Chun Yuen Quan is skill that originated in the Northern Shaolin temple in Henan Province, China. However the skill then passed down through the Beijing Opera. The forms have retained more of their martial qualities than modern Wushu and have more intricate weapon forms such as the long-tasseled sword and long flag Dao.
Chun Yuen Quan is very good for health and will make the body light and flexible and also improves the posture and makes the joints strong. Internally it also builds up strong circulation and Qi.
Master Wu Chun Yuen, who taught Michael Tse, learned the skill from Master Wang Ping who was a trainer for the opera actors. In Chinese opera, there are many performances which portray historical events, particularly those remembering famous generals. So it was important that the actors knew genuine martial art skill so that their performance was both vivid and true.
Master Wang, because of his opera training, was very flexible and light. However, due to the sensitive times in which they lived, they could not always practice openly. So Master Wang devised ways to help his students to practice without it being obvious that he was doing so. Instead of practising with a sword and long tassel, they might only use a stick with a long string. However, this in no way stunted Master Wu Chun Yuen’s skill and he developed to a very high level that not many people can reach. Grandmaster Wu Chun Yuen was a true martial art gentleman and his skill level was very high. He was also a very humble person and loved the martial art skill that he practised every day.
Master Tse was introduced to Grandmaster Wu Chun Yuen many years ago. Grandmaster Wu’s skill was immediately apparent and he knew he would like to study with him. Of Grandmaster Wu Chu Yuen, Master Tse says, “His movements and postures are some of the best I have ever see. Even when he was in his seventies he could do things that young people in their twenties could not.”
Sadly Grandmaster Wu passed away on the 26 February 2003 at the age of 77. However he passed his legacy to Master Tse who renamed the system, Chun Yuen Quan in honour of his memory.
Tse Qigong Centre Warm Ups
Making the body relaxed and loose so that Qi can flow through all the channels is very important in order to avoid injuries. For Chun Yuen we have warm up exercises that begin with opening the waist, then the joints. Later we have different kinds of stretching for the tendons and muscles and also jumping and kicking to develop Light Gong (a light body). Master Tse has created and/or arranged these warm up movements according to his deep Qigong knowledge of how Qi flows in the body and how the internal organs are vital for good health.
Xing Shou & Great Sadness Gong (Da Bei Gong)
Two of the beginning forms in the Chun Yuen Quan syllabus which you will learn is Xing Shou and Great Sadness Gong (Da Bei Gong) . Xing Shou literally means “Style Hand” and helps to establish many of the basic Chun Yuen postures that are used throughout the system.
Great Sadness Gong works for coordination and fitness and it is particularly beneficial for the lungs, helping to release stagnant Qi. It will help anyone suffering from depression, asthma or other breathing problems and at the same time improve blood pressure, fitness and flexibility.
The staff is a light and flexible weapon and is enjoyable to handle, even if you have never practised with a weapon before. The staff is a very typical Northern Shaolin weapon. In the past it was often carried by traveling monks from the Shaolin temple. Today it is will help us improve our coordination, improve circulation and balance our energy. It generates a lot of internal heat and so those people suffering from damp and cold conditions such as arthritis find it a great benefit. In addition, it is great fun.
Other Chun Yuen Forms
There are many other Chun Yuen Quan forms and these include Great Compassion Gong, Miju Quan (Secret Ancestor Fist), Erlian Quan, Yanjing Quan (Green Swallow Fist). There are also many weapon forms which train both body and mind. Some of these forms are Five Tiger Breaking the Gate Dao, Plum Blossom Spear and Nine Section Whip. However, the pinnacle of the skill must be the long-tasseled sword forms such as Green Dragon Sword, White Crane Sword and the Dragon & Phoenix Sword. They are elegant and stylish and would have been breath-taking on the opera stage and would captivate audiences even today.
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