Sunday, January 08, 2017
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Shr Jung (Shi4 Zhong1) Cheng Tze Tai-Chi Chuan Study Association teaches Tai Chi as a martial art and has an avid push hands program. Some teachers speak English. Some great and famous masters teach and advise this legacy school of Cheng Man-Ching's. If you're in Taipei, definitely worth a visit and better yet, stay for years of study!
Master Jeng-Bin "Richard" Huang, who stars in 2 of the YouTube videos listed below in the "2-28 Peace Park" posts demonstrating 37 Form Applications is highly skilled and should be sought out. I have not met him, but can see by his knowledge and applications that his skill is great. Master Huang speaks English and has an English webpage for his school which is next to where the above Shr Jung School meets in Taipei. Master Huang's School:
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Part 2 of this Peace Park Pushing Hands video continued in Ben's Post below...
I hope anyone who has more experience with the Peace Park group will write more of their experiences there. The group usually meets at the south east corner of the park by a small pond with a bridge in an all dirt area near some public restrooms. Across the street from the park was (and probably still is) a restaurant named "California Kitchen" (or something like that). The group meets daily from 7AM-ish to 11AM-ish.
Humble guests are always welcome... Pride filled martial artists will return home humbled and dirty. Regular members pay a small and reasonable tuition. Often there are 15 or more people doing free form push hands. Students of all styles attend and often there are foreigners in attendance (some that even fly in just to train with the group for a short period or brush up before a tournament). Often there are members present that speak a bit of English.
The head master of the group 鄭顯氣 Jeng Shean Chih (Zheng Xian Qi):
Huang Sheng-Shyan (黃性賢, Huang Hsing-hsien (WG) or Huáng Xìngxián
This listing hardly does justice to the Peace Park Group. They are a gem in the art of Tai Chi and any student of Tai Chi lucky enough to attend their group will surely taste great wisdom. Even luckier are those that stay a while, for their push hands are sure to improve.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Peace Park: A Great Place to Study Push Hands and Taichi Fundamentals in Taipei, Taiwan
I was introduced to the push hand group at Peace Park in Taipei, Taiwan today. I had heard about it through Precious James who runs this blog. I got into contact with him recently about places that I might study and practice Taichi in the Taipei area. He recommended Peace Park as a great place to study push-hands, put me in contact with someone he knows who studies there and away I went.
A little about me: I’m a 25-year-old recent college graduate from Philadelphia. I studied non-Chinese martial arts in the States for a number of years while I was in college but never really felt like I was getting what I wanted out of it. After finally breaking free of my old school and some negative patterns that I’d built up over the years, I decided that I wanted to move to the Far East and try again. I eventually settled on Taiwan for a number of reasons, and now I’ve been here a month and just had my first foray into the local martial arts world. Thanks James!
So I had arranged to meet James’s friend at the Peace Park subway station at 9am on a Sunday, and the first thing I noticed when I got there was all the people practicing martial arts. There were people doing hand and weapon forms everywhere I looked. I saw a Westerner with one of them and almost approached him, thinking this might be James’s friend. I didn’t, and it wasn’t, and James’s friend found me a few minutes later and took me to a quiet little corner of the park where the Peace Park Push hands group meets every morning.
They were very unassuming. I wasn’t even sure I was in the presents of ‘real’ martial artists at first. It seemed like just a group of regular people exercising in the park, and in a sense that was what they were. They were regular people exercising in the park, some of whom just happen to have a phenomenal grasp of push hands and the Taichi principles that go with it.
I had never done push hands before with someone who really knew how to do it, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured they’d be tossing me around without much difficulty (I was right), but I didn’t realize how much I would learn from just one morning studying with them.
They started me with some deceptively simple warm-up exercises. They seemed easy until James’s friend explained what was really supposed to be going on. Then I realized that not only wasn’t I doing them properly but that I wasn’t going to be able to do them properly that day and probably not for awhile. There were layers to these exercises: the external movements (which were difficult by themselves) and then levels of internal movement designed to transfer force through the body. These “simple exercises” were almost completely beyond me, and I’ve been studying martial arts for six years. I’m told that this is a common experience when those of us who have studied elsewhere come and meet people who really understand rooting and structure.
