by Clayton Shiu
Returning to the Dragon Land was incredible for me. I remember first meeting my Master's brothers and martial
arts friends in 2004 and I was nervous and excited. I had unforgettable experiences and memories of being away
from America and fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting China to train in real high level martial arts.
Now to return one year later was deeper and even more meaningful. Because relationships were already
established and I had already taken back with me a part of them from the initial trip. Personally, I felt like I had to
prove to them that they were not just teaching a student who enjoys a flavor of the month with whoever was in town
in NYC.Deep down I wanted them to understand that I would practice what they taught us and eventually to the
best of my ability transmit their lessons and experiences to those who are willing to dedicate the time and energy to
achieve it. I am sure in the back of their minds my Uncles were thinking "Wow, we spent a long time training these
guys in some significant forms and techniques which we worked a lifetime to master; are we even going to see
them again? What are they going to do with their training time and experience with us?"
Earlier, before my first trip in 2004 I had been ceremonized as the 16th chair disciple of the North American family
of Yin Cheng Gong Fa. I took an oath during that ceremony that I take very seriously. Of course the Chinese way
of showing you take this oath seriously isn't by saying, its by doing. Thus, after I returned from China the first time I
realized I have a lot to do to figure out and claim as my own style into my body and shen; which is in gongfu years
a lifetime process...
I am fortunate in my life to meet the right Masters at the right time. Growing up I did Shaolin Kung Fu.
During my study of Chinese Medicine, I realized that I needed to pursue Taiji to raise the level of my
acupuncture techniques. At this time was when I first met Shifu Zhang Yun who stunned me with his
mysterious intangible skills that seem to deflect and control anything I threw at him. Eventually he
became my Master and I his 16th Tudi. However, the job of a Tudi is to preserve and transmit the
knowledge of the family to other virtuous and dedicated practitioners. Thus, I am lucky to teach
dedicated students who accompanied me on my second journey to Beijing. I try my best to transmit to
each of them what I felt they could absorb, forge, and polish in their own kung fu practice. Its tedious
and time consuming to treat everybody as individuals, however, I am not interested in having 300
students that have very little skill, training, and conditioning. I can actually say that I brought my special
small family of senior students to train with my personal martial arts uncles and together we pursued
practicing, learning and growing together as one united international family. It was amazing to spend so
much time with each of our uncles and their wonderful family and friends who treated us like royalty.
There were also many moments of truth that happend for me like when we met the Shuai Jiao School
and we had friendly challenges with them, or when some of us got to be target practice for the famous
Master Wang Zuo Chen. During those moments, I was of course nervous to be on the spot, however,
then I thought to myself, why are we here? Why do we train all year round if not to step through certain
doors that may appear in our path and see how we do on the other side?
Surprisingly, one of the most memorable moments for me was to do the original 83 posture
form with Zhang Lao Shi at 7:00am in the morning. The sun was just rising and we were about
to shoot Uncle Gu Yun's 24 posture form. It was special because I had really missed being
with Zhang Lao Shi during the trip and I knew he was running around staying 2 steps ahead
of us keeping all of us busy for 2.5 weeks. He was incredible, he even arranged for us to see
a Peking Opera Show of the Monkey King!
Uncle Lu Shengli's focus and mind
really impressed me during this
reunion trip. He started out his
lecture and lessons by dedicating 4
special internal throws to Zhang
Laoshi. He even wrote a poem and
explained to us why he felt Zhang
Laoshi is such a special brother. The
4 internal throws were to signify if we
were actual students' of Zhanglao
shi. Uncle Lu Shengli is the Uncle
who understands the significance of
our trip and he quickly realizes what
level we all are and how to relate to
us. The ironic thing about Uncle Lu is
that that doesn't mean he will give us
something easy to practice. Instead
he can adjust himself to teach us a
techniques or style in a way where it is
just out of our reach yet right in front
of us. Thus, his Zhang Gate Four
Throws were very difficult for us to
learn at first because the techniques
were definitely a middle level internal
Fortunately I was allowed to accompany my older Gongfu Brother Strider and to train further
with Lu Shibo privately. It was amazing because the first time we met we did very little
applications and I felt like I was under a microscope of a highly obervant and intelligent
scientist. During my private time with Lu Shibo he really opened up and astonished me with
his ability to move swiftly and coil himself deep into my center of balance. Lu Shibo's Bagua
understanding is stunning and beautiful at the same time. He also made me very happy
when he told me he is happy to see that my gongfu improved since I last saw him. I was
pretty ecstatic because I honestly thought that I didn't show him anything of my personal
practice the first time we met. Either way, it felt good reconnecting to such a silent, careful,
analytical, and powerful master.
Zhao Zeren Shibo was as usual the most exciting Uncle to be around. He seem even more
youthful and lively as when I last saw him. I got several chances to feel his pushhands and
sensitivity. He is so quick in his thoughts and such an amazing martial artist. Be careful
when you meet him because under that smiling exterior is a Shark ready to attack you in
anway that comes to his mind. I remember him headbutting Frank into the wall and it was so
spontaneous and perfect. Frank's whole body shifted away and Zhao Shibo hardly edged
forward with his body. His ability to focus his whole body into pinpoint locations is amazing.
He and Zhang Shifu are such close brothers that you can feel them thinking and confirming
their high level impressions, principles, experiences, and ideas.
Finally thank you Zhang Lao Shi, my Master, for offering your knowledge, experience and
martial family to us traditional martial arts enthusists. Your year round full schedule of
classes and seminars which encompasses all over America from Los Angeles to New York is
impressive and speaks highly about your unending dedication and Taoist understanding.
Your special teaching style is the bridge from Old China's ancient internal teachings to our
modern society. We are fortunate to have you in the West.
Yin Cheng Gong Fa Association North American Headquarters
Copyright © 2000 YCGF_NAH. All rights reserved.
2005 Beijing Trip - Training and Visiting
2005 Beijing Trip - Training and Visiting
Impression, Feeling, ...
Impression, Feeling, ...
Training with Uncle Gu Yun was always very regimented and clear. He is a true classical
Teacher. I was proud to introduce him to my student Tito, because he and I spent all year
always focusing on the principles and spirit of Baiyuan Tongbei. Tito's heart beats to the
strikes of Tongbei and everyone in China felt it! So, I was really nervous about having Uncle
Gu Yun watch Tito do his Break Apart Form because its common knowledge that the student
is also a kind of reflection of the Teacher's understanding. Fortunately to both Tito's and my
relief, Uncle Gu Yun was very pleased with Tito's Tongbei basics and focus and I believe he
had a great time fixing and teaching him subtle nuances and details of Tongbei.