Warriors of Stillness

Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts A New Book by Jan Diepersloot

It seems as though everyone in the internal martial arts world these days is talking about standing practice. And for good reason! As Wang Shu Jin writes in the section of his book Ba Gua Swimming Body Palms in the section titled "Wang Shu Jin's Advice on Learning Ba Gua Zhang:"

"You must practice zhan zhuang (standing postures). No matter which type of martial arts you practice, zhan zhuang training will be a basic requirement. In olden times, students had to practice zhan zhuang for one or two years before they were allowed to learn any forms. Therefore, each generation produced outstanding martial artists."

For the last few years I have received numerous phone calls from individuals looking for information on standing practice and Yi Quan. Unfortunately, in the past, there have been very few good books in English written on the subject. Jan Diepersloot's new book Warriors of Stillness is the first book which addresses the "meditative traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts" in a comprehensive fashion. Diepersloot not only addresses the theory, philosophy and technical aspects of the standing practice, he also expounds on how this practice is applied in practical two person drills and martial applications.

Jan Diepersloot, senior student of Yi Quan and Tai Ji instructor Fong Ha, has spent over twenty years studying the martial arts meditative traditions, such as Yi Quan and Wu Ji Standing. He trained with such notables as Yi Quan instructors Han Xing Yuan and Dr. Yu Peng Shi, both students of Yi Quan's founder Wang Xiang Zhai, and has trained extensively with Wu Ji Standing advocate and push hands instructor Cai Song Fang.

In his new book, Warriors of Stillness, Diepersloot details all theoretical and practical aspects of meditative traditions in the Chinese martial arts and teaches the utility of these practices by explaining how the benefits of static posture standing practice extend to partner practice and martial arts technique.

The book, which is 226 pages in length, begins with Diepersloot's personal accounts of his teachers and his experiences in practicing the meditative aspects of the internal martial arts. In the next section titled "Being Mindful of the Center" the author explains how to cultivate the center point of the body, the center line of the body, and discusses the Wu Ji Qi Gong practice as a healing art.

The next section of the book addresses the cultivation of a foundation in martial arts practice by taking what was developed in the static standing practice and beginning to add footwork and body movement, including details of the "Grasp Bird's Tail" sequence from Tai Ji Quan and other exercises aimed at combining the various theories and principles addressed in the first section and beginning of the second section.

In the third section of the book, the reader advances from the solo practice to partner practice. Here the ideas and theories studied thus far in the book are put into practical martial arts usage. Many two person drills and exercises are presented in this section.

In discussing the theories, principles, and practices presented and explained in the book, Diepersloot draws primarily from the teaching of Cai Song Fang of Shanghai and Canton, China. Cai is famous in both Shanghai and Canton for his push hands skills and has traveled to teach here in the United States on several occasions as a guest of San Francisco Bay area Tai Ji and Yi Quan instructor Fong Ha. I had the great pleasure of meeting with Cai Song Fang during his trip to the United States in 1991 and can attest to his high level of push hands skill. I think that all practitioners of internal martial arts will gain from reading the teaching of Cai Song Fang in Warriors of Stillness.

Wuji Qigong Cai Song Fang

Cai Song Fang demonstrating his push-hands skill on Fong Ha in Albany, CA, January 1991

Pa Kua Chang Related Periodicals

Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness: Insight Graphics, Inc., P.O. Box 221343, Chantilly, VA 22022 - Steve Rhodes and his crew at Insight Graphics continue to provide readers with interesting information relating to all aspects of Traditional Eastern health and fitness. The magazine is produced in a very high quality format.

Journal of Asian Martial Arts: 821 West 24th Street, Erie, PA 16502 - This is a high quality publication which provides well researched articles in a scholarly fashion.

Internal Strength: Watercourse Publishing, P.O. Box 280948, Lakewood, CO 80228-0948 - A new periodical dedicated to bringing the reader practical information on all styles of internal arts.

1995 Calendar of Pa Kua Chang Workshops and Seminars

Instructor

Location

Date

Contact for Information

Park Bok Nam

Switzerland

6-8 Oct 95

Mac Prahin

41 22 312 2777

Wai Lun Choi

Minneapolls, MN

12-16 Oct 95

Ray Hayward

(612) 331-3122

Kumar Frantzis

New York, NY

21-22 Oct 95

Frank Allen

(212) 533-1751

Park Bok Nam

Richmond, VA

4 Nov 95

Glen Moore

(804) 794-8384

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Martial Arts An Introduction

Martial Arts An Introduction

Anytime an individual decides to learn how to protect themselves, learn self defense, or become a better person, one thing comes to mind - Martial Arts. Martial Arts are now being practiced all over the world.

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