Spotlight on:Chris Johnson
My experiences with Tai Chi Chuan began while I was a student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. I needed a physical education credit and saw that Tai Chi was offered. I had heard about the art and thought it might fit with my interests in breathing and mediation. We learned the 8 Brocades, 21 Chi-Gong, and the Yang style 8 form. The slow, controlled tempo of the movements really resonated with me.
When I decided to continue learning Tai Chi outside of college, I decided to shop around for a school. After looking at the area options, I decided that Chinatown Tai Chi Center was the right fit for me. The number and quality of instructors at Chinatown is unparalleled in the Twin Cities. The lineage of Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong and Sifu Calph put the amazing scope of this art in perspective.
Through years of classes, private lessons and personal commitment, I have reached the advanced fringe levels of the ranking system. I appreciate that Sifu Calph's school views rank as a personal achievement rather than as competition between students. This fosters a relaxed and playful spirit to the school that I find exceptionally beneficial to the learning process. I believe that proper practice of the forms, warm-ups, chi-gong and push hands are far more important than the fringe.
I find Tai Chi to be very beneficial in daily life. The calm, meditative aspect of the forms has helped me to be a calmer and more focused person. The discipline required to do the forms correctly has been a great challenge. I continue to grow as I examine myself in motion. Following the principles of Tai Chi Chuan improves my art and my life.
I find it continuously exciting to learn from Grandmaster, Sifu, the other advanced students, and from the questions and insights of our beginning and intermediate students. It is an honor to be counted among the ranks of instructors.