Joanne Chang

Professor Cheng Man-ching is listening a patience's pulse at his office in New York Chinatown.
Professor Cheng Man-ching is listening a patience's pulse at his office in New York Chinatown.

"Cheng Man-Ching Style Tai Chi Chuan" was developed by Professor Cheng Man-ching, and was based on the Traditional Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan passed down in the '30s by great grand master Yang Cheng-fu. The distinguished essence of Professor Cheng's teachings were noted as to strengthen the legs and soften the body; to maintain the equilibrium and increase the sensitivity; to cultivate our mind and seek for our spiritual immortality.

The Professor once wrote a poem to his students:

One's life only reaches 100 years,
the body begins to deteriorate when you pass 40.
How good is it to fight for both fame and money
      if the body can not keep?
Just enrich your knowledge by reading and
      improve your skill by diligently practicing this art.
Be an orchid in an empty valley, its fragrance will attract admirers.

He also reminded his students that:
If I give people money, they will spend it all.
If I give people fame, they will attract enemies.
Only if I give them a healthy body, self-defense skills,
      and a cultivated mind, will they live happily ever after.

We have 3 levels in our Tai Chi Chuan practice:

1) Health & Fitness -- Strengthening our shaking legs, lubricating rusty joints, softening tight muscles and relaxing the tense mind.

2) Application -- Increasing body sensitivity, enhancing awareness in balance, understanding various forces and learning the "right timing."

3) Cultivation -- Meditating internal energy, dissolving everyday challenges, neutralizing temptations and inspiring people with kindness.

We practice Tai Chi solo form to know ourselves;

We practice Tai Chi sensing-hands to know others;

and we practice Tao of Tai Chi to know the world.

Tai Chi Chuan Solo Form

Snake Creeps Down Posture Tai Chi Chuan solo form was originally created as a martial art application in the ancient time. It now has been modified into a set of mild exercises for health and fitness, as well as a cultivation medium for the internal well-being.

Learning Tai Chi is like learning a new language, beginners will start with Tai Chi principles and basic movements, then they will learn how to compose the sequential solo form, after they have familiarized the sequence, they will need to understand the meaning behind each move, from that point on, they will start to refine and enrich its expression through diligent practice, and gradually Tai Chi becomes an art of their living.

In Wuwei Tai Chi Club, the art of Tai Chi Chuan has no graduation and no mastery but a joyful journey of learning, refining and cultivating.

Tai Chi Sensing-Hands

David and Carol Pushing Hands Sensing Hands -- known as "Pushing-hands", is a set of two-person drills for students to experience various touches. Through guided principles, students practice the application of relaxation on neutralizing, yielding, sensing, balancing, rooting, as well as Professor Cheng's philosophy of "Investing in Loss." Through these exercises, we examine and correct our physical and mental weakness under simulated force and conflicts.

The goal of learning Sensing-hands is to establish a neutral relaxation (Non-action) for everyday chaos (action). Without this mind/body sensitivity training, a student's Tai Chi is just a surface act, although the posture may "look" relaxed, the body is tense when touched. Through Sensing-hands training we often found the most difficult thing to overcome is our tough ego; thus we encourage no competition, no attitudes, and no criticisms among our students.

The Professor also said to us:

A relaxed body is a body that does not hold (onto things).
A relaxed mind is a mind that does not hold.
Our shoulders have carried a backpack while we sit, while we walk, and while in sleep; just put down the load, we are free."

Tai Chi Sword Form

David's Sword form Tai Chi sword is a beautiful routine for its elegance and smooth flow yet a clear display of martial art understanding. With the sword in hand, students continue to explore the extended control of sensitivity as well as agile footwork. With the foundation of Tai Chi form and Sensing-hands practice, students learn to use the energy from the legs and waist to drive the sword movements, to be sensitive enough to slice and thrust through the resistance of the air, and to further keep the entire exhibition Non-action.

Sword fencing drill is for partners to evaluate their overall Tai Chi principles under the simulated offense and defense play; through sticking & following each other's sword, students learn to sense the partner's intention thus respond properly with relaxed arm and lively stepping. It is a higher level of executing the Tai Chi applications.