After the warm-up exercises the master, a soft-spoken 80+ year-old-man, came over. I told him I’d never done push hands before in my halting Chinese and he said it was okay, said some more that I didn’t understand and started pushing me, explaining basic movements with a few words and a lot of pantomime and gesture. After a few minutes, I felt like I was moving pretty well and even started to feel a little full of myself. Oops. The master set me up with my first push-hands partner and my ego was quickly deflated.
These guys could push me around almost effortlessly. Even on the few occasions that I scored a ‘point,’ and caused someone to take a step, it was only because they had been going easy on me because I was new. There wasn’t anyone there who didn’t have something that they could teach me, and almost everyone there was only to happy to help me improve, even when my ego and competitiveness came out to play. They would just push me off balance, tell me to relax, and we’d start again.
Everyone at the Peace park group has a different ‘feel’, a different style in their push hands. Some like to line up with you and see you can push the hardest. Some like to use the least possible amount of force or lead you into traps. They all have different approaches and different things that they can teach you, and many of them are really really good. That’s the beauty of Peace Park. It’s not just teachings from one teacher. It’s a variety of teachings from a variety of teachers, all under the guidance of the master.
The Peace Park group is primarily a push hands group, though they do teach a little bit of form. People who go there regularly can learn the Chen Man Qing Yang style 37 form and the White Crane forms which I’m told are related to Taichi but are really a separate art with similar principles (White Crane uses a lot of fajing- explosive movements). There are probably better places around to learn form, but I’ve been told that the Peace Park group is one of the best places in Taipei and perhaps Taiwan to learn the fundamentals of rooting and structure which is so important in Taichi.
That was my first impression of the place. If I decide to study there regularly (and I’m certainly leaning in that direction), I’ll post a follow up in a couple of months to let anyone who’s interested know how my opinion of them has grown and changed.
The Peace Park Group:
Styles: Chen Man Qing Yang Style Taichi and White Crane
Focus: push hands
Master: Jeng Shean Chih (Zheng Xian Qi) student of Huang Sheng Shyan (Considered greatest yang stylist after Cheng Man-Ching and some say better) Huang mastered White Crane student of Cheng Man-Ching. (here's a good link for Huang: http://www.singongtaichi.com/yso.html )
Cost: 3000NT per month (about $90 US)
Time: 7AM(begin qi gong) to 11Am(or later)
Friday, January 02, 2009
Some highly skilled players lead by Master Lai3 Tien1 Zao4 constantly change partners for good natured pushing. Lai3 Tien1 Zao4 over 70 years old is still a top player of the group and certainly amazes with his continued ability to throw the largest of the bunch! Tai Chi is demystified here with hours of pushing practice. Some students stay past 9:30 AM and continue to practice. Last time I attended, I pushed until noon.
Truly open to all styles, I met many Teachers who themselves teach tai chi classes weekdays at other parks around Taichung, but all come to meet for this weekly Sunday push hands meet.
P.S. Last heard, this group has changed locations and is meeting at Master Lai's Center. I'm traveling right now and don't have Master Lai's card. Will post number and address later, or call David.
Contact David Chen (886) 919-442-436 or Precious Powell (taiprecious at yahoo dot com) for more information.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I recently tasted a nectar so sweet that I must tell you of the tree from which it's fruit fell... Such an opportunity so rare, that few will have a chance to take it in this lifetime... take the course that will shed light on depths unconscious, lead to truths rarely experienced...
I've just returned from a month at a vipassana meditation center in Massachussets. I attended 2 courses and volunteered in between. The benefits I have realized from the visit are inumerable. I attended my first 10-Day course in Taiwan 1 year ago. I was quite skeptical of the organization and teachings during my first course... but by the end of my first 10-day course, I was amazed at the increased peace and balance I was experiencing. I felt such great benefit from the course, that I immediately volunteered at the Taiwan center to help with the next course. After volunteering at the Taiwan center and at the Massachussetts center this year, I began to discover what a wonderful organization it is. An organization offering EVERYONE the opportunity to have 10 days to look within, know thyself, and discover the truth that resides deep within each and every one of us. The course teaches tools that lead practitioners to deeper peace and happiness and help the practitioner better steer through the trials and tribulations life is bound to bring each one of us. I have also come to know that one can stay true to their own faith, of any religion, and attend a vipassana meditation course without conflict. A vipassana meditation course will only serve to strengthen one's morality, devotion, faith, peace, and compassion.
"There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit."
