At the age of 56 I was worn out, overworked and stressed out. I was overweight and dealing with hypertension. My back was in a knot and my neck was always stiff and sore. Then, one day by accident I met a student of Grandmaster Jincai Cheng. After speaking with this student I knew that Chen Style Tai Chi was just what I needed. The following weekend I went to the school and spoke to the Grandmaster.
That was about a year and half ago. Since then I have attended classes on a regular basis and I am happy to report that my health has improved dramatically. My energy level is high. Stress does not seem to bother me as it did before. I am able to deal with the once stressful situations. I remain calm and relaxed now. I have lost 60 lbs. and feel much stronger and more flexible. My blood pressure has come way down. As for my back and neck, there has been a significant improvement.
When I first spoke to Teacher about my back and neck he recommended treatment on his message table. I did two sessions on the table. Each session included a deep tissue message and the use of cupping. The knot in my back is no longer a problem and my neck has improved greatly.
Every week I look forward to attending class with Grandmaster Cheng. The atmosphere at the school is nurturing and always interesting. I would recommend classes at The International Chen Style Development Center for anyone regardless of age or ability level.
Thank you, Teacher.
“My first major injury was in 1965. I broke my left leg skiing on Christmas day. From there my tenure as an amateur athlete has been highlighted by an ongoing series of sports injuries. I have severely sprained both ankles, and hyper-extended a knee playing college soccer. Almost ripped off a finger water-skiing; torn “things” in various parts of my body skiing, playing racquetball and tennis, golf, and, soccer. I ripped lower back tissues, and broke bones in my hand practicing energetic martial art forms at other times.
It was the lower back injuries that had a cumulative effect on my spine, and overall flexibility over the years. About 5 years ago I re-injured the lower back so severely that I was finally pushed into the dreaded surgical remedy.
Prior to surgery I tried all of the standard non-invasive remedies. I continued with my ongoing Yoga practice, sought acupuncturists, massage therapists and energy healers. Earlier success with these remedial practices was to no avail this time.
Once the surgery was completed, I was not immediately “cured”. My body was in such a state of guarding from the process, I could hardly move. Extra-aggressive physical therapy put me into bed for 5 weeks, after which I was hardly able to walk, and could not bend at all. I was about to “circle the drain”.
Very gradually I began to recover with pool therapy, then gentle physical therapy. However, I knew that for full recovery I would have to find an energy healer, and restart a chi kung and internal martial arts program.
I had practiced Pa-Kua for years, and was very happy with my Sifu, but I could not continue with him, as he teaches in Virginia, and I live in Texas. At this time I could barely climb a single step, let alone consider boarding an aircraft.
I pulled out the phone book and researched the internet for Pa-Kua, Chi-Kung and Tai Chi. My quest was simply to find the most qualified internal martial arts master within driving distance of my home.
I should say that it was emotionally difficult for me to do this, as I was burdened by a very strong loyalty to my Pa-Kua Sifu. But, though I could simply continue to practice the chi-kung I had been taught, until ready to resume air travel, there is no substitute for personal contact with your teacher, and I was very physically desperate by this time.
The discovery of Grandmaster Jincai Cheng, one of very few living Chen Style Tai Chi masters in the world, teaching in Houston – about an hour drive from my house in The Woodlands, was almost shocking. I knew at once to call and ask if he could teach me. A short telephone interview, and he asked me to come to school.
I arrived at the school, and was dismayed that there was no handicap ramp to shuffle up to the front door. But I found a low spot and got up the step and into the front door. I met Master Cheng, and he immediately saw my predicament. He put me on his couch, and put the biggest suction cup I have ever seen on my lower back, for about twenty minutes. Then he had me come into the practice room and begin standing chi kung. I lasted about one minute before my legs were shaking uncontrollably. I am sure Master Cheng was wondering how long I would last as a student.
He taught me the first few movements in the Chen Style 38 Form routine, and told me to come to class every Saturday. That was a little over two years ago.
