Paul Brennan’s site (www.brennantranslation.wordpress.com) is a great place to check out if you like to read old Taiji books. The latest book he has translated is Chen Zhaopi’s 1930 Introduction to Chen Style Taiji. The book is probably most interesting for the inclusion of Chen Changxing’s writings on the most essential aspects of Taijiquan. Well done Mr Brennan!
On the evening of 8th September, after six days teaching at Marek Balinski’s Chen Taijiquan Akademia, Chen Ziqiang gave a lecture at the Andrzej Wawrzyniak Warsaw Asia and Pacific Museum. The museum was established in 1973 and includes wonderful side arms, rich textiles, numerous shadow theatre puppets and masks, musical instruments, sculptures and paintings of contemporary artists – Indonesia, Mongolia, India, Nepal, Tibet, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, China, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are especially richly represented within the museum’s collection.
Chen Ziqiang’s talk focused on: the requirements of Taijiquan practice; some common mistakes people make in their practice; the different reasons for and the benefits of training Taijiquan. The lecture was translated from Chinese to English by Davidine and then from English to Polish by Tomasz Jurewicz. He spoke about the three main areas people benefit from practising Taijiquan – health, self defence and character cultivation. He also spoke about the main requirements of Taijiquan practice that need to be followed regardless of which area you are interested in. Some of the lecture’s content can be found on this website under the “Conversations” tab.
On 20th July Chenjiagou’s International Culture Centre hosted the Chinese Wushu Association’s (CWA) three day long national taolu (forms) tournament. This is the first time it has been held in Chenjiagou since the inaugural competition in 1993. Theme of the 16th tournament is promoting the development of China’s “martial arts villages” or significant locations in the ongoing history of the countries martial arts. At the opening ceremony one of the Wenxian official explained that the competition was emphasising the taolu of each system because learning a set of taolu is the first step in laying a lifetime practice. Secondly the competition was intended to let people to feel the “atmosphere and warmth of family” – with competitors taking part in a discipline that has a family feel to it. One of the aims of the competition was for all the competitors taking part to have a deeper appreciation of the story of Chinese wushu. In all 97 different wushu locations were represented consisting of 1600 competitors. Each different location has its own story to tell about its part in the development of China’s many different martial arts systems. Competing on the same stage individuals highlighted the 129 disciplines recognised by the CWA.
Wenxian in which Chenjiagou is situated was itself recognised by the country as a representation of a martial arts village in 1988 and 1992. In 2007 the CWA recognised Chenjiagou as the birthplace of Taijiquan. In Wenxian are over 3000 Taijiquan coaches teaching in China and abroad. As part of the opening ceremony representatives from all the major Taijiquan styles demonstrated - pictured above Chen Xiaoxing and his students.
The Chinese Wushu Association’s 2019 National tournament taking place in Chenjiagou was the perfect excuse for the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School’s class of ‘83 to organise a reunion. Familiar faces in the class include Chen Hong on the far left and Chen Bing.