Our Chinese Martial Arts Linage has a long and honored history. We are proud of the old Masters who have come before us and we have collaborated with respected contemporary practitioners to offer a firm foundation and varied disciplines to offer the best Chinese Martial Arts experience available. Our studio head instructor, Master Leon Colman has been a devoted student of Grandmaster George Ling Hu since 1988 and has followed his lead in seeking out the best knowledge available to implement growth and passion in Chinese Martial Arts. While by no mean the only disciples offered or practiced, Master Colman is of the following Lineages: Tai Chi Chuan and Kung Fu.
Leon Alexander Colman was born in 1968 in Saginaw, Michigan.
Master Colman began study of martial arts in March 1981 in Vassar MI, Pu Kang Tang Su Do. Under Les Maxon he became an assistant teacher in1983, began running children’s class in 1985 and began teaching adult classes in 1986. Master Colman began studying with Bruce Henderson at MSU 1987. In 1988, he began the study of Judo under Master J. Kim at MSU. Also in 1988, he began Tai Chi with the Manchu short form and Manchu long form. Master Colman became an assistant teacher at the MSU Chinese Martial Arts Club in 1990 and Co Teacher at Chinese Martial Arts Club Montana State University in 1992. In 1995, he opened Fighting Dragons Martial Arts Research Center in Lansing Michigan. Master Colman introduced Chinese martial arts into the school physical education program at Renaissance Academy in Arizona in 1998. In 2002, he began teaching Kung Fu and Tai Chi at Bronson Athletic Center in Kalamazoo. While in Mexico City, Mexico he implemented a tai chi for missionaries’ class and began teaching Kung Fu in Mexico City MX in 2006. He began teaching Tai Chi and Kung Fu in Arizona in 2008. He was Co teacher to Brian Hoff at Kalamazoo Chinese Martial Arts Club, Kalamazoo College in 2012. Master Colman began teaching Kung Fu in Midland MI in 2015. In 2016 he began teaching Tai Chi and Kung Fu in Frankenmuth Michigan. Those classes lead to the opening of Chinese Martial Arts of Michigan with his business partner and martial arts enthusiast, Matthew Hoffman.
Master Colman has taught dozens of self-defense classes ranging in length from one-time sessions to four week courses. He has been in three instructional videos featuring Grandmaster George Ling Hu. The focus of his training has been; Kung Fu (in the Che Chuan tradition), Tai Chi Chuan (Mi Chuan under Grandmaster George Ling Hu from Grandmaster Yen Nein Wang), Shuai Chiao and Chin Na. He also has experience with: Pu Kang Tang Su Do karate, Mu Duk Kwon Tang Su Do karate, Okinawan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Ju Jitsu, Iado, Aikido, Wing Chung, Praying Mantis, and Escrima. Master Colman has trained with the following weapons: staff, bo staff, jo staff, monk’s pole, shepard’s staff, da dao (broad sword), straight sword, curve sword, spear, three sectional staff, rope dart, meteor hammer, kwon do, sai, nunchuka, knife, sap, club, cudgel, hammer, moon hammer, two handed sword, mia dao (horse blade), katana, wakazashi, monk’s spade, blowgun, bow, crossbow, and various firearms. He has also studied; Chinese traditional medicine (including but not limited to: acupuncture, acupressure, herbalism, gua sha and, moxi.), Chinese philosophy (Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism), traditional Chinese culture and some Mandarin.
Master Colman is also experienced in verbal de-escalation, physical management (for mentally impaired), suicide prevention, adult and infant CPR, active shooter situations, self-reliance, first responder, first aid, and basic survival.
Current ranks held by Master Colman are Pu Kang Tang Su Do Il Kup, Judo 1st degree Brown, Bu Han Su Kai federation 1st Black, instructor certification, Certified Tai Chi Chuan instructor under Grandmaster George Ling Hu, multiple degreed black belt, certified Kung Fu instructor under Grandmaster George Ling Hu, Chin Na instructor, and Shuia Chiao instructor.
