Chen Zhonghua 3
He would practice the sword form so intently that he cut himself with the tip of the sword and a huge scarred indentation was made above his ankle without him knowing it.
The little corner in the north-west of the sports ground of Shandong University would become his favourite training place. Martial artists from the university, and then from all over the city would come to the corner to test him, to challenge him and to fight him. Students from the university including Japanese student, British students and Canadian students would gather around this CORNER to learn from him. They would refer to him as the guy in the CORNER.
By 1994, he had learned the entire curriculum of grand master Hong's Chen Style Taijiquan System.
Since 1985, he has been teaching in Canada. His disciples, students, and grand students have competed in China and in Canada and have earned top honors such as gold, silver and bronze medals.
Don't Touch Mr. Chen was the fastest spreading news at Victoria School in Edmonton. He started a martial art club at the school when he assumed teaching duties of Social Studies and English As a Second Language in 1988. Soon his reputation was known among students and teachers.
French language teacher Mrs. Stone is a friendly and touchy-type person. One day while walking in the hallway behind Joseph Chen, she decided to play a trick on him. She went behind him quietly and suddenly tickled him on his back waist. As soon as she touched him, she was thrown back onto the floor. Many students came to see what happened. Later on, Joseph Chen recalled that he was in the "The Whip Wrapping Around the Body" pose when Mrs. Stone was thrown.
Mr. Jack is the head of Social Studies department. He used to be a physical education teacher and was still known for his toughness in the school. He was big and strong and lifted weight everyday. He managed the school weight room. He played and coached football and hockey. One day in the staff dining room, Mr. Jack asked Mr. Chen whether all that talk about his martial art was just TALK. "That slow stuff couldn't really work on someone strong, will it?" As he was talking, he tried to put his arms around Mr. Chen. Somehow he could not subdue Mr. Chen. Mr. Chen ended up having his right palm firmly planted on Mr. Jack's chest. "This is why martial arts work." Said Chen.
The next day, Mr. Jack was showing everybody in the staff dinning room his chest. There was a red imprint of a small hand on his hairy chest.
In September of 1996, Mr. Chen conducted a Taiji demonstration at the school for the clubs day. As the Taiji club was always very popular, the school assigned the student cafeteria for the demonstration, complete with sound system. About 4 hundred students showed up. Mr. Chen showed a bit of his First Set form and his student Tuan Nguyen showed the Cannon Fist. Then they performed push hands together. After the demonstration, Mr. Chen allowed students to come up and try to push him. At the beginning only a few girls came to try him. Then a big tall guy came. He pushed Mr. Chen very lightly a few times and then without any indication, he attacked. Mr. Chen made a "ha" sound and the poor guy was up horizontal on the ceiling: at least 10 feet off the floor. The cafeteria was dead silent for at least 15 second. The boy was a member of the Victoria Football Team.
a new path In 1996, Grand Master Hong Junsheng passed away at the age of 90. Chen became a lost soul. He would not talk about Taiji. He would only train hard by himself. He was grieving. He remembered his master's last words and went to Beijing to see Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang.
In 1998, Chen formally became a disciple of Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang. This came as a result of his persistent visits to Feng, demonstrating his desire and worthiness to be a disciple. At the time he was accepted, he already studied the entire curriculum privately on his own.
Since 1999, Chen publicly promotes the art of Chen Shi Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan System of Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang. At the same time, he is still teaching Hong's Chen Style Taijiquan System to a limited number of private students.
NOW Chen teaches taiji as non-credit recreational course at the Edmonton Public School Board, at the University of Alberta, and at his own Zhiqiang-Chen Taiji Academy in Edmonton. He also presents workshops as public health service seminars to organizations such as school boards and other companies.
He delivers special dedicated seminars on taiji in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, Dallas and many other cities. In recent years, Chen has also been contributing to the Taijiquan community by serving as a judge at A Taste of China in Winchester, Virginia (1998, 1999), Taiji Legacy (1999) in Dallas, as a vice chief judge at the Jinan International Martial Arts Festival (1996, 1999), and many other international events.
He is official correspondent of the Hunyuan Taiji Magazine (official magazine of the Zhiqiang Martial Arts Academy of Beijing) for Canada. He is honorary principle of Weifang Praying Mantis School.
REGARDED AS one of the few 19th generation Chen Style Taijiquan masters in North America, Joseph Chen's quest for the art of taijiquan continues.