8 Days Meditation, Tai Chi, and China Kung Fu Training in central China's Wudang Mountains

  • Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy, Wudang Mountains, 442714 Shiyan, Hubei, China

China Kung Fu School

Learn Wudang Gong Fu, Tai Chi, Chi Kung and meditation. Study other fields related to it. Learn Wudang Kung Fu in its birthplace and train under a master who is a 15th generation of Wudang Sanfeng sect. Join Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy, the academy that lets you experience and learn Gongfu movements but also includes cultural exploration.

Highlights

  • At least 4 hours training session daily
  • Daily training from Tuesday to Saturday
  • Tai Chi, Chi Kung, meditation, and relevant theory classes
  • Train under highly qualified 15th generation master
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All levels welcome
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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We have a few residences in the mountains, like Tianxin Ju, Tianran Ju, Tianyi Ju (Ju means residence), and so on. While Tianxin Ju offers living condition the same level as standard rooms with air-con, toilet and internet access like hotel, the Tianran Ju and Tianyi Ju is located below the South Cliff Palace and by the side of Tianyi Lake, offer students with accommodation at relatively lower price.

We have downtown residence, Laoying Ju, to consider in cold winter. Laoying Ju is Master Gus house bought at the end of 2007. The house consists of two apartments on 7th and 8th floor. The nice and spacious balcony, overlooking the whole Wudangshan Town, serves as a training ground.

There is possibility that Master Gu can be invited to teach in the South of China. If you coincidentally come in winter and insist being taught by him, he would happily take you along to wherever he is and teach you there.

What you can learn

Wudang style, especially Sanfeng Pai Taiji Quan, Taiji sword, Qi Gong and so on.

Besides learning Tai chi and Qi Gong orientated to health enhancement, you can expect to learn some Wushu (martial arts forms or Tui Shou).

Besides grasping some skills to heal yourself in future, you can also get Qi Gong treatment from healer in our school if you feel you need a quick recovery from the unwell physical situation.

Besides learning basics or forms on the training ground, you can also get theoretical lessons on various aspects of Chinese culture. Classes of TCM, mandarin, calligraphy, and traditional musical instruments are also offered.

The trainers and the training

Master Gu is one of the disciples of Grand master Zhong Yunlong who was once the abbot of the Wudang Monastery. His Tai Chi Chuan and Taiji sword is excellent. But what is really characteristic about him is that he speaks English fluently. We also have teachers offering classes on Taoism, acupuncture, Tuina, TCM and so on.

All the students will be taught on the same training ground. Upon your arrival, you will be arranged an interview from which we know how you wish and then your teaching is arranged. You can be practicing one on one or within a group. But can't be a group bigger than 10 people in one time.

The hours

  • Every day, there are 4 hours formal teachings excluding one hour optional refreshment exercise after getting up. You have quite some spare time.

Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy schedule

Daily schedule Tuesday to Saturday

  • Get up
  • One-hour morning exercise
  • Half-hour breakfast
  • Two-hour morning training
  • Lunch
  • Rest or sightseeing
  • Two-hour afternoon training
  • Half-hour dinner
  • Mandarin or other cultural learning (Tuesday and Wednesday)
  • Our weekend is Sunday and Monday. On Monday government offices and banks open.

Gong Fu training styles

Taoist wellness

Recently, more and more people, not only from China but also from other countries, come to know about Wudang Mountains. Those outside of China spell it in various ways: Wudang / Wu Dang; Wutang / Wu Tang; Wudan / Wu Dan, and/or Wutan / Wu Tan. They first knew of the name most probably because of the name of a famous music band: Wu Tang Clan. It is said that the band got its name enlightened from an ancient Chinese martial art from Wu Tang Mountain.

In the year of 2000, An Lee's famous film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon further aroused people's interest in this amazing mountain with rich legacy of Taoist Gong Fu. Most recently, Jackie Chan's film Karate Kid once again motivate lovers of both Chinese Wushu and Taoist philosophy to explore this beautiful mountain in the heartland of China. Chinese call it Wudang Shan, shan being mountain.

It is located in the northwest part of central Chinas Hubei Province. Wudang Shan (Mountain) is famous as a sacred land for Chinese Taoism (Daoism) and original place of Tai Chi Chuan. Talking about Chinese Wushu, there has early been a saying: Bei Chong Shaolin, Nan Zun Wudang. Translated into English, it means: (People in the martial arts circle) esteem the Shaolin style in the north and respect the Wudang style in the South.

