I am a guy from London who has been interested in Chinese Internal Martial Arts (CIMA) for about 15 years, and who happens to speak Chinese. My training background was originally in Wu style taiji, with some Yiquan along the way. However, for the last few years I have been concentrating on xingyiquan and Chen style taiji. I am currently living in Shanghai, where I plan to pursue my studies in these 2 arts.

The translations on this blog originally grew out of having a lot of free time on my hands, and the feeling that there was a lot of information in the Chinese web that wasn’t making it through the the English internet. Between training and work I now don’t have much time to translate, but will maintain this blog, hopefully it will encourage people to come to China to seek out the ‘Masters’ of the title.

56 Responses to About

  1. Tom Campbell says:

    ni hao:

    Thank you for your efforts in translating articles from the Chinese about high-level teachers/practitioners of taiji, bagua and xingyi. For enthusiasts of these CIMAs that do not speak or read Chinese, your contributions are very helpful and interesting.

    Best wishes to you in the New Year.

    xie xie,

    Tom Campbell

  2. Sifu wanna be says:

    Namaste Tom ,

    thx. for all you are doing in this much needed area.

    are you open to the idea of allowing us to list CIMA information that needs to be translated to assist the serious students who are non chinese readers/speakers.

    if that is possble it would be grand indeed.

    regardless of your decision know that you are apreciated .

  3. Tom says:

    To the last commenter:

    I think you meant your comment to be addressed to the author/translator of this blog, yosaku a.k.a. Jon Nicklin.

    Just to be clear–I don’t speak or read Chinese (though I’m working to rectify that).



  4. P Andrews says:

    You have some nice information here and i particularly like the translation of the interview with Cui Rubin. Thanks


  5. Mike says:

    Really like your articles. I’ve links to a few of the teachers in them, and have tried googling them, but my Mandarin is poor, and so this proved difficult. So I much appreciate your translations.

    Please do keep your articles coming. If I could make a request: it would be interesting to see any scientific articles on the phenomena of Qi/Chi, especially the kind of empty force phenomena spoken about in the Yiquan article.

  6. Gary Liu says:

    Keep up the great work! Thank you for doing the hard yards and sharing the articles.

    Really good reading. Helps keep me inspired for my training!

    Sincerely, Gary

  7. I think what you’re doing is absolutely wonderful – please keep up the great work.

    Thank you


  8. Gilgamesh says:

    very good information.
    did you manage to learn all of this style?
    it’s a rare opportunity to learn one of these style.

    keep up the good work =)

    • yosaku says:

      Unfortunately, no, I haven’t managed to learn the styles showcased in this blog. I only practice a bit of yiquan and taiji.

      Thanks for the encouragement!


  9. Great Blog.
    Very good information. I am very interest in Chinese Martial Arts and his history background.
    Do you have idea about the organization of the Central Guoshu Institute?
    The masters, the generations and the styles (north and south/ internal and external).
    And how it is organized in the Institute?

    Thanks for this blog.
    Big Hug

    Vítor (Portugal)

    • yosaku says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I am currently working on an article about the Central Guoshu Institute. In the meantime, there is an article here which you might find interesting.

  10. Abi Moriya says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing. I find this information very important to IMA practicioners.
    All the very best,
    Sifu Moriya

  11. Philip Jowett says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am an English writer and am writing a book on Chinese Armies 1912- 1928. I would like if possible to obtain permission to use the image of Ma Yingtu on your website. Any assistance you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards
    Philip Jowett

  12. Congratulations on great website, you obviously invested a lot of time and effort in all the translations, labour of love it is indeed! Keep up the great work and all the best in the year 2010!

  13. Lara says:

    thanks a lot for your wonderful work…
    It’s a pity that many of the martial arts are lost now(for example,Baguazhang was already lost in my family). It’s of great significance to keep those great things remembered by people, or someday when we look back we’ll feel sorry for not keeping those cultual heritage…

    this is a great website.=)

  14. Kevin Steel says:

    Excellent work. I have enjoyed reading all of the translated articles please keep up the good work. This is a superb archive for all students of Chinese Martal Arts.

    All the best for the year of the Tiger

  15. brian bartunek says:

    2 Heroes of the Central Guoshu Institute

    hi i have read this article several time as i am very interested in baji. i was wondering if you know anyonewho would know anything about li yuan zhi he was one of hans baji students. i know he taught in taiwan for awhile but stoped once liu yun qiao started teaching. i have always wondered what happened to him as i have heard that one brach of the taiwanese marines still practices han baji?


