Last October 2021 I had the immense pleasure (and challenge!) of learning some Chinese martial arts in one of the most ancient and special places for learning Wushu: Wudang Mountain area in Hubei. Wudang martial arts, sometimes referred to as Wudang Kung Fu, are martial arts collections that have originated from the Wudang Mountain in the central part of China. Its Taoists martial arts are recognized globally, but it’s actually different from the equally popular Shaolin Kung Fu.
I spent several days in Wudang filming this video that is part of the Hubei Travel series I started hosting for China Plus and the Hubei Tourism Bureau last March 2021.
Watch the full video on Facebook or on the CRI website here.
At Wudang Mountain the Taoist culture and martial arts can be seen everywhere. The mountain landscape and the spirit of the people combined with a long history have formed a unique heritage in Wudang. Below is a preview of all the places and people I met in Wudang!
Jake Pinnick, an American Kung fu teacher in Wudang
First I met Jake Pinnick, an American who moved to China’s Wudang Mountains in 2010 to study Kung fu with Master Yuan. He is now a teacher, and his daughter is also training In Wudang. He has been featured on various media platforms such as SCMP and Shine.
The Wudang Mountain Prince Slope
The ancient building complex in Prince Slope was designed according to the story of Zhenwu cultivation. The ancient building masters skillfully used the mountain terrain to build a wall like undulating waves, known as the Jiuqu Yellow River Wall.
The Golden Palace on Wudang Mountain
The Golden Palace or Golden Peak (金殿) on Wudang Mountain is also named Taihe Palace (太和宫) which means Palace of Harmony, and is the highest summit at about 1,613 meters high. The Golden Palace is the soul and symbol of Wudang Mountain, so it is the must-visit place for visitors coming here. It is commonly said that one really visits Wudang Mountain only if stepping in the Palace of Harmony. Standing in front of Golden Palace, you can have a panoramic view of Wudang Mountain, as far as 400 kilometers away.
Working With a Film Crew In China
Ever since I first hosted the Old Masters Series in 2020, I’ve learned so much about being a travel host, working with a travel crew, and what happens behind the scenes being a foreign host in China. It is SO different than when I travel by myself. Here are a few shots of the crew.
(Would you be interested in hearing more about the behind the scenes of traveling with a film crew in China? I may do another post about this!)
Visiting Wudang Mountain in Hubei was such an enriching cultural experience. These students and masters train SO hard and have dedicated their lives to these practices. If you’re interesting in Wushu (martial arts) and Taoism in China, I highly recommend visiting!
Check out some of my other filming experiences in China: