Wang Xiang Zhai (1886 - 1963)
Suffering from chronic poor health, the young Wang Xiang Zhai began studying Zhan Zhuang ('standing like a pillar', i.e. standing still) under his uncle, Guo Yun Shan. With practice, Wang Xiang Zhai developed robust good health and formidable skills in martial arts.
After Guo Yun Shan's death, Wang Xiang Zhai travelled throughout China, meeting and studying with the other great martial arts masters of his day.
By the mid-1940's, Wang Xiang Zhai had developed a new style of boxing, widely hailed as supremely effective for both health and self-defense. The foundation practice of this boxing was Zhan Zhuang, the practice of simply standing still.
Wang Xiang Zhai's system is known by two names today:
Yi Chuan ('Mind Boxing'), and Da Cheng Chuan ('The Great Achievement Boxing').
Professor Yu Yong Nian
Born near Beijing in February 1920, after completing his initial schooling, Professor Yu was sent for specialist medical education in Japan.
Fully trained in contemporary Western medicine, and having qualified as a dentist, he returned to China, and began work at the Beijing Railway General Hospital.
Three years later, finding himself exhausted from the constant long hours of dental practice, he began training under Grandmaster Wang Xiang Zhai.
After nine years of training, Professor Yu introduced aspects of Zhan Zhuang as treatment for internal disease at the hospital. His initial successes led to a major medical conference in 1956, at the Beijing Shoudong San Hospital, that introduced the Zhan Zhuang system to hospitals throughout China.
Professor Yu then began teaching Zhan Zhuang publicly, in the mornings in Yun Tan Park, Beijing. Ever since, he has continually promoted Zhan Zhuang for health inside and outside of China.
Professor Yu has written numerous books, and been a member of China's National Chi Kung Research Council, and consultant to the American-Chinese Chi Kung Research Group and to the Da Cheng Chuan Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung Research Groups (Europe).
In April 2009, at his 90th birthday party in Beijing, Professor Yu said:
"I practice Zhan Zhuang, I am healthy. I practice Zhan Zhuang, I am happy. I practice Zhan Zhuang, I have a long life."
When Sifu Sifu Dove asked Great Grandmaster Yu,"You have worked so hard and suffered so much to develop and teach this art to the world, how can we ever repay you?”
Professor Yu replied “Train harder!”
Professor Yu passed 0n 9 October 2013. (Video link)
Grand Master Lam Kam_Chuen
Born in Hong Kong shortly after the second world war, Master Lam began his training in the martial and healing arts at the age of 11.
He went on to open his own martial arts school and clinic, specializing in herbalism and bone-setting. He also studied other classic Chinese Arts including Feng Shui, Astrology and the I Ching.
Master Lam's meeting, and subsequent training, with Professor Yu had a profound effect. He recalls: 'After this I changed everything, using the forms I already knew, but with a new power that gave my martial arts new life.' (from: The Way Of Power, by Master Lam Kam Chuen).
In 1976, Master Lam moved to London, and became the first teacher of Tai Chi for the Inner London Education Authority.
In 1987, Master Lam gave the first public demonstration of Da Cheng Chuan in the West, and has progressively and gently introduced this art to the West.
Master Lam has written books on Zhan Zhuang, Tai Chi, Feng Shui and on Chinese tea culture.
Master Lam continues to research and teach his arts across the world.
Further information can be found on his website.
Sifu Tony Dove
Sifu Dove has had the privilege of being a student of Grandmaster Lam's for almost 30 years. He has taught Tai Chi since 1995 and Qi Gong since 2000. He started teaching Choy Li Fut for the first time in 2016. His experience includes healing, martial and meditative aspects of these arts. Sifu Dove continues to study directly under Grandmaster Lam.
In 2000, Tony was asked to develop Falls Prevention classes of Tai Chi and Zhan Zhuang for a Primary Care Trust and Social Services, to over 50's. The benefits were scientifically measured, and the group as a whole improved out of the 'at risk of falling' category within a few months. He has since worked for more than four NHS Primary Care Trusts delivering accessible exercise to older clients.
Now established in the West Country, Tony has developed regular classes for the community, inviting everyone, regardless of age or ability. He continues to develop his speciality in teaching classes for the over 50's, those with Parkinson's and for those with chronic & acute medical conditions. He also delivers a full curriculum for those wishing to explore the deeper aspects of the arts.
Journey Into China, 2009
In spring 2009, Tony and a group of his students were delighted to participate in the Lam Association's China trip.
The objective of this journey was to celebrate Professor Yu Yong Nian's 90th birthday, in Beijing. This extraordinary and festive event included five generations of teachers and practitioners from around the world.
In the spirit of sharing cultural and inter-personal understanding, the Lam Association organises regular trips to China.
On this occasion, participants had the honour of being personally guided by Master Lam and his family across Yunan Provence in South West China. The group was welcomed in places of authentic historical and cultural significance, as well as markets, villages, feasts, towns and temples
The Association visits China about every 4 years