At the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Ji Hong Tai Chi College, I wrote an article about how I met my teacher Mr. Luo Hong Yuan.  Since then, many people asked me to share with them some other interesting experiences that I had with my teacher.  In fact, there’re many intriguing stories about us, and especially about my teacher Mr. Luo.  Here, I would like to tell you another real and exciting story.

Under the guidance of Mr. Luo, my level of tai chi advanced tremendously.  Not only that I was able to have a broader interpretation of the theories of tai chi, but the most important thing is that I could apply all those theories into my own body when practising tai chi chuan.  This is something that was quite different from what I had learnt in the past. Moreover, as there were always people who came to ask for advice and to exchange views with Mr. Luo, I had the opportunities to discover more about the art of tai chi.

Mr. Luo is a pragmatic person, everything that he taught in tai chi can be reflected in his body.  Thus I was able to witness many amazing incidents.  One of the most remarkable incidents that I want to share with you happened in the 1990s, during a tour of eastern Quangdong that I had with Mr. Luo.

It was the summer of 1985.  A group of us went with Mr. Luo from Guangzhou to Jieyang in eastern Guangdong to attend a memorial service at the anniversary of the death of our grandmaster Mr. Luo Ji Hong.  This trip took more than a week, and during this period of time, Mr. Luo patiently and systematically passed his profound knowledge of tai chi to his disciples, in words and in actions.  We also had the opportunities to practise what he had been teaching among ourselves.  As a result, my tai chi chuan improved by leaps and bounds, and had laid a solid foundation in my future endeavours. There was an incident at the memorial service, and the “magic” force that Mr. Luo executed, as well as my personal feeling of the incident, that I really want to share with you all.

On the day of the memorial, the disciples of Mr. Luo Ji Hong and their followers, a total of a few hundred people from various places of China, came and gathered at the Jieyang Quxi mining machinery plant, to pay respect to the late Mr. Luo Ji Hong.  The last activity of the day was the exchange of viewpoints and experiences, practicing tai chi among ourselves.  Mr. Luo Hong Yuan, who was young and well known in the world of martial arts, was naturally the central figure.  Everyone surrounded him for advice, hoping that they could learn a few techniques from him.  However, just before the day of the memorial service, Mr. Luo had an accident and broke his right arm.  Nevertheless, he still patiently gave advice to everyone  there, answered their questions and did demonstrations of what he taught with only his left arm.

At that time, a young man in his early twenties came out from the crowd and insisted that he wanted to compete with Mr. Luo in push hands.  This young man was a follower of one of the disciples of the late Mr. Luo Ji Hong.  He came from the city of Shantou, and was recognized there as very good at push hands.  He was a rather aggressive fellow.  Thinking that Mr. Luo could not be that significantly more superior, since Mr. Luo doesn’t have a big physique, he wanted to test Mr. Luo’s martial arts level. However, the timing was not right, as Mr. Luo could only use his left arm to compete with him.  To challenge someone who’s in a disadvantage position is not something a real martial artist would do.  Everyone looked anxious and concerned, but none of us dared to speak out.

Mr. Luo was calm and confident.  He accepted the invitation with a smile.  The whole place was in complete silence, everyone was waiting to see the big match.  Despite knowing Mr. Luo’s injury, this fellow fought fiercely, constantly attacking Mr. Luo.  On the other hand, Mr. Luo , like a well experienced tai chi master, responded leisurely and with ease. The young man was getting impatient, and all of a sudden he lunged at Mr. Luo with the force of his whole body, attempting to throw Mr. Luo to the ground.  Unfortunately, he was facing someone with profound tai chi skill, and his effort was in vain.  In a split second, Mr. Luo’s whole body vibrated, resulting in the emission of a rapid explosive force, and his opponent was instantly off balance. Without pausing, Mr. Luo stepped forward, inserted his left foot under the opponent’s crotch and struck him with his left shoulder.  The young man was immediately thrown more than ten feet away and landed on some benches against the wall, knocking over the tea sets that were laid over there.  The entwining sound of  the benches falling, breaking of those tea sets and screaming of the audience created an amazing and exciting scene.  On the other hand, Mr. Luo kept his calm as usual, still wearing a smile on his face, stood there quietly with his shining eyes full of wisdom, as if nothing had happened.

I was stunned and became a complete believer. There is an old Chinese saying: “ as quiet as a fair lady when the body is in the hold, and as quick as a rabbit jumping out of the cage when in motion’. Is this it, or is it “using four ounces’ force to move a thousand pounds”?  After this incident, I knew that I wouldn’t be learning from any other famous tai chi master.  Mr. Luo is and will always be my only tai chi master, until today.

Twenty odd years later, when I recall this incident, I still feel excited about it.  In fact, there’re many more interesting stories about Mr. Luo which I’m very willing to share with you in the future.

Liang Bao Sen