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Cheng Man Ch'ing
Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing was called "Master of the Five Excellences": Taijiquan, painting, calligraphy, poetry and medicine. His favorite of the "five" was Taijiquan, which he learned from Yang Ch'eng-fu. When Cheng Man Ch'ing was very young his body was extremely weak and in his twenties he contracted a lung disease. The medical doctors were unable to help him but his friends introduced him to Master Yang Cheng-Fu and he became the last disciple of Master Yang. For six years he studied Taijiquan with Master Yang every day and his body became healthy and strong.
Feeling that Taijiquan could benefit everyone, Professor Cheng was anxious to spread this art to all, following the proverb, "The good doctor cures people before they become ill." and in 1947 he wrote the "Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan". In the mid-sixties Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing opened a Studio for Taijiquan in New York. In 1975 he travelled to Taiwan where he passed away.
William C.C. Chen
William C.C. Chen was born in 1935. His father took him to see Professor Ch'eng Man Ching, who asked him if he would like to learn Taijiquan and so he became Cheng's youngest student. In 1953 C.C. Chen started teaching in several places and this earned him the title "Baby Master" since all those he instructed were older than himself. From 1954 on he took part in tournaments and in 1959 he was invited to teach Taijiquan in Singapore, Malaysia and later in Bangkok.
In 1962 C.C. Chen moved to Hawaii and was honored to teach as head instructor at the Honolulu T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association. Professor Ch'eng Man-Ching wrote him during 1965 several times, asking him to teach in Springfield and in New York. After arriving in New York William C.C. Chen decided against these offers and opened a studio on his own.
The Martial Art Magazine "Inside Kung Fu" has chosen Grandmaster William C.C. Chen as the "Man of the year 2000", who will go down in history as one of the finest and most influential traditional internal stylists of his generation.
Sifu Luis Molera
Luis Molera was born in Madrid, Spain in 1959. He started learning Taijiquan with several teachers in Germany in 1980. A student of William C.C. Chen since 1984 Luis received his teaching licence in 1989. Besides being a Master Student of Grandmaster Chen he deepened his knowledge in Taiwan with Master Sun, Chen Shiu Yao, Jeng Shean Chih and other Taijiquan teachers.
Luis is regularly invited to give workshops at Taijiquan schools. He teaches in Spain, the UK and sometimes at the International Push Hands Meeting in Jasnieres, France.
His "Centre for T'ai Chi Ch'uan" in Bremen, Germany has hosted William C.C. Chen workshops for more than 20 years.
Sifu Ralph Westermann
Ralph Westermann started practicing Taijiquan in 1984 with a friend. The following year he met Luis Molera who was, at this time, still teaching the Peking Form; Luis has been Ralph's teacher since then. Ralph attended several workshops and received his teaching license from William C.C. Chen in 1989. He started teaching in 1990 and in 1994 Ralph and Luis travelled to Taiwan. Two years later Ralph studied with Master Tan in Malaysia. Since 1996 he spend most of his time in Auroville, India and Thailand, especially on Koh Tao.
Ralph has been five times to Jasnieres, France, attending the anual International Push Hands Meeting with teachers from all over Europe. Ralph also practices Qigong and Traditional Thai Yoga Massage and he has studied physiotherapy and acupuncture.
Ralph and his friend Andrea (she is teaching Yoga) opened a place called OMTAO in November 2004. Located on Koh Chang at the west coast of Thailand, close to Ranong at the border to Myanmar, OMTAO is open from October 15 to May 15.
Sifu Martin Rapp
Ralph Westermann and I, who have known each other since the early 70's, met again in 1993 when he gave me an application form for a William C.C. Chen workshop. It was quite an experience to do the first Taijiquan steps with such a great Master! I then started training with Luis Molera, but was interrupted by an 8 months stay on Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Ralph visited me there and so not everything was forgotten. Because I then only stayed for 4 months in Bremen before leaving for Thailand Ralph gave me one-on-one instruction. I was on Koh Tao for 3 months when Ralph arrived and stayed for a month. Since then Ralph has visited me frequently on "the Rock", coming about three times/year.
In March 1998 I opened HERE & NOW and started teaching Qigong and Taijiquan. At the end of August 2001 Luis Molera came to visit HERE & NOW for ten days and besides attending his workshop I got private lessons twice a day.
Being in Germany in March 2002, I have been lucky to attend two workshops with William C.C. Chen. These eight days of practicing with Master Chen have been one of the most inspiring time in my life. Master Chen also gave me the application form for the teacher certificate and urged me to send it to him. At this time it was not so important to me but a few years later I finally did send it. Since December 2008 I'm a certified teacher for the 60 Movements, Long Form, Sword Form, and applications.
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