In class I gradually proceeded to learn the Chen Style 38 Form routine, The Competition routine, Straight Sword, and Broadsword. Standing chi-kung is practiced daily, 10 minutes before starting form. Master Cheng accelerated my healing with physical body work techniques, passed down through generations of martial arts healing masters. I was always allowed to work at my own pace, and in harmony with my then existent limitations.
Little by little, the practice of standing chi-kung and Chen Style form practice has brought back strength, flexibility balance and stamina to my body. At one point in my early rehabilitation I was contemplating the possibility of going to a wheelchair. Now I climb stairs with little thought.
As I continue my practice, I look forward to the rewards of Chen Style Tai Chi into the future. As I grow older the strength, flexibility, and energy circulation gained in my body will help stave off frailty and dis-functionality.
I am truly grateful for Master Cheng’s efforts to help me recover and progress through Chen Style Tai Chi. He has been a life saver for me and my family. Thank you Teacher!”
– Bill Prior
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to study Chen Style Tai Chi under Master Cheng Jin Cai. I’m glad I saw the article on him in the Houston Chronicle in Jan. ’99. Upon learning of such a high level teacher in the area I became interested in studying with him, though I had no Tai Chi experience. Since beginning Tai Chi training I have felt increasingly healthy and have rarely been sick. I have increased strength, mainly in the lower body, and am sure lung capacity has improved also… The best thing about our school is Master Cheng. He has dedicated his life to Chen Style Tai Chi and his enthusiasm for it is contagious. We know are being taught correctly and will progress. He attracts a wonderful, diverse group of people … “
– Chris Burke
” Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan has done many wonderful things for my overall health. I was born with a spinal deformity in the coccygeal region and was in very bad pain for most of my adult life … Since I began practicing Tai Chi the pain has been reduced to 10% or none at all. I can stand, sit and best of all I have increased mobility and my balance has improved remarkably …”
– Brian Thompson
” In the early 90s, I studied Yang Style Tai Chi with several different teachers, and since 1998, I have studied Chen Style Tai Chi exclusively with Master Cheng Jin Cai. To study with Master Cheng is a tare privilege and a wonderful opportunity. Because he is the 19th generation master of a very old and profound tradition, to study with him is like traveling to the headwaters of a huge and timeless river. When we learn from Master Cheng, we form a direct connection to an ancient, venerable tradition of mental, physical, and spiritual practices. We embrace a cultural reality extrinsic to our own but as relevant to all of us, today, as it was to the Chinese hundreds of years ago …”
– Laurie McDonald
” My blood pressure was starting to be ‘borderline high’ when I started Tai Chi three years ago. I started Tai Chi for health reason … I began study with Master Cheng Jin Cai in April 2000 … My blood pressure is now normal … I am much more limber (when I started Tai Chi, I could not touch my toes) …”
– Charlotte Jones
“I have been active all my life from sport to sport. However, as I aged my heart murmur seamed to enter my life more. I could see that if I continued over extensive exercise I would injury myself. Then three years ago, I found Tai chi. With the study and daily practice of Tai chi, my body is again my own. I haven’t had chest pains since I started. My knee and back pain are also gone … In the few year I have studied Chen Style Tai Chi, it has made a great change in my life. I also consider myself extremely fortune that I had the benefit of studying under a Tai chi Master. Thank you Master Cheng Jincai.”
– Rosa Sobhani
“Two years ago, during my annual physical, I complained to my doctor that I occasionally felt pain in my lower back. After two months of doing Tai chi, the soreness in my back simply disappeared. The emphasis on stretching and posture training are very valuable for people like me, who have office jobs and lead usually stationary lives. I have also benefited from the meditation and energy channeling techniques that are also part of Tai chi … I simply feel that I’m now more fit and have more energy at work. I have not had serious flu’s in the past two winters even without vaccine shots. Master Cheng is a great teacher, who is always patient and observant. I hope more people would benefit from his knowledge in the art of Tai Chi.”