Chinese Internal Martial Arts have changed my Life

It’s about time I had a post that was a little more light-hearted… I have been studying Chinese internal martial arts on and off for around fifteen years now. I’ve trained in the Yang 85 tai chi form, Hun Yuan tai chi, Wu Dao Gong kung fu, Zi Ran Men kung fu, Nam Pai Chuan kung fu (with a Japanese club!), Bagua Zhang, Xing Yi and Liu He Tanglang Praying Mantis. I’ve practiced anywhere from one day to five days per week, but it’s a lifetime journey; there are some areas I feel quite proficient in, whilst others not even close.

I’m not on my way to being a kung fu master; this kind of person dedicates their whole lives to the art; every waking moment is spent in training. I am a typical Westerner practicing in my spare time for health and self-defence purposes; around Australia, doing kung fu doesn’t often pay the bills, and so we have to work most of our days. Doing martial arts has ironically made me a more peaceful person, and it’s been great fun as well as good for my health and confidence.

I’ve been fortunate to have a few very good teachers. Here are some videos of a few people I’ve been lucky enough to train under, or of forms/styles I’ve learned:

Here’s an old video of my Zi Ran Men teacher Liu Deming on a China trip.

This is Han Yanwu doing Bagua Zhang training; he came to Melbourne from Beijing a while back to help us out.


Grandmaster Fu Zhongwen doing the Yang 85 form


My Canberra teachers Brett Wagland and Fontaine Ip doing Hun Yuan tai chi


Some of our Zi Ran Men training drills here in Melbourne, Australia


This is how we sparred in the Nam Pai Chuan school over in Wakayama City, Japan

Have you ever trained in martial arts? How has the experience been for you?