Previously a Taekwondo fanatic for 10 years, followed through all the way to Black belt ranking by JC1( equivalent to year 11). At that time, I thought Taekwondo was a Martial Art (but it never was, it”s just a sport as I found out to my disappointment… )L
in 1996 push hand class with GrandMaster Zhu Tian Cai.
Caught on to Taiji (Tai Chi) in 1995. In the past, used to have some degree of interest in Taiji (Tai Chi), thanks to Jin Yong”s fabulous Wuxia novels!! In University where I joined a tai chi club in my final year and met with a fellow Martial Art enthusiastic that introduced me to Kenji, a manga about traditional martial art kid. that travelled in China to find his grand dad (a must read if you are interested in Traditional martial art, go to this link : http://mangafox.me/manga/kenji/). In the manga, Chen Tai Chi was mentioned. So I intend to further my training in this art. I call the Singapore National Wushu Federation to enquire. I could still recall that was a Friday afternoon. “Hi, I want to join Tai Chi, do you guys conduct any?”.
“Oh, Zhu Tian Cai is starting a class for beginner starting next week.” One of the gentleman from Singapore Wushu Federation answered.
“Who is Zhu Tian Cai?” I asked.
“He is one of the 4 tigers, tai chi brother of Chen Xiao Wang”
“Oh, I have heard of Chen Xiao Wang and he was featured in the Kenji manga. So Zhu Tian Cai must be good, yes I would like to sign up.”
That was how I started training under Grandmaster Zhu, not know who he was when I signed up.. haha.
From then on, began my captivation with Taiji.
There was 1994 December, I first joined Master Zhu Tian Cai”s Chen Style Taijiquan class. My wife, was also dragged in to learn together with me. She has participated only with a great deal of reluctance, and after much resistance, as she felt it was an old man”s sport. But luckily, it turned out to be an eye-opener for her, as she discovered the fascinating secrets and benefits behind the art. Just 15 mins into the warm-up only, Master Zhu had us both soaking our tee-shirts. Now, that is not an old man”s sport!
In 1997, Aug 21- 23, participated in the Chenshi Taijiquan (Chen Tai Chi) Convention cum Demonstration held in Kelantan, Malaysia. Silver Medallist for Quan (Fist) and Jian (Sword). My wife collected a Bronze for the Quan, a Silver for the Jian.
1997, in October became an official disciple of Master Zhu, which makes me the 20th descendent of the Chen Style Taijiquan. Oops! At that time, me, my wife and another good friend of ours, our Taiji kaki, Seow Weilin (William Seow) became the 3 youngest disciples accepted by Master Zhu.
In 1998, June 21 – 28, all three of us were instructed (we were not given a choice!) to participate in the National Wushu Open Competition, Singapore. We competed in the Traditional category. I came in 5th for both Quan and Jian. My wife was the Gold Medallist in the Women”s Open, in both Quan and Jian. William garnered the Silver for his Quan, Silver for his Jian, and a Bronze in the Long Weapon Category. What a relief that was over! Still, it was a good experience, as it also forced us to practice more, and to practice harder.
Presently, my Taiji (Tai Chi) madness still continues … It seems that the more we learn, the more fascinating the skills uncovered, in terms of martial application, its health benefits especially. Each time, we reach a new level of awareness, it opens up a deeper understanding in the way we practice the art, and heightens our awareness of how it should be felt as we practice Taijiquan (T’ai chi ch’uan). If you are in Perth, and would like to join me in the Tai Chi Journey, please contact me.