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Tai-Chi Chuan is a branch of the Chinese traditional martial arts that uses the principle of Tai-Chi to guide the movements of the body. It has been widely practiced among the people of China since the 16th century.
Tai-Chi exercises are soft and spiral-like and are often referred to as 'meditation in movement'. The regular practice of Tai-Chi not only slows down the effects of aging and boost the immune system, but it also brings the entire body, organs and nerves into harmony with natural cycles, rhythms and forces.
A regular program of Tai-Chi exercises bestows a number of benefits:
Master Simon Hu (pictured above, left, in purple) was born in Shanghai in 1956. He began his training in the martial arts when he was 12 years old, studying under both legendary martial artist Grandmaster Wang Zi-Ping (1881~1973), and Professor Wang Ju-Rong, the first female professor of martial arts in China. He was also trained by eminent Chinese Tai-Chi Masters, such as Master Gu Liu-Xin and Master He Bin-Quan.
He has had 30 years of teaching experience, and has become an expert in all the major styles of Tai-Chi, Chi-King and Kung-Fu.
For seminars on any of these forms or Tai Chi principles, contact Sifu George Picard:
Recent Tai Chi Photos
Master Helen Wu
Helen Wu was born in Shanghai, China in 1956. She was trained by her grandfather, a legendary hero named Wang Zi-Ping, and her mother, Professor Wang Ju-Rong, the first woman professor of Chinese martial arts in China. She was only three years old when she started her traditional Chinese Martial Arts training, including Chaquan, Tantui, Baji, Green Dragon Sword, Qiankun Ring, among many other forms. By the time she was 10, Helen Wu had learned many traditional Wushu weapon forms. At that time, she often told her mother that her two favorite weapons were sword and fan.
Helen Wu has been judging competitions and teaching Kung Fu, Tai chi and Qigong since 1975. In her school years, she trained with Professor Sheng Rong-Wei (at Shanghai Normal University, Department of Physical Education) and Coach Zhang Fu-Yun (currently the head coach of Shanghai's Wushu team). She has practiced traditional Chen, Yang, and Sun style Tai Chi under the instruction of many famous Chinese internal martial arts' masters, also her grandfather's and mother's good friends, including Master Gu Liu-Xin, Master He Bin-Quan, and Master Fu Zhong-Wen.
In 1982, Helen Wu graduated from the Department of Physical Education, Shanghai Normal University and remained on as a teacher of sports medicine. Since then, she has taken advanced courses in China National Training Classes of Sports Care, Traditional Chinese Traumatology, The Research of Physical Fitness in Children and Youth, Rehabilitation Medicine and Treatment of Athletic Injuries. She has carried out further research on the traditional Chinese martial arts from the viewpoint of exercise physiology and sports medicine, and has more than twenty theses published in different Chinese Journals. She is the co-author of several books including Wang Zi-Ping and Wushu, Wushu and Chinese Traditional Traumatology, and 500 Intriguing Sports Information.
Helen Wu has also studied and practiced traditional Chinese Medicine under the direction of her father, famous Chinese Professor and doctor, Dr. Cheng-De Wu. She worked and treated patients at a clinic in a factory in Shanghai for four years, studied and had a medical practice in the Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital and Shanghai Xin-Le Hospital where she obtained rich clinical experience.
In December 1989, Helen Wu moved to Canada where she has continued an active teaching career, and has served as a board member of the Canadian Taijiquan Federation and the United Wushu Federation of Canada. Since 1994, she has been a Vice-Referee in Chief, and Arbitrator and Judge in many International Chinese Martial Arts Championships in the U.S. and in Canada. Master Wu also maintains her teaching of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Chi Kung (Qigong) in Toronto.
Since arriving in Canada, Master Wu has been featured in many magazines and TV programs introducing, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Kung Fu to their audiences. She is also in high demand as a guest speaker for major hospitals and universities. Recently, she was invited to speak at the Riverdale Hospital, at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, and at York University. In a recommendation letter written by Dr. Greg Malszecki, about Helen Wu, he wrote "...No other I have met could offer such a lucid, informed, and solid introduction to the subject of Eastern theories of the body than this expert..."
In May of 1997, she taught her first workshop on Tai Chi Fan in Toronto. In fact, these forms were first taught outside of the family in Canada. Her fan students have been successful. They have won championships at the 1997 United World Kung Fu Wushu Championships in Orlando, at the 1999 Taiji Legacy and Kungfu Championships at A Taste of China in Winchester, Virginia. One of Helen Wu's special students is actress Elizabeth Gracen, who performed the family fan form, with Helen, on an episode of "Highlander, The Raven" in 1998.
