George Xu bio

George Xu · Chen Style · Lan Shou Shaolin ·10 Animal Xing Yi 

George Xu (Xu Guo Ming) started martial arts training in 1966 with Zhu Hong Bao, in the three Muslim styles in China: Xing Yi 6 Harmony, 10 Animal Cha Fist, and Chi Shu 7 Postures. Following that he studied with Zhang Qing Lin, a Snake Bagua Master, in this very unique system. He studied the Lan Shou System with Qing Zhong Bao; Cotton Fist with Yang Tian Gui; Chen Style Taiji with Shuong Guang Ren, a student of Chen Zhao Kui, Ma Hong, and others; Yang Style Taiji with Shi Wen Deu; and Xing Yi Master Yu Hua Long. His boxing teacher, Zhang Li De, was the undefeated Middleweight Boxing Champion from 1951-57. He graduated from Shanghai Normal University in Mathematics.

In 1981, he came to the United States and began a long career of teaching and bringing Chinese masters not only to the United States, but also exposing the art of high level practitioners to Kung Fu enthusiasts worldwide: Zhou Yuan Long, Chen Style; China Heavyweight Champion Liou Wan Fu (full contact); Ye Xiao Long, Lan Shou Master, Yang Style Taiji Master; Ma Hong, Chen; Wang Hao Da, Wu Style (student of Ma Yueh Liang); Lu Gui Rong, Wu Hao Style; Qian Zhao Hong, Xing Yi; Wang Zhi Qiang, Yang; Yun Yin Sen, Liu He Ba Fa; and Ji Ah Dong, Yang StyleTaiji.

Tai chi silk reeling and martial applications

Xu-Richard testing technique

About a year ago, my teacher, George Xu, came out with a name to his system of Chinese martial art as Ling Kong Shen Shi Men. This year he updated the name to Xin Tian Ling Kong Shen Shi Men. The system is the practical application of his so-called “predator theory,” through which he explains how the system works. His latest instructional video, which I produced, expands on the past couple of videos for the most complete understanding of his system yet.

Master Xu translates Xin Tian Ling Kong Shen Shi Men as “Organic Light Traveling Through Space Invisible, Indirect Space Power.” The title is a long one, but I think it says a lot. It lays out the components of the system, which Master Xu says is complex.

“It looks simple, but not so easy. Yeah, once you get it, it’s easy, but not until then,” he says.

Xin Tian translates as “pre-birth.” It’s means literally heart and heaven, relating to a state of newness and naturalness. It’s a term the Chinese use to refer to a newborn baby, whose skin and muscles don’t yet have the memory of living and responding to the pressures of its new world. It also refers to the word “organic,” and Master Xu uses the term in his explanations.

During the past year, Master Xu has traveled to Italy, Oregon, Colorado … developing a clearer description of his system. Many of his students are beginning to see the connection between his theory and his system.

I think he’s continually building on the theory for his own understanding, but the components of his system and the accompanying explanation for doing them is not only more understandable, but also more achievable.

In a big way, the system as he explains it in lecture and demonstration is simpler to understand intellectually, but while still being more of a challenge to implement in practice. I can see how much more possible it is to apply now with the current series of educational videos available.

Master Xu talks and demos such concepts as dead arm, body art, zhong ze ding (or vertical force, not just zhong ding), melting, using space and centrifugal force “scientifically.” How the muscles can be incorporated in the move, even be essential to certain kinds of movement.

A tale of a taiji student seeking secrets

George Xu told a story a few times about visiting his aging teacher in hopes of obtaining “secrets” from him. But his teacher never told him anything. Master Xu visited him often hoping for some insight, but his teacher passed away before he ever did. After he died he asked his teacher’s wife what he did when no one was around and she said that he didn’t do anything.

“What do you mean?” Master Xu asked, surprised and distraught. “He didn’t do anything?”

“Just sit there and drink tea all day,” she said.

Although he must have learned a lot from his teacher, Master Xu worried that his teacher would pass away without divulging more of his knowledge . . . . which is what happened. Many old masters have taken much knowledge of Chinese internal martial arts to their final resting places.

Master Xu then told us that he eventually learned that the old master was actually visualizing the moves of the form and other applications in his mind. He wasn’t just sitting and drinking tea all day. He was actively going through his practice in his mind’s eye.

Master Xu tells his story hoping it’s the revelation for us as it was for him and we would see the lesson for our own practice.

Master Xu actually used the word “imagined” instead of visualized, which I see in the context of “imagery.” Susan A. Matthews refers to this as “mental practice.” She instructs the learner to see a move before your body does it. Don’t jump to doing it and sacrifice concentration.

