During our visit to Chen Village, we spent a few hours exploring the 2800 square meters of the Chen Village Museum. Being the birthplace of Tai Chi, the museum is a wonderful collection of art, sculptures and information about the history and theory of this martial arts. The museum also has a way of introducing you to the tai chi Masters and their life stories.
In this video, about half way through, you will see the painting of a master with numerous hands. It is said that when a practitioner of tai chi reaches a very high level, his skill is like that of ‘a man with a thousand hands’. He can thus achieve a lot by doing a little, as in if he gets hit by someone, that pressure will bounce back to the assailant.
Most people in Chenjiagou Village, or Chen Village, practice tai chi. Hence there is a widespread saying:
“After drinking the water in Chenjiagou Village, you will know how to perform one or two movements of Tai chi.”
Sifu Leo’s reflection of visiting this museum is:
“Well, I have read up for years on the history and the various masters and how they passed their knowledge on. It is only when you get there, to Chen Village, that it becomes a reality as you stand on the grounds where the Master’s actually trained. The museum made real the theory that I read in the books. I recommend students of tai chi to visit the museum, as when you are physically at Chenjiagou , the teachings that you have learned in your taiji class get placed into a real perspective.”
> Next China Trip blog: Shanghai and Zhujiajiao