You are currently viewing the 2021 T3 Fall September to December term, Week #2.
The term runs for 15 weeks from September 06, 2021 to December 19, 2021 with 14 weeks of classes (There is a break week from October 25, 2021 to October 31, 2021).
Wudang Five Element Fist Kung Fu
Instructor David Ballantyne
Thousand Student Hall
Authentic Wudang Five Element Fist Kung Fu Toronto Classes
Wudang Tai Yi Wu Xing Quan
Wudang Kung Fu is comprised of a number of martial arts philosophies and styles including, Tai Chi, Animal styles, Bagua, Xingyi and Baji Quan. All of these culminate in the Tai Yi styles.
Tai Yi is a Wudang Martial Arts System related closely to Taiji (aka T’ai Chi) and is part of the Wudang system of Internal Arts. Tai Yi is also known as Liang Yi Quan, which means “Two-Extermes” fist.
In Daoism, it is said that “Taiji is
created when combining Yin and Yang. The Two Extremes are created when
separating Yin and Yang”. Tai Yi forms contain gentle, slow and soft movements
and combine them with fast and strong movements. This allows the practitioner
to gather Qi and energy to create strong explosive power called Fajin.
The goal for Tai Yi forms is to allow the
practitioner to exhibit lighting fast reflexes and thundering movements. This
helps one in a combat or sparring situation by equipping the practitioner with
ways to “start late, but reach first”.
The Tai Yi systems are some of the oldest
Wudang forms and systems. The modern Tai Yi systems were developed in the Ming
Dynasty. In Wudang several Tai Yi forms are taught including:
Tai Yi Xuan Wu Quan
Tai Yi Wu Xing Quan
Tai Yi Xuan Men Jian
This class will lead to one of the oldest Wudang Tai Yi forms, Wu Xing Quan. We will begin by studying fast Wudang forms such as Wudang Jiben Quan (basic Fist), Fu Hu Quan (Taming the Tiger Fist) and the slower Tai He Quan (Wudang Mountain Fist). They all have elements of Bagua, Xingyi and Baji incorporated into them and will prepare the students for Wu Xing Quan. Wu Xing Quan translates as “Five-Elements Fist”. Ancient Chinese philosophers selected from the material world the five different elements, water, fire, wood, metal, earth and used them to explain how all other things were formed due to their interactions. These interactions allow the elements to harm or help each other when combined in differing ratios.
When Martial Artists developed Five-Element
boxing, they used the idea of five-elements interacting to explain the fighting
movements and energies in the form. So, instead of five material elements, we
have five movements: forward, back, turning to the left, turning to the right,
and standing in the middle.
The form is designed to allow the five
elements to interact to maximize natural and efficient movement and increase
both softness and strength.
The form is gentle like Taiji or Shaolin
Rou Quan with some explosive Fajin movements. Wu Xing Quan an advanced long
form consisting of about 81 movements. The practitioner will develop internal
control through regular practice.
In the class we will work on basic warmup
and skills as well as flexibility. We then work on learning the movements of
the form and their martial applications. While Tai Yi Wu Xing Quan was
developed as a Martial, fighting form, there are many health benefits to its
practice. We will cultivate the “Three Treasures”, Qi (Energy), Jing (Essence)
and Shen (Spirit) through regular practice, culminating in health and internal
This is a low-impact system that is suitable for people of any age or experience.
There are no specific prerequisites for this class. It is gentle and suitable for people of any age and ability. Students who have had some experience in Shaolin Gentle Kung Fu and Rou Quan taught here at STQI or have had previous experience in Shaolin or Wudang Qigong classes here at STQI will have an easy transition into the form and a deeper understanding of it’s meanings. Students who have previous experience with Taiji will likewise connect easily with this class. However, no direct experience is required and we will take students from a beginner level deep into this form over time.
