Maybe it was when the floorboards shattered that I realised I was in the presence of a warrior. Taijiquan is a battlefield martial art and its original purpose was war. It's founder Chen Wangting was a general in the army and watching his descendant as his stamp splinters the ground, Master Chen Yingjun looks ready for battle.
Every year that my teacher, Mark Leonard, hosts Chen Yingjun he appears twice as powerful, fast and graceful as the previous year. It also seems that his teaching is becoming clearer and more concise. Teaching westerners Tai Chi must be very different to teaching the locals of Chen village. If you grow up in the birthplace of Taijiquan, practicing from a very young age it probably takes some doing to work out how to transmit this very elusive art to people in their 30's or 40's who may not be very fit or aware of their bodies.
After his father, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Yingjun's mission seems to be to spread the correct teaching of the principles of Tai Chi around the world. His corrections are powerful, direct and may involve the odd whack as he gets you to soften.
I always get the impression that Master Chen is very humble. He's dressed simply in tracksuit bottoms and red top. We all eat lunch together and he's very laid back and amiable. You won't find much of him on youtube at the moment and I'm not sure he's very keen to be filmed. Personally, I'd love it if there was footage of him doing the Laojia as after following him my Tai Chi feels much much better.
P.S Next beginners course starts January 10th! more info