The World of Taiji
The Taiji Journey of Chen Zhonghua
Authored By:Xu Jiachang, Xie Yan
Translated By: Li Yonglin (Linda Li)
Photography By:Leng Binghao
An Arduous Journey
There were people everywhere.
Helsinki Vantaa International Airport was closed, Turku airport had grounded all planes and all flights at Tampere Airport were cancelled… Even Finland, a Nordic country known for its advanced aviation network, had been completely paralyzed…
Airport broadcasts continued to relay news of the cancellation of flights across cities all over Europe. It was April 15th, 2010, just a day after the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, an ice cap off the coast of Iceland that covers the caldera of a volcano close to Finland.
According to a subsequent report, the volcanic eruption caused approximately 6.8 million people around the world to be trapped in more than 300 airports, affecting over 30 countries due to the implementation of European emergency air control measures. Reports later issued by the European Aviation Safety Organization stated that from April 15thto 19th, more than 70,000 flights had been cancelled in just five days.
A middle-aged man of medium build with black hair and a burly blonde young man, were pulling through the crowd and trying to get out of the airport.
The middle-aged man, with his backpack on, walked firmly; his beard gave him a dignified look, his black eyes shining with confidence and hope. Behind him was a young man, with two large backpacks and a suitcase, and although he was not struggling, his face looked confused.
No sooner had he stopped than he asked the middle-aged man, “Master Chen, what shall we do?”
Chen Zhonghua looked up at him, smiled, patted his arm with his hand lightly, and answered “Tomek, don’t worry, we’ll get out of here!”
Tomek, shrugging his shoulders, looked at the martial art Master with bewilderment, and hoped he could figure out a way to get out of here with the same ease with which he had thrown his opponent yesterday.
They tried Riga, the capital of Latvia, which was the closest to Helsinki, Finland.Unfortunately, all flights at Riga airport had also been cancelled! Tomi Toyola (the organizer in Finland) drove them to the port of Kemi on the West coast.
Kemi, one of the main ports in northern Finland, was also a major port used in exporting timber. To their dismay there were no passenger ships available. Chen Zhonghua, Tomek and three Germans had a discussion with the Captain of a freighter that was about to travel to the Swedish capital of Stockholm, and got on the boat together.
The northern Baltic Sea was roughly a hundred kilometers from the Arctic Circle.The cargo ship sailed along through the sea where broken ice still drifted into their path. As snow blew in the wind, Chen Zhonghua could not help but pick up the camera to take a picture of the beautiful view of this ice-breaking journey.
But Tomek was worried: what if they got to Stockholm and didn’t have a flight?
Master Chen, detecting Tomek’s anxiety assured him, “There is an old Chinese saying: Things will work themselves out when the time comes. Don’t worry and we will find another way when we arrive in Sweden!”
Thinking of the day before, at the Helsinki workshop, Tomek could not understand how Chen Zhonghua had managed to generate so much power whilst defeating a few challengers that day.Tommy, who had personally experienced it, was overwhelmed with admiration. He respectfully helped Chen Zhonghua carry his luggage all the way. It was at this moment, with the thought of martial arts, which he had loved since he was a child, that he managed to let go of his worries. Looking at Chen Zhonghua with intense eyes, he moved his chair forward and asked eagerly: “Master Chen, how did you do that?”
“How did I do what?” asked Chen Zhonghua, even though he knew exactly what the young man, who had just come into contact with Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method, was thinking. He smiled.
This is his tenth year as a full-time Taiji teacher.
Master Chen had been teaching Taiji internationally for 10 years by 2010.
Chen Zhonghua was born and raised in Wulian county, Rizhao city, Shandong province. He is the 19thgeneration successor of Chen style Taijiquan, the international standard bearer of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method, and the 2ndgeneration successor of Chen Style Hunyuan Taijiquan. He had just finisheddelivering a workshop on Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method in Helsinki, Finland.He impressed dozens of martial arts students from Northern and Western Europe. Tomek was among those who travelled from Poland to Helsinki to attend the workshop.Chen Zhonghua would then go to the Czech Republic and Italy to give the next workshops, whileTomek had arranged to meet his girlfriend at Chen Zhonghua’s workshop in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.
In the eyes of Chen Zhonghua, this little episode in their journey was quite normal, even though at the time it did not occur to him that he would miss the Prague workshop, with even more tortuous experiences to come over the next 30 hours.
Master Chen had emigrated from China to Canada in 1985, and in 2001 he began the arduous task of spreading Taiji to the world. During his travels, this temporary frustration could be put into context and was simply insignificant.
Chen Zhonghua, and his first encounter with Tajiquan.
“What impressed you is Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method”
“After everything, you still want to challenge me?”, said the old man in modest clothes and shoes, with his pipe in his mouth, taking a drag and raising his eyelids.
“No,” said a young man,“Our Yamaguchi county delegation has been learning from you for a while, and tomorrow we are going back to Japan. However, we would like to know, how do we use these boxing methods?” After the strong young man in black said something in his native language, a young man next to him translated respectfully to the elder. The watching crowd began to whisper.
The strong man with black hair clenched his hands, lowered his eyebrows and raised his eyes to look at the old man, whose age belied the power he had.
“No matter what you say, you still want to try it. Come on then.” the old man said calmly.
“So, what techniques am I allowed to use?”The strong man respectfully.
“Anything, whatever you wish.”The old man replied as he remained where he was, with his right hand holding the pipe and his left hand on his chest.
The strong man brought his arms up and immediately rushed forward at him. The crowed held their breath, as they watched afraid to blink for fear of missing what would happen next.
However, no one saw the fight; perceptive people only saw the old man’s shoulder sink a little.
The strong man flew up and back away from the old man! People couldn’t help but applaud. The young man jumped up from the ground, not giving up, and tried for a second and a third time. But the results were allways the same.
The onlookers became increasingly excited, and took time to calm down. The strong man bowed and walked away. When everyone finished applauding, they realized that the old man had also disappeared.
A handsome, thin young man, had noticed the old man withdraw from the crowd, and decided to follow him. As the old man walked away, the young man slowly followed for half a mile. The elder suddenly turned back; “Why are you following me, young man?”
“I saw you beat the Japanese delegation, so I want to learn Kungfu from you!”
“Who? Where is the Japanese delegation? Who beat them? I believe you’ve got the wrong person!
“But I just saw you …”
“Don’t follow me anymore, young man. You mistook me for someone else.That kind of thing may happen, but it’s not me!”
“I’d like to learn Taiji from you! Would you?Would you take me as a student?
“It’s your business to learn Taiji, why do you ask me?”
So for several days,the freshman majoring in foreign languages at Shandong University, Chen Zhonghua, went to Black Tiger Springs Park in Jinan every morning to look for Hong Junsheng,the 18thgeneration inheritor, and founder of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method.
It was the autumn period, and despite Chen Zhonghu arriving early in the morning, after dawn master Hong Junsheng’s teaching was already over. Chen Zhonghua got up early every day, stood in the open space outside of the tea room at Black Tiger Springs, all the while listening and trying to follow from far away.
“What are you doing, young man?” asked master Hong
“Master, I am practicing the circle”
“Don’t, don’t call me master, I haven’t accepted you as an apprentice, and we don’t circle like that.”
