Daoism – Old vs New Methods

Daoism – Old vs New Methods

I experienced that many westerns think different about Daoism or have a different idea of what Daoism should be. Here I want to address some of the common misunderstandings westerners mostly have about Daoism.

The Long Path of Masters Acceptance

It was common during the old times that a future apprentice has to prove himself first. The personality of the potential student was checked during this time and if he accomplished this lifestyle over three to twelve years – depending on the master – he was generally accepted as a student. The general idea was: What are twelve years compared to the treasure you can use during your whole life? The Chinese understanding was that experience had to earned and carefully chosen.

Let’s talk about the hurdles:

For testing the tolerance of the student it was common practice that the master would tell the student to clean this clothing and every time the student returned with the clean clothes he was deliberately dragging it through the mud again. Depending on how quickly the student would return with new clean clothing, knowingly that he would have to clean them again, was carefully perceived by the master and judged his ability to be diligent and tolerant – the foundation for students of the internal arts.

When a potential student could not find quietness, he was usually locked in a dark cellar with no light. An older Gong Fu brother would bring food and water frequently. The potential student was only released when he became totally quiet, which usually happened after 3 to 5 days, sometimes maybe longer. When people have no perception of the day and night cycle and find themselves in a closed environment which never changes, it is possible for the student to find total peace after going through his own problems. If a student could not accept his situation, he usually became crazy and then he would be thrown out of the school, never being able to join the school again.

The master would often beat his students till they could accept his teachings, the punishment was very strict and immediately executed. It was common that the master would attack his student psychologically to see how much they could endure.

How students became independent

The students were carefully chosen because they were the assurance of the Master, who took care of his daily tasks. It was customary to follow Master for many years until the Master gave the disciple permission to build his own life. Normally, the Master took care of the disciple in every possible way, facilitating his path in the direction he could see that his life would develop.

Differences Today

Today the master is often perceived to be some kind of entertainer who should try to give comfort to his student. It is the complete opposite – potential students should appeal to the master – not the other way around. A good master never appeals to his students, he is very strict and takes care of their future without the student realizing.

Master Yuan Xiu Gang Explains The Concept of Dao and Daoist Practice

Master Yuan Xiu Gang Explains The Concept of Dao and Daoist Practice

This is a video from David’s Youtube channel. David travels to China regularly and documents his training experiences and adventures. If he can keep up with the training as a man over 50, you can too! Let his Kung Fu journey help to inspire you and improve your life!

The Daoist Concept in Practice

Now let us watch his video:

There are many hurdles to overcome, especially when you start older. The body is very stiff in the beginning and the training process can be painful.

The Dao should be practical

Many people over confuse this topic but the Dao should be simplified to make its deep principles reality. From simple things, many things can come. Looking at yourself and improve gradually without any magical tricks and following the simple way of the master will help you to achieve your goal.

We don’t use the muscles! We use tendons!

This will help improve circulation and help your energy. Your body becomes more efficient in dealing with difficult situations, this way the body consumes less oxygen and can output more power in a relaxed way without hurting yourself. Accept the training with your heart and like it, instead of fighting yourself always.

Master Yuan Xiu Gang is giving a seminar on 20th September 2019 in our school in Vienna! if you are interested in meeting Master Yuan Xiu Gang hurry up and register!

Master Ziji performing Xuan Wu Quan

Master Ziji performing Xuan Wu Quan

Master Ziji performing Xuan Wu Quan
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Master Ziji

Master Ziji

Master Ziji
See much more pictures on our Instagram channel!

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Why the West does not understand the Tao!

Why the West does not understand the Tao!

This beautiful short film gives us a preview of what awaits us in Wudang training, and it can quickly happen that you skip some of the lines when it comes to the mental training of the Taoists. How do we understand something we have not understood yet?

Wudang discipline and tradition

We can eternally philosophize about Tao and how to do things right; those who have not been properly grounded cannot understand the origins of the Tao, as they lack the necessary calmness. There is no one in the world who is not taught by the Tao, to know where to stay near the Tao, this is something everyone finds out for himself in the exercises. From practice, new impressions and corrections are finally possible.

