My Learning Taiji Quan Experience
by Jerard Lim
Before attending Master Rennie Chong’s class, I had little idea how Taiji Quan can really help strengthen the body. For most of us, it is the images of senior citizens doing Tai Chi in the community centres with slow moving motion and if it can really help. So my initial intention was to take Taiji Quan basically for improving one’s health.
It took me a while to really got down to finding a Taiji Quan class because of commitments to work and family. I finally got down to checking the internet and one of the top finds on Taiji Quan was Master Chong’s website.
The location was perfect for me as well as the timing of the classes – during weekday evenings. I wrote an email to Master Chong and he responded promptly. I did not take the class straight away as I was hesitant. However Master Chong encouraged me to come for the class even though it had started one. I believe that was in December 2007.
I remembered that during my first lesson, my legs was trembling and aching just doing the warm up exercises and began to realize real Tai Chi was not easy. However, I began to feel good only after the first few lessons.
I slept well, my senses are heightened and not fatigue easily. My sense of balance is also better. There is a sense of calmness the following day when I drive to work. I can feel that my legs have strengthen and can climb stairs easily.
Master Chong’s instructors were very patient, helpful and bilingual. The Professor Cheng Man Ching 37 steps Taiji Quan form were overwhelming initially as it seemed that there were too many steps to learn. However, they gave pointers during lessons to improve the exercise as well as learning the Tai Chi movement. I must say that there were times I almost gave up because remembering all the moves was not easy but Master Chong’s teaching method breaks down the movement into steps to allow students to digest slowly. One has also to be persistent in attending the classes and practice them on your own.
To supplement each lesson, the DVD and
instruction book by Master Chong was also very helpful for me to learn Taiji Quan and pick up some finer points. Without these, learning may be a little difficult as there is no guide unless you have good memory. So I highly recommend for students to obtain them. Up till now, I still make reference to these materials to pick up some finer points from Master Chong.
As mentioned I thought that Taiji Quan was just to improve one’s health through the relaxed and slow movement. However, Master Chong emphasizes that Tai Chi is more that just an exercise, it is really a form of martial art. He explains how each step is used in self defense and how to focus your energy and mind in your movement when doing Taiji Quan.
I still at a beginners’ level and there is more to learn from Master Chong and I hope improve my Taiji Quan in the near future.
I would highly recommend anyone who is keen on Taiji Quan to attend Master Chong’s class.