A Real Martial Art

by webmaster3 on 2004/12/07

Originally written by: Doug Gauld

I sometimes read reviews of workshops given by masters and always view them with a ‘grain of salt’ being a somewhat critical and sceptical martial artist. I have been involved in martial arts since the early 1970’s. I’ve studied boxing, wrestling, judo, aikido, kick-boxing receiving black belt level degrees in several arts. In 1975 I was Canadian Middle-weight mixed martial arts full contact champion. For the last twenty years I’ve been pursuing skill in the internal arts with a focus on Ba Gua Zhang. I’ve attended numerous workshops and seminars offered by so-called ‘masters’ of internal arts. I am a teacher as well, possessing over 25 years of experience as a martial arts instructor.

Recently I renewed a friendship with an old martial arts buddy who had become involved in Chen Taiji. He also had travelled a similar road for about the same time looking for a genuine transmission of the real martial root of Taiji. He told me he’d found it in the person of an old style teacher of Chen practical old frame style. He spoke about the man with reverence and awe. I know Gord and he is a tough customer. He spoke about his teacher being able to throw him around like a rag doll. He spoke to me about Joseph Chen the International Standard Bearer for the Chen Fake-Hong Junsheng Lineage Chen Practical Style of Taiji. I was intrigued and began to work out with Gord and his group of students discovering what was the most genuine form of internal martial art I had ever encountered. I was fortunate to be able to attend a workshop offered by Master Chen in Langford, Victoria, BC on Dec. 4 & 5 of this year (2004).

I was impressed with the style as Gord taught it. I was astounded by Master Chen’s teaching and demonstrating. Every other internal ‘master’ I’ve ever studied with was unwilling to actually engage physically with me. Master Chen not only engaged in contact with me but handled my every move with apparent ease. I am 215 pounds of solid muscle at 6 feet tall. Master Chen is perhaps 5 foot 2 inches tall and maybe 115 pounds soaking wet. He invited me to feel the movements in his body as he, with precision of bio-mechanics and physics, explained and de-mystified the basic principles underlying the transmission of the Gong and the Fa of internal power. His style of presentation is magnetic and highly entertaining. He paces the workshop time well, interspersing hard practice drills with stories of Taiji’s theory and history.

I learned more about internal from him in one weekend than I’d learned and intuited in over 30 years of martial arts diligent study and practice. I am a better martial artist because of his precise explanations of the mechanics of internal power. He holds nothing back. In the tradition of his teacher Master Hong he shares freely both the application (Fa) as well as the foundation (Gong) that makes the applications work internally. I felt both silly and elated. Silly that I’d spent 30 years looking for a genuine transmission of an internal art and elated that finally in my 40’s I’ve met a generous man who I experientially know is a master of internal martial arts. If you are also sceptical and looking for the ‘real deal’ check out Master Chen if you have an opportunity.

Doug Gauld Victoria, BC Canada December 8, 2004

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