Application for Discipleship
I respectfully submit this application for discipleship under Master Chen Zhonghua. My experiences with Master Chen include spending three months of fulltime study in his program on Daqingshan and joining two seminars in Arizona and Iowa, respectively. I have been further involved with the Practical Method community in Irvine, CA, where we have hosted several seminars taught by disciple Ping Wei. I intend to describe below my commitment to the practice of Practical Method Taijiquan as evidence to be considered for discipleship.
I began taijiquan initially to improve my coordination and balance. I took a few classes at UC Riverside, where I worked as a computer programmer, and learned a Yang-style form. After a year of practice however, I noticed that no one in the class was progressing beyond the routine of the form, so I sought other resources to improve my taiji. It was through this research that I discovered the Practical Method videos and website. I endeavored to study on my own and test myself at a local push hands club and Wing Chun meetup group. Slowly, I was convinced that I needed a better foundation that could only be established through serious training and direct teaching. Now would be the best time for me to apply to the fulltime program on Daqingshan; as I had few responsibilities and was considering a job change.
It was by fortunate coincidence that I discovered the Irvine Practical Method group around this time. Ping Wei had just completed a seminar with the group and posted an article on the Practical Method website. I immediately contacted Alfred Yu and signed up for Ping’s next seminar. Ping encouraged me to go and helped me prepare for my trip. I convinced my parents that I was determined to go and so arranged my plans for a 3-month trip.
A few months later, I was in Shandong for the first time in my life. I began training the first morning after arriving at Daqingshan, starting with corrections to the foundational exercises and first 13 moves. Li Xiaohui taught me the yilu in three weeks. I became good friends and training partners with Athanasios and Carolina – a couple studying fulltime on DQS for 6 months –, Rick – an American disciple working for the American embassy –, Janet – an Australian disciple who was also staying for 6 months –, and Allen – a student from Shanghai who was there for 3 months as well. With daily practice, I became stronger and more flexible over the next month.
Our circle expanded suddenly with the arrival of disciples and students from all over the globe. The International Daqingshan Competition of 2015 had begun. There was a flurry of activity with the completion of the new international hotel, the organization of events, and the influx of local and international students and competitors. I received invaluable advice and corrections from more experienced students and enjoyed the comradery in our shared passion for taijiquan. Observing the other students, it became clear to me that there were obvious long-term benefits to practicing Practical Method.
When I finally came back to the US, I retained my daily practice of the foundations and the yilu, albeit with less intensity. I have made it my priority to attend seminars in Arizona and Iowa, as well as Ping’s seminars in Irvine, CA. In total, I have been practicing Practical Method for two and a half years. After the most recent Iowa seminar, I have started a class at work to try to develop my teaching ability and refine my foundations. I hope that my dedication to taijiquan is evident in my actions and be put in consideration for my application for discipleship. Thank you.