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February 16, 2017

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Home » City specials » Hangzhou

Spring is the season to hone your kung fu skills

SPRING time is generally considered a good time to start kung fu practice. That is because the body can stretch better and the qi is awakened too.

Qi, figuratively as “material energy,” “life force” or “energy flow,” is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts. Elements of the concept can also be found in Western popular culture, for example “The Force” in the Star Wars series.

In Chinese lunar calendar, spring begins after Lichun (this year on February 3). Below are the lists of venues where you can study martial arts or practice your qi in Hangzhou.

Zhen Qi Yun Xing School



Qi has been practiced in different forms of martial arts such as tai chi, kung fu and qigong. Chinese kung fu practitioners believe qi permeated everything and linked their surroundings together.

They likened it to the flow of energy, and forming a cohesive and functioning unit. By understanding its rhythm and flow they believed they could offer treatments for stability and longevity.

But how can one find it and use it if he/she cannot see it?

Zhen Qi Yun Xing helps in that search by following a five-step method, which is mainly focused on breathing.

The school offers a nine-day camp to beginners, priced at 3,000 yuan (US$436). Some teachers speak functional English.

The school’s director Cao Jie said the technique originated from the Chinese ancient text, “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon,” the fundamental doctrine in today’s Chinese traditional medicine. TCM physician, Professor Li Shaobo, developed the methodology of the modern Zhen Qi Yun Xing system.

With help from a Chinese government hospital and 60 years of scientific and clinical research, he perfected the breathing technique. Professor Li died at the age of 102 years old.


Address: No. 70, Dayou Village, Lin’an

Tel: 137-5828-1269 (call in advance for consulting schedule)

Rouzhiyi Tai Chi Center


Tai chi’s basic fluid movements gently promote the correct flow of qi throughout the body, as well as blood circulation. They also promote flexibility, balance (those slow movements are difficult) and, it is said, general well-being and peace of mind.

Rouzhiyi is one of the few indoor tai chi schools to have a business license. More typically tai chi lessons take place in parks.

Established eight years ago, the club has hundreds of members and is a gathering place for local tai chi fans to meet and learn.

The club coaches in Yang school — one of the widely practiced in the world. It teaches tuishou, a combat form of tai chi. It literally means pushing hands that work to undo a person’s natural instinct to resist force with force, teaching the body to yield to force and redirect it.

Tai chi was first developed as a “soft” martial art, one that applied internal power, to distinguish it from the “hard” martial art styles.

Training with a partner, students develop their ting jing (listening power), which refers to the skin and muscle becoming “sensitive” and “feeling” to the direction and strength of a partner’s intention. Eyes and intuition are also important.

In pushing hands training, students cooperate in defensive and offensive movement principles and learn to deliver power as well as neutralize incoming power without injuring themselves.

The center’s owner Jin Hui said he used to be a weak boy till meeting his teacher Chen Sulan, a well-known tuishou practitioner in the city. Chen started learning tai chi in her 60s because of several senile diseases and became a master in her 70s.

When she started teaching her own students near West Lake, some people doubted her ability. She challenged them.

“I will admit defeat if anyone can push me into the lake.” Many tried — from kung fu practitioners to tall foreigners, but no one succeeded.

After Chen’s death, Jin carried on her task and spread the unique culture in his tai chi center.

For Jin’s students, the health benefits of tai chi were obvious. One student claimed that she no longer had knee and spine problems, another said he had lost weight. Other tai chi enthusiasts at Rouzhiyi say they are able to handle their stress better and that their temperament was more even.

The center offers both short- and long-period classes. Some teachers speak functional English.


Address: Zijing Park, 110 Lishui Rd (crossing of Lishui Road and Dahu Street)

Tel: (0571) 8896-6193

Xiu Ming Guan


Wing chun is a form of self-defense that makes use of striking and grappling, with emphasis on close-range combat. It is associated with some pretty illustrious names, including masters like Bruce Lee and Yip Man. Jiang Hanlong, as the fourth-generation Yip Man’s disciple, gave up his cartoonist and visual designer job and started his own martial arts studio in Hangzhou. Jiang teaches wing chun, while other teachers coach in baguazhang, xingyiquan and tai chi.

Baguazhang literally means “eight-trigram palm,” referring to the trigrams of “I Ching,” one of the canons of Taoism. All forms of baguazhang utilize circle walking as an integral part of training. Students learn flexibility and proper body alignment through basic exercises, and then move on to more complex forms and internal power mechanics.

Xingyiquan is characterized by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power that’s often used from close quarters. A practitioner of xingyiquan uses coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending. The tai chi taught at Xiu Ming Guan is Chen’s style, the oldest and parent form of the five traditional family styles.

The price is 3,000 yuan for 20-hour classes in martial arts. Some teachers speak functional English.


Address: Rm 615, 1786 Jianghan Rd

Tel: (0571) 8659-1969

Furicane MMA Boxing Hangzhou


Furicane MMA Boxing Hangzhou is a club that trains its members in actual combat.

It also trains members in MMA (mixed martial arts), boxing, Korean taekwondo, Russian sambo, as well as Chinese wing chun and tai chi.

The club offers one-to-one classes tailor-made to “the member’s interest, strength and goal,” according to its owner Yang Lang. Yang was a free combat athlete in China’s national team and trained in Russia.

Beginners start from boxing, taekwondo and tai chi. Those who have had training before, MMA and Russian sambo are recommended.

Yang says MMA is useful for women who want to prevail in actual combat. They would generally need about one to two years of training to be a perfect.

For men who have had training before, Yang recommends sambo (literally translating into “self-defense without weapons”) that was developed by the former Soviet Union red army to improve their hand-to-hand combat in the 1920s.

It was supposed to include the most effective techniques from other martial arts. Yang’s Furicane MMA is among the very few clubs in China to offer sambo courses.

Some of the coaches here speak English.


Address: No. 73 store of Rainbow City, 4402 Binsheng Rd

Tel: (0571) 8199-0159


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