HUANG'S TAI CHI ASSOCIATION TENOM
by Mr Foong Choon Sang. Translation by Len Lee Nam, assisted by Lai Yin Wai
Location: Huang's Tai Chi Association Tenom (the Association) is situated in Tenom, an interior town in the State of Sabah, East Malaysia (Borneo).
Name: The Association originally known as Sabah Tai Chi Association, Tenom Branch was formed on 6th June 1975. In recognition of Grandmaster Huang Sheng Shyan’s skill and to honour his memory, the name was officially changed and registered on 11th June 1998 to Huang’s Tai-Chi Association, Tenom, Sabah.
Origins: The Association was formed after a determined effort by a group of Tai Chi enthusiasts in Tenom, headed by Mr. Ng Kim Guan. They were attracted to Grandmaster Huang's expertise in Tai Chi and wanted to learn from him. The then President of Sabah Tai Chi Association, Mr. Kok Peng Fui, knew how keen we were and finally after a difficult path involving several years of testing our commitment it was agreed that the Association be established with Grandmaster Huang as its Principal Instructor.
Vision: Tai Chi is an ancient art of callisthenics originating from China and is based on the study of I-Ching. Tai Chi embraces the philosophies and teachings of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Zhang San-Feng, the reputed founder of Tai Chi Chuan once said " He who does not learn my Tao is not my student." Hence the emphasis is on the Tao; to keep oneself in harmony with nature and fellow beings. It is the hope of our Association that through the understanding and practice of Tai Chi Tao and Tai Chi Chuan, we will all achieve a state of healthy bodies and minds, develop a sense of integrity and morality and also obtain the ability and willingness to assist and share our well-being with others without discrimination.
Formation: On 5th April 1970 Grandmaster Huang Sheng Shyan defeated renowned wrestler Liao Guang Cheng in a wrestling match to raise funds for charity. Following the victory, Grandmaster Huang conveyed the concept of "World Tai Chi as one Family" - the spirit of oneness in all styles of Tai Chi. He further expressed the hope that all practitioners throughout the world can have a place which they may regard as home. He expected each association to own its own building so that they could achieve the following 3 goals:
1) development of a pool of local Tai Chi exponents regardless of their race, religion, countries of origin, etc to become instructors.
2) access to adequate training facilities; a place they can call "home".
3) securing the continuity and progressive education of Tai Chi.
Grandmaster Huang rationalised that by achieving the first goal, trained local instructors would then be able to spread Tai Chi into other areas. With the second goal, branches owning their own buildings and facilities would be better able to withstand uncertainties and to remain resolute in the pursuit of Tai Chi. By attaining the first two goals, the third goal is more likely to fall into place.
With his visionary foresight, Grandmaster Huang formulated these long term goals based on the principles of Tai Chi Tao. Continuously refining the Tai Chi exercises, with his untiring efforts, he passionately disseminated his skills and knowledge to all who were fortunate to learn from him.
Grandmaster Huang repeatedly advised his students to uphold and promote the concepts of "World Tai Chi as one Family" and "Peace and Good Health among World Citizens" and that all his students transform these concepts into reality. With tenacity, the Association has totally accepted Grandmaster Huang’s unwavering goals. As the first and third goals (local instructors and securing the continuity of Tai Chi) need a longer time frame to materialise and are admittedly full of challenges, we at Tenom have adopted the goal of building the Association premises as the starting point for our Tai Chi journey.
The First To Incorporate The Concept of "World Tai Chi As One Family": With the concerted effort by all Tai Chi enthusiasts in Tenom and with the assistance of the late Mr Yang Long Wen, we managed to collect RM100,000 to pay the deposit for a piece of land with an area of 0.647 acre. On 16th October 1978, Grandmaster Huang was invited to officiate the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Association's building. The cost of construction was estimated to be in excess of RM400,000, which was astronomical in view of the fact that the members in the small interior town of Tenom numbered only 30 at that time. However, through the influence and efforts of Grandmaster Huang, the "World Tai Chi as One Family" concept was put to the test and succeeded. Donations poured in from all levels of society; including government bodies, individuals, private enterprises and Tai Chi Huang members throughout the country and abroad. The construction of the Association's building was completed in 1980.
Grand Opening: As the first branch to own its own premises under the Huang Tai Chi banner, Grandmaster Huang decided to hold a grand opening ceremony for the Association building on 1st August 1982. He hoped to encourage more branches to follow suit, using Tenom as an example. At the same time, the Association also celebrated its Sixth Anniversary and Grandmaster Huang presented certificates of proficiency to students who passed the Tai Chi grading exam. The guest of honour was Dato' Lin Yuan Xin, then Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Sabah.
