Thursday, May 9, 2013
Office of College Advancement
Fremont, CA-Over 300 participants took part in Ohlone College's First Annual World Tai Chi and Qigong* Day on April 27, 2013. Practicing at the Ohlone College Newark Campus, community members and Ohlone students participated in what was truly a worldwide celebration. Beginning in New Zealand, students of Tai Chi and Qigong began the practice time zone by time zone in over 60 countries and across 6 continents.
Renowned martial artist Ohlone College instructor Sifu May Chen, the 2010 Tai Chi Master of the Year, spearheaded the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day at Ohlone and coordinated participation with school of Tai Chi around the south and east Bay Area.
The event began with a set of Tai Chi and Qigong warm-up routines led by Sifu Chen. Over 100 community members and students from Chen's classes participated. Individuals with varying experience levels, from no experience to martial arts masters, participated in the event at Ohlone.
Shirley Hackney, an Ohlone student who attended the event, commented, "It was a wonderful sight - young and old practicing Tai Chi together. This experience was a wonderful way to enlighten others about the wonders of Tai Chi."
The event included several performances by local martial arts studios. Over 40 performers, from as young as five years old, represented the Rhythm Dragon Kung Fu School with various routines and weapons forms. Spectators were thrilled as they watched world-renowned Master Yuan Long, a 35th Generation Shaolin Warrior Monk, and his instructors perform solos. Master Yuan Long's double sword routine, Master Yang Bing's chains, and Master Shi Quipei's kung fu yoga were all crowd favorites.
"I was very impressed with the various performances I witnessed, especially the children. The children were very respectful to their master and to the art form itself. Such respect was evident throughout their performance, but particularly in their opening and closing stance," commented Naomi Von Harringa.
In the afternoon, Master Yan Fei, a secular Shaolin disciple, entertained the crowd with open-hand and broad sword presentations, followed by a "learn and practice" session which was attended by over 60 enthusiastic participants. Other sessions held throughout the day included Sports Qigong, King Fu for Adults, Chen Style Tai Chi, Basic Staff Forms, and Health Qigong styles, all of which were well-received.
Members of the Ohlone College Tai Chi Qigong Club Competition Team, led by club president Lucy Oliva, demonstrated their gold medal-winning "Five Animals Form Exercise." The team will compete in two events at the Kung Fu Magazine.com Martial Arts Championships in San Jose on June 1, and at the Civic Center Plaza on June 2.
Ohlone College, KungFuMagazine.com, Tigerclaw.com, Arthritis Foundation, and Ohlone's Tai Chi Qigong Club sponsored Ohlone's Tai Chi and Qigong event. For more information about Tai Chi and Qigong classes offered through Ohlone College's Community Education Program visit www.ohlone.edu/commed.
*Qigong, is pronounced "Chee-GONG."