Why is the Hun Yuan System so Effective?
Chief Instructor Brett Wagland
It is good to see that students are enjoying the Hun Yuan
Tai Chi system! Although we are only a few weeks into the term, the
response so far has been very positive and encouraging. Students have
reported an opening up of shoulders, back and waist. More and more
students are beginning to feel qi, internal energy, in their hands and
in the body centre, the Dan Tian.
How did the Hun Yuan System develop?
Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (1928- ), founder of
the Hun Yuan system, is one of China’s foremost martial arts masters.
He is able to demonstrate the internal power of Tai Chi to a high level,
both in self defence and in healing. Grandmaster Feng had the unique
opportunity to learn from two of the most well known and respected
teachers of their time, Hu Yao Zhen (1879-1973) and Chen
Fa Ke (1887-1957). Hu Yao Zhen was a famous traditional Chinese medical
practitioner and an expert in Xin Yi Chuan (Heart Mind Boxing). Chen Fa
Ke, 17th generation of Chen Style, was well known for his martial arts
prowess. Due to the knowledge and insight that Grandmaster Feng has
gained from his two teachers, he has been able to develop the Hun Yuan
Tai Chi system which enables practitioners to achieve noticeable results
What is Gong Fa?
“Hun” means mixed and “Yuan” means circle. Hun Yuan
refers to the movement of the universe or the Tao which is the force
behind all phenomena. In the Hun Yuan Tai Chi system, Gong Fa is very
important. It is the foundation of the system. The training of Gong is
to nurture and cultivate qi, internal energy. When one’s qi is strong,
one appears vibrant and spirited. If one merely practises movements
without developing this internal aspect of the training, one will have
nothing much to show when one is older. It would be like returning
empty handed after spending many years in a gold field. It is precisely
the emphasis of this internal aspect from the very beginning of the
training which makes this system so special. Having such an emphasis
means that the system is geared to help practitioners to experience deep
relaxation. Cultivation of qi is only possible within a state of deep
relaxation. Each part of the foundation training has been designed to
help students to feel different aspects of the internal training, so
that they can ultimately be combined in the Tai Chi form.
Some Components of Gong Fa
Hun Yuan Qigong, Fa Soong Gong, Quiet Standing,
Tai Chi Ruler,
Chan Si Gong (Silk Reeling Exercises)
and Tai Chi Bang
are all parts of this Gong Fa
The Hun Yuan Qigong trains one’s intention
to direct the qi. It prepares the mind and body for higher levels of
training. It increases the sensation of qi and helps to train the mind
to lead the qi. It specifically focuses on fostering a deep level of
relaxation and cultivating energy in the Dan Tian (the body centre) to
nurture oneself. This practice produces a strong sensation of qi
through the meridians and at different acupuncture points. All students
are encouraged to learn this Qigong form at some time during their Tai
Chi journey. It is easy to do and very enjoyable. Every time one
practises this Qigong, one can expect mental clarity and abundance of
energy. People who usually experience a lack of energy due to some
medical conditions, such as Chronic Fatigue, are surprised how well they
feel after the practice.
Fa Soong Gong
induces relaxation. Many students enjoy the Fa Soong Gong because it is
easy to feel relaxed and experience the sensation of qi in the hands
when doing these simple yet profound movements. Many students found
that doing the Fa Soong Gong before the Quiet Standing helps to settle
cultivates qi. Many students were pleasantly surprised to find
themselves deeply absorbed in the Standing practice – ten minutes seem
like only a couple of minutes. You will feel content and refreshed
after dwelling in the state of tranquillity. This state is most
conducive to qi cultivation. Once you are able to enter into this state
of calmness regularly, this same feeling will gradually accompany you
through all aspects of your training. The Quiet Standing is an
essential practice - one which is easily overlooked by beginning
students. Do not under-estimate the kind of strength developed from
this form of relaxation. Although the practice looks soft and gentle,
the type of strength built from the training is flexible but powerful
like a wave.
Tai Chi Ruler
enables students to feel the sensation of qi quickly. Students who
find it difficult to quiet their minds find this practice especially
effective. Holding the ruler with both palms help them to focus and be
in the moment. The movements of the Ruler imitate the movement of the
qi inside the body. It furthers the development of qi circulation.
Chan Si Gong
loosens the body and develops silk reeling power. When first learning
the Chan Si Gong, students may easily mistake them as simply great
movements for opening up the joints – for freedom of movement. Some
students commented that they have never felt so loosened in their upper
bodies. As one practises more, one will also feel how these silk
reeling exercises develop one’s internal energy. One will sense qi
enveloping the body.
Bang or Stick
is a special Tai Chi method for training hand, wrist and arm strength.
The flexibility of the joints in the arms is further improved by
manoeuvring the Tai Chi Bang. It helps students to feel and integrate
the back with arm movements. It develops eagle claw power and chin na
which are joint locking skills. It also helps to further develop one’s
internal energy. The Tai Chi Bang develops all these skills without the
practitioner even being aware of it. It just comes about through
Gong Fa gives substance to one’s Tai Chi form. Without
this internal aspect, one’s Tai Chi form will merely be a bunch of fancy
movements. The Tai Chi form is the union of internal energy and
external body, especially the tendons, ligaments and muscles. Training
in the Tai Chi form is training the intention, that is, the mind to
guide the qi.
Grandmaster Feng always says, “Use mind or intention
instead of hard force to move the body. This is the way to develop
internal power.” He summed up the method and secret of cultivating
internal energy in those simple words. Until one experiences how the qi
moves the body, one will not realise the profundity of those words.
The Hun Yuan Tai Chi system is a delight to experience
and rewards its practitioners with noticeable results. The tools to
enjoy relaxation, calmness of mind, freedom of movement and good health
are at your disposal. The more regular your practice, the more your
mind and body will benefit, the more joy you will feel!