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T'AI CHI MAGAZINE - March 2009

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March 2009 - Editor's Notebook

The article by Wang Zhuang Hong in this issue about the intrinsic qualities of Tai Chi Chuan had already been written, translated and transmitted to us when we received word from Dominic Chan that Wang had died after a short illness.
Wang was talented in many ways, as Patrick Siu Wah Chan indicates in his remembrance of Wang. In his own understanding of Tai Chi, Wang goes directly to the writings of Wang Zhong Yue and discusses the meanings as they apply to use of Tai Chi. Those writings are hard to understand because they were written in classical Chinese characters and because they require an intuitive knowledge based on one's individual practice. Even people fluent in Chinese may not be able to read the classic writings and their subtleties. That is why there are so many different points of view about them.
It is also why it is good to have Wang Zhuang Hong's interpretation of the writings since he is considered to have such a deep understanding of them. He embodied them in his own Tai Chi style which he named the Wang style after Wang Zhong Yue. The style embodies an unique type of flowing that Wang calls the water nature of Tai Chi.
Implicit in his understanding of Wang Zhong Yue's writings is the idea that in order to deal with the opponent, or outside world, one must learn to deal with one's own impulses so that one can achieve a certain degree of tranquility that forms the base of one's understanding and action. Otherwise it is like fighting in the dark.

Zibin Guo, who designed the 13 movement Wheelchair form for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, was featured in the August 1998 issue of T'ai Chi Magazine in an article about Tai Chi as a way of life.
He has developed what he calls Applied Taiji to use the concepts, principles and training of Tai Chi in a therapeutic way to increase the physical and psychological wellbeing of the disabled practitioner.

Push hands fajin is again discussed in an interview by Zhou Lishang with Li Lian, a student of Wu Tunan, a famous practitioner and researcher who died when he was 105 years old. This article focuses on mind and qi as a way of reading the energies of the opponent.
In addition Li Lian discusses Kai He (open and close) which are essential to four stages referred to as cultivating, storing, running and driving qi, which are essential to push hands.
It is rare to have these aspects of push hands to be discussed with so much subtlety.

Gregory Fong of Portland, OR, writes about I-chuan standing exercise, giving precise instructions from the standpoint of a health exercise and also for martial art purposes. He also describes an advanced method intended to provide more dynamic benefits.
Gregory Fong has been teaching in Portland for a long time. I believe I first met him in the late 1980's at the A Taste of China tournament in Winchester, VA.

Warner D. Conarton, 78, of the Tampa Bay, FL, area, has studied Tai Chi for over two decades under various teachers. He has now settled on the Yang style as taught originally by T. T. Liang. His current teachers are Li Tsun and Marianne Chen in Tampa, Florida. This is his 5th article for T'AI CHI Magazine.

Wilfred K. Chow of New York, NY, writes abut his study of Tai Chi and how “a tender little plant growing out of a crevice” on the face of a cliff influenced his practice. It gave him an added insight into relaxation. As important as relaxation is to Tai Chi and to daily life, it can be exceedingly hard to realize. It takes constant work and awareness. It is not as if relaxation is the opposite of tension or that there is an either/or relationship. It is more like Yin and Yang co-existing and one being embedded in the other.

Randolph Ford of Madison, WI, where he is working on a master degree, has translated an article by Xia Tao. The article appeared in a book containing articles by some leading Tai Chi teachers.
Xia Tao is said to be from Hangzhou and has studied various styles with many famous teachers but that he particularly respected Zhu Huaiyuan. Xia Tao is also said to be the disciple of Gao Zhuangfei who was the disciple of Wang Peisheng (a Northern Wu style practitioner).
In the article by Xia Tao, the emphasis is on the philosophical aspects of Tai Chi Chuan.

Dan O. Lovitt writes about life applications of T'ai Chi. He has been a practitioner of Tai Chi since 1995. He also has a 4th degree Black Belt in Taekwando and a 3rd degree Black Belt in Hapkido.

A teacher by trade, Dr. Lovitt earned a Ph. D. in Education from the University of Washington. His research interests center upon emotional development and relationships in a variety of educational settings.

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