I want to start this Journal by introducing two of my most senior students who had left us. Pat Roberts and Phil Shields were two of the best people I have ever known. I'll always remember Pat's generosity and her humour. So many times she hosted up to a dozen of students at her house, providing food and drinks. She organized, hosted, cooked, and entertained, all while attended Taiji practice 6 hours a day. Her Taiji skills were extraordinary. Even at 70 years old with the tiniest stature, very few people can get the upper hand on her. She's one of the few who got to study with my grandfather, father and myself. Started in the 1960s, she devoted half of her life to Taiji.
Phil was one of the nicest people, a true gentle giant. So humble for someone who had so much skills. He was simple and genuine. A lifelong practitioner of martial arts, he started with external style at a young age and reached a high level in tournament fighting. You could never tell because he never talked about himself. Turned to Taiji in the early 90s and never turned back, he studied continuously. Teaching full time in London for more than 10 years, Phil had many good students. He made his life mission to help the elders and spread Dong style Taiji. The last thing we talked about was to get more young people interested in Taiji by start them with sparing and applications.
Both Phil and Pat planted many seeds and many have sprouted. I'm happy to see their senior students stepped up and taken over their classes. Teaching helps your own growth. It's good for the students and community to keep the classes going.
A special thanks to the students who stepped up took over the duties that Pat and Phil volunteered for. In time of need, your efforts are especially appreciated not only by myself, also many others who's been affiliated and attendees. So the workshop in Oxford UK and Carmel California will go on as planned this year.
We are also planning a Push Hands only residential in Greek seaside. For those who want to take a leap forward in Push hands or just interested in learning more about it, this workshop is a must. Push Hands will also deepen your understanding about Taiji. Taiji without Push Hands is like a Greek salad without the Greek olive oil; it just doesn't taste the same.
NEW! China trip 2014. Please visit this page for details and other workshops in special places.