After one of my readers opened up the Weirdness of Tai Chi, my mind has been so pleasantly flooded with the weird stories I’ve been a part of and have asked of myself throughout the years. So I thought, why not share some of them!
Did you start practicing when you were born?
This was the actual question the person had asked me, LITERALLY. They thought I had basically been able to birth myself from my mother’s womb, walking out dong Tai Chi. I wish I had a video tape of the actual conversation, cause it took me a while to understand that the person was literally asking me what he wanted to know, word for word. He even asked if I had memories from in the womb of my dad teaching me Tai Chi with “His Energy” through my mother’s stomach. I even pause, shaking my head at the memory of this question and I have been asked this more than once.
Does your father fly around at home?
While I will fully admit sending both my parents into orbit at times, sorry to disappoint, but dad is just a normal human like the rest of us. The only thing that might seem abnormal is his ability to remain calm under any circumstances and to really mind his own business. He is also abnormally honest and doesn’t have a negative bone or bad thought in his while entire being. I have never met anyone so pure of heart in my 40 years, well, maybe one other person, but dad is the Gold Standard even for the Standard of Gold.
How many people has your father killed without touching them?
My father has never killed anybody. He killed chickens for his teacher when it came to meal time, but that was just dad, being a dutiful and respectful disciple. At times my father must have wanted to kill me, but he never even let that show. The times I have driven him to his extreme was a pain he expressed from a depth of love I, even in that moment(s) of intense emotion, I felt so lucky to have the experience of love that real in my life. Oh and when dad killed the chickens for The Professor, he used his hands. The Professor couldn’t kill anything because he was buddhist, but it didn’t stop from eating anything he had killed for him.
Did you learn how to walk because your father taught you Tai Chi from the instant you were born?
I didn’t start learning Tai Chi until I was 14. I am the same as any other child who learns how to crawl, walk and then run. Oh, mom did drop me when I was an infant, so I also use that as a defense against my sometimes un-agreeable behavior, it’s not that I didn’t keep my hands up enough when I was actively fighting, mom dropped me. Sometimes I still feel like I’m figuring out that walking thing by the way. I am the clumsiest person on two legs if I am not performing in a sport I have trained in. Put me on ice skates, I’m good. Put me in a boxing ring, I’m good. Put me on the Lei Tai, I’m good. Put me on my own two feet… it depends.
Now a funny story…
I was at an even that dad couldn’t make it to. I think he was getting an award somewhere else and then this event came up after he made that commitment, so I had to go. The whole thing was outdoors. It was very much like how the weather has been now, colder than what is normal for the time of year. I was shivering a bit and a guy comes up to me to tell me that the only reason I am cold is about my terrible “chi flow”. I’m kind of use to people wanting to teach me something all of the time and appreciate their generosity, even though I sense it comes from a place of self celebrated worth. I just thank him for his observation and then he starts to tell me about how is a Tai Chi Master from some lineage which was very impressive to him and that he would like to take me on as his pupil, because I look as though I have incredible potential to be someone someday. I thank him again, but decline his offer because my schedule is already filled, actually over flowing. Like clock work, the announcer says:
“Now accepting for her father William CC Chen, Tiffany Chen”
I excuse myself and in that instant he realizes everything he’s been saying and he turns ghost white. It was the best way to get someone with diarrhea of the mouth to finally leave me alone and it’s the lesson he had yet to learn from his impressive Tai Chi Lineage, which is, stay humble, I think I helped him learn that, that day.