Hunyuan Taiji is a style of Taiji established by the renowned Taiji Master, Mr Feng Zhiqiang. While it’s roots originated in Chen Style Taiji, many of it’s practice methods have since deviated. Hunyuan Taiji is essentially a mixed style, and has incorporated practice methodologies from other martial arts as well as various Qigong self-healing and Daoist cultivation methods.
Mr. Feng had a very diverse training background. Toward the end of his 70 + years of practice, he integrated what he felt was the most useful of his practices, particularly in terms of skill development, choosing only the most effective training methods, and promoting the robust longevity of ones mental and physical self.
Hunyuan Taiji uses the framework of Chen Style Taiji, meaning the shapes and postures are very similar to Chen Style. However, the underlying fundamentals and quality of movement are quite different. Hunyuan Taiji will appear as soft, fluid, circular motion. Within this motion is an ongoing transition between hard and soft levels of dynamic tension, which differentiates it from most other styles of Taiji where a static level of tension is maintained.
Hunyuan Taiji places a significant emphasis on internal principles, namely, the state of your mind, sensory development, and overall understanding of your practice in relationship to both yourself and the environment. It is deeply rooted in ancient philosophy and seeks to express ancient philosophical principles though a contemplative mind and a physical body. Included in the advanced curriculum of Hunyuan Taiji are many Daoist cultivation practices, which are aimed at deeply penetrating a practitioners understanding of themselves and their life.
This practice is suitable to begin at any age and starting level of skill. That said, traditional practices are difficult and progress will require a significant degree of dedicated time and effort. There are no shortcuts. However, as a life-long practice, the Hunyuan Taiji system can be a very rewarding and enjoyable pursuit. It will give back to you whatever you put into it.
Lineage and Teachers of the Past
> Zhang Yufei
Mr. Zhang Yufei, was born in 1954 in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, and currently resides in Beijing. As a child he studied Baji Quan and Xingyi Quan under Mr. Fan Bingshan. Later, while attending college in Henan Province, he studied Xinyi Liuhe Quan, as well as Yuefei and Pigua Sanshou under Mr. Ding Hongkui. He eventually moved to Beijing, and from 1987 followed Hun Yuan Taiji Quan Master, Mr. Feng Zhiqiang until Feng passed away in 2012. During his time in Beijing Mr Zhang was also privileged enough to practice Da Cheng Quan under Mr. Wang Xuanjie, a famous fighter in Beijing, which greatly helped improve his skill level. He has extensively researched Chinese philosophical literature and traditional Chinese medical literature, and is an accomplished painter and calligrapher.
> Feng Zhiqiang
Mr. Feng Zhiqiang was born 1928 in Hebei Province. As a child he learned Tong Zi Gong (stretching) and Zhan Zhuang (standing exercises). At a young age he moved to Beijing and studied Tongbei boxing. When he was 20 years old he began studying Liuhe Xinyi under Mr. Hu Yaozhen, who emphasized methods of gathering and nourishing Qi, practicing intention, Santi standing, Dantian methods, and boxing postures. Feng later trained under Mr. Chen Fake and eventually became one of his main students. Mr. Chen Fake’s popularity encouraged others to come forth and challenge both him and his student. Feng would often take on the challengers. Feng accomplished an incredible feat, he defeated all challengers usually without badly injuring them. In 1981 Mr. Feng Zhiqiang retired and in 1983 became the president of the Beijing Chen style Taiji Quan Research Association that was established the same year.
> Ding Hongkui
Mr. Ding Hongkui (1895-1986) studied under many masters including Mr. Wang Shaocheng and Mr. Jiang Dianchen. He lived and trained on Snake Hill, Hubei Province, where he continued teaching many students until his death in 1986 at the age of 92. He was well known for his mastery of Tang Quan and his free fighting abilities.
> Wang Xuanjie
Mr. Wang Xuanjie (1938 – 2000) was born in Beijing and from an early age took to the practice of martial arts. Apart from studying under several accomplished masters including famous wrestler Xiong Dehan, he also sought guidance in meditation from Buddhist and Taoist monks in Beijing, finally taking up he practice of Da Chengquan under its founder Wang Xiangzhai and later his successor Yao Zongxun.
> Hu Yaozhen
Mr. Hu Yaozhen (1879-1973) was a native of Shanxi Province. He was well known as a martial artist, Qi Gong expert and traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor. He also received ‘secret transmissions (exclusive teachings) of Buddhist and Taoist meditation, which gave him an edge on his opponents. It was Mr. Hu Yaozhen who introduced Feng Zhiqiang to Chen style master Mr. Chen Fake in order to further his studies.
> Chen Fake
Mr. Chen Fake (1887-1957) was born in Chen Jia Gou, Henan Province. Well-known for free fighting victories in his hometown, he then traveled to BeiJing in 1929 to teach Tai Ji Quan. He soon was renowned for defeating many opponents without badly injuring them. In his later years he modified the original Chen form (Lao Jia), which then became the foundation for the Chen New Frame form (Xin Jia).