A Weekend of Qigong and Taichi with a School Uncle from the States
by Ethan Murchie
Our school is called the Montreal Gongfu Research Center. Why use the term Research in our title ? This is a question many people have asked. There are many reasons. Some can be explained to someone from the public or to a new member and some need to be discovered through the students own practice, practice that properly we could call their own research !
This is an example of how the answers to the questions we have in training internal martial arts are almost always multi-layered, circular and informed by the students own efforts. Different efforts produce different answers.
One of the many ways we do our research is through constant contacts with other practitioners.
Some times these other practitioners are so far ahead of us in both art and life that we call them our Teachers. Vince Black, Liu Shuheng, Li Run Xi and Li Cang bring to us a perspective far beyond our own current view point. We call them our Teachers because we have to trust their words and follow in their foot steps for many years before we can hope to gain something of the perspective that they share through their teaching. Time spent with our Teachers is usually a bit difficult to arrange as they live far away, do not speak french or english and have many responsibilities. Thus these times are always very special.
Other practitioners that we regularly make efforts to keep in touch with are closer to the same level as our local instructors. These we call school uncle or school aunt. A school uncle or aunt is another senior student of our Teachers who has much more experience than most members, usually has their own group of students in their hometown and importantly has a different perspective than the local instructors. This different perspective is the key research element that we want to study when we make the efforts to bring practitioners in to lead training at the Center.
As an example at the beginning of May 2017 the center brought NATSTA instructor FC McIver to Montreal from Tucson Arizona to share with our members some of his research into the qigong methods of the late Dr Xie Pei Qi. While he was here FC also worked with our local instructors on elements of the Association’s Taichi system.
Members enjoyed two days of intensive qigong training, FC follows very closely the methods of practice that Dr Xie shared with the Association when he visited back in the 1990s. This is something a bit different than the average qigong class and reminded al the participants of the fact that while we come from a lineage of doctors and our practices cultivate heath, the doctors in our lineage were also martial artists and never thought that cultivating health had to be easy or pain free !
Thanks FC for coming up to share with us and we look forward to having you back again soon.
We have more visits from School Aunts and Uncles planned for the coming fall and winter and members of the Center can look forward to the opportunities to pursue their researches with our extended Gongfu Family.