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The  China Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival   The China Jiaozuo International Annual Conference    The China International Wudang Wushu Festival  



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  Summer Vacation of Wudang Kungfu 
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Tel:   0086 13700889060           
Fax: 0086 371 65653362   

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Tai Chi Chuan

Wudang Taiji quan

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What is Tai Chi Chuan

    Tai Chi has been described as magical, and it certainly feels like magic.
Initially there is some awkwardness, the same as learning any new thing. After some facility is gained though, it becomes quite magical whether or not you are "pushing hands" and engaging in an energy conversation with someone else or whether you are practicing the solo "form." The magic occurs. There is so much of you recruited into each moment, and on so many levels that it seems there is a symphony of sensation, perception and ability integrated into a centrally balanced and fluid consciousness. You are in charge, yet one with the flow. Quite exciting, while calming and relaxing. And this brings up another set of distinctions-unity of opposites.

    The Chinese characters for Tai Chi Chuan can be translated as the 'Supreme Ultimate Force'. The notion of 'supreme ultimate' is often associated with the Chinese concept of yin-yang, the notion that one can see a dynamic duality (male/female, active/passive, dark/light, forceful/yielding, etc.) in all things. 'Force' (or, more literally, 'fist') can be thought of here as the means or way of achieving this ying-yang, or 'supreme-ultimate' discipline.

    Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so- called forms (sometimes also called 'sets') which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

    For many practicioners the focus in doing them is not, first and foremost, martial, but as a meditative exercise for the body. For others the combat aspects of Tai Chi are of considerable interest. In Chinese philosophy and medicine there exists the concept of 'chi', a vital force that animates the body. One of the avowed aims of Tai Chi 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 Tai Chi 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 center, and so on. Thus the practice of Tai Chi can in some measure contribute to being able to better stand, walk, move, run, etc. in other spheres of life as well. 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 itselfe.

    Because the Tai Chi movements have their origins in the martial arts, practicing them does have some martial applications. In a two-person exercise called 'push-hands' Tai Chi principles are developed in terms of being sensitive to and responsive of another person's 'chi' or vital energy. It is also an opportunity to employ some of the martial aspects of Tai Chi in a kind of slow-tempo combat. Long-time practitioners of Tai Chi who are so-inclined can become very adept at martial arts. The emphasis in Tai Chi is on being able to channel potentially destructive energy (in the form of a kick or a punch) away from one in a manner that will dissipate the energy or send it in a direction where it is no longer a danger.

    The practical exercises of Tai Chi are also situated in a wider philosophical context of Taoism. This is a reflective, mystical Chinese tradition first associated with the scholar and mystic Lao Tsu, an older contemporary of Confucius. He wrote and taught in the province of Honan in the 6th century B.C. and authored the seminal work of Taoism, the Tao Te Ching. As a philosophy, Taoism has many elements but fundamentally it espouses a calm, reflective and mystic view of the world steeped in the beauty and tranquillity of nature.

    Tai Chi also has, particularly amongst eastern practitioners, a long connection with the I Ching a Chinese system of divination. There are associations between the 8 basic I Ching trigrams plus the five elements of Chinese alchemy (metal, wood, fire, water and earth) with the thirteen basic postures of Tai Chi created by Chang San-feng. There are also other associations with the full 64 trigrams of the I Ching and other movements in the Tai Chi form.

PARADOX AND OPPOSITES

    Excited and calm, exercising and relaxed, soft and powerful, yielding and overcoming, and not moving in movement are a few of the opposites which occur simultaneously. This very interesting exercise, while never boring, is challenging. It challenges your preconceived way of being in relationship to gravity, your physical self, your mind, and with other people. You get to look at choices previously made on all these levels and rework those choices. This, of course, is growth.

The Chang San Feng Theory

    This is the theory of origins adopted by most of the major styles of Taijiquan and was first put forth by the Yang style. The Yang style traces its origins back to Chen Chang Xin who was taught by Jiang Fa who was in turn taught by Wang Tsung Yueh. Wang Tsung Yueh was supposed to be a student of Chang Sung Chi a noted practitioner of the Internal Boxing of the Wudang Temple. The Wudang Temple certainly exists and their Internal Boxing certainly existed and does share certain characteristics like controling the opponent with calmness. The creator of this Internal Boxing was Chang San Feng, a Taoist on Wudang Mountain. The Wudang martial arts bear little resemblance to the Taijiquan we have today even though they share some of the same characteristics.

