|The Chinese Internal Arts|
|issue 26||Autumn 1999|
|*** this issue has been archived off ***|
|( only selected articles remain)|
Prince Charles meets Eva (at last!)
This was Grandmaster Wang Hao Da's first visit to our Association. The seminar took place in Firtrees garden and everyone, who came, was enchanted with Grandmaster Wang vitality and 'happy qi'.
Quoting from the promotion leaflet:
"Grandmaster Wang Hao Da (75 years of age) was an indoor student of the famous Ma Yue Liang, who acknowledged that Wang Hao Da had been able to internalise the majority of his transmission. The proof is displayed in his push hands practice. Each day Grandmaster Wang invites all comers in Shanghai to challenge his skill in the park."
During his seminar Grandmaster Wang focused on Push Hands training, the development of Yi-qi founded on the correct application of central equilibrium and Energy Discharge. He introduced some of the 13 Wu style push hand techniques (variations on single and double pushing hands). Later on, he showed Karel all 15(!) of them.
Eva and Kathy were most impressed with Master Wang's happy disposition and wrinkle free face despite his seventy five years of age which he puts down to his daily practice of Taiji, health exercises and self-massage. Eva was so inspired, she started to practise self massage on a daily basis and taught most of her students a daoist self-massage. We shall also incorporate it into our three-year Qigong course.
This year's pilgrimage to China was successful on two counts - one was training with master Du Xianming and the other Yiquan training with master Yao Chengguang (see a separate article below).
Master Du was in excellent shape this year, both mentally and physically. I trained intensively with him for over two weeks, three or more hours a day at a stretch and he still managed to teach several other groups before or after me. And the training was quite vigorous as we went through applications of the moves from the form - my shins have healed by now!
In the January issue I have written an article about Yiquan/Dachengquan and my training with master Xue Siqi, who was a senior student of professor Yao who in turn was the successor to master Wang Xiangzhai, the founder of Yiquan. Well, this year I have at last managed to track down master Yao Chengguang, son of Professor Yao. So, in addition to my Chen style training with master Du, I trained every day three hours Yiquan with master Yao. The training was really excellent - master Yao is not only very good (as one would expect) but has a very clear training methodology. If there is interest, we would like to invite master Yao to give a series of seminars on Yiquan. Below are few pictures of master Yao.
|Hun Yuan Zhuang||Chicken Stands on One Leg|
|Descending Dragon||Taming a Tiger|
Yiquan (or Dachengquan) is a sophisticated use of comparatively simple principles. It is 'simple' in relation to something like Taijiquan which has more sophisticated principles - and this, of course, makes it that much harder to learn. Yiquan's strength, I think, is in the fact that it dispenses with everything that is not strictly necessary in order to develop fighting skills. Thus a dedicated student can acquire good fighting skills in relatively short time. Despite its reputation for producing good fighters, Yiquan is also famous as a health exercise. This is because in order to develop internal power, there is a great emphasis on relaxation and calmness - this is similar to other internal martial arts, but in Yiquan it is accompanied by visualisation techniques.
Mike's Internal Strength seminar weekend has become an annual event which seems to be becoming ever more popular. The content is quite similar from year to year but the presentation varies. Mike is always trying to find new ways of how to present his material most effectively. This year he had more exercises for movement from the centre (dantien) and a very nice way to introduce student to setting up a peng path using just mind intent.
Below are few pictures from the event.
|Bringing 'peng' to the hand||Performing the form with 'peng'|
As most of you know, Chinese Internal Arts Association has been working together with the Battle Hospital in Reading to establish a programme of exercises for the patients and staff in the Elderly Care Unit. The programme is based on the training methods of Internal Arts focusing mainly on strengthening the link between mind and body, through enhancing body awareness. The goals of the project are improved balance and general posture, greater mobility, and physical and mental relaxation. The Guild of Health Writers' in Association with the Foundation for Integrated Medicine announced an Award for Good Practice in Integrated Healthcare. As our programme with the Battle Hospital satisfied the criteria, Eva sent description of the project to the Foundation. Our entry was shortlisted to the final 12 entries and Eva was invited to the presentation at the Reform Club in Pall Mall, London.
As President of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, HRH the Prince of Wales presented the winner with a cheque for £5000 at the Reform Club presentation in September. Both the number and quality of responses to the Award for Good practice in Integrated Healthcare, held in association with the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, astonished the judges.
The Award was won by the Complementary Therapy Team within Cancer Services, Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust. The Team offers massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, relaxation and art therapy to patients receiving treatment for cancer, as well as regular massages for staff. Complementary therapies were first introduced at the Hammersmith Hospital under the management of Professor Karol Sikora and patients are offered four complementary therapy sessions.
The Prince of Wales, who fully supports integration of complementary therapies into mainstream medicine, gave a speech at the Award and we quote as follows:
"Reading down the entry list I see homoeopaths, osteopaths, reflexologists, acupuncturist, Tai Chi instructors, art therapist, chiropractors, herbalist, aromatherapist, working all over the country alongside NHS colleagues in acute hospitals, on children's ward, in nursing homes, in primary healthcare. "
As one of the short-listed entries, Eva was presented to the Prince of Wales, and was given an opportunity to describe not only the programme in the Hospital but also the advantages of learning Taiji for all, not only for older people.
As a result of the Award, Michael Fox, the Chief Executive of the Foundation for Intergrated Medicine is coming to the Battle Hospital for presentation and discussion on Wednesday 22 December 2000. Eva has received an invitation from The Prince of Wales to a reception and dinner on Tuesday 11 January 2000, at Highgrove, his home at Gloucestershire to celebrate progress on integrated medicine and highlight the achievements of the short listed projects for the Intergrated Health Awards.