Wudang Großmeister Zhong Yun Long

aus kungfu magazin 2003

Wudang Mountain
When Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon pushed martial arts movies into the Oscar spotlight, it also exposed one of China's most cherished martial treasures, Wudang Mountain. Nestled in the heart of the mainland in Hubei Province, Wudang Mountain is a famous center for Taoism and is believed to be the birthplace of Tai Chi Chuan. According to legend, Tai Chi (spelled Taiji in modern Mandarin) was created by an ancient Wudang master named Zhang San Feng, who was inspired by mystical visions he experienced on that mountain.

Today, the Taoist temples of Wudang are still active. In fact, Wudang's temples are protected as one of 730 registered World Heritage sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Inside those temples, the internal styles of kung fu - Taiji, Xingyi and Bagua - are still practiced by robed Taoist priests. Now they are opening their doors to the public for the first time ever. The Chief Priest of the Wudang Zhang San Feng lineage is Grandmaster Zhong Yun Long. Priest Zhong was our guest during his first visit to America for our Anniversary Gala Benefit last year, and he granted us this first interview for English readers.
Priest Zhong is a peaceful soul with a deep, resonating voice, full lips and prominent cheekbones. There's a slow grace to his every gesture, which makes being in his presence a very calming experience. His thick black hair and shining complexion overshadow the broad shoulders of a seasoned martial arts master. Adorned in traditional Taoist cap and robe, Zhong was quite excited about his visit to America. He was very impressed with our environmental protection policies and was particularly fascinated by my low emission hybrid car. As a Taoist Priest defending one of China's natural wonders, he has a genuine concern for conservation.
Taiji is undoubtedly the most practiced form of martial arts in the United States today. Followers range from strapping young push hands champions to the elderly and afflicted. But according to Priest Zhong, we westerners have a very limited understanding of what Taiji really is. His mission is to reveal the true meaning behind the movements of this most precious treasure of China.
Origins of a Wudang Priest
"I was born in the year of the dragon in Huangxi City, Hubei. Many of my elders loved kung fu and that left a great impression on me. Although my father was a scholar who did not learn kung fu, my granduncle both inspired me and taught me a little. In the old countryside, fights often arose between clans, so everyone studied the martial arts. It was a required skill. So in the countryside where I was born, everyone loved kung fu and it was mandatory to study it. This was my inspiration, the city where I was raised. Everybody there loves kung fu, and for whatever reason everyone knew kung fu back then. That's why I fell in love with kung fu too."

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