A Canadian couple's Kungfu journey in China

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Mr. and Mrs. Mollison have travelled several thousand miles to China just to fulfil their dream to learn Chinese Kungfu in its birthplace.

After learning Chinese Kungfu in Shaolin Temple and Wu Dang Mountain, the Mollisons from Canada eventually came to Chenjiagou village in central China's Henan province. Small as the village is, it is renowned as the birthplace of Tai Chi.

James Gordon Mollison, 58, fell in love with Chinese Kungfu when he was a little boy.

Looking back, James is happy that Taichi has grown to become an internationally recognized sport.

"I didn't think Tai Chi is Chinese Kungfu when I first saw it in 1984, it's so different, soft and slow, less physical and dangerous, not like Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do which can beat others easily," said the retired computer analyst, "Very few people knew about Tai Chi in 1980s, and it was difficult to find a teacher."

Chen Xiaowang, a master of Chen style Tai Chi born in Chenjiagou, also had the same experience as Mollison. "Some foreigners have mistaken Tai Chi for some sort of cooking method because Tai Chi picture was on the cover of some cookbooks."

"Now it's different in Europe and North America. Many people like to practice Tai Chi, and everybody knows that it's a kind of Chinese Kungfu which is good for health." Chen added.

Chen opened more than 100 Tai Chi halls in about 70 countries and regions and taught more than 300 thousands students to learn Tai Chi.

According to Taichi researcher Yan Shuangjun, there are about 300 million people in the world practicing Tai Chi now.

Needless to say, James is among the Taichi lovers and under his influence, his wife Joanne also took to the sport. The couple came to China last summer, first in Xuzhou, a city in Jiangsu province known for its Kungfu tradition. They later visited Shaolin Temple twice and Wu Dang mountain and then came to Chenjiagou in May.

"I had job and two babies to raise, so I had no time to learn Kungfu, but I supported my husband to learn. I retired last year, and I like Tai Chi very much now." Joanne said.

"This is our first trip to China, some people told me that Chnejiagou was the birthplace of Chen style Tai Chi, so I came here," James added.

They practiced Tai Chi in a small wood everyday and Mollison can do four styles of Tai Chi and Joanne can also do it very well.

James started to practice Tai Chi from 2001 and benefitted from his hobby after he broke his left leg in a motorcycle accident in 2009.

"My doctor said that I recovered quickly than others. I believed that Tai Chi made me stronger," James said, adding that he also finds inner peace through Taichi.

"I have no plan to leave here, I love this lively village." James said.

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