Return to Wudang Mountain

Me in Yuxugong Temple


I am Corey Hopp, a student at the school of Master Yuan Xiu Gang in Wudangshan, a rural city in Hubei province, China. I have been training here intermittently since 2008, and with full-time intensity since 2009. I am now a member of our school’s traditional class, an amazing opportunity for non-Chinese to learn the ancient arts of Taijiquan (Taichi), Gongfu (Kungfu), and Qigong, as well as Daoist philosophy and tradition.

On my recent trip home to Annapolis, I had the pleasure of meeting the Balanced Life Skills community and teaching a brief seminar covering some of the basic exercises I have learned here in Wudang. With this blog, I want to continue to share some of the rewards of my adventures here. Imperfect as my understanding of my Master’s teachings may be, I hope to set down my reflections on what I am learning and give a series of snapshots of the life of a foreigner in rural China. I won’t claim the things I write to be anything more or less than my own opinions and observations, but hey, that’s blogging.

As I mentioned, I am a member of the traditional class. This means that I have committed to be here at the school 11 months of the year for 3 or 5 years. I have committed to a disciplined and rigorous lifestyle and training program. I have pledged myself to do what my Master tells me to do, in the faith that his wisdom will rub off on me someday. A day when I am not in pain, whether from fatigue or from sparring practice, is rare. The discipline makes space, however, for great peace of mind. Check out for more info on my class.

I have just returned to Wudangshan from a trip home to visit my family and repair my finances. Before that trip home, I was in China for my longest continuous training, 15 months. Those months changed me, and just being home for a while was an adventure in itself. But check in next time to see what I mean.

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