YiQuan.com Correspondence Course

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by rij_r, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. rij_r

    rij_r Valued Member


    YiQuan looks great, but nowhere in a million miles of me teaches it...

    Just as I have resigned myself to not learning it, I stumble upon this:


    - which looks interesting and appears to be some kind of option at least.

    Does anyone have any experience with it?

    (Waits for cries of 'you can't learn an MA from a book' - which I generaly agree with, but then why would this chap suggest I could... unless he's really just in it for the money?)

    Any responses appreciated! :hat:
  2. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    He's just in it for the money.
  3. rij_r

    rij_r Valued Member

    Yeah, that's fairly much what I was thinking deep down, under a veneer of mild excitement!

    Thanks for the reply :)
  4. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    I don't know much about ima's but in general correspondence courses send a shudder down my spine!
  5. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    I have the 1st part of this correspondence course. The material is very well presented and has clear explanations. However, you either need a lot of background in qigong/zhang zhuang, access to a teacher or previous experience in the method. Otherwise, I would say give it a miss and study something else. I think the translator of the material is occasionally online here under the name "Dacheng".

    If your looking for a teacher it may also be useful to post you location here and on a few other sites for people to suggest a teacher for you... if you feel comfortable with that of course.
  6. rij_r

    rij_r Valued Member

    Thanks for the responses so far and for the info about the correspondence course :) As expected it seems that no book/correspondence course/etc can better having a teacher, no matter how good it is.

    I'm based in the Cardiff (UK) area and am prepared to travel to some extent (really just comes down to fitting things in around work).

  7. Su lin

    Su lin Gone away

    Surely there's loads of stuff available around Cardiff?

    Start a thread about ima training in Wales, I think there are a lot of ma people from there (I realise its quite a big place:D).
  8. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Hey Rij_r,

    Have a look at these two sites:



    Both sites are run by Karel Koskuba, he is an instructor under Yao Chenguang, the person who is responsible for the correspondence course mentioned earlier.

    Karel does a monthly class around Reading, it is really good and he is a great teacher. The class is around 4-5 hours if I remmeber corectly and gives you plenty of stuff to practice till the next month (info: http://www.ciaa.org.uk/).

    Alternatively, there is also a weekly class in Bristol which is not too close to you, but closer then the others, may be worth checking it out if its convenient for you (info on: http://www.yiquan.org.uk/ and http://www.bristoltaichi.org/).

    Good luck!
  9. East Winds

    East Winds Valued Member

    I agree with inthespirit. Karel Koskuba is a great teacher. As an introduction you could begin with Lam Kam Chuen's books on Zhan Zhuang (Da Cheng Chuan). "The Way of Energy", "The way of Healing" and "The Way of Power". All available through Amazon. No substitute for a teacher thpough, but they will put you on the right path.

    Very best wishes
  10. rij_r

    rij_r Valued Member

    Thanks for all the replies so far!

    The monthly classes with Karel Koskuba sound like they could be a definite option.

    I must admit I'd never imagined that a class that only comes around once a month could yield much in the way of results, but if it lasts 4+ hours and I put in a lot of practice in-between and look at some books (thanks for the recommendations!) then perhaps the 4-hour round trip to Reading will be well worthwhile.

    Thanks again for all the info!
  11. Dillon

    Dillon Valued Member

    I'm facing some frustration on this point; I would love to study Yiquan, but can't find anywhere within a reasonable distance. I have the above books, but that's it. I've done some xingyi, and I have some experience standing, but I'd love to find a teacher anywhere relatively nearby.
  12. Hubrisguy

    Hubrisguy New Member

    If it is possible to learn any MA without a teacher, it is Yiquan. (However, I am not saying that it is possible to do so. I don't know... but if it is possible, it would be Yiquan).

    I have Master Yao's 1st book and dvd, and I downloaded the second book from a different site. I am a very enthusiastic solo-trainer in Yiquan.

    I have to agree with one of the posters that the first book and dvd would not be quite good enough for a beginner, unless they are super-dedicated to internal martial arts already.

