NEWS

Melissa Smith's classes are on hiatus until Friday, October 13. Wednesday classes with Gillianne Shaver will run throughout September and the beginning of October.

Wang Shujin

In the past few months, I've done some online writing about tai chi, qigong, martial arts, and various other holistic and alternative health topics for Livestrong.com, which has been just great. Writing for this online branch of the Livestrong Foundation has allowed me to combine two of my passions: writing and internal martial arts. If you're looking for brief, informative articles on tai chi and qigong, allow me to direct you!


Far and away my favourite topic to write about so far has been Wang Shu Jin. This man exemplifies everything I love about tai chi, qigong and internal martial arts. He was large and in charge. He practiced relentlessly and achieved amazing things. The Livestrong article gives you a tiny hint of his prowess and stature. In the name of keeping things family-oriented here, I won't go into too much detail, but my point is that Wang Shu Jin knew how to deal with young upstarts who misjudged him because of his body shape.

Bruce Frantzis, martial arts practitioner since 1961, had this to say about his earliest meetings with Wang Shu Jin:

"When I drove my fist into his belly, it felt as if the blow had broken my wrist. Wang would often tap me on the head during sparring just to demonstrate how easy it would have been for him to demolish me. One time, in fact, he tapped me lightly on the head, dropping me to the ground instantly. I sat there in utter surprise, feeling as if I had just been jolted by a high-voltage electrical current."

He quotes Wang as saying "Well, young man, there is a lot more to being healthy than being young, and it all comes down to how much chi you have."

(Bruce Frantzis, "The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi," pages 17-18

This is not to say that I am in any way recommending violent behaviour as a lifestyle. Nor am I into knocking anyone around (or being knocked around, for that matter). The reason why I love stories like Wang Shu Jin's is that it's a great reminder that this training can take us anywhere. I've personally used it to rehabilitate from an accident and surgery. You might want to use it to help you reach new spiritual insights. Maybe you're looking for a different way to learn martial arts. Or maybe you just want to feel great. There are no limits here.

There was a Chinese documentary made featuring Wang, before he passed on. It features him demonstrating some of his incredible technique. Enjoy!