Today: Mar 01, 2024

Grandmaster in Tai Chi demonstrates her skills in front of engleman

LAUREN MANGERI — Special to Southern News

Martial arts are an interesting way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Tai Chi demonstration last Monday drew attention from some students.

Tai Chi demonstrates complete relaxation and according to Aiping Cheng, there is no age limit. Cheng ran the demonstration in front of Engleman Hall during the community hour.

Cheng is a grandmaster in Tai Chi and has been practicing it for many years. She is an “internationally recognized authority” in Chinese martial art forms. She has earned many different awards and even met President Nixon. In addition to teaching Tai Chi, she also teaches Qigong, which is another form of martial arts.

Cheng taught the select students who stopped by to watch her performance the easy steps to Tai Chi.

“Keep your body in a center alignment,” said Cheng. Having a steady stance and making sure your feet are aligned with shoulders makes it easier to learn Tai Chi.

“The pine tree is the best place to do Tai Chi because of the oxygen flowing out of it,” said Cheng. “Since Tai Chi is a form of meditation and it is a Chinese traditional culture, learning it outside is better than inside,” said Cheng.

Xiao J. Cheng (no relation to Aiping) who is in charge of the event said she “learned a little bit of the Tai Chi, but it takes time,” she said, “you learn after repeating it.”

Students at the demonstration were wondering how the Tai Chi experts keep their arms up for such a long time. Aiping Cheng responded with, “Muscles remember, so if you do it long enough, it will begin not to hurt as much.”

Aiping Cheng took a student and practiced her toughest Tai Chi on him. She made him stand in a stance that would be hard to break. She used a technique she later taught, to try to break his stance.

Students walking by gradually stopped and watched as Aiping Cheng performed. A student walked by and said, “She could kick your butt; I wouldn’t mess with her.” Tai Chi has that affect on people; it’s all about the focus.

According to Aiping Cheng, someone can use Tai Chi for improving their life.

“If you are in a situation where you don’t know the other side of the story, Tai Chi can help you with that. It is a way of improving life,” Aiping Cheng said. “Tai Chi can make students be more appreciative of life and learn to look at situations in life better.”

Students were curious as to where they can take lessons. Aiping Cheng teaches lessons at the Tai Chi center in Milford, Conn.

Aiping Cheng took her experience as a young child and passed on her skills to students on campus.

“The Ying Yang Tai Chi in China helps keep your balance,” she said.

The curious, the unaware, the helpless—can all use Tai Chi to help them in life. Aiping Cheng said that no matter how old a person is, no matter what walk of life he or she is coming from, using Tai Chi can open up ideas of a new life.

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