International Website: http://www.dhamma.org/
So, your seat is waiting for you. All you need to do is find the time; the 10 days to attend. Many of you know of,.. have followed,.. or have even joined me on my adventures and travels through the last decade. And many of you look forward to your next vacation, when you can take your next adventure to some far away place... But after all of my travels... I am amazed to have experienced the greatest adventure, the greatest benefit, the most peace and happiness by traveling WITHIN during this 10-day meditation course. And depending on your location... you may not have to travel so far to attend a course. There are Vipassana Meditation Centers around the world that are run by volunteers that are old students. These old students come to the centers to voluntarily serve, so that others may experience the same benefit that they themselves have experienced... and such has been my motivation for the 4 courses I've volunteered for this year. Visit their website to find the closest center to you: ( http://www.dhamma.org/ )
See some videos about Vipassana Meditation here: http://www.pariyatti.org/podcasts/
Through the course, I had the chance to sharpen my awareness, consciously observe my thoughts, habits, and patterns, and develop a more peaceful, balanced, loving, compassionate mind... all the while learning a technique that will allow me to do so more often.
During the course I explored my relationship with:
plans for the future
and gleaned new knowledge and wisdom about each one. As I left old habits behind, I began developing new ones that I always dreamed of achieving. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Thank you to Dan, Michael, Rebecca, and Jeff for recommending this course to me while I was in Taiwan. You have shared with me an invaluable gift!
I have cancelled my plans to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics as I feel it would better benefit myself and therefore the world by staying where I am and serving my family and the Vipassana meditation center in Massachussetts this summer here:
( http://www.dhara.dhamma.org/ns/ ).
Taiwan Vipassana Centers Information (Taichung County, Kaohsiung County, and Occasional Hualien courses):
The main Taiwan Vipassana Center is located 40 minutes east-north :) of Taichung City.
English course schedule for Taichung: http://www.dhamma.org/en/schedules/schudaya.shtml
English course schedule for Kaohsiung: http://www.dhamma.org/en/schedules/schvikasa.shtml
The 中文的 website is here for Chinese: http://www.udaya.dhamma.org/
Here is the Taiwan website in English: http://18.104.22.168/TVC/Web/eng-nt.htm
Monday, February 19, 2007
Great Push Hands Video:
I enjoyed: Carrying the Burden of Taiji Legacy
Visit Sam Masich's TaiJi page for perhaps the best articles of the group! (click the image)
Friday, January 19, 2007
Being able to study ancient Chinese arts such as Tai Chi while being able to make and save good money working part time as English teachers is an experience all of us here in Taiwan can attest too... an experienece that some of us haven't been able to leave... as some of us continue our multi-year stays. Wouldn't it be nice to extend the knowledge of this opportunity to more like-minded Tai Chi enthusiasts around the world... (considering many of the folks that are rolling off the boat daily to BANK on the English teaching scene here in Taiwan don't have an ounce of interest in Chinese Culture and contribute little to Taiwan... besides returning their teaching wages back to Taiwan's liquor industry)? Yes, this is another kick in the pants (Tai Chi Style) to share your knowledge... like others did for YOU... to lead you to your teachers and awesome Taiwan Tai Chi experiences.
Most Masters LOVE the "face" foreign students provide. Let's give back to those who have given so much to us. If you want me to send you an Invitation to become a Contributing Member to this blog, please contact us Through Precious James' Facebook page listed top right. Please forward this message to any friends that study Tai Chi in Taiwan.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
By Shi Yan Ming and Allan David Ondash
Should I warm up before I Stretch? Absolutely. By performing external Chi Kung...
Click here for full Article: http://www.usashaolintemple.org/press/objective-stretching/
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Tai Chi Chuan Championship
The World Cup will replace the Chung Hua Cup, so, this is the largest competition of the year for Taiwan and one of the largest International Tai Chi Chuan Competitions in the World.
There is new interview of GRAND MASTER HSU YEE CHUNG (Head of Cheng Man-Ching 37 style Shr Jung Tai Chi Chuan School)
Friday, August 18, 2006
Zhao1 Zhong1 Hai2 is the teacher. He has studied for decades and is passionate about sharing Tai Chi. His fighting ability is above most teachers and he shares this ability with interested students. He is an excellent teacher and expresses lessons very clearly in both word and body language. Master Zhao1 always reinforces foundational Gong Fu with challenging practices. Classes often include partner pushing hands and light sparring for advanced students. Master Zhao1 speaks English and is happy to teach diligent students. Most students offer quarterly red envelopes (Hong2 Bao1) stuffed with money as a token of appreciation (though it doesn't have to be a large sum) around major Chinese Holidays.