Sometimes, Master Hong would leave the crowd and approach Chen Zhonghua to ask a few questions.
“The hand does not move, the shoulder does not move, the head does not move …” master Hong then left with his hands behind his back.
Attempting to follow the instruction of Master Hong, Chen Zhonghua couldn’t do a circle.
For four months Chen Zhonghua listened, watched and tried to do the circle just outside of the group.
“Young man, you can do a circle?!” Master Hong asked as he left the crowd and came to Chen Zhonghua.
“I can do 20 circles.”
“These people have been practicing for many years, they can’t do even one, you can do 20?” Master Hong said in a placid manner. Master Hong turned away with his hands behind his back, “Come with me young man.”
So it was that in December 1979, Chen Zhonghua began to learn Taijiquan from Master Hong Junsheng in Black Tiger Springs, Jinan.
Now Master Chen Zhonghua
Thirty years later atFanneth Camp Stadium, on the outskirts of Edmonton, Canada, 2009, Master Chen Zhonghua led a Taiji workshop. The stadium was filled with hundreds of people from all over the world.Master Chen always teaches Taiji in English when the audience is almost entirely made up of foreigners. The last part of the workshop always included both guest and student interaction. This is the most anticipated part in the eyes of many Martial Arts enthusiasts and students. At the request of the audience, Master Chen performed the Practical Method Chen Style Yilu (81movements), and demonstrated the Martial applicationsof it with his disciple.
As soon as he finished, Master Chen found another man on the stage, he smiled and saluted. “My name is Mike, I am a professional Karate Black belt eight section,and I’ve been a martial artist for 18 years.I have heard that Chinese kung Fu is very good, and what you did today was wonderful; but can you fight as well as you perform?” “You can…” Master Chen began responding, however, as soon as he opened his mouth Mike interrupted him. “Don’t tell me that because I haven’t practiced Chinese kung Fu, I can’t fight with you. Don’t tell me that you are afraid of hurting me.As most Kung Fu masters say.I have met too many masters who are all talk and never fight, I want to fight you” Mike’s words brought laughter from the audience. Mike had a stout figure; the karate martial artist was clearly very strong, while Master Chen had a thin appearance, creating a strong contrast. People were buzzing as they watch how this man of smaller stature was unafraid of someone so much larger than himself. Although they wanted to see the Martial Artistry of this Taiji Master, some people could not help but be secretly worried for Master Chen’s safety.
Chen Zhonghua smiled. He has seen this many times. “It is a mule or a horse, take it out for a walk.” Master Chen has been speaking English for many years abroad, in moments such as these, he always thought of the phrases that Master Hong would say commonly, when he encountered challenges.
“Come on, please.” Master Chen entreated. He said no more, and waited for the man to advance.
The same cloth clothes, cloth shoes, the same stationary posture with it’s placid expression, the same scenario of numerous onlookers with the same poor challenger. TheStadium was buzzing, but in the heart of Chen Zhonghua, it was as if he was transported back more than 30 years ago, back to Jinan Black Tiger Springs, in that circle of silent weeping willows.
This moment, between Heaven and Earth, it was only him and his Chinese Practical Method Taiji. No, and his Master Hong Junsheng. He felt that his Master was beside him, and he heard only one thing from him: The most magical force was revealed in reflection.
After thirty years, what an amazing resemblance!
After thirty years, the legend reappears!
Mike had an incredible look on his face as he flew backwards and jumped off of the ground. Then this chipper Karate practitioner, without the implicit and introverted nature of Chinese culture, who was only willing to admit defeat under fair rules, showed excitement at seeing real Chinese Kung Fu and proclaimed: “Master Chen! I want to follow you as my Master! ”Amid the wave of cheers echoing around the stadium, Mike held Chen Zhonghua tightly, speaking loudly in his ear.
Chen Zhonghua, who was still as calm as water, walked away.
Such challenges can be encountered every day when teaching Taiji abroad. Some are as open as Mike. However, some keep their intentions to themselves and only intend to beat the presenter, both sides knowing that when they touch hands, they will fight instead of play. In a foreign martial arts school, you will have the right to speak if you know real Kung Fu.
Master Chen no longer remembers how many times he has played these types of contests; however, he would always say to them: “I’m not what impressed you, what impressed you is Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method.”
For more than 20 years, Master Chen never dared to forget the last thing Master Hong said to his disciples in 1996, when Master Hong Junsheng was dying, he said: “Don’t change anything of this style, pass on Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method!”
Chen Zhonghua at the University of Regina
On the grounds of the University of Regina, Chen Zhonghua was practicing Taijiquan with several other Canadian students, when a classmate suddenly shouted his English name from the other side of the grounds. “Joseph Chen, Professor Brian Dalsin has asked you to come to his office!”
Brian Dalsin, a faculty member and also the President of the University’s Taijiquan Association often came to practice Taiji with Chen Zhonghua. “Is it that I can’t teach Taiji on the playground? Or, I can’t teach Taiji outside of school?” he thought to himself.
After graduating from Shandong University in 1985 and working in foreign affairs and Education in Shandong Province for two years, Chen Zhonghua came to Canada with his Canadian wife to study for a Master’s degree in Education at the University of Regina. Just as in his University days in Shandong, Chen Zhonghua often practiced Taiji on the grounds and would gather a group of students who loved martial arts. Brian Dalsin, a professor in the Department of History and Head of the Department of Education, had joined his Taiji team.
Chen Zhonghua walked into the professor’s office with a smile on his face. Professor Dalsin saw Chen Zhonghua and greeted him warmly with a big smile and said modestly, “Master Chen, I want to show you a Taiji form, please watch and tell me which style of Taiji it comes from?”
Chen Zhonghua was surprised: “Don’t you know yourself?”
Prof Dalsin said sadly: “I learned this from a Taiwanese student a few years ago. However, before I could ask him, he went back and then we lost contact. I quite like the form, but I only know that it’s Taijiquan, not the specific style.”
Prof Dalsin executed his moves carefully.
“This is Zheng Zi Taijiquan.” Chen Zhonghua said positively. “It was created by Zheng Manqing, a disciple of Yang Chengpu, third generation Yang Style Taijiquan.” He then introduced the professor to the various styles and heritages of Chinese Taijiquan.
“That’s great Master Chen! Your explanation has broadened my knowledge!” Professor Dalsin sincerely expressed. It was then that Chen Zhonghua noticed that the professor had actually called him “Master” and was a little embarrassed for a moment.
“There’s one more thing, though, and I can do you a little favor.” Prof Dalsin said, flashing a sly smile. As the Professor knew that Chen Zhonghua was renting a venue outside of the school to teach Taijiquan, and being as he was the President of the Taiji Association, he would apply for a permit for Master Chen to teach Taiji outside of the school. In this way, Chen’s Taiji training class would be legal and unimpeachable.
As the saying goes: A man who always has a smile on his face will have good luck.
Chen Zhonghua was 24 when he first arrived in Canada and had endless energy. Each day he attended school in the morning and worked as a tour guide in the afternoon at the SaskatchewanParliament Provincial Council, where Regina is located. Chen Zhonghua would wake up at 4:30 am every morning and still felt that there is not enough time in the day. But no matter how tight the schedule was, he wouldn’t miss his morning Taiji training. After training he would cook dinner, make sandwiches and ride the 18-speed bicycle he had bought for $25 CAD, riding in a spirited manner with his bag on his back.
