I have found the Taichi (Taiji quan), qi gong, and other martial arts taught in these classes to be unique in terms of the range of benefits they provide, their accessibility and depth.
Taichiquan not only increases strength (without the risk of injury), but also provides improvements in areas that more closely determine the actual quality of physical functioning (such as posture, flexibility, and balance) as well as contributing to general health by helping to manage stress levels.
In addition, I have found the classes to be mentally challenging both in terms of the need to learn complex movements, but also from the insights they provide into intellectually profound topics such as the relationship between mind and body, and various aspects of Chinese philosophy.
I also like the fact that while these exercises are best learned at an early age, anyone of any age or state of physical fitness can profit from participation, can continue to learn for the rest of their life, and can expect to improve as long as they practice.
As a final note, I would draw attention to the quality of instruction provided in these classes. The instructor in these classes is one of only a very few in this country who is themselves a high level practitioner and someone who has a deep and comprehensive understanding of the philosophical ideas underlying the martial arts.Dr Stephen Ginpil
My name is Anthony Ng (a Medical Doctor). I moved to Canberra from Malaysia in 1977 to continue my high school studies at Marist College in Pearce. Apart from leaving for a short time to complete my Tertiary studies interstate, Canberra has been my home.
I have been a member of the Chinese Traditional Wushu and Health Academy since 2002.
Kung Fu is commonly regarded as a fighting style in the West. I also see Kung Fu as a fighting form but more importantly I see it as an art, a culture encompassing physical well being, mental well being and self discipline. It is the underlying benefits to one’s health that most practitioners I feel, fail to appreciate.
I have found Wushu to be a good form of physical exercise with focus on posture, balance, aerobic capacity and strength which promotes physical well being. Wushu also influences the mind by promoting balance and peace. I believe when harmony between body and the mind is achieved, this will result in good health and mental well being. This harmony is then reflected to how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives. This, I believe is our aspiration.
Wushu is traditional Chinese culture. I invite all to experience and appreciate one of the most valuable aspects of Chinese culture – for both young and old.Dr Anthony Ng
I started training Xin Yi Liu He Quan and Cha Quan in September 2003, and started Tai Ji Quan in September 2005. Originally intending to use martial arts only as a tool to get fit and maybe learn some self-defence techniques, I instead ended up thrown in the deep end of these strange but extremely rewarding arts. My practice began as a hobby; training only once or twice a week, I had no idea why I was being asked to drill these bizarre movements over and over again. It took me over 2 years to figure out the benefits of this type of practice and only then did I begin to take my training seriously. Looking back, the progress I made over the first two years could have probably been achieved within 6 months with a proper training routine.
My practice has very much become a lifestyle for me now, and my love for it pushes me to get at least a couple of hours in every day. I use the movements I have learned as tools to research the relationship between my mind, my body and my surrounding environment. With diligent training, I am peeling away the layers of bad habits built up over a lifetime, slowly revealing my full potential and returning to a completely natural state. Each day my practice helps me to calm my mind, eliminate useless wandering thoughts and bring me closer to a state of complete awareness. Physically, I have learned to relax my body to a depth I never thought possible before training. I am faster, more powerful and have far greater endurance than ever, and I do it with greater ease and relaxation as I learn to move in complete harmony. Still, I am only scratching the surface, and every answer I find seems to raise ten more questions that need to be researched in depth.Craig Mallett
I have found that wushu and Taichi practice is a way to practice using the body efficiently, as a whole, without conflict, and with flowing movement that is in harmony with the bodys natural design. Conflict in the body can come from incorrect posture, excess tension, and a distracted mind. By concentrating on the principles of posture and movement within Taichi and wushu, you can correct your posture, and as you get stronger, you can reduce tension in the body and relax. Being mindful of the principles helps reduce wandering thoughts, and helps quieten your mind. As you relax, you can involve more of your body in the movement, and more of your body becomes in harmony. When you move, your whole body is involved, without any stiffness, and it feels smooth, fluid, and stable.
By training your body to move as efficiently as possible, smoothly and without tension, and by being mindful of your physical actions and mental state, you can have a very positive effect on your everyday life.David Witheridge
As an office worker, I feel lucky that I have the chance to get away from the office environment and practice martial arts on a regular basis. It is a precious counterpoint to my life in the modern world, and acts as a solid balance to my career duties. Training keeps me fit and healthy and presents me with the opportunity to learn and improve my capabilities. It gives me an outlet to practice humility, creativity and discipline. Learning from a good teacher in a class environment helps me understand the necessity for respect. I find the philosophy of the training very helpful. There is a natural harmony to it.
