Train with masterful practitioners whenever you can

zhu tian caiZhu Tian Cai, one of the four tigers from the famed Chen village in Henan Province in China, has been visiting martial art schools across the US with his translator, Master Kam Lee. I drove to El Paso, Tx with Susan Matthews to train with them for a weekend of excellent training at Ray Abeyta’s Texas School of Taijiquan. GM Zhu is a lineage holder of the Chen family style taijiquan tradition that originated in Chen village so long ago. He’s practically royalty in the martial arts world that I have become part of in my pursuit of knowledge and health.

Grandmaster Zhu taught us his Silk Reeling (Chan Si) set, form, 42 fa jin form, and part of fan form. It was a packed weekend of hours of training at a time. He amazed me with his fun-loving teaching style and an obviously profound love of what he does. … not to mention his knowledge and ability.

To learn taiji movement in the presence of a recognized master, especially one directly descended from its origins is worth every effort to make the trip to practice with him or her. Master Zhu represents a long, storied history of China and some of the wonderful contributions that have come out of such recondite places as Chen Jia Gou. He sets himself apart by his willingness to teach international students. I am glad to meet and train with him and I hope to see him again when he returns. I wish him good health and safe travels so that we all will have the fortune of having back in the US.

Master Kam Lee who has studied with GM Zhu for years, translated  and led us in the sets alongside his teacher. He announced the launch of the International Tian Cai Taijiquan Federation. It looks like the home office will be in Jacksonville, Florida where Master Lee practices acupuncture and runs his own Kung Fu school. I look forward to hearing more about the new organization’s development.

Ray Abeyta is a three-time push hands champion, a great teacher and friend. He is unique in his community where he teaches a wide variety of people from 90 year old ladies to firemen and the UTEP college football team. If you’re ever around El Paso, contact him and visit a class.

Susan Matthews, ND, is a very high level taijiquan practitioner who incorporates neuroscience, anatomy and neurobiology into her practice as a healthcare provider/educator. Her Brain Workshop is of interest to people worldwide. You can learn so much from her that will improve your life in so many ways. Her high degree of energy is contagious. She’s one of those people that when you get around them you can’t help but feel energized. Her knowledge and ability are unmatched. I hope you are as fortunate as I am in having such talent surrounding you.

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