to reach for the Ultimate in their life.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS
Good practice requires a flowing, detached, conscious, meditational state of mind. This state works to free the mind from static negative mental patterns and leads to greater consciousness. This is very helpful with anxiety, depression and anger patterns. Generally one develops greater stillness of mind in every day life and greater mental energy. It is also normal to finish a session feeling happy!
During practise Chi / consciousness energy circulates throughout all of the energy meridians of the body. Old physical tensions in the body and trapped energy are opened up allowing the practitioner to recover their vitality. Performance of the forms requires a high level of relaxation which teaches relaxation in every day life with all of its benefits. The exercise develops strength in the legs and so is very good for developing grounding in a persons energy and rebuilding physical health. The body gets exercised without straining the heart or anything else and so it is ideal for people with weak health. In fact it is of all round benefit to the circulatory and digestive systems strenghtening the internal organs including the heart and liver and nourishing the whole body. Chen Tai Chi as oppose to Yang works to develop massive relaxed strength in the legs and is a path to a state well beyond ‘good health’. Generally Tai Chi will assist in many conditions of disease because it helps the mind and body learn to be at ease together.
BENEFITS OF TAI CHI FOR BODYWORKERS/THERAPISTS
One of the most obvious issues for therapists is the importance of maintaining ones own health and energy. This ability to recharge and clean your energy is essential if you are spending much time round people who by their very nature are ‘low on energy’ and you’ve been opening yourself to them. As your Tai Chi progresses, the time required to recharge becomes less and less. Possibly this can reach a state of free flow in which one rarely gets tired while allowing the energy to flow through you.
Flexibility, Posture and Coordinated Use of the Whole Body
Its interesting to watch different people doing similar physical things because you’re then able to see how well they use their body and how well it works together as a single coordinated organism. Good Tai Chi practice develops skillful body use. For table based massage, the whole body needs to be involved in each stroke, and ones coordinated shifting body weight can provide the power rather than just the arm and shoulder muscles. This also involves a lowered posture which requires strength in the thighs.
Tai Chi naturally develops all of these skills, legs build strength gradually as one performs the forms time and time again. Natural coordination just comes with time – this is a primary focus with Tai Chi. Posture improves gradually as your body learns to relax and let go more deeply. The Tai chi forms are made up of many individual stances which really challenge bad posture (with a good teacher and plenty of self–effort).
Shiatsu with its kneeling emphasis really requires flexibility to relax and be comfortable. Tai Chi works well to get Chi flowing better and this turns into flexibility eventually. Natural conscious movement using Chi seems to produce stillness and meditation inside, stillness produces movement inside. Both seem to develop together and without one noticing.
Healing Energy / Consciousness and Emptiness
The difference between Chi Kung and Tai Chi is the greater opportunity for emptiness and surrender that Tai Chi gives. Both cultivate Qi, but there’s just something else there to be discovered in the movement which is very interesting. It has similarities to long meditation sittings yet allows involvement with nature at the same time. In fact it feels very Shamanic. The capacity for emptiness and space is probably the most subtle, yet significant aspect of therapeutic contact and relationship. It seems to give ones Chi a more refined quality and is not necessarily the same as abundance of Chi. Both would be nice.
One of the hardest skills for the therapist is to be present with the client 100%. As a form of meditation, with an awful lot to concentrate on Tai Chi really does develop concentration skills and the ability to relax in the now. You really can’t do it if you don’t start to pick this up. At the same time, the concentration isn’t just single pointed focus as in some meditations, but a continuous flowing concentration that you just have to surrender into and let go. This is particular useful for intuitive bodywork.
Chen Style Tai Chi
Master Wang Zhi Ping in Chen posture Chen Style Tai Chi is amazingly beautiful to do and to watch when performed well. But it is difficult. The movements are circular, the stance is low and the pace alternates between periods of slower and quicker movement. There are also sudden releases of power called Fah Jing, the Chen explosive movements. The martial applications are quite evident in Chen yet it is a complete internal martial art unlike Kung Fu.
