Roy Wilson has been studying tai chi chuan within the Cheng Man-ching tradition for 40 years. For the last 15 years he has been a student of Wolfe Lowenthal.
Wolfe is a direct student of the internationally famous tai chi teacher Cheng Man-ching, who taught tai chi in New York in the 1960s.
(Photo top left: Wolfe’s 2004 workshop, Christine Rowinski)
What we teach
Long River Tai Chi Circle England is a branch of Wolfe Lowenthal’s Long River Tai Chi Circle, based in Amherst, USA. We teach in the tradition of Cheng Man-ching, based on the tripod of form, sensing hands, and sword.
In an increasingly fast and stressful world, tai chi, a centuries old practice from China, offers a way to relax, slow down and reconnect with our deeper, more natural selves.
In its deeper aspects it is a spiritual path. Its roots lie in the Chinese martial arts and Taoist monastic energy practices, based in the observation of the natural world. It can gently restore our peace of mind, our balance and our health.
In developing his distinctive approach to tai chi, Cheng Man-ching drew on classical Chinese philosophy, and his accomplishments in painting, poetry, calligraphy and traditional Chinese medicine.
"We start with relaxing and releasing physical armoring and blockages to return to what is natural. To let the body move the way it was meant to, to be grounded in the earth, straightened and centered so our internal energy can flow. Returning to our nature, to our place as a chi filled, loose limbed, free flowing animal, like the entirety of an animal kingdom from which we have chosen to withdraw. We arrive at our true nature - or at least we can begin to perceive it - relaxed, soft, even loving. An emanation of the Greatness of Our Chi... Connecting us to all life around us. Connecting us to ourselves"
(Wolfe Lowenthal, Tai Chi Thoughts Internet Journal)
Teaching tai chi in the tradition of Cheng Man-ching
‘A method to dissolve the prison of our fear and relax in the flowing Tao’ - Wolfe Lowenthal.
Professor Cheng’s tai chi is characterised by an emphasis on softness, awareness and relaxation. He reduced tai chi to its essence, shortening the long Yang family form while retaining all the essential principles.
The new student begins by learning the empty hand form. This is a sequence of 37 connected movements performed slowly in a relaxed and mindful way. The sequence is studied in detail, to allow the student to embody the principles of relaxation, alignment, balance and moving from the ground. The head is held as if suspended from above to lightly stretch the spine. Through relaxation, quietening of the mind and breath, and deepening levels of letting go, the body gently opens in its own time to allow the energy of the chi to sink, flow and dissolve areas of tension.
The emphasis is on allowing each practitioner to learn at their own pace. In a very real way each practitioner could be said to have their own tai chi, as everyone has a different body, mind and life experiences.