Hunyuan Taiji Stick and Ruler

Though not unique to just Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji, the stick and ruler techniques are rare and within the Hunyuan system GM Feng Zhiqiang refined what he had learned from Master Hu Yaozhen and Master Chen Fake to give us a unique blend of techniques, these techniques encompass spiral energy Qi Gong and also twisting strength for joint locks and immobilisations.

Use of the stick and ruler can improve your health quickly as it puts a different focus on your practice and can be of benefit to people of all ages and skill levels. In particular it can help greatly with the moving of energy along the Du Meridians of the back, these places are the most difficult to pass to complete the large heavenly circuit of energy.

What should I do?

Zhu and chenWhen you don’t have as much time as you would like what is the best exercise to do?
I am relating this to Martial arts and not specific to all but certainly to the arts I am proficient in.

Sun Style Martial Arts

The Taiji form takes between 7-12 minutes to perform it can take longer of course so this is a good thing to practise as it has everything inside, my teacher related to me though that when you only have time to do one thing it should be Pi Quan, as it is everywhere in the Sun Style.

Krabi Krabong

The mother skills are the most important things here and if not a lot of time the martial dances are essential to hone your technique.


familiarity with weapons is essential but that can be achieved by doing Ammara, with any weapon not just sticks.

Muay Boraan

The essential things are the basic footwork and doing combinations, making the transitions smoothly, making sure you have good co ordination between hands and feet, shadow boxing essential here.

Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji

Without a doubt the 24 step form contains all you need to improve with daily practise, this can do done in anything from 7-20 minutes depending on your time available, also the 12 step qigong is another thing you could supplement or just do stand alone if time limited.

Obviously there are a lot of exercises that will give you reward for the effort to do them, Master Feng Zhiqiang advocated standing in Wuji for 45 minutes a day, as well as doing form and qigong but in this modern world we don’t always have the luxury of training 7-8 hrs a day, we can practise before work or after, get up early, practise during lunch there are so many ways to get your training but you must enjoy it, the daily grind is the most important thing.

Last time I did it!!!

CNY08This is a photo I found that my friend Lun Lok took in 2008, at the Manchester Chinese New Year celebrations and it made me think about that day and what a good time it was. As I had brought some of my friends and students with me to experience for the first time being at a Lion Dance and Chinese New Year from the inside. It is completely different when you are involved walking along Princess Street seeing the huge crowds cheering and clapping it is truly a great experience and a tribute to the people of Manchester that they come out year after year to celebrate with the Chinese community.

This was the last Chinese New year I participated in simply because I moved to Thailand. Although I have visited Manchester since and spent time in the Kwoon of Chu Sifu I have not been able to arrange to be there for the celebrations. In 2009 I went to the celebrations in London to support my friends there, Dave Stevens, Iain Armstrong and Eddie Barrios and since then have not been in the UK as the Chinese New year was celebrated.

The picture shows myself waiting for my turn on the drum, my good friend and senior student John Farrell on the cymbals, his son John on the drum and my good friend and student Jane Jackson taking it all in to my right.

A Great day!!!!

Hunyuan Taiji

The Hunyuan Chen Shi Xin Yi Taiji derives from the Chen style Feng Ziqiang learned from Chen Fake and coupled with the Qigong and Xin Yi Liu He from Hu Yaozhen it makes a very interesting and complete system.

Training starts and for most people ends with learning the 24 step form which is beneficial for health but has martial applications contained within, this along with the 24 Qigong is enough for most people and certainly when I learned in Beijing the majority of people were happy just to practise these everyday and got tremendous health benefits from the practise.

Originally I came to Hunyuan to learn the Qigong for a herniated disc and when I started I was still taking medication for the pain and inflammation after 3 days of practise the pain went and I no longer needed to take the medication, mind over matter I hear you cry maybe, the postures certainly helped open up my back so there was not as much compression and it strengthened the area that needed it around the core of my waist, hips, legs and lower back. I then went on to study the 24 step form which again I have found to be beneficial in keeping the core muscles in good condition. It has taken a few years for me to emulate my teachers postures and get my stances low enough to feel more benefit from the style, but extreme stances are not stressed in Hunyuan and no stamping is done. The idea is to cultivate our inner strength by concentrating on the movements and how they correspond to the Dan Tian, in moving in circles. My teacher told me to keep the movements big and not be tempted to shorten them even when applying them as this would inhibit the flow of energy and slow development.

I have gone on to learn the 38 Pao Chui form and find this a great form to really relax and try to let the power flow. The Fa Jing aspect again is not stressed as the late GM said. If not done correctly you could injure yourself long term. Even if done after many years of training it should be done sparingly with more concentration on internal development than showing outward force.

I will be returning to the UK in 2014 and anyone wishing to learn the Hunyuan Taiji please get in touch.

Book update

Just a quick update. My book “A Mancs Life” is in final layout and will be available as a pdf download for 5 GBP, 7 USD, 6 Euro. I will post the link for payment and download once the book is finished.


The book is about my life in martial arts from my early training to present day with the teachers and people I have met along the way some trials and tribulations, insights to training and also anecdotes and technical information.

I hope you can support me in this book distribution and enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed the journey.