Wu style Tai Chi Chuan comes to OPC

Vintage Views
December 2015

Sifu John Marchewitz has begun teaching the Wu style of Tai Chi at OPC and is encountering enthusiastic students. “I came here to strengthen my back,” says Harold Johnson, “and I’m pleased with the class. It’s harder and more challenging than I thought it would be, but I’m finding it worthwhile.”

Marchewitz has been teaching Wu style Tai Chi Chuan for 26 years and currently trains senior-age students at the Clarkston Senior Center, Clinton Township Senior Center and the Sterling Heights Senior Center. He also teaches beginning and intermediate classes in L’Anse Creuse, Trinity Lutheran in Mt. Clemens, the Rochester Community House and St. Margaret’s in St. Clair Shores. While teaching multiple sessions in these various locations, Sifu John is also constantly in training himself and speaks often of his Chinese teacher and of his practice with swords, double edge swords, spears and two-person training.

Wu style Tai Chi Chuan was introduced to the United States in Detroit in 1987 by Grand Master Eddie Wu Kwong Yu. By 2005, after several trips to Asia and many hours of training, John Marchewitz was the fifth student in this area to earn the title of Sifu and the honor of taking on disciples. He is certified at an advanced level by the International Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan Federation, which dates its history back to Master Wu Chuan Yau (1834-1902).

Originally founded as a form of Martial Arts, the Wu style has received commendation with western medical professionals in Cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation, Neuro-muscular rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy, Oncology and specialized areas such as Parkinsonism, Autism and Muscular Sclerosis.

“The goal of these classes is to help seniors improve their balance, circulation and flexibility as well as enhancing breathing,” explains John. “During the class we involve every muscle and joint in its natural range of motion, taking into account the needs and limitations of each participant.”▿