Chang Yiu-chun, The Last Interview
By Erle Montaigue
In my final term with Chang I became adept at phrasing questions so that I would not end up in great pain and I would ask questions that I needed to know the answers to as I guess I sensed that he would not be around for much longer.
I told him that the way that he did his Taiji form was still greatly different to what I was doing, even though I thought that I was doing it at the highest level.
His answer was like a hammer to my head and something that I still remember with vivid detail.
"You are doing Taiji, I am not".
I was a little worried about this statement.
Before I could question him further he answered me.
"Go around to all of the Taiji classes. And then come back to me. If you still wish to do Taiji, then go and learn from them."
By this stage, I was more than a little confused but Chang would not be budged on this, no more questions.
I did what he wanted me to, even though I knew what the others were teaching and something fell on me. Even though they were doing different styles, Chen, Yang, Wu etc. They were all still "doing" Taiji. It seemed like an effort, like it was something different that they had to do each day. Whereas when Chang did it, it was as if he was not doing anything, he would talk to me while he was doing his form, he would look around, take in the local scenery, but he was always so still and at peace with everything. He would never actually finish the form, but rather just move into another area of form, like walking to his place of residence, or having a cup of tea.
My next visit to Chang, was different. I told him that he was not doing Taiji but rather living Taiji. He answered again in the negative. "No, you are still wrong, I am not living anything, I am Taiji". He went on, "You are trying to do Taiji, so you will never realise the fighting of Taiji nor the healing of Taiji. You are much stronger than me, and faster, but I seem faster and stronger than you. I am not. I am Taiji."
From then onward, I tried to be Taiji with every waking and sleeping moment being as if I were still doing the form. That was his greatest gift to me. To show me to not do Taiji.