Corey Hopp is a full time student of kung fu.
Eight hours a day, six days a week, ten or eleven months of the year, he can be found punching, kicking, and jumping on the paving stones of Yuxugong temple in rural Wudang Mountain, Hubei Province, China. However, in January and February of 2012, Corey will be at Balanced Life Skills Martial Arts here in Annapolis, sharing some of his experiences with the local community.
Corey is a student of Master Yuan Xiu Gang of the Wudang Daoist Traditional Internal Kungfu Academy. Wudang Mountain has its own special style and tradition of martial arts, emphasizing softness and sensitivity, flexibility and balance. Students of Master Yuan’s school learn a variety of disciplines, including Tai Chi, that are intended to impart not only the ability to defend oneself, but also to protect and nourish one’s spirit and vitality.
Though he had been studying martial arts for a few years beforehand, Corey’s kung fu training truly began in January 2008. He had been teaching English at a small university near Nanjing for the fall semester. During his Chinese New Year holiday, he decided to follow his interest in martial arts and visit one of the ancient homes of Chinese kung fu. That first dark, cold January visit left its mark of snow, sweat, and muscle pain, and the determination to learn more about Wudang’s unique art.
Corey is now part of the traditional program at Master Yuan’s school. It is a rare and demanding opportunity for non-Chinese martial artists to be immersed in the same physical and mental training that has been handed down through many generations of kung fu practitioners.
Having grown up in southern Anne Arundel County, Corey returns here every year to spend the holidays with his friends and family and save money for another year of training. For six weeks in January and February, he will be offering seminars in the basic health practice called Qigong. Qigong combines breathing, stretching, and meditation to strengthen and relax mind and body.
I would like to invite all of our students and others in our community to meet Corey and practice with him for the short time he is here in Annapolis. You can then follow his studies next year right here on our site.