huashanpavilionHwa Yu Tai Chi/Liuhebafa Lineage

The originator of Liuhebafa (later called Hwa Yu Tai Chi) was the Taoist philosopher Chen Xi Yi, who lived from 871-989 AD (well over 100 years if legend can be believed.)  He sought solitude on Hua Shan (Flower Mountain, one of five sacred peaks in a mountain range to the east of Xian) and there he developed the theory and practice of liuhebafa (literally the six harmonizations and eight methods.)  The movement sequence incorporates elements of pre-existing martial arts forms, most notably bagua and xingyi.  At some point in the development of the lineage, another important treatise came into being, known as the “Five Word Song” or “Five Character Secrets”.  This text is a series of pithy statements that offer practical and metaphysical guidance for dedicated students.  Features that differentiate this style of Tai Chi from others include the interplay of sinking and rising energy, the emphasis on circular movement, and the foundation exercises: rowing, walking and standing.

Guiding Principles of the Liuhebafa Lineage

The Six Harmonizations

  • Body merges with Mind
  • Mind merges with Intention
  • Intention merges with Qi
  • Qi merges with Spirit
  • Spirit merges with Movement
  • Movement merges with Empty Air

The Eight Methods

  • Qi:  The Qi works internally, concentrated by one’s spirit
  • Bone:  The internal force is concealed
  • Feature:  All movement is fluid and continuous
  • Follow:  Encounter with circular movement, interpreting force and yielding to it
  • Rise :  One’s head is held as if suspended from above, and relaxed
  • Return:  To maintain an even balance, movement in one direction is tied to its opposite
  • Restrain:  The mind should be calm, maintaining an inner void
  • Conceal:  The inner force is concealed until it is needed