Eight Powers – Eight Trigrams Course

On Thursday 18th April there is a special online course starting that represents the pinnacle of my training and research to date. It’s called Eight Powers – Eight Trigrams, and it’s a deep dive into the link between the Eight Tai Chi Powers and The Eght Trigrams of the I Ching. This ten-week course is half-theory and half-practice, and classes take place online on Thursday evenings 6-7.30pm. Both complete beginners and experienced practitioners are welcome. All classes are recorded, and the cost is £150. If needed you can pay in two installments. Book here, or read more below…

The Eight Tai Chi Powers: These represent different ways that power moves; all of the different Tai Chi styles refer back to the same eight powers. These are: Ward-off, Rollback, Squeeze, Press Down, Pluck, Split, Elbow and Barge. A power is not limited to just one movement or application, and while it is easy to practice a movement, to train a Tai Chi Power to fruition takes dedication. The powers are made of a combination of: structure, qi, intention, essence, time and gravity (Heaven and Earth). Wudang Pai train the Tai Chi Powers through solo practice; we grow them in the body, express them through movement, and eventually test them out in partnerwork.

The Eight Trigrams: These are made up different combinations of yang and yin lines and represent forces of nature. They are: Heaven, Earth, Water, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Cloud and Mountain. The trigrams have been around for at least 3000 years, they combine in pairs to make the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching, a Taoist book which gives guidance for every circumstance in human life. It is not an easy book to understand, and this course presents an opportunity to know it from the basics upwards.

The Connection: Zhang San Feng, the creator of Tai Chi, said that the Eight Tai Chi Powers correspond to the Eight Trigrams. I have spent years exploring this connection. To look at one example, the Tai Chi Power of Ward Off (AKA Peng) is an outwards expansive bubble of power like a bomb blast – it is also the foundation on which all the other Tai Chi powers are based. It corresponds with the trigram of Qian/Heaven (three unbroken/yang lines)  This represents the seed, the blueprint that underlies all that exists – the DNA of the world. What is the blueprint hidden in Ward Off we need to make our Tai Chi come alive? How can embodying the pure yang of Ward Off help understand the trigram that sets the direction for all things? Come along and find out!

The Course: We will look at one Trigram-Power pairing per week, with an introduction and concluding session. For the eight central lessons, about 30-45 minutes of each class will be spent on theory as we come to understand the trigram and its corresponding power with the mind; the other half of class will look at understanding with the body. The course consists of 10 x 1.5 hour classes and costs £150. Regular UK students are asked to pay into my bank account, the next best option is through my website, and the third best option is Paypal. If cash flow is a problem, students are able to pay by two £75 installments. Please pay by 17th April, with the second installment by 23rd May. All classes will be recorded, with the link sent to all attendees.

My aim is to give you the tools to grasp the trigrams and powers from first principles. With enough practice, you can go on to grasp both with your shen/spirit – a deep intuitive understanding known as ‘wu’ . If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

I am Officially a Wudang Master!

This is something I have been working at for years and in October 2023 it finally happened. After developing my own techniques (Heart Repair Meditation for Nei Gong and Eight Powers Eight Trigrams), I explained them in relation to the Taoist Classics in an essay for Master Yuan Li Min, who gave me his seal of approval as a Master. This means I can now create the 17th Generation of the Wudang Xuan Wu Clan by taking on followers, also known as ‘indoor students’ or ‘tudi’ of my own.

Becoming a Tudi is a commitment to study the Wudang Arts with sincerity and help to spread them around the globe. It also a choice to support your chosen Shifu’s way of teaching; this should only occur when it has proven to work well for you. Traditionally, the decision to become a Tudi can only take place after a minimum three years of regular training with the teacher, and the decision to accept a student as a Tudi is at the teacher’s discretion.

The Xuan Wu lineage is Taoist; I practise a spiritual form of Taoism which means I welcome followers of all religions and spirtualities as well as those with none – you just need to have a practical understanding of Taoism. You can find out more about my decision to become a Tudi, and the Way which has unfolded from that decision, in this article.

To learn more about the techniques which earned me my ‘Masters’, check out the Eight Powers – Eight Trigrams online course starting in April, and the Heart Repair Meditation online retreat coming up in November. To find out more abut becoming a Tudi yourself, please get in touch.

