Guo Shilei Taijiquan Lecture Series - Part One

Who is Guo Shilei (郭石磊) … and where’d he get his ill gongfu skillz?* (See videos for proof)

According to an excellent interview available on his own site … Guo Shilei began his deeper studies into the Chinese Internal Martial Arts (CIMA) when he was 15. That is when he met his teacher, who is the renowned Shi Chongying (石崇英), a 6th generation inheritor of Ma Weiqi style Bagua as well as a 7th generation inheritor of Yang style taiji. Guo’s own words express his relationship to his teacher the best:

“When I was 15 I met my teacher Shi Chongying and, thinking that my iron arm was already …

[continue reading Guo Shilei Taijiquan Lecture Series – Part One …]

"Internal" Power vs. "External" Power

This debate will probably never end … and the question will probably never be fully answered:

What exactly is the difference between the internal and external martial arts?

While I certainly can provide no definitive answer, I thought it might be helpful to share a bit of what I’ve learned in my experience with the Chinese internal martial arts, and particularly the distinction between jìn (勁) and lì (力).

First of all, an important linguistic note from native Chinese speaker & master taijiquan practitioner, Zhang Yun’s article on Li & Types of Jin in Taijiquan.

“In everyday usage, both of these words mean physical force, and can be used interchangeably. Very often, people use jin to denote a very large force.

In martial art, these are technical terms with more precise definitions. Li is simple muscular force, what we call “untrained force”, …

[continue reading “Internal” Power vs. “External” Power …]

Taiji Qinna (Tai Chi Chin Na) – Part II

Continuing the series on Taiji Qinna. The first video is our good pal Chen Yu showing the destructiveness of his qinna gongfu. Ouch. You can find Master Chen’s website at, but it’s in Mandarin. Still, a nice resource to learn more about Chen Yu’s classes and schedule. The second video here is Master Her Ran Shan, who I don’t know much about. I think he is located in Shanghai. If you know Master Her Ran Shan, contact me to let me know his info. Finally, the third video is Mike Martello. You can see that Martello’s qinna was highly influenced by his bagua, but I still wanted to put it in the series. RIP Mike!

[continue reading Taiji Qinna (Tai Chi Chin Na) – Part II …]