Hong Sen

by Hong Sen on 2010/12/28

Hong Sen, grandson of Hong Junsheng, was born in 1966. He started learning Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method in 1982 at the Black Tiger Springs Park and is still practicing today.

My initial teacher was my father. I remember that in 1980 when I was attending second year in Junior High my father asked me whether I wanted to study Taijiquan during the summer holiday. I was a weak and quiet person since childhood and did not have much understanding of what taiji was. My father started me off with single hand circles. I agreed to that. From that point on, I learned positive circle for both hands and then the negative circle, followed by the form. When I learned to the move “Turn Right to Pound Mortar” the summer holidays were over. I did not learn anything new after that.

In the summer of 1982, my father mentioned that he would take me to the Black Tiger Springs to learn from my grandfather. I had a childhood friend with me. He was a outgoing person and liked to play with weapons and war games. Unfortunately he was not interested in taijiquan and ended up learning sanda (free sparring) in a local martial art school. He achieved very good acclaims later on in life. He met many of my grandfather’s students at the Black Tiger Springs Park but cannot recall all the names after many years. But I remember Master Li Zongqing, Zhang Lian-en, Han Baoli and Li Xuegang.

Upon hearing that I wanted to learn taijiquan, my grandfather said happily, “You were born weak. You do need to get some exercise!” Subsequently my grandfather appointed uncle Li Zongqing to personally instruct me and told me to follow uncle Li’s instructions. Uncle Li pulled me to the side and told me to start with the single hand circle. He performed the circle with both hands and then said, “The positive and negative circles are the foundations for Chen Style Taijiquan. You must study it seriously and practice them hard. After you gain mastery of the circles, then you can learn the routines.” He showed me the right hand single positive circle again and asked me to follow him. After a few repetitions, he said, “Did you do this before?” At this time my father came over and told him that he had taught me at home privately. Uncle Li said happily, “That’s great! You can learn more quickly then.”

He demonstrated what I had learned from my father. He made corrections on the knee and dang, etc. He taught me every move in great detail. Whenever my grandfather had time, he would teach me the theory and techniques. I finished Yilu at the beginning of winter. Both grandfather and uncle Li told me to practice the routine repeatedly till it becomes normal. Every day after supper my father would practice with me and give me corrections.

In the summer of 1984, my grandfather move to an apartment north of the Daming Lake. One day after morning practice I walked my grandfather home. Many of his students came to visit. My grandfather told them that I had finished Yilu and asked for volunteers to teach me Cannon Fist. Meng Xianbin was the first to volunteer, “I can’t turn down a chance to teach our family child.” Thereafter I learned Cannon Fist from uncle Meng.

I practiced daily after learning the two routines. In the middle of May, 1985 my father asked my grandfather to correct my forms. Grandfather decided to correct me every afternoon. At that time, he virtually did not go to the training site any more. Most of the time he was home writing his book. Many people came to visit each day. I remember he had a calendar that recorded the names of the people who visited. It is a pity that the calendar went missing when he passed away. Visiting hours were in the morning. His siesta time was before 4 pm every afternoon. So he asked to me come during his resting time to correct my forms. He explained the origin of each move, the application, the energy alignment and the reasons behind the theory and the application. I had to experiment on each move on him till I got it. During this time he was writing the chapter on the annotations of form names of the book “Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method”.  By the end of October, 1985 he systematically corrected my Yilu and Cannon Fist. In November, I joined the army.

I continued to practice both routines during the 4 full years in the army. In his correspondence, my grandfather urged me to give my service to the army but practice taiji diligently. In 1990 I retired from the army but work and life gave me a handful. I consistently visited my grandfather and asked for corrections. Because of work and my own laziness I did not devote more time to taiji.

In August 2010 I came to Daqingshan. The natural environment and uncle Chen Zhonghua’s devotion to taijiquan impressed me deeply. In close to two months, uncle Chen Zhonghua patiently made corrections to my forms daily and gave me advice on life and training. I learned a great deal from him. My grandfather once said, “I don’t have anything assets to pass on to my descendants. I only have these two routines of taiji. My grandchildren have the privilege to learn them but no right to be the inheritors because this is art, not physical assets.”

To ensure that the treasures of Chen Style Taijiquan does not become someone’s family inheritance, my grandfather taught his children but did not allow them to teach. Today we know that he was right in only giving his disciples the right to inherit and promote his art. As a grandson of his, I should be part of the generation of people who will learn and promote this wonderful cultural heritage of China so as to answer my grandfather’s wishes. In recent years, my uncles have given me a great deal of help and support. I hereby express my sincere gratitude to them!


About Hong Sen

洪森 洪均生先生之嫡孙一九六六年出生在中国山东济南市,一九八一年开始在济南黑虎泉学拳,获得2004年中国马鞍山“恒生杯”国际太极拳交流大会,传统陈式太极拳冠军。

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

gregory brazelton January 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I like this …..Very Much …. thank you So much sharing this


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