I am Paul Janssens, your Chen style Practical Method instructor in Sydney, and disciple of Master Chen Zhonghua.
My road to Taijiquan started in 1991, when I was introduced to Yang style Taijiquan on the New South Wales south coast. Soon I had the bug and was practicing 5 days per week at the banks of the Shoalhaven River, under the most excellent instructor Chris Langdon.
In 1995, I moved to Canberra where I continued my Yang style Taijiquan study, and became an instructor in 1998, teaching at the Australian National University and at various venues around the Australian Capital Territory.
In 2008, I studied competition Yang style Taijiquan, competition Sun style Taijiquan, Chen style Taijiquan (International 56) and the Chen style Xinyi Hun Yuan Taijiquan with master Xie Ai-Shu (a visiting master from Shenyang).
In 2010, I wanted to find out more about the original Taijiquan. I knew that the Yang style originated from the Chen style, and after some investigation found Master Chen Zhonghua, International Standards-bearer for the Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method, and disciple of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng (longest serving disciple of Chen family style standards-bearer, Chen Fake). I also found that Master Chen Zhonghua offers full-time courses for Chinese and non-Chinese at modern facilities near Qingdao, Shandong, and I attended a three month full-time Taijiquan training course at Daqingshan (big green mountain). The full-time training was full-on and life changing. Tuition and practice started daily at 5:30, after breakfast from 9:30 to 12:00, after lunch from 2pm to 6pm, and after dinner until late. Every fortnight we made excursions to places such as Jinan, Qufu, Mount Taian, Qingdao, Rizhao and Weifang.
At Daqingshan, I studied with:
Master Chen Zhonghua
- 19th generation master of Chen style Taijiquan ‘Practical Method’ (also called Hong’s Method) and disciple of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng.
- International Standards-bearer of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical method.
- 2nd generation master of Chen style Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan and disciple of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang.
- I received hands-on Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method instruction, discussed principles, listened theory, learned the Yilu (first form) and the intricacies of push hands.
Master Li Enjiu:
- 19th generation master of Chen style Taijiquan Practical method and disciple of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng.
- Chinese Standards-bearer of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical method based in Jinan, Shandong.
- I received Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method instruction
Master Cai Shengye:
- 19th generation master of Chen style Taijiquan Practical method and disciple of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng and instructor of Shandong Push Hands champions.
- I received personal Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method Chin-na instruction
Master Sun Zhonghua:
- 1st generation master of Chen style Xingyi Hunyuan Taijiquan and premier disciple of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang (and also a former diplomat and organiser of the first Hunyuan conference)
- I received personal Hun Yuan instruction and Hun Yuan Sword instruction.
Master Ni Yuanhai
- President at Zi Bo City ZiTongShan Wushu Academy
- I received instructions on competition push hands
Master Yang Yingjian:
- 1st generation master of Chen style Xingyi Hunyuan Taijiquan and disciple of Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang.
- I received instruction on Hun Yuan Qigong.
During my stay, we visited several Taijiquan competitions. I won a Silver medal at the August 2010 Yiyuan Chen style competition for the Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method – First road (Yilu).
In 2011, I returned to Daqingshan to be part of the first Hong Junsheng Taijiquan International conference and competition. The conference was attended by all surviving disciples of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng, and by many masters from other Taijiquan styles, Bagua styles and Xingyi styles. I was able to push hands with various disciples of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng.
In 2012, I organised the first Australian visit of Master Chen Zhonghua, with workshops and private group sessions held in Sydney and Canberra.
In 2013, I am organising the Sydney visit of Master Chen Zhonghua and became the first Australian disciple of the Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method in Australia at a ceremony during the Perth workshop.