Gui Rong and George Xu Workshop
February 2001, Durango, Colorado
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and Martial Artistry Mark Masters' First Durango Workshop
By Tim Richard
DURANGO, COLORADO, Feb. 2-4, 2001óThe
martial arts master George Xu from San Francisco stood calmly facing
forward with his hands lightly at his side.
"You see," he said, "you
give your power to the earth and the earth returns power to you."
He swept a hand from the floor up along the length of his legs up
to his stomach, following the flow of energy.
"I give my power to the earth
and the earth gives power to me," he repeated with another
graceful arch of the arm.
His body then dropped slightly and
his arms lifted up and out to eye level with slow determination.
His hands extended outward with a slight jolt, retracted, then lowered
back to his side. Deep, patient breathing accompanied each motion.
"The earth does it," he
Master Xu would repeat similar words
for the next
three days, as nearly 30 area residents joined him at Shanti School
in Durango for a workshop in Taijiquan, a centuries-old Chinese
fighting art increasingly practiced by westerners for its health
Xu (pronounced Shoo) who has gained
a reputation for discovering masters unknown outside of China and
who are willing to freely share what they know with the world, was
joined by 71-year-old Grandmaster Lu Gui Rong from Shanghai. Lu
is an expert in the Yang Style, push hands, and was trained known
taught one of his specialties, Wild Goose Qigong, a flowing succession
of 64 movements designed to reenergize your body. This very old
practice that originated in a Taoist monastery in western China,
near Tibet, is particularly valued for treating cancer, Xu told
"Wild Goose Qigong was the
gem for me," said Mike Ruby, a ski instructor. "Thereís
a reason why Wild Goose is the most practiced form in China."
"There definitely is a surge
of interest in Tai Chi," said Susan Matthews, owner of Shanti
School of Taijiquan (pronounced Tie-gee-chwan) who hosted the workshop.
She is a long-time student of Xu and trains with other teachers
from China. "It offers alternatives to aerobics and other exercises."
"It was absolutely wonderful,"
said Mary Colgan, a student of Matthews who treats her arthritis
with Tai Chi and Qigong. "It was about wholeness and wellness.
It lets you know you are part of something bigger. [Masters Lu and
Xuís] way of being had a quality of calmness and connection. Master
Lu was not just calm in his own little real world. The calmness
spread out beyond him."
Xu led several class sessions in
the basics of Tai Chi, preparing students for sparring sessions
known as "push hands." He patiently repeated analogies
to help students visualize new ways of moving their bodies for the
art, not martial work," he told his students, often drawing
chuckles for his sense of humor. "Look for your mistakes like
a reporter looking for President Clintonís mistakes."
Sunday afternoon, Masters Xu and
Lu demonstrated various forms, including Canon fist, Wu, Wu Hao,
Chen, and Yang forms, which are a string of various fighting maneuvers,
such as ward off, block, press and strike.
The forms look differently on the
surface, but the motions are all performed by internal movements
of energy. From an internal foundation of energy and mental intent,
the practitioner can generate more power and control in fighting,
Master Xu said.
Tracy Henderson, who works in an
optometristís office and has trained in Tae Kwan Do, was impressed
by Xuís power. "He was so powerful. I could tell from one touch.
trying to feel when he was going to send me flying and just be ready
to go. I was just terrified to think about fighting him."
Several Tai Chi teachers from the
area were among the students attending the workshop. Each specializes
in various styles, but all went to learn what they could apply to
their personal training and to teaching.
"George is unique in promoting
an open sharing of information and bringing high level masters to
the US," Matthews said. She said that area teachers were already
getting to together more frequently to practice together and share
information, but Xuís visit stimulated greater interest in building
"He is a good model,"
This was Xuís first trip to Durango
(Luís first out of China), an outpouring from participants guarantees
his return. He plans to conduct more workshops in Durango in 2002.
For more information, contact Matthews at email@example.com
Here to Read A Tribute to Masters Xu & Lu:
and The Lady: A Special Essay by a Grateful Student
Master Lu Gui Rong
is one of the world's top Yang Style Push Hands experts. He studied
with the founder of Wu/Hao Style for many years. Wild Goose Qigong
one of his specialties.
of Shanghai, Gold
Medalist in Chen Style, is one of the top Chen teachers and is the
top Lan Shou expert in America.
Xu and Grandmaster
Lu taught traditional Chinese internal martial arts
using bones, ligaments, tendons, deep muscle, qi, and spirit for
Advanced Principles, Push Hands, and Internal Secrets.
Wild (Big) Goose Qigong. Considered especially good for
Traditional Wu/Hao Style Tai Chi and Secrets, directly
from the founder.
in body intelligence, leg intelligence, spine intelligence,
yin/yang balance, continuous/infinity change, root training,