Shanghai Pudong airport. Waiting for my flight to Xi’an.
Lunch with Sifu (Mr Zhao Youbin) and his son Zhao Liang. I’m slowly recovering from 22 hours in the air on five different planes!
My knowledge of Chinese being virtually non-existent, I was very lucky that my friend Helen happened to be in Xi’an and kindly acted as an interpreter every day. Helen is originally from Xi’an but moved to Toronto many years ago. Apart from being fully bilingual, she also practises both Yang- and Chen-style taiji quan.
February 21st … Snow! With Helen (on my right) and Che laoshi.
A little snow, a lot of fun.
My favourite breakfast when in China: hu la tang.
Practising the duan wei 1 routine.
Getting some corrections and explanations from Sifu.
In front of Sifu’s block of flats. My first visit to his home.
With Sifu’s mother, who is now in her nineties.
On February 23rd, I went to Gaoling to visit the school where Sifu’s father, Zhao Bin, was once a student. Some of Sifu’s disciples now go there twice a week to whip up young people’s interest in taiji and in wushu more generally.
With some of my Taiji brothers and sisters next to the commemorative plaque to Mr Zhao Bin.
Students getting ready for practice
Che laoshi pepping up a group of students
Che laoshi is incredibly flexible…
…and it isn’t easy to emulate her!
March 4th. Taking advantage of a sunny spell to have lunch outside with Sifu and some other people
Arrival in Thailand.
With my friend Claire Hu, a long-time taiji practitioner.
From about 6 o’clock in the morning, Lumpini Park in central Bangkok becomes a practice area for countless fitness, taiji, bagua, etc enthusiasts.
Lucy Gardner (author of The Tai Chi Companion) and Fred Behar (her partner and teacher) live in Thailand about half of the year. They practise and teach in Lumpini every day.
Fred is the founder of the Central Equilibrium School of taiji and also created his own style of tui shou.
With Lucy and Fred and their adopted Lumpini pets.
Time to say goodbye …
With the Yongnian taiji group in Lumpini. All of these people were taught by Mr Zhao Youbin and/or his disciples.