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Heilong Martial Arts Taijiquan & Qigong

Taijiquan is translated as Supreme Ultimate Boxing or Fist and it is a fighting art and system of exercise based on the philosophy of yin and yang. Taijiquan as a fighting art finds and uses the balance between hardness and softness to overcome one’s opponent.

Qigong literally means, “breathing exercise.” The more popular exercise of Tai Chi is an advanced form of Qigong. Modern medical research is now revealing Tai Chi and Qigong are powerful health sciences, as well as effective aerobic exercise.

At Heilong Martial Arts we teach Taijiquan for both health and for fighting. 

For Health we have designed special classes for Seniors that have been used effectively in Senior Living and Assisted Living Facilities. 

For Children and Youth Specific Taijiquan Classes we have designed classes that have been used successfully in Primary Schools in China and in High schools, Colleges and YMCAs in Virginia, USA.

As a True Martial Art:

We teach the Adult Taijiquan Classes in the traditional way, the way that they were originally taught. It is through this process that The student learns Taijiquan for Fighting and Self Defense. The student first learns the forms slow, they learn the correct posture and breathing techniques as well as what each of the moves are intended for with fighting. The students also learn how to do feel their opponent's intentions through Push Hand exercise Once the student understands this; then they learn to actually use Taijiquan as a Martial Art. Students learn to do the techniques at real speed, learning how to really hit and kick using heavy bags. The students learn how to fall and how to perform throws and they learn traditional Kung Fu weapons. It is through these process that the Master's of old obtained all the benefits of Taijiquan, including great health and long lives.

We Teach 3 styles of Taijiquan at Heilong Martial Arts, they include the following:

Wudang Xuanzong Taijiquan

The Wudang Mountains have been an important center of Daoism for over a thousand years and there are 100s of small Taoist temples throughout the mountains. Wudang is also the birthplace of internal martial arts where legend states that the great Daoist priest Zhang San Feng came to live as hermit and learn the Daoist methods of immortality. During his time in Wudang, Zhang San Feng incorporated his many years of training in Shaolin Kung Fu, Daoist Internal Alchemy, and Qi Gong Zhang to create Neijiaquan Kung Fu.

Wudang Xuanzong Taijiquan is a 108 posture form that comes from deep in the Wudang Mountains and until recently was only taught to the inner disciples of the Xuanzong Temple. Shifu Chen Lei was only one of eight non disciples to be taught this form. Because of this, the form is not well known in China but hopefully through this schools efforts, more people will come to learn and love this Taijiquan. Wudang Xuanzong Taijiquan has a strong flavor of all 3 types of neijiaquan kung fu. Almost all postures are done on both sides of the body, there are many Fajing or explosive movements and many kicks. Done slowly it looks like other types of Taijiquan, but done at regular speed it looks more like Wudangquan or Wudang Boxing Kung Fu. It is a deep form with many practical fighting applications.

Yang Shi Taijiquan

Yang Style Taijiquan was founded by Yang Luchan. Yang Luchan was the first outsider to learn Chen Style Taijiquan. Yang Luchan went to Chenjiagou (Chen Village) in Henan Province and after many trials, Chen Style Grandmaster Chen Xanxing (1771-1853) decided to teach him. After many years of studying in Chenjiagou, Chen Xanxing gave him permission to leave and spread Taijiquan. Eventually Yang Luchan ended up teaching Prince Su bodyguards his own style of Taijiquan and because of this, Yang Taijiquan became very famous. Of the 5 styles of Taijiquan- Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu (Hao) and Sun, Yang Taijiquan is the most famous and most practiced in the world

Master Da Liu, eventually brought his type of Yang Style to the USA, while working for the United Nations in New York City. It was Da Liu who first brought the west’s most Famous Yang Taijiquan Master, Chen Man-cheng to the USA. In fact they were roommates for a while and their forms are very similar. Da Liu’s form though is considered a medium length form of 54 movements, while Chan Man-cheng’s is considered a short form of 36 movements. At our school, once the form is learned on the right side of the body, the student then learns the form on the left side of their body. So if a student does the form on the right side and then the left side then it becomes similar to doing the Yang Long Form of 108 movements. Gun (Staff), Dao (Broad Sword) and Jian (Straight Sword) are also taught to those students that want to learn them.

