14 December Christmas Supper in London’s China Town
Fun in China Town, friends and students after Shifu Liu’s last night out before the Christmas and New Year holidays
6 December Special Christmas Workshop – 24 Spear Form
Shifu Liu teaching the opening movements of the 24 Chen Spear form, which will be a new class in 2009. It followed on from the 6 healing sounds qi gong and afterwards with some dynamic applications on the mats
26 November Chen Xiao Wang Seminar in Czech Republic
Grand Master Chen Xiao Wang (above) demonstrating movements from Laojia Yi Lu at his workshop in the pretty spa town of Luhacovice in South Moravia. The workshop held over 6 days was organised by Vit Vojta (above right with Master Chen, Shifu Liu and Chris) and was attended by Chen Xiao Wang’s students and teachers from all over Eastern Europe and elsewhere. It was a great opportunity to meet, practice and push hands with fellow Chen style ta ji practioners from as far away as Chile, all under Master Chen’s expert guidance
27 September Ancient Chinese Cultutre, Festival demonstration at SOAS
The festival of Ancient Chinese Culture held over this weekend began with a demonstration at the Southbank foyer bar, of the Shanghai City God Temple orchestra with Shifu Liu performing the long Chen form, Laojia Yi Lu. The numerous ancient types and sounds of the instruments were astonishing. On Saturday, the School of Oriental and African Studies (part of London University) were hosts for the day. There were multilingual lectures on aspects of the ancient art of Daoism and Feng Shui, some of these ancient cultural ideas of which even today, in the modern society of China, underpin many peoples lives and activities, not the least of which are the martial and health arts such as tai ji quan and qi gong. After the talks were a Kun Qu performance, and a Daoist Temple Rirual, held by the Shanghai City God Temple and their orchestra, who also gave an evening concert during which Shifu Liu performed Chen tai Ji (see above). It was a fascinating and informative day.
7 September Judging at the BCCMA National Competition in Derby
Chris Jones of the Tai Ji Circle, Millicent Hodson and Julia Smith (left to right in front row), teachers and senior students of Shifu Liu, with Iain Armstrong of the BCCMA and other judges at the recent BCCMA National Championships. The standard of internal hand and weapon forms was good, and there were displays of various internal styles, with competitors from France performing Lee Family style, with Wu and Yang Tai Ji styles and lively performances of Xing Yi Quan. Congratulation to all the particpants who despite nerves, performed well and to those who won medals. It was very interesting to meet the other judges, and see the subtle vibrancy and variation of numerous Chinese internal martial forms which nevertheless adhere to the same underlying philosophy and principles of movement.
30 August Autumn Festival 2008
Shifu Liu with Chris, Lai and Nyuk Lee outside the Islington Chinese Association where we gave a tai ji demonstration as part of their Chinese Autumn festivities of singing, dancing and music.
19 July ‘Silk Screens’ live processions in Leicester Square
Shifu Liu and the Tai Ji Circle students join in ‘Silk Screens’ (part of ‘China Now’ series and the BBC Video Nation) an event held in London’s Leicester Square and simultaneously in 3 other UK cities, to celebrate the diversity of the British Chinese culture. After an early morning radio interview on BBC London, we all joined in the hourly processions led out by Tai Ji Circle students in ‘dragon/Olympic hoop’ costumes to give tai ji performances on the grass verges of the Square. Shifu Liu performed Chen tai ji quan on stage, and around the Square were colourful dancers, theatre groups and children also performing live. In between processions, Video diaries showing the variety of lifestyles of the Brtish Chinese were shown on the big screen. After our demonstration bystanders joined in practicing tai ji and pushing hands together, and Shifu Liu gave a hard qi gong demonstration, breaking a concrete slab with his hand. As always thanks are due our students who gave their time and energy and a great display. Thanks are also due to Peng Wenlan from Emergency Exit Arts, (seen above with Shifu Liu and Jim from BBC Radio London) and director Hi Ching. The nationwide video portraits of the British Chinese, were made with the support of BBC Video Nation, appearing on city centre Big Screens across the country.
