We will soon be offering the opportunity for serious martial artists to book events and seminars in their own country with the following styles:
The uniqueness of Bagua as a fighting method is that the true stylist will only use circular movements to attack and defend, leaving their opponent dizzy and confused without a punch being thrown. Training centres around ‘walking the circle’, a mind-and-body exercise that trains stepping, body coordination and energy generation, with precise breathing methods. Not one for mindless thugs, nevertheless the art of Bagua has survived over 300 years since it was created during the Qing dynasty.
Calling Crane Wushu, or Ming He Quan, is characterized by the breathing techniques used to express energy - thus "calling" crane. Rapid, swirling hand movements combined with delicate jumps and the calling sounds result in a stunning display. It was invented by the famous Master Xie Zhong Xiang towards the end of the 19th century in Fuzhou City. Master Xie is a famous name in the history of Wushu, well known not only in China, but also in Okinawa and Japan, where he is given the nickname Ryu Ryu Ko, a variation of Chinese Ru Ru Ge. Many of Okinawan Karate styles draw their lineage from him.
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Chen is the oldest style of Tai Chi Quan and Master Zhang Lianen is one of its most respected practitioners in China, whose research articles on the subject have been incorporated into China's official "Twenty-first Century Talent Library". Master Lianen has spent the past 30 years refining a methodology for the most effective teaching of his style. His latest approach focuses on emphasising key principles of this art, which together with practical applications allow a dedicated student to progress much quicker than normal. In Master Lianen's words, Chen Tai Chi is made out of these principles in the same way as Chinese Calligraphy is made up of only a few key strokes of the brush put together in endless combinations. Understanding these principles you will understand Tai Chi. If you want to delve deep into Chen Tai Chi Quan practice and learn to recognise and use these principles, then take the opportunity to study with Master Zhang Lianen, who has already produced many champions.
WS Magazine Issue: Chen Style Tai Chi (subscription article & videos)
Mian Quan, Cotton Style in English, is the principal style of traditional wushu practised in Shanghai and the surrounding area. It is radically different from other Chinese traditional styles because it has no patterns in the usual sense of the word, or any weapons training. Instead students will be taught foundation training to make their joints, particularly tendons and ligaments, stronger and more flexible and elastic to allow the spreading of force from every joint. The Mian stylist uses every part of his body as a weapon, not just hands and feet. Power is generated from the whole of the spine twisting and untwisting and students are taught to apply it through practising numerous fighting routines. This style is ideally suited to those interested in practical fighting skills.
Dog Style or On the Floor Style is one of the most famous traditional Wushu styles from Fujian Province. It was created by Master Da Si Yue in the 17th century, a time of troubles and almost constant war in China following the fall of the Ming Dynasty. Master Da Si Yue was a Buddhist nun, who escaped when her monastery was burned down by Qing troops and was forced to live in secret in the countryside of Fujian Province, where she started teaching her Wushu skills to local people. The style is well known for having numerous powerful ground-work techniques and attacks from the ground, including many types of sweeps and scissor. It has been given the name Dog Style because the sweeps and rolls remind on-lookers of Dogs fighting and rolling about on the ground. Practising Dog Style requires a great deal of athleticism, conditioning, and acrobatic skill, developed through diligent training, but its unique character makes all the hard work worth it.
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Emei is one of the main systems of Chinese traditional wushu. It is unique because more than any other it has blended Daoist and Buddhist styles of martial arts together into one cohesive whole over its many centuries of development in Sichuan Province. This gives the system a tremendous breadth and variety, which perhaps only Shaolin can match. Emei wushu has soft internal patterns and unique forms of Qigong, soft-hard patterns like Snake and external patterns like Tongbei, as well as a whole range of traditional weapons. If you are looking for a varied arsenal of movements this style is for you.
WS Magazine Issue: Emei (subscription article & videos)
Natural Boxing is a Northern Chinese Wushu style, made famous in the twentieth century by Master Wan Lai Sheng, who was celebrated both as an unbeaten fighter, winner of many challenge matches and lei tai competitions, and one of the first modern scholars of Wushu. Master Wan brought Natural Boxing Wushu from Beijing area down south to Fujian Province, where he lived during the later part of his life. This course will be taught by Master Wan's only live-in disciple, Master Gu Jian Liang. Expect a lot of fast attacking movements, for which this style is rightly famous - speed is a key principle of Natural Boxing. Conditioning exercises form an important and integral part of Natural Boxing Training (including Iron Shirt) - Natural Boxing makes use of many conditioning training aids including steel rings, steel bars, steel balls, iron ball filled bean bags etc. This course is suited to you if you would like to focus on developing or improving your fighting skills. Natural Boxing theory and practical applications are taught hand in hand.
