Thursday, January 29, 2009

Master Yung Chung Chiang Shares About Guang Ping Yang & More

By Valarie Prince Gabel

I first met Master Y.C. Chiang about 6 years ago. Not long after that I had the privilege of meeting his wife Master Liu. My impression of them was of two gracious individuals who had great skill and knowledge.

I was also fortunate enough to take a few classes at the Wen Wu School while Master Chiang was still teaching. After class the students gather in the little kitchen and have tea with their teacher. When he stepped out for a minute I looked at the other students, mouth agape, and asked if they knew at all how very, very lucky they were to be casually sitting around with such a wonderful teacher at the head of the table.

Over the next several years I have also had the pleasure of taking a few lessons with his advanced students and teachers. Fu Tung Cheng and Allen Trigueiro come fondly to mind. I have also been able to attend several of the Guang Ping Association conferences which fosters the sharing, learning and hands on experience of our form.

However, until the weekend of July 12 & 13, I had not had the opportunity to witness and participate in an event, lasting several hours at a time, centered strictly on Shrfu and Shrmu's teaching. The workshop truly gave me the opportunity to drink in the essence of who they are and what they are about. The event was held in Orange County, California at Irvine Community College and was hosted by JoAnna Schoon, one of the Association's National Advisors and a Tai Chi teacher at the college. Since I am a tai chi student/teacher my focus was mainly on Master Chiang although I could appreciate the grace and beauty of Master Liu's Dayan Chi Kung and tea ceremony.

At 81 Master Chiang is a living example of what correct living and correct attitude makes possible. He did a demonstration of White Crane form on Saturday much to the delight of all present. The first movement involves dropping to a level so that thighs are level with the ground (low horse stance), and holding that position for longer then I personally would be comfortable holding. Shrfu did so with apparent ease. Of course, the rest of the form was executed with a power that seemed unending. And this is at 81! We have all heard the wonders of the power of practicing with chi over long periods of is true!! And he shows no signs of stopping. I must also add that Master Liu's demonstration of the 2nd set of the Wild Goose form was absolutely breathtaking.

There is a definite reason this man wears the title of Master. He is an extremely educated and cultured human being. He is a doctor of acupuncture, an herbalist, world renowned painter and calligrapher. As JoAnna says "What has always struck me about Shrfu is the breadth and depth of his knowledge.

He excels in the Martial Arts, in Ch inese Painting, in Calligraphy, in TCM,and in good virtue. Wen Wu School offers the best of Chinese Culture, and its name refers to that: Wen referring to culture, and Wu referring to the martial arts."

Over two days, 5 hours total, he also demonstrated each of the Yang Guang Ping forms replete with application explanation and error corrections. He had everyone spellbound as he performed each movement effortlessly. Every one of us felt the specialness of participating with a true master of movement. And rather then being dour or stern his lively sense of humor keep us all laughing and smiling.

Eighty met for a banquet held in Master Chiang and Madam Liu's honor on Saturday evening. JoAnna picked an excellent local Chinese restaurant. There were dishes served that most of us have never had before, everything was delicious. JoAnna presented the masters with Hawaiian leis which they appreciated very much. I was lucky enough to be sitting at a table close to theirs and could appreciate the fragrant flower scents along with them. Conversations were going on nonstop all evening between students, teachers, spouses and family members attending the
feast. The only complaint would be that there was too much good food! Master Chiang and Madam Liu donated 2 paintings to be raffled off after dinner. I don't know which made us drool more, the paintings or the food.

The second day Master Chiang spent several hours continuing his lecture and refining form. During his lecture he shared information regarding exercises for heath. A couple of tidbits were: the arm and shoulder warm up or 'windmill' expels harmful chi as well as benefiting the shoulder, toe kicks stimulate yang meridians and heel kicks stimulate the yin, and the removal of excess fire element is accomplished by slow inhale of breath and rapid exhale. Questions were asked and answers were given. He holds no secrets, shares all he knows. His true love of martial arts, chi, green tea, etc., and obvious respect for all life was there for all to see no matter the level of the attendee. I have been practicing tai chi for over 25 years and thoroughly enjoyed the entire event. A student of mine came to the Sunday lecture after having only 3 weeks of lessons. She told me how happy she was to have followed my advice to not miss this 'once in a lifetime event.'

I feel as if I have received a vitamin booster shot in the chi! My motivation to
practice more has been heightened. I feel a renewed desire to watch every step, every shift of weight, every arm/hand/hip/shoulder/knee/foot/wrist/waist/head/back movement more closely then ever.

For those of you who have not or will not have the same opportunity I highly recommend you attend at least one of the Guang Ping Association conferences. There is that same sense of sharing, learning and camaraderie going on among the teachers and students. You come away with such a sense of renewed enthusiasm.

And lastly but not least I wish to extend 10,000 thanks to JoAnna Schoon who held the vision of the workshop up high enough to make it happen. It was a ton of work coordinating Shrfu and Shrmu's visit: accommodations, meals, transportation, etc. She also spearheaded the fund raising, registration of students for not only workshops but medical consultations. JoAnna made sure there was green tea for all as well as teacups, teapots, hot water, all for 70 people!

Job well done JoAnna.

No comments:

Post a Comment