David began his training in Chinese Martial Arts in 1987 as a Taiji Student at the “Rising Sun School of T’ai Chi Chuan”, here in Toronto, learning Yang Style Taiji, including taiji sword and taiji staff. In 1990, he began training with Grandmaster Pan Qing Fu after seeing him in the movies, “Shaolin Temple” and “Iron and Silk”. He eventually became Pan Qing Fu’s disciple and learned many Kung Fu styles taught by Pan, such as, Long Fist, Tiger Style, Bagua, XingYi, Taiji as well as Chin Na and Shuai Jiao. Pan had an affinity with weapons and passed on to David training in a number of weapons including; Guan Dao, Pu Dao, Staff, Spear, Straight Sword, Broadsword, Double Broadsword, NanDao, Nine-Section Whip, Three-Section Staff, DaGun, Double Daggers and Long Sword. Alongside Grandmaster Pan, David performed at many tournaments and festivals in Canada, including the opening ceremonies of the Martial Arts Pan Am Games. Grandmaster Pan Qing Fu passed away in July of 2017 and asked David to eventually pass on his “Iron and Silk Kung Fu”. Recently David became a student of Shi Chang Dao and has studied at STQI for two years to begin to learn the ways of Shaolin. David studies Shaolin Kung Fu, Gentle Kung Fu and Shaolin Qigong under the guidance of Master Dao. With coaching from Master Dao, he recently competed with Shaolin Team Canada at the 12th Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival in China in Tong Bei Quan and Yin Shou Gun. After the death of his Master, Pan Qing Fu, David now travels to China and stays in the Wudang Mountains with Master Yuan Xiu Gang. During his weeks or months in Wudang he undergoes intensive training and study of Wudang Daoist Traditional Kung Fu, Qigong and Meditation. To date, he has covered empty hand forms, sword forms, other weapons such as Pu Dao and Internal forms such as Tai Yi forms.
I like doing the virtual classes during lockdown. I can attend more classes because there's no commute. Also, I'm doing more broadsword than during the regular classes. It's easy to follow Dao's instructions and we get individual attention in break-out rooms. At the beginning it's a little hard to get used to, but once you get used to it it's great! Dao shows you how to do everything in one spot if you don't have enough space. I recommend everyone try it to keep up your training during the winter.
Maintaining my Kung Fu studies online despite Quarantine has been a life saver, keeping both my sanity and my strength intact. Shifu Dao has done an amazing job of bringing the school experience into our living rooms with his live classes - deftly managing to preserve the feeling of individualized instruction, in-person inspiration, and class unity. There is no apparent loss of either sophistication of technique, or possibilities for growth in this format – if one just has the self discipline to press the button and show up! And as with the Shaolin monks who – as Dao teaches us - once had to overcome persecution and practice their art in secret in a confined space, so too this unique phase of our training actually feels like it’s providing a deeper understanding of Kung Fu. The icing on the cake, is that training side by side with my son in our home has been a fantastic bonding experience!
Learning shaolin Kung fu has really changed my life. I have learned so much since I started. Even when we can’t go to actual in person classes, I still go to the online classes. Just because we can’t be at the school doesn't mean we can’t train. You can still learn so much , even in online classes. The Warm ups are modified so you can stay in one spot but other than that, the content has stayed pretty much the same. I definitely think it’s still worth going. There are even some benefits of online classes. For example, if you need to, you can go off separate from the class and practise something on your own
Because of the lockdown, I didn't practice Qi Gong regularly at home: it was harder to find the motivation, to stay focus, etc.
I made many excuses to not join the virtual classes: not enough space at home, hard to find the time with no distractions and maybe a bit shy too. But I was starting to forget what I had learned before and I decided to try one virtual class: it was simple, there was no judgment, it was nice to talk with everyone and to start learning again.
After a few weeks, I can now say that it feels really good to be back in class! I had forgotten how regular training was important and I'm now looking forward to my weekly training just as much as I did when it was in-person!
The school is really inclusive, offering a wide variety of classes and times that gives tremendous options for people of all ages to participate. I feel there is a class for everyone and the teachers really focus on making each class a worthwhile experience for each student. Whether you are looking for something energetic, to self-defence, to relaxing, there is a course for you, for all ages and genders. I truly feel welcome here as does my daughter who can't wait to come every week. Very people friendly! Thank you!
We love STQ because it allows our girls to have fun while at the same time fostering a sense of integrity and respect in them. They both enjoy coming to Kung Fu so much - they hardly realize the valuable lessons of commitment and tenacity that they are learning. Thank you!
