Master Yu Yong Nian was born in 1920 near Beijing, and later study dentistry in Japan. He returned to Beijing at the age of 21 to begin practicing dentistry at the general railroad hospital. In 1944, worn out by three years of the long hours of his dental practice, Dr. Yu began practicing zhan zhuang under the direct supervision of Master Wang Xiang Zhai, the founder of the i chuan / da cheng chuan, to re-enforce his body.
In 1947, Master Wang created a small group for the study and development of the therapeutic aspects of the practice of zhan zhuang. Dr. Yu Yong Nian participated in this group which codified the 24 postures for the development of health. Following this work, in 1957 and officially for the first time in China, Dr. Yu began the usage of zhan zhuang for therapy in the hospital where he worked. It was during this time that he recognized the authenticity of this method for curing certain diseases. In 1982, Dr. Yu published his book entitled I chuan – The basic science, which found great success. His book has been translated into numerous languages like French (I-chuan – Les bases scientifiques – Editions Charles Antoni L’originel, France, 1999. ISBN 2-910677-28-1).
Dr. Yu Yong Nian‘s contribution to the recognition of the practice of zhan zhuang in particular and chi gong in general for therapeutic uses is very significant. Dr. Yu dedicated his life to helping his patients through generously and openly tranmitting the method of i chuan / da cheng chuan of Master Wang Xiang Zhai to the world. He trained and influenced many people including skilled practitioners like Master Guo Gui Zhi and Master Kenji Tokitsu.