5 Levels of Tai Chi Masters

There are traditionally five levels of credentials and competence for tai chi masters, which are helpful to know since tai chi doesn’t have black belts or other obvious visible signs of competence. In China, the long-established hierarchy of learning and teaching tai...

In Memoriam to Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang

This weekend was the supermoon, the one time of the year when a full moon coincides with its perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit. On Sunday I was on a call with Alan Peatfield in Ireland discussing a future project I was planning on Lao Tse’s “Tao Te...

Kenichi Sawai – Spirit of Martial Arts

A member of the Shibuya tai chi school introduced me to Kenichi Sawai’s hsing-i group, who were fanatics about developing chi through standing practices. Sawai had studied for 10 years in China with Wang Hsiang Zai, founder of the I Chuan School of hsing-i. At the...

Huang Hsi I – Therapeutic Chi

The solidly built Huang Hsi I was about the same height as the average American man, but tall for a native Taiwanese. His strength and abundant chi—natural and trained—combined with his huge, immensely sensitive hands, made him a superb healer in Chinese qigong (chi...

Cheng Man-ching – Master of Tai Chi

One of the people at the aikido school I attended in New York after high school hours was a judo teacher named Lou Klinesmith. Knowing of my passion for the fighting arts, Lou asked me one day if I had any interest in finding out about a new kind of “soft” punch....

Wang Shu Jin – Master of Chi

In the summer of 1968, I traveled to Taiwan from Japan in search of the internal arts bagua master Wang Shu Jin, who was widely considered to be one of the best empty-hand fighters in Asia. I tracked down Wang’s class, which met at the amphitheater shell in the...

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