In Wudang until October 27th

I am currently training in Wudang Shan until October 27th. Victoria continues to run the Tuesday evening Traditional Tai Chi classes while I am away, please go to the Salvation Army Hall on Lower Clapton Road for 6.20pm if you wish to take part.

I’ll be back teaching in person from October 31st, and will be running hybrid classes on the Tuesday evenings. This means we set up a webcam to record my tuition and students can train live online using zoom or access the recordings if they cannot make the live class.

Tuesday lunchtime Tai Chi for Health also continues from the 31st October, and online Kung Fu runs from the second of November. I will be running an early morning class on my return, and am currently deciding content based what inspires me while I am out here.

Access to email is intermittent while I am in China due to the firewall, I generally try to get online about once a week at the weekend. Thanks for your patience in awaiting my reply and see you at the end of October.

Spring Term 2023

Coming up this Spring term we have outdoor classes with Tai Chi For Health and Follow Along Qi Gong, a Tai Chi workshop with my teacher Master Yuan Li Min in July, a new format for the strength-building class, and new terms for the evening Tai Chi class in Clapton and 18-step Kung Fu online from 20th April. More on all this is below…

Follow Along Qi Gong: These simple outdoor classes take place amongst the beautiful natural scenery around Walthamstow Marshes on Thursday mornings. We train basic exercises from the Five Element Qi Gong and soak up the vibes. This term runs from 27th April for three weeks at 7.30-8.30am. Book a block of three classes for £30 or drop in for £15 a session. In case of bad weather we train online.

Tai Chi For Health: We are training outside on Stoke Newington Common for a four week term starting 25th April. This is a gentle class that takes place 12.30-1.30pm on Tuesdays, we are learning the 13 Wudang Principles Tai Chi form at a slow and steady pace. Book in advance for as many classes in the term as you wish for £10 a session, or drop-in for £15 a class.

Traditional Wudang Tai Chi: This long-running class has ticked over and started from the beginning again. We are training the 36-step Secret Transmission Wudang Tai Chi at Lower Clapton Road on Tuesday evenings 6.30-8pm. Come join this beginners class from 25th April for £48 for a four week term.

Online 18-Step Kung Fu: This is the most advanced class on the schedule at the moment, students need to have 2 years’ experience training Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Kung Fu to attend. We do strength-training, power emission, standing stake and the dynamic 18-step Kung Fu form on Thursday evenings 6.30-8pm. This six-week term starts on 20th April, book in for the whole term for £72 or £60 for concessions. All students receive a recording of the class to train with.

Online Strength for Kung Fu: Suitable for beginners, this class takes place Wednesday mornings 8-9am and the four-week term starts 26th April. We train a handful of postures from the 18-step Kung Fu, holding each posture as low as possible for a minute a time while keeping the qi flowing. This term there will be separate legs, arms and core sections of the class, and a cool down section with slow 18-step moves at the end. Learn more here.

Tai Chi Workshop with Master Yuan Li Min: This will take place Friday 28th- Sunday 30th July in Hackney, London. We will train the 36-Step Tai Chi with my teacher Master Yuan, whose teaching style is accessible, profound and playful, Lessons will take place 10am-1pm and 3-5.30pm over 3 days. The cost is £300 or £250 for anyone coming from overseas and couples. Maximum 20 places are available and we welcome all levels, You can find out more here, and see master Yuan in action here.

As ever, please pay into my bank account where possible as it saves on fees. Otherwise you can book in for everything here. Spring is in the air and it is a fine time for training. I hope to see some of you in-person or online soon.

Winter Term 2023

After a fantastic teaching trip to Norway in December (see pic above), I am looking forward to kicking off the new term from 10th January 2023. The first week of classes will include a trial week for all the daytime online lessons, that is Kung Fu Strength on Wednesday mornings, Tai Chi for Health on Tuesday lunchtimes and also Meditation for Nei Gong on Tuesday mornings. Anybody can drop-in and try any one of these classes for £10, the popular classes will run for the term – see the Group Classes page for details.

Evening Classes will run as usual from 10th January, with Traditional Tai Chi on Tuesdays in our beautiful new hall on Lower Clapton Road; the first class of this four week term on 10th January is free for newcomers. 18-Step Wudang Kung Fu will continue online on Thursday evenings, this is a six-week term and drop-ins are welcome.

