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Wang Zi Ping
Jun 21

Wang Zi-Ping

By YongnianTaijiUK | Persons

Grandmaster Wang Zi Ping was born in 1881 during the Ching Dynasty in Hebei Province to a martial arts family. He learned martial arts from Yang Hong Xiu and Sun Yan Biao. He was a master in Shaolin, Cha Chuan, Pa Chi Chuan (Eight Extremes Fist), and Ching Long Jian (Green Dragon Sword).

He started learning martial arts at the age of six, and never stopped practicing, even when he was more than eighty years old. Ching Long Jian (Dragon Spring Sword) was his own creation, developed after he analyzed many styles of swordsmanship, including Western fencing and Japanese kendo. In 1960, he accompanied Premier Zhou Enlai to Cambodia. At the time, he was the Master of the Chinese Kung Fu demonstration team and was already eighty years old. However, in a demonstration of his love for the martial arts, he again performed his Ching Long Jian, with the enthusiasm and skill of someone much younger. Although he was a well respected martial artist throughout the country, he never accepted money for his performances, claiming that his only goal was to promote martial arts.

Grandmaster Wang was also a famous doctor of traumatology, teacher of Dr. Zhuang Yuan Ming and creator of “Exercises in 20 Forms for Health and Longevity” which forms the basis for the development of Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa and produced several medical works during his later years.

During his youth, Grandmaster Wang had repeatedly defeated Western boxers who challenged the Chinese to fights. Once in a demonstration of his strength he picked up a huge stone of enormous weight and thenceforth known as the “King of Thousand Pounds”. Grandmaster Wang Zi Ping was the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Martial Arts Association and passed away in 1973.

Zhuang Yuan Ming
Jun 08

Zhuang Yuan Ming

By YongnianTaijiUK | Persons

Dr. Zhuang Yuan Ming was born in Shanghai on November 22, 1919. In his early days, he learnt Chinese marital arts from the legendary master and famous doctor Master Wang Ziping.

As part of his training, Dr. Zhuang also trained in the art of “pulling the flag”. He would lie on his side, flat on the ground next to a flagpole, gripping the pole and quickly ascend the pole with legs extended out horizontally like a flag. Dr. Zhuang was awarded a gold medal for his performance of “pulling the flag” in the National Sports Performance and Competition Conference in 1953.

Dr. Zhuang underwent schooling and graduated from the Chinese Traditional Medical College in Shanghai. He specialized in traumatology (study of pathology and treatment of injuries) and commenced practice in his Masters clinic where he learnt martial arts as well as worked with patients. He was an expert in setting broken bones and in treating dislocations.

When China nationalized its whole system and banned all private practice, Dr. Zhuang went to work for the Government hospital. He treated 600 to 800 patients everyday with the help of his students and proved to be a doctor par excellence. He achieved tremendous results and taught patients to heal themselves with Lian Gong. This resulted in the Ministry of Health taking up Lian Gong for research with the help of reputed doctors, sportsmen, scientists and professors of medical universities. Based on the report of the health bureau, the government promoted Lian Gong all over China and millions practiced it.

Dr. Zhuang was awarded the scientific award for excellence by the Shanghai Government for his expertise and hard work. Dr. Zhuang was awarded prizes for the researches of Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa, clinical curative effects and experimental observation of Lian Gong.

The Shanghai Municipal Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa Association was set up in 1989 and Dr. Zhuang was the first President. With the spread of Lian Gong worldwide, he was invited several times abroad to lecture, demonstrate, train, popularize and propagate Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa in several countries.

liangong
Jun 04

Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa

By YongnianTaijiUK | Styles

“Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa” – which roughly translates as 18 health therapy exercises to prosper – is a system which now consists of 54 exercises divided into three routines.

The exercises are derived from a variety of sources including Wang Ziping’s 20 Forms for Health and Longevity and Wushu (martial arts training), the Ba Duan Jin (Eight Pieces of Brocade), the YiJinJing tendon-stretching classic and other Dao-yin systems.

liangong

They also contain the clinical experiences of the systems developer, Dr. Zhuang Yuan Ming, tuina, acupressure and An Mo massage techniques.

