the wushu centre club

About the club
The wushu centre was founded in 1984 in downtown Montreal, in a warehouse studio across from a strip joint. From these classy beginnings a great tradition was started. During the eighties, Paule Bertrand and Luu Vi Hong taught the changquan and Andrea Falk (that's me) taught the Chen and Yang taiji, bagua and xingyi. Richard Robilliard, Denis Robert and Jean Guay carried on the Montreal club after I left.
The wushu centre was in Victoria 1993 to 2003, mostly out in the parks to take advantage of Victoria's beautiful climate. Training on cold, dark, rainy nights is good for you, it is part of the yin and yang of the world, and balances out those sunny days of summer. Shane Watson came to Victoria in 1999 and brought changquan back to the club until 2002.
The main styles taught at the wushu centre are Chen taijiquan, xingyiquan and baguazhang, taught by me, Andrea Falk. In Montreal, Denis Robert teaches Yang taijiquan and xingyi. We have changquan (wushu, or longfist) whenever there is someone qualified to teach. After my 2003 trip to Beijing, my teaching made the switch over from the Jiang style to the Ma Gui style of bagua, and since aobut 2013 has gone back to Jiang style plus Liang style.
Since 2004 I have often spent the autumn training xingyi and bagua in Beijing and Shanghai, the winter training in the Laurentians, and the spring mostly travelling to teach. Go here for more information on seminars. The wushu centre is now based in Quebec city, at Bois du Coulonge park, where I train daily when I am in town and teach my regular students when possible. We train outdoors year round because each season changes the body in a specific way. Training outdoors at minus 20 has got to do something to your character, too. I practice every afternoon, but you need to get in touch if you want to meet up, as I practice earlier than most people can make it after work. I do not take new students. When I am in town I am writing, and train to suit my own schedule.

About the styles at the club

Chen taijiquan: The style I taught before comes from Shanghai, through Huan Dahai. It is taught only to members who have been with the club for quite a while, since it is difficult and I am fussy, as an inside apprentice. I never take new students for this style, only senior students. Here is some more information on my sifu  Huan Dahai .

Baguazhang: I learned a form from Jiang Rongqiao's line from Huan Dahai. I have translated a book on this style of bagua - see more on the book . Also see the bagua application book from which come our little wushu centre logo. 
I also teach Ma Gui bagua that I started learning in 2001, and Liang bagua that I started learning in 2010. I also teach the Fan style figure eight walking that I have learned in England since 2016.

Xingyiquan: The style is from Hebei, as taught at the Beijing College of Physical Education in the 80s, and adjusted by Di Guoyong since 2003. This style has the five elements and twelve animals, and is very straightforward. I was taught this style strictly by Xia Bohua and Men Huifeng, so insist on clean lines to achieve the power of the style. I also teach xingyi weapons to advanced students. I have done two major translations on xingyi: Li Tianji, Di Guoyong vol.1,   vol.2,  and vol. 3.  

Yang taijiquan: Denis teaches the Yang style and has trained with a number of masters who have spent time in Montreal.

Changquan (long fist, "wushu"): This is the martial arts taken to their ultimate as a performance art. It is way more exciting to see in performance than in the movies. Paule Bertrand, then Luu Vi Hong taught in Montreal. Shane Watson taught in Victoria. VCDs of classic wushu are available, both from the Beijing Wushu Team , and one of retro wushu all over China.

About the instructors

Andrea Falk: I have trained Chinese martial arts since 1972. From 1980 to 1983 I trained full time at the Beijing College of Physical Education. I started the wushu centre in Montreal after that. In 1988 I went back to UBC for a Masters in Physical Education, then headed off to Shanghai to become an inside apprentice in Chen style taijiquan. In 1992 I came back to Victoria, where I was born, to establish the wushu centre. I taught there until the end of 2003, when it was time to go back to Quebec. In 2000 I moved back to Beijing as my second home, spending two months a year there when I could, studying baguazhang and xingyiquan. In 2015 I reconnected with my Shanghai martial family and switched back to Shanghai as my home away from home. I specialize in Bagua, and my odd Chen style, but do enjoy Xingyi. See more about me if you wish.

Denis Robert:  Specializes in xingyi and Yang style taiji. Denis is a monster when it comes to push hands. Denis takes new students in xingyi and Yang style taiji in Montreal. (Not all his students look quite so thug-like, don't worry.)
Shane Watson: Shane coached the wushu class in Victoria while taking a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shane is the 1993 Canadian national all round champion and coach of champions. Shane has trained wushu since he was a kid, and has trained with the best instructors in Canada and the U.S.. He won top places in national competitions - 1993, 1995 Canadian national team member. His biggest love is two-man forms. Shane has taught at the UCLA National Wushu Training Center (California) and at the Indochina Chinese Association of Manitoba. Shane graduated and left Victoria in 2002. It was great having him with us, and we missed his skill and craziness. He has been working and training in Beijing since 2003. Paule Bertrand: Paule was the best woman in Canada (or outside China, for that matter) during the eighties, on the Canadian national team in 1984 and 1985, winning the international championships in China in the woman's divisions. She has now retired from teaching wushu, but we feel privileged to have had her teaching in the club. She trained the boys from Winnipeg (including Shane Watson, so having him teach with me was like having a son come back home) who did so well in the eighties. She now lives in Quebec north of Montreal, and is involved in family rather than wushu. Our loss.

Paule Bertrand

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