Chief Master Instructor – Bao Sen Liang
Bao Sen Liang is a martial arts enthusiast who has been practicing martial arts since he was nine years old. Over the years, he has trained under many teachers and crossed paths with many renowned martial artists, seldom losing in his encounters. When he reached his twenties, he felt limited in his progress and through his extensive studies, realized that internal martial arts held the key to achieving a breakthrough in his training. Since tai chi is known to be the supreme art, he decided to pursue his training in tai chi. There are many people who can teach tai chi, but a truly good teacher is rare and hard to find. He started learning Wu style and push hands from several masters who were considered very senior and reputable. Eventually he found a truly skilled and devoted teacher, Master Luo Hong Yuan. Under Master Luo’s instruction, he learned the proper methods of training and began to discover the true meaning of tai chi. Since then, his skills have progressed tremendously and continues to improve even up till today.
Bao Sen has been teaching tai chi now for over 20 years, with students in both China and Canada. He is appreciated as a gifted and highly qualified instructor. His own fascination for tai chi combined with his patience and dedication in teaching, has helped students discover their own potential, progressing to high levels in their tai chi skills, bringing health and wellness to their lives.
Master Instructor – May Rahnema
I started learning karate in Singapore when I was nineteen and continued my training when I came to Canada. In 1990, I accompanied a friend to the Ji Hong Tai Chi school in Edmonton to watch a class. I had no intention of learning tai chi, but after watching Master Luo Yuan Hong perform just the basic exercises, I was very impressed. I could not get over how he was able to exude so much power from such simple slow movements. I started taking tai chi lessons from Master Luo and was able to do it for only 6 months, as I needed to finish my studies and get a job. My first job brought me to Belleville, Ontario and I lost touch with Master Luo. Two years later I moved to Toronto and I still could not find a good tai chi master. By chance I was given a ticket to watch a Martial Arts show and I could not believe it when I saw Master Luo on stage performing. I left the show immediately after his performance and ran backstage to meet him. He put me in touch with a Ji Hong Tai Chi school and finally I was able to get back on track and continue my tai chi learning. The more I learn, the less I seem to know about tai chi, each level of progression just motivates me to learn even more, this is still true even after more than 25 years of practice.
Through all my years of practice, I always enjoy competing. Competition motivates me to train harder, to learn from my mistakes and to keep myself humble. I started with local and National competitions, slowly moving up to International competitions. One of the highlights of my life was competing at Jiaozuo, China, against some of the best in the world. This biennial competition is where the best athletes from Chen Village (the birthplace of tai chi) all come to compete. I look forward to returning to Jiaozuo one day to test my skills again.
My passion for teaching developed only after Master Liang Bao Sen gave me the opportunity to teach in 2004 at the Richmond Hill school. Teaching tai chi brought a different level of understanding and knowledge that I otherwise would not have gained. Under Master Liang’s mentorship, I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. My greatest joy is watching a student finally understand a concept both in mind and body.
Being an active person all my life, I did not practice tai chi because of health issues or a need to find an exercise. However a ski accident in 2007 seriously injured my sacrum and I could barely move without extreme pain. As I tried to recover from my injury, I continued to practice and teach tai chi. Doing tai chi actually caused me less pain compared to other activities like driving or walking. I strongly believe that my speedy recovery was due to tai chi and I hope that my experience dealing with such an injury can help others too.
Instructor – Ali Rahnema
I started Tai Chi in the year 1995. To be truthful, my wife is the one who convinced me to join. Before starting, my understanding of Tai Chi was very limited. The only exposure I had to Martial Arts was taking TaeKwando in my 20’s which lasted less than 6 months.
Chen style was the first form I learnt. With a somewhat poor hand eye coordination, the first few months proved to be challenging but I stayed persistent. As time went on, the art grew on me and I started enjoying the learning and have not stopped since. In addition to Chen style, I practice, Yang, Wu and Hao styles as well as multiple weapon forms.
There are countless articles and publications speaking of the many benefits of Tai Chi. I would like to mention the ones that I have enjoyed. Among physical benefits, improved posture is the obvious one. I have had a tendency to lean forward and that has been corrected. I am as flexible as I was 10 or 15 years ago with improved strength in leg and core muscles.
Mentally, Tai Chi has taught me to be focused, calm, with improved self confidence and surprisingly removal of aggressive behaviour. In addition, remembering all the moves has been a form of mental exercise.
For most people, the image of Tai Chi is what old Chinese people do in the park but it is much more than that. In terms of concentration and focus, it rivals Yoga with the added benefit of movement. It can be a soft and relaxing form or a must know for a true martial arts practitioner. Most will find learning Tai Chi at the beginning a challenge as I did but it won’t be long before you will enjoy it’s many benefits.
Instructor – Kevin Dong
Tai Chi has been healing my health issues after I tried years with other solutions, such as jogging, running, gym exercises, health diet with less fat, nutrition pills, detoxification, traditional herbal medicine, etc.
In 2010, I was introduced by a friend to Ji Hong Tai Chi, Master May and Master Bao Sen. By taking a class of Yang style tai chi, I started my tai chi journey, thanks to May and Bao Sen, who have been offering great patience and detailed instructions during classes.
After a couple of years’ practice, I noticed some changes, more often I am able to keep my mind calm and feel energetic even after 9 hours of stressful work. I am not sleepy or exhausted anymore. This encouraged me to move towards Chen style and on to higher levels in the following years. I am now learning the martial arts aspect of tai chi.
Tai Chi brought me better physical health, inner peace and improved my quality of life. I am sure there will be more benefits from tai chi still to come on career, health and spirit. Indeed it has improved my life and is part of my life.