Who can absorb everything like a sponge differentiates everything according to the truth. Who condemns and ignores things, refuses many things. The few masters in the world who follow in the footsteps of the Tao tell of a common truth, one that can be accepted or ignored by someone who has not yet experienced it.

The teachings of the Master are not for everyone, because not everyone can accept them. Just as many people are not destined to become disciples of a master. To become a disciple means to become a master yourself someday, as a master one is always a disciple of his old master. Because everyone climbs the train at an earlier or later date and explores the components of the teaching in his own way. For the master every student is interesting to learn new things, for the student the master is interesting to understand old ones.

The views of the Master are oriented on the students’ instructions because this led the Master to success. While Master’s methods are highly flexible, the students’ views must be linearized, so that the method is self-understood. The chaos and the confusion are dissolved and the way of life runs through a free naturalness. The Master has unlimited confidence in his disciples, for every step, no matter how small, ultimately brings everyone to inner peace.

According to this principle, there are no exceptions on the part of the pupils and only the execution and the realization of the requirements to the pupils are essential. These requirements of the master are obligatory for every student.

Boycott the Taoist teachings

It is often the case in the West that people believe that they have to help others. However, this can create more problems and internal conflicts for oneself and for others. Any help or diminution of a personal burden creates dependency on both sides and increases internal conflicts with oneself.

In the West, it is often a pretext that people should be warm-hearted and should be there to help others. This is not a bad virtue, but most people do it to circumvent their own problems by giving others advice – this just reinforces their own problems and leads to emotional conflicts.

People with good intentions automatically have the wrong intent, because none of them will dissolve the origin of the problems in the other.

This is Taoism and everyone has the strength to learn for themselves; Who really wants to help must assume that the truth is often not so warm. How do I help others properly to dissolve the origins of inner problems in other people? Quite simply: Through inspiration, as a personal example, we deliberately do not use the word role model – because this can be filled with your own ego and thus cause the opposite. Those who go out with their own example without ego, get friends who share success together. Whoever goes with the ego as a role model, gets followers who want to share the success of their role model.

The desire to help others is therefore not relevant for students! If you want to help, you have to help yourself first.

The task of the student is learning to help others is one of the tasks of a master.

Personal conflicts arise only where there are listeners and spectators, in the presence of the master they are not accepted.

The Training Path of the Daoists

The Training Path of the Daoists

Physical training is the first step in confronting your own conflicts.

The Way of Great Harmony

Whoever puts the effort out of his situation and gives up his comfort, focuses his perception step by step back to the source of all conflicts. Stress, relaxation, and actions that are directly related to our environment occur unconsciously and uncontrollably. Recognizing the origin through experience gives us the true solution of the great whole – the path of harmony.


The Oldest Documented Taoist Master Lu Zijian

The Oldest Documented Taoist Master Lu Zijian

Lu Zijian was well known for his high achievements in internal martial arts, Taoist alchemy & Qigong, Chinese Traditional Medicine and Chinese Traditional Painting. As a result of these excellences all converging in the same mind and body, Lu Zijian reached the age of 118 years full of vigor and a bright spirit.

Lu Zijian was born in Yichang, Hubei Province, Mainland China in the 19th year of Emperor Guangxu, Qing Dynasty (15th October 1893). Well, know the martial artist, heading the Dragon Gate lineage of Daoism (Long Men Pai). In 2002 Lu was awarded 9 Duan (the highest grade in Chinese Martial Arts ranking system).

Lu attributed his longevity to his lifelong practice of martial arts and his longevity qigong: Hunyuan yang sheng Qigong.

In 2012 he was considered as the oldest living Chinese citizen as well as the oldest living man, but Gerontology Research Group is still proceeding under further verification.

The former head of Chinese Ba Gua Zhang Federation (Eight Trigrams Boxing, one the three most famous Chinese Internal Martial Arts besides Tai Chi Chuan or Taijiquan and Xingyiquan).

He started at his young age to study wushu with his mother, and later he was accepted as a disciple of Master Jiang Yin then he studied at the State Medical School of Hubei Province.

