88 Riberia Street
Saint Agustine, FL 32084

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Welcome to Swimming Dragon School of Chinese Healing and Martial Arts

Located in Saint Augustine, Florida, under the direction of Fernando Bernall, DOM, the Swimming Dragon School of Kung Fu is a venue through which the internal Chinese martial arts can be presented in manner congruent to the principles through which these systems evolved.

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New Tai Chi Class at Saint Augustine Beach

Tai Chi in St. Augustine Beach, At Cultural Arts Center. Sundays at 8:30 am.

Holding Postures Dynamically

This little video, gives you an idea on how you can take some of the postures we’ve learned in our tai chi classes and use them as a way to a) build connections, b) work on foot work, and c) maintain alignments. I did these postures at random as I moved. The vid was shot with my iPhone stuck in the sand..

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Kettlebell Tai Chi Fusion Drill

A little drill using Cloud Hands and two 26 lbs kettlebells to help drive weight and force into the ground by way of the structure into the feet..

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Eight Pieces of Brocade Ba Duan JIn

While corresponding with Michael Phillips on Facebook on the subject of Kai -men exercises as part of jibengong or basic skills training, Michael said: “My teacher taught us the Kai-men, and I used that set for 30 years in my school; we found it greatly effective for doing what it’s name suggests - “Kai-men” means “Opening the Gates”; it helps you create a body that can actually “do” TCC.”

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Swimming Dragon Qi Gong Set

Here’s the Qi Gong set that inspired the name for our school, Swimming Dragon Qi Gong.  I’ll be making sure all of the schools students here in Providence, RI’s, school learn this set.

Celestial Stem Workshop At Swimming Dragon School of Kung Fu in Saint Augustine

On May 19-20th, I’ll be teaching in Saint Augustine, a workshop on the Celestial Stem system of Qi Gong commonly taught to Xing Yi and Ba Gua practitioners.
See the website for more information at: http://www.CelestialStem.com

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MMA Push Hands Preparation Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan of Chinese Martial Arts.

In the Chinese Martial art of Chen Tai Chi Chuan, Chen Bing Shines as an upcoming and future bearer of the Chen village’ boxing system. In these videos, the student of Tai Chi will be exposed to the spiral power that is generated when the proper training methods have been incorporated into one’s practice.

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Chinese Martial Arts Expression of Whole Body Strength (Hun Yuan).

Within the Chinese Martial Arts, there’s no other topic that raises as much suspicion of fakery as the one of Fa Jin. Teachers are accused of influencing their students to cooperate; students are accused of being brainwashed and so on. While I do believe that some of the skepticism is justified, there are cases that seem to indicate that a higher level of skill is attainable with the proper training method as the following video demonstrates.

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Gu liu Xin

To my students:

If you watch him carefully and think about our most recent classes, you will see a wonderful demonstration of the opening of the kua.

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Training Methods

My teacher had a great little saying that went something like this: “If you want to have a big school, when teaching keep this in mind, older people, make them relax. Young people, make them sweat. Karate people, give them more belts, and Kung fu people, give them more forms. If you do this, you’ll have large classes”.

Since I opened my first school back in 1992, I have thought of his saying many times and have realized that not following his advice is what has kept my schools from being full. Students always want more. This is particularly true of the younger generation. They want more and want it quickly. It is almost as if the kung fu school is likened to a website - slow downloads of martial arts instruction is a sure way to lose students.

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Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Martial arts Basic Training at Swimming Dragon School of Kung Fu

Martial arts classes are doing great here at Swimming Dragon! I’m very proud of my students. They work hard at what I have the privilege to share with them.

Our school has a great sample of the general population here in Saint Augustine, Florida. Young people, seniors, about equally divided in male/female ratio. Some students are patients who believe me when I tell them that Tai chi is the best medicine ( I gotta quit that or I’ll be out of patients); some want to improve their boxing skills, other just want to chill out. Some students have a lengthy martial arts background, have owned their own schools or are currently running one. I’m honored to have them in my school.  One thing is for sure: they all know that our classes are not a walk in the park. We work hard at what we do and many are already seeing the benefit.

Currently our tai chi class is learning loosening exercises, patting exercises and Silk Reeling Cocoon exercises. Every class ends with Zhan Zhuang or Standing Post meditation.. Some students stick around after class for some push hands or to ask questions to the senior students like Danny Stewart while I see patients. How cool is that!

The after class energy on Saturday mornings is awesome.

The night Xing Yi Quan class is equally as exciting. We are currently learning the Celestial Stem set. The set, known as Tien Kan Gong, consist of 24 exercises that gradually changes the way the student moves and uses his body. It promotes a healthy spine, strong legs, pliable trunk and relaxed arms, as well as develops martial skill. We are also working on a set of exercises from the White Crane system that helps to develop strength and power when using open hand or palm strikes. We practice a lot of push hands. As part of the Xing Yi basic training, I’m teaching a set of 8 kicks known as Mei Hua Tui. And of course, we practice San Ti! Glad to have you guys at or kwoon!

I will be offering a weekend workshop on the Celestial Stem Gong system sometime on the 5th and 6th of May.

Fernando

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The Role of Intent in Tai Chi Chuan

My first site, which I built with plain old HTML back in 1997, The Standing Post was an online magazine. You can see the way it looked back then at archive.org. At that time, I had several martial artists submitting articles to the site. One such article was submitted by Vincent Chu and I’m reposting it here on Swimming Dragon. I also have included a couple of videos of each Master Chu’s teachers and one of Master Chu performing a form for your benefit.

Fernando

The Role of Intent in Tai Chi Chuan

By Vincent Chu

About Intent

One day, a new student asked me. Why is Tai Chi Chuan called an internal art? Is it because the movements are executed slowly so one called it internal? Yet, there are many solo forms that one can execute the movements in different speed. How do you differentiate Tai Chi Chuan from other Chinese martial art? My reply to the questions simply that Tai Chi Chuan’s movements are control by the Intent, an internal component that is not visible and it is the key to Tai Chi Chuan’s success.

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Sifu Tony chan Playing Push Hands

This is by far one of my favorite push hands clips. The level of skill demonstrated by Wu Style Tai chi player Master Tony Chan is inspiring to us who are entering into a stage in life where we have more past than future.

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We Don’t Need Martial Arts Today - I Just Go And Get My Gun! Really?

The title above, reflects the sentiments of those who in real life have no clue about realities encountered in the streets. The video you are about to see, demonstrates that having a gun, particularly if it is concealed, is no ticket to safety against an opponent armed with a knife or a stick.

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Loosen Up

We are now on our second month of the current Taiji class. I am very pleased with the commitment I see from the students in this class and inspires me to improve in my own practice and hopefully share what I discover in my own journey. I thank you for this.

I would like to point your attention to a video on the Song Shen Wu Fa or Five Loosening Exercises created by Grand Master Huang Xingxiang. It would behoove each of you to learn more about this great master and one of his numerous teachers Professor Zheng Man Qing. I’ve created a website for the latter and you can view it here at: ZhengManQing.com

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