The Tien Shan Pai system of kung fu is a beautiful and practical style of “beipai,” that is northern Chinese martial arts. Tien Shan Pai is an ancient system of kung fu that includes stance training, qi gung (breathing exercises), forms (solo and two person), chin na (grappling), shuai jiao (wrestling), sparring and traditional weapons. (Please note weapons ARE NOT taught in the class due to liability concerns). Northern styles such as Tien Shan Pai stress elongated postures which are good for health and give the body a good “stretch.”
Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tang SooDo, Hapkido, and other Asian martial arts have been influenced by Chinese kung fu. The karate systems of Okinawa for instance have been influenced by southern Chinese, “nan chuan” styles such as White Crane.
Late Grand Master Wang Jyue Chieh brought Tien Shan Pai out of obscurity in 1949 upon relocation to Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War. A soldier, GM Wang stressed being able to defend oneself against a variety of martial arts styles. He incorporated the curriculum of Central Kuo Shou Academy into Tien Shan Pai. He took what he considered the best form from a number of martial styles and included it in the Tien Shan Pai curriculum. Students will be exposed to styles such as Sun Pin, Tang Lang (praying mantis), Dragon, Ba Ji, and southern Shaolin. Students will have a well-rounded base of martial skills.
The modern system of colored belts to denote “skill” level is a recent concept that began with judo; traditionally there were no belts or other signs of rank. Sifu Robert Johnson continues that tradition. There are tests to grade a student’s progress, but no belts awarded. Character, integrity, honesty are what is gained.
Sifu Johnson is also the Tai Chi instructor for the YMCA. He has more than four decades experience in the martial arts and has specialized in the Chinese arts for the past two decades.
The class will be held on Tuesdays from 5:30-6:25 PM at the Staley Building. Classes will begin on the first Tuesday of the Winter Session.