Zhou Xuan Yun grew up on Wudang Mountain.

Born in a village, one of the working people, he enrolled in the program to train professionally in sword and related Taoist traditions.

"He had to pay for the first two years", but after that, he was in training to coach, and then teach, and accepted as a disciple of the Tai Yi sect of Wudang.

There he trained under strict supervision 8 hours per day for ten years. Like all those who really love it, he trained a few extra hours per day besides.

You have to understand, this was in the era before "Crouching Tiger" and the disnification of Wudang Shan.

He and his brothers wanted to run up the mountain in the morning before practice, and their teachers thought it a spledid idea.

When you see Zhou perform, the benefit of their joyful training is clear, and it's a quality he's passed on to his most dedicated students, of which there are a few.

After a decade on the mountain for his basic training, he "walked the earth" for another decade, seeing the world and interacting with the people and studying with masters all over China. This is a tradition in the Taoist arts.

I don't know much about the Taoist sects because we're the secular Wudang families, the folks who worked in the bodyguard agencies, trained troops and participated in warfare. But I know the real thing when I see it. "Seeing" was one of the skills Sifu taught me.

I won't try and describe his movement. You can watch his videos. I will say that when I first saw him exhibit the Tai Yi in Boston I immediately recognized the qualities of true Wudang that my Sifu, Bow Sim Mark, had explicated to me over decades of teaching.

I was overjoyed because Bow Sim Mark brought Wudang to the US in 1975, but after 40 years of representing the arts in China and the West, withdrew from public life.

Now a new Wudang Master had arrived in New England to continue to tradition. In 2025, it will be 50 years.

Wudang Priests do no contend--it is directly contrary to the tenets of Taoism. This is similar to real Shaolin Monks, the unmarried vegetarians, not participating in competition. But if you want to see the product of real Shaolin training in its peaceful expression, look to Li Lianjie. For Wudang we can say the same of Yu Chenghui.

It's only us knuckleheads from the secular arts that want to contend. We haven't quite gotten it yet!

Zhou engages with joy and abandon. Like Sifu, he has perfect control. His movement has feeling.

Mark and Zhou and Yu had the real old-school training from masters who understood waist, jian, and real neijin.

Best of all, these three Wudang masters are and were committed to the peaceful expression of the art for the benefit of all people, which was also the motivation for the promotion of the sport of Wushu.

One thing I can say is Mark, Zhou and Yu are real Wudang masters, bridging national boundaries in the peaceful expression of this exquisite art.



Zhou Xuan Yun offers full-time instructor training at his school in the mountains of New Hampshire.