In the mix this term we have one new option, Meditation for Nei Gong, which features sitting Taoist Observation Meditation and Standing Stake Nei Gong. This is a stripped-down version of the Heart Repair Meditation for Nei Gong course which is suitable for weekly lessons; the class welcomes complete beginners, so if you are looking to try sitting or standing meditation, or are an existing practitioner looking to improve your skills – come and give it a go.

I hope you have a merry and restful festive season and I will see you in 2023.

Heart Repair Meditation for Nei Gong Retreat

A Heart Repair Meditation for Nei Gong retreat will take place online in the mornings before work between 6th to 12th November. This retreat uses two different meditation techniques to focus the mind, open the body, and free the heart. We then use these beneficial conditions to train the healing, power-building exercise known as Standing Stake. The three main techniques which will be practised daily are:

Taoist Observation Meditation: This is a concentration meditation which focusses on body and breath, and opens the body through use of ‘sung’ or relaxation power. Taoist Observation Meditation calms the mind and establishes the body as foundation for the practices that follow.

Touch and Go Meditation: This technique explores the difference between the conditioned self (yi/intention) and pure awareness (shen/spirit). All of human experience is welcome in this style, which combines concentration and emptiness meditation to soften the grip of emotions on mind and body.

Standing Stake Nei Gong: This is a stationary standing practice which heals on a postural and energetic level. It also generates martial power, and is how the Tai Chi powers are created in the Wudang Pai. Two different techniques will be taught, one for beginners and one for experienced students.

Also Featuring: The techniques will be embedded within a warm-up for physical comfort, journalling for grounding, and breathing techniques which thread the three techniques together. I will also share my story of how these techniques helped me through challenging times. There will be some individual unstructured creative time in the final session to leave space for inspiration – the hallmark of the spirit – to strike.

The Heart Repair Philosophy: Tai Chi has for hundreds of years healed the hearts of practitioners through working on the body. In fact the many ways of developing body and mind to cultivate qi are known under one umbrella term in China, “Heart Repair” (修心). This term assumes that emotions, mind and body are one, which means pain in the heart is pain in the body, which leaves its mark and distorts the flow of qi. Conversely, when softening the body through Tai Chi, Qi Gong and other internal arts to promote free-flowing qi, we simultaneously undo our emotional knots.

Modern Chinese culture does not talk so much of emotions, but this practice has gone on for centuries regardless. Modern Western Culture does talk of emotions, and in recent years a vernacular has arisen which describes this process in a different way; it’s called the somatic approach to trauma.

Results: For me, training these heart repair techniques has been like turning a light on in a dark room. They have taught me how to open my internal landscape and move power through my body for both healing and martial purposes. They have taught me the significance of being a human between Heaven and Earth, and the impact that both a cloudy and clear connection between these two poles has on my wellbeing. And they have helped me to process shock and alleviate the impact of stress. The support these techniques provided during challenging times is something I am profoundly grateful for, and so every couple of years I share my story and recent discoveries I have made using these techniques.

Details: The retreat is suitable for both complete beginners and experienced students, and for all health levels. It will take place online via Zoom, and costs £110, you can book here. I wish for this event to be accessible to all, so if you would like to come and cannot afford this amount, please get in touch. Here is the timetable for the week:

Sunday 6th November: 10.30am-1pm Full introduction to all techniques and my story.

Monday 7th to Friday 11th November: 7.15-8.30am The three core techniques.

Saturday 12th November: 10.30am-1pm Concluding session and talk with Q & A. This includes some individual unstructured creative time after the main session which students can attend if they choose.

There will be a free taster session on Sunday 23rd October between 11am-12.30pm, please email me at lucia@wudang-pai.co.uk if you wish to attend this.

You can also read testimonials from the last Heart Repair Meditation retreat here. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch, and until we meet again – be gentle with your heart.

Autumn Term Dates

Autumn term starts the week of September 19th, with Tuesday evening Tai Chi classes back at Wigan Hall, a new 18-step Kung Fu Forms class online on Thursday evenings, and a follow-along Qi Gong class in Clapton at the later time of 8.30-9.30 am. The Wednesday morning online Kung Fu foundations class and Tuesday lunchtime Tai Chi on Stoke Newington common will take place as usual.