    The book and dvd are excellent, but they are %100 training manuals. No explanation of the approach, nothing inspirational included, no encouragement or skillful teaching. It's all put your foot in this position, hand in that, imagine there is a spring between your left index finger and your right brow, etc. If you already are training in Yiquan, you wont find more training information anywhere than in master Yao's books.

    The "correspondence course" aspect of it I am not so sure of. Andrej K. handles all the forum posts as far as I can see, and he gives excellent answers to questions. This could be an invaluable aid to a beginner, and better than simply a book alone. I think it might cost extra, but not sure. I was on for a free month and asked a couple questions and got good answers.

    BUT ALL IS NOT LOST! You can definitely do this, because there is a VERY EXCELLENT beginner's book. Master Lam Kam Chuen's books are great because they contain instruction plus a way to mentally approach the work and also keep up the motivation to persist. The Way of Energy (on ZZ only) is the best introduction to Yiquan, although it was marketed initially as a Chi Kung book, years and years ago. The Way of Power also includes more combat aspects, plus some fluff. A new Chi Walking book may also be helpful for steps practice, I have not read it, and it may have some fluff too.
    The Way of Energy is the best instructional book I have ever had. I have purchased scores of book on various subjects, and they usually sit on the shelves, but The Way of Energy I thoroughly used. It has it all: inspiration, practical instruction, philosophy, everything. The book is not Yiquan in total, but it is in my opinion the best way to approach Yiquan.

    This is what I would suggest you would need to get started:
    1. Pick up the Way of Energy (often in bookstore shelves), and order at least Master Yao's dvd. There are cheaper dvd's but the translations are bad. You can practice ZZ while you wait for the dvd.

    2. If you have the money, also buy Master Yao's first book. This would complete a beginner's set. It would be enough to get started. And if you had access to the forum, that might be helpful too, although I would stop short of saying that you would really be taking a "course." It's more like an augmented book.

    3. Buy The Way of Power and Chi Walking for more angles on the fundamental trainings.

    4. Check out Fong Ha's dvd's and books (fongha.com, i believe). I haven't seen these myself but that might help even more.

    I hope that helps. You can definitely do this. I did. Although I have to say I was rather desperate: various injuries and I couldn't do anything so I just said I am going to stand and stand everyday until I am better and was able to do it. That is the thing: it's all up to your determination and Yiquan is always an individual discovery. You will find the way if you perservere.

    Master Yao knows this. That is why he tried to create a distance course. Because an individual can always find the natural force by themselves, and in fact everyone has to find it for themselves.

    By the way, I doubt he is a rich man and if he makes some money in the latter stages of his life, after working as an anonymous security guard on the public train (i think that is what it was) to make a living while he dedicated his whole life to this art, well good for him.

    Ask me any questions....

    best wishes,

  13. rij_r

    rij_r Valued Member

    Hi all - and thanks again for the replies, especially the huge and detailed response by Hubrisguy!

    What you've said sounds really interesting and I have managed to find a copy of The Way of Energy (also recommended by East Winds) - turns out it's not the easiest thing to get hold of in the UK, but I should have a copy dropping through my letterbox, thanks to AbeBooks, in a few days.

    I might well give your method a try, hopefully in conjunction with the classes at Reading or Bristol, to keep me on the right track. I'll see how I get on with the Way of Energy and if things go well, will grab a copy of Master Yao's book and DVD after that... fingers crossed.

    I'm also taking CMC-style Taichi classes locally, which may or may not complement the YiQuan... any comments on this front appreciated!

    Thanks again for the replies. It's a shame there aren't more YiQuan teachers about, but with a lot of perserverance and a bit of travel, perhaps there is hope for me yet!
  14. dacheng

    dacheng Banned Banned

    Some explanation - the "correspondence course" by Yao Chengguang was created in chinese language at beginning of 1990s. It was not meant to be literary 'correspondence'. The idea was about providing opportunity of learning, to people from all over China, who couldn't find teacher in their area, and could come to Beijing only once in a time for some days or some weeks, so they could use some reference materials in periods between those person-to-person contacts.
    Unfortunately too many people take the 'correspondence' word too literary. Learning yiquan with teacher is difficult enough - as Wang Xiangzhai once wrote: "It's simple - one or two students in one hundred are able to understand this" :) But if you can have competent direct instruction at least once in a time, and you additionally use those coursebooks and videos, there is a chance to make progress.

