About 20 “experienced” Tai Ji participants take part in the demonstration – lined up in three rows, people practice slow and subtle movement of the word’s most popular Chinese martial art. In the perfectly synchronized movements, one man in the group stands out. Tucked in a corner of the back row, Dr. Zibin Guo is a quiet leader within this community. His attentive yet gentle movements speak to a balance that glows around him like a light.
A UTC professor of Chinese origin, Dr. Guo is a master practitioner of Tai Ji, an internal martial art that explores the interplay between two opposing yet complimentary forces. He’s particularly excited about two new opportunities to increase awareness of and participation in Tai Ji – one locally and one abroad. Closer to home, each Tuesday and Thursday morning before work throughout the spring, Dr. Guo is offering free Tai Ji classes geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles for the Chattanooga business community. Such classes are a great opportunity to relax and connect the mind and body and enjoy the outdoors before taking on the rigors of the day.
But Dr. Guo doesn’t stop there – he has quite an initiative forming on the international stage too – he created a Tai Ji program for people with wheel chair disabilities and the idea caught on. Dr. Guo reached out to Organizers of the 2008 Paralympic Games, the world’s largest multi-sport event for disabled athletes, the response was huge. After demonstrating wheelchair Tai Ji at the Olympic Culture Festival last year in Beijing, Paralympic organizers are considering wheelchair Tai ji for this year’s Paralympic Opening Ceremonies.
This Tuesday, March 25th, Dr. Guo will be our featured Chattanoogan in the “Chattanooga Olympic Zone,” which airs on WRCB TV, Channel 3’s “Eyewitness News at 6.” Tune in then or back here at the Chattanooga Olympic Zone blog to see the Dr. Guo’s profile.