Master Gu Biography (free article)
WS Magazine Issue: Natural Boxing (subscription article & videos)
Qingcheng is one of the four major systems of traditional wushu in China, the other three being Shaolin, Wudang and Emei. It is the least well known of them due in part to its past reputation as the Robber Style, practised in the mountainous areas of Sichuan by many outlaw societies on the run from Imperial troops during the Qing Dynasty. However this reputation belies its nature. It is a Daoist style famous for its Xuanmen Taiji and swordplay. Among its many varied patterns are both those that can be described as internal, like the Taiji, and external, like Pao Cui, but all share an affinity with the water element. One of the core principles of Qingcheng style is to move like water, which can be soft and enveloping or hard enough to pierce stone and wash away city walls in an angry torrent, so much so that another name for the style is Water Style. If you are interested in internal martial arts, Qigong, Daoism or swordplay, this is very much for you.
WS Magazine Issue: Qingchen (subscription article & videos)
Northern Shaolin Wushu is probably the best known of all Chinese Wushu styles, made famous all over the world by the many legends of the monks of Shaolin Temple. In fact many different styles have been taught in the Shaolin Temple over the centuries by resident masters, that is why it is more correct to describe Northern Shaolin as a family of styles as opposed to a single one. Take this unique opportunity to learn with the real Shaolin Fighting monks from Da Fawang Buddhist Temple.
What is Shaolin Wushu? (free article)
WS Magazine Issue: Shaolin (subscription article & videos)
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Xing Yi Quan translates as ‘Form and Will’ boxing. Founded by Ji Ji Ke in the late Ming era, Xing Yi is a direct and attacking inner style of wushu, the most aggressive of the three major internal Chinese arts. Students become skilled at developing devastating internal power and channelling that energy into their hands at will. Rarely retreating, Xing Yi holds to the central line and uses five major striking methods corresponding to the five elements of Chinese medical theory.
Wudang is the alter ego of Shaolin and the rivalry between the two centres of Martial Arts extends back over many centuries. Found in the misty cool mountains of Hubei Province, dotted with old temples and pagodas, Wudang Wushu is as beautiful as the area where it was developed. The movements of Wudang patterns are slow, flowing, sometimes speeding up into powerful strikes and sudden changes of direction. This is the inspiration for Tai Chi Quan and the legendary inventor of Tai Chi, Zhang San Feng was said to live on Wudang Mountain during the Ming Dynasty. Basic training will include a lot of work on generating internal energy, which is the key to making these movements effective. Expect also a lot of focus on footwork to achieve the smooth, gliding, weaving steps of Wudang Wushu. Finally, Wudang is famous for its swordplay, the straight sword (tai chi sword) being the weapon of choice for scholars and Daoists alike. More advanced students will go on to learn this most difficult of all Chinese weapons.
What is Wudang Wushu? (free article)
WS Magazine Issue: Wudang (subscription article & videos)
Yong Chun White Crane is the original form of the famous white crane system, as preserved in the village of Yong Chun where it was first invented over three hundred years ago by Master Fang Qi Niang. It is one of the most influential styles of Wushu, and many other styles in the South, as well as some styles of Okinawan Karate, draw their lineages from it. This course is led by Master Su Ying Han, who can trace his line of teachers all the way back to Fang Qi Niang. The teaching will take place in Yong Chun itself, which has now grown into a middle size town in the mountainous inland of Fujian Province. Expect a lot of intricate hand techniques, bridging and trapping, as well as fast footwork. Pattern practice is a major part of the training, including 2 man conditioning patterns. The teaching style and methods are very traditional and relaxed with much emphasis on correct movements. Teaching is predominantly by way of repetition to ensure the student develops strong foundations. Training focus is also given to breathing techniques and techniques to teach you how to bring your force forward.
Interview with Master Su: Part 1 (free article)
Interview with Master Su: Part 2 (free article)
WS Magazine: Yong Chun White Crane (subscription articles & videos)