Master Si Gingcong was born in Shanghai. Where he lived till his thirties before he started travelling. He studied taiji Yang and Wu style with grandmaster Fu Zhongwen, one of the founders of Wu style taijiquan. He continued to study Wu style with grandmaster Ma Yueliang, head coach of the Shanghai wushu team.
When master Si Gingcong started to travel he went to many places and settled in Belgium. He started teaching Yang style taijiquan in Antwerp, he expanded these courses to Sint-Niklaas where he was learning the Dutch language. This is where Si Gingcong met Thomas Roelant. After a few years of teaching Thomas Yang and Wu style taijiquan, he took Thomas to Shanghai where he introduced him to the Shanghai Chen style taijiquan Association, led by grandmaster Wan Wende and Yang Naifan. Till present day they both are students and coaches with and for this school. However master Si Gingcong pays his attention more to Liu He Ba Fa. Another internal martial art that combines characteristics of 3 older internal forms of martial arts, ‘Ba’gua’, ‘Xing-Yi’ and ‘Taiji’.
Master Wan Wende was born in 1918 and died in 2010. It was a true privilege to be able to meet and know him and to learn from him these last years of his wonderful life. He was 11th generation Chen style taijiquan and learned from some of the greatest names known in ‘internal’ martial history such as Chen Zhaokui, Feng Zhiqiang and Chen Xiaowang. He was a specialist in Wudang Quan, Chen style taijiquan and learned Xing Yi and Liu He Ba Fa from grandmaster Li Dao Li. In Shanghai he became chairman of the ‘Shanghai Chen Style taijiquan Association’ and he was also chairman of the ‘Shanghai Writers Association’. Because next to a determined martial arts practitioner, Wan Wende was a known translator in China, for his translations from Chinese to English and vice versa. Today still Wan Wende’s translations are well known and used for school in China. One of his greatest works was a translation from a book written by two of his mentors in martial arts, Chen Xiaowang and Feng Zhiqiang, about Chen style taijiquan. Today still one of the most valued books about Chen style taijiquan for Western readers. Titled ‘Chen Style Taijiquan’ (Haifeng & Zhaohua Publishing) in 1984. Thomas studied with master Wan Wende and with coaches Zhang Zhouji and Sang Xilin since 2004, under left to right, both coaches personally trained by master Wan Wende.
Master Yang Naifa was born in Shanghai in 1935 and studied Chen style taijiquan with master Wan Wende at Renmin (People’s) Park since 1976. Since 1980 he started to assist master Wan Wende in teaching. In 1994 he won the annual Shanghai Taijiquan Championship with a demonstration of Chen style taijiquan’s ‘er-lu’ or ‘pao-chui’ or 71 forms. After grandmaster Wan Wende past away in 2010, master Yang Naifa became his successor at the ‘Shanghai Chen style taijiquan Association’. Since then he passes on the knowledge to all whom is motivated together with his vice chairman Jiang Liwei. Thomas Roelant started training individualy with master Yang Naifa since 2011.
Master Deng Yuanhong was born in Hubei and started his martial studies given by his grandfather on the early age between 4 and 6 years old. Around when he was 7 his parents moved to Sichuan, where they stayed until he was about 14. During that time he studied with Taoist priests from the Baiyun Temple. From these priests he learned Ba’gua quan, Xing Yi quan, Jiugong quan and Qi-gong. Meanwhile a local folk hero, Yang Chaoyang also taught him Shaolin quan and Er’mei Quan. When he was 15 his parents moved back to Hubei and he ended up with grandmaster Zhu Zhongmei and his successor You Youming 13th generation at Jingzhou. Deng Yuanhong proceeded teachings with them in Taiji, Xing Yi, Ba’gua, Wing Tsun, Hong’quan and Ba’ji quan till he was 35.