    • yosaku says:

      Sorry Brian, googling in chinese didn’t turn up much more than you already know (that he taught in Taiwan and that some parts of the Taiwanese army still practice his qin na / baji). Maybe you could try one of the better TCMA forums?

  16. ajisadini says:

    Dear Sir, do you have articles about xinyi liuhe quan (10 animals).thank you

  17. Andrew W says:

    Hi all,

    This is a great website for those who are Chinese/Mandarin illiterate (like me) and who are enthusiasts of the great art of Tai Chi.

    For those who have been learning the modern day Tai Chi postures (GM Yang Cheng Fu’s lineage), little or nothing is known about this Funei Pai Yang lineage Tai Chi. Thanks to Master Lizheng who had painstakingly trying to promote and educate all Tai Chi enthusiasts about its existence.

    I have been training under this great Master in Zhuhai and now residing in Vancouver, Canada. With my master’s permission, I am giving private lessons to a handful of dedicated students whilst trying to promote Funei Pai Tai Chi.

    Thanks lots for this great blog and do keep it up and running for the benefits of all.

    Thank you…Xie Xie

  18. eric says:

    this is a breathtakingly brilliant site. the only other IMA site that matches it in greatness is chinafrominside.com by jarek szymanski, who has generously left a comment above:

    Jarek Szymanski Says:
    December 19, 2009 at 3:23 am | Reply
    Congratulations on great website, you obviously invested a lot of time and effort in all the translations, labour of love it is indeed! Keep up the great work and all the best in the year 2010!

  19. Minkus says:

    Dear Yosaku, as an ima practitioner i can only say that your articles are of immense value. This is the best martial arts blog i know of, and thats being modest. Do keep up your work. As mentioned above, yust brilliant !

    Thank you, really !

  20. Thanks to all who help me
    Dear Master

    First I would like kindly here to introduce my a. m. association and the man behind it.
    My name is Muhammad Antakly . Ryukyu kempo and Kobudo Master 10th Dan Black Belt and 10th Dan Black Belt. Shorin Ryu Karate Do

    Please I am looking at the names and address of Masters Style (Tan Tui or Tan Tto ) in China

    I hope to help me to get this address and the names Also places and Also Provinces
    Or anyone can help me get the address of Masters Style (Tan Tui or Tan Tto ) in China
    I would like to visit China in the next two rounds and visit let this Masters

    Thanks to all who help me
    I am very glad you also
    Best regards
    Master Muhhamed

  21. wuming says:

    Thanx a lot for your job!! ))
    Would you mind if some of it will be translated forward? )))
    Good luck and be healthy!!

  22. Steve Keiley says:

    Ni Hao,
    Thanks for the blog – I have found the articles interesting. Do you have any information on Wang Shujin? He gets a mention in a couple of articles however never in great detail.

  23. adon says:

    i really love this blog!! thanx alot

  24. Tim Johnson says:


    Sorry I am slightly confused as to what is the name of the author of this blog. My name is Tim, I ma also from the UK. My wife is from Shanxi province China. I have spent time in Yangshuo learning Chen style Taichi and also have spent time in Xin zhuo( my wifes home town in Shanxi) learning shuio jiao wrestling. I read about the Taigui Xingyi master. I would be very interested to swap emails with the author and ask advice about people to train with. I am currently working in New Zealand but am planning a long trip to China soon to travel and study.

    Thanks for your time and great job on the blog,



  25. David says:


    Thanks for all the great information. I would like to ask more about the yang style (yang ban hou) in guangfu. I have been practicing yang taichi for nearly a year and really enjoy it.

    Hope to hear from you soon. You can e- mail me back too.

    Thank you

  26. davis moore says:

    NI HAO
    This is the best stuff ive read since those old bagua journal magazines that are out of print.they really fire me up im moving to china soon can you introduce me to some masters?

    • Mike says:

      You can buy all the old Pa Kua Journal in DVD form and have them all at your fingertips. I think it was Plum Publishing (or something like that) that still sells the DVD.

  27. Hans Järling says:


    really great info here. Many thanks for your efforts! Especially happy to read your article on master Pei (the original article in chinese was written I believe by my martial arts uncle)

    Just one thing, I may be naive, but I really would have wished you asked for permission to use my picture of master Gao (in the article about master Pei Xirong). If you’d asked I would have happily said yes.