Chen Tai Chi is divided up into the Old Frame (Lao Jia) and New Frame (Xin Jia). Each Frame consists of the First Way (Yi Lu) and the Second Way ( Er Lu). For each of these there are many hand and weapon Tai Chi forms. The Yangshuo Tai Chi School mainly teaches Lao Jia Yi Lu although Wang Zhi Ping, Chang Chang and Cheng he Chang also practise Lao Jia Er Lu. Er Lu is more demanding and explosive than Yi Lu which contains the power more, making it harder to learn well. It may be offered to appropriate students but Wang Zhi Ping believes in learning the basics of Fang Sung movement and relaxed Fah Jing movements competently before tackling such difficult Tai Chi. This is also true for Martial Applications. The teachers can teach interested students the applications behind each movement they learn but Wang Zhi Ping is generally reluctant to teach too much until the student displays sufficient competence in the Tai Chi itself for this knowledge to be of any relevance. It’s important to learn to relax first and be empty.
The New Frame of Chen (Xin Jia) created by Chen Fake is much more complicated to learn and practise and is only relevant to the highest level of practitioner with a total life commitment to Tai Chi. We can demonstrate Xin Jia along with many of the other difficult Tai Chi Forms.
Yang style Tai Chi
Yang Style Tai Chi is also beautiful to do and to watch but in a different way to the Chen. It’s beauty is the simplicity of its movements which are easy to learn and perform even when a person’s health is not that strong. The movements are more linear, the stance is fairly high and the pace remains fairly even and gentle. Hence it achieves the purpose for which it was created which was to be a tool for achieving health, accessible for the majority of people. By being less demanding physically, it allows the practitioner to focus directly on achieving softness / Fang Sung in the movement and a state of meditative peace.
The school teaches Simplified Yang Style 24 which is ideal as a beginners Tai Chi. This style is taught all over China in the parks, but its important to find a teacher who can teach the movement with internal Qi otherwise it becomes simply a form of dance.
Tai Chi as a Martial Art vs Spiritual Practice (Way of Zen or Tao)
One of the interesting aspects of Tai Chi is that it manages to function both as a Martial Art and a Spiritual Practice. As such it attracts people from both backgrounds and to some extent they meet within the practice of Chen Tai Chi. Opposed to the External martial arts, such as Kung Fu or Karate, which rely on the limited power of strength and speed to exert their force, Tai Chi is a Internal martial art drawing from the unlimited power of the stilled-mind connected with the infinite universal energy source to produce feats of strength and action, far above what the average body is capable of, with wisdom and a peace of mind unsurpassed. As such, Tai Chi attracts people from both backgrounds.
Those from a more contemplative, meditative interest can benefit well from the Yang Style and then grow into the more ‘feeling’ side of Chen style. Those from a more martial background can find their needs met in the Chen with fast application and eventually martial applications. Most of the Chen practitioners in China are more on the martial side. In the end though both paths combine and good practice at the highest level requires aspects of both.
Wang Zhi Ping has a strong interest in ‘Natural’ Movement with feeling as well as martial Tai Chi and is a long term practitioner of Internal Qigong or Nei Gong. He is unusual perhaps in his emphasis on the feeling side. Likewise, though the Internal Energy Qigong and the Tai Chi is totally meditative, the student benefited greatly from sitting Meditative retreats which developed the Hara or Dan Tien and quiet mind and Spontaneous Qigong work.
In Tai Chi practise, meditation is the only way to become aware of one's Chi. After assuming either a simple sitting posture or an upright stance, the begging can easily achieve success in Tai Chi meditation by following these procedures:
1. Relax an entire body, as if you were asleep, making sure that there is no physical tension at all.
2. Calm your mind and concentrate on the total body, listening to its breath, sensing its pulse, and so on, until you can feel the body's natural rhythm.
