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2014 WTCQD was inspirational, fun and educational!

With a sponsorship from the West County YMCA and Chesterfield Mall, about two hundred Tai Chi (Taiji) and Qigong enthusiasts attended 2014 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQD) celebration on Saturday, April 26, in the beautiful spacious atrium of Chesterfield Mall in St. Louis, Missouri.

Highlights of 2014 WTCQD Celebration at Chesterfield Mall
Pam Bearden
Ba Duan Jin demo
Pam Bearden

At 10 a.m., Herb Parran (a decorated Tai Chi and Qigong coach in the Metro-St. Louis region) and Violet Li kicked off the celebration by introducing Jerry Wild, who is a veteran Tai Chi practitioner and instructor of Tai Chi for Parkinson’s Disease patients – you can read Jerry’s amazing story and incredible Tai Chi health benefits via a link here http://www.examiner.com/article/a-new-hope-for-parkinson-s-disease-patients-tai-chi. Immediately afterwards, senior residents from Friendship Village performed Tai Chi Chi (a regimen proven by University of California – Los Angeles to be extremely beneficial to boost the immune system and help with sleep quality) and sitting Ba Duan Jin. Most of the seniors are in their 80’s and 90’s and have attended Tai Chi classes for years. It was wonderful to witness that other attending practitioners and audience members were motivated and participated in the exercises as well.

Brendan Du, a 23-year-old financial professional, did a Yang Style barehanded routine (boxing, Quan, or Ch’uan) followed by St. Louis T’ai Chi Ch’uan Assoication’s Cheng Man-Ch’ing Style Quan, Terry Staebel’s Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s sword, and Judy Zhao and students’ Tai Chi Quan, fan, and sword. Arthur Du from Columbia, MO, did a special presentation on a Yang Style routine. Wendy Richards and Linda Gatson led a St. Louis Tai Chi 24 demonstration. Sara Kuanfung led a group of adult Down syndrome patients from Albert Pujols Wellness Center for Adults with Down Syndrome and performed a short Sun Style Tai Chi Quan that inspired everyone. Mimi Huang led a standing Ba Duan Jin performance. Anna Lum invited everyone to form a large circle for a Qigong exercise that connected everyone’s energy together and generated an elevated Qi (bioenergy) field. Alan Ludmer exhibited various Bagua zhangs (palms). Herb Parran and his students performed a Hun Yuan Tai Chi Quan, Hun Yuan Tai Chi Ruler regimen for health, and a short Push Hand drill to show Tai Chi Quan’s martial art applications. Amanda Meyer, a medical research coordinator in her mid-20's, led a performance of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei’s 18 form for health http://www.examiner.com/tai-chi-in-national/chen-s-taichi-for-health-wellness-by-grandmaster-chen-zhenglei. Yan Xie led the demonstration of a shorten version of Chen Style Old Frame Routine One. Lastly, Paul Reed executed a Chen Style Tai Chi Dao or broadsword regimen.

Kate Rucshhoff, a certified instructor, expressed appreciation for the varieties of Tai Chi and Qigong styles and also the numerous levels of mastery presented. Judy Zhao stated it was fun to learn something new (from other groups). Linda Gatson enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other Tai Chi instructors and practitioners. One out-of-town visitor was quoted that she was glad to have the opportunity to share Tai Chi with others. Some commented that Tai Chi is organic and the WTCQD celebration enhanced the experience. Many participants copied down the names of several Tai Chi books on display and said the event was very informative. Paul Reed noticed that many mall shoppers stopped by to watch the show. Many enthusiasts believed that having a WTCQD celebration in a public venue like a shopping mall was a good way to introduce Tai Chi to the general public and were thankful for Chesterfield Mall’s sponsorship. Shelley Shray and St. Louis T’ai Chi Ch’uan Assoication’s happily proclaimed that they would come back for next year’s WTCQD celebration.

You can see activity photos via a slide show on this page and hundreds of pictures and video clips at the following links:

Photographer Chris Kudelda: https://plus.google.com/photos/109763441443694233136/albums/6007011422133664545?authkey=CNmx55eiq_yYEg.

Photographer Zhi Lu: https://www.flickr.com/photos/20560707@N06/sets/72157644385370735/

Disclosure: I was the organizer and host of the evening; therefore, this article might be biased ;-).

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