Chen Xiaowang is one of the premiere Chen stylists and will always be remembered by those who saw his powerful demonstration at A Taste of China in 1988 in the large gymnasium at Shenandoah College in Winchester, VA.
He has been back to the U.S. a number of times, and during his most recent trip I interviewed him in San Diego, where his host was Bill Helm of the Taoist Sanctuary.
Chen, who a few years ago emigrated to Australia, now spends almost nine months of the year holding seminars around the world, including Europe, the U.S., Brazil, and elsewhere. He is constantly on the move.
Good news for people in the English-speaking world is that his use of the English language is improving.
The importance f the dantian for form and self-defense applications is paramount for Chen style and other styles of Tai Chi Chuan.
Various experts have different ways of explaining the use of the dantian, and Chen emphasizes that the dantian must always be linked with other parts of the body and has less value when used solely by itself.
As he increases his contact with Tai Chi enthusiasts, he is becoming more comfortable in giving information about subtleties of Tai Chi.
H. H. Lee, Ph.D., has interesting information about the legendary Wu Tunan, who died in 1989 at 105 years of age. Dr. Lee tells of his visit with the famous scholar and practitioner.
Lee met him during a trip to China with the help of his teacher, and he tells of his brief meeting and their discussion. Wu primarily studied the Wu style from Yang Shao hau, a difficult taskmaster. Dr. Lee tells about Wu’s Tai Chi research and teaching and the wide respect that Wu earned.
Dr. Wen Zee, who studied with the late Ma Yueh-liang from 1938, writes in this issue about Peng energy, the essential energy of all TaiChi Chuan.
He gives a useful description of what it is and what it takes to develop it. Dr. Zee is a retired cardiologist and now teaches at the Tai Chi Institute of Tucson, AZ, that he co-founded.
Patrick Templeton and Diana C. Moll write in depth about the Yang style and the complexities that can be involved in serious study. Templeton has studied for 16 years and Moll for four years. They are students on Santa Cruz, CA, of Ted Mancuso, an occasional contributor to TAICHI.
Robert B. Amacker, now based in Maui, HI, writes about common misunderstandings of what good rooting is and what the correct method is to develop functional roots.
Although he grew up in Hawaii, Amacker taught in the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle for many years. Additionally, he now has a large school in Moscow, Russia. He was co-author with Benjamin Lo, Martin Inn, and Susan Foe of “The Essence of TaiChi Chuan.” The book contains translations of the Tai Chi classics.
Mike Fuchs’ article deals with some of the complexities of Tai Chi practice. Some people want Tai Chi only for health and well being, and others are into the self-defense aspect. It becomes an identity crisis for many people. People with a martial arts interest may look down on people interested in Tai Chi for health. And people interested in health and meditation don’t want to touch the self-defense aspects. Can’t we all get along?
Jennie S. Bev gives valuable insights into the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, especially its value for personal insight and as a safety net for the crises we all have to face. She writes specifically about the benefit Tai Chi provides in cases of depression, a common problem in today’s society.
Vincent Chu, also known as Kwok W. Chu, explores some of Tai Chi’s philosophical and martial aspects. He is the son of Gin Soon Chu, who teaches in the Boston area. Gin Soon Chu was a disciple of the late Yang Sau-chung, a son of Yang Cheng-fu.