Da Bei Quan or Great Mercy Fist (sometimes labeled as “Zen TaiJi") is a quite rare form of Northern Chinese internal Kung Fu. As with many styles of Kung Fu it has conflicting origin stories. Most likely Da Bei Quan was created by a Buddhist monk named Qi Yun (1904-1966). As the story goes, Qi Yun lost his family in a tragic event. To cope with the loss he turned to a devotional Buddhist text, the “Great Compassion Sutra” or “Da Bei Zhou”, for guidance. As part of his meditation he blended the Great Compassion Sutra with the martial arts he learned as a youth. The result was the birth of Da Bei Quan.
As a martial arts form Da Bei Quan is characterized by softy flowing movements and deep body articulation. Though aesthetically similar to TaiJiQuan and yoga the moves in Da Bei Quan are based in a completely different martial art form and have a very different foundational vocabulary. The practice of Da Bei Quan stretches the tendons while relaxing the joints resulting in a truly pleasant and powerful training experience.
Josef Haber learned Da Bei Quan from 3rd Generation Master Zhang Zong Yi in TianTan (The Temple of Heaven) in Beijing. In teaching Da Bei Quan Josef encourages his students to gently build up the strength and flexibility necessary to get all they can from this beautiful form.
Eric Geeting has been studying Da Bei Quan and the rest of the Temple of Heaven Kung Fu styles with Josef since 2015. He leads the satellite Da Bei Chuan class at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens during warmer months. Milo Albright is assistant instructor.