21 June Dian Xue Tui Na – Chinese massage workshop
Shifu Liu demonstrating techniques of Chinese finger pressure massage with Dian Xue Tui Na and explaining some of the theory and connection with traditional Chinese Medicine and the meridian system. We also had an opportunity to try out some of the various massage techniques and begin to understand their complex relationship with the 5 elements.
14 June: HELPING CHINA’S EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
Second Tai Ji Circle Jing Qi Gong workshop and demonstration
“Thank you for saving me”
With on-going mud slides and flooding, we wanted to raise more funds for stricken families in China. Shifu Liu demonstrating the 2nd part of Jing Qi Gong to the students at our second successful earthquake appeal which raised another £600 for the victims, again it’s thanks to all our supportive students who attended the workshop and friends who helped out with cooking yummy dumplings and noodles, preparing the hall, and clearing up. This time Shifu gave a dynamic performance of XInjia Yi Lu, (Chen new frame) and weapons forms and students did the 42 Fan form, (only learnt this year), and Laojia Yi Lu the traditional long form.
Chris demonstrates the Fan form, Lai and Nyuk Lee in step for Laojia Yi Lu
5 June: Shifu Liu at the Chinese Embassy, London
Delivering the generous donations and fees from the Tai Ji Circle Fundrasing day on 24 May, to the Chinese Embassy donations desk. The money will be used by different organisations to help earthquake victims in Sichuan Province.
Shifu Liu and Chris hold the donation box, surrounded by the workshop participants
24 May 2008: HELPING CHINA’S EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
A special Tai Ji Circle workshop and demonstration
Against the backdrop of Guanyin (Chinese Buddha of compassion), Shifu Liu led this special qi gong workshop held to raise funds for the Chinese earthquake victims in Sichuan province. Many people attended from all over London, and we are so happy that the workshop fees and sale of goods and generous donations have raised over a £1500 for the cause. St Paul’s Church also kindly donated the use of their hall for this special day. After the workshop Shifu gave a beautiful Chen tai ji performance followed by an exciting hard qi gong demonstration from the students, and then more dazzling sword forms from Shifu. Thanks for everyones’ hard work, those who helped to promote it, those who set everything up, those who cleared up and all those who joined us, thanks to you it was such a successful day.
Shifu Liu doing sword form and hard qi gong testing at the fundraiser, turning the wire around the neck
20 APRIL CHEN XIAO WANG in London
Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang with Shifu Liu, Chris and students after his marvellous London Seminars on Xinjia, the Chen new frame form.
26 FEBRUARY FUNDRAISING DINNER – Shifu Liu performs
Shifu Liu performing the Chen tai ji long form Laojia Yi Lu, was one of many artists and businesses who gave their time and support to help raise money for the federation of Chinese Associations of Manchester (FCAM). They held a successful fundraising dinner to help the tragic Snow Storm Disaster in China that occurred earlier this year. Master Chu’s Lion dance team opened the occasion, followed by an fascinating hard qi gong demonstration by the 83 year-old Master Chu himself.
10 FEBRUARY TAI JI CIRCLE with MASTER CHU’S CLUB, in MANCHESTER for CHINESE NEW YEAR
Early morning in Manchester’s China Town: Shifu Liu and team, with Master Chu and associates, stand with the one of the New Year Rats made especially for the Chinese New Year celebrations.
In the afternoon outside Manchester Town Hall, one of the highlights of the day, Master Chu’s students present the magnificent dragon to the crowds before running through the streets to China Town. The dragon, one of the largest in Europe, is a phenominal 180 feet and takes 28 people to carry it along; accompanied by exciting rythmic drumming, it brings luck to the city. Later in the day there was an entertaining duel between a smaller dragon and lion in the square.
Shifu Liu with Tai Ji Circle students dressed in red, performed Chen Tai Ji, followed by a thrilling hard qi gong demonstration; lying on glass with heavy board weighted with men, breaking paving slabs over the stomach, while lying on a bed of nails, and 4 bricks broken on the head with a sledge hammer, were just some of our display for the crowds.
Shifu Liu and Chris would like to thank our students for their support and for giving up their weekend to participate and making the weekend such a success. A special thanks is due to Master Chu for his wonderful hospitality and the warm welcome that he and all his friendly students gave to us.
Master Chu’s Lion and Dragon Dancing Club
1st Floor, 12 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 2AN
Tel: 0161 236 3933