Yangshuo Taichi & Kungfu School
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Returning to learn Tai Chi at Yangshuo Tai Chi School

Learning Tai Chi Yangshuo China Autumn 2013Well with a weeks holiday for the National Day celebrations I booked a flight to Yangshuo for a return visit to the Yangshuo Tai Chi and Kung Fu School. This summer gone I gave up the chance to study tai chi at the school in favour of spending 6 weeks learning Chinese which was a good decision. None the less I did miss the school and felt very conflicted all the while I was in Yangshuo. So a week at the school seemed like a good idea to take some time to further learn tai chi at the school and it was. Unfortunately Master Fu was away in Zhejiang teaching a master class. Never mind though cause the wonderful Fu Weizuo was there and he is such a great teacher with a natural passion. I also had my first class with Moyu as instructor which shows how his confidence and skills are growing as well.

Training is always hard when you haven’t been at the school for a long time as it takes a while to build your fitness and a week is never long enough to do this. Consequently by Wednesday I was sore all over and took the afternoon off to have a rest and a very painful massage. I think every muscle ached and I whimpered like a baby under the masseurs hands. Still no pain no gain is what they say.

By Thursday of course I was starting to feel the benefit of daily practice and began to get the feeling back again. Even felt as though, at moments my movements were connected. Silly fantasy I know and my instructor was quick to point out that while I looked relaxed and fluid my movements looked all disconnected. So much for progress. The more you practice the harder it gets to improve, especially as you move on from the beginner level (I feel after 5 years I am entitled to hold my head up and claim to be a little more than a beginner… well only a little more).

I left the school on the Saturday, as usual, wanting more and feeling very motivated. Now all I have to do is translate that into my life at home and get some practice done!

For the full set of photos have a look at my photoblog for the week HERE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/royhanney/sets/72157636347101744/

All the photos can be downloaded hi-res (only taken on an iphone).

It’s lovely morning for some Sunday Tai Chi in Yangshuo

A soft breeze is blowing through a chestnut grove in southern China. With eyes closed, standing in Zhang Zhuang, I am happily enjoying myself, extending my peng, thoughts freely melting with the chirping of hundreds of birds. It is a day off in Master Fu’s Tai Chi school but many fellow students enjoy the opportunity to individually refresh what they have learned in past week.

Marko and Dragi practice Tai Chi in Yangshuo ChinaMeanwhile Master Fu is preparing to leave today for Henan province in North China, where he will be teaching hundreds of students in the school of his own master, Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei. Every master is a disciple of his own master, Fu Nengbin is no different and has a great respect for his own master. How can one learn Tai Chi otherwise? To his own students Master Fu is an example of so many virtues, not only of martial arts, but also as a father and a friend. Students in the school appreciate this without even discussing the matter. We are proud to be disciples of such a master. All Master Fu’s instructors are young boys, but they all reflect the same respect and behaviour. Master Fu is raising them strictly.

Each time the class is finished,Master Fu, instructors and students share a meal at the dinner table where we all feel like one big family. This is one of the reasons why we come back to school every year. We are vegetarians, my wife and I, but everybody is so attentive. Master Fu personally sees that we get our wishes fulfilled. Uncle John, as we westerners call the cook, is an expert. Food is deliciously prepared but in a modest way and we are fed as though we are family members

My wife and myself are training hard, trying to comprehend, imprint and grasp basic principles of Tai Chi as taught by Master Fu. We understand that without firm foundation nothing can be built, so much more so in Tai Chi. Years of practice can be lost if one does not have the right teacher who is an expert himself and also able to transfer his experience to a student.

Master Fu will be coming to Slovenia in November this year, this will be the first visit ever of an elite Tai Chi master, coming from Chen Zhenglei’s school. Some of the students at our school in Slovenia have already undertaken the learning of Chen style. There’s quite a big interest to see Master Fu in Slovenia in general as it is not often that such renowned teacher will visit this small country. We hope that through Master Fu’s visit, our school can help to firmly establish Chen Zhenglei’s lineage in Slovenia too.

Marko & Dragi Bedina
info@taiji-zlatipetelin.si

Tai Chi Student Roy Hanney returns to China

This June a regular student at the Yangshuo Tai Chi and Kung Fu School will return to southern China to spend the summer training with us. We asked Roy what he likes about the school and what he wants to learn this summer.

Roy Hanney Training at Yangshuo Tai Chi School China“Well I first came to the school in 2009 and spent a week learning the short form. Then I came back for longer the following summer to learn the Laojia and stayed for 6 weeks. In the UK where I normally, live I train at the Seven Stars Yoga and Tai Chi School in Portsmouth. The teacher there, Andy Cullen is very experienced and we learn Yang Style with him. Last year I started teaching beginners under his supervision and I hope to do more of this when I get back to the UK. Making the change from Yang Style to Chen style has been very challenging but also very rewarding”.
“The important thing about the school for me is that the quality of teaching is very high. Master Fu always makes an effort to coach you when you need it and the attention you get from the assistant instructors is excellent. Of course the sense of community there is really nice as you live, eat and sleep with each other 24/7. One of the things I am very much looking forward to is a late afternoon swim in the river Li after training”.

“The long term aim for me is to get to a level where I can teach back in the UK. There are a few Chen style schools in England but not many following the lineage from GM Chen Zhenglai. This makes it difficult to get good instruction unless I come to China. With any luck I may get the chance to learn the Laojia Erliu this summer and for someone my age and fitness that is going to be very challenging”.

We all look forward to seeing you again Roy and hope we can make your stay this summer a worthwhile one.

Roy Hanney - Learn about Qigong in ChinaRoy Hanney – is a university lecturer living and working in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. He practices taiji, qigong and yoga with a particular passion for Chen Style Taijiquan. In his spare time he makes films, authors websites and makes video art. He blogs about his encounters with Qigong and Daoist healing arts at his website: http://www.qigonginchina.com
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