For lunch and dinner he brought his own sandwiches. These sandwiches consisted of two slices of bread, with a piece of corn beefcoated with yellow mustard, plus two bottles of orange juice. He would put them in a fresh canvas bag and take them from University to Parliament. From 3 pm to 9 pm, Chen Zhonghua would receive the Parliamentary visitorsfrom all over the world. Upon entering the gates of the Provincial Council, the first thing visitors noticed was this smiling Chinese-American guy.
At 9 pm, with the sun was still smiling down on his head and the breeze blowing through Chen’s short hair, he rode around after work, eager to discover the world around him.
Chen Zhonghua was renting a church to teach out of. When he had just finished the first section of his Taiji class, the landlord came over and said, “I won’t rent it out to you as what you are doing doesn’t look like good religion.”
The landlord didn’t even give him a chance to explain, just had him get out, locked the door and left. Chen Zhonghua helplessly smiled.
In the 1980s, Taijiquan was a minority sport in North America, especially Chen Style Taijiquan. It was legendary among a minority of people and had never been widely performed before.
More than 50 students enrolled in Chen’s first Taiji class at McNiven School in multicultural Canada. Despite this, Chen Zhonghua was quite satisfied with this number.
It was not easy to rent a hall,so Chen Zhonghua took the students to practice in the park. About half way through, however, it started to rain. Luckily for Chen Zhonghua, a man in a corridor far away waved and called out “Master Chen, come here!” As fortune would have it, it was the curator of a nearby Chinese Martial Arts studio who had met Chen Zhonghua at a Chinese cultural event.
“This is my Martial Arts hall, you can teach Taiji here, and you don’t need to pay the rent as we are both from China!” he said.
“How can that be? The rent must be paid! You are a friend indeed!”
Chen Zhonghua’s heart was touched. He was moved by the man’s words, and was filled with a feeling like that of meeting an old friend. He felt fortunate to receive this kindness in a foreign land.
Outside of Taijiquan
He studied English Literature in University and Education as a graduate student. During his first few years in Canada, Chen Zhonghua was mainly engaged in English and education. In just a few years, he had gained a firm foothold on the other side of the ocean.
After graduation, Chen Zhonghua worked in local Elementary and High Schools as a teacher in Regina, Saskatchewan. The next year, He was hired to teach English at the Victoria School of Visual and Fine Arts in Edmonton, Alberta. It was amazing that a Chinese person was hired to teach English in an English-speaking country!
At that time, Alberta, Canada was preparing to promote Chinese languageeducation; Chen Zhonghua participated in the preparation of the Chinese syllabus and has long served as the Chinese examinerin the province of Alberta.
In 1987, he joined the translators’ association of Saskatchewan. In 1988, he was admitted to the Translation Bureau of the State Council of Canada and became the chief Chinese language translator in Edmonton.
Heilongjiang Province and Alberta are sister provinces, Edmonton, where Chen lives, is sister cities to Harbin and Shenyang. Chen worked his way up from Secretary of Edmonton Harbin Friendship Association to Vice President, and later served as Vice President of the Edmonton Shenyang Friendship Association. He regularly participated in the organization of economic and cultural exchanges between the two provinces and cities.
In the mid and late 1980s, with the development of China opening up to the outside world and the growing demand for foreign experts, the Bureau of Foreign Experts was established. Specifically; the bureau was responsible for recruiting and providing services to foreign experts. Chen Zhonghua became the first agent of the North American Bureau of Foreign Experts.
A Taiji Master-True Intention without Pretension
In 2001, Chen Zhonghua was the chairman of the SinolinkTrading CO., which had been established for ten years. He also owned a tire processing and recycling company that was considered cutting edge at that time in the world.He also had great success in the business world, with factories in Johannesburg and trading companies shipping containers every month, all the while holding down a job that he had worked hard at for 15 years in the Edmonton Public Education Departmentwith a steady income of $87,000 CAD per year.
However, in the summer of 2001, he found that he was suddenly a little lost.
By this time he had 3 Taiji studios in North America as well, but no matter how busy he was, every day at 5a.m. you could find him practicing 10 Yilu’s, which was the standard request of Master Hong. Every weekend, he would travel around different cities in Canada and the United Sates, holding Taijiquan workshops as he went. There he accepted the challenges from Masters who had come from all over of the country to test him: Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Saskatoon to name a few. He even had to turn down offers from cities in other countries because of his Monday to Friday commitments to his usual work.
Over the weekend, at the Maple Ridge Martial Arts studio in suburban Vancouver, Chen Zhonghua and one of his students, Tim McCray, a lawyer from the United States, were practicing Taiji.During the break, McCray suddenly smiled as he rested and said: “Master Chen, I believe that you’re a hypocrite!”
“Why do you say that?” Master Chen asked while wiping off his sweat, smiling all the time. Having lived in the West for more than 10years now,he had long been accustomed to the directness of Western culture.
“You encourage us to think of Taijiquan as a lifelong pursuit. But you see, you have a day job, a business that preoccupies most of your time; you only come to training on the weekend, in the same way we go out to find entertainment for ourselves on a weekend!”
It was as if lightning struck his heart!
Chen Zhonghua’s hand that was holding his towel stopped in mid-air.
Yes, Master Chen thought to himself. Every time I speak about Taiji, I tell everyone that Taiji needs to be practiced diligently as a lifelong pursuit.Taiji is the most important thing in my life; I promised Master Hong to keep on doing Taiji and to pass it on. However, how much time have I really given to Taiji?
The sun was setting and McCray had already driven back to Seattle, but Chen was unaware.
“The Universe disperses yet there is Unity; Separates yet is Connected; between Heaven and Earth, everything has its destination…. it’s own…”
“Seasons pass, who knows their origins. A day repeats itself over thousands of years without disruption. Old and new are connected without exaggeration. The form may seem different, yet the moon is always round even if you only see part of it. Cultivating the essence, even a dot is still a circle….
“Between heaven and earth, human possesses the soul of the universe, while the heart is the center of the human body, therefore the heart is the commander of the chief, the heart causes all other body parts to follow their orders…”
The Chinese classics he had studied when he was young, full of Taijiquan principles which had enlightened him over the years, echoed in Chen Zhonghua’s mind and through his body.
These Taiji legends, mirrage like figures in the mist, appeared and disappeared. Is this Chen Wangting who created Chen Style Taijiquan when at leisure between busy farming seasons? Is this Zhang Sanfeng whose heart can communicate with immortals? Is this Chen Changxing who was a legend himself in his era?
That particular person’s image never became clear; all Chen Zhonghua could see were the Taijiquan principles embedded in his life.
For days, the question never left his mind: “Am I a hypocrite concerning Taiji? Am I just pretending?”
But that person always appeared in his dream, “What does he really want to tell me?”
Meanwhile, as his business encountered some problems, there was always more work to do. During dinner one day, he and his wife talked about their daily work.
“Dear, do you really notice that whenever the Taiji is mentioned, you are always happy? You smile, your eyes light up and you never complain, no matter how hard the day has been. When other work gets introduced into the conversation, however, you are different. Should we all do what we like to do in life? If your work gets you down, why do you continue working? My salary alone is enough to support our family, so it’s now time for you to consider to doing that which you like to do the most.”