Imagery helps to maintain continuity, which in turn cultivates powerful results. Indeed, research into sports has confirmed the power of imagery in cultivating competitive success. You become more precise in your coordination, your timing is more accurate, you’re stronger, quicker, and you develop power. Memory improves as does your skill at remembering. You can read many articles about this subject by googling, “sport imagery” or “sports visualization.”

Master Xu’s story resonates with me to the degree that I even instruct beginners on the importance of visualization as a powerful tool for learning and remembering things. But I think that few actually understand at first, probably because visualization lacks context with their own experience. Yet, perhaps we are all familiar with visualization, which is so ingrained in habitual mental processes that we no longer give it the attention it deserves when learning new information.

It’s certainly not easy for most of us to do at first. It’s like trying to swim without having learned. Or like trying to drive a truck with a stick shift after seeing it done only once or twice. It’s meditative and takes a little more effort than we are accustomed to. Learning new things keeps us on our toes and stimulates the inherent faculties we have to learn; abilities that, if we don’t use them, will shrivel and be lost.

Every beginner to tai chi is challenged with the very idea of learning itself in order to cultivate a familiarity with the information. Imagery and visualization are tools for learning. Growing adept at them will undoubtedly lead to greater knowledge and ability. Then when you are old and have mastered a great skill, and students come to visit in hopes of learning secrets, you can tell them they already know what it is.

New Martial Arts Film May Be More Realistic

Haven’t seen it yet, but it might have some more real forms in it and not the edited snips many martial arts films have.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-final-master-review-20160531-snap-story.html

Shoes for Tai Chi

What to wear when you do tai chi is a common question for (and from) beginners. Loose, comfortable clothing is typical. Shoes are perhaps more important for tai chi and martial art attire. Flat, low volume shoes are the best.

I prefer something I can wear in practice and on the street, but it’s not easy to find a good compromise. A good and light indoor practice shoe will fall apart pretty quickly out of doors. I found a pretty good middle ground with the Bushido (https://bushidomartialarts.com/products/bushido-shoe) that I have gotten at Valley Martial Arts in Glendale, California. The soles in the front are flat, smooth (real) rubber and the rear has a herringbone type of tread.z The drawback for these is that they have a mesh construction over the top, so dust and sand can get inside. I actually don’t have much trouble with that and I still like them for their durability and lightness.

Of course, the ol’ standby from Shanghai, Feiyue (“flying forward”), is probably one of those shoes that every martial artist owns at some point. Bushido makes a Feiyue type shoe with their name on it that sells for $20. I find them to be hot in summer and cold in winter, but I still have a pair and where them around the house all the time to practice. Easy to get at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Tiger-Claw-Feiyue-Martial-Shoes).

I’ve had Tiger Claw shoes, too, which lasted a long time (tigerclaw.com). They sport a cool Chinese tiger character on the top. They have only one model and two colors: black and white)

The Onitsuka Tiger by Asics shoe is very close to my favorite. They are long-lasting and you can wear them all the time. There are many models to choose from, including suede and leather. The suede versions get dirty rather easily, but you can wipe them down when you need to with soapy water, a brush and rag. Check it out and let me know what you think. I bought mine from Amazon but you can get them at Zappos, but they cost $75 now.

Adidas makes a martial art shoe that I wore when I first began studying tai chi. I like them because they lasted so long and they have a slightly higher top than other martial arts shoes. However, they are not lace up. The have an elastic, slip-on feature that’s cool, but I prefer lace up because I can tie them as tight or loose as I like. Still, the Adidas shoe is pretty good. Unfortunately, they were sold out a the Martial Arts Mart last I checked (http://www.martialartsmart.com/a90-sk.html).

Skechers makes some shoes I’ve seen others wearing and I think they look really good, but I’ve never tried them out and I think they are overpriced. I’ve seen some Merrells that are made for outdoor trail running that look great, but there again, expensive.

This year (2017) I discovered some great new shoes on Amazon < https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HFWHGJI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1>  for $18.00. I like them. I use them only for indoor tai chi, not street walking. They have very soft insoles that I find extremely comfortable. The brand is one I had never seen before. The title on Amazon goes like this: TimeBus Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Tai Chi Kung Fu Yoga Walking Jogging Driving Shoes, Breathable Soft & Comfortable, Black. Funny.

Mingren makes a cheap canvas-based shoe that I wear regularly. I use them for tai chi and street, and I don’t care if they’re dirty, because they only cost $18 (Amazon—YUNEE-MINGREN-Athletic-Lightweight).

You’ve probably gathered that there are a lot of options for martial arts shoes out there. Choosing can be a hassle, so my rule of thumb is go with as inexpensive as possible, see what works best for you, especially if you’re just beginning. Then go from there. I still get the cheap stuff myself.