A walk through most any park in Beijing on any given morning, one can see a whole myriad of martial arts being practiced. The most common of those, from old ladies to young athletes, is tai chi. In honor of World Tai Chi Day (April 27th) The World of Chinese observed, interviewed, and photographed one of Beijing’s most prominent masters and his students.
Chen style tai chi originated more than 380 years ago, during the Ching Dynasty, from the Chen Village located in Wen County of Henan Province. Chen style is one of if not the most highly regarded forms of tai chi and boasts a very pure linage, having been kept through generations of secrecy. There have been many great masters, but most notably was the recently deceased Master Feng Zhi Qiang who was the master of Master Xie Zhigen.
Master Xie Zhigen is a master of Chen-style and Taiji boxing (kung fu) and is a bit of a legend at push hands. He has been doing tai chi for over forty years and is a venerable member of the Beijing martial arts community.
He instructs his students at Ritan Park in Beijing from about 7-10 in the morning. Below are imagined of a few of his students doing their morning tai chi.
Tai Chi often is done very slowly and purposefully but don’t let the slow moments and senior citizens fool you. Tai chi is a martial art and no form more martial then that of Chen style.
Master Xie Zhigen is the real deal, for anyone looking to add inner harmony with outer fitness and harness their chi, he is as good as they get. So, when the smog isn’t too bad, the Master instructs his pupils in the forms and art of tai chi.