Master Tian Qiuxin

In May of 2013, the Gu Feng Tai Chi club was delighted to host distinguished Tai Chi master Tian, Qiuxin (“Master Tian”) for a month long visit.

Master Tian is a renowned martial artist who lives and teaches in Beijing, China. He is one of the 19th generation Chen style masters and carries the lineage of old frame Chen style Tai Chi teaching in Beijing. His teachers were disciples of the famous 17th generation master Chen Fake (陈发科). He started his Tai Chi training at a young age studying with his uncle Tian, Xiuchen (田秀臣), who is one of the few well known Chen Fake disciples.

Master Tian serves as a council member in the Beijing Wushu Association and as a judge for various Wushu competitions. His Tai Chi teaching experience is extensive and includes, among many other things, instruction at Beijing University, Qinghua University, Chinese Medicine University, the Chinese Academy of Science and the Bank of China.

During his visit, Master Tian demonstrated and taught the Chen style Old Frame first and second routines, in the tradition of Chen Fake’s teaching. He also shared a traditional saber routine and explained the use of a wooden training stick called a ”Er-Bang-Zi (二棒子)” which is used for training the spiral motions that are required in push hands exercises. He showed club members a number of Tai Chi applications, thereby helping students understand something about the origins and martial significance of many Tai Chi postures. He also shared tips about push hands and demonstrated and discussed some Qi Gong and standing meditation techniques.

This was Master Tian first foreign visit. The event also represented the first time our club was the sole sponsor of a visiting international Tai Chi master. Master Tian’s stay in Boulder was much longer than that of previous visiting masters here. As a result, club members experienced what was, in effect, a month long emersion into the art of Tai Chi, with the assistance of a world class practitioner.

Master Tian’s teaching style is vibrant and playful. His level of practice is incredibly high but he presents his art without any stuffiness or pomposity. There was a constant twinkle in his eyes. Although he speaks no English, his body language during practice sessions resonated easily with all those in attendance. He demonstrated a wonderful sense of humor and responsive bursts of laugher from club members were common.

With this visit Master Tian left a legacy of Tai Chi as a living art. He demonstrated how advanced martial arts teaching can be accompanied by the qualities of warmth and graciousness. He bonded with students instantaneously. It was evident that he had a good time and, as a result, so did everybody else. His demonstrations and teaching will inspire our practice for a long time to come.