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Starting Taiji with Master Chong

by Lee Wan Cheong

During my teenage years, I was fascinated with the swift flowing movement of Chinese kung fu. I learnt some mix Chinese kung fu in a “Hui Guan”. I was able to perform the movement with reasonable grace. However, a few years later, I realized that it was only pure form without in-dept skill. I didn’t progress further and stopped practicing for over 30 years; partly due to other priorities and partly due to lack of luck in meeting a qualified Martial Art Master. 

About 7 months ago, I was attracted to Taijiquan after having browsed through a book written by Cheng Man Ching. What raised my interest was the application of Classical Chinese philosophy in Taiji. I then went further to search for more information in the web-site in an attempt to understand Taiji. I found Master Rennie Chong’s web-site most useful and started to correspond with Master Chong. With Master Chong’s friendly and precise introduction of Taiji, I realized that Taiji is a complex Martial Art and extremely difficult to learn correctly from books & DVD. Also, I was convinced that he is the Taiji master I’m looking for to learn proper Taijiquan.

Within 4 months of starting Sifu Chong’s Taiji class at Bishan, I’m able to feel some kind of tingling sensation in my palms & fingers. This feeling is more apparent during the breathing exercise -- the fingers of both hands would seem to have a kind of internal force (similar to magnetic force) that resisted being pulled apart. I was told that this sensation is due to inner energy (Qi) flowing in my body. I began to comprehend that Taijiquan is a fine art and not like any other regular exercise. When practicing taijiquan, it is necessary to stay focus to coordinates the movement and breath and seek to develop balance & calmness in my mind and body. Such wonderful feeling is beyond any words can exactly express. I became so deeply in love with this martial art that I practice daily; missing a practice would make me feel uneasy. Soon I can see some improvement in my progress. 

I like the way Sifu Chong coach. He never over-teach, he just gives a few key points during each session for me to work on. At appropriate time, he would explain the meaning and application of Taiji philosophy clearly. For some that are difficult to explain in words, he would show by demonstrating with the postures. Sifu Chong is very inspirational. His appearance may be gentle, but I can sense that he is very strong internally; especially when he teach how to practice push-hands and generate force. He emphasizes the important of regular practice and practise correctly. The continuous smooth flowing Taiji movement demonstrated by Sifu Chong appears easy, but when I try to emulate it is not so. I believe one needs many years to master Taijiquan. I am fortunate to have found a good & knowledgeable Taijiquan master, thank you Sifu Chong. 

20 April 2011


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