Fast Track Your Skill with Yang Mian
Increase Your Flexibility and
Develop Explosive Internal Power that
You can Hear, See and Feel!
No pre-requisite necessary.
For personal training with Chief Instructor Brett Wagland, please email or phone us for appointment. Please allow one hour and fifteen minutes. Wear comfortable clothing and flat soled shoes.
Book for a private lesson.
Why is Yang Mian Unique?
During more than 30 years of martial arts experience, I have seen and trained in many systems.
A few years ago, I met Master Yang Zhen Hua of the Yang Mian martial art system. Master Yang was an engineer in Shanghai and is now teaching his family’s healing and martial arts in Sydney. As I watched a class, I was impressed with the relaxed power his students demonstrated. There were no less than 20 people moving gracefully and effortlessly, with limbs whipping out explosive power. They were softer than most advanced Tai Chi exponents and had more power than many Shaolin experts. Some of these students had been training in Yang Mian for only 18 months. Very impressive!
Born in the Sichuan province of China, famous for spicy food and sacred high mountains, Master Yang commenced martial arts training at the age of six. He became a disciple of a respected Shaolin monk at the age of ten. After many years of Shaolin training, his father taught him the family system of Mian Chuan (Cotton Fist). This efficient and deadly martial art, with both Buddhist and Taoist influences, had been held in secrecy.
Calligraphy in Motion
In his twenties, Master Yang experienced a number of profound awakenings where he could understand and see the principles embedded in martial arts. He describes his art as having the essence of the flowing nature of the brush strokes of Chinese calligraphy. His reactions reached a stage of no mind, just a spontaneous response to any martial encounter. The system is based on principles and methods of training the body, mind and spirit. It teaches the practitioner to strike, using every part of the body. Yang Mian does not have set forms. It employs specific breathing and individual natural movements which generate internal spring power and centrifugal force. The effect is similar to releasing a powerful spring which has been wound tight.
Yang Mian Training Improves
Master Yang says that Yang Mian students train the live way. They are able to use the changes in their body conditioning in everything they do. These skills enhance the various martial arts, Wu Dao Gong, Tai Chi or sports that they engage in. Master Yang has been successful in conveying the principles of his art to rugby players, tennis players, swimmers and snowboarders to improve their athletic performances. These athletes include Australian Torah Bright, 2010 Winter Olympics women's snowboarding gold medallist. Once you understand the principles, you can apply them to everything you do. The Yang Mian system has the ability to create free flowing energy that moves effortlessly through the practitioner’s body, allowing the power to reach wherever it is needed. It includes areas of specialised training, such as Steel Hand and Steel Body. Its power and efficiency in terms of changing the body is truly outstanding.
Become Flexible and Limber
From both a health and a martial arts perspective, your body becomes like rubber – flexible yet firm. The spine and the joints become very elastic. The system contains meditation and Qigong skills for relaxation and healing.
Some of our Tai Chi students and Wu Dao Gong martial art students have commenced training in Yang Mian. Even after just a brief introduction to the system, their bodies have begun to change. The hallmarks of flexibility and power of Yang Mian are already evident in some of their movements. The students all commented favourably on the positive effects so far and wish to continue training further.
If you would like to increase your flexibility and internal power, and are looking for a highway to fast track your skills, try the Yang Mian way!
– Chief Instructor Brett Wagland
"I have found my training in Yang Mian to be a great experience. It's wonderful to study a martial art system that has its fundamental movements taught so solidly and at such a detailed level. I have found the training challenging. However, I have noticed very rapid advances in physical endurance (for example when I go running), and I am much more flexible and relaxed as a result of the practices. My self confidence has also improved considerably as a direct result of the training. Great stuff!"
