4 Masters of Chi Reveal Their Secrets

Shifu Yan Lei Art

Shifu Yan Lei

Dylan Charles, Editor
Waking Times

Of all the ideas and practices available to us for finding good health, peace of mind and happiness in this crazy world, the Chinese and Daoist internal arts of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and energy meditation are unrivaled in their value in improving overall wellness and catalyzing personal transformation.

Masters of Chi are the stuff of legend, capable of performing amazing feats of healing, concentration, and strength, and their secrets are no longer so closely guarded in the Shaolin temples of China. Many dedicated teachers of these arts have spread throughout the world and share their expertise freely with Westerners, making their teachings available in print and in video, offering an immense body of knowledge and instruction on these practical transformative arts.

Referred to as ‘internal arts’ because they emphasize the inward direction of intention for healing, energy cultivation and physical development, there are an infinite number of exercises, techniques and teachings available for study.

In my personal journey of transformation and self-healing I have found tremendous benefit in many of the exercises, meditations and ideas offered by the 4 modern masters of Chi mentioned below. Their teachings encompass a wide variety of physical movements, forms, meditations, breathing exercises and invocations, and include gentle restorative techniques as well as rigorous and physically strenuous practices. Within their collection of written and recorded materials, they have revealed their secrets for the benefit of anyone.

1. Dr. Yang, Jing-Wing

Dr Yang

Dr. Yang, Jing-Wing

Dr. Yang is the author of many books and videos including the excellent work, The Root of Chinese Qi Gong: Secrets of Health, Longevity & EnlightenmentHe is the founder of YMAA, an association dedicated to preserving traditional Chines Kung Fu and Qi Gong, which publishes books and training materials, and offers advanced Kung Fu training programs at their retreat center in Northern California, including his 10 year program for serious students.

Dr. Yang has produced an impressive collection of instructional videos, including Simple Qi Gong: Exercises for Back Pain which is hands down the most effective program for treating chronic back pain, especially lower back pain, that I have ever come across.

Other excellent training videos by Dr. Yang include his standing and seated series of gentle moving meditations, Qi Gong: The Eight Pieces of Brocade, which is perfect for sunrise and sunset meditations. His DVD series Tai Chi for Beginners with Master Yang is an excellent introduction to Tai Chi, and Five Animal Sports Qi Gong is an outstanding long form qi gong sequence that includes the traditional five element healing sounds from Chinese medicine.

His YouTube channel features segments from his many lectures and instructional presentations and for the more hardcore student out there, Dr. Yang’s traditional Kung Fu training videos are packed with tons exercises and drills to supplement any serious martial arts practice.

2. Grandmaster Hua-Ching Ni

Master Ni

Grandmaster Hua-Ching Ni

Grandmaster Ni is a living Daoist master and the author of over fifty books in Chinese, and forty in English on philosophy, Chinese medicine, Tai Chi, and Taoist meditation. He is a sage philosopher, chosen as a child to study the wise hermits who lived away from mainstream society, now dedicated the transmission of knowledge from an unbroken succession of 74 generations of Masters dating back to 200 A.D.

Teacher of The Integral Way, Master Ni’s works include many enlightening spiritual books include Workbook for Spiritual Development of All People, and Tao, the Subtle Universal Law and the Integral Way. Master Ni has also published I Ching The Book of Changes: And the Unchanging Truth, one of the best translations available of this classic in divinity.

Similar to Yoga in some ways, Master Ni’s series of Taoist internal arts includes the book and practice, Attune Your Body With Dao-In, a series of invocations, gentle physical exercises, postures and different meditations. I practice this series 3-4 times a week early in the morning as the sun rises, to great benefit.

3. Shifu Yan Lei

Shifu Yan Liu is a real deal Shaolin Monk who has been training, performing and teaching his entire life. He shares his vast knowledge with the world on his website. In addition to producing serious training programs and videos for kick-boxers and fighters, Shifu Yan Lei regularly emphasizes the need for even the strongest warrior to train in the internal art of Qi Gong in order to develop balance, concentration and health.

His video series Shaolin Warrior includes the excellent introductory series, The Way of Qi Gong, and many of his teachings can be previewed on his YouTube channel.

4. Grandmaster Mantak Chia

Mantak Chia

Mantak Chia

Mantak Chia is the author of dozens of best-selling books on taoist energy practices, chi, sexual energy, cosmic energy and healing and also the founder of the Universal Healing Tao System, which offers an extraordinary body of knowledge and practices for the cultivation of personal energy, as well as training in many types of Qi Gong, massage, and detoxification techniques.