Chen Zhonghua fell into deep contemplation. That person’s image came once again into his thoughts.
Chen Zhonghua remembered that he was originally afraid of the moving of hands and feet when he had just started, and that he had gradually move into new territory. When the pendant moves to one extreme, we learn Taiji. He had then broken his bonds, held onto that idea, practiced diligently over years and it all returned to him. In Taiji principles, circles are everywhere.
Looking back at Master Hong Junsheng’s life, he had made a great contribution to the world of Taiji.
Having studied under Master Chen Fake, he created the Practical Method, taught many Disciples and interacted with different schools of Taijiquan…
“What have I done?”
All those days when he had followed his Master to learn Taijiquan, when he had practiced with his Taiji brothers, during those hot summers and cold winters, during those enlightened moments…
That image started to get clear, it’s the calm face of his Master— Hong Junsheng.
“Pass down the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method!”
How lucky in this life to meet Master Hong, to learn Practical Method!
How lucky in this life to know that Taiji is full of mystery, that intrigued him to study deeply and thoroughly! Taiji is so deep that combines thousands of years Chinese culture!
How lucky in this life that he has dozens of years to give to Taiji, to teach those who also love Taiji!
Chen Zhonghua remembered many years ago whenever he was practicing forms, Master Hong always helped him to correct the postures. Wherever there was a problem, Master Hong always pointed out immediately. Now, in his life, the goal was off the track, it needed to be corrected to the right direction!
Chen Zhonghua resigned from everything else, put all his energy into the Taiji world.
All these years, he studied Taiji, enlightened, taught, numerous times, he applied physics principles to dissect the forms he learned and reconnected them together, set lines on the body, use lever principles to understand the power…
He used pedagogy to grasp the psychology of students, with easy to understand truth, to explain the essentials of Taijiquan…
Record the theory gained from the practice, then apply them into practice, then refine…
He wrote, then practiced; practiced, then wrote. Day by day in Edmonton, in river bank park, people saw this Chinese martial artist enjoying himself in Taijiquan. In this special summer, this martial art genius became the real “Taiji Super Fanatic”!
In June 2001, Chen Zhonghua formally resigned from corporate work. He opened two martial art schools in the US. Use English to teach traditional Chinese martial art, Chen Zhonghua bridged the gap between Taijiquan and European and Americans, eventually broke the barrier between the traditional Chinese culture and the world.
“Humiliated” Taiji Master inVirginia
Go out and sow the seeds of Taiji around the world as much as you can!
Chen zhonghua, who has gone abroad, is still constantly “going out”!
However, how can it always be sunny?
The 28th Taste of China American Taiji Championship competition is about to open in Winchester, Virginia. one of his disciples Xiong Jingguang said to Chen Zhonghua happily, “Master, Please go there to be a referee!”
Chen Zhonghua was thinking, “This is the most famous Taijiquan competition in the United States. What a great opportunity it would be to demonstrate Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method in this competition!”
Chen Zhonghua didn’t mind paying for his own airfare and accommodation at his own expense. Western Martial arts competitions were always associated with watching and learning.Before and after the competition, there would always be live lectures by masters from different styles. During the night of the competition, there would also be martial arts performances of the various styles.
Yes, Chen Zhonghua was going for this opportunity. Although being a referee was also a matter of glory, at least on behalf of him had entered the American Taijiquan world. The following year, he made a request to the organizers for a performance, which the organizers agreed to, but was not scheduled for the official show at night, but for the margins of the game.
It was ok, as long as he could show the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. Chen Zhonghua made the same careful preparation, change into his Chinese buckle Taijiquan suit, like countless times before the performance, get everything ready.
However, the unexpected scene happened!
At the end of the game, Chen Zhonghua, who had long been on the sidelines, saw the contestant withdraw and immediately ready to make it. He walked slowly to the center of the arena; and as usual, as he stepped into the game, the presenter should make a brief introduction for him and the Practical Method which he was going to perform.
He reached the middle of the arena, but the host/presenterdid not say anything.
Chen didn’t expect it, but he didn’t panic. After the customary Chinese salute, he planned to perform. He believed that even without the introduction, without the sound system, his Taiji Style PM would still attract the audience. In fact, few people in the stands left after watching the game.
Once again, the unexpected scene happened!
The host began to speak, “Sorry, Mr. Chen, our schedule is very tight, your performance cannot be arranged today, you come down first.”
Despite his inner consternation, Chen Zhonghua smiled and apologized to the audience, then turned around and walked slowly down the stage. His heart repressed anger and humiliation, but still holding a glimmer of hope in his heart-“It was my embarrassment, but also the embarrassment of the organizers.”
But Chen Zhonghua put up with it, just looked at the host for a long time as he walked back slowly, the host at that moment also fell into embarrassment. In this long half-minute, he again said: “I am very sorry, Mr. Chen, tomorrow morning before the game, we will arrange you to perform first!”
Chen Zhonghua smiled back and saluted again. But off the stage/behind the scene, the host found him again, and made it clear that they did not want him to perform, “I am willing to obey the rules and regulations of your competition, If I need further study,I can learn!” master Chen suppressed his anger and said sincerely.
“I’m so sorry, the style you have been practicing is Shaolin boxing, and the one which we’re doing is authentic taijiquan.” The host said such a sentence.
Chen Zhonghua was not angry but to smile instead, Arched his hands gracefully. Turned around, there was helpless in his smile but it also carried an indifference.
At this moment, he remembered Master Chen Fake.
In the 1930s, Chen fake came to Beijing from Chen village to teach Taijiquan. It was his first time to the capital with Kung Fu of Chen style Taijiquan. But at a Taijiquan martial arts meeting, some people said in public that Chen Fake’s kung Fu came from Shaolin. Chen Fake’s disciples could not resist it at that time, “All the Taijiquan popular in the capital, such as Yang style, Wu style originated from Chen style Taijiquan, while Chen style Taijiquan itself was mistaken for a kind of external style boxing?!”
But Chen Fake waved his handand stopped his disciple’s retort. The disciple puzzled, “We are the authentic Taijiquan, why should this be misunderstood?” “It is good for us to do what we do, and good for others, too, but what is the benefit of arguing with them?What they say have nothing to do with the Taiji we do!”
That’s the way it is.Since 1928 he moved to Beijing, until his death in 1957, Chen Fake has never lost on any occasion. However, when a plaque that said “First Man in Taiji “was delivered to his home in a noisy scene, after he saw them off politely, he immediately removed the plaque and tucked it under the bed.
–“I just do my Taijiquan. What do I have to do with all that fame?”
So, –“I just want to spread Chen style Taijiquan PM, What’s the point of contending for some false reputation and face?” Chen Zhonghua thought.
Up to now, the host who called Chen Zhonghua’s Taijiquan “shaolin boxing” in that competition, has been practicing Chen Style Taijiquan PM for many years, and he has come to China several times to study atDaqingshan International Taiji Institute.Chen Zhonghua made no mention of what happened that year.
A world of tranquility, peace, and void of desire.
In the third year after master Chen went to the taste of China taijiquan competitionat his own expense, he got the chance to perform formally.
