Tao of Martial Arts

 The origin, evolution and development of Taoist style Internal Martial Arts: Shadow Boxing

Internal Martial Arts, also known as Shadow Boxing, is one of the most famous Chinese Martial Arts. More than 300 years have passed since it was shown to the public at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. It gained great popularity in Beijing around the time of 1911 revolution which gave rise to the saying that “pugilist art was passed down to the secular world by celestial beings”. However, it can be said that the real origin of Shadow Boxing dated back many thousands years earlier, from as early as 3000 BC.


Internal Martial Arts, like any other of the great Chinese discoveries such as Chinese Medicine and Alchemy, extends far beyond the people of today’s understanding and imagination. All these great knowledge can be traced back to ancient times. The founding of such knowledge and theory cannot be credited to one person or one particular time of history – only through the passage of time and improvement through countless generations can such a task be fulfilled.


Despite the accepted facts of the evolution of Shadow Boxing, there are several fallacies about the history of Shadow Boxing’s creation and development:


Some believe that Zhang Sanfeng, a WuDang alchemist in the 12th century was the creator of Shadow Boxing, however as early as the mid 8th century Tang Dynasy, Xu Xuanping was already an explorer of Mysterious Power.


No matter how many elaborate stories of internal martial arts have been created throughout history, one fact remains certain: Internal Martial Arts only comes from the Taoist practice of alchemy, and on the base of this, gradually spread to other walks of life.


Due to the long years of war and turmoil that historically swept across the country, the people of those times needed something to be able to defend themselves. As such, Taoist practices expanded to reach the people who needed it most.


Even now in the 21st Century, similar issues still persist in today’s world albeit in a different context.


Checking the reality of today’s world, we can easily find that there are many unusual and unexpected matters to drop in on the current human world – people are no longer left with peace, welfare and security. By being aware of these real threats, we could no longer to ignore them. We have to prepare for it and do something positive towards our welfare.


To recover our full natural power in order to cope with a variety of unexpected stress is the only option for the people of today. And what will be the ideal effective practice for which we can rely on while we’re stranded? Choosing the Tao of Martial Arts for our daily practice and applying it to our daily life, in order to serve our every need which includes dealing with all kinds of crises and coping with stress.


This practice of Internal Martial Arts is no different from any other Taoist practices, which are all based on Jing, Qi and Shen refinery and collection until full elixir is developed.

LaoTzu Academy now offers the full course including starting with the basic theories and practices, broken down into three stages: beginner, intermediate and advanced. In completion of these courses, the learner will be able to secure themselves from harm when faced with unforeseen circumstances or danger.


By © Master Dongyang

About author

Master Dongyang branches out from Daoist lineages that stem from private Daoist hermits. He promotes Dao as a practical, effective and functional way to deal with the world with ease without having to retreat from it. He bridges the gap between ancient knowledge and the modern world.