Jou Tsung Hwa 周宗崋 (Zhou Zonghua)
Ian Sinclair considered moving to the Tai Chi Farm in the 1980′s to train with Master Jou. While he did not end up doing so, he was fortunate to meet Jou at seminars, conferences, and tournaments, where Master Jou was a favoured attraction. In later years, Master Jou would demonstrate his tuishou and fajing. Ian considers himself fortunate to have been one of the people "blasted" across a room by Master Jou.
• born July 13, 1917 in the small town of Zhuji, Zhejiang Province, China – the son of a local official,
• receives an upper class education in the finest schools – shows a great aptitude in mathematics.
• later marries and begins a family which he takes to Taiwan at the beginning of World War II.
• becomes a successful mathematics professor, writing more than thirty textbooks and gaining some fame and considerable prosperity.
• Developes a fondness for gambling, late hours, overwork, unhealthy sleeping and eating habits, heavy smoking
• At the age of 47 is diagnosed with an enlarged heart and prolapsed stomach – doctors say there is no cure, although surgery and medication could offer limited help in preventing further deterioration.
• A friend, Lou Zifeng introduces Jou to Master Yuandao, teacher of taijiquan.
• Jou quits smoking, improves his lifestyle and began daily taiji practice.
• In just two weeks, Jou noticed improvement.
• After three years his stomach had returns to a normal.
• After five years his heart had shrinks to normal, apparently healed.
• Jou becomes an ardent spokesperson for taijiquan and deepened his practice. His health, vitality and energy level grow every day.
• In 1971 Jou began studying for an American graduate degree in mathematics at Rutgers University in the USA.
• Begins teaching informal taijiquan classes.
• Rutgers offered to have him to teach taiji as an accredited course which Jou teaches until 1975 when the program was cancelled. The University, after reviewing the scant literature on taijiquan states that it is "just an exercise" and unworthy of a scholastic credit. This motivates Jou to do write The Dao of Taijiquan.
• In 1977 Jou hosts the first annual Zhang Sanfeng Festival in Chinatown, New York City where it draws about 200 people. Later it becomes an important meeting place for masters and ideas and become a major catalyst for the development of community, teaching, a research into the art of taijiquan.
• Jou creates the nonprofit "Tai Chi Foundation" partly with the proceeds from The Dao of Taijiquan. He purchases a 103 acre farm Warwick NY and names it the "Tai Chi Farm."
• Grandmaster Jou teaches weekly classes for next to nothing at the Farm and makes the facility available to other teachers for workshops and classes, gaining a reputation as a facilitator for all schools, all ideas, and all practices.
• Students and other teachers comment that Master Jou appears to be getting younger every year. Even after he passed the age of eighty he would demonstrate new skills.
• As he focuses more on basics, and refines his teaching methods, his class sizes become smaller. For those who stay, however, breakthroughs come "on nearly a daily basis."
• Eventually Jou quits teaching regular classes.
At a restaurant, a young waitress asked Master Jou, "How are you today, sir?" Jou rolled up his pant leg and said, "I show you! Look, new muscle! I'm over eighty years old and I never had muscle like this before!"
In 1990 Loretta Donnelly, then Wollering, becomes Grandmaster Jou's first and only apprentice. She helps him form new classes, begins managing his affairs, restructures his school, the Farm and the Festival. With his time freed up, he now focuses on taiji nearly every waking second.
Grandmaster Jou's skill level begins to reach legendary levels. Students come from all styles and all over the globe. Many find that they can't keep up with him. In his 70′s he becomes a seemingly unbeatable sparring partner. His fame spreads around the world drawing student from all over, including Taiwan and China.
In June of 1998 attendance at the Zhang San Feng Festival peaks at more than 700 people. For three days each year it filled the local hotels, motels, restaurants and diners to capacity.
People from across the country were now attending, most to see the remarkable Grandmaster who they'd heard so much about. Some were disappointed to discover that he was neither 10 feet tall nor able to spit qi from his eyes. But for those that saw him spar, it was not hard to believe that he was approaching a level of skill not seen since the masters of old — those men in whose hands taiji truly was the "grand ultimate." – http://www.taichifarm.org/Grandmaster_Jou_Tsung_hwa.htm
While Jou often said that his goal was to was live to 100 or more, and he appeared to be making progress, seeming younger every year. He had many plans and dreams for taijquan and the taiji community. Unfortunately, on August 3rd, 1998, after giving a talk about impermanence and the importance of diligence, Grandmaster Jou Tsung Hwa's vehicle was struck by an oncoming van as he pulled out into an intersection. His injuries were fatal. His passing was quick. His leaving was a loss to the entire world.
Jou stood for many things throughout his life. First and foremost, he was a living testament to the power of classical taiji. While not everyone agreed with his theories and teachings, none could argue with the results. More than that, he was an example of what one person can achieve when willing to work ceaselessly towards a goal. We who knew him can only speculate how far his dreams would have taken him even as many of us gladly followed. Lastly, and most importantly, Grandmaster Jou showed us all that neither ego nor hubris is necessary to excel in the martial arts. His heart and his mind were open. He will be sorely missed. – http://www.taichifarm.org/Grandmaster_Jou_Tsung_hwa.htm