3. Bring up your spirit by pushing up your crown point. Imagine an invisible string pulling your crown point from above. Gradually apply deeper breathing and inhale directly into the tan t'ien (an area located approximately three inches below the navel and two and one-half inches inward).
After practising for some time, you may start to sense a feeling that that flows with the rhythm of deep meditation breathing. This is Chi, the internal energy. As you progress, this feeling grows stronger, and you can begin to sense and control the flow of this energy without the assistance of deep breathing. At this stage, you can use your mind to guide your Chi's path of travel in your body.
Today's Tai Chi Quan is abstracted primarily from modified the Chinese Taoist Wu-tang Mountain Temple spiritual tradition and the Chinese Shaolin Temple System (based on a combination of Kungfu and Buddhist Meditations). These teachings have been rooted in Chinese culture for over a thousand years.
There are two main styles in existence today:
- Chen Style originating ~ 1640 in Chenjiagou Village, China
- Yang Style originating from Chen in ~ 1820
Chen Tai Chi was originally created by Chen Wang Ting, By combined his knowledge of Yin/Yang theory Chinese Medicine Qi theory, ‘Tu Na’ (Exhalation of Dirty Qi, Inhalation of Clean Qi) and Internal Qigong (Chi Kung) with the family Kung Fu teachings and created Tai Chi, as we know it today. The Chen style of Tai Chi, known for its circular Movements with alternating rhythm, wide-deep stances, and Fah Jing (explosive power) moves, The Chen style is best known for its martial aspects. It most closely resembles Shaolin Kungfu in its demonstration. Its emphasis is the Yin-Yang principle and the flow of internal energy. In the last century Chen Tai Chi developed significantly with the addition of Xin Jia.
A style of Tai Chi characterized by its two routines, one is softness outside but hardness inside, the other is hardness outside but softness inside. Its features are combination of movement and stillness, and close coordination of will, body and biological energy.
Yang Style Tai Chi was originally created by Yang Lu Cheng. The Yang style of Tai Chi, known for its steady, ballet-like, slow-paced, large circular movements with a fairly high stance, Originally a Chen style practitioner, he was drafted by the Manchurian/Chinese Royal family into Imperial Service to teach Tai Chi to the Imperial family and other Nobility. He modified the traditional Chen Tai Chi form to better suit the Nobility and spent his life publicly teaching this form.
In the past century the Yang Style has been further altered to make it easier to learn for and more wide spread to the general public. The Simplified Yang Style 24 and the Standardized Competition Yang Style 42 (a mix of Yang and Chen Styles) are the result.
The Yang style is the most widely practiced, to the extent that many people have the mistaken impression that is the only form of Tai Chi Chaun. Yang style emphasizes softness and lightness in movement and is what responsible for the beauty and grace associated with this form.
A style of Tai Chi originated from Yang family and characterized by its grand posture, unfolding movement, close structure and both softness and hardness. It has been the most popular and widespread style since modern times.
Tai Chi has a strong tradition and foundation yet is alive and changing all the time with each master adapting it to the needs of the time.
The Wu and Sun styles of Tai Chi are little known, highly specialized forms of Tai Chi with few practioners. Tai Chi is not only popular in China, England, France, Sweden and Singapore. It has become an international medical and health sport.
Chen Style Tai Chi Lineage
Tai Chi has a concept of lineage. The progressive line of master teachers, with each learning from the previous generation masters. Chen Wang Ting (1600 –1680), [9th Generation] founded Chen Tai Chi in the 1600’s. Previous to this the Chen family practiced hard Kungfu. For many generations it was kept private within the Chen fmaily. Even so over time the lineage has branched out and so there are many lines now.
Each student’s Tai Chi is subtely different from the teachers and even students with the same teacher will make the Tai Chi their own and so over time it has developed.
In the late 19th Century, the Chen family produced their most famous practioner since Chen Wang Ting, Chen Fake (1887 – 1957 ) [17th Generation]. He developed the Tai Chi to a higher level, creating Xin Jia and no doubt improved Lao Jia and the whole of the Chen Arts.
