Were you still in touch with Professor Cheng Man Ching? Did you still meet him and how was your relationship?
So when I was in New York I went to see him from time to time. Actually, at that time I was supposed to help him teaching, but then I was the youngest one and he already had the “seven magnificent” – that is like very close students. They were helping him to teach, so they did not need me to go to teach there. So as I was younger than they are and they knew I did not feel comfortable teaching there, I taught in my own school. But from time to time, I still went to see him. So the relationship was still pretty good and he helped me. Actually, Professor Chen is just like my father. In 1969, when I was getting married, my father already passed away and my mother was in Taiwan and had cancer, so she was not able to come to New York to attend my wedding. Therefore, Professor Cheng and Mrs. Cheng took my parents’ side. And then at the wedding, the whole family of Master Cheng was invited and I was very honored to have him stand for my family for the wedding. So the wedding was pretty successful and my marriage goes very well too. As far as I know, it is so far very good and I have a good wife and two good kids, my son and daughter.
My wife, she does everything. She does more than I do, I only do the teaching. She does the arrangements, the payments, everything – the office and all kind of appointments. And Howard is always there, helping up to this point for so many years. He is still with us. It is good to have somebody taking [work] off [you]. I never ask my students for money. Because sometimes they forget to pay – so that’s my wife’s job. Same thing, like when I was in Professor Cheng’s house and people came in and he gave a prescription, what they called “Chinese medicine”. If people, patients, came in, they could not walk out without passing my door, so I was the one who collected the money.
Interview led by Nils Klug in 2012, Tai Chi Studio, Hannover
Images: Loni Liebermann and Nils Klug