In the dressing room, a Taijiquan enthusiast who was also waiting for the performance was stretching his legs，and after the courtesy greeting, commencing the exchange between boxing friends. After he showed his PM, the other said, “Mr. Chen, after your refereeing work is done, I would like to invite you to Virginia and Washington.”
Chen Zhonghua’s performance attracted a professional martial artist’s attention. The venue door opened, at the same time, a door to Phoenix, the United States, also opened.
“Judging from the sound of your feet stomping on the floor I know you are professional, which provincial martial art team did you belong to? ”
“I’m not a member of any martial art team. What I learned comes from my master.”
“And who did you learn from?”
“Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang.”
“I see. Can I invite you to give a seminar in Phoenix?”
In the fourth year of Chen Zhonghua’s self-paid trip to A Taste of China Taijiquan competition, his performance attracted the attention of William, the fifth generation of Yang-style Taijiquan. William was a disciple of Zheng Manqing, the fourth generation of Yang-style Taijiquan. He had been a visiting scholar at Harvard University. He taught Zheng-style 37postures Taijiquan. He was very famous in American Taijiquan community.
Sitting on the bleachers, William and Chen Zhonghua discussed Taijiquan for two hours, which made Chen Zhonghua famous in American Taijiquan community immediately. (William rarely talks to anyone. So anyone who had his ears would be considered high level in Taiji ranking).
The following year, the Taiji Legacy in Dallas, with its popularity rising rapidly, offered an olive branch to Chen Zhonghua.
“China Sunshine” in Texas
Like A taste of China Taijiquan, Taiji Legacy in Dallas wasalso held at the same time as the seminar and competition. The difference was that Chen Zhonghua not only performed, but also got the chance to give a seminar.
TheTaiji Legacy held in Texas, the United States, had by then replaced A taste of China in Virginia as the most influential Taiji competition in the United States. The day before the competition and the two days after the competition are all seminar days for different factions.
At the Plano Convention Center in Dallas, the first seminar day began. Twenty or thirty Taijiquan teachers had their own venues. Taijiquan enthusiasts could buy a stack of tickets, wander around the halls and choose from various venues. They could have close-body contact with their favorite Taijiquan masters. Each class lasts 40 minutes.
Chen Zhonghua attended the seminar for the first time, and his venue was somewhat deserted. But even with only five or six people in attendance, he still carefully taught the essence of PM. In the adjacent field, a famous boxer with his black assistant is lecturing to a group of Taiji enthusiasts.
The boxer next door finished his class and Chen Zhonghua’s class was still continuing. The audience next door was soon attracted by Chen Zhonghua’s perfect English explanations. They couldn’t help turning around and then were attracted by his wonderful display of Taijiquan, and they bought tickets to watch. For a moment, the audience next door turned around.
Here Chen Zhonghua was talking, and suddenly a black man came to him. “Mr. Chen, I heard you have a very special Dantian. Could I touch it?” It was the black assistant of the boxer next door who was over 6’4”, stood there like a mountain.
Chen Zhonghua looked at him with a faint smile.
“You can try me first! This is the Chinese martial arts tradition. A tall, plump blonde stood between Chen Zhonghua and the black assistant.
Susan, an Canadian disciple of Chen Zhonghua, has studied PM with Chen Zhonghua for five years. She and the black assistant looked at each other for a moment, attacked at the same time, and soon became entangled.
Chen Zhonghua calmly called a halt, and Susan immediately withdrew and stood aside.
The hall of the convention center covers an area of over 1000 square meters. All the classrooms are separated by tape only. By this time, the fight and the smell of gunpowder here have attracted the surrounding classrooms, many audiences gathered.
In the center of the classroom, the contrast between the two is apparent: a strong burly black man nearly two meters high, a thin Chinese man less than 5’2”, the difference in height and figure also attracted the attention of the audience.
Such a moment is common in the Taiji life of Chen Zhonghua.
The black man stretched his right hand to Chen Zhonghua’s Dantian. Chen Zhonghua put his elbow in his extended arm. Once he retreated, the black man could not stand, flew forward and landed. At the moment of landing, he propped himself up with his elbow and jumped up immediately. Chen Zhonghua smiled and took a step forward. But the big man jumped up and ran away without turning his head!
In the crowded hall, the tall black man kept pushing aside the crowd, running fast with fear on his face, and became the focus in the hall for a while.
On this side of the venue, the audience who witnessed the whole process came back to their senses and burst into a burst of warm applause.
More people gathered around and more people began to buy tickets for master Chen’s class.
The seminar lasted till evening, but the discussionabout Taijiquan continued, even at the dinner table and in the hotel.
A group of people have been following Chen Zhonghua and asking questions, and Chen Zhonghua had been talking about PM.
At nine o’clock in the evening, surrounded by a group of people, Chen Zhonghua entered the hotel lobby. In the middle of the lobby stood an American lad, staring at the door. Chen Zhonghua smiled politely at him, nodded, and the young man shook hands with him. Then Chen Zhonghua went on talking with people and stepped up the stairs. The American lad was no longer in a daze and followed the crowd upstairs.
There were four people in the room, who listened to Chen Zhonghua’s explanation and demonstration fascinatedly, and then went up and experienced its novelty until 3 am.
The competition began, Chen Zhonghua sat on the referee’s bench, but there had been a group of people around him, and consulted him on Taijiquan when he got free.
At the end of the game, the American lad who had been with him insisted on taking him to the airport.
Arriving at the airport, the American lad took out $90. “Master Chen, you have to accept the money.”
“How can this work? You sent me to the airport. I’m supposed to give you money.Why did you give me money instead?
The boy took Chen Zhonghua’s hand and said earnestly: “that night in your room, you taught me for four hours, the money is far from enough. But in addition to the fuel money for the return trip, this is all the money I have, I will make it up later, please be sure to accept me as a disciple.”
“We’ll talk about that later. But I can’t take the money!” master Chen said firmly.
“Most importantly, you are my ‘China sunshine’!
—Five days ago, on the first seminar day of Taiji Legacy in Dallas, Richard Johnson, a master of body mechanics who works in Bentonville, Arkansas, was so obsessed with Taiji, and made an appointment online with a Chinese Taiji teacher who went to Dallas for a seminar to have a private Taijiquan lesson in Dallas.
Richard Johnson’s days were not plentiful, he took all his worldly possessions of a few hundred dollars and drove off. Five and a half hours’ drive from Bentonville to Dallas. It was 8:30pm already when he arrived at the hotel which he had arranged with the Taiji teacher. Luckily, their appointment was at nine o ‘clock. He parked the car, without eating, knocked on the door.
“Hello, master! We have an appointment at nine o’clock.”
“Ah? I forgot the appointment. I’m tired. I need a rest.” The Taiji teacher said casually in his bathrobe, wiping his wet hair。
“But I’ve been driving for five and a half hours and I’ve got a hundred dollars ready just to come to your one-hour class!” Richard Johnson was very anxious.
“That is your business, have nothing to do with me, I don’t need your 100 dollars.” He closed the door after his words.
When the door slammed, Richard Johnson stood still — running for five and a half hours without any food or drink, He could never expect such a result.
Like a wooden man, he went downstairs in a daze, stood in the hall, didn’t know where to go；He was very remorseful, “no longer learn Chinese martial arts, Chinese people are liars!” He was so depressed that he kept cursing in his heart.
