On Friday evening, an illustrious Chinaman came to visit my kung fu club, White Crane Fighting Arts ( www.whitecranefightingarts.com/ -) in Lewes in Sussex in the United Kingdom. Master Chen ShiXing is a Wudang master from the Wudang Mountains in Hubei, central China and he was a long way from home. It was, therefore, an amazing experience to see him in action just down the road from my house when he came to see how my club’s White Crane Kungfu is practised.
It fell to me, still too ill from my brain haemorrhage to take part in the evening’s kung fu, to come along with my camera and to try to capture a small piece of the action. It began peacefully enough with the White Crane students hitting their shins with bamboo to condition them for action.
Then it was his turn – this gentle man demonstrated one of his Wudang taichi patterns, we are told that the Wudang Mountains was the birthplace of taichi and Chen ShiXing seemed to have this slow-moving, deeply spiritual form profoundly in his veins:
The was a palpable sense of peace and tranquillity when he brought his demonstration to a close and then, as they say, now for something completely different as Pete found out when the master showed that his style was more than capable of a sharp and accurate hit to the testicles.
Chen ShiXing is a gold medal sword fighter and we were given an astounding demonstration of his skills – at times so rapid and devastating that my camera just could not keep up with him. Wudang Mountain is also one of the cradles of sword fighting so his pattern was something quite special.
It was amazing enough to have done the pattern at all but to have completed it without taking off at least some of his own fingers was beyond my powers of comprehension. My feeble attempts at the Chinese Straight Sword were more than dwarfed but he was truly inspiring and I have had a go in my garden at emulating some of his techniques – needless to say, I failed.
He must have enjoyed himself because when it was over, he asked to have a group photograph taken so I did my best at playing school photographer. I think everyone who was there would like to have a record of an inspiring occasion.
Finally, to prove that I have not been exaggerating Mr Chen ShiXing’s prowess, here is a video of him in action back in the Wudang Mountains. Don’t try this at home!