How many different styles of Chinese martial arts can you name? Taichi? Of course. Shaolin? Goes without saying. What about lion dancing? Sure, it’s well-known! (Yes, if you didn’t know, the acrobatic displays you see at Chinese New Year celebrations are in fact intrinsically connected to the history and practice of traditional Chinese martial arts.)
What if you could train all three styles in one afternoon and, even better, for free? Or what about training on a tropical beach? If any of that sounds interesting, Cultural Keys has you covered in April!
April 18th – FREE Martial Afternoon with Cultural Keys
If you have always thought about trying a traditional Chinese martial art, but never found the time to do so, our free martial arts workshop in April is definitely for you. Set over 3 hours and including training in Yang Style Taichi, traditional Shaolin kung fu and also training in lion dancing with expert teachers, if you are into martial arts, or have even just thought about it, you won’t find a better event than this.
Yang Style Taichi
Our martial afternoon starts with a warm up through Yang Style Taichi. Originally a well-regarded martial art, recent generations of teachers have often neglected the martial aspects of Yang Style taichi, to focus mainly on the health and wellbeing benefits training provides.
Our warm up will include cardio and stretching based on Yang Style taichi, together with simple stepping and breathing techniques taken from the Yang Style forms.
Shaolin Style Kung Fu
After a brisk taichi warm up, we move onto a more intense and physical martial workout. While typically all traditional Chinese martial arts are kung fu, Shaolin is one of the most easily recognizable forms of the Chinese fighting pantheon. Shaolin kung fu itself, as the name suggests, started at the Shaolin Temple (birthplace of Chan Buddhism). There it was developed over several centuries by the resident monks, both as a system for health, body and spiritual cultivation and as a means of protecting the temple from frequent raids.
For our martial workshop, we will be training some of the most important postures in Shaolin kung fu, as well as foundation techniques, kicks and punches, plus a few applications to help you get a better idea of the usage of the moves you’ll have learnt.
Traditional Chinese Lion Dancing
The cherry on the cake for our traditional martial arts afternoon! The origins of lion dancing started are unclear, but by the Tang Dynasty different forms were performed for the emperors, and by the Ming Dynasty it had spread all over the country, with many regional variations developing. Lion dancers are almost always martial artists, due to the stances and level of stamina required for the dance.
For this inaugural lion dancing workshop, participants will be lead by expert lion dancers with southern Chinese-style lions, who will demonstrate some of the essential lion dancing techniques seen during typical performances, and show participants how to work in teams to perform their own moves, together with their own lions!
1) Do I need to have experience to take part in this activity?
No experience is needed! Having said that, it will be quite an intense 3 hour activity, with a wide range of martial movements practiced, so a certain level of physical ability will be required too get the most out of participation! (Highly experienced martial artists in any discipline are of course welcome as well!)
2) What do I need to wear?
You’ll be moving around a lot, so loose clothing and flat shoes are definitely recommend, as well as a towel because you will certainly be sweating!
3) Will there be any physical contact?
Aside from practicing a few techniques in the Shaolin portion of the workshop, and close interaction for the lion dancing, there will be no combat contact in the class.
4) Why is such a great event FREE?
As part of Cultural Keys new activities lineup for 2021, we will be introducing several events including lion dancing and Shaolin kung fu team building activities. To help us develop and promote those activities, we are looking for volunteers to take this class so we can get feedback, and also more photos and videos of the three events.
5) How do I sign up?
Simply email us at [email protected] or add AJDonnnelly on WeChat, let us know your name and email address and that you agree to have your photo and video taken during the workshop, and you’ll be all set!
April 23rd – April 29th – Sanya Taichi Retreat
After being almost entirely confined in one place for what feels like forever, what better way to unwind and literally stretch your legs than a week of rest, relaxation and mindful taichi practice on a beautiful south China beach?
Join Cultural Keys on the beach in Sanya this April and release all your tension with 5 days of taichi and qigong at the Holiday Inn Resort Sanya Bay, for just 5888RMB.
The price includes:
– 6 nights stay in a private room with balcony at the Holiday Inn Resort Sanya Bay
– daily buffet breakfast
– 5 hours of daily taichi and qigong training (25 hours in total)
– welcome dinner and presentation
In just 5 days, you will have the opportunity to reconnect with your body by learning the Yang Style 12-step form, re-energize your spirit through traditional Chinese deep breath qigong, and refocus your mind by taking in the wonderful sights and sounds of sunny Sanya whenever you aren’t practicing.
A truly all-encompassing short break away!
For more details on the fantastic short break, including FAQ and how to sign up see the full details here.
Did you know lion dancing had an important connection with Chinese martial arts? What Chinese martial arts are you interested in trying? Let us know in the comments below. We always love hearing your thoughts and insights!
– Cultural Keys
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About Cultural Keys – The Chinese Culture Company
Cultural Keys helps people access, understand and experience the traditional culture of China. Click the image above to read more about Cultural Keys and what we can do for you, your school, company or organisation to help you get more out of your time in China!