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June 1997 - Editor's Notebook

Peter Wu of Melbourne, Australia, featured in the cover article, is a dedicated martial artist. He has studied with a number of high-level Chen stylists and other martial arts teachers, including the late Hong Junsheng, one of the best students of Chen Fa-ke. He also studied with Gu Liuxin, Feng Zhiqiang and Lie Muni. He also studied the Hao, or Wu, style with Liu Jixun and also learned the Yang and Wu (Wu Jianqian) styles.
Born in 1952 in Guangdong Province, he started Taijiquan at the age of 12 with his uncle, a well-known Tai Chi master.

The article on the three dantian shows how much depth there can be to the practice of internal martial arts. Zhang Luping, featured in the cove article of the February issue, has a ken and probing mind.

Peter Capell, author of the article, wrote, “I have always been grateful that my teacher tolerates the personal theorizing of a novice like me. I have always been a visual learner, so my little brain has always needed to conjure images of T’ai Chi gestures.”

Because of this, he said, “I have slowly been able to take ownership and responsibility for my learning – a key attribute for advancement in any field, I believe.”

Tu-Key Lam of New Zealand, who has written a number of articles for T’AI CHI Magazine, writes a useful article about qi and jing. It is useful whether a person practices for health or for martial purposes. Knowledge about qi and jing is essential for anyone who wants to progress in their practice.

Linda Lehrhaupt has been teaching in Germany for a number of years, although she is from the U.S.
She expresses important views that teachers and students should keep in mind. Teachers do want to keep their students, male and female. And they should provide a good learning environment. But there is always the question of how much to try to accommodate anyone, without allowing the students to completely set the terms of instruction.

Douglas Woolidge, who has previously translated some Wu style writings, has anew translation that is of interest to people of all styles. It is interesting to see what some of the old masters wrote and the depth of their understanding.

Yue Xian helps to explain some of the complexity of T’ai Chi Ch’uan with his article on the hand movements. The various styles have developed distinctive methods of movement and the article offers an opportunity to compare how other styles implement specifics like hand movements.

Robert Mendel’s article on the Chen style’s chin na and silk reeling techniques helps to explain their usefulness for self-defense. Kevin Keresey, who Mendel interviewed, was invited to China with T’ai Chi expert Xung Gwong En in Shanghai.

Eo Omwake explores in depth in his article how to use the basic principles of T’ai chi in the course of one’s individual study and also explains how they are related to ancient Chinese philosophic classic writings.

Everybody who has been part of a T’ai Chi beginning class has probably had some of the experiences that Arthur G. Slade writes about in his story of his class in Canada. But not everyone can express it as well as he does.

Last issue’s letter to the editor about emphasis on martial aspects in T’ai Chi instruction produced some perceptive letters to the editor. Some arrived too late to appear in this issue and will be in the next issue.

A significant factor in the issue of health and self-defense is the concept of intensity. Most martial artists have a lot of intensity and feed off of it. However, you don’t have to be committed to the martial aspect to have a lot of intensity.

Guy Horton’s commentary on beginner’s mind deals in part with misguided intensity and the need to find a balance if we are to continue improving our practice.

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