Peter Wu of Kew, Australia, presents in this issue the last part of his study of Chen Fa-ke. It reveals information about how Chen developed his skills and maintained and improved them over the course of his lifetime. Chen was near or at the top of his profession.
There were, of course, other T’ai Chi practitioners from other styles who also had outstanding skills and character. Hopefully, we will be able to tell their story, too.
But Peter Wu’s comprehensive articles are helpful for us to understand the experiences of one of these skillful T’ai Chi players of the last century.
Peter Wu, himself, has practiced T’ai Chi for over 35 years, including almost 20 years of teaching in China. He has extensive experience with the Chen, Yang, Wu and Hao styles. Many of his students have won gold medals in international and other tournaments.
Feng Zhiqiang, one of China’s top T’ai Chi Ch’uan practitioners and a direct student of Chen Fa-ke, has obtained a visa and is scheduled to come to the U.S. for the first time this summer, barring unforseen problems.
Feng Zhiqiang of Beijing will teach seminars in Champaign, IL, Seattle, WA, and San Francisco the last two weeks in July. It is believed the enrollment is already full. He is sponsored by Yang Yang in Champaign, IL, Gao Fu in Seattle, WA, and Zhang Xuexin in San Francisco.
Yang Fukui is a sixth generation member of the Yang family going back to Yang Shao-Hou, brother of Yang Cheng-fu. His mother’s family practiced other internal martial arts for four generations.
Yang graduated from Tianjin Sports Institute, where he specialized in martial arts. He is also a licensed doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. Yang began his practice of martial arts from the age of six and began with the T’ai Chi ball at the age of 17. He now lives and teaches in New York City.
Karel Koskuba lives in England and after a brief period of study of the external martial arts, he decided to concentrate on T’ai Chi, Bagua Zhang, Xingyi Quan and Yiquan. He has been studying them since 1978.
His main teachers have been Chu King Hung, Du Xianming, Chen Xiaowang and Yao Cheng Guang. He is also a qualified acupuncturist.
Zhan Zhuang and Yiquan can be very challenging. Depending on the posture, they can be very difficult physically. But the main challenge is dealing with the mind.
Calvin Chin has taught martial arts for 35 years. He was an indoor student and principal disciple of the late Kwong Tit Fu and chief instructor of his school. When Kwong retired from active teaching, he transmitted his system and martial arts effects to Chin.
In 1996, Chin established his school in Newton, MA, where he teaches the Wu Chian Chuan Wu style, weapons sets and push hands, along with a gongfu curriculum.
Ted Mancuso teaches T’ai Chi and gongfu and has over 33 years experience in martial arts. He teaches in Santa Cruz, CA.
Dr. Craig Beuttler is a chiropractor, acupuncturist and martial arts teacher in Covington, VA. He teaches T’ai Chi and qigong and Shaolin Kenpo.
We have had a number of articles on peng energy and these authors bring something new to the discussion of what it is and how to use it.
They describe some of its varied meanings and how to use the mind in coordination with peng.
Xianhao Cheng, who lives in Virginia, heard of the “old man who practices in Kissena Park,” and went to New York City to meet him with some of his students.
He found that the old man knew his teacher and his teacher’s teacher in China. Clyde Santana writes of the visit and the friendly encounter with the 80-year-old man who pushes over people weighing over 200 pounds.
Rick Barrett, an occasional contributor to T’AI CHI Magazine, gives some insights into how to protect your joints and connective tissue while practicing T’ai Chi Ch’uan.
This an issue where Western medical knowledge can help in the practice of an Eastern martial art. Barrett is a student of William C. C. Chen and teaches in New York City.
Howard Choy’s insights about internal energy are based on over 30 years of experience in T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Lohan Qigong and Choy Lee Fut. Choy is chief instructor of Sydney Tai Chi and Qigong Centre and a qualified Feng Shui architect.
Rosanna Hsi of Hawaii describes some of her experiences with Wu Yan Hsia, who died in March. Wu was the daughter of Wu Kung-Yi and the granddaughter of Wu Chian Chuan. She gives a moving tribute.
Steve Higgins of Cold Mountain Internal Arts, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, deals with the question of whether T’ai Chi Ch’uan is more than just a martial art or a health system.
He describes the process of spiritual development in the context of various Eastern systems. He outlines some of the stages of development that practitioners can work with.
As he mentions, it is very hard to describe the internal experience that occurs during the inner work. The need is to be continually self-observant without being judgmental also doesn’t allow for a sense of success or failure, only the need to return to being aware.
LeRoy Clark and Key Sun, Ph.D., offer a translation from the writing of Li Ya-Xuan.
It tells of some outstanding Yang stylists and their emotional expressions when they used explosive force to push their opponents off their feet.
Years ago, one of our readers reported that one of the best demonstrations that he ever saw was of a man in Hong Kong in his 90s who told his audience that T’ai Chi Ch’uan should be done with emotion. The man then proceeded to demonstrate memorably.•