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wuzhongj@hebeiwushu.com · tel. (469) 774-1618
Hebei Chinese Martial Arts Institute
Sifu Wuzhong Jia

· Wu Shu - Kung Fu (Gong Fu) · Shaolin (long fist) · Tai Chi (Taiji: Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu/Hao, Sun, taolu) ·
· Chi Kung (Qigong: medical, longevity, Taoist, Shaolin Yijinjing, Ba Duan Jin, Wild Goose) ·
· Ba Gua (Pa Kua: Cheng, Liang, Yin) · Xing Yi (Hsing-I: 5 elements, 12 animals) · Push-Hands ·
· Sanshou (Sanda) · Weapons (straight sword, broad sword, staff, spear, sabre, whip, fan, Guan Dao) ·

Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)

Located in Haidian District, some 12 kilometers northwest of the downtown, the Summer Palace is the largest imperial garden in the world. It is a veritable museum of classical Chinese garden architecture.

The initial construction of the Summer Palace began in 1750, commissioned by Emperor Qinglong as a gift for his mother's birthday. The construction took 15 years to complete. It had the name "Qingyi Yuan" (Garden of Clear Ripples) at that time. The plundering of foreign troops in 1860 destroyed most of the buildings, but they were renovated in 1888 by Empress Dowager Cixi, who was said to have embezzled the funds of the Imperial Navy to build the garden. After China's liberation, the garden became a park and got the name Yiheyuan (Summer Palace).

Covering an area of 4,300 mu 290 hectares, the park in Beijing is an outstanding example of imperial gardens. The landscape architect utilized Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake to create a paradise of hills and waters. Artisans reproducedthe garden architecture styles of various palaces in China and combined them to create a harmonious atmosphere. For example, the buildings in the palatial administration area and residential area near the East Palace Gate are courtyard dwellings linked to each other. The lake area in the south is divided by a dyke, imitating West Lake in Hangzhou. Structures on the northern side of the Longevity Hill area feature Tibetan Style Lamseries and Suzhou

Street is lined with shops in traditional Chinese buildings. The Garden of Harmonious Interests is similar to the water town of south China. An elegant 700-meter-long corridor with exquisite color paintings links the buildings and gardens together and enables tourists to more easily appreciate the whole scenic area.

The layout of different buildings falls on quite a systematic arrangement and the designers also use rocks, plants, pavilions, ponds, cobble paths and other garden styles to create a poetic effect between different scenes. When you stroll among them, you will constantly find the area changing and not crowded.

The whole Summer Palace is divided into three parts: the administrative area, the residential area and the scenic area.

Administrative Area     Right inside the East Palace Gate and northeast of Kunming Lake is the administrative area where Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu met officials and handled state affairs. After entering the East Palace Gate, a few minutes walk west leads to the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, the main building in the administrative area.

Residencetial Area     Further west, past the Administration Area is a complex of courtyard buildings that served as the residences of the Empress Dowager Cixi and Emperor Guangxu. The main buildings in this area are Hall of Jade Billows, the residence of Emperor Guangxu; Garden of Virtue and Harmony, where Empress Dowager Cixi watched opera performances; and Hall of Joyful Longevity, the residence of Empress Dowager Cixi.

Scenic Area     This area is the essence of the Summer Palace. Upon entering the East Palace Gate, if you turn to left, you will see the vastness of Kunming Lake with an area of 220 hectares, which comprises about two thirds of the total area of the park. The waters are still; in China, rulers think still waters are a sign of the longevity and the stability of the nation. The lake is divided into three parts: the main Kunming Lake, the West Lake and the Back Lake. Lakes are separated by dams and causeways and connected by different bridges. In the southeast part of the lake is an Island which is connected to the eastern bank by the Seventeen Arch Bridge. This part is modeled after West Lake in Hangzhou. It was said that in the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong and Empress Dowager Cixi used to train their navy in the lake. The lake is decorated with bridges, corridors and pavilions. Main attractions include Long Gallery, Back Lake, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Bronze Ox, Marble Boat and the Island.

Located on the northern bank of Kunming Lake is Longevity Hill dotted with many examples of garden architecture. This area is the highlight part of the Summer Palace. Magnificent buildings such as Gate of Dispelling Clouds, Hall of Dispelling Clouds, Hall of Moral Brilliance, Tower of Buddhist Incense and Sea of Wisdom form a north-south axis in this part. To the north of the Sea of Wisdom, at the back of the hill, scenes turn from the magnificent elegance of buildings to the tranquil simplicity of nature. Suzhou Market Street lined with shops in traditional buildings zigzags along the Back Lake and provides tourists with a scene of water towns in south China. Garden of Harmonious Interests at the northeastern end borrows the garden architecture style of Wuxi with a presence of elegant private gardens.

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