    The Wudang Temple is still exists and there are still Taoist sages managing the temple and they still teach Wudang martial arts there. It is interesting to note that there is a form called Wudang Taijiquan practiced there. Its postures bear little resemblance to the main styles practiced today even though it has many common characteristics, in terms of technique and principles, of the major styles. The last head of the Wudang Temple, Taoist Xu Ben Shan (1860-1932) was skilled in it and taught it to his disciples together with other Wudang arts. Xu spent most of his life in the Wudang Temple having entered the temple when young. It is unlikely that his art came from the outside since his life is quite well documented. But whether Wudang Taijiquan is the seminal form of all the others cannot be concluded since there is no firm link between the practitioners of the Wudang arts and Wang Tsung Yueh who is the earliest common personage of the the early styles of modern Taijiquan. But it should be noted that there are common theorems between the Wudang Internal Boxing and Taijiquan. And it is possible that Wudang Internal Boxing influenced Taijiquan though it should be considered a separate art.

    Some have raised the question of Chang San Feng's existence as there is much legendary material about him. He is recorded by reliable historical documents such as the 'Ming History' and 'The Ningpo Chronicles' which have no relation to martial arts literature as having existed and to have created Wudang Internal Boxing arts. This is in line with the beliefs held at the Wudang Temple itself and one can find much old material pertaining to Chang San Feng there. According to the available material, Chang lived at the end of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). There was a confusion of dates as the Emperor Yung Ler used searching for Chang as an excuse to send Yan Wang Chu in 1403 to scoure the country in search of his rival, the Emperor Jian Wen. Chang San Feng was widely regarded as a Taoist saint and Emperor Yung Ler knew that he had already died and so came up with the ruse. Historians who have tried to reconcile the misinformation of the Emperor Yung Le with the earlier records have either regarded Chang as a mid Ming Dynasty personage, possibly a different person from the Chang San Feng of recorded as living in the Yuan Dynasty or that Chang had lived for a very long time, beyond normal human life expectancy.

    The Zhao Bao style of Taijiquan also traces their art back to Jiang Fa and Wang Tsung Yueh and ultimately to Chang San Feng. Gu Liu Xin, the noted Taijiquan historian, posits based on the writings of Chen Xin that Chen Ching Ping created the Zhao Bao style. Chen Ching Ping was a student of Chen You Pen who created the `new frame' (xin jia) of Chen Taijiquan which was also known as the `high frame' (gao jia) and `small frame' (xiao jia). Chen Qing Ping was also recorded to be a student of the Zhao Bao Taijiquan master Zhang Yan. Wu Yu Xiang who learnt from Chen Ching Ping retained this high standing characteristic in the style he passed down.

    The present Zhao Bao style is relatively low standing and is performed in a slow manner without fa-jing (strength emissions) except in kicks, in a manner common to the Yang and Wu Yu Xiang styles and those that developed from them.

    This theory can't be reliably proven, all that we can ascertain is that the art came down from Wang Tsung Yueh and Jiang Fa to the Chen village and Zhao Bao villiage. It is unlikely that Chang developed Taijiquan as we see it today though he may have invented some of the principles that went into the art. The works attributed to him in the Taijiquan Classics are actually the works of Wang Tsung Yueh. This is evident in the handwritten manuals of Li I Yu.

Wudang Taijiquan

    Wudang Taijiquan is the main component of the Wudang martial arts. It is an orthodox school of Chinese Gongfu. It is called an internal art because the actions demonstrate both strength and grace and the internal energy is combined with the external performance. It is singular in the martial arts field and has long enjoyed a great reputation.

Principles

    Wudang Taijiquan highly stresses the fullness of internal energy, breath, and spirit. The mind directs the breath which further activates the body for defense as well as attack. The eight criteria that Wudang Taijiquan stresses when playing are: lightness, easiness, roundness, evenness, flexibility, changeableness, steadiness and precision. The motto for practice is: Be relaxed, complete, prompt, and sudden. The intent continues even when the force goes out. The breath will still go through the body when your intent is complete.

    The peculiar principles of Wudang Taiji are to be hard and strong inside, round and smooth outside and to strike out quickly, so quickly the opponent does not notice. Force is exerted through stretching the body, especially the legs. Remain still if the opponent doesn't move, but strike earlier if he starts. Force starts from the backbone. Even though the opponent starts first, gain the upper hand. Move like waves of the Yangzi River flowing to the ocean, one after another, never stopping. Distribute energy when moving, but collect it when stopping. The energy should neither be overdone nor not enough.

