T'ai Chi Ch'uan Study Center

of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

Miscellaneous T'ai Chi News

Our fourteenth annual "Return to the Mountain" T'ai Chi retreat was held June 4 to 8, 2008 at the beautiful and historic Claymont mansion near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

We filled this 4 story mansion with students and enjoyed a variety of activities including ch'i kung every morning on the porch which overlooks the huge lawn and T'ai Chi classes in the ballroom, on the porch and on the lawn under the trees. There was a large amount of time for relaxing and just hanging out as well as walking along the forest trails and in the huge garden. (Claymont is on about 350 acres.) Casey Willson and Meg Kinghorn did another great job of teaching the beginners section.

The annual Egg Toss Oympics was enjoyed by all.

This year for the first time there were classes in T'ai Chi staff and even an introductory workshop in swing dancing.

Plus there were fabulous meals catered for us in the oak paneled dining hall.

Although we didn't see a wild turkey with her brood walking across the lawn like we did one year, it was another great time of fun and learning.

Claymont has been reserved for next year's retreat which will be held June 3 to 7, 2009.

Our 33th annual New Year's Banquet was held on February 17, 2008 at the beautiful home of Elisabeth and Bill Pugh. The pot luck format was enjoyed by all and we again held our annual raffle of prizes. Many thanks to all who attended and especially to Elisabeth and Bill.

John Lang, T'ai Chi teacher and Acupuncture Physician was here on Saturday, July 24, 2004 to present the eighth and final seminar in his annual series on "Ch'i, Chinese Medicine and T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Each year he has added new and interesting information on the relationship between T'ai Chi and acupuncture that has helped to enhance our understanding and practice. We also enjoyed a delightful potluck gathering at the beautiful home of Elisabeth Pugh.

Our thanks go out to John for his eight years of valuable contributions.

A special workshop on "Aikido and Ki Exercises" was presented on Saturday, November 1, 2003, at the Virginia Ki Society dojo by Steve Wolf, 3rd dan black belt and co-head instructor there. Steve gave an introduction to Aikido history and principles and drew parallels to T'ai Chi's principles to a group of about 3 dozen folks. Then he gave a demonstration of aikido's leading of an attacker's energy with the assistance of his associate Mary Ann. It was interesting and fun to see the petite Mary Ann throw the 6' 3" Steve all around the mat. Then our group got involved as Steve and Mary Ann led us through a series of ki exercises demonstrating the effectiveness of relaxing and sinking and using one's center. We concluded with a randori exercise. All agreed that the afternoon was a most enjoyable and informative look at Aikido and its similarities to T'ai Chi. Our thanks go out to Steve and Mary Ann and all the folks at the Virginia Ki Society.

A Free All Day T'ai Chi Play Day
was held on Saturday, April 19, 2003, at McLean Central Park in McLean, Virginia. We enjoyed continuous T'ai Chi form practice from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
with alternating hours for beginners and experienced players.
Thanks to those who helped lead the groups.
Special thanks to Bea and Dave Leibson for the cookies, muffins and coffee.

Saturday, August 11, 2001, an intrepid band of sixteen T'ai Chi students and friends embarked upon a T'ai Chi Kayak Adventure on the Potomac River. Although the day started out sunny, this turned out to be the afternoon of the enormous thunderstorm that caused so much flooding locally and yes, we got caught in the middle of it and the accompaning lightning while we were on the river. Things quickly turned a little more exciting than we had expected.

Participants included Casey Willson, Meg Kinghorn, Bea and Dave Leibson, Gerry and Regina McDowell, Steve Geiger, Jane Hopkins, Erick West, Bob Hegarty, Elliot Mitchnick, Joan Haffey, Jeremiah Quinlan, Linda Bruce, Nancy Roisum and Warren Conner.

Casey Willson and Meg Kinghorn were married on June 17, 2001 at the Claymont mansion near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Casey and Meg met last year at a T'ai Chi class. (It was my very great honor and pleasure to attend and to participate in this wedding by reading a passage from the Tao Te Ching.) Claymont is, of course, where we hold our annual "Return to the Mountain" T'ai Chi retreat.

On March 31, 2001, Mr. Robert W. Smith presented a T'ai Chi workshop in Langley, Virginia for about 75 students. This was followed by a pot luck get together at the home of Elisabeth and William Pugh. The next day, April 1, 2001, Mr. Smith also did a Pa-kua seminar.

Mr. Smith's latest book, "Martial Musings," a memoir of his over 50 years in martial arts, was published in late December, 1999.

For more information on this book or to order, go to this web site: www.goviamedia.com/publishing/index.html
and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Warren made another trip to Taiwan in late July and August, 2000.

Here is his report:
Highlights of this month long adventure were many. For example, I attended classes with Liu Hsi-heng. Liu Laoshr is a senior student of Prof. Cheng. Now 86 years old, he still teaches about 15 hours a week. (Outdoors, in August, in the tropics!)

Also, I attended the Cheng Man-ch'ing 100th birthday celebration on August 5 and 6, 2000 in Taipei. There I met students from around the world who had come together to honor the memory of this extraordinary man. There was also a wonderful and rare display of several dozen scrolls of Professor Cheng's paintings and calligraphy.

Saturday night, August 5, 2000, there was a joyful banquet for some of the birthday celebration participants. Ms. Ellen Cheng (Professor Cheng's daughter) gave a delightful speech about the unity of the worldwide community of T'ai Chi players. Ms. Katy Cheng (Professor Cheng's daughter) sang several lovely songs, kareoke style. Brave souls from the American contingent later provided an English version of "Let It Be." Still later in the evening, there was a conga line of dancers that wound its way around the tables of the banquet room.

A few days later, it was my great pleasure and honor to travel with Benjamin Lo down island to Tainan, Kaohshung and Taichung as he visited many of his friends and longtime students in those cities. At each place, there were banquets in Mr. Lo's honor and he spoke to large gatherings who were delighted to see him and have the opportunity to express their appreciation for his many years of teaching.

On a touristy note, with the assistance of my host, the very generous and gracious Mr. Chen Fu Chi, I visited the incredible Taroko Gorge (mid island near Hualien) which reminded me of the Grand Canyon, but with trees. Beautiful steep mountains above, rushing streams below and off in the distance, poised on the mountain cliffs, were picturesque temples. In addition, I revisited Yangmingshan National Park and the National Palace Museum.

In all, it was a grand adventure and I am extremely grateful to those who helped make it so.

A few snapshots from my trip are available by clicking here.

Mr. Wolfe Lowenthal presented excellent seminars on the meaning of the postures "Grasping the Sparrow's Tail" in the form and in t'ui shou on October 30, 1999. Both seminars were completely filled well before hand.

A summary of medical research on T'ai Chi Ch'uan is now available.

Contact W. D. Conner via Email


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