Yuè Shān Guǎn is a martial arts training activity focused on elements of Chinese Internal Martial Arts, led by Mark Raugas, who maintains an active practice of the arts of Hebei Xing Yi Quan, Bagua Zhang, and Wu Taiji Quan in Seattle, Washington. I am a lineal student of Zhang Yun laoshi, who leads North American Yin Cheng Gong Fa (YCGF) from Pittsburgh, and trained extensively with the late Grandmaster Wang Peisheng in Beijing.
My practice is focused on the following martial arts as taught in YCGF:
- Yin & Cheng & Liu Style Bagua Zhang ( "Eight Trigram Palm" )
- Northern Wu Style Taiji Quan ("Grand Ultimate Boxing ")
- Hebei Style Xingyi Quan ( "Form Mind Boxing" )
Collectively, these arts are referred to as the major schools of neijiaquán ( 內家拳 ) or internal martial arts. Each of these arts is a lifetime study:
- Bagua is known for its smooth and fluid nature, giving practitioners the ability to change spontaneously in response to an opponent's actions. Elements of the curriculum include the 8 Mother Palms (Ba Mu Zhang) and 8 Big Palms (Ba Da Zhang) of Cheng Ting Hua, 64 Circular Changes of Yin Fu, and 64 Linear Bagua Forms of Liu Dekuan.
- Taiji is known for its relaxed character, giving practitioners the ability to off-balance an opponent at first touch by borrowing their force. Elements of the curriculum include the 37 posture form of Wang Peisheng, Fixed Step Push Hands, Free Step Push Hands, Da Lu, the 83 posture form of Yang Yuting, and Neigong.
- Xingyi is known for its stability, giving practitioners an ability to express sudden and explosive power. Elements of the curriculum include San Ti Shi, 5 Elemental Fists, 12 Animal Forms, 10 Step Elemental Linking Form, and the Mixed Skills Form.
These three arts, when studied together, provide a full curriculum of both offense and defense, including practices of striking, locking, throwing, grappling, and a traditional weapons curriculum including methods of combat using the straight sword (jian), sabre (dao), and spear (qiang).
I also include in my practice aspects of Shi-style Baiyuan Tongbei Quan that I have been fortunate to encounter during my training. I work on several of the foundational basic practices (jibengong) of Tongbei Quan, the use of the two-handed long saber (tian gang dao), and the Eight Ancestor Fists as taught by Zhang Yun.
Practice of internal martial arts can provide benefits to health, fitness, body awareness, and combative ability. A practitioner over time can cultivate a deep awareness and relaxation of the body, mind, and spirit.