The Malta Independent 20 June 2021, Sunday

World Taiji Day celebration in Malta

Tuesday, 18 May 2021, 11:01 Last update: about 2 months ago

The last Saturday of April marks the annual celebration of World Taiji Day whereby millions of taiji practitioners from all corners of the world perform taiji and promote the wonderful benefits that it provides. During this annual celebration, taiji events around the globe simultaneously burst into action at exactly 10am and Malta was no exception. The China Cultural Centre in Malta, in collaboration with the Wang Zhanjun Taiji School, the Malta Martial Arts Association, the Malta School of Wushu and the Malta Yang Family Taiji Club, came together online to share their passion, philosophy and knowledge of taiji. The director of the China Cultural Centre in Malta, Yang Xiaolong and the parliamentary secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisation Dr Clifton Grima opened the event with a speech to commemorate this occasion.


The focus of the event was Master Wang Zhanjun, who is the 12th generation inheritor of Chen-Style Taijiquan, founder of the Wang Zhanjun Taiji School, Guinness World Record holder and the man who is leading the way for taiji in China right now. He greeted the audience from Henan TV station, as the online event coincided with a student of his, Han Feilong, competing against a Muay Thai contestant from Thailand named Wacharalek in the Wulinfeng World Gold Belt Challenge.

The blinking monitors and lights illuminating the ultra-modern TV station presented an interesting contrast between the traditional taiji clothing of the master and his calm composure. Master Wang spoke of how he was raised under the influence of family traditions and how taiji culture has been carved into his bones and flows through his blood before demonstrating and teaching the audience his Three Forms Routine - Taiji & Push Hand. This routine is ideal for people to improve their taiji in a short span of time. It included 13 basic movements of taiji that can be performed slowly as a means to relax and improve overall wellbeing. However, when the same movements are performed with greater speed, they can be used for combat and self-defence. Master Wang moved through his routine with a certain precision and intensity akin to the subtle and transparent movements of a maestro conducting an orchestra. It is evident his taiji moves have been practiced thousands upon thousands of times and are now mapped out to perfection.

His extraordinary skill was mirrored in his talented and dedicated students' taiji dance performance entitled The Universe within Sleeves accompanied by the famous song in Chinese opera, The Butterfly Lovers. Their elongated white sleeves majestically swayed as though a stream of water sprouted from within before being retracted again with controlled strength. This satisfying performance was followed by taiji demonstrations from the Mediterranean Regional Centre for Chinese Medicine, the Malta Martial Arts Association, the Malta School of Wushu and the Malta Yang Family Taiji club.

It is thanks to the incredible spirit and passion of the leaders of these three Maltese taiji clubs, Master Adrian Axisa, Master Gino Dalcielo and Master Michael Micallef, that so many people in Malta are enjoying and experiencing the benefits of taiji. As one of the six taiji instructors that were interviewed during the event, Master Xu Yao explained: "Taiji is a sport that trains you both physically and mentally. You practise with the fist, but what you cultivate is the heart. It teaches you to face problems with a clear mind and calmly perceive the changes of life and know how to be kind to yourself."

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