The intricate blend of martial arts, healing methods and self-massage, combined with breathing, sets Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa apart from other exercise methods – it is, literally, “massage in motion”.

In China, in the 1960’s there was an increase in neck, shoulder, waist, leg and back pain owing to wear and tear of the tissues due to holding bad postures for long periods. Despite advances in modern medicine, there was no effective and proven clinical therapeutic method for treating stress related diseases, leading these patients to seek solace from other traditional systems of Chinese medicine.

Dr. Zhuang Yuan Ming considered various combinations of movement-based treatment along with massage-therapy. In most cases, patients who obtained great relief from massage returned as soon as the pain reappeared. So he devised movement-based massage, where the massage could be administered by the patients themselves in the comfort of their homes. This proved a dramatic success, which led Dr. Zhuang to devise Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa.

Dr. Zhuang Yuan Ming fashioned different exercises specifically suited for different body conditions and disorders, which would act on each specific part of the body. Though Dr. Zhuang created the essential foundation in 1964, it came to be known as Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa in 1974 and the final version was perfected in 1978.

Since then Dr Zhuang and his son, Master Coach Zhuang Jian Shen, have tirelessly promoted the routines throughout the world.

Today, the exercises are widely practiced and are popular in places as wide apart as Japan, Brazil and Glossop.

  • The exercises target specific areas of the body in specific ways.
  • Movement with emphasis laid on inner strength and the creation of chi.
  • Comfortable, warm, relaxed, revitalisation and relief.
  • Extensive range of movement encourages greater relaxation.
  • Slow / coherent movement.
  • Natural harmonisation of the body.
  • Movements co-
    ordinated with
    natural breathing.
  • Simple and easy movements for self-
    prevention and treatment.

Almost anyone can benefit from practicing Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa. But, in particular….

Office Workers

Soft tissue strain is caused by long-term repeated excessive fatigue or continuous work in the same posture keeping the muscles in a state of tension. As time passes, the muscles remain under a continuous state of tension / convulsion with the soft tissue and muscle fibre hardening and restricting movement. Problems such as tennis elbow develop. Weather and environmental factors also play a part with bodily tensions being exacerbated by cold, damp, wind, air-conditioning and electric fans etc.

Similarly, the spaces between the vertebrae reduce with repetitive actions and natural posture is lost. In particular, waist strain is caused by prolonged sitting.

Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa has also found to be a great stress reliever in workplaces in China and Japan.

Children

Bad posture begins in childhood and becomes worse if not corrected. Lian Gong Shi Ba Fa can prevent this happening.

Sportspeople

Lian Gong prepares sportspeople to bring their minds and bodies to a complete state of readiness in a very short time, leaving no joint, bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, cartilage or tissue unattended. The ligaments and tendons develop elasticity thereby giving an edge in terms of speed and power whilst making them less prone to injury.

The hallmark of Lian Gong is lifting of the chest cavity providing constant stimulation to the internal organs, which in turn creates natural body resistance to disease and injuries.

The other remarkable feature of Lian Gong is that it will only leave you refreshed, fighting fit and NOT exhausted. It is the ultimate warm-up and work-out.

The Elderly / People recovering from illness

Lian Gong was initially viewed as being similar to Chi Kung, Pilates and Yoga. While there are some similarities, Lian Gong is unique in that within the various postures, a deeper stretch is formed by combining an isolation of the targeted areas with breathing and a stretching of the torso.

Lian Gong is taught slowly and methodically. Practitioners are encouraged to carry-out moderate movements to begin with and slowly progress / enhance the movements until full range of movement and accuracy is attained. Consequently, the exercises are suitable for the elderly and because core stability is improved, the exercises may be used as part of a falls prevention programme etc.

Lian Gong is also an effective supplement to medical treatment. For example, for arthritis sufferers, the exercises support the musculature around the affected joints, relieving pressure and helping to prevent further wear and tear.