In a trance, a Chinese people surrounded by a group of blond westerners into the hall, this is Chen Zhonghua! Richard Johnson, who loves Taiji, has seen Chen’s videos on the Internet. At the moment of eye contact, Chen Zhonghua smiled at him and shook his hands. A bunch of sunshine suddenly shot into his hazy heart, a bunch of ‘China sunshine’!
In a daze, he went with the group, entered the room where Chen was staying. He realized that Chen Zhonghua had been talking Taiji in perfect English. Then, to his surprise, this Chinese Taiji teacher actually teaches with hands-on demonstration! He even let students touch his body to try!
From 9 pm to 3 am, Richard Johnson seemed to have had a wonderful dream! In the dream, he finally took a coveted Taiji class that he dreamed of, and also did push hands with a Chinese Taiji teacher closely. However, when Chen Zhonghua’s magical force was applied to him, the obvious pain did not make him suffer, but let He feels real and happy___
“This is my ‘China Sunshine’!”
Can we buy you a cup of Italian coffee?
The icebreaker was still chugging fearlessly through the northern Baltic, and the sound of the blade cutting through the ice sounds joyful. After listening to this legendary experience, Tommy has long been immersed in the dripping happy martial arts world, the magic of the Oriental culture is even more worship.
As he got up to refill a cup of coffee for master Chen, Tommy asked: “Master Chen, why do you have to rush to Italy under such difficult conditions?”
“Because the Italians are buying me a cup of Italian coffee!” Chen Zhonghua said humorously.
In the fall of 2009, Chen Zhonghua posted a flight from Dublin to Amsterdam on his Facebook page. Someone posted a message: Master Chen, from Dublin to Amsterdam, an hour is enough. We are Italian, we have a school, and also learn martial arts. We’ll pay for your flight change if you could come around to Venice and have a cup of Italian coffee with us?
It was Chen’s first trip to Italy, and did not want to have the coffee for free. He offered a free seminar on PM at a martial arts school near Venice. Fans of Taiji from Milan and nearby cities flocked to the event. After an hour of class, a workshop was scheduled for the following spring, and the trip to Italy began.
When arrived in Stockholm, a German managed to hail a seven-seater minivan. Although the charge was particularly expensive, several people did not hesitate to get on the bus.
First went to the local train station. There was a sea of people, but most trains were full. There were no tickets. Then They got to the bus station. People were everywhere, and there were long queues after long queues. Chen Zhonghua and “Tomek also joined them.
It took Chen four hours to get close to the ticket window.
“no bus to there.”
Chen Zhonghua heard the dialogues between the ticket agent and he had a clue.
“Where do you have tickets to? ” It’s Chen Zhonghua’s turn, he said calmly.
“Okay, two, please.”
“Ah, Copenhagen, at least we’re getting closer to our destination.” Tomek kept thanking God. For Chen Zhonghua, he couldn’t stop. Two days later, he was to teach a seminar in Italy.
The bus went along all the way to the south, Chen Zhonghua found that the people on the bus only spoke Swedish. A few hours later, it was nearly midnight and the bus suddenly stopped. Passengers got off the bus to buy water and food. Chen Zhonghua walked around and found that they didn’t take euro, so he did not buy anything. But when he went back, the bus was gone!
In the wilderness of northern Europe in April in the middle of the night, the wind in the middle of the night was still cold, but Chen Zhonghua was sweating! After turning around in the dark, he didn’t find the bus, went back to the store, and found that the passengers who had just queued to buy things were gone either! The luggage was on the bus, the mobile phone could not get through (did not have international roaming), Besides the clerk, he couldn’t find anyone, and he didn’t speak the language. Chen was sweating again! What to do!?
The stars hang down in the wild, the cold wind whistling, standing on the open space in front of the store, and looking around – in this land of foreign countries, there seems to be only one person left between the heavens and the earth!
Suddenly a bus came, and Chen Zhonghua was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the one he was on. When he got on the bus, Tommy told him that the driver had gone to fill up, everyone got on the bus and went to the gas station. Chen Zhonghua, who speaks proficient English, has a deep feeling for the first time: The language barriers can make it difficult when travelling !
There is actually a train to Hamburg in Copenhagen! “Let’s go to Hamburg. We’ll find a way there!” Tommy said excitedly.
The rails lay quietly on the street, waiting for people to get on the train. Under the rain shelter, an Asian man and a European man were performing Taijiquan eagerly, attracted passengers on the platform, and the ducks of nearby farmers also swayed to join in the fun.
The old-fashioned green train slowly approached, carrying them to the south of Baltic Sea. In Lubek, Germany, Tommy got off the bus and Chen Zhonghua began his ascetic travel alone.
As soon as the train arrived in Hamburg, Chen Zhonghua got off and immediately fell into a daze.
This is a large integrated transfer station with many layers of three-dimensional rails. Dragging the suitcase, carrying two backpacks, standing on the platform and confused— language barrier, cell phone barrier, no relatives, Chen Zhonghua wanted to slow down and think again: there is always a way, there is always a way to get to Italy!
“Master!” Chen Zhonghua suddenly heard the familiar Chinese!
As soon as he looked up, a disciple from Prague stood at the top of the steps and called him. On the halfway, when he still had access to the Internet, he sent a message to this disciple in Prague, and asked him to come to “save” him in Hamburg if he could receive this message. Unexpectedly, the conscientious disciple (Pavel Codl) drove for eight hours at a speed of 180 km, just in time to pick him up.
Perhaps it was arranged by God. Pavel double parked his car in a hurry and walked into the hall and came to the steps, just in time to see Chen Zhonghua, who was in a state of confusion.
Eleven hours later, Chen Zhonghua arrived in Prague. “I can’t take you to Italy tomorrow morning. I’ve been driving for 19 hours, and there’s bound to be an accident if I keep on driving.” The rigorous engineer said earnestly.
“Never mind. You just take me to the bus station.” Chen Zhonghua has really had enough of the language barrier. The next day, just after dawn, Master Chen and his disciple came to the bus station without eating breakfast. As soon as they arrived at the ticket counter, they were told that there were no tickets to Italy in a week.
With years of experience in traveling around the world, Chen Zhonghua did not leave the station, but to guard the departure place of the buses. Before the bus was ready to leave, he rushes up and sat down whenever there was a seat available – there were always buses that were not full, or people who had bought tickets and could not come. After all, it was a special period of volcanic eruption, and it was not until the fourth car that he found an empty seat. He paid the money and sat down. Fortunately, the car was headed south. Two hours later, Chen Zhonghua, who didn’t speak the local language, saw the driver and guests alighted and had to get off to pick up his luggage. Look at the small station. All the words are unknown. Brno, that’s the name of this town.
“Master Chen!” Chen Zhonghua quickly turned around and a familiar face appeared in front of him. “I know you!” Chen Zhonghua, who is good at remembering people, said positively. “Yes, I’m picking you up.” “You’re Milan, you’ve attended my seminar!” “Yes! Yes! I attended your seminar in Prague!” Milan, the student who had only met Chen Zhonghua once said happily.
The Prague disciple who had sent Chen to the bus station called his friend in Brno and asked him to go to the bus station within two hours. If he did not find Chen Zhonghua, it would mean that Master Chen had gone further south near Italy. If he did, he must pick him up and help him.