The reliance on external factors for health is diminishing as time passes, I find that I am healthier now than any time before I started training. Practice is preventative medicine for the body and the mind. It’s still hard, but the desire to train grows the more you do it. Even in winter, the chill of the morning air is not a concern that lasts past the few minutes it takes to work up a sweat. As I persevere with training, the constant adversity becomes my measuring stick for difficulty in life, and every task just seems to get a little easier in comparison. It took a while for my mind to adapt to the concept that the training never gets easier, one just gets better at it and has to work harder to reach personal limits. I find it rather agreeable that every time limits are reached, they increase. It’s certainly a rewarding practice, but there are sacrifices martial arts demands of its followers. One must have determination and be able to consistently examine ones own weaknesses. As time passes it becomes harder and harder to excuse them. Time is another issue, the training demands patience. After a while, one realises the intrinsic nature of the rewards training provides.
I no longer train for competition, or to become a peerless fighter, or even to reach the highest level of personal health. I train because I love to.Eamon Logue
I never enjoyed competitive sport or gym classes but I was attracted by the graceful movements of Taichi and began learning it as a form of exercise. I soon discovered that Taichi is far more than just a series of physical movements; it is a martial art and is based on philosophical principles thousands of years old.
After four years of practice I am physically healthier and stronger and my balance and flexibility have improved. This is important for me as I have low bone density and am at risk of developing osteoporosis. My Taichi practice is a vital part of preventing this disease.
I am mentally more relaxed and focussed which helps me a great deal in my everyday life and work. I am excited to realise that the study of Taichi can be lifelong, and I look forward to growing and developing in understanding and skill.Rosemary Birch
Behind the slow and graceful movements of Tai Chi are benefits that many Westerners are now learning about. We are finding that the sequence of subtle movements is improving flexibility, strength, balance and feelings of wellbeing. Additional training exercises and Qi Gong are revealing areas of ancient knowledge that can be applied to enhance our health and the quality of busy modern lifestyles. More research is being done and it is pleasing to see that benefits are being confirmed by science.
I began learning at retirement age, and since starting I have experienced the positive outcomes and hope to continue doing so for many years to come!Elizabeth Worrall
Since beginning training with Dapeng in 2009, I’ve noticed considerable improvements in the way my body moves. Although I’ve done martial arts before, I’d never done Taichi before I joined this class. The gentle, relaxing movements have really helped to unblock the tension in all parts of my body, allowing me greater freedom of movement, better circulation of blood and overall better general well being. On the surface it’s really easy to see how Taichi can benefit you physically, but once you dig a little deeper you’ll find a wealth of benefits for mental and spiritual cultivation as well.
I began wushu training in a completely different class doing a completely different style; originally I was learning an external style. When I came to the CTWHA and began learning these traditional styles it was obvious they were internal. Immediately after training I went home and began research on them. After reading article after article and watching many videos I knew this is what I wanted to do. Wushu, like Taichi, has so much to offer. It’s only through diligent practice that we discover our full potential. Strength, coordination, flexibility and awareness have all improved significantly through practice. What was once just something fun to do a couple of times a week is now slowly becoming a lifestyle for me.Matthew
My name is Sonny. I’m currently studying PHD in physics in Australian National University (ANU). It’s been around 5 months I started coming for the Taichi class. I found this to be a really rewarding experience. When Shifu asked me to write what I know about Taichi, I am not too sure what to write, I realized that my understanding are still really shallow. All I can say that I feel a lot of improvement in my body. I feel a lot more energized and alert. Even after a long rigorous activities or work, I feel that my body is recovering really fast. Shifu asked me to relate this with physics knowledge, well it’s really hard. All I could think of is in Quantum Physics, we’ve got the famous uncertainty principles that state everything has an uncertainty characteristics attached to them, so I guess Taichi helps us to be more alert to the (inevitable) changes happening on our body and to adjust to it properly. To quote what Shifu said on the training, when doing Taichi, it is not only our hands or feet which are moving, but all our body cells.Sonny Natali
I’ve been learning wushu and tai chi under Dapeng for around 5 years now. I was initially attracted by the possibility of learning something that was hard (or impossible) to master and would last my whole life. As I continued to train and became more mentally and physically aware, I started to appreciate the arts for their intricacies and infinite depth. Lately though, life events have made it difficult for me to train as much as I would like. This has forced me to appreciate the health benefits that even moderate training can provide. Interestingly, it is those health benefits that are currently inspiring me to try and return to my previous training levels.
