About Dr. Yang and The YMAA Training Curriculum
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming is an acclaimed author and teacher of Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan and Chin Na grappling, and a leading authority on Qigong (Chi Kung).Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming was born on August 11th, 1946, in Xinzhu Xian, Taiwan, Republic of China. He started his Kung Fu training at the age of fifteen under Master Cheng, Gin-Gsao. In thirteen years of study under Master Cheng, Dr. Yang became an expert in the White Crane Style of Chinese martial arts.
At the age of sixteen, Dr. Yang began the study of Yang Style Taijiquan under Master Kao Tao. Dr. Yang has mastered the Taiji barehand sequence, pushing hands and Taiji Qigong.
At age eighteen Dr. Yang entered Tamkang University in Taipei to study physics. Dr. Yang came to the United States in 1974 to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, where he earned his Ph.D.
Yang’s Martial Arts Association was established in Boston, MA in 1982. With the intent of preserving traditional Chinese Kung Fu and Qigong , Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming began training students in the rigors of Shaolin Long Fist and White Crane Gongfu as well as Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Dr. Yang also undertook his life-long dream of teaching and researching the Chinese arts and introducing them to the West through many books, videos and DVDs.
YMAA Publication Center was founded on January 1, 1984 with the goal of producing superior books and instructional videotapes on Qigong and Chinese martial arts. YMAA was also an early pioneer in the DVD industry, producing in-depth, extended-play DVDs with hours of instructional content.
YMAA Publication Center is a pioneer in the cultural exchange between the East and West. While the West has successfully developed the material sciences, the East is celebrated for its levels of spiritual cultivation. During this ongoing period of exchange, the building of bridges is critical for the successful integration of the achievements of both societies.
Dr. Yang has published over thirty books and fifty videos and DVDs on the martial arts and Qigong. His work has been translated into many foreign languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech, Bulgarian and Russian.
For over 30 years, Dr. Yang travelled to teach at YMAA International Branch and Provisional schools and in seminars worldwide.. He also frequently travels within America and around the world presenting lectures and seminars on Chinese martial arts and Qigong.
Dr. Yang has a dream. “I want to lead Chinese martial artists in the West back to their roots and help them to regain their original high level of skill and public respect. I also wish to bring Qigong training to the Western world and have it accepted by the Western medical society once and for all.”
Dr. Yang was named by Inside Kung Fu Magazine as one of the people who has “made the greatest impact on martial arts in the past 100 years.” He was also named Man of the Year 2007.
In January 2008, Dr. Yang’s youngest son, Nicholas Yang, became the new President of YMAA International and head of the YMAA Boston school. In March, 2008, Dr. Yang moved to CA, and the 10-year training program began at the YMAA Retreat Center in September 2008.
Internal Styles-Taijiquan (太極拳)
In internal styles, YMAA focuses mainly on traditional Yang Style Taijiquan which originated from Yang, Ban-Hou (楊班候). However, other styles of Taijiquan, such as Chen (陳氏, Wu 吳氏, and Sun 孫氏, will be introduced through seminars with qualified masters. In addition, YMAA will continue to invite well known masters to YMAA headquarters to teach Xingyiquan (形意拳), Baguazhang (八卦掌), and Liu He Ba Fa (六合八法), the other three well-known internal styles.
Taiji Qigong (太極氣功). Taiji Qigong is designed to help the beginner to feel and understand Qi, and also to learn how to use the concentrated mind to lead the Qi so that it can circulate smoothly. Practicing Taiji Qigong exercises can significantly improve one’s health. In addition, Taiji Qigong is the key which helps the Taiji practitioner learn how to use the Yi (i.e., wisdom mind) to lead the Qi to energize the physical body for maximum efficiency.
Taiji Sequence (太極拳套). There are many different styles of Taiji. In YMAA you must learn the traditional Yang Style of Taijiquan, which has 113 (or 108) forms. It is believed that the Taijiquan which YMAA practices originated with Yang, Ban-Hou. After many years of practice, in 1997 YMAA completed its assimilation of traditional Chen Style Taijiquan into its regular internal training schedule. The Chen Style Taijiquan in YMAA was passed down from Master Liang, Shou-Yu (梁守愉). Master Liang, Shou-Yu learned his Chen Style Taijiquan from Grandmaster Gu, Liu-Xing (顧留馨).
Taiji Stationary Pushing Hands (太極定步推手, Taiji Ding Bu Tui Shou). The purpose of Taiji pushing hands training is the same as that of the fighting forms in the external styles. However, Taijiquan emphasizes sensitivity to touch (i.e., listening) (Ting), understanding (Dong), following (Sui), sticking (Zhan), and adhering (Nian). In stationary pushing hands you must learn many fundamental techniques, such as single pushing hands and double pushing hands. These incorporate the energies of wardoff (Peng,), rollback (Lu), press (or squeeze)(Ji), push (or suppressed by palm)(An), pluck (Cai), rend (or split)(Lie), elbow (Zhou), and bump (Kao). In addition, other advanced pushing techniques, such as coiling, controlling, borrowing, leading, and neutralizing Jins are trained. In YMAA stationary pushing hands training, there are four basic neutralization patterns which a pushing hands beginner must learn. Next, he/she will begin double pushing hands training, which includes six different training patterns. Normally, these trainings are used to introduce four basic Taiji Jin patterns: Peng, Lu, Ji, and An. An international training routine has also been absorbed into YMAA training and is simply called “Peng, Lu, Ji, An training.”
