Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wax On, Wax Off

The other day my wife asked me what type of work I'd do if I had any opportunity available.  It didn't too long to decide.  I said that I've always wanted to teach martial arts - tai chi to be specific.

But in order to teach, one first has to learn.  And best to do so from a Master!  There are many forms of tai chi out there - Yang, Chen, Wu, Sun, etc.  But the one that I find the coolest is from the Wudang mountains where they say Tai Chi supposedly originated from.

Nestled in the misty mountain range are many Daoist temples where the priests train the Wudang style of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung.  Actually when I started looking into it, I was surprised about how many schools there are!  Apparently the way it works with Daoist practitioners is that a Master takes several of his best students and makes them the next generation Masters in a special ceremony.  They they go to form their own schools and the first good crop of graduating students go the same process and so you'll have several "generations" in short order.  But they'll all share the same lineage.

Anyhow, the schools will take in Westerners for as long as you want to study there.  A year of study generally runs between $6,000 - $10,000 and includes not only the martial arts training but room & board and two or three meals depending on the school.  Some schools advertise air conditioning, some western-style toilets.

I thought it would be so cool to go over there and take a year to specialize in Tai Chi.  Then come back to the States and teach the Wudang style as it is quite rare here in the U.S.

I even learned that some schools over there are creating online learning opportunities.  Not sure how effective that would really be.  And it just doesn't have the same appeal as traveling and living there in the heart of Tai Chi country!

Note:  Daoists are not Shoalin.  Daoists follow a philosophy centered around the Tao whereas Shaolin are Buddhists.  Lots of folks, when they think of Chinese martial arts, have the image of Shaolin monks.  But Wudang is based around Daoism which is a different thing altogether.

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