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Figure 1.  Bow Sim Mark (Fu style Liangyi Chuan)




Empty Hand


·      Simplified Tai Chi Chuan

·      Combined Tai Chi Chuan

·      Fu style Liangyi

·      Fu style stretching

·      Fu style waist training

·      Bagua circle walking

·      Yin Palm Bagua

·      Yang Palm Bagua

·      Combined Internal


We make the distinction of Tai Chi Chuan (Fist) in that chuan has always been part of the formal name, and therefore can be said to form the essence of the art. For any martial system to be considered complete, it must include striking in some form in addition to grappling.


Simplified Tai Chi is the advanced  24 form, an ideal exercise for all levels, with significantly greater benefits than the standardized mainland form. These benefits include balance, tendon stretching and strengthening. We practice as “large frame” Yang with Fu style elements and improvements to body mechanics from Li Tianji’s most distinguished pupil, Bow Sim Mark.


Combined Tai Chi is a 67 movement form that incorporates Chen, Yang, , , Sun and Fu. Our tai chi comes via Fu Zhensong and Li Yu Lin, who learned from Yang Chengfu and Yang Jianhou respectively, exchanging bagua and hsingyi. I’ve added 5 movements including Chen-style “wave hands like clouds” left and right, “parting the wild horse’s mane 4 directions” with Chen-style stepping, Fu style “brush knee and push” with duck and roll, Fu style “needle to sea bottom” and the walking push from Dragon Palm to conclude the form.


Liangyi is an “energetic” Fu style Tai Chi/Bagua fusion form renowned for its beauty, uniqueness, and extended health benefits. Good for sciatica, nerve pain in general, and muscle rehab, including back. 


Waist is the foundation of Wudang technique and if you practice every day, you will never injure your back. Fu waist training has been producing famous practitioners for four generations. Fu style waist, which almost certainly derives from Drunken Boxing, is the secret to Yen Chi-Tan’s awesome kung fu. This is the family that inspired the choreography for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “House of Flying Daggers”.


Circling is the foundation of Bagua and students will learn the ripple step of Fu Zhensong as refined and advanced by Fu Wingfay and Bow Sim Mark. One hour per day is recommended for strength and stamina, but even 15 minutes consistently will produce results. Bagua is the most free, versatile and fun to practice of all the forms of Chinese boxing, ideal for multi-opponent defense against stronger foes.  Learn to box and grapple dizzy!


Yin Palm Bagua focuses on lightness and balance with a strong link to Tai Chi. Perfect for those with an interest in style.  Yin Palm can be practiced at any age. Yang Palm Bagua emphasizes power and aggressiveness and is more suitable for younger practitioners. Students will learn the core Fu style techniques of coiling, spin turns, wheel turns and hook-steps.


Flexibility is essential for health, fitness and advanced practice. Fu style is unparalleled in this regard. Students will learn advanced internal stretching, which can be thought of as an branch of Yoga via the Eight Pieces of Brocade and Chi Kung (Qigong). Shaolin is said to have been founded by the monk Bodhidharma who came from the West.


Combined Internal is a group of forms created by Bow Sim Mark that integrate Tai Chi, Bagua and Hsingyi, including movements from Dragon Palm. She was the first master to do this in any significant way, likely because her stature allowed her to choreograph without criticism and today it is becoming more common to find Combined forms from many lineages. (This is the form that got her pulled from the opening ceremony of the World Championship in Baltimore in 1995 for raising the bar too high. The form premiered at the opening ceremonies at the competing 1995 World Championship in Seattle.)


All internal forms can be done fast or slow—both are necessary for heart health, conditioning, and use in realistic self-defense. Curriculum includes stance work, orthodox push hands, Bagua push hands, hsingyi 2-person drills and Rooting Pine qigong.


Students interested in Dragon Palm Baguazhang and Fu-style in general are encouraged to seek out uncle Victor Fu Shenglong, the top teacher of Dragon Palm in the world today. Fu Shenglong teachers in Vancouver, Canada: https://fustyle.com/




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Figure 2. Bow Sim Mark in swallowtail balance with double jian and tassels



Jian (Straightsword)


·      Tai Chi Sword

·      Wudang Sword

·      Advanced Sword


Jian is “the weapon of women” because brute force is a major handicap in realistic use of double-edged swords, which sacrifice durability for versatility. Greater flexibility is preeminent where “point is king”.  In Chinese culture there is a popular proverb that women had to choose between “the sword or the needle”. Wudang jian was the optimal equalizer that produced legends of female “knights errant” (nuxia) from the Tang Dynasty onward.


