Grandmaster William C. C. Chen on Cheng Man Ching’s “Iron Shirt” training and staying at his house

So you went to Professor Cheng Man Ching and then you started Tai Chi, but did he have a school or…?

Grandmaster William C. C. Chen on Cheng Man Ching’s “Iron Shirt” training and staying at his houseHe didn’t have a school, but he was teaching in one place. It was like the front yard of an office, a little space. In the morning he taught over there. He was not indoor, but outdoor.

After that, you lived in his house…

That was after that, but actually, I was learning form him for a number, maybe a couple of months or a year and then, one day, Professor Cheng had to train his internal system. It is kind of a secret training called “iron shirt”. This iron shirt, he wanted to learn to train how to take the shots while he was sleeping. So this kind of iron shirt – while you are sleeping taking the shots – you have to have somebody to train with. And he had to pick young people that had a good energy – that kind of belief, you know that young people, unmarried, so these people… – I was one of the selected. He asked me to go, but at the same time, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t go to school at that time. I just finished my junior high school, so I did have time. So I went over there in the morning, then every morning like 5 o’clock in the morning and we started like one hour and then sometimes I went home, sometimes I stayed. And that went almost for half a year. And one day what happened was there was a typhoon – a typhoon plus earth quake in Taiwan, in Taipei, so the front of the fence, the brick fence fell and then he decided: Since you are coming every morning why don’t you stay? – I stayed there for about two years and finally I decided to leave, because to continue my education I had to go to high school and two years later I went to high school. When I went to high school he had five kids – I couldn’t live there and study at the same time, so finally I decided to move out. That was my stay there for two years.

Interview led by Nils Klug in 2012, Tai Chi Studio, Hannover

Cheng Man Ching’s house, Taipeh


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