Learning with Master Chen Shiyu

Learning with Master Chen Shiyu

The Wudang Daoist Martial Arts Academy is located at the Temple of the Returning Dragon (Huilong Guan 回龙观), high up in Wudang Mountains. It was founded by Master Chen Shiyu in 2007. Master Chen Shiyu has been training in Wudang Shan for over 20 years and is a 15th Generation Master of Zhang San Feng Wudang Kung Fu. We are a small school and have a peaceful environment here. Here we live a Daoist way of life and strive to be close to nature. Our school is somewhat hidden, and no tourists come here.

We accept students that are coming short term, and those looking for rigorous traditional programs that last several years.  Our school typically has less than 30 students in total. We welcome people of all ages and ability, only we wish that they strive to work hard to discover the true Wudang Kung Fu.  Our method of training is traditional, which can be difficult but very effective for hardworking students. We hope that students who come here can strengthen their body, learn techniques for inner cultivation, and come to a deeper understanding of traditional Daoist culture.

Master Chen Shiyu

Master Chen Shiyu is the Headmaster of the Wudang Daoist Martial Arts Academy, and it’s the main instructor. He was born in Central China’s Hubei Province and now is a 15th generation Master of Wudang Daoist Kung Fu.

Master Chen Shiyu showed great interest in Wudang Kung Fu. In 1993, he left his hometown and came to Mt Wudang. He learned martial arts from different teachers for some time and then he was honored to have Grand Master Zhong Yunlong as his teacher. The Daoist Master Zhong is the 14th generation successor of Wudang Wushu of Sanfeng branch. He saw that Shiyu was very hard working and has an honest and simple mind, so he chose him as one of the closest disciples in 1996. Since then, with the strenuous cultivation from Master Zhong, Chen Shiyu has attained Internal Wudang Kung Fu which was in the past not easily spread out. All his Gongfu styles include Wudang Tai ChiEight ImmortalTaiyiBagua, Xuangong, and Xingyi and many methods of Daoist health-preservation.

  • Master Chen Shiyu became martial arts instructor in 1998, and that year he was also entered the famous Wudang Daoist Kungfu Troupe.
  • Master Chen Shiyu won the championship in the Wudangshan Wushu competition in March 2000. In the same year, he went to Wuhan and participated in the Yellow Crane Tower Wushu Performance. He has participated in performances in some foreign countries such as Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Together with his teacher Zhong Yunlong, he has offered Wudang kungfu show for many principal leaders from China’s central government. In 1999, the late Chinese general secretary Jiang Zemin paid a visit to Mt. Wudang. After watching Wudang Wushu show, he gladly wrote: “Wudang Quan is wonderful, and everyone can practice it!”
  • In May 2005, Master Chen Shiyu took the troupe to Xinghai Concert in South China’s Guangzhou city for Wushu show in the 5th session of Taoist concert. Shortly after, he again took the troupe, together with the mainland Taoism Association, to Taiwan for an Across-Taiwan-Strait Taoism concert.
  • In September 2006, Master Chen Shiyu attained the championship of the nationwide Wudangshan-Wushu-Tournament in Wudang Tai Chi (Taijiquan).
  • In January 2007, he was invited to Pengyingxianguan in Hong Kong for lecturing of Daoist knowledge and demonstration of Sanfeng Taijiquan.
  • In September 2008, he participated in the Wudang area tryouts for the 3rd World Traditional Martial Arts Championships and attained the first race in both Taijiquan and staff forms.
  • In August 2010, he was invited for the documentary of Wudang Martial arts introduction that is shot by Chinese Nationwide Central Television.
  • In December 2010, he was given a Chinese national honor allowance for Martial Arts heritage.
  • In June 2012, he was invited to Norway, to teach Taichi.
  • In October 2012, he won the champion in the Fourth World Taichi & Health Competition.
  • In November 2012, he won a Traditional Boxing Champion and a very important Sword Champion in the Fifth World Traditional Martial Arts Championship Competition.

Master Chen Shiyu vows to bring Wudang Kung Fu to high development, let more people understand it and wishes every lover of Wudang Kung Fu to be healthy in body and heart; succeed the Tradition and bring it to the world.

If you would like to explore Wudang Daoist Kung Fu, you are invited to come to Huilong Temple to study with Master Chen Shiyu!

Wudang Kung Fu

Wudang Kungfu is one of the two major families of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts, the other being Shaolin.  It is an internal style, meaning that not only does it require great physical strength and fighting ability, but it also has a strong focus on using the mind, and one’s “Qi”, to cultivate and control the body. Its purpose is threefold: it is an effective combat technique, it is a form of body and mind cultivation, and it is an art – containing thousands of years of traditional Chinese culture.