Master Colman has won a Silver medal at international Chinese Martial Arts championships, shuai chiao light weight division; bronze medal tai chi chuan push hands 1996. Also in 1996, he trained a gold medalist shuai chiao heavy weight division, a bronze medalist shuai chiao medium weight division, and a silver medalist short weapon fighting 1996. In 2019, he and several of his students competed in an international Chinese Martial Arts competition; all brought home medals in every event in which they participated. In 2020 Master Colman took 3 students to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Battle at Columbus, an international competetition, again brining home medals in every event in which they competed. This included a gold and silver in San Shou (full contect fighting), a gold in Tai Chi forms, gold, silver and bronze in Tai Chi push hands.
George Ling Hu was born in 1942 in Chung King, China. He is the son of physicians of Western medicine and moved to Taipei, Taiwan in the late 1940’s. At age eleven Master Hu became a student of Master Han Ching Tang, studying Shaolin Temple boxing and Taijiquan. At age 15 he began to teach these martial art forms himself. Later under Master Wang Yen Nien he studied the secret Yang family form of Taijiquan. In addition, he has studied Character System with Master Shoung Chen Shun, Qi Kung with Master Kun Shen-teh from Shanghai, Taijiquan with Master Shih Ming in Beijing’s Purple Bamboo Park, Shan Shie style of Hsing I with Master Wu Chao-shug, Sun style of Bagua and Hsing I with General Stewart Ho, as well as Shuai Jiao (Chinese judo), Chin Na (joint twisting and locking techniques, Nei Gong, Yoga and therapeutic massage.
Master Hu is a member of the Chinese Taijiquan Association, a select society. It is a rare honor and privilege to be elected to join this society. He has served on its Research Committee, which is devoted to the scientific evaluation of Taijiquan, the study of its history, investigation of special training programs, and the study of the physiology of the exercise. He has also served on its Teaching Committee which is devoted to designing programs for Taijiquan instruction. In addition, Master Hu is a member of the National Kuo Shu (martial arts) Association of Taiwan, and of the Taiwan Yoga Association.
Since coming the the U.S. in 1969, Master Hu has taught Taijiquan and Kung Fu in classes and clubs at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Governor’s State University and the College of Dupage. At Roosevelt University he taught Taijiquan in the Physical Education Department while completing a course of cultural studies in Chinese Philosophy and Taijiquan in the Anthropology Department. Each year, for more than thirty years, he has given over ten demonstrations and workshop of Kung fu and Taijiquan in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Washington D.C. and Texas During his martial arts career he has participated in over twenty-five Martial Arts tournaments, placing first in most competitions.
In addition to his martial arts distinctions, Master Hu holds graduate degrees in Geology and Mineralogy from both the University of Chicago and the National Taiwan University. He is a member of the Texas Acupuncture Association. He currently maintains a Qi Kung and Internal Style Martial Arts school in Houston, Tx where he also maintains an active practice of Traditional Chinese Healing (acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion, etc.). Master Hu also teaches Taijiquan and Qi Kung for health at several institutions in Houston: The C. J. Jung Education Center, Methodist Hospital (as part of their employee wellness system) and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where Qi Kung is used to help cancer patients mitigate the effects of chemo and radiation.
Han Ching-Tan was born in Shan Dong Province, China, the day after the Moon Festival in 1900. Han grew up in a typical Chinese farming family, so the only chance he had to practice martial arts was during his spare time away from helping out his parents’ farming work. Han once said that the practice of martial arts was part of normal village life. He quite enjoyed it and was willing to spend more time on his practice. But he thought he was too young to really master it further at that time. Based on Han’s description, we can somehow recreate what this typical “village” martial arts looked like …
Village people can always find a temple, a large yard or open square inside their village. One family would propose that a fund for martial arts be set up. All other families would contribute tuition or food to that fund. Some visiting martial art sifu or neighborhood sifu would then be engaged to train the village’s young men and children. No doubt some of these coaches were good but most were big talkers, perhaps more skilled at self-promotion than their martial arts. The style and lineage of the art they taught were not very clear and even their level of skill was not obvious to the village people. It’s also possible a visiting teacher would challenge the village coach to an open competition. If the current coach were defeated, the winner would take over his position and continue the villagers’ training. Some coaches were only expert in a limited amount of skills and left after teaching all that they knew. Some had broader expertise and thus stayed longer, even settling down in the village. There was no curriculum or pre-determined strategy for delivering this type of training. All students of different levels mixed together and learned whatever the coaches taught.
