World Tai Chi and Qigong Day in Greenbelt
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is observed every year on the last Saturday in April. At 10 am local time, practitioners all over the world gather and celebrate the health and healing power of Tai Chi and Qigong. In Greenbelt, for a number of years, students of Taj Johnson have celebrated this day with a group practice in front of the Greenbelt Community Center.
Taj Johnson has practiced Tai Chi and Qigong for thirty years. He practices Yang, Wu, and Chen style Tai Chi and Wu Dang Qigong, and he has studied under Xiaoling Liu, a Wu Dang master originally from Shanghai and Dr. Lee Guotin, originally from Hong Kong. Both now live in Maryland. Johnson has also been teaching Tai Chi and Qigong for more than two decades and on Saturday mornings he teaches in the Greenbelt Community Center. For today’s World Tai Chi and Qigong Day celebration, he has brought his students from Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland to join his Greenbelt class members.
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day T-shirt: “One World… One Breath…”
Under the American elm tree
Johnson tells me after the event that he teaches from 9 to 10 am on Saturdays in the Greenbelt Community Center, and his class is listed in the city’s recreation brochure. There are currently about 25 students, and they have been practicing the Wu style Tai Chi, which he describes as a “gentle” form of Tai Chi. He says that he taught the Yang style before and maybe, if the students are ready, he can teach the Chen style, which is rather difficult. He says that he started practicing Tai Chi thirty years ago because he was drawn to its harmony and internal cultivation, and he has just come back from China after a long trip with his teacher Master Liu. Among many other places, he visited Wu Dang Mountain, a sacred mountain for Taoism and the birthplace of Wu Dang style martial arts.