Wudang Kung Fu contains profound Chinese philosophical theories, combining the traditional concepts of Taiji (Tai Chi), Yin and Yang, Wu Xing (Five Elements), and the Ba Gua (Eight Trigrams) into boxing theories, boxing skills, exercises and attack strategies, all derived by studying the laws of life and nature. Wudang Kungfu (neijia quan internal boxing) is featured by overcoming motion with stillness. The opponent will be laid down the moment he attacks. In contrast, Shaolin is classified as external type boxing. Internal Gongfu was created by Zhang Sanfeng, a famous Daoist in the Song Dynasty. Wudang Kung Fu contains many skills and training methods designed for staying healthy and prolonging one’s life while at the same time comprising many effective fighting methods. It is not only one particular school of martial arts, but also a complete system for both self-defense and health preservation.

Wudang Taiji

Tai Ji is originated from Infinity. It is the basis for all movement and stillness. It is the originator of the Two Extremes (Yin and Yang). Tai Ji was formed from Infinity by separating Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are the equal and opposite pair. Sometimes Yin stands for female and Yang stands for the male. In Tai Ji, Yin represents stillness and Yang represent the movement. The workings of the universe are based upon Yin and Yang.

In Tai Ji, there is stillness in movement and movement in stillness. The two are interconnected and should not be separated. Internal power is through control of the mind. The concentration of mind moves the internal energy before any external movement.
Taijiquan is not simply the exercise for elderly, which is perhaps what is known to Westerners. It is, in fact, a combination of Yin and Yang, Tai Ji and Infinity. It is an art requiring perfect control of the mind. It integrates stillness and movement, from external to internal, from movement to stillness, from elementary to advanced, and merging stillness with movement. Taijiquan not only directs internal power to external movements, but it also combines the mind with breathing, resulting in good health and an art of combat applications.
There are 13 postures (8 hand/arm movements and 5 body movements) in Tai Ji. The 8 hand/arm movements: Beng, Lu, Ji, An, Zai, Lie, Zhou, and Gao. In simplified terms, they mean: ward off, pull back, push, press, oblique turning, twist, elbow strike, and shoulder strike. The 5 body movements are directional. They are: advance, retreat, shift to the left, shift to the right and stable equilibrium. The 13 postures are based on the 8 trigrams and 5 elements. Requirements include relaxing, body coordination, the concentration of mind, and stillness in movement.

Taijiquan is a stepping-stone to Daoism. In Daoism, one has to train one’s behavior and mind. It is important to keep a peaceful mind. Through meditation, combining Yin and Yang, and stillness in movement, the internal power will flow through the whole body achieving the ultimate aim.


Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice for cultivating the body energy, for the benefit of the physical body, mind, and spirituality. Qigong practices are varied. They include hard and soft qigong, healing qigong, and general conditioning qigong. Wudang Qigong is an “earlier heaven” method based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principles and teachings. Qigong is a good practice for everyone, at any age to keep healthy in both body and mind.

People’s Life and Death, Connection to Life, Dao of Life, Dao of Cultivation, Beginning of Life, Stairs of Immortality.
The character sits in the heart. The initial spirit within the heart is sent out through the eyes. The character in the heart is moving like an ape.
The life lies in the kidneys. The initial energy within the kidneys is sent out by the root of excess and the character of heart. The thoughts are running like a horse.

This is called “xinyuan, yima”.
Take back xinyuan, yima will follow.

The ancient practitioners took back the heart and will, and stabilized the jing and nurtured the qi; made the qi of the breath like the wind and the qi of real yang like the fire. In practicing and heating, they transformed jing to qi, and qi to shen; let energy concentrate, and united with the nature of Dao.

The methods of practice are immeasurable, there are methods of movement, stillness, sitting and lying, but never stick rigidly to given patterns – you can hardly understand the everything.


We are proud to be located in the heart of the Wudang Mountains, at Huilongguan (Returning Dragon) Temple. Huilongguan is the first temple after passing the entrance to the National Park of Wudangshan. Our school is easily accessible by a frequent bus service that starts from the entrance of Wudang Mountains. This makes sight seeing of the many famous temples easy and shopping in the town center convenient.

Getting Here

You can take a train to Wudangshan train station (武当山火车站), and take public bus no. 202 to the end of the line, Wudangshan scenic area entrance. The school offers free pick up only from the entrance of the Wudangshan scenic area, at the foot hill.

Alternatively, you can fly to Shiyan airport, or take a train to Shiyan. There are more transport options to Shiyan. Note that Shiyan is located around 55 kilometers from Wudangshan, and transport cost upwards of RMB 250 to the school. Please call or email to confirm your time of arrival and the cost of transport.

