Zong Wu Men Internal Fighting Arts

Zong Wu Men Internal Fighting Arts

At Zong Wu Men Internal Fighting Arts, we are dedicated to the study of Internal Chinese Kungfu as a living martial lineage. Although we teach the big three of Chinese Internal Martial Arts (Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan) we particularly specialize in the study of Baguazhang.

Our Baguazhang is through the Yi Zong Ba Gua lineage via Taiwan. We consider it to be a complete stand-up martial art that includes the study of striking with all parts of the body, throwing, locking, movement, concepts, and weapons. We spar and wrestle in a variety of manners, and do so often. We practice with one or more partners in a range from fully compliant to fully non-compliant and everywhere in between. Practice is as often an individual pursuit as it is a group pursuit. We devote ourselves to internal training methods that involve the refinement of our mind and body through meditation (dazuo), breath-work (qigong), and internal work (neigong); and we also develop ourselves with external training methods such as calisthenics, strength and conditioning work (stemming equally from traditional Asian methods to modern western training as well). Also, despite everything just listed, we hope to not push any student beyond what they are ready for or capable of. Martial arts should strive to build you up, not break you down – and if certain methods of practice at any time in class are not for you, we do not want anyone doing anything that would cause injury or harm.

We have now been teaching in the Northern Virginia / DC area for nearly two decades. Many of us practicing are now fathers, husbands and successful in our chosen careers. It is always our hope that the pursuit of training ends not just within the parameters of class time, but extends into our beings as people and out into our social interactions with the community as well. We hope that learning the martial arts can make you a better person, more successful in any direction in which you choose. Done well, training these arts with intention, it can allow you to look inwards, into your personality, into your fears, into your psyche, into your interactions with others, into how you carry yourself mentally and physically on a daily basis. This is not a sermon, and these are not things we harp on in class. However, done well – these arts can promote attention and intention, internally and externally; and it can promote balance in your mind and body as well.

Student rules and responsibilities:

  • We require our students to act in a safe and responsible manner in class – treat each other and our environment with respect.
  • We expect everyone to train and drill on their own time, there should be a dedication to improve.
  • We expect that everyone maintains a level of conditioning that will allow them to participate in class without injury (though we understand that that may take some time when beginning).
  • Although we train with the idea of being fight-oriented martial arts first, we also accept that these are wholistic martial traditions that have deeper study beyond merely training for a fight.
  • Everyone in class is your brother (or sister) in these arts. We should all look to help each other out to become better with every practice and every year.
  • All of our students and prospective students must be fully vaccinated for Covid 19 and any other potentially communicable disease that comes our way. We do this to respect and protect each other, our families, and our community at large.
  • I would like everyone to contribute their best to provide a positive, fun, friendly, respectful, and serious learning environment for your fellow students.
  • Training among school brothers and sisters is not the time for egos, there is no winning or losing among us. There should always be a commitment to continual self-improvement and there should always be a commitment to mutual improvement. It is not important to be better than someone else but to be better than yesterday.
  • Attend classes with an attentive, positive and eager to learn attitude.
  • When the instructor deems it appropriate, you will be given breaks in class for water. Please do not use up valuable class time taking repeated breaks while class is running.
  • During class the instructor will often give you and/or a partner a drill, form, or practice to teach certain lessons and concepts. Keep practicing what you are told to practice until you are given a different task.
  • Play with a smile. Train with a smile

There are ideas that I’ve played with throughout my years of training. These ideas haven’t ever been codified before, they are just things in the back of my mind that govern how I approach training and teaching. Yet, these are things that I would like to see in my students’ training and in some cases are even goals for our way of approaching class. As we are all human, I’m sure I have failed in many senses, and at many times, in keeping up with my ideals in terms of training. Failure is not a permanent loss, trying is better than not.

I love the training of martial arts. I love all facets of it. Sometimes I’ll be laughing during wrestling or sparring or when seeing spectacular techniques pulled off. I regard this as joy. Solemnity can be saved for a funeral. Let’s have fun, and let’s promote fun amongst each other, particularly while training with our partners.

There is, however, a balance that is needed out there. One of the ideals behind Internal Martial Arts, one thing that lends a qualitative difference is its approach towards the eventual union of a refined body and mind. To move towards this goal, especially while training alone, it is important to develop awareness, calm, and focus in the mind and intent. And yet solemn is not hard. Eating bitter is not devoid of joy. And extreme attentiveness can be had with a smile in your heart, a smile on your lips, and a smile in your soul.

There are many games in martial arts, there are many rule sets, there are many types of un-cooperative training. Let’s do them all. Let’s try them all. Let’s be able to play in every arena. — If, say, a group is playing super-soft taiji push hands, if we were to join, we shouldn’t lack the grace to be able to play with them at or above their level. Quite the opposite from the bull in the china shop – we should be more sensitive than them, with better posture, with better structure, with the ability to control while going lighter, to contend and control without resorting to our physical attributes such as size, speed or strength. Now, on the other hand, let’s say we jumped into a group that’s sweating and grunting through some extremely competitive, rough, and taxing wrestling. We should also not be reduced to an effete wimp who can’t hang with the big boys. Our strength, our speed, our vitality, our superior technique, our heart, our mental control, and our bravery should all be immediately apparent and available. Because we train with the ideas of this holistic Bagua mindset in our training, we should have the availability to broadly adapt to any setting and any game.

We should train with the idea of developing the most strength and speed, while also training with the ideas of training to have the most focused, calm, and relaxed mind and body.

If you would like to contact me to request to join class, please include any history you have with the martial arts and your goals in studying. You can contact me via email at george@zongwumen.com