Daoist monk Zhou Xuan Yun (pronounced Joh Sh-wen Yoon) 周玄云, is the founder of Daoist Gate. He was born in the year of the Monkey in a small village in central China’s Henan Province. At age 13, his parents sent him to live on Wudang Mountain, China, where he was a student and later an instructor of Taiji and Kung Fu. Living at the Daoist Association Martial Arts Academy, in the Purple Cloud Temple, Master Zhou was accepted into the 15th generation of the Wudang San Feng lineage.
Those who train on Wudang Mountain undergo some of the most rigorous athletic training in the world. Before morning prayers begin, they have already completed several hours of basic conditioning. Loaded down with heavy sand bags, they are often seen sprinting up and down the mountain. For a total of nine hours a day they stretch, memorize ancient forms, and drill with weapons. Although hundreds of people (Chinese and Westerners alike) study at Wudang, only a few per year are promoted to instructor level and given permission to pass on the Wudang arts when they leave the mountain.
At the age of 16 Xuan Yun took the vows to become a Daoist Monk, and begun his study of Daoist philosophy and religious practices. While all the students at Wudang are considered Daoist initiates, Xuan Yun remains the only student from the martial lineage to have devoted years of his life to studying full time in Wudang Mountain’s temples, thus completing the most traditional process to ordination as a Daoist Monk. Xuan Yun is a formally recognized disciple of Master Li Guang Fu 李光富 the head Daoist monk on Wudang Mountain (武当山道教协会会长).
At the age of 20, Xuan Yun left the monastery to live as a wandering monk. He traveled alone around China, from temple to temple, for four years. Seeking out other martial arts masters, he practiced what he had been taught and learned many new skills.
With over ten years of teaching experience, he has taught students of all ages and from over 25 different countries. Recently, Xuan Yun has begun dividing his time between the United States and China. Living in Boston, he is working on a series of teaching DVD’s including Wudang Taiji Quan (2007), Wudang Kung Fu Fundamental Training (2009), and Wudang Sword (2010). This series represents the first English-language videos presenting the traditional arts as taught on Wudang Mountain. Having dedicated his life to preserving and spread the Wudang arts, Xuan Yun is working hard teaching classes in Boston, and workshops around the U.S.
Xuan Yun also enjoys hiking, plays the bamboo flute and is a great cook.