Kickboxing, Tai Chi Chuan Center Inc.
Better Life Tai Chi
Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing
Of all the modern Tai Chi masters, none have had the impact of the late Cheng Man-Ch'ing. As a child growing up in China, Cheng suffered from a chronic lung condition and a local doctor suggested that he take up Tai Chi to remediate his condition. Cheng proved so good a student that he not only learned Tai Chi, he also cured himself of his illness through his practice.In many ways Cheng was a prodigy. He grew up to become renowned in his own country as a master of the "Five Excellences": painting, poetry, calligraphy, medicine and martial arts. When one considers the vast learning and diligent study it takes to master even one of these disciplines, Cheng's achievement becomes even more remarkable. His skill as a physician was said to be particularly uncanny and it is in this capacity that he was brought the the attention of Yang Ch'eng-Fu, the standard bearer and lineage heir to the great Yang Lu-Chan, founder of the Yang Family Style of Tai Chi. It seems that Yang's wife was extremely ill and the most prominent doctors had had little success trying to find a cure for her illness. Yang had heard of Cheng's reputation as a doctor and he agreed to examine her. Cheng was able to successfully restore MadameYang to health and in gratitude, Mrs. Yang persuaded her husband to accept him as a Tai Chi student. Cheng studied daily with Master Yang for years, enduring many hardships to learn the art. Although he later rose to become a great master of Tai Chi himself, Cheng, in typical modesty, always denigrated his own skill with respect to his teacher's. "If Tai Chi was a human body," he was fond of saying, "all I possess is the thumb. My teacher (Master Yang) has the whole body!" No small praise from this highly accomplished individual.After an illustrious career as a physician, senator and martial artist in Taiwan, Professor Cheng emigrated to the U.S. where he ran a large Tai Chi School in New York's Chinatown section. Much to the detriment of us all, the old master departed this life on March 26th 1975, but his legacy lives on through his poetry, his painting, those he healed and those he taught.
T'ai chi ch'uan classes with purely a health emphasis have become popular in hospitals, clinics, and community and senior centers in the last twenty years or so, as baby boomers age and the art's reputation as a low-stress training for seniors became better known.As a result of this popularity, there has been some divergence between those that say they practice t'ai chi ch'uan primarily for self-defense, those that practice it for its aesthetic appeal, and those that are more interested in its benefits to physical and mental health.More traditional stylists believe the two aspects of health and martial arts are equally necessary: the yin and yang of t'ai chi ch'uan. The t'ai chi ch'uan "family" schools, therefore, still present their teachings in a martial art context, whatever the intention of their students in studying the art.Kickboxing, Tai Chi Chuan Center Inc.Eltingville, Staten Island 10312(718) 948-4131 Come see us. We wish you good health and peace.