Zi Ran Men
Zi Ran Men is an art form that has been taught and passed down via the Zi Ran Men Martial Art lineage (Zi Ran Men roughly translates to “Nature Boxing” or more literally,“Nature Gate”).
Whilst the Zi Ran Men lineage is only 150 years old, it has its roots in other more ancient arts. It also constitutes an art form that has been refined across a number of generations by numerous masters.
Zi Ran Men is based on ancient Taoist philosophy, Traditional Chinese Medical Theory and, most importantly, the philosophy of 'One and Zero'. It combines physical training, Qigong (also, Chi Kung), meditation and combat techniques.
Through training, Zi Ran Men enhances the spirit of the mind, regulates the circulation of Qi (also, Chi) and develops physical sensitivity.
Although Zi Ran Men Kung Fu is a relatively young art (compared to some other kung fustyle) founded during Qing Dynasty, it has been responsible for some of the most highly regarded martial arts masters in its history. Three of these masters are Dwarf Xu 徐矮子, Du Xin Wu 杜心武 , and
Wan Lai Sheng 万籁声.
Zi Ran Men strips away unnecessary material and develops only the "core". It has a rich tradition in China and is the style that lies at the foundation of modern San Shou competition fighting. Through its practice a practitioner will find a “Gateway to Understanding Nature”.
Zi Ran Men is based on ancient Taoist philosophy of 'One and Zero', Traditional Chinese Medical Theory and the
observations of natural phenomena .
It combines hard physical training and combat techniques with qigong & meditation. Through training, Zi Ran Men enhances the spirit of the mind, regulates the circulation of qi and develops physical sensitivity. When the body is in harmony, you will live a long and healthy life.
Zi Ran Men training can be divided into three components : Physical Training, Conditioning and Combat Techniques . These three components combine for one purpose, which is to enhance the health of body and mind.
Ziranmen calls for the use of the entire body in an integrated way to exercise and progressively strengthen the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones.
The methods of Zi Ran Men combat follow the rules of nature - apply the techniques without thought, movements come from nothing.
Qigong (Chi Kung) is the Chinese discipline
devoted to the development of understanding,
awareness and harmonizing of one’s mind, body,
qi (chi) and spirit. It plays a strong part in Chan
Buddhism (Zen) and Daoist philosophy, as well as
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Martial
Arts. 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 complimentary and alternative medicine, with positive effects on many diverse ailments.
Qigong practice involves rhythmic breathing, coordinated with slow stylized repetitions
of fluid movements and a calm mindful state. From a philosophical perspective qigong is believed to help develop human potential, allowing access to higher realms of awareness, awakening one’s true nature.
Ziran Qigong is a progressive set of exercises that retains all the original concepts & benefits associated with traditional qigong, while following a style of practice that uses terms and expressions that modern people can associate with and understand. “The main
aim of Ziran Qigong is to obtain
an understanding of one’s mind, body and the link between the two.” Our practice of Qigong has been passed down via the Ziran Qigong lineage and has been refined throughout many generations. Master Liu De Ming is the inheritor of the Ziran Qigong system, as well as being an active researcher into Qigong.
Also known as 'Eight Trigram Boxing',
Ba Gua Zhang is an internal style of Gong Fu training that involves repeated palm changes embedded within continuous circle walking. Regular practice builds stamina and a strong, flexible body.
Bagua Zhang focuses on the development of internal Qi as the primary method of cultivating power and is regarded as one of the highest forms Qi Gong training for maintaining and improving general health
and well being.
The style of Ba Gua taught at our school is Cheng Shi Ba Gua Zhang. This style is derived from the famous practitioner Cheng Ting Hua.
Ba Gua fighting techniques (palm changes) are based upon circular movements and the cultivation of so-called 'hidden power'. Due
to Cheng Tinghua's extensive background
in shuaijiao (throwing techniques) before learning bagua zhang, Cheng style tends to emphasize throwing & grappling techniques, while Yin style tends to emphasize striking techniques.
In Yin style bagua, many of the martial applications are evident in the form. Cheng style applications are not as evident, but are equally as powerful.
Ba Gua philosophy is based upon the I-Ching (the Book of Changes). Each sequence of palm changes and qigong exercises in Bagua attempts to reflect the eight essential energies and directions that the I-Ching describes as forming our universe.
Xing Yi Quan
Allegedly created by General Yue Fei during the Ming dynasty, Xing Yi (also, Hsing-I) is one of the most powerful and linear looking of the internal martial arts.
It is based on the Daoist philosophy of the
'Wu Xing', or Five Elements and uses this framework to devise its defensive and offensive strategies.
Its primary strategy is to aggressively occupy the opponent's territory and is often likened to rolling over your opponent with a huge iron ball.
As an internal art, however, Xing Yi's power is derived from relaxation, focusing the intent (Yi) and the development of internal energy (Qi).
The five mother 'fists', or attacking strategies of Xing Yi, each represent an element; Metal (Pi, Chopping), Water (Tsuan, Drilling), Wood (Beng, Crushing), Fire (Pao, Pounding) &
Earth (Heng, Crossing).
Taiji Quan (also known as Tai Chi) is the most widely practiced martial art in the world. Famous for its ability to enhance health and relaxation, it was invented by Taoist philosophers who noticed that in nature, softness often overcomes hardness. Accordingly, they invented an art based on yielding and neutralizing an opponent's force. The slow, circular movements of Tai Ji strengthen all parts of the body and improve flexibility, coordination and balance.
Taiji Quan utilises eight specific energies or Jin. People often translate it into “energy”. But“energy” is still not exactly what was originally meant. The eight Jins in Taijii, “Ba fa” or “Ba jin” are the eight basic ways you can use the body. The term Jin has the connotation of a skill, something that is learned and developed through proper practice. They are considered as eight basic techniques, but in fact they are something that should be described much more as body skills than as techniques.
The names for the eight jins are: 掤 peng (expanding), 捋 lu (roll back,) 挤 ji (press),
按 an (push), 採 cai (pluck), 挒 lie (split),
肘 zhou (elbow) & 靠 kao (shoulder).
Every movement in a Taiji form belong to one of these jins. In Chinese calligraphy, there are eight basic strokes that make up all of the characters. In Taiji the eight jins make up all of the movements in the form.
Liu He Tang Lang
Liu He Tang Lang Quan (Six Harmonies Praying Mantis Boxing) is the third major school of Praying Mantis Gong Fu along with Qi Xing Tang Lang Quan (Seven Stars Praying Mantis Boxing) and Mei Hua Tang Lang Quan (Plum Blossom Praying Mantis Boxing). Master Liu is currently a student of Grandmaster Liu Jing Ru, a seventh generation inheritor of the Liu He Tang Lang Quan lineage. The special characteristic of this school is its use of
continuous vertical (and sometimes horizontal) circles which permit either striking, trapping or defending. It is not related to Liu He Men boxing but instead shares the same philosophy in regards to structure of its movements (the six harmonies). The fast vertical 'running hands' allow a range of offensive and defensive techniques. Arm strikes to the opponent can use the edge of the hand or the forearm.
If the opponent blocks or parries, the leading
(circling) hand may grab while the other continues the attack. This vertical circle, combined with advancing steps, provides speed and Jin (power). Horizontal circling hands make use of the edge of the palm or the wrist. There are seven empty fist forms in Liu He Tang Lang and one weapon form. Each form has its own characteristic and may be learnt and practised individually.