    Anyway, thanks for good work 🙂

    • yosaku says:


      Thanks for the kind words and my apologies for not asking you to use master Gao’s picture. I shall be sure to clear it with the site owner before using photos in future.

      • Hans Järling says:

        apology accepted 🙂

        look forward reading more from you, if there is anything I can do to help please let me know.

  28. http://fastingforweightloss.net says:

    I adore forgathering useful information, this post has got me even more info!

  29. Gary Sze says:

    Hi Jon, I just briefly checked out your blog and wow, I didn’t know you’ve already written so many articles and you know so much about the history, people and practices of IMA! Well done and keep up the good work! I look forward to exchanging more with you when you move to SH.

    • yosaku says:

      Thanks for the kinds words Gary, it was gratifying to see that you guys have really developed the Song style ‘flavour’, shows the route for the rest of us!

  30. Dannyn WEI says:

    Hi Jon, not sure if you could read Chinese well, This is the webmaster of cnxingyiquan.com, I want build a China Xingyiquan Union website and I am looking for a English board master of Xingyiquan?
    Contact me if you are interest.

  31. Giuseppe says:

    my name is Giuseppe and i’ m an italian student of Baguazhang Liang Style. I started a historycal study of baguazhang and now i study the sistem of Coaler Ma but i don’ try anywhere of his students ( only Liu Zipei and Yang Rulin), can you help me? Do you know the real lineage after Ma Weiqi and his students? Thank you for your help and sorry for my english.
    Best regards

    • yosaku says:

      Giuseppe, the subject of Ma Weiqi’s bagua is a controversial one, both in China and the West. The only lines I know of that are said to be derived from his teaching are Shi Chongying/Guo Shilei’s line (see https://sites.google.com/site/baguamaweiqi/) and James McNeill’s group (see http://www.xisuigong.com/PaKua.html), which both come from Yang Rulin. There are supposed to still be practitioners in his line in Shenyang (where Yang Rulin lived), but I don’t know any names. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  32. Lucas says:

    Thanks for this blog! I am reading you from Chile, South America. Mi teacher is a disciple of Zhang Laoshi, a wonderful person and a great master of Xing Yi Quan from Shaanxi province. We follow his lineage
    all the best!

  33. Frankie Koh says:

    Hi Jon, it is really wonderful of you to translate lots of historical stuff on Taichi, I am a relative beginner. Though I am Chinese in ancestry I was born on Singapore, educated , mainly in english. I speak mandarin but have limited ability to read and write.
    How about a new post before the year end : )
    Frankie Koh

  34. 你好。。 我想跟你联系。 我住过了在上海两年了, 我也在上海学了八卦掌 和内功。 我很想中国,上海。 有机会的话请发给我 PM..


    wujiqigongkid at hotmail dot com.


  35. JM Brand says:

    Another thank you for putting this blog together! Great translations and candid insight. Much appreciated!
    If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area, please come and visit us at Sunnyslopes Park (http://xingyi-bagua.com/).

  36. Giuseppe says:

    Good evening to all
    I need your valuable help. Do you know a form of Chi Gong gong called Youshen, practiced by the lineage of Zhang Dugan in baguazhang? Do you have news or maybe you know where to find them on the net?

  37. David I says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It was great to read about all the masters, their linages and some of the methods they used.
    Without your contribution much of this would have been lost.

    Many thanks

  38. George says:

    Your articles are excellent. There is one in particular that I would like to cite in a research paper. Specifically the article about the central Guo Shu examination. Is there any way I can cite this article from you?


  39. Hello, thank you for this. I went to Shanghai but did not have much luck finding traditional CMA. There were rumors that some of the older teachers were part of a certain organization that China tends to go after and many were not teaching openly for the time I was there 😦
    Thank you,

    • yosaku says:

      Hi Justin, I’m surprised that you found it difficult to find TCMA teachers, when were you in Shanghai? Certainly nowadays it is not that hard to find the traditional teachers, the main question is how much they will teach you!

      • I talked to many of the people at the parks and they said because of the rumors that they were cracking down on falunggong and the TCMA teachers. I did have a one shifu say he had cancelled his classes until is blew over. I found lots of commercial schools of course.

  40. Jack says:

    Great site, it looks like you have explored quite a lot of IMA around China. I’ve studied a few years of Taiji and Bauga and just recently moved to Beijing for work. Could I pick your brain for advice on finding a teacher?

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