Master Yang, Jwing-Ming
After teaching for more than 30 years, Dr. Yang has qualified over 100 YMAA Instructors, Assistant Instructors, and Coach Instructors in the world today. Internationally, YMAA instructors and students share Dr. Yang's vision of bringing the art to a deeper level of practice and understanding.
Today, Dr. Yang resides in Humboldt County in California, overseeing and directing operations at the YMAA California Retreat Center, where he leads a small group of students in an intense 10-year training program. Dr. Yang continues to write and to supervise all of YMAA International. Dr. Yang's younger son, Nicholas, is now the President of YMAA International.
Learning from the Grandmasters
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming started his Gongfu (Kung Fu) training at the age of fifteen under the Shaolin White Crane (Bai He) Master Cheng, Gin Gsao. In thirteen years of study (1961-1974) under Master Cheng, Dr. Yang became an expert in the White Crane style of Chinese martial arts, which includes both the use of bare hands and of various weapons such as saber, staff, spear, trident, two short rods, and ma
ny others. With the same master he also studied White Crane Qin Na (or Chin Na), Tui Na and Dian Xue massages, and herbal treatment.
At the age of sixteen, Dr. Yang began the study of Taijiquan (Yang Style) under Master Gao, Tao link. After learning from Master Gao
, Dr. Yang continued his study and research of Taijiquan with several masters and senior practitioners such as Master Li, Mao-Ching and Mr. Wilson Chen in Taipei. Master Li learned his Taijiquan from the well-known Master Han, Ching-Tang, and Mr. Chen learned his Taijiquan from Master Chang, Xiang-San. Dr. Yang has mastered the Taiji barehand sequence, pushing hands, the two-man fighting sequence, Taiji sword, Taiji saber, and Taiji Qigong.
Becoming a Teacher
When Dr. Yang was eighteen years old he entered Tamkang College in Taipei Xian to study Physics and also began the study of traditional Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan or Chang Chuan) with Master Li, Mao-Ching at the Tamkang College Guoshu Club (1964-1968). He eventually became an assistant instructor under Master Li. In 1971 he completed his M.S. degree in Physics at the National Taiwan University and then served in the Chinese Air Force from 1971 to 1972. In the service, Dr. Yang taught Physics at the Junior Academy of the Chinese Air Force while also teaching Wushu. After being honorably discharged in 1972, he returned to Tamkang College to teach Physics and resumed study under Master Li, Mao-Ching. From Master Li, Dr. Yang learned Northern style Gongfu, which includes both barehand techniques, especially kicking, and numerous weapons.
Ph.D in 1978
In 1974, Dr. Yang came to the United States to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. At the request of a few students, Dr. Yang began to teach Gongfu (Kung Fu), which resulted in the foundation of the Purdue University Chinese Kung Fu Research Club in the spring of 1975. While at Purdue, Dr. Yang also taught college-credited courses in Taijiquan. In May, 1978 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering by Purdue.
Yang's Martial Arts Association was established in Boston, MA in 1982. With the intent of preserving traditional Chinese Kung Fu and Qigong , Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming began training students in the rigors of Shaolin Long Fist and White Crane Gongfu as well as Yang Style Tai
Chi Chuan. Currently, YMAA is an international organization, including 56 schools in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Holland, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In the early 80's, Dr. Yang wrote several books, published by Unique Publications. In 1984, Dr. Yang retired from his engineering career, to undertake his life-long dream of teaching and researching the Chinese arts and introducing them to the West through many books, videos and DVDs.
Becoming an Author
Founded in 1984, YMAA Publication Center has published many of Dr. Yang's groundbreaking books and videos, and is
a pioneer in the cultural exchange between the East and West. While the West has successfully developed the material sciences, the East is celebrated for its levels of spiritual cultivation. During this ongoing period of exchange, the building of bridges is critical for the successful integration of the achievements of both societies. His books and videos have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Dutch, Bulgarian, Russian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Croatian, German, and Farsi.
In summary, Dr. Yang has been involved in Chinese Gongfu since 1961. During this time, he has spent 13 years learning Shaolin White Crane (Bai He), Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan), and Taijiquan. Dr. Yang has more than thirty years of instructional experience: seven years in Taiwan, five years at Purdue University, two years in Houston, TX, and 24 years in Boston, MA. On November 29, 2005, Dr. Yang conferred the title of Taiji Master to one of his senior students (Roger Whidden)for the first time, which by tradition bestows the honorable title of Grandmaster upon Dr. Yang.
Throughout the year, Dr. Yang travels between YMAA International Branch and Provisional schools worldwide. He also frequ
ently travels within America and around the world presenting lectures and seminars on Chinese martial arts and Qigong. He has visited Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Botswana, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, China, Chile, England, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, and Venezuela. Dr. Yang has published over 30 books and 71 videos / 25 DVD on the martial arts and Qigong.
In March 2008 Dr. Yang retired as President of YMAA International, passing on this reponsibility to his youngest son, Nicholas Yang
Since 2004, Dr. Yang has been working to create the YMAA Retreat Center, a remote training facility in Humboldt County, CA, where he will spend ten years training a select group of students. In August 2008 Dr. Yang selected 5 disciples and started the first semester of training.
- President of Yangs Martial Arts Association, YMAA International.
- Board of Directors of YMAA Publication Center
- Vice President of the International Wushu-San Shou Dao Association
- Co-Leader of the 1994 North American Martial Arts Demo Team
- Honorary Member of the American Shiatsu Association
- Honorary Advisor of the Martial Arts of China Historical Society
- Honorable Appointee to the Eastern U.S. Kung-Fu Federation
- Prix Bushido, French Book Award, 1st Place, 1997
- Inside Kung Fu Magazine - Man of the Year 1990
- Black Belt Magazine - Kung Fu Artist of the Year 2003
- Inside Kung Fu Magazine - Man of the Year 2007
If you'd like to know more of Dr. Yang click here for an interview originally published in the 'Journal of Asian Martial Arts' .