There will also be a Heart Repair Meditation for Nei Gong course online in the mornings for a week around the time the clocks go back. More details on all of this to follow — meanwhile I am on leave and will only be checking emails occasionally.

Enjoy the last of the summer everyone!

Update: Summer Term 2022

UPDATE: Due to coronavirus, summer term will now start from August 9th. I want to have a nice long run of negative tests before starting teaching again.

There will be no classes the last three weeks of July as I am going on holiday – my first significant trip abroad for three years! After I get back, classes restart from August 2nd, with all in-person classes taking place outdoors.

A new outdoor class will be added just for the summer term which is called follow-along Qi Gong. This early morning class on Thursdays is all about vibes and being with nature as we practice simple Qi Gong movements in scenic spots around Clapton.

A drop-in option has been added to the Tuesday daytime Tai Chi classes on Stoke Newington Common as well as a cheaper advance price (drop-in £15/four advance classes £32). The Tuesday evening tai Chi lessons will start again in indoors in September. Beginners are welcome at both Tai Chi classes.

Online Kung Fu Foundations is changing format, rather than having drop-in classes students will now book in for all the classes they wish to attend in that term at a rate of £10 per class. We continue to slowly learn the 18-step Wudang Kung Fu at the end of class in preparation for a full Kung Fu forms class that will start in September.

A pre-recorded Five Element Qi Gong course is in production with a release date TBC. Students will have the option to certify at the end of this course.

That’s it for the summer changes, enjoy the sunshine and see you in August.

In-Person Classes are Back!

The Tuesday Evening Tai Chi classes are back after nearly a two-year hiatus, and will start on Tuesday February 1st next week. The class will run 6.30-8pm. Anyone is welcome to drop-in and try a class for £15, or you can sign up for the four-week term for £48 here. The concession price is £40, contact me directly if this rate applies to you.

We will be learning the 36-step Secret Transmission Wudang Pai Tai Chi which is the flagship form for the Wudang Xuan Wu Pai. The form is rich and varied and we break it down into bite-sized chunks in order to learn in, while training basic skills which condition the body to feel and control qi (life force).

This is an all-levels class that is taught by me, and assisted by my most experienced student Victoria, who has been training with me for the last ten years. Between us, we make sure beginners and experienced practitioners get the individual attention they need.

The hall we will be training in is called Wigan Hall, and it is next to 1 Wigan House on Warwick Grove in Clapton, E5 9JF. You can find a map on the contact page of the website here. It’s a large space with lots of windows and radiators and students will be well spaced out within the room. There is no mask-wearing policy, just do whatever makes you feel comfortable and respect the decisions of others. Hand sanitiser will be provided at the door.

In general, it’s appreciated if you can give some advance notice that you plan to attend class. But if that’s not possible, simply dropping in on the night is fine. You can book your space by contacting me directly or paying through the website here.

After the peak of the plague, and some post-armaggedon chaos & delay, Tuesday evening Tai Chi is finally back in business. Please come and join us as we take it from the top once more.

Best wishes

Lucia/袁微容

Looking Forward to 2022

The Autumn term drew to a close in the first week of December, and below are plans for in-person and online classes next year. If you wish to train over Christmas or are looking for a gift for someone special, the Wudang Pai Tai Chi Basics series is available to buy online here.

Tuesday Evening Tai Chi: This class will return to classrooms and be taught in person in Clapton, Hackney. We will be studying the Traditional 36-step Wudang Pai Tai Chi form in an all-levels class.

Thursday Evening Qi Gong: This class will remain online, and we will be learning the walking form for the Tiger from Five Element Qi Gong.

Wednesday Morning Kung Fu Conditioning: This class will also remain online. We will be gently increasing the level of challenge as students grow stronger, and slowly learning the 18-step Kung Fu form.

Tuesday Lunchtime Beginners Tai Chi: We are online through the cold months but if there are blue skies we head for Stoke Newington Common with a flask of tea.

Retreats: The plan is to hold a weekend Tai Chi retreat in South East England around the Easter break, more details on this will be released in the New Year.

When?: I will be back online from 10th January 2022, keep an eye on the website around then for more details.

Have a great Christmas everyone,
Lucia x