Taiji students visit the Grand Canyon with Chen Zhonghua

by admin on 2012/11/14

During Master Chen Zhonghua’s Nov. 2012 Phoenix workshop, local students and the organizer Master Ping Wei accompanied everybody on a tour of the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Here are some photos of their Grand Canyon visit.

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

bruce.schaub November 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

It was incredible to finally meet Master Chen. His Gong Fu is unlike anything I have ever felt. He is a very kind and generous person, and sincerely wants people to know what Taiji training is really about and how these special skills are attained. He answered all of my questions and let me feel the many effects of different manifestations of Taiji principles. I am inspired to train much harder, watch more carefully, and find more opportunity to train with him again as soon as possible.

Getting to travel with Master Chen was huge added bonus. I had never seen the Grand Canyon or Sedona before, and to have that experience while enjoying his company is somthing I will always remember. He is quite a lot of fun to be around. Always making everyone laugh and going out of his way to make newcomers feel comfortable and welcome. The same is true of his students. Master Ping couldn’t have been a nicer host and ” tour guide ” :-) . Marvin, Gerry, and Albert who also live in the area wrer very engaging, interesting people who were very kind to my wife and I ( Marvin even gave us a tour of his house in Flagstaff he had recently built out of shipping containers….one of the coolest houses I’ve ever been inside.)

Aside from simply enjoying Master Chen’s company while traveling, and having a lot of fun sightseeing, he never stopped teaching us. I learned almost as much while eating meals or casually walking and talking as I did during my scheduled class time. He would very generously stop and show me something or explain an aspect of training or correct our postures while taking pictures. To the point where at the end of the day I would have to go to the Hotel and write notes for an hour before sleep so I can better retain all that he taught us. I filled up almost half a large notebook over the course of four days, which I will happily share once I get home and can compile them.

There were students from the far east coast, the mid west, Texas and California ,and of course the locals from Phoenix. Everyone had a great attitude towards training and learning, and worked hard.
Thanks to everyone who participated for making it a phenomenal experience.

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pingwei November 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Master Chen’s teaching outside of his workshops is equally important. There’s a specific presentation or format in the workshop. Talks over the meal or while walking are different. They are more spontaneous. So, if you have a chance to follow Master Chen around, do so (as much as you can). One of the examples I’d like to share was the small talk over the breakfast this morning developed into something significant.
Master Chen (again) talked the relations of yin and yang, moving and not-moving. Tai Chi has the magic number of 3, Yin (1), Yang (2), and not-Yin-not-Yang (3). What is “not-Yin-not-Yang”? He asked. I replied that “I don’t know.” He then explained that “not-Yin-not-Yang” is actually a status which is beyond/outside of Yin and Yang. That status comes out of Yin and Yang split, yet is not influenced by Yin or Yang, not a part of Yin and Yang, definitely not “half Yin and half Yang.” This philosophy comes from Chinese traditional culture, Confucius’ 中庸之道, the Middle Way. I suddenly realized Tai Chi is the way of life. It’s much more than just saying “the Middle Way.” The knowledge is vast. I just saw the tiny light ahead of me. That’s my enlightenment. Enlightenment is the moment. The rest is the training/cultivating.

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Gerry Gebhart November 18, 2012 at 3:43 pm

This workshop was indeed a “Grand” experience.
The format was unique in that we all paid for private lessons, but we all observed each others dedicated one on one time with Master Chen. We had a couple people new to Practical Method. I learned much from every lesson, including the new students. One change I might make in the future is to have more space so that we can all mimic and move with the one on one teachings, and not get in the way. Perhaps, also, allow a few minutes for us all to work together mixed in with the lessons.
Most graciously, Master Chen provided us with video of our own lessons, so I now have reference for my specific teachings and assignments.
I must agree with Bruce and Ping. The more casual time with Master Chen walking, driving, eating is as valuable as the structured learning time. It was very fun to be with him as we took photos as we explored the rim of the Grand Canyon, and in Sedona.
What did I learn in this workshop? That I have much training to do. I learned that although I have always had limber joints, I cannot move in the way Master Chen prescribes. He actually did some physical therapy on my shoulders, sort of ripping them apart, without actually causing damage. I did find I could rotate them more freely, but I have more to do to get them to really rotate.
Thank you all!

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Albert December 5, 2012 at 7:48 am

It’s been about a month since I attended the Phoenix workshop. Thanks to Ping for organizing and hosting a successful workshop in Phoenix. It was also a pleasure meeting fellow Tai Chi practitioners.
I have been fortunate to attend 2 workshops within 6 months, first in Edmonton, then Phoenix. The one-on-one format in Phoenix workshop was perfect for working with Master Chen, as well as to re-enforce what was learnt by observing others’ lessons. I appreciate Master Chen’s expertise and passion in the art of Tai Chi. His method of teaching in the principles, execution, and hands-on experiment by him and on him has made Tai Chi definitely easier to understand. Of course to command one’s body to execute will take enormous amount of 功夫.
Several principles I learnt:
1. Stretch and rotate joints to increase leverage or mechanical advantage
2. Strike power is inversely proportional to the theoretical focal area
3. Body alignment increases power delivery efficiency
4. Decoupling body parts via asynchronous action confuses opponent’s reaction
My journey will continue in Daqingshan 2013.

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