About the Cheng Man Ching Archive: Working together to preserve our international Taiji heritage

Cheng Man Ching preserve

Our aim: Preserving the Taiji community’s effort

Our aim is to do our bit to preserve at least some of the various publications in the field of Tai Chi, as these were often published by small publishing houses or as private publications. While this phenomenon seems natural especially in the pioneer days of Tai Chi in the West, it continues until today. The wider known publications now target a big market with a general focus on wellbeing and self-help, while specialist literature on the Chinese arts is still published in small editions by enthusiasts and only known to small circles.

Collecting those publications will help to preserve the knowledge and work of dedicated practitioners. Collecting Tai Chi literature also shows international connections of the Chinese Arts and bears witness to communication between different cultural spheres. In the future it may even help to better describe and understand the intercultural process at its base.

We believe that working together among individuals and small groups is key to preserve and develop our international Tai Chi heritage.

Cheng Man Ching preserve

Continuing the tradition – Why “Cheng Man Ching” Archive?

The naming of the archive is not so much a reference to a particular style of Tai Chi, but rather a reference to the historical figure Cheng Man Ching and the way that he handled the challenges of modernity.

Due to his biography, Cheng Man Ching broke with several traditional rules of teaching and transmitting practical knowledge. Although he has been described as a traditional person in appearance and moral views, he saw the need for modernisation and development concerning the Chinese arts.

This impetus brought with it a change of perspective: In Cheng Man Ching tradition, it is the first responsibility of the student to continue the development, and not to live up to past standards. This opening of the perspective and the drive to go forward also brings with it the need to know where one came from.

The Cheng Man Ching Archive aims to “dig where we stand” and to carry its share of responsibility for Tai Chi as an international heritage in the spirit of Cheng Man Ching.

Author: Gabi Kannenberg
Images: Ken van Sickle und Taiji-Forum
German Version of this article
More on Cheng Man Ching Archive: will be published soon!

The next generation is the responsibility of you people. We want to share with all the people. We have to do our best and that is all we can do. When we pass on it’s up to people like you. If you teach with care and responsibility then things will carry on. That’s the history.

Ben Lo

More about Cheng Man Ching
See also: It’s up to you…