However, the goal of their martial arts training was to protect the village from attacks by bandits or robbers. Most people practiced hard with a serious mind. In addition to the regular martial training, some students might even learn the customized folk dancing. The dragon and lion dances performed at New Year’s and other festivals were mixed with a martial arts movement and foundation. Unfortunately, Han had forgotten most of the martial arts technique he learned in his early years. He only recalled that at night, carrying a torch, he walked to the training by himself doing the “xing bu” for miles, and with the same torch, returned home after class doing the “short person walk”. (Note: For the “short person walk,” both knees must be continually bent so that your height is kept lower throughout the walk.) What a great and diligent student Han was!
Han recalled that he met Sifu Shen Mo-Lin by accident at Qing Dao city. Sifu Shen, a professional martial artist of stalwart build and great talent, demonstrated a tornado jump kick and his legs swept over everyone’s head. Han was stunned and attracted by Shen’s great skill. He then began his martial training under Shen and made a full commitment to the art. It is said that Sifu Shen’s technique was from the Mei Hua chang quan system that originated from Liang Mountain. A few years later, Master Shen left Qing Dao, no longer able to continue teaching. He was very impressed by Han’s talent and willingness to work very hard. He then referred Han to his good friend, Jiang Ben He, to continue his training.
Sifu Jiang used to travel to Northeast China and stayed in Dai Lian city. In a street fight with a Russian, Jiang seriously injured his opponent with his staff and was subsequently arrested by the local police. His younger brother visited him in prison and exchanged clothing with Jiang to help him escape. The local police were furious after the younger brother confessed and proved his identity to them. Later on, the police let him go. Years later, Han went to Jinan city, where he learned the Jiao Men chang quan style of long fist from Sifu Zhang Bing-Chang. While there, he met An Zi-Bo, who became one of his best friends. I called him “Uncle Sifu.” Later, the government founded the Central Chinese Martial Art Institute, also known as “Chung Yiang Guo Shu Guang,” in Nan Jing and opened its doors for enrolment. Sifus Han and An decided to join the institute and so they went to Nan Jing together. Han recalled that admission to the institute depended upon passing a test of skill: an open match with the institute’s instructor. If the candidate passed the test, he would be questioned about his martial art style and lineage, and then asked to perform bare-hand or weapon forms. Han, with a young man’s fearless courage, defeated the institute’s instructor, shocking all the people in the arena. He was admitted right away without being asked to reveal his lineage or perform any form.Uncle Sifu An was also admitted, after he passed the test and performed a form. The institute was just founded and still in its early stages. Every student who joined the institute possessed strong skills and solid backgrounds. Since everyone majored in martial arts, it was quite natural that they exchanged styles and learned from each other. Some students might even have tried to copy some forms from the instructor secretly, without permission.
Regarding the curriculum, in the beginning the Institute listed some required courses such as “Lian Bu Quan,” and “San Cai Jian.” Later, other required courses were added, such as “Baji Quan,” and “Qing Ping Jian.” Han’s main focus in the institute was on long fist and its enhancement. He also spent some effort on Xing Yi Quan and Tai Ji Quan, which were interesting to most female students and largely ignored by male students at that time. On the weapons side, Han learned a variety of weapons and their forms. After a time, Han also spent great effort in studying Shuai Jiao (Chinese Wrestling) and conducted a lot of research, contributing his own innovations into various Chin Na (seizing and locking) techniques.
The Hang Zhou Exhibition included a Martial Arts Fair that provided an arena for an open martial arts competition. Han, some members of the faculty and other students from the institute also participated in this big martial arts event. Han won his preliminary matches easily and rose through the ranks to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, his next contender was a faculty member from the institute – Wang Zi Qian. Han conceded the match, and so disqualified himself from the Superior Award. Han won his remaining contests and was ranked as number one in the Excellent Award Group – the Superior Award was offered to six people, only.
