Experiences with the Master: Seeing Life in a New Way

by | Mar 28, 2023

Warrior Revival is a program run and owned by veterans. This program and the directors, Jordy and Alex, under the teachings of Master Zhen Hua Yang, saved my life.

Warrior Revival is a program run and owned by veterans. This program and the directors, Jordy and Alex, under the teachings of Master Zhen Hua Yang, saved my life.

My first course

It’s 2018. I am riddled with injuries from my military service. My mental state is in shambles. I was attending a 6 week intensive PTSD program with other veterans. One of the course participants, Brad, was very proud and passionate about his own yoga practice and would proudly boast about it every chance he could get. Brad told me that one of his mates from army days was pioneering his own yoga retreat, starting soon after our program’s completion. I thought, why not put my hat in the ring and treat myself to a yoga retreat.

So I picked up my pack and decided to run from Toowong Private, all the way down to Wongawallan, some 64km away, sitting on a range, that surrounds the Gold Coast in Southeast Queensland, Australia. I arrived, covered in my own salt, and tears, desperate to soak in a spa or a hot bath to unwind and mend my bloodied heels. It was 10 p.m. I knocked at the door to be greeted by red-head solid lad who stood just above my eye height (I am 6ft 2” with boots on). He introduced himself as Alex, co-director of the Warrior Revival Program that I was about to start. He looked me up and down with a grin. A Chieftain with a warm composition. I stupidly rushed my introduction, boarding on collapse, and asked if he could direct me to the nearest spa. He let out a short explosive laugh, informing me that this retreat had no spas, following that up with “I was in for quite the week, adding, and a bit of pain”.

During my first week I was truly beaten most of the time. Sleeping on the mat after long practices. Laughing with the boys amongst the packed timetable of practice and food. Oh man! The food! Balanced, delicious, enticing, unlike anything I had tasted. Let alone coming from the hands of our teacher, Master Zhen Hua Yang, who would  prepare and cook in between teaching classes.

We would rise early and practice, basking in the morning sun. Classes could be short or long. Students would endure, would retire early most of the time ~ aka myself ~ who would pass out on the mat and sleep the rest of the class off (sleeping was encouraged). Until the snoring got too loud, a stiff kick or pat on the head would empower this sleepy student to rise and continue.

Over those 10 days of the program, I improved my sleep, my outlook on my situation, and gained new brothers I still am friends with today. The direction I was heading in life would be changed forever, but I had no idea just how dramatically this new path would bring me closer to my inner child, to carving out a new reality.

Second course

On the 2nd Warrior Revival Program that I joined in 2018, we go deeper into the training. Master Yang expands upon how blood is created and how Qi manifests/materializes. We are shocked for most of the course. Already, he has demonstrated such slow, precise movements to help heal our bodies. Alongside this he reveals his elite power, proving his ability to manipulate and direct his own Qi throughout his body and into others. I was definitely not expecting to ever run into such a teacher as Master Zhen Hua Yang  in my life. Let alone a Taoist teacher whose skills are like no other.

I remember for myself and many of the other course participants, thinking what Master Yang was teaching in class was very, woo-woo, nonsensical mumbo-jumbo. Then, Master would demonstrate true skill backed up by power, and the skeptic in me would fall silent. 

I could not believe where I was. Glancing around the room at times during class I would see jaws laying on the ground. Some laughed, others remained still, some screwed up their faces in denial. Alex and Jordy would only ever smile.

Where on earth was I? How did I chance myself into this classroom, onto such a strange course? This was only the beginning…

Third course

Not long after the 2nd Warrior Revival with Master Yang, I joined Part 4 of the Calligraphy Health training. 

It was far different training with normal people, who varied from newcomers to long-time students with dense skill-sets. For example, Alex had been with Master Yang for 12 years! Another legend on the course Ray for 16 years! Weapons like Jordy were entering the 7th year! Another student, Josh, who was a proficient martial artist, said to me, “Master Yang is the source. Everyone comes to him to level up!” Afterwards, we held a stance called ‘3D Energy Ball’ for 2.5 hours.

I was out of my depth and loving/confused by it. This 3rd course, I cried again as I did on the others. I felt vulnerable, uneasy. I was unpacking my past, as I moved slowly, memorizing the movements. I concentrated on my breath, building my ‘Dan Tian’. My what? Again, I was so out of my depth. I had no previous skill in martial arts. I had dabbled in yoga, and aside from boxing and brawling with strangers, my fight I.Q. and emotional intelligence was low.

As the course continued, I developed beautiful relationships with some of the other students. They were a true testament to the teachings of a Master. They did not parade egos, smiled continually, wept freely during practice, and had a vast understanding of the methods and movements we were learning.

I was hurting, with a smile on my face. Unsure of what to make of it. I decided to let my guard down. A guard who has stood watch at the front gate of my mind for a very long time. I told him to sit a while and allowed new feelings to overwhelm me. I was feeling alive. It had been a long time since I had felt anything. I was beginning to gain hope that my situation was not permanent.

New beginning

I was beginning to see life in a new way.

It has been 4.5 years since I walked through Master Yang’s doors via the Warrior Revival program. The instructions and treatment I have received from him and his students have helped mend most of my injuries. His service has helped so many veterans, families, and individuals.

We, the students who listen diligently to his instruction, have all been changed for the better. The only real way to demonstrate our gratitude and respect to Master Zhen Hua Yang is to show it through our practice

This practice saved my life and continues to keep me on the tracks. Whenever I stray from the path, I notice the change in my relationships, attitude, and habits. When I return, all of these areas improve and are amplified. It is probably the hardest thing I have ever endured and rewards my efforts tenfold.

Josh for Calligraphy Health

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