Here is a small piece of my shameless self-promotion:
As an in chamber disciple of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei (陈正雷 a major gate keeper of Chen’s Taichi，one of Top Ten Contemporary Wushu Masters in China, 9th Duan in Chinese Martial Arts), I am a 12th generation Chen’s Taichi inheritor. I am lucky to be awarded the 7th Duan of Chinese Martial Arts. Another small achievement I’m proud of is my Ph. D. Degree in Chinese Martial Arts from Shanghai University of Sport. I did my Ph. D. under Professor Qiu Pixiang (邱丕相 one of the Top Ten Contemporary Wushu Professors of China, 9th Duan in Chinese Martial Arts). I also have a master degree in English Language and Literature from Institute of International Relations in Beijing and his master degree in Political Science from University of Western Ontario in Canada. I worked hard for that. I came to Canada and began teaching Taichi in Canada in 1988.
Born and raised in Hegang (鹤岗), a coal mine city in Black Dragon River Province (黑龙江), I survived the great famine in late 50s and early 60s. My 9.5 years of primary and high school covered exactly the years of the Great Cultural Revolution. Though school was mostly out during those years, I had great teachers whose influence over me benefited me greatly even to this day. I was also lucky enough to have well educated parents who had a cellar full of thousands of books from red letter head government documents, Chairman Mao’s Red Books to books like Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations and War and Peace. I was a book worm and read most of the Chinese classics in their original old Chinese. As a kid, I was well read but it might not be a good thing because some teachers really disliked him because of that. I was even beat up by a couple of teachers. There was not much learning in school. There was a lot of time playing. Being two or three years younger than my classmates, I was an easy target for the older and bigger kids. Running away from physical bullying was a daily event. Learning Martial Arts was not a hobby. It was “survival” though ironically I was not allowed to fight back by my martial arts teacher. No one knew I was able to defend himself until one day I was picked on by a classmate in front of a girl I had a crush on. Oh boy, that classmate remembered how it felt getting beat up by an angry kid who knew Kung Fu. Those years were a mixture of struggling and blessing. Starvation and bullying were a constant pain, but the reading, playing music and training in Kung Fu were real joy. Graduated in 1976, I was seventeen and became a high school music teacher. Oh, I played Erhu (二胡 Chinese two string fiddle) and some other musical instruments.
In 1979, I went to Dalian Institute of Foreign Languages where I spent four years studying English – talking about changing life directions. In Dalian, I met Professor Miao Fusheng (苗福盛) who was four times national champion in Praying Mantis Boxing (螳螂拳). Professor Miao graduated from Shenyang Institute of Physical Education majored in Wushu and was and still is a highly respected martial arts figure in Dalian. Although Professor Miao specialized in Praying Mantis Boxing, he suggested me to specialize in Tong Bei (通背拳). His comment was “You are no good in Praying Mantis, but you are natural in Tong Bei. You already have the body condition of someone who trained in Tong Bei for twenty years!” That was enough reason for me to go crazy in my Tong Bei training. Professor Miao found two Tong Bei teachers for me – Master Zhang Xianli (张献礼) and Master Cao Jianchen (曹建臣) while he himself continued to train me in general Kung Fu, Chen’s Taichi and free style combat.
From 1983 to 1985, I worked in Fuxin Institute of Mining Technology (Now: Liaoning Technical University) as an English teacher. It was a government assigned job and Fuxin was not the favourite place for most young university graduates. I survived the two depressing years by preparing for my grad school entrance exam and training in Kung Fu like a maniac. In the summer of 1985 when I was accepted by Beijing Institute of International Relations as a graduate student.
In mid 1980s, Qigong became a popular thing in China. I met and studied from a few qigong masters in Beijing. I had the fortune of meeting Qigong Grand Master Zhang Mingwu (张明武) who guided me to the right path of Qigong study and practice. GM Zhang Mingwu was the founder of Self-Healing Qigong and an honorary Chairman of Chinese National Qigong Association. His took an un-mystified approach to Qigong practice. He taught many to study Qigong in a scientific manner and helped tens of thousands people recover from illnesses and diseases.
After two years graduate school and one year working at the Institute of International Relations as an English lecturer, I came to Canada in 1988 to pursue my degree in Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. I wasn’t a terribly good student in Political Science but I was quite well known in the university as the Taichi and Tong Bei master. 1988 marked the year of my Martial Arts practice in Canada.
As a new immigrant, I washed dishes, delivered Chinese food, cooked as a line cook and a chef, pumped gas, weeded on a ginseng farm, managed an auto garage and a couple of restaurants, but my passion for martial arts never diminished though there was little free time to train.
In 1993, with the help of Mr. Shen Chew and Mrs. Lee Chew I opened my own club in Thornhill called: Taishan Internal Arts Club. The rest was history.
In 1996, I became a student of Grand Master Xu Gongwei (徐公伟) who was a student of Grand Master Chen Zhaokui (陈照奎). GM Xu worked with me mainly on the Chen’s Taichi New Frame series. I learned not only Taichi techniques but also the ways of being a martial artist.