As a form of gentle exercise, qigong is composed of movements that are typically repeated, strengthening and stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial, and lymph), enhancing balance and proprioception, and building awareness of how the body moves through space. In recent years a large number of books and videos have been published that focus primarily on qigong as exercise and associated health benefits. Practitioners range from athletes to the physically challenged. Because it is low impact and can be done lying, sitting, or standing, qigong is accessible for disabled persons, seniors, and people recovering from injuries.
As a healing art, qigong practitioners focus on prevention and self-healing, traditionally viewed as balancing the body's energy meridians and enhancing the intrinsic capacity of the body to heal. Qigong has been used extensively in China as part of traditional Chinese medicine, and is included in the curriculum of Chinese Universities. Throughout the world qigong is now recognized as a form of complementary and alternative medicine, with significant results for a number of health benefits.
Qigong can be adapted to suit virtually every body type and fitness. This allows people who are unable to participate in vigorous strength- or aerobic training to train regularly in qigong. The cumulative effects of diligent qigong practice may gain these people a physical strength, energetic vitality and mental calm that allows them to engage in their lives in a way they may long have forgotten. Once learned and practiced qigong is a resource for every aspect of life. Allowing better health, better balance (physically and mentally), increased energy and an improved ability to cope with day-to-day stresses.
Meditation and self-cultivation
Qigong is practiced for meditation and self-cultivation as part of various philosophical and spiritual traditions. As meditation, qigong is a means to still the mind and enter a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity, and bliss. Many practitioners find qigong, with its gentle focused movement, to be more accessible than seated meditation.
Martial arts training
The practice of qigong is an important component in both internal and external style Chinese martial arts. Focus on qi is considered to be a source of power as well as the foundation of the internal style of martial arts. Tai Chi, Xing yi, and Baguazhang are representative of the types of Chinese martial arts that rely on the concept of qi as the foundation. Extraordinary feats of martial arts prowess, such as the ability to withstand heavy strikes and the ability to break hard objects are abilities attributed to qigong training.
Five-animal Play (Wu Qin Xi)
The five animals in the exercises are the tiger, deer, bear, monkey and crane. Each animal has two exercises corresponding to the five yin (Zang) and five yang (Fu) internal organs. Regular practise of this Qigong is said to improve functioning of:
- Liver/Gall Bladder (Wood Element - tiger)
- Kidneys/Bladder (Water Element - deer)
- Spleen/Stomach (Earth Element - bear)
- Heart/Small Intestine (Fire Element - monkey)
- Lung/Large Intestine (Metal Element - crane) respectively.
Muscle-Tendon Change Classic (Yi Jin Jing)
This is a relatively intense form of exercise that aims at strengthening the muscles and tendons, so promoting strength and flexibility, speed and stamina, balance and coordination of the body. The basic purpose of Yi Jin Jing is to turn flaccid and frail sinews and tendons into strong and sturdy ones. The movements of Yi Jin Jing are at once vigorous and gentle. Their performance calls for a unity of will and strength, i.e. using one's will to direct the exertion of muscular strength. It is coordinated with breathing. Better muscles and tendons means better health and shape, more resistance, flexibility, and endurance. It is obtained as follows:
- postures influence the static and nervous structure of the body
- stretching muscles and sinews affects organs, joints, meridians and Qi
- torsion affects metabolism and Jing production
- breathing produces more and better refined Qi
- active working gives back balance and strength to body and mind (brain, nervous system and spirit).
The Five rules of Yi Jin Jing are:
Quietness - Like lake water reflects the moon, a calm spirit allows energy to move inside the body.
Slowness - In order to use and flex muscles deeply, to get maximum extension and move Qi and Xue, slow movements are required.
Extension - Each movement must be brought to the maximum.
Pause - Efficacy comes through waiting and keeping tension for a longer time.
Flexibility - Limbs and trunk must be extended so that blood and energy can circulate, so we have flexibility.