The simple meditation principles in Mantak Chia’s book Awaken Healing Energy Through The Tao: The Taoist Secret of Circulating Internal Power, were very effective for me in awakening my powers of concentration and my ability to become sensitive to the subtle energies which enliven the universe in and around us. The techniques found in Iron Shirt Chi Kung are an example of some of the advanced esoteric trainings he offers, and his book Chi Self-Massage: The Taiost Way of Rejuvenation is one his most important healing techniques.

Many of Mantak Chia’s lectures and instructions can also be found on YouTube.


In my continuing journey for health and happiness, the internal arts are a major part of my daily practices in cultivating peace, wellness and abundant positive energy.

Certainly there are many more accomplished teachers that could and should be mentioned here, but these are four that have found me somehow and I regularly incorporate many of their techniques into my personal daily practice. Studying in person with a master is preferred, however, with the instruction and tools made available by these 4 masters and others, anyone practically anywhere can begin to integrate these profound healing arts into their daily life.

About the Authors 

Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist esoteric arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. His remarkable journey of self-transformation is a testament to the power of the will and the persistence of the human spirit. He may be contacted at wakingtimes@gmail.com.

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  • sam

    The proof is in the pudding, these guys die in their 80s or 90s. My dad (86) and my mom (92) did that, and they where meat eating smoking alcohol drinking blokes who never knew how to even spell yoga or tai chi. There is something missing with this rejuvenation hype. Its not working in the final analysis.

  • Victor Gagnon

    There is always one question that never ever seems to come to light when we talk about masters. How does our human mind function, how does focus fit into this picture of Master. Does a master teach you or does a master simply give you knowledge in order for you to teach your self. A master could be very knowledgeable with great wisdom but a master never, ever gives wisdom. A master simply takes the knowledge learnt and puts it to experience and then that experience not becomes his wisdom

  • Antonietta Francini

    Thank you,Teacher,for all the detailed info! I have done Mr Moy’s Tai Chi for many years in Ottawa, Canada and Yoga also for many years and still do at 89…wonderful!

  • Shifu Yan Lei is impressively built but doesn’t have the body of one trained in the soft internal arts.
    A Sifu has to allow you to call him as such. It means he accepts the relationship. Few people had the right to call Mr Moy (Taoist Tai Chi) Sifu.

  • I am a Tai Chi teacher and am so glad to see this information being put out there. So much is overwhelmingly about Yoga, a practice that, in the West, has strayed so far from its roots. In any case, Tai Chi has proven to be more effective than Yoga in the long run, which is why we should be doing these practices. There is more on this in my blog. http://themavensplace.com/ and on my Tai Chi Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tai-Chi-Basket-Anything-Worth-Doing-Is-Worth-Doing-Slowly/239774646053639?fref=ts

    • Jayne Osterich

      I also practice both and I believe they are complementary. Yoga as taught in athletics-type classes is not really yoga as it should be. If you can do it though, it is a wonderful workout.

  • … never trust anyone who calls himself a “master”. there is just ONE true master in LIFE. so there is no need to admire such personalities – they still have a long way to go on their soul´s PATH. 🙂

    • We the Sheeple

      You are correct about self-proclamation of “master” as life is a perpetual practice that no one ever gets perfect. But, you are equally incorrect about the claim of “ONE true master in LIFE” because no one knows or has experienced with any absolution as to what may exist beyond our limited perception abilities. That would assume we have “mastered” the ultimately unknowable.

      • Others may call someone “master.” But, it is frowned upon to do so yourself. In the old days, you may have been killed for being so presumptuous. “Sifu” simply means “teacher.”

        • Leo

          In my opinion, “ShiFu” actually should be “See Through”.

          The body consists for 50 – 70 % of water, which should be in a liquid crystal state, like DNA, spinal- and brain-fluid and lots of other parts of the body.

          Some people can see through the body like it is a mass of water. A clean body is crystal clear, but the body of lots of people contain contaminations, so seeing through is prohibited and appears dark.

          Eating meat is the reason for the lack of World Peace, according to the Mazdaznan Movement. Eating meat is naturally followed by consumption of alcohol beverages in order to keep the fermentation of the rotting meat inside the intestinals to a minimum level. Alcohol breaks down liquid crystal bonds, hence lots of diseases like Alzheimer, and auto-immune-diseases.

    • When a person masters a certain thing,and they dedicate their life to it, and understand it through and through, what are they? They are a master of that certain thing… a skill or a practice or an art. We learn from masters, we admire beauty that they’ve achieved in their work, we love them for their dedication and perfection of knowledge. The students will call the master a master, and the master, if he or she wishes, will accept the term.

      What kind of a crud world would we live in if not for the masters among us? They make life beautiful. So, I’ll admire any master I wish to admire, and I’ll trust their experience without having to judge or speculate on how far they have yet to go on their soul’s path.

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