John Upshaw

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History and Development of the Midwest Group

Master Chen Zhonghua’s first workshops in Iowa were in 2007 and 2008, hosted by John Brown. In the summer of 2009 I organized the first Midwest Practical Method gathering, along with Tim and Levi, in the Northeast Iowa area, which was led by Tim Duehring. The group met periodically throughout the year for several years. Tim move to China to work for Master Chen, which Levi Sowers then led our gatherings. Several of our group members became disciples of Master Chen Zhonghua, which initially, Tim was the only one. The Midwest disciples, in chronological order, include: Levi Sower, John Upshaw, Erwin Ramthun, Jeff Clevenger and Christopher Dusek.

Levi Sowers and I have organized 3 Midwest Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Workshops that was taught by Master Chen. These workshops occurred in October of 2013, September of 2015 and July of 2016. We have organized the first North American Practical Method Training Camp that will be led by Master Chen this coming July.

The Warriors’ Journey Groups

I created and facilitate 2 groups, one for children and the other for adults, which combines Taijiquan with Somatic and Interactive Psychotherapies. I have about 16 participants and I am adding another group to accommodate more. I facilitate each group once per week. I teach it no differently that I am taught, except I have an added therapeutic intent. I have seen children transform from powerless to being empowered, developing self-confidence, becoming more courageous, more able to face the challenges of life and more able to be mindfully present in the moment.

Private Lesson

I teach private lessons and small class at Pfeiffer Springs Park on Sundays at 6 am. In the winter months other locations are decided upon. Levi, Erwin and Jeff (now residing in Huston Texas) teach in their towns.

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We are pleased to have Master Chen Zhonghua back for another workshop. This time Taijiquan training, lodging and dining will be at one location with one cost. This will be an intensive workshop focused on foundations, drills, form, push hands and applications.

Date: July 28 – Aug 1 2017
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10856457_10153365437296528_603459249230409363_oAn awesome practice on Sunday with Levi and Gerry. We focused on separation of movements/body function, finding the lines, taking and not losing space…just to name a few…Levi corrected our first 13 postures

Chen Zhonghua with Ronnie Yee in 2004 陈中华和余永安Last Sunday I made arrangements to have coffee then train with my elder disciple brother, Levi. He teaches Practical Method at The University of Iowa’s Chinese Martial Arts Club. We decided to train during his regularly scheduled class time as it provided a good space to practice. A new student arrived wanting to check out the class. Introductions were made. He was a visiting professor originally from China. After some discussion the gentleman disclosed he studied Hong Style Taijiquan for 7 years. Levi and I exclaimed that is the lineage we practice under our Shifu, Master Chen Zhonghua. He stated he studied under a disciple of GM Hong Junsheng and one of his grand-disciples, both Levi and I not having any knowledge of this Master. Read more