Brain/Marrow Washing (Xi Sui Jing)
The main purposes of Xi Sui Jing training are to use the abundant Qi generated from Yi Jin Jing training to wash the marrow, to nourish the brain, and to fill up the Qi in the other six vessels. The main goals of the training are:
- To keep the Qi at an abundant level and continue to build up the Qi to a higher level from other sources. An abundant Qi supply is the key to successful marrow washing and nourishing of the brain for raising the spirit. Experience has shown that the genitals can be an important source of extra Qi. Therefore, one of the main goals of Xi Sui Jing training is learning how to increase the production of sexual hormones and improving the efficiency of its conversion into Qi.
- In order to keep an abundant supply of Qi, the Jing (Original Essence/hormones) must be conserved, protected, and firmed. Therefore, the second purpose of Xi Sui Jing is to regulate the usage of Original Essence.
- Learning how to lead Qi to the marrow to keep the marrow fresh, and to lead Qi to the brain to raise up the spirit of vitality. Marrow is the factory which produces your red and white blood cells; when the marrow is fresh and clean the blood will be healthy. As this blood flows to every part of your body, it will slow down the degeneration of your cells. Practicing Xi Sui Jing can therefore slow down the ageing process. When the brain has plenty of Qi to nourish it, you are able to maintain the normal functioning of your brain and also raise up the spirit of vitality. When the spirit is raised, the Qi in the body can be governed effectively.
- For a sincere Buddhist or Daoist monk, the final goal of Xi Sui Jing is reaching enlightenment or Buddhahood. For them, the training purposes listed above are considered temporary. They are only steps in the process of building up their “spiritual baby” (Ling Tai) and nurturing it until it is independent and has eternal life.
From this brief summary, it is clear that the Yi Jin Jing and Xi Sui Jing can change both your physical and spiritual qualities and lead you to a higher level of physical and spiritual life. But to understand exactly how these two Qigong exercises help you to reach these goals, you must have a profound understanding of the relationship between your Qi, your physical body, and your spiritual body. Only then will you be able to grasp the keys of the training.
With roots in ancient Chinese culture dating back more than 4,000 years, a wide variety of qigong forms have developed within different segments of Chinese society: in traditional Chinese medicine for preventive and curative functions, in Confucianism to promote longevity and improve moral character, in Taoism and Buddhism as part of meditative practice, and in Chinese martial arts to enhance fighting abilities. Contemporary qigong blends diverse and sometimes disparate traditions, in particular the Taoist meditative practice of "internal alchemy" (Neidan 內丹术), the ancient meditative practices of "circulating qi" (Xing qi 行氣) and "standing meditation" (Zhan zhuang 站桩), and the slow gymnastic breathing exercise of "guiding and pulling" (Tao yin 導引). Traditionally, knowledge about qigong was passed from adept master to student in elite unbroken lineages, typically with secretive and esoteric traditions of training and oral-mind transmission.
Starting in the late 1940s and the 1950s, the mainland Chinese government tried to integrate disparate qigong approaches into one coherent system, with the intention of establishing a firm scientific basis for qigong practice. This attempt is considered by some sinologists as the start of the modern or scientific interpretation of qigong. During the Great Leap Forward (1958–1963) and the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), qigong, along with other traditional Chinese medicine, was encouraged in state-run rehabilitation centers and spread to universities and hospitals, but was under tight control with limited access among the general public. After the Cultural Revolution, qigong, along with Tai Chi, was popularized as daily morning exercise practiced en masse throughout China.
Through the forces of migration of the Chinese diaspora, tourism in China, and globalization, the practice of qigong spread from the Chinese community to the world. Today, millions of people around the world practice qigong and believe in the benefits of qigong to varying degrees. Similar to its historical origin, those interested in qigong come from diverse backgrounds and practice it for different reasons, including for exercise, recreation, preventive medicine, self-healing, self-cultivation, meditation, and martial arts training.
Yangshuo is in Southern China, not too far above Hong Kong, near to the city of Guilin.
