Liang Qiang Ya, featured in the cover article, trained from an early age with Fu Zhen Song, one of China’s top martial artists of the 20th Century.
Liang was 13 when he got the opportunity to study with Fu in Guangdong, when Fu was staying in his father’s house. While still a teenager, Liang won first place in a provincial competition by defeating an opponent in one round.
I initially interviewed Liang about five years ago, when he had only recently emigrated to the U.S. from China. Now living in Oakland, CA, he is still actively teaching Fu’s Lighting Palm and Liang Yi forms.
In the article he discusses a variety of T’ai Chi issues, but at the core are the aspects of Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang are what T’ai Chi is all about and it is relatively easy to understand it intellectually and to theorize about how it works in T’ai Chi.
But it is very difficult to incorporate it into form practice and is still harder into push hands.
It is difficult because it is so subtle, involving the physical body externally and internally, the consciousness and the emotions.
Since this process involves basically non-verbal activity, it is hard to explain except in generalities.
I always refer back to a lesson in high school biology, which said that maturation is a process of differentiation. If we can make everything work separately and at the same time together, then we are on the way.
J. Justin Meehan has been a contributor to T’AI CHI Magazine for many years. He first wrote an article published in February 1982, when he wrote about studying in China.
This time his studies routed him through Finland, where he studied again with Feng Zhiqiang, who was holding workshops there. Meehan gives some interesting insights into Feng’s teachings.
Feng has legendary T’ai Chi skills, including remarkable push hands. Efforts are being made to bring him to the U.S. to teach some seminars next summer.
Feng has great credentials, as Meehan explains in his article, and Feng has also had the ability to be creative in his T’ai Chi Ch’uan development.
Kyoshi Sasaki, who was born in Japan, is a top student of Hao Yin-ru, the co-author of the article in this issue. Sasaki has been practicing the Hao style for nine years after having practiced several martial arts since a child. Jeffrey A. Feld is a top student of Sasaki in the U.S.
Hao Yin-ru is the 6th generation successors of the Wu/Hao style of T’ai Chi. His real name of Hao Yin-ru was given by 5th generation successor of the Hao family, Hao Shao-ru.
Sasaki said that Yin-ru’s wife said that Hao Yin-ru was the best disciple of Hao, and all the wisdom of the Wu, Li, and Hao families were passed on to him. The family name of Hao was given to him as a true heir of this style.
Chun Man Sit, veteran internal martial artist, teaches in Kansas, as well as at many of the regional and national tournaments.
In this issue, he gives some insights into san shou and how to improve skills. He clarified what san shou is and is not.
Zhang Fuxing, who lives in Louisville, KY, is a professor emeritus from China and author of “Handbook of T’ai Chi Chuan Exercises.”
At 80 years old, he still teaches T’ai Chi Ch’uan and qigong in Louisville. His article will help people to understand the value of silk reeling exercises and how to actually do them.
Silk reeling exercises, chan ssu jin, are really more than exercises to increase flexibility or to provide defensive skills. They are effective ways of bringing the internal strength, or jin, out through the body and arms and to increase it.
As a cross reference, the cover interview with Liang Qiang Ya also includes useful information about different levels of silk reeling exercises, including invisible chan ssu jin, which Yang Cheng-fu was said to possess.
Andy Wong of Edmonton, Alberta Canada, discusses uses of large, medium, and small circles in push hands.
He is a senior student of Mak Ying Po, who studied in Hong Kong with Tung Ying Chieh, a longtime student of yang Cheng-fu. Mak is now retired.
In addition to teaching T’ai Chi, Wong works with people who have multiple sclerosis.
Jesse Hersh tells an interesting story about his trip with Mario Napoli to China last August for the competition sponsored by the Chen Village. He tells of the trails, tribulations, and triumphs with humor and good will.
C. P. Ong, a longtime practitioner of Kwang Ping T’ai Chi Ch’uan, has been studying Chen style for some years now and has had the good fortune to work with some top teachers.
He writes about a meeting of three top Chen stylists last summer in the Washington, D.C. area when all three were there for separate seminars. He describes their demonstrations and some of the differences and similarities in the way they do their forms.
Barry Fishman, a longtime student of the late Sophia Delza, writes about using Tai Chi Chuan for spiritual development. He asks some important questions about how to do this.
This is a Yin, or hidden aspect of Tai Chi, which some recognize and pursue but others do not.