Wang Zi Qian was skilled in Shuai Jiao. During the middle of his contest, the judges changed the scoring rules. They decided to give points only for throwing an opponent, saying that it would be just too difficult to judge punching and kicking. The new rule favored Wang Zi Qian and so he was able to bring his Shuai Jiao skills fully into play. He won the championship eventually but with his whole body covered in bruises. He knew that the new rules gave him an advantage over other contenders so he humbly divided his award bonus into six parts, sharing it with the other five Superior Award Winners. He also gave one part to Han in acknowledgement. Unfortunately, Wang was lured by social corruption. He turned to a life of debauchery and died at too early an age. Han used to say with emotion, “The champion award ruined his life!” “How did he die? He died in lechery!” “If I had not conceded, he might not have won the championship.” “If the rules had not been changed to score by throwing, not punching and kicking … he wouldn’t have won the championship and he wouldn’t have died at such early age!” Han was the most diligent student in the institute. He even practiced in the early morning while most students were still asleep. Other students sometimes scoffed at him, “Do you really want to win the number one martial artist position in the Imperial Examination?”
One early morning, General Zhang Chi Jiang, director of the institute, came by for inspection and saw Han practicing alone in a large field with sweat streaming down his back. Han cast a spear into the sky, waited until it started to fall, aligned the top of his head with the point of the falling spear and then captured the spear just in time. This is a very dangerous movement. Any miscalculation in timing would result in either death or serious injury. General Zhang kept on asking Han, “Why did you do this?” Han replied, “I donâ??t mind!” Later, because they began to promote martial arts all over China with the resulting increase in demand for coaches, the institute held its first graduation test. Five students passed and Han was ranked Number One. Uncle Sifu An was ranked Number Two. Han was hired by the Hang Zhou Police Academy as their martial arts coach. He met Zhao Wen Long at the academy. In addition to his regular classes, Han also taught along the banks of Lake Si and these classes attracted many students. Jiang Yu Kun and his sister both trained together under Han. Mr. Jiang was addicted to martial arts all his life and had lots of students too. Before his death, he used to request that his friends in the U.S. and Taiwan ask for information about Han. He published a book, “Tai Chi Jian.” In the preface, he talked about the favors and grace he received from Han.
Wang Yen-nien, had the given name "Yen-nien," the chosen name "Yungkang," and the nickname "Fushou." After he began his Daoist studies in 1940 in the Gold Mountain Daoist School of Internal Alchemy, he was given the daoist name "Shang Shouzi."
Master Wang, born in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province in 1914, died May 4, 2008 at age 94 in Taipei, where he had lived and taught Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan and Daoist practices for some sixty years.
Wang loved practicing martial arts in his youth and put particular effort in the continued and devoted practice of Shaolin quan and Xingyi quan skills. In 1932, through the introduction of his xingyi quan teacher, Mu Xiuyi, he became a disciple of the famous martial arts master Wang Xinwu, then secretary of the Shanxi Province government, and began the study taijiquan under his guidance.
After graduating as a second lieutenant from the Shanxi Provincial Military Academy in 1937, Master Wang fought in the Sino-Japanese War under Yan Xishan until Japan's defeat in 1945, serving successively as platoon leader, company commander, battalion commander and regiment colonel. Because he excelled in Japanese, Russian and American rifle techniques, he spent part of the war teaching rifle skills at the Shanxi Province Military Academy.
In 1945, when Master Wang Yen-nien was a police chief in Shanxi Province, his Daoist teacher, the renowned Master Zhang Maolin (daoist name "Wuxing," which in English means "formless") introduced him to Zhang Qinlin, the Grandmaster of the Yangjia Michuan School of Taijiquan. Master Wang became his sworn student, and Zhang taught him the hidden tradition of the Yang family. Zhang would often tell him, "You and your elder fellow student Su Qigeng are the only ones to whom I am imparting full knowledge of the Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan School; treasure what you learn." Su Qigeng fell in battle defending the city of Taiyuan. The other disciples of Zhang, such as "Mr. Invincible in Three Provinces" Hu Yaozhen, Hebei's Wang Shanzhi and Li Yunlong, Shanxi's Liu Zhiliang, and Jiangsu's Cheng Man-ching, who would later come to Taiwan with the national government, while all were avid adepts of tuishou, yet they were not able to obtain the secretly transmitted form of the Yang family.
