Martial arts classes offered to students

By Stacy Goldman

Students can learn balance, power and peace through Chinese martial arts classes at NIU.

Classes are being offered for six weeks on Monday and Wednesday nights in Anderson Hall.

Professor Xiangyun Long, a visiting research associate from Central South University of Technology Changsa, People’s Republic of China, will give lessons in two types of Chinese martial arts.

The classes will include Shaolin Kung Fu lessons in basic Chinese martial arts and Taijichuan and Chiqong lessons in internal techniques and external movement.

Assistant Physical Education Professor Ed Thomas said Shaolin Kung Fu moves from basic skills to intermediate Shaolin techniques.

Shaolin’s style combines disciplined, rigorous and external movements with a soft and gentle flow, Thomas said.

“Training under these highly physical conditions one can develop strength, speed, power and a noble fighting spirit,” Thomas said. “Every person must find a balance between power and peace. Taijichuan can help them achieve that.”

Millions of Chinese citizens practice this form of martial arts early in the morning, he said.

“Taijichuan is characterized by soft and fluid motion that contributes to poise, grace, concentration and joint mobility,” he said.

Thomas said he encourages students to join the classes.

“Every person has to feel strong and have wisdom,” Thomas said. “Martial arts can help teach that.”

Long practiced northern and southern-style Chinese martial arts for about thirty years.

He grew up learning “rigorous martial arts” from his father, a master of ancient Shaolinquan and Taijiquan.

Some Washu masters in Southeast China eventually accepted Long as a young adult apprentice instructor.