I’ve been training in Chinese Martial Arts for over thirty years specialising in Nei Jia Quan (Internal Schools of Boxing) and teaching for over twenty years. I teach the Hebei style XingYiQuan combined with the Hong Kong ‘Wudang’ lineage of Wu Style TaiJiQuan. You can see in the linked ‘Lineage Chart’ that there is a connection between these two schools via the YiQuan style that is derived from XingYiQuan.
The Hong Kong Wudang Tai Chi School is famous for its effective Nei Gong (Internal Strength Training), it has this in common with XingYi and YiQuan schools, due, in part, to their shared heritage.
I’ve devised a training process that gives a clear structure to training. The classes initially focus on core martial skills and the development of the fitness and flexibility required, this will include learning Dao Yin (Daoist Yoga).
What has to be understood is that if you choose Daoist Internal Martial Arts you'll be walking a different path than those who choose the purely health focused approach. Internal martial art traditions refer to 'Bitter Practice'. This refers to the daily training which is strenuous, challenging and frequently painful, it is not an easy path to follow.
Once a basic level of skill, coordination and flexibility has been acquired in Dao Yin and you’ve developed a strong foundation in XingYiQuan you can progress onto TaiJiQuan.
Please note, I do not offer a children's class. If you have a child under ten with an interest in martial arts I strongly recommend Judo. Judo at most levels does not include kicks and punches, this makes it ideal for younger children whose emotional immaturity could result in unfortunate consequences if they should resort to kicking and punching, particularly in a modern school environment. A few other reasons that Judo is ideal is that it is a very hands on activity right from the start so its a great way to build confidence and burn up energy, additionally the British Judo Association has great coaches with a lot of experience in training young children.
As anyone can claim to be a Martial Arts teacher (membership of national bodies is all too often subject to the payment of a fee rather than on any serious assessment of knowledge or skill) it is important you look for someone with real knowledge and experience.
Unfortunately there are many people teaching Tai Chi who have done nothing more than a short course themselves, often they're actually part of a franchise. Yes these days franchises don't just supply burgers and coffee! It's important that you get quality instruction to gain the real benefits that Tai Chi can provide. I can provide the full traditional Tai Chi Syllabus including Weapons, Dao Yin and Nei Gong.
The Martial Art of XingYi on the other hand is comparatively rare, so rare that many people claiming to teach it appear to have taught themselves from videos! XingYi focuses on the study of relatively few techniques which are developed to a high level. With a heavy focus on the development of YI (will) through Zhang Zhuang (post standing).
Stephen Forde with Master Di Guoyong XingYi Teacher
Martial Arts training requires more than just forms, some of the additional training is shown here.