Because the exercises are performed in a slow and relaxed way, they have also proved effective for people undergoing cardiac rehabilitation therapies.

Grandmaster_Fu_Sheng_Yuan,_Yong_Nian
Jun 02

Yongnian

By YongnianTaijiUK | Styles

There are many types of Taijiquan (sometimes translated as “Tai Chi Chuan”, “T’ai Chi”, “Taiqi” etc.).

Basically, Taijiquan – which translates as “supreme, ultimate fist” or “primal chaos boxing” is China’s foremost martial art. It is also widely practiced as a general health exercise routine in China.

There are two main family styles in Taijiquan – Yang and Chen. They both claim to be the original/ true taiji. Within each style there are many variations depending upon the lineage of the teacher. To complicate matters, many western styles have completely corrupted the original forms.

 Following extensive research Yong Nian Taijiquan (UK) was formed to promote one particular route of Yang Shi Taijiquan (Yang Style Taiji).

The true origins of Taijiquan are lost in the mist of time and is often claimed to have been developed by daoist immortals many thousands of years ago.

 Yang Style Taijiquan was developed by Yang Lu Chan  (1799-1872) – often referred to as “Yang the Invincible” because of his impressive “wu shu” (martial) prowess.

 The Yang family lineage is well documented elsewhere. Suffice to say that the last major traditional exponent of this form of Taijiquan was Yang Cheng Fu (1883-1936) who passed away without teaching his sons.

Fortunately for us Yang Cheng Fu passed his art onto one of his main “tudi” (disciples), Fu Zhong Wen who himself married into the Yang family. It was Fu Zhong Wen who created the Yong Nian Yang Shi Taijiquan Association to ensure that his masters teachings were not changed or corrupted in any way.

Today, the legacy of Fu Zhongwen is carried on by the World Yong Nian Taijiquan Federation of which Yong Nian Taijiquan (UK) is a member.

Yang Cheng Fu with Fu Zhong Wen

Following the death of Yang Cheng Fu in 1936, Fu Zhong Wen continued to teach Authentic Yang Family Taijiquan and, to further his aims, he created the Yong Nian Taijiquan Association in Shanghai in 1944. During this period, the morale of the Chinese people was low because of the civil war and the Japanese occupation – Fu Zhong Wen hoped to strengthen the country by strengthening the individual.

The name “Yong Nian” derives from the county of his birth in Hebei province which is also the birthplace of three generations of Yang Family Taijiquan (“Tai Chi”) players.

Another reason for choosing the name “Yong Nian” is because it means “always developing/never stopping” , always strengthening your health and developing yourself through the practice of Taijiquan.

Grandmaster_Fu_Sheng_Yuan,_Yong_Nian

One of the better known Grandmasters of our time, Fu Sheng Yuan.

The final reason for choosing the name “Yong Nian” was that the Chinese characters for the name can also be read as “long life” and this is a testament to the life enhancing qualities of the exercices.

To further the aims of the Yong Nian Taijiquan Association, Fu Zhong Wen encapsulated his practice and philosophy in the following motto:

Qin, Heng, Li and Cheng – Diligence, Perserverence, Respect and Sincerity.

Diligence: Hard work and effort is a prerequisite for skilled development. Daily practice on a regular basis will ultimately be rewarded.

Perserverance: It is important that a long enduring sense of purpose should be cultivated – with daily practice that purpose will be achieved.

Respect: Respect for your master, teacher and fellow human being is paramount. Deal with others taking into consideration their backgrounds and in the light of their expectations. Mutual respect serves to enhance a sense of community and solidarity.

Sincerity: Sincerity in attitude or motivation is a prerequisite for learning Yang Shi Taijiquan. In order to achieve, a genuine resolve to pursue your goal must exist. Deal with others sincerely if you wish them to reciprocate. Maintain sincerity in the fore of your dealings with others  and you will achieve a smooth flow in relationships.