Jian is the “weapon of scholars” because it requires at least a decade of dedicated study to attain basic competence, and continual research (practice) thereafter. Where other weapons have dozens of techniques, or in rare cases, hundreds, Wudang jian has thousands of techniques, developed by a multitude of masters over generations for at least three centuries, extant into the modern period.


Bow Sim Mark’s Yang Tai Chi sword merges two great lineages from Fu Zhensong and Li Yu Lin, who learned Wudang sword from Li Jinglin and  Song Wei-I. This is the most sophisticated version of Tai Chi sword that exists.


Wudang sword includes both the modern art formed at the Guoshu Institute in the old Republic at Nanjing, with continual improvement in the two subsequent generations, and the traditional art preserved and refined by Taoists in the mountains, which provides a connection to our origins.


Advanced Sword is an original compulsory form the 1950’s, prior to the introduction of gymnastic elements, and integrates movements from the best of the best from the Republican Era, the last era in which blades were used in battle. This form contains many sophisticated point-fighting techniques, critical for modern fencing, and remains one of the most technically challenging sword routines to date in any system.


Optional curriculum for “sticky fencing”, a fun and gentle exercise expressing the highest level of swordplay. Emphasis on “play”.





Tai Chi Sword should make you feel happy.


Figure 3. The top Chinese swords of the post-war era, teacher and pupil.



Sword Dance


·      Wudang Double Longsword

·      Wudang Tai Chi Sword

·      Yang Double Sword

·      Advanced Sword

·      Drunken Sword

·      Cyclone Saber

·      Tai Chi Saber

·      Dragon Fan

·      Ribbons

·      et al.


Where most martial artists merely play music as a backdrop, or, worse, overdub, true sword dance must match the music. This means the timing, the changes, and the feeling—as with traditional dance. The caveat is that to express sword dance properly, every part of every movement must have martial application. This makes it the most difficult art form to master. Chinese sword dance has existed since at least the Han Dynasty, around 220 BC, according to historical records. The original sword dances were likely done with longswords. One of Bow Sim Mark’s signature performance pieces was double longsword in the classical Wudang Shan style. You can read more about sword dance here.


Students will learn dynamics, primarily from the standpoint of engagement of an audience, which skills apply equally to martial application. Students will learn to distinguish between elements of the art of interest to the public and martial conventions that put the audience to sleep.


Certain conventions, such as uniform speed, which have benefits in training, have no application in boxing or fencing, which always involve tempo. This renders uniform tempo performance is “not real” from a martial perspective, unlike sword dance. Alternation of pace is just one example of dynamics, which distinguishes real sword art from health exercise.  High-level performance will always utilize music with rhythmic complexity and time signature changes, such as Jiangnan sizhu or modern jazz.



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Figure 2. Before and After: Bow Sim Mark as a young sword dancer (left),
elevating the artform as a true master in Whitesnake (right)







Empty Hand


·      Advanced Basic Training

·      5 Elements Hsingyi

·      Old Eight Palm

·      Fu style Baxi

·      Northern Mantis

·      Tongbei (internal)

·      Drunken Boxing

·      Snake (internal)

·      Iron Fist


These empty hand forms support wudang sword technique, which requires some hsingyi and bagua.


Advanced Fu style basic training for exceptional core strength & flexibility. Hsingyi for high-level internal striking and springing steps. Old Eight Palm to expand the repertoire. Baxi (bashi) is a Fu family hsingyi linking form with advanced footwork and devastating combos, great for closing or creating distance. Northern Mantis provides additional speed, wrist strength & flexibility, which can be adapted to many forms of boxing. Tongbei, based on the movements of the long armed gibbon, provides wheeling speed and power, a force-multiplier for bagua, and critical in multi-opponent play.


Drunken Boxing training will focus on core mechanics and principles. Students will be encouraged to shadow box dizzy and develop their own routines. We can observe the connection between drunken boxing exercises and Fu style waist turns, body turnovers and leans. Drunken boxing is arguably the earliest form of internal martial art. Snake is a practical bagua/hsingyi fusion form developed by Bow Sim Mark that will enhance speed, striking power and sinuousity. It seems to incorporate Southern Shaolin Snake, and we can observe the connection of shaolin snake and Fu Bagua coiling. These may be the elements that made her neijin peerless.


