(Updated) YANG STYLE BEGINNERS CLASS 9 AM
Bob Lau is a Bellingham, WA, USA teacher of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and fitness and exercise using methods developed from Chinese martial arts and Chinese Medicine. He uses these traditions of China in a modern way. He offers a banquet of exercises, sets, forms, and mental methods of Xin Yi, Chen Taiji Quan, Yang Taiji Quan and Qi Gong. His foundation teaching is the little known Kung Fu called Xin Yi Liu He Quan, also known as Ten Animal/Six Harmony Xing Yi.
Bob began studying Taiji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) in 1978 and has been teaching since 1994. Bob Lau is a certified instructor under the World Wide Association for Chinese Internal Martial Arts and through its President George Xu. He has been authorized to teach Ten Animal/Six Harmony Xin Yi by the great master Qian Zhao Hong, of Shanghai.
[photo: Bob (left), Master Qian (middle), Master George (Right)]
Emphasis of Bob’s School
You are endowed with a marvelous home in which your spirit lives, namely your body. If your body is allowed to be natural, relaxed, and properly aligned, you will be very healthy and active.
Your body is naturally intelligent and knows how to be healthy. In Chinese medicine, the physical, the energetic and the spirit are not separate: They are part of a whole, like the Taiji symbol (the Yin-Yang circle). The mind (Yi and Shen) has the ability to direct your Energy (Qi), which in turn directs your physical body. It is the maintaining of the balance of the physical—the energetic and the mind—which keeps you healthy.
However, because of modern lifestyles, along with its daily stresses, most people become divorced from their bodies. They forget how to use, live and take care of their home. They use their bodies in a disjointed manner, each muscle working alone or sometimes against the others, with their spirits no longer supporting the healthy functioning of their physical bodies.
The body and mental training principles of Chinese internal martial arts—once a discipline limited to realm of warfare and physical conflict—offers a valuable discipline to recapture the natural skills inherent in you, and accordingly remains as relevant today as it was in ancient China.
Bob Lau’s classes focus on reacquainting you with your body, breath, and energy, so you can discover the amazing natural abilities you possess. Accordingly, whichever class you participate in, the focus will be on attaining “song.” Song is a Chinese term often translated as “relaxed,” which is only partially correct. Song is proper posture for natural strength and flow of Qi, and integrated whole body movement. Bob prefers to think of song as letting go of stress, tension and worry while maintaining an alert relaxed readiness for action.
Principle-based teaching means you learn not just movements, but the reasons behind the moves. You learn how to know if what you are doing is correct for health, strength, agility, and right for your body. In Bob’s classes you don’t just follow along like an automaton. You gain and regain and refine body intelligence. Every posture and every bit of movement has meanings, lessons, gifts and right ways of performing them. The right ways are the ways that are both strong and relaxed. Postures and movements are tested to ensure they are strong and at ease. It is empowering and fun to gain these skills (and, unfortunately rare.) So much teaching out there is about just doing something—usually with overexertion and usually with little internal awareness. Bob’s classes are about knowing why you are doing something a particular way, and repeating and refining that way.
The Commitment is Worth It
All classes are geared toward adults; only an eagerness and willingness to learn, participate and a sense of responsibility for one’s own training is required. You will progress at your own pace—with some encouragement from Bob. The path of the internal martial arts is a marvelous journey to embark upon with surprises and rewards that ever flow, yet such a path takes commitment, fortitude, and genuine desire. Kung fu is a lot of fun, is good for you, and doesn’t just come for the wishing of it.
Students are encouraged to contribute their own knowledge and understanding. There are no uniforms and no long-term contracts. Comfortable clothing and flat shoes with a rubber sole are best.