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June 1995 - Editor's Notebook

Vol. 19, No. 3
June 1995

Ma Hong is a very interesting teacher and practitioner, who at 69 is very vigorous in his practice and in his teaching. The information he provides is useful, certainly, for practitioners of the Chen style, but also for the other styles of Tai Chi Chuan.

He is noted for maintaining the integrity of the form and training methods of his famous teacher, Chen Zhaokui. He combines this with his skill as a teacher, which combines both the adherence to tradition and innovation.

If you read the article about Ma Hong carefully, you will find a lot of information there that you can work on for a long time, regardless of what style you practice.

The article on the evolution of Wu style training presents an interesting approach. It is important because it shows the ongoing efforts to make quality Tai Chi available while preserving its high standards. Even when a style is traditional, it cannot remain static. This is a problem that every teacher has to deal with.

This fall there will be a Wu style convention featuring 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th generation Wu style experts in Toronto, Canada. It will include 94-year-old Ma Yue-liang and his wife Wu Ying-hua. Ma's skills are said to be truly exceptional.

This is a rare event and one that can easily be recognized to anyone who practices Tai Chi Chuan. Wu style is one of the major Tai Chi styles and one of the most interesting.

When I was in China in 1983, I met some members of the Wu family and saw a demonstration of the Wu style fast form that was extraordinary.

There are a number of major events occurring this summer. There is, of course, the annual Zhang San Feng Festival at Tai Chi Farm this month and Pat Rice's A Taste of China's seminars and tournament June 29 through July 4. Shawn Liu will be holding a Wushu-Kungfu Conference and tournament June 30 through July 12, an expanded version of the tournament he held last year.

Yang Zhenduo workshop sponsored by Chris Pei. Yang Zhenduo always has important things to say about the practice of the Yang style and Tai Chi in general.

A major event will be the 1995 World Wushu Championships in Baltimore, MD, in August. It will offer a prime opportunity to compete with or watch more than 1,000 athletes from around the world. While Tai Chi is only a part of he competition, there should be some very strong Tai Chi competition. The healing benefits of Tai Chi are discussed in Ted W. Knecht's translation of Mai Ying Sheng's article about the Yang style.

More and more attention is being paid to the health benefits of Tai Chi, including the recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association which validated the benefits of Tai Chi for improving the balance of elderly people.

Dr. Tingsen Xu participated in the Tai Chi study in Atlanta, teaching seniors Tai Chi techniques to help them develop their balance. More information about the study is anticipated soon.

Tia Greenfield's article on Raymond Zhou presents some interesting ideas from someone who has a well-rounded Tai Chi background.

He certainly gives some expert information about various styles and push hands.

The article on teaching Tai Chi to the disabled by Yu-Cheng Huang shows another dimension for the art.

Tai Chi Chuan is a very profound and exciting martial art and many people want to practice it as a martial art. But there is also role for those whose main interest is in maintaining and improving their health and the health of others.

The major growth of Tai Chi Chuan will probably be from its value for health and stress release. If there is any doubt in your mind, ask students in a class why they are there.

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