Oldest Taoist Master Lu Zijian
Lu Zijian

Historical milestones:

1911: At 18 Lu went to Beijing, he studied Baguazhang with Master Li Chang Ye and Xingyiquan with Master Yu Shirong, and finally he returned in Chongqing Sichuan Province to study Taijiquan with Master Li Guo Chao. (Most probably due to the political instability leading to 1911 Chinese Revolution).

1920: he was a Gold medalist at the Nanjing Yuhuatai Martial Arts Competition at the age of 28.

1929: He was actively against a proposal passed by the Central Ministry of Health of the new Kuomintang (KMT) government severely limited the advertising and practice of Chinese medicine. But finally this proposal was not implemented, and he was part of the Commission for Chinese Medicine Organization. At that time he was in Chongqing as Martial Arts Chief Instructor and a member of the KMT Military Committee.

1979 He is back in Chongqing et was Municipal MCPPCC member. This year he opened his Yudan Zijian Martial Arts Academy as well as the Lu Zijian Chinese Medicine Orthopedics Clinic. He published several articles and books among them “Baguazhang Healing methods” and created his “Baguazhang Hunyuan Yangsheng Gong.”

2007: Lu Zijian on the 24th January became the Oldest man in the world.

2009: Lu Zijian on the 2nd January became the oldest person in the world and was 116 years old.
2012: On 21 October Lu Zijian died surrounded by his family and closest friends one month before his 119th anniversary.

Some historical facts

Huo Yuan Jia was not only a very famous martial artist of his time, but Lu Zijian and Late Great Master Huo have sworn brothers with Huo being the elder brother. They fought together with the  monopolistic influence of Foreign freight companies deserving first the Yangtze river then later in Shanghai. Then they join Chinese Resistance against Japanese troops. He killed three Japanese Martial arts experts in duels. During of the raids they launched against the Japanese forces, Lu’s wife was murdered. He used one single palm to kill one Foreign boxer named Marshall. The name of Lu Zijian grew very fast so that Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jie Shi) the Chinese military and political leader who was leading the Kuomintang (KMT) appointed him as one-star general and Head Bodyguard (General Chiang had thirteen top bodyguards, all of them were his disciples).

While China’s Liberation Lu did not follow the major of Chiang’s remaining troops in Taiwan, he chooses to stay in Mainland China; he stayed in a labor camp up to 70’s. But later he held progressively important posts such as President of Chongqing North-South Wushu Federation, Martial Arts Chief Instructor of the We He Chongqing Headquarters, Chairman of the Association of Chongqing Traditional Chinese Medicine, President of Sichuan Province Martial Arts Association, Director of the Chinese Martial Arts Research Institute…

In 1982 he was Gold medalist of the Gold Lion National Martial Arts Tournament.  He received a special Gold Award in 1984 at the Emei Mountain Boxing Tournament. 1985 appointed President of the International Gongfa Association. 1994, the Chief Adviser of the International Qigong Association, in 2000 he received the gold medal Senior People from the Chinese State Administration of Sports. The Chinese Ministry of Sports, Department of Martial Arts attributed him the title of “Leading authority of Chinese Martial Arts” and rewarded the highest rank of Nine Duan in 2002. He was the Honorary President of the Chinese Wudang Wushu Federation.

His contribution as Expert in Chinese Medicine Treatments for Bone Injuries is widely recognized as he treated numbers of patients in whole China successfully.

Besides his pedagogic skills, his chivalric and generous temperament leads him to nurture thousands of disciples including foreign students, some of them are even very famous and own their martial arts schools, perpetuating the “Zijian” style martial arts. All are under the head organization of Mr. Wang Qinghua. In 1986, he was hired as Principal Consultant International Qigong Society. In the same year, he was appointed as Vice president of the Wudang Martial Arts Development Center of California General Counsel. Since the implementation of the national Wushu Duan ranking system, Lu was involved in the long-term task to revise the teaching and training in Chinese martial arts with all the other 9 Duan top ranking experts of Chinese Martial Arts.