Next, a student must learn the other four basic Taiji Jin patterns, Cai, Lie, Zhou, and Kao. Again, this includes two basic training routines, one is from Dr. Yang and the other is an international routine. These routines are commonly called “Da Lu”, “Lu-Ji”, and simply “Cai, Lie, Zhou, and Kao.” YMAA has its traditional “Da Lu” training, even though an international training routine has also been absorbed into the YMAA training and is called “Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao training.”
Silk Reeling Taiji Symbol Training (太極圈纏手練習, Taiji Quan Chan Shou Lian Xi). Silk Reeling Taiji Symbol training is the foundation of the Taiji Pushing Hands and Sparring. This training includes two portions: the Yang symbol and the Yin symbol. A student starts with Yang symbol, solo practice first, then with a partner. Begin with stationary practice, then move to forward and backward. After a student is able to move forward and backward with closed eyes, he or she then starts the parallel walking training. Finally, he or she will complete this symbol with the Bagua walking. When a student has mastered the Yang side, then he or she should learn the Yin side and follow the same training procedures. When these two Yin and Yang symbols are mastered, a student will be able to change his or her techniques smoothly and easily and apply them in the Pushing Hands or Sparring.
Taiji Fighting Set (Taiji San Shou Tui Lian). The Taiji fighting set was designed so that two people could practice together in a situation resembling actual fighting. The main purpose of this training is to teach the student how to step and move his/her body into the most advantageous position in combat. Naturally, it also teaches the student how to avoid being channeled into a disadvantageous situation. The student needs to have practiced stationary pushing hands first, so that he/she can combine that experience with the fighting set to make the techniques come alive.
Taiji Moving Pushing Hands (太極動步推手, Taiji Dong Bu Tui Shou). Taiji moving pushing hands is the training before Taiji sparring. In moving pushing hands, the student must use stepping strategy with the techniques learned in stationary pushing hands and the fighting set. Students who have reached the level where the opponent cannot set them up, and can use their own techniques skillfully, have completed the basic training for sparring.
Taiji Free Sparring (太極自由散手對打, Taiji Zi You San Shou Dui Da). In YMAA, barehand Taiji sparring is one of the final goals of instruction. In Taiji sparring, striking techniques come out of the sticking and adhering. Body protection is required for this training.
Taiji Sword (太極劍, Taiji Jian). Taiji sword is used to train the student’s Qi to a higher level. In fact, the theory of Taiji sword is much deeper than that of barehand Taijiquan, and the techniques are also much more difficult to train and master.
Sticking Taiji Sword (太極劍對練, Taiji Jian Dui Lian). Sticking Taiji sword training is similar to Taiji stationary and moving pushing hands training. It helps the students to extend their feeling and sensing beyond the body and out to the tip of the sword. This training is very important for those who wish to learn Taiji sword sparring.
Taiji Saber (太極刀, Taiji Dao). Taiji Saber is another short weapon which trains students in the skillful coordination of the physical body with the Qi body. Like the sword, Taiji Saber also has sticking training.
Taiji Staff (太極棍, Taiji Gun). The staff is the first long weapon in Taiji. The principles of feeling (listening), following, sticking, and adhering remain the key to the training. Taiji staff also has two-person sticking training.
Taiji Spear (太極槍, Taiji Qiang). The spear is called the king of the long weapons. It is considered the highest level of Taiji training. In Taiji spear training, students train to extend their sense of feeling and to direct their Qi to the head of the spear. This enables the student to feel (listen), follow, stick and adhere to the opponent’s weapon. Sticking Taiji spear is also part of the training.
YMAA Publication Center Today
Presently, YMAA Publication Center has published over seventy books by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, Master Liang Shou-Yu, George A. Katchmer, Jr., Qingshan Liu, Walton Lee, Norman Track, Tai Ngo, Michael Gilman, Robert Chuckrow, Frank Thiboutot, Hong-Chao Zhang, Michael Rosenbaum, Xu Xiangcai, Ramel Rones, David Silver, Yanling Lee Johnson and Tom Seabourne. YMAA has published dozens of best-selling VHS and DVDs about Chinese martial arts and Qigong. YMAA also imports and distributes 100% raw silk uniforms, and a line of Classical Chinese Music from Wind Records in Taiwan.
YMAA Publication Center accepts manuscripts for publication consideration. Please review our submission guidelines. Submissions should address some aspect of Chinese or Oriental Culture—Martial Arts, Qigong, Oriental Philosophy. No children’s stories, please.YMAA will continue to grow, research, and share the essence of Oriental Arts with the world.