As time goes on, especially in the times when human beings attack or defense has largely depended on weapons or technology, the function of Wushu has consciously or unconciously shifted to physical or spiritual wellness. If Shaolin style, representative style for Wai Jia or external Kung Fu, still appeals people for the effect of attack or defense, Wudang style, representative style for Nei Jia or internal Gong Fu, lays strong emphasis in human wellness as its tradition did.

Master Gu Shining

Gu Shining is the director of Wudang Taoist Culture Centre (WTCC) and headmaster of the Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy. Among the martial artists in Wudangshan area, he is one of the few who were born here and the one who can teach in perfect English.

While most institutions focus on movements teaching, he's been directing his academy to follow the way; not only movement but also cultural exploration; not only do you get to learn about Tai Ji, Qi Gong, meditation, but also learn acupuncture, Tuina, culinary art, calligraphy and painting, and Mandarin.

Gu Shining's Chinese name is Gu Shiyi. Shining is his Taoist name as he is the 15th generation of Wudang Sanfeng Pai or sect. His Shifu (fatherly teacher) is Grandmaster Zhong Qingwei (Taoist name) or Zhong Yunlong.

The syllable Shi is the character for every one of the 15th-generation disciples. The last character for his Taoist name is Ning, which means "peace". In Wudang Mountains, there are four characters, usually in good style of Chinese calligraphy, namely, Shou Fu Kang Ning. They respectively mean longevity, happiness, good health, and peace.

So Gu Shining, ever since he got such a taoist name, has determined to promote Wudang culture even farther and wider, spreading peaceful sunshine all over the world. He, together with his team members, welcomes you to the Wudang Taoist cultural program!

Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy

Brief introduction

Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy (WTWA) was founded by Gu Shiyi, who is one of the Wudang Wushu inheritors with a Taoist name Gu Shining. Master Gu was celebrated for his combined knowledge both in martial arts and Taoist culture.

Master Gu can also teach international students in English fluently. Our academy teaches up in the mountain, not below the mountain! What's the difference? Undoubtedly, there is more Taoist atmosphere up in the mountain rather than downtown.

School for all

For all those who like Chinese culture, esp. Taoist philosophy and wellness arts, i.e.Tai Chi, Chi Kung, and meditation. If youve planned to become a Tai Chi Chuan instructor or be a health carrer, please consider our program.

Our teaching team

Master Gu Shining is the main instructor on Tai chi and chi kung. As he speaks perfect English, he also acts as translator for some theory class given by others when needed. There are various teachers, residential or invited, in charge of different subjects. On some occasions, assistant coaches can be helping organize class after they have been instructed how.

Available all year round!

If you, by any means, cant manage to arrive and register every first day of the month, then every day is alright for you to come. It must be pointed out that, if you want to join the Wudang Mountain Tai Chi and Chi Kung Retreat, you should arrive on or before July 6.

Language lessons

  • If you request learning more cultural subjects than martial arts, such as TCM, Mandarin and /or calligraphy, Chinese cooking, the price is relatively higher.

The Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy (the main teaching spot for Taoist wellness) is located in Nanyan Scenic Zone of Wudang Mountains. From here, it's very convenient to visit those major scenic spots, such as South Cliff Palace, Purple Heaven Palace, and Laozi Temple. Meanwhile, it is a place of peace and quiet, which is very good for tranquility and concentration.

We have a few training grounds, including the one in Laozi Temple. Training inside the temple, you will have a very special feeling. In the main hall is the statue of one of the greatest philosopher, Laozi or Lao Tzu. All of our rooms have bathroom and air con and other necessary facilities to offer you a happy stay.

Wudang Mountains

Wudang Mountains is located in central China's Hubei Province. The Chinese charaters for Wudang Shan are , Shan for mountain. For hundreds of years, Mt. Wudang has been regarded as a fairy mountain, a sacred land for Chinese Taoism (Daoism). After the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, people from home and abroad have been more and more appealed by the charm of this mystical mountain.

Read this part of Wudang Culture expert Mr. Gu Shiyi 's letter to know more: I totally agree with your idea. Mt. Wudang is truly a fascinating place to visit. It is not just its scenery, there are other places which have more beautiful nature; it's not because of its ancient architecture, there is the Summer palace and forbidden city and Ping Yao Ancient City; it's not because of Wudang Wushu - there is Shaolin which has been quite earlier known to the world.

