Toyo's and Petra's T'ai Chi-Way
Our shared T'ai Chi - Way (1976-2016) contains information on Toyo's and my joint learning, research, and mediation in the area of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
We both began with T’ai Chi in 1972; Petra in Amsterdam and Toyo with a teacher in Toronto. Through the intervention of good friends, we soon found our teacher, Dr. Chiang Tao Chi. For over ten years, we learned from him, a principal student of Cheng Man Ch’ing in Taiwan, first in Taipei and later in Vancouver. When Dr.Chi retired from teaching, we worked on his recommendation with Liu Si-Heng, who was responsible for Cheng Man Ch’ing’s circle of students in Taipei.
After 20 years of intensive analysis of the T’ai Chi of the Cheng Man Ch’ing tradition, our interest grew about the T’ai Chi that Cheng Man Ch’ing himself learned from his teacher, Yang Cheng Fu. We took the opportunity to study in Shanghai with Yang Cheng Fu’s student, Fu Zhong Wen, one of the last important teachers of our time. The meetings with him count as part of our most important experiences in the T'ai Chi Ch'uan area. Fu Zhong Wen taught us not only the original long form from Yang Cheng Fu and partner exercises but also his sword form.
During our stays in the People’s Republic of China, we also used the opportunity to deepen our know-how in push hands and the techniques of the sword form with other teachers. In this way we continued with exceptional teachers in Peking: Ma Chang Xun, Shi Ming (both belong to the so-called “Grand Five” of Peking) and Zhang Guojiang. Earlier in 1978, there was also a short period of study with Yang Sau Chung, the oldest son of Yang Cheng Fu who was living in Hong Kong at that time.
Getting to know various approaches to T’ai Chi Ch’uan has greatly enriched our understanding of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, especially in the Yang-Style we practice. It has led us to realize the significance of the forms of the Yang-Style that we practice and to unconditionally retain their originality. To this day, we have profited from these apprenticeship years. On this basis, we could continually deepen our experiences in view of classical T’ai Chi Ch’uan and delve further into the inner area of this exceptional method.