My overall goal is to reach a point where I am practising wushu purely for the enjoyment of doing so, and the benefits of practising are a happy coincidence. I’m not there yet, but I know that the way to get there is the same as always – practice, practice, practice!Isaac Hudson
Dapeng Wang made learning Mandarin a positive and enjoyable experience for our entire class. In each lesson he introduced us to a different example of Chinese conversation, introducing important vocabulary and key phrases, which we then understood and rehearsed. The lessons were interspersed with various aspects of Chinese culture, examples of the construction of Chinese characters and video presentations of Mandarin conversation in different contexts. On a number of occasions we developed our own presentations in Mandarin, not only learning how to put various words and phrases together but also learning the rhythm of the language. I probably enjoyed this part of the course most of all. Dapeng’s course was a satisfying experience, which we are looking forward to continuing at a more advanced level. I certainly must have learnt something during this course since my Chinese colleagues at work often say how good my pronunciation is!Geoffrey
I have been fortunate to have participated in Mandarin Language Beginners and Intermediate courses provided by Mr Dapeng Wang.
I had spent some time travelling in China the previous year with my husband and we were keen to learn more of the Chinese language and culture. Dapeng’s course was an excellent holistic introduction to the study of Mandarin encompassing interesting and relevant cultural aspects of Chinese history during the course. During and after both courses, with Dapeng’s encouragement, I was confident enough to order dishes and discuss the bill in Mandarin at a local Chinese restaurant along with using basic greetings and useful traveller’s phrases to Mandarin speaking people I was acquainted with in the community.
Although I felt tired at the end of the working day before attending Mandarin class I would feel completely refreshed and energised by the end of the class due to the way in which Dapeng taught us and communicated his enthusiasm. Dapeng promoted a sense of friendship with our classmates which also greatly increased my enjoyment of his courses.
I highly recommend Dapeng Wang’s classes to prospective students at all levels.Anne
Dapeng is a gifted teacher, his enthusiasm and vibrant delivery are engaging and help to make learning easy. His lessons give students a well-rounded understanding of both culture and language. Dapeng explains and integrates history, cultural understanding and ideals into the symbology of kanji and language, which gives students a deeper understanding of Chinese people. I highly recommend taking one of his classes, they will assist you in broadening your horizons and help you to gain access to another world.Janine Howe
My wife and I are university academics who are increasingly working with Chinese colleagues and students. We have recognized the critical importance of expanding our understanding of Chinese culture and language. Our most immediate challenge has been saying Chinese names correctly – or at least giving it our best attempt. We enrolled in a conversational Mandarin course taught by Dapeng Wang. The course provided an excellent overview of key concepts in Chinese culture and language. These foundation skills have allowed us to grow in confidence applying the teachings to our work. We have found proper name usage and engaging in basic Mandarin conversation to be greatly appreciated and valued by our Chinese friends. Through greater shared understandings we will be better positioned for global interconnectivity.Michelle & Dan
Tai Chi is a full and in-depth practice requiring discipline and patience to gain proficiency in. Using slow, measured movements of the body supported by solid stances and footwork I have gained peace of mind and awareness of my body’s dynamics. Had I not taken up this practice my appreciation of our potential as human beings, how lightly we can move, how clearly we can think, would be far more limited.
I have been fortunate in meeting Dapeng Wang and beginning my study of Tai Chi under him. I have also had the opportunity to take an introductory Mandarin Chinese language course he teaches. This granted me further insight into Chinese culture and of course a beginner’s grasp of Chinese.
Together I believe these two subjects will reinforce the strengths offered by the other, in the same way that the two interlinked halves of us, the body and mind, support each other. My only regret in taking up Tai Chi is that I did not begin practicing sooner.Nicholas Collins
I started Wushu training with Dapeng in 2002 and continued for around 5 years. Dapeng is patient, kind and an inspiring teacher who has the ability to apply a positive influence into peoples lives.
Wushu is powerful in so many ways and has given me the discipline to deal with some of life’s challenges. In addition to improving my strength and flexibility, Wushu has also helped me overcome my speaking difficulties (a bad stutter from childhood) and anxiety issues by helping me to breathe properly and release tension in my body. Whenever I feel low in energy I can rely on Wushu’s basic movements to give me a much needed boost.
I enjoyed Wushu training thoroughly, it has helped change my life and Dapeng is a life mentor who I can always rely on. I look forward to learning Tai Chi and enrolling my son in his upcoming children’s Wushu classes.Roshan Bandara