I arrived in China with only a little previous knowledge of Kung Fu and Yang style Tai Chi from a few different schools in the South of England, I very much enjoyed practicing the diffefrent styles and forms but never really excelled in any of them. Also, due to work and family commitments I found it difficult to attend a school on a regular basis which meant that my achievements were very slow and hance never really reached a level that I was content with.
After a good friend of mine introduced me to this website I read the information and thought it was a nice ideal but probably something I couldn't afford to do or get the time to do it, but after seeing a few videos on the website and searching through Youtube I began to realise that this was the real deal. Within a few minutes I realised that Master Huang Hua was not like other teachers I've learnt from in the UK, this guy lives for Tai Chi and upon reading more began to realise that he wanted to do more than just teach a few students.
To cut a long story short, I booked the flight and the tuition and went for it!
1 month later I have left China and returned to the UK bringing with me a great deal of achievement, experience, and confidence. The achievement is due to the full time tuition but of course is dependent on how hard you are willing to train and study, but no matter what your level or determination the tuition is tailored for the individual and not the group. The experience is down to the authentic essence that China has to offer as both a culture and the birthplace of Tai Chi. The confidence is down to the art itself and the way it was taught to me. Chen style Tai Chi is the oldest and the original style offering a multitude of benefits including health, state of mind, and a great form of self defense if used properly.
Sifu Henry is a fantastic teacher with a great vision of spreading this versatile form of Kung Fu meditation accross the globe hoping to improve the quality of many peoples lives. I for one intend to help with this mission and spread my knowledge to anybody who is interested in the Southwest area of the UK (primarily Cornwall).
Why travel to Yangshuo in China? That's simple, because it is has some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen! Yangshuo town is a small but busy town and West street (which is a very charcteristic shopping area about 1400 years old) is always buzzing with life and friendly energy from locals, tourists, and travellers. I met many different people and everybody was happy to stop and talk, most of them from many different countries. Then just a 15 minute bike ride out of town and you are in the peaceful countryside amongst people who have no intention of investing in modern technology or a fast way of life. It's no wonder that many people live to a ripe age in this environment.
So as an overall summary, I feel that in the month that I have studied in this school I have learnt a vast amount of Tai Chi that I can take with me anywhere and everywhere for the rest of my life. There are many great schools and teachers all over the world but for me the experience of travelling to one of the most scenic parts of China and learning the oldest form of Tai Chi from a 12th generation Chen master is incomparable to any other martial arts training.
Thank you Sifu Henry!
Simon MacGregor (November 2011)