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bryant fong
Sports , Sports Coach
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Taiji in 2013

I have been busy this summer trying to comply with much of the new CCSF requirements for courses and revising the outline for my Tai Chi for Health Course.  Its a different way to teach Taiji..it is now necessary to track each students progress with metrics to show statistical results..certainly not the way of traditional sifus.....But it did give me some pause to examine how Taiji is taught nowadays.  Most training today emphasizes learning form not function, and practicing sets and not basics or Gung.  Grandmaster Feng always said: If you don't practice Gung when you get old all you will have is empty (Kung)!  Yes, practicing silk reeling is essential...but so is stretching, kicking, punching the bag, and some taiji tuishou and shanshou.  Why the emphasis on form?......Master Zhou my Bagua teacher answered this question in two ways....one it's easier to teach form than Gung, and that's not what China  is doing so everyone goes along with it.  So Taiji becomes a competitive sport......goal then is to turn out athletes as quick as possible, and not worry about little things like Qi flow and meditation. 

Having to do metrics made me think though most of what I had been teaching was Taiji Forms and not Tai Chi.........learning how the energy flows, how to move it, how to connect the body. mind, and qi.......But, all this has to do with the bigger question of how to popularize Tai Chi and Chinese Martial Arts.  So with this in mind I had a reunion with members of the US Wushu Team from the 1st World Wushu Championships, in which I had the privilege to be the US Team Coach. In the era of USAWKF, it was the best US Team we have ever sent to World competition.  The best btw was the US Team we sent to Tianjin in 1986.  It was great to see Andrew, Amy, David, and Bobbi.  David Ross, however, was the one to ask me about teaching Tai Chi and what I thought about our methods.  One of the important conclusions was that Wushu and Tai Chi are just too complicated and that in order for it to become mainstream...we have to simplify yet offer a good workout, and not get away from the principles of Tai Chi.  David interestingly, is working with Jet Li, to promote Tai Chi using a new program called Tai Chi Fit.  The idea is to not teach any form perse, but to teach students about the flow of Tai Chi, and to keep students constantly moving.  The posture and techniques all come from Tai Chi....but are connected and linked to

provide movement in all directions, and teach the student how to align their bodies.  Jet Li feels that Tai Chi has a much better chance of becoming a mainstream form of excercise than Wushu which is for a very limited number of Elite athletes. 

Well, I will continue my thoughts about this another time....now for some pictures of recent events........

Dinner with Gigi and Tiger Claw Judges.

Rhonda and Helen helping with scoring and timing...great Job!

My fellow classmates at Tiger Claw, Sifu Robert Louie, Herb Leung from Grandmaster Jackman Wong's Jing Wu School, and Sifu David DeJesus from Tibetan white Crane.

Gene Ching presenting us( Chris, Emilio, and Myself) with awards of appreciation...Thanks!

World Tai Chi Day in San Jose.  I did not expect to see Yu Shaowen from Beijing Team and his lovely wife, World Tai Chi Champion, Gao Jia Min.  Jia Min I actually had not seen in more than 10 years..it was good to see her.

Jiamin and Zhou Yin Jian lead the 100 or more Tai Chi Practioners in 24 Tai chi to open the days performances.  If you were around then, the first World Tai Chi Day we opened at CMAT with 100 students and Masters performing 24 Tai Chi also.

Also, in front the group performances were led by many famous Tai Chi Masters, including Canada's Liang Shou Yi, Grace Wu, and Yang Jwing -Ming.

It makes you realize Tai Chi is slowly gaining momentum, though its important to notice, that Wushu and Tai Chi are still dominated by Chinese, and we need to reach a broader audience and put these arts within everyone's reach.

Have a nice day.....anyway some food for thought.

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Coming: Sept 14 Mid-Autumn Festival Sept 15 Dragon Boat Festival Oct 12 4th Annual Golden State Chinese Martial Arts Champions

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english, cantonese, mandarin, german, spanish
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December 27, 2007