Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei is a direct descendant of the Chen family, the very one who was at the origin of Tai Chi in the 17th century. Today, he is one of the Top 10 Martial Artists in China. In other and simpler words: a big star in the Tai Chi world. At competitions and Tai Chi events where he shows up, some people would kill to get a picture with him, while others throw themselves at him, begging him to take them as disciples.
Master Fu Neng Bin, my Master, the Principal of the school where I’ve been staying and training since October 2010 (almost a year!), is one of the four preferred disciples of Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei. He has been training under his coaching since 1989 and often assists him in international seminars and courses throughout the world.
Master Fu asked me to accompany him, to ‘represent the uniqueness of our school’. As he likes to put it (which makes me very proud), “Not only are you the only female touch of the school, but your double culture and skills bring a flowing communication between the Chinese and the Western worlds, which we need very much in order to widespread Tai Chi and its benefits.”
When we got to the airport yesterday, a whole official committee was already there, waiting for Grandmaster Chen. Master Fu told me not to worry about that crowd, just to stay close to him and to follow his instructions. Within a few minutes, Grandmaster Chen was sitting next to me in Master Fu’s car, after rejecting the numerous invitations from the officials to drive him in their tinsel vehicles.
It was of course a privilege to be able to greet him, to talk to him, to answer to his questions and tell him that no, I’m no longer a high school student but graduated from university 8 years ago (!). As a still-fresh-Tai Chi-practitioner, I felt small next to him. That’s why I really appreciated the fact that he casually talked to me about everything except Tai Chi!
That day was also special for me, because of the unique moments I got to spend with my Master. While Grandmaster Chen was having a rest, Master Fu and I went for a walk and dinner. I realized how familiar we became with each other, how easy it is for me now to talk to him about everything, whether it is my Tai Chi practice, or personal issues. I like his fatherly way to scold me when I don’t train hard enough, I like when his ears are all opened to listen to my doubts, and I like to see him becoming crazy when we go window-shopping! He’s even worse than me, haha. That’s what I like about Master Fu: not only is he an amazing master of his art, but above all, he is one of the most human and open-minded person I ever got to meet.