Last year, I spent three weeks in Chen Style Tai Chi (Taiji) Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei’s school in Zhengzhou, Henan, China to advance my knowledge and skill. In one of the large practicing studios, there were photos hung above the mirror. First I did not pay much attention to them since they are still shots and not particularly interesting. Then, I realized they were group photos of the annual Chen Zhenglei meeting held in Chen Village (or Chenjiagou). The first one was taken in 1999 with approximately 90 participants (see the photo below). Grandmaster Chen and Simu Lili Lu both dressed in blue, looked very young. Masters Chen Bin and Chen Juan were teenagers, and Master Chen Yuanyuan was a kid kneeling in front of Grandmaster Chen. I walked down the time corridor and noticed each year the number of attendees grow and the heads in the photos become smaller and smaller until totally unidentifiable. Since the meeting has been enhanced with more programs, the event names have been updated a few times also. In 2014 it became the first Chen Zhenglei Tai Chi Symposium with over a thousand partakers from all over the world (see a photo below) and most events were hosted in a large gym. This year, it is scheduled on Sept. 30 thru Oct. 7 and held in Chen Village, Henan, China.
The 3rd Symposium will consist of the 18th International Chen’s Tai Chi Workshops, the 7th Elite Tai Chi Tournament of all Tai Chi styles, Push Hands, and weapons with cash prizes, a Duan Wei cerfication test for Chinese nationalities, a separate training program for Grandmaster Chen’s disciples, Disciple Acceptance Ceremony, a homage trip to Chen Village, instructor certification training program, and grand demonstration by over two dozens Chen Style Tai Chi masters in addition to the Grandmaster himself.
Under the 9th Duan certified Grandmaster Chen, there will be 29 7th Duan certified Tai Chi masters (Chen Bin, Chen Juan, Chen Yuanyuan, Cui Guangbo, Wang Haijun, Gao Dongxiang, Zhang Dongwu, Fu Nengbin, Liu Yong, Zheng Dongxia, Zhang Xiqun, Cheng Baorong, Liu Jihong, Zhou Guogang, Zhang Shuyong, Liu Jianguang, Pang Deli, Deng Ying, Lu Wei, Tong Jinwang, Guo Zhongyu, Xu Xiaoming, Tian Pingsheng, Gao Zhijiang, Xing Long, Huang Hedong, Dong Chengkui, Ren Shou, and Wang Xiaopo) to teach the disciple program: Old Frame Routine One for advanced practitioners, Old Frame Routine One for beginners, Old Frame Routine Two for advanced practitioners, Old Frame Routine Two for beginners, New Frame Routine One for advanced practitioners, New Frame Routine One for beginners, New Frame Routine Two for advanced practitioners, New Frame Routine Two for beginners, Push Hands, Single Sword, Guan Dao, and children classes. You can click the link here to see the instructors’ bios.
This event is sponsored by 21 Chen Zhenglei Tai Chi schools and 13 Chen Zhenglei Tai Chi Education Centers in China. For more details and registration information, click the link here.
Disclosure: I am an Indoor Disciple of Grandmaster Chen.