It is the one of the top tourist destinations in China, famous for its beautiful scenery – the inspiration for much of China’s art work.
This has meant that the local infrastructure has developed and is suitable and enjoyable for Western tourism. It is a beautiful place to stay for a while and have a holiday at the same time as learning Tai Chi.
Yangshuo has always been an interesting town. Because of the beauty of its surrounding countryside, it found itself part of a fascinating Chinese experiment in early tourism and benefited from a relaxation of the control that existed elsewhere in China.
The rest of China has taken almost twenty years to receive the same sense of freedom, but Yangshuo still has a different feel. Most visitors to China feel more comfortable in the Yangshuo area than in any other region of China.
The town itself has been tastefully developed to provide a more beautiful ambience than the early Communist grey buildings, blending the older wooden buildings with newer ones.
The town is famous all over China for its ‘West Street’ which has had shops and restaurants catering to Western tastes for thirty years.
Shopping has always been a major Yangshuo occupation for the foreign visitors and there is a very wide range of craft goods available here, mostly have made in ethnic minority villages in Guangxi and Guizhou Provinces.
Yangshuo is attracting high quality artists to itself and there are now several galleries with high quality Chinese art for viewing and purchase along with other shops displaying Chinese silver work, silk weaving many other goods.
The restaurants in Yangshuo are certainly different to the Chinese norm, though there are also many high quality traditional Chinese restaurants as well. Menus are in English and Chinese. Chinese dishes have been adapted to suit Western preferences. Western dishes and deserts are available everywhere and the bars and restaurants are fitted out to provide an ambience that is unusual still in China.
There has always been a wide variety of tea, coffee and alcohol available here to cater for Western tourists as well as breakfast favourites like orange juice, banana porridge, fried eggs and bacon and maple syrup pancakes etc.
The quality of Western food is very high here with good steaks, oven made pizzas and tasty pasta dishes and there is a famous French restaurant Le Votre in the main square run by a Frenchman.
There are also high quality Chinese fish restaurants serving the local delicacy of river fish cooked in beer along with a host of other dishes. A real treat for special occasions.
Finally, the town now has an amazing Chinese vegetarian restaurant which has really added to the diversity of choice available in the town. Complete with traditional style furnishings, its ideal for a unique dinner out. Ironically West Street has now become a genuine tourist attraction in its own right for Chinese tourists who come to savour the unique atmosphere here. It has become famous all over China.
The Countryside around Yangshuo
Most visitors to Yangshuo come to see the surrounding countryside. Yangshuo is situated next to the beautiful Li River (LIJiang) in the centre of the most stunning Karsk Limestone mountain area in China.
It really has to be seen to be believed, an artist or photographers paradise. If you climb one of the hills the mountains go on and on into the distance, but it is easy to reach exceptional places from Yangshuo either by taxi or by bicycle which are easily rented in Yangshuo town. Cycle trips out to Moon Hill are part of the Yangshuo experience.
The Dragon Bone Rice Terraces at Longsheng
Longsheng is a mountain area approximately 3 – 4 hours North of Yangshuo and is easily reached via tours from Yangshuo. Again this area is simply one of those amazing places on Earth. The local minority Zhaung and Yao tribes have carved the landscape here for over 800 years to make a subsistance living in this mountainous area. This is a great place to visit for a day or preferably a couply of days with time to walk among the hills and enjoy this quiet place.
Contact the School Direct
The Yangshuo(West Street)Taiji Quan Health Centre,
Bao Quan Road,
We recommend email as the main method of communication with the school.
Finding the School once you are in Yangshuo
Once your have reached Yangshuo, It is relatively straightforward to find the school.
Please phone the school on: 13517865736 or send an email and arrange to meet in a local cafe or hotel which you are familiar with.
Otherwise you can make your way to the school itself which is behind the park on Bao quan Road.
*Note: As a tourist town Yangshuo has an active tout / commission business. It is better to make contact with the school direct.