Tag Archives: kung fu


“Without going outside, you may know the whole world. Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven. The farther you go, the less you know.” –Tao Te Ching

Advances in technology and the Internet have changed the world completely in the past decade. This is mostly a good thing, but I want to discuss its impact on traditional martial arts culture. YouTube, Google, social media, and web forums make it possible to study martial art forms, Chinese philosophy, and history, and communicate with practitioners across the globe from the comfort of your home computer. These conveniences make us all more connected and, in a way, ensure the survival of some parts of a traditional culture that is in danger of dying out.

However, these technologies can also be hurtful to a culture which has its roots in a Way of Honor that few understand. Continue reading TRADITIONAL KUNG FU AND THE INTERNET AGE


“Those who know do not speak; Those who speak do not know.” –Tao Te Ching

Thank you for visiting these pages. I humbly submit my thoughts and reflections on the experience of learning traditional Chinese Kung fu, the rewards of being part of a Kung Fu Family, and Taoism. My journey is far from over, I still have many adventures to embark upon with my Sifu, my Brothers and Sisters, and my own students. Anyone interested in authentic Chinese Kung fu training should contact Lao-Tzu James McNeil via www.littlenineheaven.com. You will not be disappointed. Thank you for reading.

My first lesson upon arrival at the Little Nine Heaven Internal Kung Fu School in Rainbow, California, in 2001, was how to address my Teacher. My senior brother told me, “When you meet him, when you walk into a room he is in, when he walks into a room you are in, when you are in the school training and he enters, or when you enter the school and he is there, bow. Call him Sifu, or call him Sir.”


Twelve Animals of Hsing-I

The twelve animals of Hsing-I are the sparrow, hawk, tortoise, phoenix, monkey, cock, swallow, snake, eagle, bear, tiger, horse, and dragon. Their spiritual characteristics, along with the five elements (metal, water, wood, fire, and earth) comprise the Hsing-I system. It is an internal system and is therefore most concerned with the cultivation of chi. When chi is held in the lower abdomen, or tan t’ien, the body will be harmonious and stable. When chi erupts from the tan t’ien, power is produced to work the force of the will. The power is held within until it is used and then regenerated. Every movement contains the theory of yin and yang, or “true not true.” Every movement must be both creative and destructive and combine the “long and short.”


Chris Benner began training in kickboxing and boxing at the Main Line Martial Arts Studio in Narberth at the age of 15. In 2001, he began training under Master James W. McNeil of the Little Nine Heaven Internal Kung Fu School, previously headquartered in Rainbow, California. While living at the school in Rainbow, Chris studied the arts of Chen Tai Chi, Splashing Hands, and Hsing Yi. Since then, Chris has traveled across the country with Master McNeil and members of the Little Nine Heaven family to study and practice Chen Tai Chi, Splashing Hands, Hsing Yi, Chi Kung, acupressure, Tui Na, and Taoist meditation. Chris is fortunate to be continuing his training under Master McNeil in the powerful Little Nine Heaven system, Baguazhang, and Tzu Men Chuan.