Kinthissa’s Taiji Journey: Quan Of Change

The legendary Gerda Geddes aka Pytt and a young Kinthissa.

The legendary Gerda Geddes aka Pytt and a young Kinthissa.

Discovering this lovely photo of my first Chen taijiquan teacher with her teacher and mentor, the pioneering Pytt (Gerda Geddes) sent me off to Kinthissa’s website only to discover a long piece she’d written for Tai Chi Chuan & Oriental Arts Issue 33 Spring 2010 , entitled ‘The Quan of Change: How I changed from Yang Style to Chen Style.

Of the piece Kinthissa says,”The world of taijiquan changed in the 1980s with the opening up of mainland China. Two barely known themes, fundamental to the training, began to emerge: Zhan Zhuang — the standing qigong, and Chansigong — the technique of twining silk. A book I wrote last year, Turning Silk: A Diary of Chen Taiji Practice (Lunival, 2009), documents an old timer’s plunge into this new world. This article describes the main themes of the book and adds some vignettes from those years.”

It’s a great piece. She vividly recalls an era when the Marylebone Road, extending to Euston and Kings Cross, was the taiji artery of the city and names like John Kells, Rose Li and Master Chu brought back taiji memories of my own. From the Seventies up to today she practices relentlessly adhering firmly to the hands on lessons learned from her current master, head of the Chen Family, Chen Xiao Wang. If you’re interested in taijiquan or practice it, The Quan Of Change’ is a good read that goes from London to China to Italy (her current home) and it will have you reflecting on your own posture and the nature of the art’s “refined turbulence”.

You can find the piece here:

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher / Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine / Editor - L FM : Broadcasting In A Pandemic - Gilles Peterson (Worldwide FM) / Publisher: From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz Dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
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