At the personal invitation of Grandmaster Huang, many distinguished guests both locally and from abroad attended the function. Among the guests were the wife of the late Grandmaster Professor Cheng Man-Ching - Madam Ding Wei Zhuang as well as students of Grandmaster Cheng including Mr Wang Shi Zhang (USA); Drs Yu Kang Qiang and Chen Han Xiong (Australia), Mr Wang Sheng Bang - President of Singapore Tai Chi Association and former Senator Zhang Yong Xiang (Singapore), General Shi Jue - Chairman of Taiwan International Tai Chi Chuan Federation, Mr Pan Qing Ru - Chairman of Kaoshiong Tai Chi Association (Taiwan), Mr Hu Yun Zhuo - President of Hong Kong Chung Hwa Martial Arts and Sports Federation, artist Mr Yi Yue Shi (Hong Kong). Also present were well known calligrapher Mr Huang Yao and students of Huang Tai Chi from all over the world. The total number of Tai Chi attendees was in excess of 200. In conjunction with the above function, an art exhibition featuring Chinese paintings and calligraphy was held in the Association building. The exhibits included works of Grandmaster Cheng Man-Cheng and Madam Ding Wei Zhuang, Li Xia, Ren Bo Nian, Huang Jun Bi, Weng Wen Wei, Huang Yao, Li Jia Yao, Yi Yue Shi, Guo Qin Fang, Venerable Master Bo Yuan, Tao Shou Bo, Wang Yuan Ren, Huang Guo Bin, General He Ying Qin , General Xue Yue. The above events marked the most memorable and proudest moment in the history of the Association.
The Tenom Spirit: While addressing the audience during the opening ceremony, Grandmaster Huang pointed out the success of the Association as a classic case of "Esprit de Corps". It demonstrated how the concept of "World Tai Chi as One Family” had been made a precept and had been put into practice. For these reasons he unmistakably chose our Association as the showcase to enhance rapport, exchange ideas and promote better understanding among international communities on Tai Chi and Chinese arts and culture.
The Legacy Of Grandmaster Huang Sheng Shyan: On the surface, we at Tenom reaped all the rewards. Even though it involved much hardship for the Tenom members, however from the stand point of the universal law of "cause and effect", it was obvious that Grandmaster Huang had contributed to a very large extent to the success; through his unselfish and untiring efforts and true understanding of the principles of Tai Chi Tao and his willingness to share and disseminate his knowledge to all his students. Over the last two decades or so, many premises of Huang Tai Chi have flourished throughout different parts of Malaysia as well as in New Zealand. Hitherto, the legacy left behind by Grandmaster Huang in the propagation of Tai Chi in many parts of the world remains unsurpassed. His teachings will always form the foundation towards our progress in the pursuit of Tai Chi.
Organisation Structure: The Association is registered under the Societies Act 1966. According to the Rules and Constitution of the Association, election of office bearers (15 committee members) is to be held on a biennial basis. Below is the 2017-2018 Committee listing:
by Mr Foong Choon Sang. Translation by Len Lee Nam, assisted by Lai Yin Wai
Grandmaster Huang (GMH) was a disciple of GM Cheng Man Ching (郑曼青1901-1975) who learnt the art of Tai Chi Chuan from GM Yang Cheng Fu (杨澄甫).
GM Cheng was an expert in the fields of 'The Five Arts'; Chinese poetry, calligraphy, painting, Chinese medicine and Tai Chi Chuan and was accorded the title of “Yong Jia Wu Jue”(永嘉五绝). GM Cheng travelled far and wide and was well-known in the Orient and the Western world. According to GM Cheng, of all the arts he was expertise in, he regarded teaching Tai Chi as the most enjoyable and rewarding. He reckoned Tai Chi helps to improve health and longevity. He was delighted to have students of various age groups and that Tai Chi fosters the common good of mankind. GM Cheng further described Tai Chi exercise as child play by Lao Lai Zi (老莱子) (one of the 24 filial sons in Chinese classics), who at an advanced age of 80 was still nimble and in good health and spirit. GM Cheng derived the greatest satisfaction from seeing everyone who practises Tai Chi could be as youthful and joyous as Lao Lai Zi (老莱子).
GM Huang was born in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. He was given the infant name of ‘诗炎 Shi Yan’. His style names were ‘心玄 Xin Xuan’ and ‘敏武 Min Wu’. He was known to his associates by the assumed name of ‘轩 Xuan’. GM Huang was magnanimous and possessed a high degree of intellect. He was patriotic, filial and gifted in Chinese martial arts. He was well known for his martial arts skills in Fujian White Crane, Shaolin Luo Han and Tai Chi Chuan. He placed a heavy emphasis on practicality and shared his martial arts knowledge and skills with his compatriots. With the continuous refining of his skills, he was reached an unprecedented level of high distinction which few can surpass. His invaluable contribution towards the spread and development of Tai Chi Chuan is known all over the world.