Our son started training at the school in 2015 at age 6. Just as the school has grown and matured, so has he. His skill and confidence has progressed and he not only has fun but takes his training seriously. Dao Shi runs a wonderful school and an excellent kids program. The focus on the Shaolin virtues, such as perseverence and respect, provides admirable goals for the kids to strive for. All of the instructors are devoted and skilled and the sense of support and community is a real highlight of being part of the school. Our family wouldn't hesitate to highly recommend STQI to anyone interested in Kung Fu.
We put our children aged 6 & 8 years into Kids Kung Fu at STQI four years ago. They have been attending regular classes 3-4 times a week. We have seen such a positive change in both kids. They are much more focused when it comes to school work, their self-confidence has greatly improved and their over-all behaviour has improved at home and at school. Both kids are in the instructor program and competed in the Shaolin Wushu Competition in China in 2018. We highly recommend putting your kids into classes at STQI. You will see a huge difference and only positive changes.
The school has made a difference to us as a family. Both my son and I take classes and my partner feels welcome and comes as support. We feel like we have joined a community that is welcoming and supportive and will help us advance both physically and spiritually.
I have two young kids enrolled at STQI. The teachers are great. They are strong and compassionate leaders. The facilities are clean and bright and easy to get to downtown. The school helps my kids with fitness and co-ordination as well as basic learning skills. I definitely recommend STQI.
My son max has been coming to Classes at the STQI for a year and a half, since he was 3 years old. he has made great friends and loves the environment at the school. I like the discipline offered in class, and he even meditates at home!
We have been for six months. I found my son has a flexibility skill amd he is stronger than previous. The lessons are good not only physical health but they are also benefit from mental training. I would recommended kids class for parents who are seeking for indoor activities
I have been with the STQI for 3 years, starting from level I and transitioning to Adult level II. My STQI experience has been a very rewarding one. My mental and physical well being are improving every week. My social network has expanded by meeting so many Shaolin members and sharing each other's life experiences. STQI provides excellent training, learning, and mental therapy environment and I encourage others to try it during our open house. You would like it.
I am overwhelmed with stories about how the teachers, class and school have impacted my children, and ultimately my family. Over the past years, the stories are countless. My son's attention and ability to self-regulate has dramatically improved. He has taken the principles and values into all walks of life. On one recent occasion, he mastered a BMX that I thought may be a little above his physical capabilities. When I inquired how he manged, he stated, I remembered Kung Fu Focus and Strive - I was shocked. My daughter just started to practice. At 4 years old, a shy introvert comes out of her shell at the school. The school is welcoming, warm, and inclusive. I have noticed improvements mentally, spiritually, and physically. My family plans to practice for a long time. The effects and impacts are limitless and extend far beyond the classroom. Thank you for embracing us - we are grateful.
Most authentic Kung Fu classes in Toronto! If you are looking for an enriching experience, look no further. I've learned Kung Fu practical skills, and a healthy mentality with meditation and Qi Gong. Classes at STQI have given me an overall learning experience. There's no better school!
My family has been thrilled with the experience at the school. The family-centered, community-oriented nature of the school has made it a place of learning, support, and growth. I can see the growth in my children in terms of strength, discipline, and patience, and look forward to continuing this journey over the next several years.
I've been here for over 3 years and I have been in Level II Kung Fu. Though I am in my mid-fifties, I am able to achieve so much more than when I was in my twenties. My arthritis and rotator cuff no longer hinder those things I still do; hockey, cycling, etc. The strength of all parts of my body has increased dramatically as well as my flexibility! I have never felt better!
Training at STQI Toronto has completely changed my outlook on life. Four years ago, doing any of the Kung Fu drills would've been next to impossible in my mind. Yet, through the virtues of perseverence and strive, I'm now quite prolific at many of the drills. I feel touched by Chan philosophy, to always look beyond the limitations of the mind. Highly recommended for all ages.
I attended one of my first Gentle Kung Fu Classes. My back had hurt for the past week, prior to class. I was very pleased to find that all the pain was gone by the end of class. Shifu Dao explained that it was probably because I released all the tension in my lower back during class. I felt great as soon as the class was over, and was able to return to my regular workouts.
Qi Gong and Gentle Kung Fu have been great forms of exercise and stretching, and help me relax during the week. I enjoy learning the forms and appreciate the encouraging and patient nature of the intructors.
