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Want to join the culturally rich Tai Chi Gala?

Highlights of 2013 Tai Chi Gala
Highlights of 2013 Tai Chi Gala
David Ritchie

Tai Chi Gala is unique. It is not just a group of workshops that teach the art of Tai Chi (Taiji). Each year internal martial art enthusiasts from near and far gather to renew their friendship, study the arts from masters, sit around appreciating martial art literature, enjoy fine tea, and engage in a spiritual ceremony to honor the ancestors of the arts. This year Tai Chi Gala will take place on May 30 – June 1 in Albany, New York. If you have never attended this event, consider joining it and renewing your life.

A scene from 2013 Tai Chi Gala
David Ritchie

Tai Chi Grandmaster Jou Tsung Hwa originally founded and called the event the "Zhang San Feng Festival" in honor of the legendary Tai Chi founder Taoist Monk Zhang San Feng. The purpose is to unite Tai Chi, Bagua, Xingyi, Qigong, and other internal arts enthusiasts in a spirit of sharing the arts. Following the tradition, Dr. Painter's Baguazhang Circle will take place on June 2-6 in the same location.

Tai Chi Gala is offering a wide-range of interesting workshops for attendees to choose from. Currently, the program includes but is not limited to the following:

  • The Explosive Power of Fa Li: Gain the Edge for Martial Arts and Fighting – Sifu Ren-Gang Wang
  • Opening the Power of the Shoulders and Healing the Shoulders – Sifu Donald Wong
  • Crack the Willow Branch: Elbow Breaks and Arm Bars – Dr. Yancy Orchard
  • Poetry of the Warrior's Heart: Part One – Sifu Ken Lo
  • Tai Chi San Shou 2-Person Application Set – Sifus Zhenling Fu & Jianye Jiang
  • Combat Breathing – Sifu Richard Clear
  • Relaxation, Rooting and Imagination – Sifu David Ritchie
  • The Brush and The Sword: For Martial Arts Writers & Readers – Sifu Gene Ching
  • Xingyiquan Splitting Palm: One Move, One Thousand Techniques – Dr. John Painter
  • Introduction to Bajiquan – Sifu Gene Ching
  • Daoyin Release for Neck, Shoulder and Back Flexibility/Release – Sifu Loretta Wollering
  • Chinese Martial Arts Self-Defense for Real Life Scenarios – Sifu Ren-Gang Wang
  • Wu Mei Pai's Qigong Healing – Shihing David Doljan (under direction of Sifu Lo)
  • Push Hands for Beginners, With Empowering "Pre" Exercises to Give You the Advantage – Sifu William C. Phillips
  • Awakening Dragon Dao Yin – Dr. Yancy Orchard
  • Internal Arts for Street Combat – Dr. John Painter
  • Unified Field Fitness: Transpersonal Integrative Bioenergetics – Sifu Sharif Bey
  • 9-Dragons Bagua Push-Hands – Sifu Jianye Jiang
  • Poetry of the Warrior's Heart: Part Two - with Shihing David Doljan
  • Leading to Emptiness – Sifu Richard Clear
  • Taiji Saber – Sifu David Ritchie
  • Cha Dao (Tao): "The Way of Tea" (The Rare, High Chinese Tea Ceremony) – Sifu Ken Lo

You can read the instructors’ bios via a link here:

Saturday evening will have entertainment including traditional Chinese Lion Dance from Yee's Hung Ga Kung Fu. On Sunday, you can take part in a Taoist (Daoist) ceremony to honor Zhang San Feng and Grandmaster Jou Tsung Hwa, as well as your deceased teacher(s). People of all faiths, beliefs, philosophies, arts, and lineages are welcome to either participate or simply observe. Sifu Loretta Wollering, the Gala organizer, encourages people to bring along any symbols, photos, etc., of any past teachers you wish to honor and remember. These will be placed on a memorial "altar."

Dr. Painter’s Baguazhang Circle is the longest and largest Baguazhang gathering in the world. This year the theme is Thunder Palm. According to Dr. Painter, the power of thunder is that of a huge ball of expanding or contracting power pulsing in all directions. Traditional Baguazhang and Jiulong Baguazhang call this method Bao Zhang (embracing palms). However in Jiulong Baguazhang it is also know as Zhen Zhang (thunder palm), which implies striking by expanding and contracting instead of grasping. Zhen Zhang energy vibrations are so great they can disrupt the very structure of the things (i.e., opponent's body) into which they are projected.

For more information or registration of Tai Chi Gala or Baguazhang Circle, please visit

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