Vol. 12, No. 4
Tai Chi Chuan is not a competition sport. Right? Any attempt to hold a Tai Chi Chuan tournament could change for the worse the entire concept of Tai Chi Chuan study. Right?
Pat Rice and Steve Rhodes of A Taste of China seem to have brought it off with their “U.S. All-Taijiquan Championship” held over the July 4th weekend at Winchester, VA.
The tournament did come off successfully with 94 competitors in forms and push hands from the United States and Canada and there were more than 200 persons attending.
Most people came away from the tournament with a good feeling, not only with the way it was run but also for the open mindedness and good-heartedness of the people there.
People learned from what other players were doing. And even though styles varied widely, there was acceptance of what others were doing, especially since there was the recognition that everyone there was dedicated to Tai Chi Chuan.
Too often, likes and dislikes occur merely because there is a lack of face-to-face contact. A handshake and a few friendly words can resolve a lot of misunderstanding.
For most people, competition will never be important. But under the right conditions it can be very educational and can advance the state of the art. We can always learn from seeing what others can do. We can always benefit from making new friends.
Hopefully, other tournaments will be as satisfying and well done.