In 2005, I became a disciple of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei (陈正雷) who is a main gatekeeper of Chen’s Taichi, 9th Duan in Chinese Martial Arts and officially accredited as one of China’s Top Ten Contemporary Chinese Martial Arts Masters. Shortly after in 2008, I was promoted as one of the first eighteen In-Chamber Disciples of GM Chen Zhenglei.
Academic advancement is a never ending endeavor. I went back to school again. I was lucky to become Professor Qiu Pixiang’s (邱丕相) Ph.D student. Prof. Qiu is 9th Duan in Chinese Martial Arts and officially accredited as one of China’s Top Ten Contemporary Wushu Professors. In 2011, I defended my thesis and was awarded the Phd. Degree in Chinese Martial Arts by Shanghai University of Sport.
Below is a short list of my credentials:
- Ph.D. Ed. Traditional Chinese Sports (Martial Arts), Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai
- M.A. Political Science, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
- M.A. English Language and Literature, Institute of International Relations, Beijing
- B.A. English Language and Literature, Dalian Foreign Languages Institute, Dalian
Martial Arts Inheritance:
- 1965 – 1979 Studied traditional wushu and grappling from Master Li Shaolong. Studied Erhu (music instrument – Chinese fiddle) and Qigong from Master Zhang Shuxue.
- 1979 – 1983 Studied Tongbei Boxing, Chen’s Taichi and Yang’s Taichi from Professor Miao Fusheng who won four consecutive national wushu championships. Studied Tongbei Boxing from Master Zhang Xianli and Cao Jianchen.
- 1986 Studied Self-control Qigong from Grand Master Zhang Mingwu who was the honorary Chairman of Chinese National Qigong Association.
- 1996 Studied Chen’s Taichi from Grand Master Xu Gongwei who was a student of Grand Master Chen Zhaokui.
- 2005 Became the in-door disciple of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei and formally accepted as the 12th generation Chen’s Taichi disciple.
- 2008 Became 1 of first 18 in-chamber disciples of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei and formally registered as the 12th generation inheritor of Chen’s Taichi. Inherited the family name: Chen and given the name: Deyan.
- 1988 Opened a student club for Chinese Kung Fu at the University of Western Ontario teaching Tongbei Boxing, Taichi and Self-Healing Qigong. It was the first martial arts club in London Ontario that teaches Modern Chinese Wushu, traditional Yang’s Taichi and Chen’s Taichi.
- 1992 Taught at Samurai Club in Richmond Hill Ontario as senior instructor teaching Chen’s Taichi.
- In the same period, taught classes in Tongbei Boxing and Chen’s Taichi at Cold Mountain Dojo – a dojo run by Professor David Mott. The dojo was provided by Professor David Mott free of charge to promote Chinese Martial Arts. All students studies at Cold Mountain were veteran martial artists and many were instructors.
- 1993 Founded Taishan Internal Arts Club, specializing in Modern Chinese Wushu, traditional Chen’s Taichi, traditional Yang’s Taichi, Tongbei Boxing and Self-Healing Qigong.
- 2006 Founded Chinese Wushu Academic & Research Association.
- 2010 Became Secretary & Executive Vice-president of North American Chen’s Taichi Association
- Simplified 24 Forms Taijiquan, video, Taishan Club, 1994.
- Chen Style Taijiquan New Frame Routine One, video, Taishan Club, 1994.
- Yang Style Taijiquan 85 Forms Routine, video, Taishan Club, 1994.
- Organic View of Power, Master Degree Thesis, UWO, 1999. (Applying Yin Yang and Five Elements on the Organizational Power Structure)
- Walk to Health – Dynamic Qigong, Taishan Club, 2001.
- The Eight Immortals Sword, 2nd Ed, Taishan Club, 2007.
- Whip-Stick, 2nd Ed. Taishan Club, 2007.
- Complete Public Curriculum of Chinese Wushu, Co, Auth. Xu, Yanguo, Taishan Club, 2005.
- Trans. Chen Style Taijiquan New Frame Routine One – Chen Zhenglei, World Alliance of Chen Zhenglei Taijiquan, 2007.
- Traditional Tongbei Boxing, Taishan Club, 2007.
- Trans. Chen Style Taijiquan Yang Sheng Gong – Chen Zhenglei, World Alliance of Chen Zhenglei Taijiquan, 2008.
- Trans. Chen’s Taichi for Health & Wellness – Chen Zhenglei, White Bench Publications, 2009
- Trans. Chen’s Taichi Old Frame One & Two – Chen Zhenglei, White Bench Publications, 2010
- Trans. Chen’s Taichi New Frame One & Two – Chen Zhenglei, White Bench Publications, 2011
- Trans. Chen’s Taichi Sword, Sabre and Baton – Chen Zhenglei, Chinese Wushu Publishing House, 2014
- Trans. Chen’s Taichi Spear, Halberd, Long Pole and Push-hands – Chen Zhenglei, Chinese Wushu Publishing House, 2014