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Brief explanations of some of the terms you'll come across. (Pinyin spellings in brackets.)

Ba Gua (Zhang) (Pa Kua Chang) Internal martial art based on Eight Trigrams; one of the three major internal styles.

Cheng Man Ching (Zheng Manqing) 1902 - 1975. Devised the Form we practise today, adapting it from the Yang 108 Posture Form.

Ch'i (qi) The vital force or energy flowing through all natural things. (As in 'Ch'i Gung'.)

Chi (ji) 'Ultimate' or 'polarity', etc. (As in 'Tai Chi'.) (Ch'i and chi point up an ambiguity caused by us simplifying the spelling and dropping the apostrophe. (See Tai chi chuan, T'ai chi ch'üan or tàijíquàn? How we spell Chinese on this site.)

Chi Kung (Qigong) 'Breath mastery'. Exercises, usually static, to improve circulation.

Dan tien (Dantian, Tan tien) A point at the centre of your abdomen, a couple of inches below the navel. It corresponds to your centre of gravity.

Duan If you want to teach with Zhong Ding, you need the approval provided by our grading system.

   * 1st Duan - Assistant Instructor
   * 2nd Duan - Instructor
   * 3rd Duan - Senior Instructor
   * 4th Duan - Master Instructor

This is our form of quality control, to provide assurance for both our students and anyone we work for. All our instructors are insured.

Form A Form is a set of postures and connecting movements. By default it refers to the standard set of slow movements and postures without any weapons. There are weapon forms as well, such as the broadsword, fan and staff. Our foundation form is the Cheng Man Ching 37 Posture Form.

Hsing I (Xing Yi)Form and Intent Boxing; one of the three major internal styles.

Inside the door, or Inside student An inside student has a special relationship with a teacher, being let 'in the door'. Also known as a disciple (in a non-religious sense).

Internal/External martial arts Referring to the martial arts, external usually refers to the arts developed at Shaolin and which are physical, while the internal come from Wudang and which are focused on relaxed power.

Lau Gung  A point roughly in the centre of your palm; the hand's equivalent of the Yung Chuan point.

Pushing hands Two person practice that explores keeping your own balance while at the same time trying to disturb your partner's.

San Shou (A and B) Fast forms which can be practised solo or with a partner. (One does A, the other B.)

Silat Malay martial art.

Tai Chi (Chuan) Tai Chi literally translates as 'supreme ultimate', or 'great polarity'. In Chinese, 'chuan' means fist or boxing, and is associated with the idea of control (including self-control) rather than the violence we tend to think of.

Wu Shu Martial arts. Nowadays this Mandarin term has come to be used mainly in reference to the highly acrobatic and artistic modern martial arts routines.

Yin Yang The Tai Chi symbol. It represents the idea of fundamental qualities that are opposite but interdependent. Yin qualities are associated with darkness, passivity and the female, etc. Yang qualities are associated with light, activity and the male, etc.

Yung Chuan 'Bubbling Spring'. A point midway across the sole of the foot, just in front of the arch.

Zhong Ding Central equilibrium.

Kung Fu (Gongfu) Skill, effort, workmanship. Often used by Cantonese speakers and Westerners to refer to Chinese boxing.

Tao The Way or Ways to enlightenment or self development followed by the Taoists. Key text: Tao Teh Ching (Daodejing)