Inset - an article about the author that appeared in the 2 August 2000 edition of a Chen Village local newspaper (The Jiaozuo daily).
Who are you?
Im Daniel Poon. I lived at Master Chen Xiaoxing's house in Chen Village from 2000 to 2001 and studied, at The Chen Village School of Tai Chi. Whilst there, my Tai Chi was taken to pieces and put together again from the ground up. I had the choice of studying with many masters, but I chose Chen Xiaoxing because of the clarity of his explanations, the end product of his fajin, and because he had the time and inclination to teach. I was rewarded by the nearly daily pushing hands practice I was privileged to do with him.
Before that I studied under the auspices of my Aunt's brother, Master Wu Bin, at the Beijing Wushu Institute. Wu Bin runs the Beijing Wushu team, and one of his better known students is the film star Jet Li. While at the Beijing Wushu Institute, I was coach by Master Tian Qiutian, who is a leading Chen style Tai Chi master in Beijing. His Uncle, Tian Xiuchen was one of Chen Fake's most famous students. Because of my family connection, I was very lucky to be able to be able to push hands with Tian Qiutian every day for as long as I my mind and body could stand!
And before all of that, I started studying Tai Chi in 1988 in Taiwan. On return to the Europe I studied with U.K. master Michael Tse and, whenever I got the chance to, with Master Chen Xiaowang on his UK visits. Michael Tse's classes also contained a healthy amount of pushing hands.
Apart from Tai Chi, I have dabbled in other martial arts, but since my experience in Tai Chi is over a decade, and must run over a thousand hours by now, I consider it to be my style. Though that does not necessarily convert to competence!
In 2001, I competed in a pushing hands competition in the UK, and won the open weight moving step category. I did this with exactly zero hours of pushing hands practice during the 6 months preceding the tourney, and also never having competed before, nor having any practical experience of the rules book used.
Arround 10 years after my experience in Chen Village, I had the chance to spent about 2 years in India. This has given me insight into the yogic tradition, though this post dates the content of this site.
I would like to thank:
Chen Xiaoxing http://www.chenxiaowang.com
Chen Xiaowang http://www.chenxiaoxing.com
Michael Tse http://www.londonchentaiji.com
... and anyone else who has shared their learnings with me.