The Brno student Milan, still has fresh memories of the Prague seminar. He was also very excited to see that master Chen still remembered him. After collecting his luggage, Milan wanted to take Master Chen home for dinner. “I don’t want to eat. I have to go south to Italy!” “N0 Italy, no one can leave Brno!” The student’s English was also very limited. He kept repeating this enthusiastically, insisting on taking Chen Zhonghua home for dinner. Chen had to patiently and slowly say to him, “Drive me to the railway station. I have a very important workshop in Italy tomorrow, there is no time to delay.”
“There’s really no train. You can’t go anywhere.” Milan couldn’t change Chen’s mind. He took him to the railway station. After asking at the ticket office, he wanted to take him home.
“Please translate for me. Ask to see if there is ANY train leaving this station.” Chen Zhonghua spoke with him patiently and slowly in English.
“There’s one train leaving this station. Where are you going?”
“Where’s the train going? to Villach? I haven’t heard of it, in Austria? Austria borders Italy, is that not far from Italy?” Chen Zhonghua tried to figure out the location of Villach from his knowledge of European geography and history.
After confirmation, Chen Zhonghua boarded the train and asked Milan to notify his Italian disciple to pick him up at the station. On the train, Chen Zhonghua knew it was an international inter-city train, stopping four or five times an hour, arrived in Germany, Austria, passed through Czech Republic and then back to Austria. Police in different uniforms from different countries took turns checking passports, reminding Chen of the World War II movies he had seen. When the train passed Austria again, Chen Zhonghua really entered a wonderful world only seen in movies.
The Sound of Music! This hillside must be the one where the governess and the children sing in the movie ofThe Sound of Music!
A spring day in April, the afternoon sun gently caressed the Alps, the gentle slope was covered with green grass like a green carpet. The train galloped on the hillside, occasionally a piece of flowers flashed by, occasionally a lake moved like a mirror, there were white, brown mountain ponies in the distance grazing leisurely…
This is a rare sight on the journey! It’s also a rare time to relax during the ascetic journey! Looking at all this, Chen Zhonghua could not help showing a satisfied smile. But there was a rumbling in his stomach – he just remembered that he hadn’t eaten lunch yet!
At 11:30 p.m., the train finally stopped in a city on the border between Austria and Italy. Thank goodness the Italians were waiting!
From Helsinki, Finland, to Venice, Italy, seven countries across Europe, three days and two nights long journey, 26 hours of restless and sleepless journey finally ended! After eating two sandwiches, at three o ‘clock in the morning,Chen zhonghua and the group finally arrived at the hotel where the seminar was located.
“Wake me up at 9:20!”
Chen Zhonghua went straight to sleep. His seminar was at 9:30 — and he had six hours of good sleep.
If there is no Taiji in this place, I will sprinkle a seed
The snow in Bentonville, Arkansas, USA, has just kept for a few days.
Chen Zhonghua, who just finished the workshop, was going to catch the plane with his backpack on his back. Walking through a completely white world, there was almost no way to go if the snowplow machine hasn’t cleaned the main road, even the trees were flooded with snow.
Following the memory, this should be the airport. But all was white, no building can be seen. Calling, GPS positioning, it should be here. Chen Zhonghua took up his backpack and walked hard in the snow. In the white world, only his black shadow with his backpack. After a round, he found the door of the airport! As Pushing open the door, the familiar airport’s unique breath rushed over. He waved back, and walked to the passengers who had been stranded for several days.
For Master Chen, this is nothing unusual. With a usual smile, Chen Zhonghua sat down on a carpet and there was no vacant seat in the waiting hall. Put down the bag and sat on the floor, Chen Zhonghua glanced around, there was water, the fast food restaurant was also open, very good, much better than the heavy snow in Vancouver that year. At that time, Chen Zhonghua sat at the airport for two days. He only had water and snacks. However, he calmly read the martial arts novels written by Sun Zhonghua, an older Taiji brother, with great interest.
In Chen Zhonghua’s home, there are four identical travel bags, and the contents in the bags are almost same: a few clothes, a toiletry bag, and a folding stick for teaching Taiji. With just one phone call, he puts up the laptop and grabs one of the four bags and leaves. Staying at a hotel, as long as he leaves the room, all his things are packed in a bag with him –
“I can go at any time!”
“If there is no Taiji in this place, then I will sprinkle a seed!”
Someone from Zurich, Sweden, invited him to give a seminar. He readily agreed, carried the bag and went away. Someone from Toulouse, France invited him to teach Taiji. Well, having been to Paris, there was no seeds of Taiji in Toulouse, he immediately drew a stroke on his map of Taiji, and prepare to go…
“For the first seven years of our marriage, I never left my wife for a single day. Later, Gradually, we spent more and more time apart. When my two daughters were young, I generally didn’t go too far. Now my daughters are adults, we all have our own lives. My wife once made a special trip to Europe with me!” Master Chen said with a smile. – Home is the place where two lovers are together.
Taiji originated in China, and the root of Taiji culture is in China. In Chen Zhonghua Taiji Studio, a column of incense in the early morning, a pot of tea, a folding fan, a landscape painting, a piece of Chinese calligraphy, and even the monogrammed buckle on the traditional Taiji uniform, made all foreign disciples and students fascinated for a while — “What kind of Chinese environment and history and culture does Taijiquan which makes us crazy come from?”
Since the 1990s, Chen Zhonghua has been continuously organizing a study tour group to lead his Taiji students to China. Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Jinan… Explore the origins of Taiji culture, find the Taiji brothers of the same Taiji family or masters of other Taiji styles, and broaden their horizons for foreign students.
Until 2005, Chen Zhonghua returned to his hometown – Wulian County, Rizhao City, China, and the beautiful and lush Daqing Mountain, letChen Zhonghua shine at the moment,his heart was deeply attracted.
One brick, one tile, one grass and one tree, Chen Zhonghua began to draw the landscape of Qingshan Taiji, all his disciples and students around the world were intoxicated as well.Since 2006, Chen Zhonghua’s Taiji road map has changed because of this Daqing Mountain; He has established the International Hunyuan Taiji Institute, built the Daqingshan International Taijiquan Training and Exchange Center, opened up a road to Rizhao Daqing mountain for the world.
In the following ten years, through him, Taiji spread more widely around the world; through him, Taiji disciples from all over the world gathered in Rizhao, Wulian and Daqingshan! Through Taiji, Rizhao instantly built a bridge with dozens of countries in the world, through Taiji, Chinese traditional culture in push hands and routines can be felt for real!
The annual Daqingshan International Taijiquan Competition has been held for six years and has become a major event in Chinese Taijiquan circle. It was selected as the “2014 China Sports Tourism Excellence Project” and was included in the “2015 China Cultural Industry Key Project”. On December 11, 2018, at the China Sports Culture and Sports Tourism Expo, Rizhao Daqingshan International Taijiquan Competition was awarded the “National Sport Event of the Year”。
By 2018, the number of international people who came to Rizhao International Daqingshan Taijiquan Competition has increased from more than 100 people in the first competition to more than 1,200 people, from more than 40 countries and 128 cities in the world. “Actually, the foreign players participating in the competition are less than 5% of my foreign students. At present, I have more than 280 disciples；60000 students who have been learned Taiji from me for one year or two that I can recognize them when we meet; As for students who have attended my workshop, starting from the first workshop in 1986, should be around 200,000.”
