Dr. Yancy Orchard is the founder and owner of Orchard Kung Fu, teaching Martial Arts, Health and Vitality programs and private lessons at the Orchard Kung Fu Xin Fu Gompa. He is also available for workshops around the world.
Dr. Yancy Orchard began training in martial arts in 1983. He first encountered Dr. Painter and his Jiulong Baguazhang in an article in Inside Kung Fu Magazine. Several years later, in 1994, Dr. Orchard moved to Dallas, TX to study chiropractic at the Parker College of Chiropractic. He then sought out Dr. Painter’s school, at the time called The Wholistic Fitness Center, and dove in, whole-heartedly, to the most comprehensive mind-body martial program he’d ever come across.
Dr. Orchard is now recognized internationally as a highly skilled instructor of Jiulong Baguazhang. Well-known for his uncompromising technical ability and clear and penetrating teaching style, Dr. Orchard helps each student toward what they need individually both martially and with regards to health and vitality.
Dr. Orchard’s role is that of one of the few living custodians of the Li family Daoqiquan arts. As such, staying true to the vast knowledge contained in the traditional methods is crucial; this requires constant investigation, testing and study of a vast corpus of traditional materials. At the same time, elucidating murky and obscure ancient knowledge with improved scientific understanding and modern metaphors helps students understand and manifest the material more effectively. Finally, the only way to pay back the priceless gift preserved in the arts of Daoqiquan is to work to create highly skilled, living practitioners of these arts. As such, Dr. Orchard teaches from his heart, holding nothing back. There are no secrets in his classroom. The knowledge takes root in every diligent student’s bones and is made manifest in the expression of his or her own heart throughout the student’s life.
Dr. Orchard continues his studies into the treasures of all of Daoqiquan’s arts by meeting with Shigong Painter several times every year. The education of a martial artist is ceaseless. In the Li family tradition, masters are those with nothing left to learn; this happens once they throw six feet of dirt on top of you. Until then, Dr. Orchard invites you to share his passion for learning and walk the circle with him for a time. It may be one of the most important choices you ever make.
Other Martial Training
All students begin training somewhere first. Dr. Orchard began his martial studies under Sensei Dwight Scheer in 1983 and earned a shodan (1st degree black belt) in the art of Zen Karate-Do. While grateful for all the skills learned under Sensei Scheer’s tutelage, perhaps one of the most important things Sensei Scheer taught Dr. Orchard was, “It costs nothing for one candle to light another candle. I have taught you my art. It is up to you to pass this hard-won knowledge to others.” This lit a passion for seeking out accurate martial knowledge and teaching it in Dr. Orchard that drives his studies to this day.
In 1987, Dr. Orchard watched an aikido demonstration where an elderly man magically tossed aside multiple attackers and immediately fell in love with the profound movement strategies of aikido. He began studying Hombu-style Aikido under the technical direction of the late Shihan Yukio Kawahara. Dr. Orchard taught a principle-based class for many years at Saskatoon Aikikai. He earned a Yondan (4th degree black belt) in 2013.
Because understanding the strategies and tactics of other martial systems is important for every professional martial artist, Dr. Orchard has investigated many other martial arts over the years with the focus of understanding their strengths and weaknesses rather than to become a jack-of-all-trades. This is something the Li family engaged in for generations in their travels as caravan guards. One’s martial skills do not exist in a vacuum, and one is least likely to be attacked by martial artists from one’s own tradition. A partial list of the methods in which Dr. Orchard has dabbled:
Kendo (Shihan Ken Miyaoka)
Doce Pares and Sopon Escrima (Sifu Valentine Espiricueta)
Systema (Mr. Vladimir Vasiliev, Mr. Mikhail Ryabko)
Shindo Muso Ryu Jodo (Shihan Matsumura Shigehiro)
European Martial Arts (Mr. Guy Windsor, Mr. Christian Tobler,
Mr. Cecile Longino)
Noble House Kenjutsu (Edmonton)
Nami Ryu Kenjutsu (Sensei James Williams)