My Experience in Jiaozuo, China

    

In August of 2013, Ken and I went to Jiaozuo City in Henan, China to participate in the 7th International Taijiquan Exchange Competition.  Ken received a bronze medal in traditional Chen Style and I received a bronze medal in traditional Yang Style.

 

I started to do tai chi in the year 2000 in a community center, mainly for health reasons.  In 2006, I joined Ji Hong Tai Chi College, Richmond Hill.  Ever since then, tai chi has become my passion.  However, doing competition has never been in my mind all these years.  With the encouragement of Sifu Bao Sen Liang and my fellow schoolmates, I decided to take up the challenge.

 

In retrospect, I have actually gone through a lot of emotional roller-coaster rides for the few months since the day I decided to sign up for the competition, but in the end, it was all so worthwhile. 

 

In preparation for this competition, I practiced endlessly day after day, perfecting each movement with numerous repetitions.  Sifu was always there to give me guidance, feedback and encouragement.  At times, I feel agonized not being able to respond to Sifu’s critique, and I must thank Sifu for his patience.  While I wouldn’t say practice makes perfect, the effort I put in finally paid dividend.  As a result, I have made great progress in terms of execution of movements and the quality of my internal strength.

 

The competition lasted for 4 days, from August 21 to August 24.  Over 3,000 athletes from China and all over the world gathered in this small city of Jiaozuo.  This is a real test for me.  In the end, my hard work paid off, I received a bronze medal in this competition.  I feel more confident , knowing that what I had been practising are on the right path, and that my level of tai chi was recognized at a very high level international competition.

 

The other outcome of this competition is that it only opens up more room for improvement, and gives me more urge to search for how much more there are to learn in the road to tai chi.  This is what the Chinese saying of “learning is endless” means.  I’m very clear what I have to do now in order to raise my level further.  Sifu always says, the ultimate aim of entering a competition is not to win a medal.  It is through preparation and performance that will let us reach a higher level.

 

Helen Lau