Wudang has all these elements! In other words, there is no any other place like Mt. Wudang that has so many Chinese cultural elements so perfectly combined together! To feel the charm of the Chinese culture, to have a feeling of a real Middle Kingdom (the Chinese for China is Zhong Guo, Zhong for middle and Guo for country or kingdom), just come to central China's Wudang Mountains. Naturally, this can be a best place for your base for conducting the cultural exchange between USA and China, the most vigorous countries in today's world.

The two nations, like the remaining of the world, still face some challenge. In my view, there is a way for the human being to make a better living. This way lies in the great book of the ancient Chinese sage, Lao Zi. The book, as well known, is called Dao De Jing. With this book as Bible, our mission is to help people find the way! Before your exploration of Wudang Taoist Martial Arts, we would like you to have some brief impression of Wudang Mountains.

The site

The palaces and temples on Mt. Wudang were all built into the actual mountain face, adhering to the topography of the land, which dictated the scale of the buildings, the spaces between them and their layout. Palaces appear on the tops of peaks, in the middle of ravines, on the edges of cliffs and nestled within rock faces. Apart from its unique architecture, Wudang is renowned for its wealth of cultural relics.

Throughout its history, but most especially during the Ming Dynasty, Wudang was the recipient of numerous religious gifts. Feudal rulers and Taoist devotees provided funds for the moulding of thousands of statues of gods and the crafting of thousands of musical instruments made of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, jade, pearl, and stone.

The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 - 907). By that time Taoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China. Taoism is essentially a reinterpretation of an ancient tradition of nature worship and divination.

Taoists believe that the Dao (or Tao, meaning "way" or "path") is the origin of all creation and the force behind all the changes in the natural world. Simplicity, harmony, peace, and retreat into nature are some of the basic principles of Taoism. Taoist culture has existed on Mt. Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (AD 25 - 220). The movement began with a few early Taoists settling on the mountain in order to practice their worship of nature.

As time passed, more Taoists converged on the mountain, making Mt. Wudang a Taoist holy place in central China. During the Zhenguan period (AD 627 - 647) in the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong constructed the Wulong (Five Dragons) Temple, the purpose of which was to spread Taoism on the mountain. The temple structure is one of the ways of expressing Taoist culture in physical form.

A temple provides a container for the integration of the various elements of Taoism. Mt. Wudang remained a sacred Taoist site for several hundred years. The buildings were enlarged during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, but many of the buildings from this period were destroyed during warfare and battles at the end of the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China. The greatest period of development was during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644).

In AD 1413 Emperor Yongle (AD 1403-1424) sent more than 200,000 soldiers and laborers to transform Mt. Wudang into the largest Taoist complex in the world. It took thirteen years to complete construction, which included nine palaces, seventy-two temples and halls, thirty-six nunneries, thirty-nine bridges, twelve platforms, and countless stone steps winding their way along the entire mountain.

The floor space of all of these complexes came to over one million square metres, although now with the destruction of many buildings the floor space totals 50,000 square metres. In 1994 the ancient building complex in the Wudang mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The architecture

The ancient structures built onto the Wudang Mountains were designed to conform to the shape of the mountain range and ultimately reflect the Taoist belief in nature and spontaneity. The Palace of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Palace), perched on the top of Tianzhu Peak, consists of the Golden Hall and the Bronze Hall.

The palace was built in AD 1416 during the reign of Emperor Yongle in the Ming Dynasty. It measures 5.54 meters high, 4.4 metres long and 3.15 metres wide. Resting upon a granite base, the entire structure was made of gilded copper coated with gold. Inside the palace many bronze sculptures embellished with gold were discovered, one of which represents the Taoist deity Zhen Wu.

Yuxu Palace was built in AD 1413, the eleventh year of Emperor Yongle's reign, and was rebuilt in AD 1512. It was originally one of the largest buildings in Wudang with its 2,000 rooms, until it was destroyed in AD 1745. The remains of the palace include four pavilions housing stone tablets positioned upon stone tortoises, each of which weighs over several hundred tons.

The Nanyan Palace is located in one of the most beautiful areas on the mountain range. The palace is actually a complex of wood buildings clinging to the side of a mountain. Built in AD 1413, much of the original complex has collapsed or been destroyed, and what remains seems to be held to the rock face as if by magic.