In 1949, in the wake of the Chinese Civil War between the Communists and Nationalists, Wang left Zhang Qinlin and followed Yan Xishan (Premier and Minister of National Defense) and the national government to settle in Taiwan. A year later, in 1950, he began to teach Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan on land belonging to the present-day Grand Hotel and the site of the Shanxi Taiyuan 500 Martyrs Shrine, soon gathering a growing number of students about him.
In 1960, at the invitation of Mr. Chen Pan-ling, Wang Yen-nien became the joint initiator and chief instructor of Taiwan's first specialized taijiquan organization ever—the Chinese Taijiquan Club. Three years later, in 1963, Master Wang also became a consultant and head coach for the Taijiquan Academic Research Committee under the Sino-American Cultural & Economic Association (the director of which was Liang Han-tsao, while Han Zhensheng held the post of chairman.)
From 1966 to 1975, Wang Yen-nien served as executive director and chairman of the coaching committee of the Chinese Taijiquan Academic Research Society. (Again, it was Han Zhensheng who held the post of chairman.)
Beginning in 1975, he held various posts within the ROC National T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association (first chairman: Han Zhensheng), including that of vice director, chairman of the coaching committee and head referee. In December 1986, after the then chairman General Shi Jue passed away, Master Wang was elected the fifth chairman of the Association. In 1990, he retired from this post, but was made lifetime honorary chairman of the ROC National T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association (which has since been renamed as ROC National T'ai Chi Ch'uan Federation).
In 1989 he founded the European College for Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan Teachers, and in 1992 the American Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan Association. In 1998, he received the Chinese Martial Arts Award, a prize awarded by the Global Chinese Cultural Awards.
In 2005, Wang established the ROC (Taiwan) National Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan Association, whose goal it is to perpetuate and spread the Yang family's hidden tradition of taijiquan. In 2006, the French Ministry of Sports awarded Master Wang Yen-nien a gold medal for his lifetime achievement and contribution to cultural enrichment in France.
Master Wang Yen-nien actively taught Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan for 55 years, and for two decades, from 1981 to 2001, he frequented Europe and the United States to instruct students there. He continued to teach at his school in Taipei, the Yen-nien Daoguan, until 2006, when he fell ill with kidney failure. Until his death in 2008 he remained a spiritual and skillful guide for his closest disciples and students.
To preserve and pass on the true essence of the Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan School and uphold the reputation of "Yang-Without-Enemy," Master Wang resolved to publish guidebooks on the practice of the Yang family's hidden tradition so that it may be forever passed on to future generations. Mr. Wang was truly an internationally renowned Taijiquan Master with students all over the world. He exercised strict self-discipline, but showed leniency and understanding towards others, treating people kindly and with compassion. We can all learn from his exemplary style, which can be summed up with the phrase "do more, talk less."
Shi Ming is known as one of China’s preeminent taiji masters. He is a strict disciplinarian of the old school, inspiring his students to practice long hours in the park under all conditions, including the sub-zero temperatures of winter. He holds himself to the same standards. During the disturbances in 1989 in Beijing, bus service was interrupted for weeks, but Shi Ming rose early to walk 2 ½ hours across town to where he teaches his students every day.
Like the legendary taiji teachers of the past, Shi Ming’s skill in hand-pushing borders on the magical. It gives peerless authority to his ideas on taiji. Opponents are discharged in the air with a flick of the wrist or bounced backward 20 feet with the turn of the waist. And, according to taiji standards, no force is used. Each Sunday Shi Ming gives hand-pushing demonstrations in the park to convince onlookers that taiji is profound practice, not merely a poetic dance form, which it has become so often in China.
According to Shi Ming, taiji is the application of the principle jing zhi dong, stillness controls movement, or quiet dominates activity. Stillness can dominate over movement because it is egoless and non-resistant. In taiji thinking, wherever there is a self, there is a weakness, a place of stagnancy. The key to hand-pushing then is to completely eliminate these weaknesses by forgetting the self.