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Wang Zhi, a Pursuer in Practicing Tai Ji Quan Kung-fu PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 08 June 2007

Wang Zhi, a Pursuer in Practicing Tai Ji Quan Kung-fu
    Wang Zhi could be addressed as an influential person in Tai Ji Quan community, in Ma'anshan, Anhui province. He has been pursuing Tai Ji Quan (shadow boxing) Kung-fu and trying his best to popularize the Quan over there. In December, 2004, he successfully held a competition targeting mostly for the spreading of Chen's Tai Ji Quan following the poetry festival on the state level in Maanshan. I got to know him during the Chen Style Tai Ji competition.
     He had great enthusiasm in explaining Tai Ji when we were talking about the topic concerning the Quan. His understanding is profound. He addressed that Tai Ji Quan is an art which possesses the most traditional characteristics of the Chinese nation. Its profoundness and prevalence of the world's civilization is incomparable. No other traditional culture can match its impact. Tai Ji Quan contains not only the practical attacking techniques, body building methods, but also the traditional philosophical thoughts, ranging from Lao Zi to Zhu Xi, from Zhou Yi to Li Xue (the study of reason). Literal words are quoted in the explaining of its Kung-fu practice, bringing out the best of each other. Tai Ji Quan fully reflects the intelligence of our ancestors. At present, even if language barriers might be a problem, Tai Ji Quan practitioners are visible anywhere over the whole world.
     Wang Zhi is one of the students of Jiang Jiajun, an apprentice and successor of Master Hong Junsheng. About 30 years ago, Wang adjusted himself in learning Chen Style Tai Ji Quan transferred from Yang Style. Initially, he learned Tai Ji Quan, Dao (falchion), Jian (sword) and Tui Shou (pushing hands) from Xu Guicheng, then Tai Ji Quan techniques, from Feng Zhiqiang, and finally, he has learned systematized traditional Chen Style Tai Ji Dao, Jian, Tui Shou and Tai Ji Da Qiang (thirteen Qiang) from Master Jiang Jiajun till now.
     Wang Zhi has been getting advanced greatly both in theory and in practice due to his hard practicing and work for many years. He has been able to identify the coordination of "Li (strength)" and "Qiao (skills)", Song (relaxed) and Yuan (circumvolving in various circles) in playing the Quan. He once said, it is a long process from practicing to obtaining skills, and then to Chang (long distance), Duan (short distance), Leng (poise), Jie (defense), Jin (vigor). It is a change from Zuo Sbu (being familiar with all the Tai Ji movements) to Dong Jin (understanding the strength) then to Shen Ming (mastering Tai Ji Kung-fu supernaturally). In passing through the three stages, no one can skip any of them. Teaching his apprentices the Quan, he often said that playing Peng should be soft and empty reaching every tip of your fingers while Song should be held onto your toe. He considers that practicing Tai Ji Quan is somewhat like filling water to a water cask. The more the water, the more sufficient Qi accumulates. When Qi is sufficient enough, you would get Wai Li (the outer strength) to burst out in a flash. Sending your Li is like a wheel rolling either to approach or to withdraw as well. If you could Fa Jin (sending your force out) so, the effect will be like a wheel hitting an object, if you do Rou Hua (having your strength soft), there will be no trace to find where it has been done. It will be miraculously natural.
     When we were talking about Tai Ji Shi San Shi (thirteen movements), he said that "Ding (holding on)." is the fundamentality while "Peng" is the base. Nothing is existing in Ba Fa but Chan Si Jin (the vigor and forces screwing to be close and around). The motion of Chan Si is prior to any other actions. Be swift while you are withholding your strength. The second you are touching your opponent, the second you leave. All motions should be finished as soon as possible, with neither disruption nor hesitation, neither blocking nor stopping. Full but light concentration is required. When you are practicing the Quan, your Yi (minding and intending) should be neither overloaded, nor unattained. The Quan gestures can't be up and down frequently. Being up too high, your Qi would be uplifted much, too low, your knees might be hurt. One should be poised when he is practicing Tui Shou. His Qi should be hold well balanced. His strength will be in circulation as long as his body is perceived in one as a whole.
     In the modem years, science is highly-advanced, nation's traditional art still prevails its enthralling charm. There are lots people devoting themselves all their lives in pursuing the art plus its wonderful charm. They would beat their chest if a stele is damaged or a piece of porcelain is broken, they would commit suicide if a school of traditional technique is lost. Wang Zhi is one of those people. All friends of Wang Zhi know well his mania for calligraphy, collection, and especially Tai Ji Quan. Whenever he goes out, he would visit any or all the curio markets. Whenever he has been in such market, he would buy some porcelain, jade, calligraphy and painting, or other miscellaneous antiques. At present, he's a member of Anhui Calligraphy Association. He has been practicing the Quan every morning, and studying calligraphy every evening. He knows a lot about Zhen, Cao, Li, Zuan (various styles of calligraphy). What is more admired is his persistent pursuing Tai Ji Quan. As he has been often traveling due to his work requirements, he has often gotten some opportunities to interview Tai Ji masters all over the country leaving his traces in Beijing, Shanghai, He'nan and other places. From Yang Style to Wu Style and then to Chen Style, he has experienced hardships to reach such far. Emerged from Kung-fu players, he possesses the elegance of a scholar even he had been an soldiery in the army before.
      His practice of Tai Ji Quan has entered the stage of theoretic research. Grasping the essence of Tai Ji Quan Master Hong Junsheng's theory, Wang Zhi has been getting inspired a lot through his real practices. He often encourages himself by Master Hong Junsheng's character in practicing the Quan. He evaluates the art of Quan to let more people understand the Kung-fu theory of "the level of ung-fu is measured by one's character".
     Whenever he talks about Tai Ji Quan with other trangers, he always addresses himself as an amateur. While someone said anything about Kung-fu in modern years, he would always response objectively what the Kung-fu people nowadays possess can't be compared with the ancient people's. From time to time, he has warned his students that there's no end in learning Kung-fu. The different schools all have their unique characteristics respectively. There are many masters in every school. If one can learn the merits of all the schools, he is able to improve his Kung-fu a lot.
     Wang Zhi perceives that Tai Ji Quan is a blue-chip kind of Chinese traditional masterpieces. He has been studying its theory as long as he has practiced the Quan for many years. He has gotten the elite of Tai Ji theory inherited from Master Hong in more understanding. He has usually encouraged himself with Master Hong's character in his embedded understanding, measuring the Quan and in his life. In his opinion, Tai Ji Quan should be popularized to serve all human beings. The saying that "one's character decides his Kung-fu level" should be understood and encouraged in more crowds for the continuance of this pearl of nation's traditional arts.

 

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