Impressions of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng by Soga Tadahiro 曾我忠弘

by Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy on 2021/07/05

Impressions of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng
by Soga Tadahiro 曾我忠弘     Translated by Yasuko Inoue  

The first time I met Master Hong was in the summer of 1983 in the courtyard of a mansion (Jinan Hotel) in Jinan.  He was 75 or 76 years old at that time.  (**Notes in brackets are by Chen Zhonghua.)

My first impression of him was that he was very light on his feet and I did not hear his approaching footsteps. He arrived without me noticing his presence.

When he shook my hand, his hand had a very soft touch somewhat like a cat’s paw. After that I had many chances to spar with him. His hand did not appear like “steel wrapped in cotton” often mentioned by Taiji people. His hand had a quality more like a cat or an animal paw, not the same as a regular human’s.

His movement was beyond my imaginative scope and when I touched his hand, I felt that my centre of gravity started to float and my whole body seemed to be crumbling.

Also, I thought that Taiji meant that during partner sparring one does not attack. But when I asked him: “Do I attack now?” during Push Hands with him, he told me that “Yes,” I could… as soon as he said that, I was immediately thrown. We were inside a room that time and Master Hong had meant to throw me on the bed, but his power was too strong and I was thrown over and across to the other side of the bed.

Afterwards Master Hong explained that when one is “reading” (listening skill) the opponent, you momentarily need to heighten the opponent’s tension, then throw him.

Note by Chen Zhonghua:  In 2005 I went to Tokyo and met with most of Hong Junsheng’s disciples in Japan. We trained, pushed hands and exchanged ideas and stories about Hong. This is a transcript of Soga Tadahiro’s video comment on GM Hong Junsheng. Soga Tadahiro is one of GM Hong’s top disciples in Japan.

About Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy

Chen Style Taijiquan 19th generation disciple. International Standard Bearer of the Practical Method system of Hong Junsheng. Second generation master of Hunyuan Taiji. Been teaching internationally since 1985. Educated in the West with a Master's Degree in Education. Highly accomplished through the lineage of two great masters. Disciplined, precise and powerful. He teaches a complete system of taiji based on the principle of yin yang separation; indirect power as a core concept; movement and tranquility as the source of action. In both theory and practice, his taijiquan deals with the problems of double-heavy. He is a real treasure of the heritage of taijiquan.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy July 5, 2021 at 10:56 am

Soga Tadahiro described Hong’s hand like a cat’s paw and “when I touched his hand, I felt that my centre of gravity started to float and my whole body seemed to be crumbling.”
These are very true descriptions.
The part about Hong’s power so great that Soga was thrown to the other side of the bed is also accurate.

Overall, my personal impression is that Hong did things that are “NOT Normal”.


Gora Nebulana July 5, 2021 at 11:04 am

Wow impresive and inspiring expirience👍. The achievement of Grandmaster Hong is truly amazing. I really hope one day I can come close enough to that level of mastery. 🙏🙏🙏


Sevastianos Maillis July 5, 2021 at 11:17 am

Truly a real source of inspiration! Stories about GM Hong described from first hand experience are of great value for all Practical Method students. Once again, thank you Master Chen for sharing the sensation and concrete principles GM Hong Junsheng offered to the world of Taijiquan!


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