All visitors to Wudangshan scenic area will need to pay the entrance ticket costing RMB 240with validity of 3 days. When you study at our school, we will arrange for a special permit to extend the validity of the ticket to 3 months, for an additional RMB 50.


Should you be training here for a longer period of time, the school will provide the necessary supporting documents and help you to extend your visa. Visa for martial arts training is valid for 3 months and extensible for up to 12 months. For multi-year stay, you will need to exit and re-enter the country every 12 months.

Traditional Kung Fu and Daoist culture

Being a small school, the school is able to offer traditional Wudang Kung Fu instead of commercial Wushu. Foreign students get the opportunity to be guided by Master Chen Shiyu, as well as other instructors. Learning directly from a highly-knowledged master, you will gain an in-depth understanding of Wudang Kung Fu and Daoist culture.

Training Environment

The Feng Shui of the school and training ground has been carefully planned. The training ground is encircled by the mountains and a beautiful bamboo forest. Surrounded by nature, the atmosphere is peaceful and quiet, benefiting Daoist Gongfu (Taoist Kungfu)
The school also makes use of traditional training equipment such as wooden post training, traditional weight training, and conditioning equipment.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation is comfortable with hot water facilities, a small shop and three meals a day prepared by the school cook. In keeping with Daoist philosophies, the food is primarily vegetarian, with some meat to balance your diet for the training.

Wifi Internet is available, so you can carry on with your existing work or communicate with those back home in your spare time. Note that some international websites are not accessible in China (Facebook, Google/Gmail, your bank’s website), so you are advised to have VPN connection before arriving in China.

The following items are provided by the school

  • a clean room
  • electricity and hot water in the bathroom
  • mattress
  • blanket
  • pillows

You will need to bring your own toiletries and household items. The following are not provided by the school, but available for purchase at the school’s grocery store

  • martial arts uniform, socks, and shoes
  • shampoo
  • soap
  • towel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • pail and basin
  • mineral water, instant noodles, and snacks
  • calligraphy and musical equipment

The following are optional paid services

  • laundry services
  • room cleaning services
  • special cooking requests

School Environment

Support our traditional school and feel free to pin and share our pictures with your friends.

We are surrounded by mountains, and the school is located in a small village. The vegetables we eat come from the fields around the school. The school is an hour’s walk from town, with some steep sections. Alternatively, you can pay for the tourist bus.

Huilongguan is also called the “Returning Dragon Temple” and is an ancient temple with a long history. Here you can experience calligraphy, traditional Daoist music, Taiji (Tai Chi), Kung Fu, Liangyi Qigong.

There are green tea farms and ancient Daoist temples located near to the school.


Basic Skills
1.36 kicking skills
2.Basic hand and foot skills
3.Basic fist
1.Wudang Hard Qigong (also Tietong Gong)
2.Wudang Tongzi Gong
3.Wudang Daoyin Qigong
4.Wudang 5 animals Qigong
Quan ( Fist Forms )
1.Tai Ji 13 forms
2.Tai Ji 28 forms
4.Tai Ji 108 forms
5.Tai Yi Five element Fist
6.Tai He Fist
7.Ba Ji Fist
8.Xuan Gong Fist
9.Xuan Zhen Fist
10.Fu Hu Fist
11.Long Hua Fist
12.Xuan Wu Fist
13.Xing Yi Fist
14.Twelve Forms
15.Ba Gua Zhang
1.Taiji sword
2.Taiyi Xuan Men sword
3.Ba Xian sword
4.Long Hua sword
5.Ba Xian cudgel
6.Ziwu spear
7.Xuan Gong Dao (broadsword)
8.Chun Qiu Dao
9.Fang Bian chan
10.Fuchen (Taoist horse tail whip)
11.Taiyi Fu Chen
Health-keeping Qigong
1.Crane-shaped Standing
2.Taiji Hun Yuan Standing
3.Standing Ba Duan Jin
4.Wudang Tongzi Gong
5.Taiji Stepping
6.Xiao Yao Stepping
Traditional Gong
1.Tie Sha Gong (practice with herbal medicine)
2.Tie Bi Gong (practice with herbal medicine)
3.Finger Gong

Visit Master Chen Shiyu!

Buy the master a cup of tea!

With gratitude as deep as the calmness of the lake, we extend our sincerest appreciation for your support. As you journey with us on this path of wisdom and serenity, we wish for you to absorb the essence of our teachings, and let it invigorate your spirit, just as the morning sun brings life to the waking world. Let’s continue our practice with joy in our hearts and calmness in our minds.