This form of Iron Fist is shaolin training for chain punching the iron pole, including palm strikes, chops, forearm strikes and grapples, similar to Wing Chun wooden man training. The secret to this form involves hitting the target lightly “a thousand thousand times,” avoiding damage to the knuckles. Iron resonates when struck, a form of responsiveness, and the material can be thought of as softer than wood. Requires Fu waist training, Northern Mantis and Hsingyi and Snake. Prepares the fist and palm and forearm for striking bone. Benefits include chain speed, rhythm, precision, control and assertiveness. Students will learn to box blind while stepping and engaging in orientation and level changes.






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Figure 3. Bow Sim Mark, Dragon hsingyi (left), Dragonpalm bagua (right)







·      Bagua Fan

·      Shaolin Staff

·      Tai Chi & Bagua Saber

·      Bagua Spear

·      Iron Staff

·      Glaive


These secondary weapons support jian: fan for finger sensitivity and control; Shaolin staff for joint strength and grip dynamics; saber for back blocks and chopping power; spear for extension, snap and thrusting; iron staff for hardening, root and feeling. Knowledge of saber helps keep techniques for single-edged and double-edged swords distinct, as cautioned by Li Jinglin.


Glaive/Guandao is the weapon of General Guan, Chinese god of war. It is a primary battlefield weapon by which we mean “a polearm with the capacity to thrust and chop, simple enough to learn quickly, powerful enough to cut down a strong man in armor or the legs from a charging horse.” (The term “martial” derives from Mars as Roman god of war and there has never been a time in history when warfare has been conducted without weapons. This is why some form of guandao or pudao is always taught in traditional Chinese Martial Arts academies.)


Internal staff forms derive from heavy polearms such as guandao and iron staff, and do not meaningful have martial benefit when practiced with light weapons. However, just as Wudang is famous for sword, Shaolin is famous for staff, acknowledged as the most advanced pole fighting system in the world. Shaolin staff can be utilized with the lightest of poles and is recommended for all practitioners of any system of martial art, from early childhood until old age. Here’s why.



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Figure 4. Bow Sim Mark teaching guandao vs. spear
     Mother and Son, student and teacher  
(Note the use of not only the base of the spine but of the whole spine by Mark.)




Sword Sparring


·      Advanced Stretching

·      Strength Training

·      Sword Sparring Drills


The emergence of Historical European Martial Arts in the last decade has fostered interest in full contact sword sparring with protective gear. Protective gear has not been traditionally used in Wudang arts, where sword sparring is only practiced by advanced students after they have demonstrated full control of the weapon, eliminated bad habits, and learned to defend their body with the sword.  Nevertheless, it can be practiced with protective gear in the manner of contemporary sport.   Full contact sparring requires a not-insignificant investment in equipment.  Students interested in pursuing sword sparring will be expected to train a minimum of 4 hours per day, 6 days per week, in order to participate safely. 


The primary modern Wudang longsword  form was reconstructed in the 1970’s by celebrated sword master Yu Chenghui.  Unlike other reconstructed systems, this art is fully connected to the extant tradition.  As in Europe, when the last generation of soldiers & duelists realized the age of sword was over, they came together to form the modern sport so that the art can be preserved.  The formation of the sport comes almost a century later in China, where last historical accounts of blades used in battle were during the 1930’s. Much of the modern sword we have comes from those instructors. Thus Wudang longsword is the most authentic of any current reconstructed sword system.


Sparring students will be encouraged to train and spar with quarterstaff and rod in addition to longsword and pursue basic competency in boxing and grappling. Most of the practice will be done in the traditional way, such that protective gear will only be used in preparation for competition sparring. This is because the proper mindset for contending with a sword is difficult to attain without some risk, and why Li Jinglin noted that the final hurdle for practitioners is the courage necessary to allow an opponent’s blade close to one’s body. Real fencing requires a heightened awareness that can only truly exist in condition of consequences. Therefore, to spar safely with metal, both participants must be engaged in daily training and have full control of their weapon. A proper training ratio should follow a logarithmic scale of roughly 100x training | 10x two-person drills | 1x sparring. 


Figure 5. Budding Kungfu star schooled in the art of real fencing by his mom.


Li Jinglin ready to impose order.

Figure 6. Knight of the Old Republic General Li Jinglin
Father of Modern Secular Wudang Sword