    Bend or stretch by judging the opponent's actions. Stretch as he is bending. If he is lengthening, contract. If he is contracting, lengthen. Lower if he is raising; raise if he is lowering. Meet the opponent with leaving, sticking, linking, and following. Be soft when he is hard. This is called leaving. Step back when he is attacking forward. This is called sticking. Quicken if he is quickening. This is called linking. Slow down if he is slowing. This is called following.

    There are many points to remember in application: Stand on the left to attack right; stand on the right to attack left. Keep a certain angle with the opponent. If one is against several, make arrays of three cai (heaven, earth, man) two yi (yin and yang), five elements (wood, metal, fire, water, earth), eight gua (directions/trigrams), nine gong (bagua plus the center) and so on. Whether to attack or to defend depends on the mind and the spirit. The mind and the spirit are followed by the seven fists (the hands, head, eyes, feet, hips, elbows, and knees). Don't attempt to take more nor to take less. Neither stand too close, nor too far away.

    Pressing, spinning, cutting, thrusting, and smashing downward are called the Five Elements. Stepping forward, stepping backward, elbowing, shouldering, back hip thrust, head thrust, side hip thrust, and sweeping are called the Eight Methods. There are also may hitting methods in all directions, such as front, behind, left, right, up, and down strikes.

    For each stroke and posture, the joints are in line with each other. The movements of the palms should be natural, relaxed, and quick. The fists and the feet should be flexible and changeable. The mind should be astute and the strikes should be ruthless. "As steady as a mountain when not moving; as quick as thunder when in action, leaving no time for one even to cover his ears." The Classics say "Be as flexible and easy as cotton when contracting. While dodging, extending, shifting, jumping, and turning be like a dragon." They also say "Contract like a cat and be soft like cotton, but shake the body like a tiger and be as hard as steel." Move the body as a Changshan snake. The tail would respond if the head were hit; the head would respond if the tail were hit. If the middle section were hit, head and tail would both respond.

    Push up, toss, tread, kick, and knock if the opponent is attacking from the upper part. Fence, wrestle, bisect, press, and push if he is attacking from the mid-part. If he is attacking from the lower part, immediately split, slice, chop, cut, burst and use hips, shoulders, and elbows to hit. In general, choose postures according to the opponent's. Judge whether to attack or to defend by judging whether he is contracting or stretching. Step forward if he steps back; step back if he steps forward. Do not continue fighting but exert energy and overcome. The Classics say "Strive forward as soon as you grasp the chance. Do not withdraw merely because of your hesitation."

    The purpose for practicing Wudang Taiji is not only for practical use but for maintaining health as well. Self-practice and playing the forms are good for bodybuilding and character cultivating, thus to gain long life. But when applied to others, it is a real martial art. Whether to strike or to kick depends on the circumstance. The Classics say, "Regard a man as grass. Attack him as if walking. Combine the outside actions and inside breathing. Assume your courage in this way and you will master this martial art."

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How to book , How to arrive and How  to pay ?

1> For booking your stage , first you should choose the services wanted ( it's better to send the following answer: when , how many days, accommodation in hotel or in school, your experiences for kungfu, what to learn ) and send them to us by fax or email. Once you have paid your international air ticket, please send us the copy of your air ticket as your confirm. You will pay us your charge in China.

2> For following this kind of stage, it's better to take the cash with you. If you want pay us by the traveller-cheque or the credit card , it need go to the Bank of China in Zhengzhou ( 100 km from Dengfeng), 3 % of the commission request by the bank doesn't include in our price.  Only in Zhengzhou  you can take the money from Bank by your credit card. In Dengfeng it's impossible to pay with your credit card when shopping.

3> If your domestic flight or train is booked by us, 10 % of the total charge will be request to pay us as deposition.

4 > Zhengzhou is the nearest  city to Shaolin Temple, and from Zhengzhou Airport to Shaolin, there are about 120 km . So you need book your international flight to Beijing or Shanghai  and then go to Zhengzhou by domestic flight or by train . You can book the around flight to Zhengzhou in your country or by us in China. Train Beijing/Zhengzhou/ Beijing in first classe: 120usdp/p (included the charge for delivering the ticket to you) /  Flight Beijing/Zhengzhou/Beijing:  210usdp/p (included the charge for delivering the ticket to you)    

5> Transfers Zhengzhou/Shaolin by private car: 50usd per car   

     One night in three star Hotel in Beijing: 60usd (single)

P.s. All the training course will be organised in Wushu school near to Shaolin , but not in the Shaolin temple. Because Shaolin temple is sacred place for religion , it's not a school.

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