Performing the traditional Chinese martial arts tai chi and kung fu, a group of Chinese kung fu champions wowed audiences on Times Square on Sunday.
Different tai chi styles and forms were performed during the demonstration, including tai chi fan dancing, Chen-family style, and double and solo tai chi performance.
More than 25 of the masters participating in the performance hold international and Asian kung fu championship titles.
Chen Sitan, who has won a total of 32 gold medals in national and international competitions, performed double routines with Lin Xu, a nationally certified instructor and judge in the US.
Zhu Tiancai, 19th generation disciple of the Chen family, demonstrated the oldest and parent form of the five traditional family tai chi styles.
“Today, in the world, more than 100 million people are learning tai chi,” said well known kung fu actor Li Lianjie, known in the West as Jet Li, who also attended the event. “We have a different culture, different religions, and different languages. I hope you all enjoy tai chi.”
The performance was part of the 2017 Chinese Wushu Performance and Exhibition in the US, organized by the General Administration of Sports of China and International Wushu Federation
“I started kung fu when I was 13 years old when the Bruce Lee era started,” said Cas Castro, a Chinese kung fu lover who lives in New York and watched the performance. “I also appreciated kung fu because I think it’s a complete form of discipline health, especially tai chi. This performance was excellent, very inspiring.”
Besides Chinese tai chi teams, a local kung fu team from Zhao Changjun Wushu Academy in New Jersey also performed for the crowd.
“Tai chi is very good for our health, and I enjoy practicing it a lot, because it’s fun,” said Elisa Greene, a 27-year-old kung fu student at Zhao Changjun Wushu Academy.
Greene said she has been practicing kung fu for 13 years, but her mother whose instructor was Bruce Lee’s classmate, has been practicing kung fu for more than 35 years. “She is a big believer in kung fu,” said Greene.
Cultural exchange plays a significant role in US-China relations and kung fu as a form of sports is a critical part of it.
“We mainly promoted tai chi today, but Chinese kung fu has many different forms and styles,” international kung fu champion Zhao Changjun said. “So we hope today’s performance will let more people in the US know about Chinese kung fu and Chinese culture.”