This past year in Wudangshan has by far been one of the most difficult and yet enriching experience of my life. When I first came here, like most people, I had my own ideas and misconceptions of what Kungfu really was. But after dedicating a year of my life to this Martial Art, I learned that Kungfu is not just about fighting but it is about the cultivation of the mind, body and spirit. It is about gaining flexibility both physically and mentally. About pushing passed your preconceived limits... And then some.
I learned that both the internal kungfu forms and external kungfu forms I chose to learn each came with their own set of challenges and difficulties. Some of the internal challenges personally being overcoming my lack of patience and working through any internal blocks I had and external challenges being to push myself and to be pushed by my coach, Jiàoliàn Jake, beyond what I felt I was capable of.
From the hours spent every day in training pushing my body, to managing to survive my seven day bigu fast lead by Master Yuan. From the weekly conversations on Taoist philosophy during our tea ceremonies, challenging my mind and belief structures, to performing what I learned weekly to Master Yuan, among other spectators, taking me outside of my introverted comfort zone. From our long hikes admiring the beautiful scenery, to meeting so many amazing people and hopefully lifelong friends. This year will not be a year I will soon forget. I truly learned more about myself than I ever have and I will continue practicing what I have learned as long as my body allows it.
Being in the school learning internal martial arts may have been one of the most satisfactory decisions I have ever made in my life. To have the chance of breathing, talking, thinking and most of all, living around this practice wasn’t just good by itself but it also gave me the chance to know myself in ways I never imagined (both inside and outside). During the sixth months I stayed (since Oct. 2017), I had the possibility to see my body and mind change, and how they started to connect through feeling. Slowly I became conscious that the more I practiced, the more that I glimpsed the Tao. I became aware –at the same time- how deep and how far I was to really understand it’s wisdom.
I had the chance to know great people. People that I won’t forget and that affected and moved me in so many levels. Coaches are such beautiful persons and will push you as much as you want. Although, to me, training was always a lonely journey where the end of the road was always farther than what I believed when I was getting closer. My advice is to give all you have and be truly honest with yourself and you’ll never regret this wonderful experience in the place where it all began.
After practicing various styles of Chinese martial arts for years, I arrived to Master Yuan's school for the first time in 2009. Once there, I was impressed by the rhythm of the training and the focus of the students. For a long time, I was looking for an alternative way of practicing that could offer me something more than a simple sport or martial training. Training at the school I realized that I had found the intense and proper training I was looking for. Master Yuan has a particular way of understanding the goal of training and an interesting point of view on how to evaluate the purpose of our habits and our behavior.
All of this is used in order to focus our lives. After several years of training this way of thinking into my life, I can say that through the whole internal system the Sanfeng Pai program offers, you can really transform your life and your being in many different and interesting aspects.
María Jesús Rodríguez Luis
Greetings to all, my name is Masu, María Jesús Rodríguez Luis. In the month of April 2017, I trained alongside the Wudang Spain team from Tenerife with Master Yuan's disciple Alex Mieza (Zi Xiao). Training in Wudang was a very positive and comforting experience. It was such a wonderful time and so therapeutic for me that I plan to return!
I‘ve been to Wudang several times, but the longest was in 2012 when I stayed for a year. Shifu's experience and the way he explains and shares his knowledge is always fascinating.
I practiced meditation every evening and while it was very confusing to not have been guided much when starting, I am glad that Shifu is able to make his students believe that he knows best and you just have to experience certain things in order to understand them. So I simply practiced and gave my best to follow what Shifu or my coach would tell me to do because I trust him to have good reasons.
Now, looking back I can say the thing I miss the most is the deep rooted feeling of inner peace. The peace from pure exhaustion due to the daily practice and simply no time to be overthinking daily problems.
While I did not stick to wushu practice and changed disciplines to circus training, this is the place where it all started for me. Even while physically it is two different forms of exercise, it did help me tremendously to find out what I am truly passionate about and learn the discipline to pursue it. Therefore, those lessons I will be grateful for throughout my life.
