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This article by Yuzeng Liu provides a window into the philosophical principles of Wǔdāng (武當) and the concepts of the Yì Jīng (易經 Book of Changes) and the Dàodéjīng (道德 经 Tao Te Jing) and how they are integrated with the internal martial arts of Tàijí Quán (太極拳), Xíngyì Quán (形意拳) and Bāguà Zhǎng (八卦掌). Liu states, "I think that in practicing the fundamental techniques of Wǔdāng internal martial arts, in order to advance one must move in the direction of the Dào, toward understanding the distinct aspects and requirements. In this way, after the movement is understood, practice improves and energy improves. By quietly observing and mulling over, one gradually arrives at the heart’s desire, becoming adept and transforming." Liu introduces various principles and their relationship to internal martial arts, which can be used as guideposts to the deeper study of Wǔdāng internal martial arts.
William C. C. Chen, one of the giants in the modern Taiji era, in Tàijí Quán de Hūxī - An Essay on Breathing, explains in a concise and easy to understand manner both the essence and function of breathing. He writes, "The gentle, deep and full inhalations in the movements of Tàijí Quán allow us to receive a greater volume of the 21 % oxygen into the lungs. With an adequate oxygen supply in our system, we can produce more energy. Oxygen is essential to our daily activities and in fighting disease, repairing tissues, and removing cancerous cells." Further, "The system of breathing with the diaphragm is of great significance in the movements of Tàijí Quán. In these gentle relaxing movements we keep the air passage wide open, which maximizes the airflow out and in from the throat. When the diaphragm moves up, we exhale; this pushes the carbon dioxide out from the lungs. When the diaphragm pulls down, we inhale; this helps the lungs draw in oxygen." Just as in his teaching, William C. C. Chen imparts knowledge without mystery and in a manner that is simple and yet profound.
Kenny Perez is one of the original pioneers of Wushu in the West and a former tournament champion who won numerous titles and awards. He shares with readers his martial arts journey: his early training in Kenpo Karate and Shuri-Ryu, his first exposure to Chinese martial arts, Wing Chun with Augustine Fong, White Lotus with Douglas Wong, and Contemporary Wushu. He describes his experiences in prestigious tournaments such as Ed Parker's Long Beach International; the people he meets, many of whom are legends in martial arts in the West; and his revealing views of competition. Along with Roger Tung, Christopher Pei, Bow-Sim Mark, Keith Hirabayashi, Donnie Yen, and others, Perez was part of the first American Wushu team to visit China. He offers his impressions of Chinese culture during the Mao Period and his training routine. “Back then the training was much regimented, very communistic." He expresses his excitement in returning to the States to teach what he had learned. Donnie Yen and Jet Li, Coach Wu Bin and Li Tianji, and many other famous athletes and personalities are discussed in the interview, which is accompanied by dozens of historical photos and helpful training tips.
Recollections of Zheng Manqing (鄭曼青) - There is no doubt that Professor Zheng Manqing will always be remembered as one of the most influential and innovative teachers of Tai Chi Chuan in the modern era. Tom Vandigriff shares his recollections of this great master during the time that he was privileged to study at Shr Jung "The Hall of Happiness" in New York in the early 1970s. Tom shares his memories and experiences of lessons, episodes and interesting points through several vignettes that provide the reader with a student's perspective on Zheng Manqing, both the man and his art.