Qi Gong is very relaxing and I get a great stretch. All of the Qi Gong instructors are very knowledgeable and correct my movements when something is out of place. Gentle Kungfu is a great class to attend when injured but still provides a different kind of challenge than regular kungfu. Gentle Kungfu is taught by patient, caring instructors who take teaching seriously and make it fun to learn. Both are great classes to attend.
In the last four months, I have spent over 100 hours training at STQI Toronto and it has been an amazing experience. The teachers and the community are truly exceptional.
In my time at the school, I have;
- practiced the moving meditation, body awareness, and energy cultivation of Chi Gong and worked on understanding the power of momentum, core, and breath chi in Gentle Kung Fu with the head master of the school, Shifu Dao;
- drastically improved my physical conditioning and glimpsed the state of blissful flow that can be found in the chess-like self-defense practice of Wing Chun with Si-Fu Ben Ho;
- worked on harnessing the raw power of my mind and body through the intense physical and mental training of Women's Self Defense with lead instructor Rosemary;
- watched my 4-year-old son be influenced by great role models and have fun while learning how to meditate and focus on his Kung Fu training in the kid’s classes.
Four months ago, I was overworked, stressed, out of shape, overweight and really not in a mindset where any spiritual growth would have been possible. Over the last four months I’ve become visibly leaner, stronger, more flexible, and have more cardiovascular endurance. I’m regaining the muscle definition I had pre pregnancy and have lost four inches off my waist!
There are many logical or rational reasons why I choose to follow the path of training in martial arts, but ultimately, in my time at the school, I have learned that there is also something deeper... something spiritual to be attained through dedicated practice. It is not just that my head understands the benefits and feels the pull to train, but also that my other two centers of consciousness, my heart and my gut are lit up while training leading to a more joyful and creative experience that is now working its way into my life more broadly.
I am grateful for the school and all of the teachers that have helped me on my journey so far. I'm excited for the next four months and my next 100 hours of training!
Doing the Qi Gong classes makes me feel positive towards approaching life's daily challenges. I also notice an improvement in my posture and have more energy overall. I also feel at peace with everything and everyone.
The live online are very similar to in-person classes. Shifu Dao will show you how you can easily do all the same drills and forms in a small space. In some ways it is even better online. You can do the classes from the comfort of your own home. Shifu Dao teaches all the classes himself, and you can watch your own techniques and forms in your video feed to see how well you are doing.
STQI has had an extraordinary impact on my physical and mental well-being since I joined in January 2019. Each class is packed with drills and exercises that challenge my cardio, stability, flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and endurance. The school's philosophy teaches discipline and perseverance, two virtues that were essential to surviving this tumultuous year.
As I write this in December 2020, it is more important than ever to maintain our physical and mental well-being. Dao's Live Virtual Online Classes have been invaluable, especially as the weather got colder. Initially, I thought that training on Zoom would be no different than training on my own. However, the reality is that simply the VIRTUAL presence of Dao and other students pushes me to train harder. They provide a source of motivation without the distraction that may come with in-person classes, which allows me to focus more. With the use of "breakout rooms", there is also more one-on-one training with Dao. Since starting online classes, I have stayed active, grown stronger, and progressed faster than ever before. Even though they can't replace the social benefits of in-person classes, they're certainly the best option in the current circumstances. I would encourage everyone to sign up and start training again soon!
When we went into lockdown I was so sad because I knew how much I would miss training in person with our classmates! Then Master Dao told us he would be teaching live classes! Elijah and I were so excited, but we have a small place! We quickly found out that didn’t matter! We train as hard as we did when we were outside! Both of us do! We get an excellent workout and we are still progressing in all aspects of our training! Forms, weapons, punches, kicks, stances, all of it! Master Dao gives us feed back during class and Shaolin theory as well. I have to say training online live with Dao it has been great , you sweat like crazy, get a great work out and you get to continue to move forward with your Kung Fu! Elijah and I have a really good time. Even with our small space we’ve managed to figure out a way to run and kick and do our forms, everything we need to do for class. We are even able to continue learning Yin Shou Gun with a short staff that we got from Master Dao. We train hard! I really enjoy training with Master Dao live and we feel it gives us that much needed sense of community because you’re not training alone. Your fellow students and Master Dao are there training with virtually . You can say hi, ask questions and chat at times! I highly recommend training live, it’s the next best thing to being there in the school. I’m so thankful we have this option to keep training even in lockdown so we don’t loose our momentum!