Sun Taijiquan

In Sun Style Taijiquan the movement of the feet are flexible and fast: as soon as a leg advances or moves back, the other leg follows immediately. One does not find in Sun Shi Taijiquan a horse riding stance with feet equal distance apart or the bow and arrow posture of traditional Taijiquan. In Sun Shi, one uses the free steps coming from Xing Yi and Bagua. The centre of gravity always falls on one leg; a foot supports all the weight of the body, the other follows, free. The steps forwards are the steps of Xingyiquan Beng Quan, whereas the steps backwards are the ones the of Xingyiquan Pi Quan. The steps of rotation correspond to the steps of Ba Gua. Sun Shi is light, fluid and fast. It is compared to the flow of the water or the drifting of the clouds in the sky on a windy day. At our school we teach the traditional 98 Movement Long Form as well as the Sun Taijiquan Jian (Sword)

Taijiquan as a Health Exercise

According to the Harvard Medical Case Study

Some of the many health benefits of Tai Chi include:

Slows Down the Aging Process

Boosts the Immune System

Increases Breathing Capacity

Helps with Type 2 Diabetes

Reduces Asthma and Allergy Reactions

Reduces Anxiety, Depression and Overall Mood Disturbances

Helps with Arthritis, Rheumatism and Fibromyalgia

Helps Relieve Back Pain

Helps with Cardiovascular Respiratory Health

Helps with Circulation Problems

Helps with Heart Attack Recovery

Helps lower High Blood Pressure

Helps with Multiple Sclerosis

Helps with Osteoporosis

Helps Prevent Shingles

Helps relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Helps Alleviate Stress Responses

Improves Balance and Coordination Twice as well as the Best Balance –Conditioning Exercise

Provides the lowest-Impact Weight –Bearing exercise know.

Helps with Heart Attack Recovery

Helps lower High Blood Pressure

Helps with Multiple Sclerosis

Helps with Osteoporosis

Helps Prevent Shingles

Helps relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Helps Alleviate Stress Responses

Improves Balance and Coordination Twice as well as the Best Balance –Conditioning Exercise

Provides the lowest-Impact Weight –Bearing exercise know.

Other Studies have also show the medical benefits of Tai Chi:

Arthritis. In a 40-person study at Tufts University, presented in October 2008 at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, an hour of tai chi twice a week for 12 weeks reduced pain and improved mood and physical functioning more than standard stretching exercises in people with severe knee osteoarthritis. According to a Korean study published in December 2008 in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, eight weeks of tai chi classes followed by eight weeks of home practice significantly improved flexibility and slowed the disease process in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful and debilitating inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the spine.

Low bone density. A review of six controlled studies by Dr. Wayne and other Harvard researchers indicates that tai chi may be a safe and effective way to maintain bone density in postmenopausal women. A controlled study of tai chi in women with osteopenia (diminished bone density not as severe as osteoporosis) is under way at the Osher Research Center and Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Breast cancer. Tai chi has shown potential for improving quality of life and functional capacity (the physical ability to carry out normal daily activities, such as work or exercise) in women suffering from breast cancer or the side effects of breast cancer treatment. For example, a 2008 study at the University of Rochester, published in Medicine and Sport Science, found that quality of life and functional capacity (including aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and flexibility) improved in women with breast cancer who did 12 weeks of tai chi, while declining in a control group that received only supportive therapy.

Heart disease. A 53-person study at National Taiwan University found that a year of tai chi significantly boosted exercise capacity, lowered blood pressure, and improved levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and C-reactive protein in people at high risk for heart disease. The study, which was published in the September 2008 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found no improvement in a control group that did not practice tai chi.

Heart failure. In a 30-person pilot study at Harvard Medical School, 12 weeks of tai chi improved participants’ ability to walk and quality of life. It also reduced blood levels of B-type natriuretic protein, an indicator of heart failure. A 150-patient controlled trial is under way.

Hypertension. In a review of 26 studies in English or Chinese published in Preventive Cardiology (Spring 2008), Dr. Yeh reported that in 85% of trials, tai chi lowered blood pressure — with improvements ranging from 3 to 32 mm Hg in systolic pressure and from 2 to 18 mm Hg in diastolic pressure.

Parkinson’s disease. A 33-person pilot study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published in Gait and Posture (October 2008), found that people with mild to moderately severe Parkinson’s disease showed improved balance, walking ability, and overall well-being after 20 tai chi sessions.

Sleep problems. In a University of California, Los Angeles, study of 112 healthy older adults with moderate sleep complaints, 16 weeks of tai chi improved the quality and duration of sleep significantly more than standard sleep education. The study was published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Sleep.

Stroke. In 136 patients who’d had a stroke at least six months earlier, 12 weeks of tai chi improved standing balance more than a general exercise program that entailed breathing, stretching, and mobilizing muscles and joints involved in sitting and walking. Findings were published in the January 2009 issue of Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.

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