In 1999, both the U.S. and Canadian leading Kung Fu magazines introduced Helen Wu's masterful experience and extraordinary instructional abilities. Her introduction of the Flying Rainbow Fan has gained high reviews. Additionally, Helen Wu was included in the Great Changes in the Course of Time, a book about the mainland Chinese immigrants' struggles after immigrating to Canada. Helen Wu was written as, the "Great pioneer martial woman that singly ventured into North America".
I was born into a lineage of martial artists. From a very young age, I knew that the older generation grandmasters were able to use any weapon, such as the cane, iron ruler, and iron fan; for self-defense and as a training tool. In martial arts novels there are also many such stories. Books about all the different types of Northern and Southern arts often use the fan to describe martial combats.
As early as the beginning of the 1960's, I already had the idea to combine the traditional short weapon techniques from Shaolin, Taiji, and Bagua styles with the popular Summer fan, to come up with a complete fan routine series.
During the creation of the fan routines, I took into consideration the different needs of the different levels of practitioners. I started with the Taiji Single Fan routine. Within this routine, I included Chen, Yang, Wu, and Sun styles of Taijiquan and their characteristics. I also included the following elements: the unification of stillness and motion, the mutual coordination of yi and qi, the harmony of the six internal and external components, strength building movements, practical applications, and artistic expression. These elements allow men, women, and children of all ages to be able to grasp, and attain a strong healthy body. Through the combined internal and external training, one can achieve the goal of eliminating illness and extending the years.
The fan implies characteristics of the Chinese culture. Chinese painters love to paint the fan and calligraphers love to write poems on the fan. The shape of the fan is like a rainbow bridge. I hope to meld the Chinese culture, traditional Kung Fu, and Taiji into one. By combining the old I came up with the new, and hope to foster it for the benefit of the entire human race. I have named the routines the Flying Rainbow Fan Series. This series includes three Taiji fan routines, three Kung Fu fan routines, and one Swimming Dragon Bagua fan routine.
Wang, Zi-Ping was known for his patriotism, great strength, martial skills, and as a doctor of traumatology. He was the last of the great grandmasters from the last Chinese dynasty.
Wang, Zi-Ping was born in 1881, during the unsettling time of the last Chinese empire. He started his Wushu training at age 6, and became an expert in many styles of Wushu. He was well versed in all the major weapons, in qinna, shuaijiao, free fighting, hard qigong, light body technique, and many more. He was acclaimed as a well-rounded martial artist. At the same time, he was also a famous expert in traumatology. He combined his adept knowledge of qinna with his bone setting skills and originated a well-known system of treatment for sports and Wushu related injuries in Northern China. Wang, Zi-Ping lived until he was 93 years old and passed on in 1973. Wang, Zi-Ping lived until he was 93 years old and passed on in 1973. Wang, Zi-Ping was the head of the Shaolin Division at the Central Martial Arts Institute. He was the vice chairman of the China Wushu Association, the highest Wushu organization in china. He had many other titles and responsibilities, including being the advisor to major hospitals in China.
Wang, Zi-Ping was born in Hebei Province, in a town called Cang, also known as Cangzhou. What really made Cangzhou famous was the fact that there was someone that practiced Wushu in every family in Cangzhou. In the martial arts community, Cangzhou was nicknamed the "Wushu Nest". Both Wang, Zi-Ping's grandfather and his father were well-known martial arts experts.
In 1928, when the Central Martial Arts Institute was formed, Wang, Zi-Ping was invited to become the head of the Shaolin Division.
A Professor Emeritus of the Shanghai Traditional Medicine and Herbology University. Dr. Wu is a disciple and the son-in-law of Wang, Zi-Ping. He was the first coach of the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine University Wushu team. He is a prominent practitioner in Shuaijiao, many Wushu styles, and is a highly acclaimed advisor for the International Wushu Sanshou Dao Association. Dr. Wu has over a half century of Wushu, Jaijiquan and Qigong experience as well as clinical experience in Chinese medicine. From 1959 to 1989 he served as the Director and professor for the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a Doctor in Chief of the Longhua Hospital in Shanghai. He currently teaches and has his medical practice in Houston, Texas.
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