Hope anyone seeking it and will see the benefits as I did.
Instructor – Mayna Anam
I first came to Ji Hong Tai Chi at the invitation of some friends who called the night before the open house in the Winter of 2006. It was not something I was looking to get into at that time, but I decided to go along. I had tried tai chi previously in a community centre program, but I was not keen on the instructor so I did not continue.
The open house was a turning point, because the skill and grace of the demonstrations and the instructors really captured my attention. I signed up on the spot, and have not looked back since. Even when I have had to interrupt my tai chi training because of other work or family priorities in my life, I have always come back.
What keeps me interested is the fact that I am always learning. There is no opportunity to get bored, because there is always some nuance, some complexity, some detail that I did not grasp before. I really like the emphasis on the internal aspect of tai chi. I find it fascinating that the way you direct your mental focus has such a huge impact on your ability to do tai chi.
As a side benefit, I have found that this improvement in mental focus, as well as the obvious physical benefits such as better balance, posture, strength, flexibility, etc., have helped me in other sports and activities. Tai chi is a true stress-reliever which instills a sense of calm in me that no other activity can.
Instructor – Jenny Chin
Prior to joining the Ji Hong Tai Chi School in the Spring of 2009, I practiced Tai Chi for many years and learned only one style of Tai Chi. This form concentrated primarily on external (hands and feet) movements and is the most widely known.
I subsequently discovered that there were many other forms of Tai Chi, all of which are being taught at the Ji Hong School. Since joining the school, my knowledge and understanding of Tai Chi has increased exponentially under the expert tutelage of Sifu Sam and May.
Like most people, I started to learn Tai Chi because I had heard and read all about the great health benefits it had to offer. Not only has it improved my posture, balance and endurance, but it has also given me an experience that truly encompasses the mind, body and soul. It brings an awareness of consciousness, harmony and stillness all in one package!
As I continue on this very fulfilling life long path, I know that my journey of exploration and growth will only grow stronger. It is my privilege to be able to impart all of that knowledge and experience as it has been taught to me.
Instructor – Sylvia Tran
It was such a coincidence that at that time, I got a flyer from the Ji Hong Tai Chi School in 2010. I often heard that Tai Chi not only improves physical but emotional health as well. Out of curiosity, I joined a Yang style beginners class which was taught by Sifu May Rahnema.
My Tai Chi Journey is just starting, I hope to achieve a broader knowledge and progress to higher levels in my Tai Chi skills. Also looking forward to learning different styles from both Sifu’s. Finally, I sincerely thank you both Sifu Bao Sen and Sifu May for their patience and dedication in teaching.
Instructor – Kelly Wang
Before joining Ji Hong Tai Chi, I spent many years trying to find a good place to learn Tai chi, as I know correct posture and internal movement is critical. I am very slow in learning movements. But the Ji Hong systematic way of teaching enables people like me to learn Tai chi effectively.
After practicing Tai chi for several years, I suddenly realized that I haven’t had back or shoulder pain for a long time. I am more focused and relaxed, both physically and mentally. That’s how Tai chi changed my life, slowly but powerful, same as its movement.
Tai chi is so deep and profound, the more I practice, the more I feel I need to learn. To me Tai chi is not just a physical exercise, it is also a mind exercise and a way of life.
Instructor – Derek Bujalski
Martial Arts have been an important part of my life, practicing different external styles for many years. I have always been interested in Internal Martial Arts such as Tai Chi. Reading books on Tai Chi and all the wonderful benefits it can provide, but I had trouble finding a good instructor. A good friend of mine who is a student at Ji Hong Tai Chi told me about the school and the very skilled and knowledgeable instructors. I went to the Ji Hong Tai Chi Open House to see for myself. I was very impressed with the instructors and their system. I thought to myself, I don’t need to travel to China to learn authentic Tai Chi forms, theory, push hands, weapons, Qi Gong and more.
Working as a stunt performer for many years, I have accumulated many injuries. Practicing Tai Chi daily, I recovered from all the aches and pains without any medication. With Tai Chi meditation, my mind is clear and calm. I am truly convinced that by practicing Tai Chi daily, it is providing me with a better quality of life, mentally and physically for many years to come.
Instructor – Charlmane Wong
I started thinking about learning tai chi when someone told me that it’s a fun sport for all ages, not just for the elderly. When I expressed this interest to a friend, she referred me to Ji Hong Tai Chi. I started with learning the Yang style, and then after a couple of years, I also took up the Chen style.
I like the way Ji Hong teaches tai chi. It approaches it in a more scientific manner than the way it’s traditionally taught. It helps me understand the concepts of tai chi by referring to muscle groups or to body mechanics. It also makes me realize that tai chi is indeed a martial art, which confirms my expectation that practicing tai chi is a cool thing to do!
I’ve always heard that tai chi provides a lot of health benefits. What I specifically gained from it is improved posture. I no longer get scolds from my mother for hunching my back! I also gained strength in my legs and my core. Overall, I just feel healthier from better blood circulation.
I also got unexpected benefits from practicing tai chi. I realized that many of the concepts of tai chi can be applied to other sports. The ways we are taught to properly do the forms are in fact ways towards using our body in the most efficient and effective manner. The practicing of the forms is also a way to train our brain to exert control over different muscles of our body. Both of these factors allow us to improve in other sports.
I have been practicing tai chi since 2011. The more I know about it, the more intrigued I am by it. It is a challenging and rewarding process to practice tai chi. I would recommend everyone at any stage of life to take up this fun and healthy sport.