terça-feira, 14 de agosto de 2012



The Wudang Mountains, also known as Wu Tang Shan or simply as Wudang, are a small range of mountains in Hubei province, China. They are located just in the east of the auto-manufacturing city, Shiyan.The mountains of Wudang have been famous for many centuries for the Taoist monasteries found there. These monasteries had been centers for research and teaching, the practice of meditation, Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese herbs, Taoist agriculture practices and other related arts. As early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), the mountain attracted the emperor’s attention. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the first site for Taoist worship on the mountain - the Five Dragons Temple - was constructed.The monasteries were emptied, damaged and then neglected during and after the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, but lately the Wudang mountains have become increasingly popular with tourists from all over China and abroad due to their scenic location and historical significance. The monasteries and buildings were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The palaces and temples on Wudang were mostly built as an organized complex during the Ming Dynasty (14th–17th centuries), however, there are Taoist buildings on the mountain that date back as early as the 7th century. The buildings represent some of the highest levels of Chinese art and architecture for nearly 1,000 years. Noted temples on the mountain include the Golden Hall, Nanyan Temple and the Purple Cloud Temple.The Wudang monasteries figure prominently in Chinese martial arts films and media, especially in the genre known as popular martial arts literature and films based on those books. For example, the end scene of the world-famous movie Crouching Tiger & Hidden Dragon, by Taiwanese director Ang Lee, was set in the Wudang monastery, although it was not actually filmed there. In some martial arts films about the Shaolin Temple, some characters using Wudang martial arts are portrayed as villains. In many martial arts movies, however, actors portraying Wudang practicers can also be found in heroic or neutral roles.


It is said that Zhang Sanfeng, the founder of Wudang Kungfu, was cultivating his spiritual energy in the mountains when he witnessed a fight between a crane and a snake. The crane was flying up and down to attack and the snake was shaking its body and raising its head in defense. The scene inspired Zhang Sanfeng and provided him with a general understanding of the Taiji theory. He then proceeded to create Wudang Internal Kungfu. He found in the battle between the two creatures the following two principles: one must overcome the strong in a gentle way and win by striking only when the enemy has made its move.

Zhang Sanfeng was a semi-mythical Chinese Taoist priest, who is believed by some to have achieved immortality. His legend varied from either the late Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty or Ming Dynasty. His name was Zhang Junbao 張君寶, before he became a Taoist. (Zhang Sanfeng—simplified Chinese: 张三丰; ancient Chinese: 張三丰; pinyin: Zhāng Sānfēng; English spelling: Chang San-feng; variant 張三豐. Pronunciation keeps the same.)
As a legendary cultural hero, Zhang Sanfeng is credited by modern practicers as having originated the concepts of neijia (內家), in other words, the soft, internal martial arts. To put it concretely, the Taichi Quan is one of the neijia kungfu, which is the result of a Neo-Confucian syncretism of Zen Buddhist Shaolin martial arts combined with the principles of his Taoist neigong. In legends, he is also associated with the Taoist monasteries at Wudang Mountains in Hubei province. Stories from the 17th century onward recorded that he initiated the internal martial arts. In the 19th century and later, the credit for the creation of Taichi Quan went to him.


In the third chapter of Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, it says, "Empty the mind, fill the belly. weaken the ambition, strengthen the character." Naturally then, this is also the motto for practicing Wudang Taoist Qigong. To practice each movement correctly, the theory of hard qigong must be understood first, and then the energy processed. There are about eighteen ways to practice Wudang Qigong.
 In practicing Wudang Qigong, the first step is to move the inner breath in the small heavenly circle, also known as the first gate, whereby energy is refined and the breath transformed. When brought together, energy, breath, and spirit become spiritual breath. The second step is to move the inner breath in the large heavenly circle, also known as the middle gate, whereby the breath is refined and the spirit is transformed. At this point, spirit and breath become one. The third step is to combine everything into an integral; this is known as refining the spirit and returning to the state of selflessness. Recover and return to emptiness, explore the mind, make the body stronger, and prolong the life.

WUDANG TAIJI FORMS (empty hands)

Wudang Sanfeng 13-form Taiji

The Wudang Sanfeng Sect 13-form Taiji is made up of 13 groups of movements with a total of 60 postures in all. It contains 5 basic steps and 8 basic movements. This form is considered as the mother of all Taiji forms and was created by Taoist Master Zhang Sanfeng.
Wudang Taiji Quan uses softness to overcome the hard and the inactive to combat the active. It is both good for strengthening body and self-defense. By practicing it, people can convert strength into inner energy, and finally turn that inner energy into a deeper spiritual energy. This ancient practice combines martial arts with inner alchemy, helping the practicers to achieve longevity, clarity and physical strength.
The study and practice of Taiji can be broken down into 3 stages, namely, jing(strength), qi(breath) and shen (spirit). Regulating one’s breath is an important skill developed by Taiji practice. The main movements are pushing, pressing, jostling, picking, elbowing, also known as Peng Lu Ji An, Cai Lie Zhou Kao in Chinese. When practiced properly and diligently, both the movements and one’s energy flow smoothly and naturally. Wudang Taijii incorporates motion with inner stillness, through which the internal and external aspects of the form combine to create an overall feeling of well-being, while at the same time improving the practicer’s health.    

Wudang Sanfeng 108-form Taiji

The Wudang Sanfeng Sect 108-form Taiji includes 8 parts and 108 movements. This form originated from Zhang Sanfeng's first disciples, and it’s based on the original shorter 13-form Taiji only with some variations.
This form is known exclusively in the Wudang Mountains. It is a tradition that all Wudang monks are to learn this form. This is different from the 13 form, which is usually only passed down to the senior Monk in every generation from each of the eight major temples on the mountain.
The most important thing for the practicer of this form to remember is to be as relaxed as possible and keep a slow pace, as it is a very long form and should take approximately thirty minutes to perform. Every movement can be used either as an attack or defense, and the basic energy center for all of these movements is the abdominal region, known as the Dan Tian in Chinese.       

Wudang Sanfeng 28-formTaiji

The Wudang Sanfeng 28-form Taiji is based on the 108-form Taiji. Though compared with other forms, Wudang Taiji seems to be a very ancient form, it’s still an abbreviated version of the 108 form, making many of the movements and concepts easier for practicers to remember.   


Daojiao Huogu QiGong
Daojiao Dongjing QiGong
Wuxing QiGong 
Daoist Baduanjing
Dantian Tiaoxi Juqi Zhuang
Taiji Yinjing Zhuang
Taiji Hunyuan Zhuang 


"QIANKUNG TAIJI FAN (Earth & Heaven)

The fan form is not a traditional Wudang form. Although, is the only one practice by the Wudang Daoist Priests, probably by the fact that Qiankung Fan Taiji is one of the oldest traditional fan forms of all China.
This form comes from Kong Tong Mountain in Gan Su Provience. Though the fan is traditionally used for dancing & performing, QianKung Taiji Fan is a Kungfu fighting form, still beautiful yet feirce. It could be pratice as a Kung Fu or a Taiji form. Movements include cutting, thrusting, fanning & hitting.



Photos at the Yuanhe Temple Wudangshan, China, August 2012.