However, the number of people practicing Taiji is not what Chen Zhonghua cares. “Sow a Taiji seed in a new place, and then let it be. On this day, one million people are practicing Tai Chi, very good. But This is not what I care about; What I care about is that in this place, a million years later, there are still people practicing Taiji!”
A backpack and a laptop are all the equipment for Master Chen to travel the world alone.
During the day, with a pair of hands and a folding stick, let the Taijiquan method be in close contact with each person who loves Taiji; At night, with two hands, one laptop, sorting workshop notes, cutting the workshop video, let every Taiji fan who didn’t go to the scene, feel Taiji through the Internet.
At present, Chen Zhonghua’s official website “Chen Zhonghua Taiji Institute” has more than one million users from all over the world. The hearts of users from all countries and cities around the world, are branded with Practical Method, Taijiquan, and Chinese culture.
More than ten hours of teaching and explanations during the day, three or four hours of sorting and induction at night, with only four or five hours of sleep, master Chen still led the students to train at 5:30 every morning, “I have two secrets,” Chen Zhonghua said with a mysterious smile. His gray hair and short beard made the mysterious Oriental martial artist even more mysterious.
InRizhaoChen Zhonghua Taiji Studio, facing the sea in front of the window, master Chen pointed to the coffee in his hand:
“First, coffee! Ha-ha!” The martial artist who is known for his sense of humor smiled like a child. Although he would light a stick of incense and make a pot of Chinese tea every morning in his Taiji Studio abroad, he found coffee more refreshing. “Second, you can’t imaginethat while you guys were talking, I was sleeping by my computer. I can always find time to sleep, if the topic has nothing to do with me, I will fall asleep; Hearing that it has something related to me I woke up again. Ha-ha! People can fall asleep at any time when they are very tired!”
“Nothing I do now is profitable.”Chen Zhonghua, who once had a million, doesn’t care too much about money. “But, What I must do is to spread Taiji culture. This is not a business. Its value is intangible. On the one hand, it can be said that my income is not proportional to my efforts, because I can’t earn my previous salary by teaching Taijiquan. But on the one hand, if you convert it into something to do, then it’s worth it! Once, I wanted to make money and then do what I like. But now, although I can’t make a lot of money, I have been doing my favorite. And more and more people are paying attention and joining in, All those who insist on practicing will benefit!”
Great truths are always simple.
In master Chen’s view, the path of Taijiquan PM teaching should be the simplest, but also the best annotation of the focus on one thing in one’s life.
Therefore, Chen Zhonghua resigned from all positions and concentrated on teaching Taiji;
Master Chen lives a simple life, and his meals or a T-shirt are never more than 14.99 Canadian dollars. The suit he bought in 1993 was the only formal suit which he often wore.
The Tao is natural.
The inheritance of Taiji is also like the protection of Chinese salamander. “I just bring Chinese Taijiquan to all countries in the world, giving people an opportunity, sowing seeds, watering and fertilizing. In the end, it is the heart, not the force that wins; What ultimately motivates them to learn is China’s profound culture, not just Taiji kung Fu.”
One person can go very fast, a group of people can go very far.
Over the past 18 years, Chen Zhonghua has been carrying out the sacred mission of spreading Taiji culture with a high degree of confidence in the excellent Chinese culture. He has been on the road of spreading Taijiquan –walking more than 300,000 kilometers every year and covered more than 60 countries and 140 cities by himself!
At present, Chen Zhonghua’s disciple, Chen Xu , who is from Yiyuan, Shandong province, has been to Singapore, Australia, Nepal and other places in recent years to teach Taiji in English. American disciple Rick Pietila is doing the same in Lebanon in the Middle East; Thousands of miles away, Czech disciple Pavel, whether online or in real life, is a ” Taiji celebrity”…
The small umbrella of dandelion carries seeds, follow the wind to spread. When it meets the right soil, it grows into a strong dandelion. More small umbrellas fly with more seeds to all directions… The excellent traditional Chinese culture, through the carrier of Taijiquan, is rooted in the hearts of thousands of people of different nationalities and different countries…
Now, Chen Zhonghua is busier.
He is busy practicing and teaching Taiji, more importantly, training more Taijiquan instructors. “The model and framework for the promotion of Taiji has been established. My own efforts are limited, and the promotion efforts of the state and the government are huge!”
On January 3th, 2019, Qingshan Taijiquan Culture Research Institute was established in Rizhao Vocational and Technical College, and Chen Zhonghua was appointed as the first dean of the Institute. Qingshan Taijiquan Culture Research Institute will strive to launch innovative research in the promotion of Taijiquan culture and the revival of Chinese traditional culture, the overseas study of Taijiquan culture, especially the “Belt and Road” region, and the role of Taijiquan in the national fitness. The result is to attract and nurture high-level talents who are interested in inheriting Taiji culture as a lifelong career, and to turn Rizhao into a demonstration place for Taijiquan research, practice and comprehensive popularization, and to radiate the power of Chinese excellent traditional culture to the world.
At the opening ceremony, Chen Zhonghua said with emotion: “I will use the foundation and influence of both Daqingshan and my decades of teaching and spreading of Taiji around the world, and take advantage of the two directions of ‘going out’ and ‘please come in’, cultivate a group of professional international Taiji instructors who are good at English, kung Fu skills and teaching, and open up the situation on both the international and domestic stages!”
“I am more and more keenly aware of the rising status of China and the expandinginfluence of Chinese culture in the world.” Putting down his coffee, master Chen said earnestly, “Now, I feel more and more urgently that the promotion of Taijiquan can’t stop! This is not my own cause, this is the cause of the Chinese nation! ‘To tell Chinese stories well, to spread the Chinese voice well, and to show the real, three-dimensional and comprehensive China to the world’, we need to be practitioners… “
Chen Zhonghua’s cell phone rang, “Right! First to Beijing, then to Canada, there’s a seminar in Vancouver, and there’s also a Taiji competition in Toronto that we’re hosting for the first time… “
“Sorry, I have to go! Go to Qingdao with my Taiji brother, then go to Beijing.” Without hesitation, Master Chen stood up and closed the laptop and put it in the bag. Put on a sports coat and picked up his traveling bag from the floor. It seemed that he was not going to Beijing or Canada that is thousands of miles away, but just to hang out next door.
When bending down, disciple Chen Xu saw a hole in the neck of master Chen’s sock. “Shifu, please change a pair of socks!”
Chen Zhonghua smiled slightly. “No! These socks have been worn for several years and are the most comfortable pair.”
“But you are going to attend the International Taijiquan Exchange Conference!”
“That’s okay. They’re watching my Taijiquan. Who’s going to pay attention to this?” Chen Zhonghua smiled and turned around.
It was already past noon, the golden sun was shining on the sea, warm but not dazzling. Chen Zhonghua stepped out of the gate of the studio, his pace was not big, but vigorous and urgent. A black car stopped at the corner, he turned and waved with a smile, then got in. The car started immediately and headed for the distance…
Over the past two months, he has been teaching PM in several cities in China. Now, Chen Zhonghua has opened his “International Taijiquan Flying Man” mode. His global seminar calendar has been scheduled to 2020: Canada, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Germany……