With sixty years of martial arts experience and practice, Grandmaster Huang was a strict observer of the Tao of martial arts. He believed that all martial arts share one common purpose and destiny. He likened it to water from all sources; given the opportunity, they will all reach the ocean. Of all the martial arts he learnt, he singled out Tai Chi to pursue his search of Tao. He first put forth the concept of 'World Tai Chi as One Family' in 1970. With the practice of Tai Chi Tao and Tai Chi Chuan, he obligated his students with the responsibility to promote and develop Tai Chi Chuan for the benefit of mankind; specifically bringing peace and health to all human beings.
Students of Grandmaster Huang come from different parts of the world. To date the number of students practicing Huang’s style Tai Chi is in the tens of thousands. In Malaysia alone, 23 branches and affiliates of Tai Chi Huang have been established, with 10 of them owning their buildings/training facilities. All these would not have been possible without the concerted efforts of all Tai Chi disciples, supporters of Tai Chi and the leadership of Grandmaster Huang.
With his visionary foresight, Grandmaster Huang has laid a firm foundation in the pursuit of 'World Tai Chi as One Family'. With his sense of equality and nobility he has earned the respect of many and continues to inspire those who come to learn about him.
A Brief Chronological Life History of Grand Master Huang (GMH)
By Foong Choon Sang (Some information was extracted from The Biography of Grand Master Huang)
Translation by Len Lee Nam, assisted by Lai Yin Wai
The Path to Success
GMH was exposed to Confucius teachings from young and inculcated with virtues contained in Chinese classics. In his life, he practised forgiveness for not taking revenge over his Mum’s sufferings. He was compassionate for not abusing Japanese POW, his propriety remained unshaken when his Dad was held hostage. With his determination, he overcame many adverse situations and gained the respect of adversaries.
With a deep sense of sincerity, GMH paid great respect to his teachers and observed the Tao. He served his teachers as if they were his own father and acknowledged the contribution made by each of his teachers. GMH’s conduct gained the trust and love from his teachers who unreservedly disseminated their expertise to him. Being humble and sincere, GMH also benefited from his close friends who shared their martial arts knowledge with him.
It was no surprise that with the vast knowledge of different types of martial arts, being gifted and unassuming, his eagerness to seek and through untiring experimentation that GMH acquired the skills in Tai Chi progressively and succeeded in becoming a grandmaster resulting in his own style of Tai Chi.
GMH’s spirit in the propagation of Tai Chi has gained respect from all levels of society. He started to spread the art from a humble beginning to one that garnered strong centripetal force resulting in many Tai Chi centres being established all over the world. His contribution to world peace and health will forever be cherished.
The Origin of Huang Tai Chi Chuan Tao
Having followed GMH in his golden years, the writer can well appreciate the reasons for the pursuit of “Tai Chi Chuan Tao” as GMH’s life long endeavour.
GMH often remarked that the practice of Tai Chi Chuan is based on the concepts of ‘Yin and Yang’, ‘hard and soft’, ‘stillness and movement’ contained in ‘I-Ching’. All these are known as Tao. Lao Zi (老子) said ‘Tao is something unseen and untouchable yet its objective presence can not be denied’. Simply put, Tao is the universal law of nature, it is omnipresent, while practicing Tai Chi it is important to follow nature. It is with such ease and relaxed state of mind that transformation takes place resulting in the weak becoming strong, the sick becoming healthy, the under performers becoming achievers, the timid becoming bold, from which the practitioner will experience a healthy and fulfilled life.
GM Cheng Man Ching in his old age wrote a book entitled 'Yi Quan 易全' where he explored the close relation between human and I-Ching. He considered “Shi Yi 十翼” most relevant where the following is being emphasized: “On heaven, yin and yang”, “On earth, hard and soft” and “On humanity, love and propriety”. These universal phenomena link the elements of heaven, earth and human together and result in harmony; such philosophy is deeply embedded in Oriental culture.
GMH placed heavy emphasis in ‘love and propriety’, ‘peace and harmony’ and ‘healthy body and mind’ when propagating Tai Chi, with ‘self-defence’ as a secondary objective. For these reasons, he named the art as “Huang Tai Chi Chuan Tao”.
GM HUANG - 13 Questions and Answers
Click here for Grandmaster Huang's Thirteen Questions and Answers
The Life Long Martial Arts Experience of Grandmaster Huang
The life long martial arts experience of Grandmaster Huang Sheng Shyan
video (in Chinese): Part 1
The life long martial arts experience of Grandmaster Huang Sheng Shyan
video: Part 2 Disciples of GMH propagating Huang Tai Chi in China
Persatuan Tai Chi Huang Tenom Sabah
P.S. 212, Tenom, Sabah, 89908, Malaysia