I came to the school for the first time in 2008. It was a life-changing experience for me, which powerful impact is still felt to this day. Since then, I have returned several times to Wudang for longer periods of time. Practicing martial arts since an early age, I never had the chance to immerse myself in such an authentic and raw environment. Wushu in Wudang is not only a way of life, but also an open door to the deep knowledge and mysteries of Daoism. Meeting Master Yuan was also a turning-point in my life. He is a man of superior skills, gained over years of hard training and study, but in my eyes he is also very wise, sensitive and approachable.
The academy places great emphasis on basics (flexibility, stances, coordination, kicks, etc.). If you are new to martial arts, you will surely build a solid foundation after some time in the school, and if you are already experienced, you will definitely take your skills to a new level. All instructors are impressive, very skilled and knowledgeable of their arts, and they are also very nice and friendly. Training and teaching at the academy is taken very seriously, and yet the overall atmosphere is relaxed and warm. There are students of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds, and there is always a sense of community, camaraderie and good vibes. I recommend this school to anyone looking for a true experience in Wudang Wushu.
I studied with Master Yuan for 14 Months and it was a great time for me as an Stuntman and an Actor. I have learned so much about myself during my time in Wudang. A person gets to know themself even better after one starts with practice of the internal arts. The Academy will guide you throughout the process to become a good Martial Artist. I left the Academy in March 2007 with many Kungfu forms and knowledge. I thank Master Yuan for taking the time to teach me one on one. Hope to see you soon.
I first came to Wudang in the summer of 2007. Master Yuan's style of teaching and achievements in both wushu and Daoism are unparalleled. Studying as a student of Master Yuan has provided me with the guidance and direction that I have been looking for in my life. It is under Master Yuan's tutelage and guidance that I have been able to realize my goals as well as to understand my own practice, and further my study of Dao and wushu. I am deeply honored that he has chosen to share with the world what he has learned.
Master Yuan is devoted to his student's learning and well being. He immediately recognizes the problem areas in a student's body and can tailor a unique learning program to help any student's goals. Master Yuan takes an active role in his student's development, not only physically, but also mentally. The atmosphere of the school is always comfortable. There is always a diverse and quirky group of foreigners and all of the Chinese students are friendly. Their dedication to training and perseverance is inspirational. The coaches are amiable, well trained, and well educated in both their martial abilities as well as teaching skills; keeping the class engaged and helping to push each student to fulfill their goals.
Eren Akalin Asil
I first came to Wudang to attend a workshop on Daoist philosophy. At the end of the workshop, I decided to stay in this beautiful and inspiring place to broaden my studies through the practices of qigong, taiji quan and meditation. I chose the school because of the emphasis placed on the internal martial arts.
Master Yuan –being a highly accomplished martial artist- has unique training methods that allow students to form an excellent foundation to build upon. Grasping the deeper levels of meaning in internal practices and Daoist philosophy can be difficult to put into words in any language.
However, Master Yuan is able to relay the students the wisdom and benefit of martial arts, and a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the practice with exceptional skills. He is compassionate and motivating towards his students, offering individual instructions into the challenges that inevitably rise during the study. The profound insights and knowledge transmitted from a master is irreplaceable. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study with Master Yuan since 2007 in this friendly and supportive community.
I came to China in search of a training that was more in depth, more absorbing and more holistic than anything I'd previously found in Australia.
So, in August of 2009, I travelled to Wudang to take part in Master Yuan's 5 year Traditional Class.
I won't lie, at times it was torturous, however I wouldn't trade that time or those experiences for anything.
The people here, other students, staff and Master Yuan are all so welcoming. It has helped me feel like part of a family and circle of friends while I'm away from my original one in Australia. This has been monumental in being able to dig deeper and keep on keeping on.
Since I was a little girl I have been very interested in martial arts, but when I arrive here everything changed. Even though I studied here only for a month, started to see the kung fu in total different aspect, which opened my eyes at some point. Really thank you all for the amazing experience of living and studying here and looking forward to come here again.