Everybody, in their own way, makes a contribution to Tai Chi Chuan. There is the high-profile person and the solitary practitioner. Some are highly skilled and some are not. But all stand within the Tai Chi circle.
In this issue, there are articles about two practitioners who served the art and other people as well.
Tung Huling was a master of the art, very high in skills but very humble and low profile in his teaching.
I attended two of his classes in the basement of a Buddhist temple in Hawaii during two visits in the early 1970’s. I had to look to see who was the teacher, finally seeing him teach a couple of beginners over in a corner of the room.
Later, I saw a film of him doing the traditional Yang style that he taught. He did it fast and slow with great ease and strength in his movements. Aside from the natural grace, there was implied a great deal of power in reserve. At any moment, he looked as if he could do anything he wanted to. To me, it was the highest standard of the traditional Yang style.
Sidney Austin I first met at the A Taste of China tournament in 1988. He was a judge and general aide when needed. He was quiet, helpful and friendly. He had been to the first of the ATOC seminars and to every one afterward. He was a genuine, helpful person devoted to Tai Chi. When I saw him last September in Orlando, FL. He was just as enthusiastic. One of his favorite sayings was that “A Tai Chi friend is a friend for life.”
Tung Huling and Sidney Austin were very different within the Tai Chi circle. But in a world where there is always the good, the bad and the ugly, these two persons were among the best.