19TH GENERATION CHEN TAIJI
GRAND MASTER DOWN UNDER
Report by Robert Gemmell. Article courtesy
of Insights Into Martial Arts Magazine
It’s nearly fifteen years since the 19th
generation Chen Tai Chi Master Chen Xiao Wang
visited New Zealand. However old news is what
martial artists are interested in, even if it
is our own history.
Chen Xiao Wang was met at Auckland Airport by
members of the Shaolin Chuan Fa Association led
by Robert Gemmell. Also in the welcoming party
was Kevin Rose of Hamilton. Kevin acted as interpreter
at the S.C.F Seminars held in Auckland and Wellington.
Seminar got underway, the venue, Glenfield Shaolin
Chuan Fa Centre. Grand Master Chen Xiao Wang gave
a talk on the historical record of Chen Family
Tai Chi. This was followed by an explanation of
Yin and Yang and how it relates to Chi and the
Norm Palmer, Kevin Rose,
Chen Xiao Wang ,
Robert Gemmell, Mike Ryan.
Pictured at the Glenfield Kempo and Tai Chi Centre Auckland.
A considerably long part of the morning’s event was
dedicated to the importance of alignment of the body. Students
split into pairs and systematically were guided through the
SI JIN “SPIRALLING ENERGY”
Chen Tai Chi specialises in the use of spiralling energy.
Training of the waist, planting of the foot and correct hand
positioning are all put into numerous sets that enhance the
character of Chen Tai Chi.
19th Generation Grand Master Chen Xiao Wang teaching
Chan Si Jin at Wellington.(picture to the right)
Dining followed a stretched limo ride for the guest of honour
around the sites of Auckland. If the flavour of the evening
meal was Chinese then the presentation to Chen Xiao Wang was
not. This was a pictorial book of New Zealand and its scenic
On Sunday the packed hall of students were moved into the
38 Step Chen Form.
me, it was off to Wellington where we lost track
of Grand Master Chen. He travelled with Kevin
Rose to Hamilton where I understood Mr Chen gave
Seminars there. This was followed by Wellington
Seminars where Chen Xiao Wang stayed at my live
in Martial Arts Centre Centre at Porirua. Few
visitors at theTraining Centre would be as high
ranking as Chen Xiao Wang. Another Seminar was
given and before we knew it, the place was swamped
by what appeared to be the entire Wellington Chinese
Martial Arts Community. After discussions relating
to Master Chen’s itinerary with local Chinese
Instructors, a Seminar was held in Wellington
for all the Chinese Martial Arts Association Members.
SOUTH ISLAND VISIT
This was followed by a spell of personal training
and cooking for Chen Xiao Wang at my home. A final
National Seminar at one of S.C.F’s Lake
Taupo venues and it was off to Hamilton once again
for the final leg of Chen Xiao Wang's New Zealand
stay. The visit of Chen Xiao Wang can now be viewed
with hindsight, as a significant boost to the
Tai Chi wing of S.C.F.(Parent body to Tai Chi
New Zealand). No doubt many others also had the
benefit of Chen Xiao Wang’s guidance whilst
he was in NZ.
Robert Gemmell first
trained with CHen Xia Wang during the eighties
after a personal invitation to train with him
in the Hunan Province of China.