Wudang Spirit 2019
Ever wanted to go to China and learn Tai Chi and/or Qigong in an authentic setting? Well here's your chance!
I'll be going back to Wudang (Wudangshan, Wudang Mountains) in September, this time bringing some of my students with me. Before flying to Wudang we'll spend two days in Shanghai. Maximum number is 10, so it will be a small group. If you're thinking of joining, email me asap.
Here's the itinerary:
August 28th: fly from London
August 29th: arrive in Shanghai
August 30th & 31st: spend time in Shanghai (free programme)
September 1st: fly from Shanghai to Wudang
September 1st - 17th: at Master Bing's school, practise Tai Chi & Qigong
September 17th: fly from Wudang to Shanghai
September 18th: fly from Shanghai to London
I will stay in Wudang until the end of the month, so the group will travel back to London without me.
The price will be approximately £2500 to £3000. This will include all the flights, hotel in Shanghai, full room & board and training at Master Bing's new school. There will be 2 classes each day for 6 days a week, with one day off (rest day). Three meals are included for the training days. During the free day one can go to Laoying (Wudang town) or explore the mountains and temples.
Not included in the price: visa (approx. £150), travel and/or medical insurance, and any additional travel costs in Shanghai.
The Gov.uk website has plenty of info about travelling in China: China travel advice
More on vaccinations: China
Both Shanghai and Wudang are generally speaking safe destinations. For safety information on Shanghai see here: 2019 updated
Wudangshan is rural area, and rather remote from any city p.o.v., I've never come across any crime-related problems there. The fact that there are at least a dozen or so martial art schools nearby probably lowers the potential crime rate even more...
Just to be clear: this will be a "training holiday", so the focus is very much on practising and learning Tai Chi and/or Qigong. Two classes per day for six days a week for 13 days in total equals 26 classes. One class is 2 hours. That's 52 hours of training. While it's up to you to decide if you want to skip a class if you wish, the emphasis is nevertheless in martial arts. We are staying at Master Bing's school to become more healthy and strong, while enjoying the beautiful surroundings at the same time.
Health / fitness requirements: average to good health / fitness. Wudang Mountains is, as the name suggests, a mountain area. There are plenty of stairs, and very few lifts. If you're not used to climbing up and down the stairs, I suggest starting now - it will help you in Wudang. The roads and especially footpaths can be - and often are - in a "natural state", meaning narrow, uneven, muddy after rain, not more than dirt and rock at times. You won't find railings to support you in many places, apart from the actual mountain (and even there not always, see pic below), with stony steps of various sizes leading towards the summit, the Golden Hall. In short: being able to balance yourself is definitely a requirement.
Welcome to the Land of Stairs
Having said that, it's definitely worth the effort. I've been to Wudang three times so far, and each trip has given me so much. The energy (Qi) in Wudangshan is very unique. Believe it or not (I didn't, at first) but everything grows better in Wudang, even wounds heal faster. There is something incredibly nourishing in the earth and in the atmosphere there. It will also assist you in training. One grows in many ways while in Wudang... There is only one real danger in visiting Wudangshan, one which I've experienced myself: part of your heart might decide to stay there for good.
Master Bing's school
Master Bing's website: Wudang Dao
Master Bing's school: Gallery
Wudang: 4 Sacred Taoist Sites