    BTW I just came back from China, where we had next training with Yao Chengguang. The clips from this trip are posted here: http://www.yiquan-academy.eu/readarticle.php?article_id=25

    Next China trip - training with Yao is planned for August 2009, but it will be for people who learned already at least half of the basic curriculum.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  15. Hubrisguy

    Hubrisguy New Member

    Thanks! That was very helpful. The clips were great. I wonder if you could post more on the training there. I am currently planning to go to master yao's and working my way through the foundations, on my own, using his manuals. I did wonder if I am a little too old and frail.
    I think I have a ways to go until my knees could take the being throwing around landing all kinds of angles on concrete, so that is very helpful to see. Previously I was concerned that I haven't sparred in like 20 years but I am sure I can harden my body and practice to be ready for that, but the hitting landings is something I really need to train for and test out first. Is there any thing else it would be important to know first about mixing it up with the other students and the teachers?

    I am seriously hooked on yiquan and will continue to practice regardless, but I really would like to go to china to study more.


  16. dacheng

    dacheng Banned Banned

    Anyone can practice, the way of practice can be adjusted to any person, so there is no need to worry.

    Well, you will start learning from basics anyway - zhan zhuang, shi li, some fa li, and as for pushing hands, you will start from learning the basic patterns. If you mean going there just for couple of weeks, no need to think about more free practice, except maybe one or two small tests. If you mean some months, that would be different story.

    In fact it means almost nothing, if you tried to learn from coursbook or DVD. They are good help, for someone who FIRST learns a bit directly, and uses them then in order not to forget some things. But not to learn new things. Anyone, who started from manuals, and then came to learn directly, immediately noticed, that it was actually not much more than not learning at all. Or even worse - there was need to put some more effort into unlearning some mistakes and misunderstandings and already developed bad habits.

    Once more: those manuals are very good, but as supplement for those who are learning by direct contact (even if it is not often), not for self study!

    Most important thing: you speak chinese, don't you?

    Master Yao speaks chinese only. His assistants/coaches speak chinese only. Most of his students speak chinese only. Those who can speak english come to classes occasionaly. So basically, going to learn there is a very good idea, but only if:
    - you speak chinese yourself,
    - you happen to be there at a time, when someone speaking both chinese and english, and adequately understanding yiquan is present, which is not often opportunity.

    There were quite many instances of people not speaking chinese, who travelled to China to learn from Yao, and came back disappointed. Some were lucky, because they happened to be there at the same time as some person practicing yiquan and speaking both chinese and english. Some were not so lucky, because at that time person speaking english was coming just once or twice a week, and they couldn't communicate most of the time. Some had really bad luck, as they came at time when there was not such a person there. And trying to use as a translator a person who is not practicing yiquan leads to too many misunderstandings.

    So there are too many cases, when people going there with plan of training for weeks or months, give up just after one week or even earlier...

    My advice would be then: before you go there to learn, first learn chinese language and chinese culture and customs for some years, or go there with someone practicing yiquan, who can speak chinese.
  17. Whitecrow

    Whitecrow Valued Member

    hi there, you can get some interesting general info from Tu-Ky Lam's website (just Google his name) & there's some incredibly informative articles & videos out there on the web... but in my experience & opinion one has to be willing to travel to find quality one to one tuition... I'm also thinking of training at CIAA but some instructors with Zhong Ding International (spread throughout the UK & abroad) teach a version of Yiquan although the majority of training at this organisation is Cheng Man Ching Taiji - also, looking back, it bears little resemblance to the postures & methods I studied with Tu-Ky but that doesn't mean it's not authentic... persevere, check any potential teacher's lineage/experience and the very best of luck!
  18. dacheng

    dacheng Banned Banned

    For those who follow Yao's (yiquan.com) program, have completed the course and have solid sparring experience, there will be organized a special sparring session with representatives of other martial arts: muay thai, boxing, kick-boxing, judo, kyokushin karate, on 31st January 2009, in Warsaw, Poland.
  19. dacheng

    dacheng Banned Banned

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