Here is the description of the workshop I’m teaching in Los Angeles.
Re-Enchanting Internal Martial Arts
In this lecture-demo-participatory-happening we will sample Baguazhang 八卦掌 as theater, where the lotus elixir 蓮煉丹 is the source of extraordinary martial prowess.
Through Baguazhang we will meet the child god Nezha 哪吒 and walk through mud, create a lotus body flowering out to infinity, and practice nixing 逆行—walking backwards inside of walking forwards. This anti-journey is reverse shamanism. Once outside of time 先天 (xiantian) we will fight dragons, cut away our flesh, return our bones, and meet Taiyi 太乙, Nezha’s spirit-father.
Together we will re-enchant the physical with the imaginal. This delightful, belly laugh-inducing practice is serious. To become a Zhenren 真人 (Perfect Person) one must walk a reverse path! Wind-fire wheels provided.
Scott Park Phillips is the author of Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion (2016), and the forthcoming Tai Chi, Baguazhang, & the Golden Elixir, Internal Martial Arts Before the Boxer Uprising (2019). He lives in Colorado, where he teaches martial arts with improvisational theater, dance ethnology, and Daoist studies to children and adults.