– Greg, Musician (after 12 weeks of Yang Mian training)
"Around a year ago and after having sent numerous patients from my osteopathic practice to the Tai Chi Academy, I approached Brett and Fontane to acquaint ourselves professionally and also to commence some form of training. I had no preconception of what Brett might be inclined to teach – only that I wanted to explore whether these practices might improve ongoing chronic shoulder issues that were the result of numerous high impact mountain bike accidents. In true martial arts fashion, Brett sized me up and then spoke briefly about the numerous practices on offer but quickly and pointedly came to the proposition of training in the Yang Mian system. Brett’s rationale for this suggestion was clearly informed by numerous factors but seemed to relate to the efficiency of Yang Mian to produce therapeutic change more rapidly than other systems.
After a couple of sessions of basic conditioning, my shoulders were irritated and sore and we had to slow things down a little for the tissues and nervous system to catch up with this major reorganising force. It has become clear to me that there are at least a few types of soreness and pain associated with training internal martial arts – that associated with doing something badly and with misplaced effort or insufficient relaxation and then there is the soreness of a body adapting to the transmission of force.
After sessions, I felt both inspiration and exhaustion – invariably I was hungry. It was clear from the first session that Yang Mian would inform and change my professional, personal and theoretical approaches to movement as well as notions of the production, coordination and transmission of power as both a therapeutic and diagnostic tool.
Basic conditioning is thorough and reveals movement patterns and preferences as well as unearthing old injuries and weaknesses – this prepares the musculoskeletal system for the generation and subsequent transmission of internal power. As far as I understand, this internal power can take years to develop, much less organise and coordinate. Generating internal power was initially haphazard, unsettling and inconsistent but over the last year it has gradually increased and become more regulated. As internal power developed, I exacerbated a pre-existing inguinal hernia but with consistent and modified practice that settled and I now have no such problems.
Exaggerated, big and relaxed strikes with the fist and elbows engage the whole body in a manner that steadily connects the Dan Tian and newly generated internal power to potential contacts. These are then linked and over time become more compact and natural – this is exemplified by Yang Mian freestyle Dragon Elbow. I continue to train and develop more skills within the Yang Mian system and more recently Brett has introduced Wu Dao Gong with the hope of deepening my foundation. Although Wu Dao Gong has an entirely different feel, it seems more accessible as the result of some foundation in Yang Mian.
Over the last year of training, I have been exposed to refined and well digested practices that have been taught in a methodical and sensitive way. I commend the Tai Chi Academy and these practices to you and though it might hurt – be taught and persist!"
– Patrick, Osteopath
"I’ve known Brett Wagland and Fontane Ip for quite a few years now. The first time I met them was when my wife joined their Tai Chi Academy. Brett and Fontane’s invitation to join the Yang Mian System classes was very tempting because I have a lot of respect and confidence in their work, even though I didn’t know a thing about the system. When I saw the demonstration of the system, I was a bit confused. I would have to admit that I didn’t like everything I saw, although I did recognise something interesting that wasn’t obvious on the demonstration. Because of that, I showed up at the first class. I made the right decision.
It was very new for me that the technique was all done in a very relaxed way. The result of this was speed and power, which was heard and felt like a wave from people who have been practising the system for some time. I especially enjoyed linking the movements in this technique, like droplets in running water.
This system uncovers the body’s ability to produce enormous speed and power. It also protects the body from injury.
I arrived at the first class with only the knowledge of what I don’t want. I was curious, open and excited for something I encountered for the first time. From the very beginning, it was something very different from anything I had practised before.
Brett and Fontane are excellent teachers. At class, they harmonise with each other in an unusual but very successful way. They are like two bright, clear moving mirrors, which take away all doubts and uncertainty. Their demonstrations have special significance that shows the “inside” of the movements.
Satisfied and encouraged with quick results, I followed instructions and I patiently waited for more. My right shoulder, that had been giving me trouble for some time, started to be pliable, very flexible. What is especially important is that it is free of any limitations in movement and pain.
This completely new experience was similar to a coiled spring which I discovered in my body. It created movements with incredible speed and power. Sometimes the experience shocks me because the technique is so fast. Even though I know it’s my body, I wasn’t able to see it. I started to recognise completely new possibilities of my body’s movements.
Soon after I started the classes of the Yang Mian System, full of curiosity and new experiences, I implemented this new knowledge to my personal training in the martial arts that I have been practising for many years. I was more than satisfied with the results because my training revealed an obvious higher quality. This was recognised by people who knew me from before.
I am satisfied with the basics of the Yang Mian System. I was even more surprised when I was introduced to the practical applications of the movements.
The Yang Mian System had made a very unique impression on me. The secrets that they showed me in their classes weren’t really secrets. Every technique was part of me. My natural movement patiently waited for my call and in that way; it came to the surface with a very explosive result.
After all, the biggest surprise was the simplicity of this unique system.
Grateful for the opportunity, patience and confidence."
– Micho, Potter and Martial Artist with 35 years of experience (after 9 weeks of Yang Mian training)
"I was really out of condition when I started the course, but I built up my fitness level over the course.
The Yang Mian training allowed me to focus and pay attention to what was happening inside the body. Over time, I am developing a stronger awareness and understanding of the body mechanics involved. Also, I found myself developing more patience, greater perseverance, flexibility, strength and a better understanding and experience of the movement towards developing explosive power.
My movements are now more free and flowing. Yang Mian has really 'freed up' my movements in Tai Chi. It has made me more aware of using the body more efficiently in Tai Chi. Now I feel that while I’m using less movement of arms etc. in the form, I’m actually giving my body a stronger 'work out'.
I also learned a lot about myself, my reactions to others, and my intention and ability to keep working and focusing. This also leads to a greater understanding of my body and how it works.
Many thanks to Fontane and Brett for offering this really helpful course.
– Toni, Teacher (after 9 weeks of Yang Mian training)
"Yang Mian training can be quite challenging. But after completing only 2 terms of training, I have already experienced an increase in energy levels, more body awareness and a general feeling of well being and calmness. On a physical level, I am feeling stronger than I have for a long time. The art of Yang Mian is very practical and highly effective when it comes to self defence."
– Jonathan, Public Servant
"I started doing Yang style Tai Chi at about age 50 in 2001 to get more flexibility in my body. My wife had attended Tai Chi classes previously and we learned the form together. I found Tai Chi useful to strengthen my body, calm my mind and improve my flexibility. After I had been training for some time, I had a fairly major operation (donated a kidney) and found my recovery was aided considerably by being able to get back to Tai Chi soon after the operation.
When the Hun Yuan system was introduced, we both started doing that form, and have also done a range of extra courses over time with the Tai Chi Stick and meditation. These have all proved beneficial in improving flexibility, relaxing the mind and overcoming aches and pains from old injuries.
In 2008, I enrolled in Wu Dao Gong martial arts classes to try something different and have an extra challenge. I had been doing San Ti in my own practice and thought that it would be interesting to try some of the harder training that comes with Wu Dao Gong.
At Brett’s suggestion, I started learning Yang Mian as well and have found that it has changed my body considerably. When I started learning the various exercises, I felt fairly uncoordinated and ineffective, but persisting with practice has made a difference. I have always had a fairly slender body shape and not been overweight, but I have never been to a gym and so have not built up in a muscular way. I have been doing Yang Mian training for about 6 months and it has helped considerably in improving my body’s flexibility and strength, in particular the centre of the body. Doing this extra training has meant that I have also put on a few kilos in muscle weight, while keeping to the same diet. The extra strength has also assisted me in my Wu Dao Gong training. I continue to practise Hun Yuan Tai Chi and find that my added strength, flexibility and awareness have made a difference to that practice. I will be interested to see how I develop further as I become more adept at the exercises practised in Yang Mian martial arts.
An interesting side light to all this is that while I am doing exercises based around martial arts, I have never set out to gain martial arts competence. I see all the various exercises and meditations that I do as helping to keep me healthy and provide balance to my life, rather than seeking a particular competence in martial arts."
– Patrick, Management Consultant
- Interview – Chris Radnedge's Journey of Self Development
- Interview – The Benefits of Combining Tai Chi with Yang Mian
See the Yang Mian System in action on video clips.