Shanti School of Taijiquan



Susan A. Matthews, M.S.
Shanti School of Internal Martial Arts
An Institute of Research and Education

Southwestern Colorado

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Lu Gui Rong and George Xu Workshop
February 2001, Durango, Colorado

Purchase the 4-Vol Set of Lu Gui Rong and Wild Goose Qigong on VHS here

Health, Longevity, and Martial Artistry Mark Masters' First Durango Workshop

By Tim Richard

DURANGO, COLORADO, Feb. 2-4, 2001óThe martial arts master George Xu from San Francisco stood calmly facing forward with his hands lightly at his side.

"You see," he said, "you give your power to the earth and the earth returns power to you." He swept a hand from the floor up along the length of his legs up to his stomach, following the flow of energy.

"I give my power to the earth and the earth gives power to me," he repeated with another graceful arch of the arm.

His body then dropped slightly and his arms lifted up and out to eye level with slow determination. His hands extended outward with a slight jolt, retracted, then lowered back to his side. Deep, patient breathing accompanied each motion.

"The earth does it," he murmured.

Master Xu would repeat similar words for the next three days, as nearly 30 area residents joined him at Shanti School in Durango for a workshop in Taijiquan, a centuries-old Chinese fighting art increasingly practiced by westerners for its health benefits.

Xu (pronounced Shoo) who has gained a reputation for discovering masters unknown outside of China and who are willing to freely share what they know with the world, was joined by 71-year-old Grandmaster Lu Gui Rong from Shanghai. Lu is an expert in the Yang Style, push hands, and was trained known as Yang.

Lu taught one of his specialties, Wild Goose Qigong, a flowing succession of 64 movements designed to reenergize your body. This very old practice that originated in a Taoist monastery in western China, near Tibet, is particularly valued for treating cancer, Xu told students.

"Wild Goose Qigong was the gem for me," said Mike Ruby, a ski instructor. "Thereís a reason why Wild Goose is the most practiced form in China."

"There definitely is a surge of interest in Tai Chi," said Susan Matthews, owner of Shanti School of Taijiquan (pronounced Tie-gee-chwan) who hosted the workshop. She is a long-time student of Xu and trains with other teachers from China. "It offers alternatives to aerobics and other exercises."

"It was absolutely wonderful," said Mary Colgan, a student of Matthews who treats her arthritis with Tai Chi and Qigong. "It was about wholeness and wellness. It lets you know you are part of something bigger. [Masters Lu and Xuís] way of being had a quality of calmness and connection. Master Lu was not just calm in his own little real world. The calmness spread out beyond him."

Xu led several class sessions in the basics of Tai Chi, preparing students for sparring sessions known as "push hands." He patiently repeated analogies to help students visualize new ways of moving their bodies for the maximum benefits.

"Martial art, not martial work," he told his students, often drawing chuckles for his sense of humor. "Look for your mistakes like a reporter looking for President Clintonís mistakes."

Sunday afternoon, Masters Xu and Lu demonstrated various forms, including Canon fist, Wu, Wu Hao, Chen, and Yang forms, which are a string of various fighting maneuvers, such as ward off, block, press and strike.

The forms look differently on the surface, but the motions are all performed by internal movements of energy. From an internal foundation of energy and mental intent, the practitioner can generate more power and control in fighting, Master Xu said.

Tracy Henderson, who works in an optometristís office and has trained in Tae Kwan Do, was impressed by Xuís power. "He was so powerful. I could tell from one touch. I was trying to feel when he was going to send me flying and just be ready to go. I was just terrified to think about fighting him."

Several Tai Chi teachers from the area were among the students attending the workshop. Each specializes in various styles, but all went to learn what they could apply to their personal training and to teaching.

"George is unique in promoting an open sharing of information and bringing high level masters to the US," Matthews said. She said that area teachers were already getting to together more frequently to practice together and share information, but Xuís visit stimulated greater interest in building closer relationships.

"He is a good model," Matthews said.

This was Xuís first trip to Durango (Luís first out of China), an outpouring from participants guarantees his return. He plans to conduct more workshops in Durango in 2002. For more information, contact Matthews at 

Click Here to Read A Tribute to Masters Xu & Lu:
The Masters and The Lady: A Special Essay by a Grateful Student

Grand Master Lu Gui Rong is one of the world's top Yang Style Push Hands experts. He studied with the founder of Wu/Hao Style for many years. Wild Goose Qigong one of his specialties.

Master George Xu
of Shanghai, Gold Medalist in Chen Style, is one of the top Chen teachers and is the top Lan Shou expert in America.

Master Xu and Grandmaster Lu taught traditional Chinese internal martial arts using bones, ligaments, tendons, deep muscle, qi, and spirit for movement, including: 

  • Yang Style Basics, Advanced Principles, Push Hands, and Internal Secrets.
    Wild (Big) Goose Qigong. Considered especially good for cancer.
    Traditional Wu/Hao Style Tai Chi and Secrets, directly from the founder.

  • Taiji Qigong.

  • Training in body intelligence, leg intelligence, spine intelligence, yin/yang balance, continuous/infinity change, root training, shoulder/hip harmonies.