Sifu Stephen Yap

May 30, 2007

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Born 27th July 1974.

Stephen Yap’s first encounter with martial arts was with Tai Chi. He studied under the teacher Rao Rao Zao in 1993 for about a year.

His next journey was with shaolin which he also studied for about a year.

In 1994 he also began Tai Chi and acupuncture with Dr Feng Chao Lin till 1999. During his time with Dr Lin he opened an acupuncture clinic in 1996.

In 2002 Stephen opened the school Jing Qi Shen and began teaching to this day.

In 2007 he immigrated to Oslo, Norway but makes regular trips back to South Africa to keep a watchful eye on his sheep.


The 3 Treasures & Tai Chi Chuan

May 29, 2007

The 3 treasures both promote and benefit one another. Their interdependant relationship is crucial to the balance to the body as a whole. One could not exist or function without the others. They are all important for the continuance of life in the human body.

A deficiency of one will eventually lead to a deficiency of the others, and a collapse of any of them will inevitably lead to death.

The 3 treasures and their connection to Tai Chi Chuan are simple. Tai Chi Chuan is an internal exercise which includes all of the training methods mentioned in the earlier translations. Namely “Lian Jing”, “Lian Qi” and “Lian Shen”. To accumulate Qi requires concentrating the mind on dan tien. When the Qi is abundant it can both transform into and nourish the Jing. When the Jing and Qi are full they will benefit the Shen by improving it’s vitality and concentration which in turn allows for the mind to concentrate futher on the dan tien.

Tai Chi Chuan includes everything and does not leave out anything. Through daily practice one will begin the process of cultivation. When the Jing is abundant and the Qi flows freely without hinderance the mind and body will become more alert, stronger, healthier and more agile.

It then goes without saying that when the mind reaches this state it will guide the body with clarity, and when the body reaches this state it will be able to follow the mind-intent without hesitation.

Translated from TCM references and also standard dictionary translations. Bear in mind, however, that the use of these words varies depending on the circumstance and also the context in which they are used. The Chinese characters for all the noted translations of Jing, Qi and Shen respectively are the same.


There are no secrets

May 29, 2007

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Lineage

May 29, 2007

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Shen ( Spirit )

May 14, 2007

Translated in TCM and internal exercise texts as “Mind” or “Vitality”. Mental faculties, consciousness and thinking are all included in the translation. The state of the mind can have a direct or indirect impact on the state of the body in various ways and forms. In TCM the “Shen” or “vitality” can be a reflection of the level of health, mental functioning and well-being of a person. The clarity or lack of clarity in the mind will manifest in the body through it’s actions or inability to perform these actions.

When looking at the more common translation of “Shen”, the words “Mind” and “Spirit” are most frequently found. Using only these two words however cannot convey a translation accurate to the meaning intended by the ancient texts as they only encompass a small part of the meaning.

The concept of the mind in ancient times went far beyond than thoughts or mentality. The mind was said to be connected to the intent, the intent connected to the spirit, the spirit connected to the consciousness and the consiousness in turn connected to both the consious and subconscious mind for example.

So it can be clearly seen that the concept of “Shen” can be approached from various viewpoints, ranging from a simple translation to several words trying to explain one aspect.

Trying to understand the mind, however, is an art in itself. It requires a great degree of self-reflection and training. This kind of training is known as training the Shen or “Lian Shen”.

Translated from TCM references and also standard dictionary translations. Bear in mind, however, that the use of these words varies depending on the circumstance and also the context in which they are used. The Chinese characters for all the noted translations of Jing, Qi and Shen respectively are the same.


Qi ( Energy )

May 14, 2007

Translated in TCM and internal exercise texts as “Vital Energy”, “Lifeforce” or “Energy”. Qi was believed by the ancient Chinese to be the basic element that constitues the entire universe or cosmos, producing everything through it’s movements and transformations. It is also considered to be one of the fundamental elements that gives rise to the form and function of the human body. Qi is also fundamental to our existence, without it life would cease.

In the common translations words like “Breath”, “Air” and even “Atmosphere” can be found. Due to the fact that Qi in it’s nature is so intangible, yet so important to our existence, we can begin to see or perhaps even understand the use of such words to convey it’s meaning.

Many modern scholars considered the ancient’s to be naive in their beliefs of “Qi”. For something that could not be perceived with any of the sense organs was reason enough for them to brush it aside as mere mysticism and hold to the teaching that it was only an idea presented by the ancient philosophers as a means to explain the unexplainable.

The nature of Qi can only become clear through daily practice and cultivation. This kind of practice is known as training the Qi or “Lian Qi”.

Translated from TCM references and also standard dictionary translations. Bear in mind, however, that the use of these words varies depending on the circumstance and also the context in which they are used. The Chinese characters for all the noted translations of Jing, Qi and Shen respectively are the same.


Jing ( Essence )

May 14, 2007

Translated in TCM and internal exercise texts as “Essence of Life”, “Vital Essence”, “Body Essence”, “Congenital Essence” or just plainly “Essence” .

Jing is considered to be a fundamental substance in the body, which is connected to both building up of the physical structure and also maintaining the body’s numerous functions.

In more common texts the meaning of Jing can be defined by using several words. Examples are: refined, pure, perfect, excellent and superior. These various meanings describe Jing as something of great importance, pure in nature, perfect in arrangement, a refined substance likened to tempered gold.

From the texts we can see that the well-being and relative health of the body depends on the stated of the Jing. This essence is inherited from birth and it’s abundance or deficiency is, to a degree, connected to the state of the parents essence before and during conception. It requires continual nourishment throughout our lives and is therefore affected by the lifestyle we choose to lead. There are various ways of reinforcing the essence. This is known as training the Vital Essence or “Lian Jing”.

Translated from TCM references and also standard dictionary translations. Bear in mind, however, that the use of these words varies depending on the circumstance and also the context in which they are used. The Chinese characters for all the noted translations of Jing, Qi and Shen respectively are the same.