How time flies; in the blink of an eye, Ji Hong Tai Chi College is now celebrating its 22nd anniversary and it was twenty six years ago, in 1984, that I first met Master Luo Hong-Yuan.

I am a martial arts enthusiast. l have been practicing martial arts since l was nine years old, training primarily in the Southern styles. Over the years, l have trained under many teachers, crossed paths with  many martial artists, and seldom lost in my encounters. However, when l reached my twenties, l felt my progress had become limited and my triumphs did not come as easily. l knew l needed some breakthrough in my training.

l felt that internal martial arts held the key and since tai chi is known to be the supreme art, l decided to pursue my training in tai chi. There are many people who can teach tai chi, but a truly good teacher is rare and hard to find.  l started learning Wu style tai chi and push hands from three or four masters, who were considered very senior and reputable. Their training, coupled with my extensive external martial arts background, led me to the confident belief that my skills would be very good.

When l heard that the South China Normal University had a very skilled teacher, Luo Hong-Yuan, who was only in his twenties, l had my doubts about his abilities, but l arranged to meet him through a friend.

On the day of the meeting, my friend, Mr. Chen, and l arrived at Master Luo’s small one room residence. Master Luo greeted us warmly and our casual conversation quickly turned towards tai chi. l remember  inquiring on the topic of feet versus roots and specifically, what would happen if both feet were off the ground? Master Luo asked both of us to grab his arms and lift him off the ground. Under normal circumstances, two strong, young men holding one person up would be an easy thing to do. Master Luo then asked, "Are you ready?”  When we answered, "Yes," l started to feel a strong pressure being  exerted onto my arms, penetrating all the way down through my body. The pressure slowly became  unbearable and we had no choice but to let him down. Once on the ground, Master Luo made a small movement with his body and sent both of us flying in opposite directions. This was amazing!

Mr Chen then asked about a tai chi phenomena where pressure can be built up internally and travel throughout the whole body even to the fingertips. In response, Master Luo asked Mr Chen to use both  his hands to hold Master Luo’s index finger tightly and stand ready with a strong stance. Once ready, Master Luo started to move and Mr Chen began stumbling around, unable to keep his footing, moving at Master Luo’s will and eventually forced into sitting down.

l have never seen anything like this before!  I was totally convinced and humbled. At the same time, l also felt depressed because my years of hard training had amounted to just child’s play in comparison to Master Luo’s skill.  My heart was now completely committed to learning tai chi from him. Although it took some concerted effort, it was my good fortune to become one of Master Luo’s students.

Under Master Luo’s instruction, l learned the proper methods of training and began to discover the true meaning of tai chi. These methods and enriched understanding have helped me to progress tremendously in my martial arts abilities. l  also witnessed how Luo Hong-Yuan and his father, Luo Ji-Hong completely devoted themselves to learning, teaching, and advancing the art of tai chi.  Their endeavours to help students learn more effectively and progress faster in their tai chi skills produced a set of teaching methods that is scientific, systematic, and effective. The result is the system known as the Ji Hong Tai Chi system. This method of teaching has produced profound and extraordinary results not just in tai chi, but also in athletics, in the recovery from illnesses, and in general health benefits.

The degree of Master Luo’s unreserved attitude towards helping students achieve and excel is rare in the martial arts world. This openness to teach has lead to the establishment of many "Ji Hong Tai Chi” schools worldwide where  the Ji Hong instructional system is used. I have been teaching tai chi in Ontario for twenty years and seven years ago, l opened a school in Richmond Hill.

Following the spirit of the Ji Hong Tai Chi system, our school offers instruction within an inclusive atmosphere where students from all backgrounds and lifestyles can come and learn real tai chi that  brings clarity to the mind, calmness to the heart and strength to the spirit. The school has been expanding continuously since its inception and with continued efforts, l am confident we will continue to bring this wonderful art of tai chi to many more people thus fulfilling Master Lu’s glorious lifelong pursuit of advancing tai chi.

Liang Bao Sen