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HUAYU ALIVE! ढ Take a journey into the Chinese way of wellness,


in this 13-part series published in conjunction

䇁 with the Speak Mandarin Campaign. You can also
mind, body and soul with Mandarin view these articles online at

Join the Fluid Movement MARTIAL

Taijiquan is gaining fans among young S’poreans with its health benefits TAIJIQUAN
A workshop on Hunyuan
CHEN JINGTING Tai Chi, a form of taijiquan
that helps to relax one’s

body and mind and streng-
AIJIQUAN is often mis- then the immune system,
taken as a form of exercise by Master May Tan. Con-
only for the old.
ducted in English, with key
However, more and more
Chinese terms highlighted.
young Singaporeans are realis-
When: Saturday,
ing the health benefits – and dif-
ficulties – of learning the seem-
ingly languid martial art. Where: The Plaza, National
Just ask freelance multime- Library
dia designer Kenrick Goh, 29, WING CHUN
who has been practising taiji-
quan for 10 years.
A demonstration and work-
He told my paper: “Taiji-
quan seems slow and easy to shop on Wing Chun, a form
learn. But there’s a lot more to of close-range martial art
it. It requires a lot of muscle con- which develops a person’s
trol and coordination.” intrinsic energy, by Master
He is a student at Xin Ying Chua Kah Joo. Conducted
Wushu Training Centre at Wa- in English, with key Chinese
terloo Street, which conducts tai- terms highlighted.
jiquan and qigong courses. When: Saturday, 4-5pm
It also offers wushu classes Where: The Plaza, National
for adults and children, and ATTUNED TO HEALTH: Master May Tan (centre) and taijiquan practitioners (from left) Kenrick Goh, Luey Library
holds corporate courses for com- Bing Lun, Norvin Chandra and Li Yunxiu say the martial art improves well-being. (PHOTOS: JAMIE KOH)
The centre has seen a 30 per Student Luey Bing Lun, 18, He added that he used to be conception that learning taiji- She urged them to have bal-
cent spike in the number of also found it easier to cope with an impatient person, but can quan will prevent them from fall- ance – the fundamental princi-
working adults aged between 20
stress after he picked up the now better manage his emo- ing sick. That’s not true,” she ple of taijiquan – in their lives.
and 40 signing up for taijiquan.
It has more than 80 partici- martial art two years ago. tions. said. “Your lifestyle and dietary Her advice: “Don’t just work
pants now, an increase from 60 “When practising taijiquan, However, Master Tan was habits play a part as well.” and work. You need time to re-
last year. I’m disciplined (in) emptying quick to point out that practis- She added that working peo- lax as well.”
They come from various in- my mind in order to relax. Now, ing taijiquan alone is not ple tend to suffer from tight
dustries, such as the IT and when I get stressed about school- enough to ensure an illness-free shoulder muscles and necks be-
banking sectors, said Master work, I would also empty my life. cause they work too hard with-
May Tan Mui Buay, who found- mind to relax,” he said. “Some people have the mis- out proper rest.
ed the centre in 1993.
A taijiquan teacher for about
20 years, she won a South-east
Asia Games wushu gold in taiji- WHAT IS HUNYUAN TAI CHI?
quan when the event was held
in Singapore in 1993. HUNYUAN Tai Chi is a style of taijiquan developed Master May Tan Mui Buay, founder of the centre,
According to Xin Ying’s by Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang from China. said that those who learn the routine without
project manager, Mr Li Yunxiu, It is suitable for a wider age group of practi- getting their basics right are missing the
27, the centre has almost 500 tioners as its moves are slower and more fluid. essence of taijiquan.
members. “It helps its practitioners to remain calm and She said: “To them, learning taijiquan is
Master Tan said: “Taijiquan relaxed,” said Mr Li Yunxiu (right), project manager just memorising a sequence of steps. They
strengthens one’s immune sys- of Xin Ying Wushu Training Centre. get stressed when they cannot remember
tem. Hence, practitioners are or keep up with the steps. They may also
On top of that, learning this form of taijiquan also
less likely to fall sick.” end up with joint pains because they
strengthens core body muscles, improves flexibility,
She added that a practitioner are not learning the steps right.”
can see an improvement in his enhances coordination and fortifies the immune Courses are conducted in
overall well-being as early as system. English, with Mandarin used for
one month after taking it up, if This year, Xin Ying will introduce its Hunyuan Tai medical terms such as names of
he practises properly. Chi Baton course, which teaches students the acupoints. For more information,
Practising taijiquan also fundamentals of this style before they move on to call 6338-5626 or visit
helps in relaxation and de-stress- practise more difficult movements.
ing. According to Mr Goh, he
could concentrate on his work
better while feeling less stressed
by it, after taking up taijiquan.


Languid: Coordination: Disciplined: Illness-free: !56 Dietary habits: #"89 Fundamental:

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Martial art: Immune system: xùn liàn zì jǐ Misconception: Balance: Principle:
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