Summer Vacation, Day 4: Kung Fu & Old Books

Took the older boys to taiji (or tai chi) classes this morning at Dark Raven Studios in St. Paul. Jodi and I and the little kids ran a few errands, then picked the boys up and grabbed lunch. We picked up some landscaping supplies, then stopped by Midway Used & Rare Books,* before returning to Dark Raven for ... get this! ... a kung-fu photo shoot!

I've been working with Dark Raven shih-fu José Figueroa for a few years now on various articles and publicity pieces pertaining to his school; his particular art, the relatively rare and explosive Chen style taiji; and Chinese martial arts in general. The latest article, and the one I'm most proud of, is a piece on José's unique Chen curriculum for children. This article, and photos shot professionally today, will appear in Inside Kung Fu magazine this summer or fall. Bren and Gabe will be instant kung-fu legends, no doubt!

Of course, in Chen village, lots of kids learn this stuff. Search YouTube using the words "taiji Chen Pengfei" to see the young son of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang tearing it up. He's cute as a three- or four-year-old, but the video of him as a "tween" (date-stamped August 2000) shows the slow grace of taiji, and later, the explosiveness of Chen style. Beautiful.

*Midway's site only appears to show the rare books. They have three floors of used books and comics. I picked up Ulysses, East of Eden and Pride and Prejudice for Coach's Remedial English Lit Summer Project.

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