For more information about this class or any Internal martial arts classes in the Taichung area call David Chen (886) 919-442-436. (Picture of David and Precious)
Marcus Luo, a bilingual teacher, offers Chi Gong classes once a week in Hualien. Offering an introduction to Chi Gong breathing excercises and martial arts, Mr. Luo claims that the excercises create an environment where students "become concious of the current of nature [Chi] that is all around us." His system which he calls Thousand Mountain White Crane Chi Gong, draws on teachings from many disciplines. He supplements the core teachings of White Crane Chi Gong with aspects of Yoga and Tai Chi.
The class introduces the ideas and practices of Chi Gong. As one student put it, "If you had told me I'd be doing Chi Gong 'energy cultivation' everday six months ago I would have called you crazy. Now I can't imagine not doing it." The class, open to the public, meets every Friday at 7 am in Hua Gang Park and again at 12 noon under Lin Sen Rd. Bridge. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. (Written by Matt Hopkins, cited from Highway 11 magazine, August 2006, Taiwan)
Monday, January 02, 2006
The captain had heard that I was practicing with the local Tai Chi club recently. The local Tai Chi club has a different coach. A coach that was also a student of the grand master... until a recent falling out. When I first arrived in Taidong 2 years ago, the Grand Master encouraged my study with the local coach and praised his ability. After their recent falling out, the Grand Master now has nothing good to say about the local coach. And continuously disuades me from practicing or associating with them. Though the local coach still praises the Grand Master's ability, he wastes no time to gossip and stays focused on the practice of gong1 fu1.
The Grand Master had many reasons why I shouldn't practice with the local club. He said that later when my skill is recognized, the local teacher might try to claim it was his skillful teaching that developed me (I should hope I might be so famous one day as to have my teacher worrying about the fame I will bring him!).
The Grand Master said the local club might use me for publicity to attract attention for the local Tai Chi club (being the famous foreigner that I am in this small country town). Another reason is that the two teachers teach some points differently and I might confuse the teachings and become confused as to the "correct" way.
The team captain then suggested I practice with the Grand Master's students or by myself and disassociate myself from the local club completely. If I failed to do so, he said the Grand Master would not want to teach me further.
This reminds me of the words of Cheng Man-Ching, "Only a teacher with a small art is jealous of a student's instruction elsewhere. I welcome your sampling of other systems, for I know you will come to realize that you really have but one master in this art. The postures themselves..." (Tai Ch'i the "Supreme Ultimate"Excercise for Health, Sport, and Self Defense, Cheng Man-Ching and Robert W. Smith, page 103). In this quote, I'm not sure what Master Cheng means by, "you really have but one master in this art", but he doesn't seem to be refering to himself as that one master.
I prefer the philosophy of my local tai chi coach. He said Tai Chi is a great art... there's no harm in different practice methods... just practice. And then he said, "Let's push."
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Picture ^^^above: Master Wang & Precious
on Jin1men2 Island, Taiwan.
Picture vvv below: Master Ju:2 Hong2 Bin1 & Precious
at the 2004 intermediate coach training course.
Master Wang comes to Taidong Monday afternoon and teaches a class from 11am - 12pm. Another class from 4:30pm - 6:00pm for one on one private sessions. Then a Monday evening class from 7:30 to 10pm which focuses on push hands practice. Tuesday morning from 6am to 8am we practice at Taidong University. Master Wang teaches the Cheng Man-Ching 37 form (left and right sides), Push Hands, Yang Style 108 long form (in the tradition of Yang Cheng Fu), Yang 54 sword form (Cheng Man-Ching tradition), Broad Sword or Sabre, and San1 Shou3 (known as Da Lu practiced in pairs).
Master Wang also teaches in Kaohsiung, Tainan, Shan Hua, Taichung, and Taipei County. In these other cities, Master Wang usually has over 40 students attend his classes. So, having the opportunity to study with him one on one is awesome! Taidong is an awesome place to live as well! Beaches, mountains, laid back, and much smaller than Taiwan's major cities. Check out my friend's blog for cool Taiwan pics and stories: http://stefunk.typepad.com/
Email me about Master Wang's classes in Taidong.