The most famous palace on the mountain range is the Zixiao Palace (The Purple Cloud Palace), which was constructed in AD 1413. Originally the complex contained a number of palaces, verandas, dining halls and pavilions. Zixiao Palace is the largest of the palaces on Mt. Wudang. It presently contains 29 buildings arranged on a five-tier terrace covering 6,854 square metres.

Other important palaces and temples include the Fuzhen Temple (Revelation Temple) also built during the Ming Dynasty and extended at the end of the 17th century. The Qiongtai Temple (the Marble Tower Temple) is located 10 kilometres southeast of the Tianzhu Peak. The complex is composed of the upper temple, the middle temple and the lower temple. Much of the complex was destroyed in AD 1856, but some restorations have since been conducted.

The Five Dragon Palace is the oldest of the palaces on the Wudang mountain range, having been constructed during the Tang Dynasty between AD 627 - 649 at the foot of the Lingying Mountain Peak. In AD 1412 the complex was expanded and a number of buildings were added, such as the Imperial Hall, the Gate of the Palace, the Veranda Wings, the Jade Statue Hall, and others. In 1930 a fire destroyed much of the palace.

Finally, the Xuanyue Archway stands at the foot of Mt. Wudang. It was built in AD 1552 and reaches a height of 20 metres and a width of 13 metres. The structure contains four pillars and three entrances and boasts five arches, all with exquisite carvings.

All the meals, which consist of 80% vegetables, is suitable for a Taoist Gong Fu practitioner.

Walk around on the mountain to see temples or take a bus. There are tourist bus team moving on the roads in the scenery zone; You can also (pay to) learn other things in the school, such as traditional Chinese medicine, Taoist musical instruments, painting and calligraphy or Chinese!

Today, there are many international flights link Beijing, the Chinese capital, and Shanghai, one of the most influential cities in the world. From these two cities, you can take flights or trains to come in direction of Wudangshan.

The nearest train stations are Wudangshan Train Station and Shiyan, not Xian Train Station. The nearest airport is the Xiangyang Airport before the Wudangshan Airport is completed in 2014.

Mt. Wudang is located in the northwest of central China's Hubei Province. If you are in Beijing, it is to your south; if you are in Shanghai, it is to your west. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province, also a very big city throughout the country.

You can go there to visit the famous Yellow Crane Tower and the East Lake. Of course, you can't miss seeing the magnificent Yangzi River, which is called the Mother River for Chinese nation. But, for those who have a clear purpose of coming to Wudang directly from the gateway city Beijing or Shanghai, then there is no need to come to Wudang via Wuhan.

Arrival by train

Trains

  • K279
  • T9
  • K283
  • K351
  • K284
  • K352
  • T10
  • K626
  • K625
  • T673 (from Wuchang)

Departure & Arrival

  • 16:32 - 12:49
  • 21:02 - 17:23
  • 18:19 - 16:20
  • 17:50 - 10:02
  • 19:34 - 13:11
  • 10:10 - 19:46
  • 08:50 - 17:23
  • 15:17 - 21:48
  • 09:00 - 14:10

Stations

  • Beijing - Wudangshan
  • Beijing - Wudangshan
  • Shanghai - Wudangshan
  • Shanghai - Wudangshan
  • Chengdu - Wudangshan
  • Chengdu - Wudangshan
  • Chongqing - Shiyan
  • Xi'an - Wudangshan
  • Three Gorges - Wudangshan
  • Wuhan - Wudangshan

Train destination

  • Shiyan
  • Chongqing
  • Chengdu
  • Chengdu
  • Shanghai
  • Shanghai south station
  • Three Gorges
  • Xi'an
  • Shiyan
  • Shiyan
  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 10 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by a traveler from Europe
    9 out of 10

    "It’s truly a big sensation to feel that you are in the heart of all traditional culture of China and of the Universe, and to have access to that - the internal martial arts, the I Ching, the Taoist philosophy and, above all, wellness."

    Wudang Taoist Wellness Academy website, edited

Shiyan, China

Based on central China's Wudang Mountains, the origin of Chinese Tai Chi Chuan, we have been offering courses of Tai chi chuan and other martial arts. Meanwhile, we hold workshops home and abroad. Let us help you to live long and well !

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8 days / 7 nights

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