Within the considerable universe of martial arts, there is often a distinction made between "external/hard" systems, and "internal/soft" arts. In Chinese, the external is referred to as weijia chuan, while neijia chuan is used to define internal styles. The Tao Te Ching teaches us that "the shape changes, not the form"... meaning that regardless of emphasizing an increase in natural abilities such as speed or force the way external styles do, or focusing on modifying typical patterns of response to adhere to and redirect energy in a manner consistent with internal styles, the end result is an educated and well-trained student. Ultimately in the journey, both need to be developed and integrated – transforming an individual into a complete martial artist.
At ShaoLin Center, internal arts encompass Tai Chi Chuan, QiGong, BaGua and XingYi. While these pieces are introduced and cultivated as moving meditations and contribute to the overall health of the practitioner, it is equally important to note that each should also be regarded, and taught, as a martial art. Many schools offer classes that emphasize the softness to enhance flexibility, mobility and peace of mind, but without the martial understanding, it is only a part of the training. ShaoLin Center's internal arts curriculum is not only comprehensive, but it is complete – giving students the opportunity to develop in a way the original Masters intended.
Tai Chi Chuan
Yang, Sun and WuDang Styles
Full array of empty-hand and weapons work
Two-person combat sets (empty-hand and weapons)
QiGong and healing arts practice
Toi Sau (push hands): drills and freeform
Six levels of progressive training
Tuesday 7 to 9 pm
BaGua & XingYi
QiGong is the ancient art of "internal energy exercise." Following prescribed postures – while sitting, standing or moving – students focus on their breathing to quiet the mind and relax the internal pathways so energy, or qi, can pass through smoothly and effortlessly. The result is less stress, better balance and focus, and improved health.
ShaoLin Center offers an impressive variety of QiGong – from the three original classics attributed to Bodhidharma, to numerous traditional pieces that build from beginner to experienced practitioner. What starts as an introduction to meditation is carefully nurtured to the point where students can mindfully lead their qi to specific places for healing or physical activity.
To watch a short video about QiGong, click HERE.
Tuesday 6 to 7 pm•group QiGong
Although the predominant components of ShaoLin Center's internal arts program are Tai Chi Chuan and QiGong, students may also choose to pursue introductory training in BaGua and XingYi. These styles, like Tai Chi Chuan, originated at the WuDang Temple, and require a cultivation and understanding of internal energy to benefit from their full potential. BaGua is known for its circular stepping and whole body coiling/uncoiling actions, while XingYi is characterized by aggressive, explosive power. Each is learned through drills, forms and weapons work.
Tuesday 7 to 9 pm