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Tai Chi Masters

Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang and Master Bruce Frantzis

This weekend was the supermoon, the one time of the year when a full moon coincides with its perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit.

On Sunday I was on a call with Alan Peatfield in Ireland discussing a future project I was planning on Lao Tse’s “Tao Te Ching,” and talking about how our kids were doing. Then he told me he’d heard that my Chen style tai chi teacher in Beijing, Feng Zhi Qiang, had just passed away the previous day, on Saturday May 5th. I felt as if I’d just been punched in the stomach.

After the phone call I lay in bed unable to sleep for several hours. This news put a hole in my life and I felt overwhelming sadness. I had great personal affection for Feng, something considerably more than the ordinary bond between teacher and student. After the last time we met at his home this past December in Beijing, the hope was that I could go back to China and study with him for a few months.

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Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang and Master Bruce Frantzis

Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang and Master Bruce Frantzis

In Beijing last December, I had the good fortune to visit Tai Chi Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang.  Feng taught me Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan,  Tai Chi Push Hands and Hun Yuan Qigong in the 1980s and 1990s.  It had been about 13  years since our last meeting.

Master Feng’s daughter Xiu Fang picked us up at a Beijing hotel and drove us to her father’s new apartment, an hour away from the city center.  Feng Xiu Fang also teaches tai chi.  During the car ride, she mentioned that outside China, she mostly teaches in Japan, just as her father used to. She also sometimes travels to Europe and America.

Xiu Fang mentioned that when teaching her father’s tai chi which he personally learned from the famous Chen Fa Ke, she emphasizes health at all levels.  Naturalness and circularity, everything returning to its source in its natural time, are also important components of her teaching. Read More

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