Weʼre raising £1,500 to help with a research trip to Taiwan
- Worthing, West Sussex, UK
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Hello, My name is Jan. This is my first time creating a campaign on justgiving. I am asking for people to help me fulfil a dream. Twenty years ago I was involved in a serious accident that left me with a fractured skull, partially paralysed down the left side of my body and not being able to smell or taste. Around that time I had experienced a mini breakdown witnessed by my parents that had to pick up the pieces. I was a very happy 20 year old before the accident with the dream of becoming a professional photographer or involved in the film industry. None of this ever happened because the accident ripped every bit of confidence that I had had away from me.
About a year after the accident I discovered a Chinese internal martial art called Tai Chi, and although it was difficult for me, at that time, to go to a class full of strangers, I was so determined to help myself get better, that I made myself try it. Over the next couple of years of training my body became stronger and stronger, and the confidence that I had lost slowly returned and more importantly I was smiling again. You could say that I fell in love with Tai Chi. If it wasn`t for Tai Chi I don`t think I would be sitting here sharing my story with you.
Quite early on in my training I became fascinated by the man who had founded our style of Tai Chi ( See picture above. This is Professor Cheng Man-Ching). His story of how he got into Tai Chi really resonated with me and I felt an instant connection. As the years went on I have wanted to find out more about the man they called "The Master of the Five Excellence`s". I tried to connect to people around the world and also connect with the people who knew him when he was alive, plus to research his time living in Taiwan. In the last ten years I have been able to collect a lot of information on Professor Cheng, this includes books, photographs and video footage. I have also gone on to become a teacher of his style, teaching people from all walks of life. I not only share the art of Tai Chi as an art of self-defence, but also teach it as an art of self cultivation and healing. I have worked with elderly people and have developed a Fall Prevention course with my local council, as well as teaching blind people and people recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
There is one thing missing from this story, I have never been to Taiwan to fulfil my dream, or to pay my respects to the man who saved my life. Seventeen years ago I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel to China and Malaysia. I was in a situation back then where I was able to fly to these countries cheaply. Like a lot of people in our current climate, financial security is a constant concern and unexpected expenses crop up to add to the worry. I start to forget about the dream for a while, but it comes back time and time again, and always seems to come back stronger each time. This is why I am here because I don`t want to let it go yet again.
I would really like to go to Taiwan for a short stay to try and follow our masters footsteps, documenting everything I discover on camera and video. This would be turned into a short film that can be shared with not only my students, but also with students from around the world. I am only 43 years old now and you probably think I have all the time in the world to fulfil this dream. The last remaining students of our founder are in there 90`s now and I am not sure how much longer they will be around, so time is running out.
Flying to Taiwan is not cheap. A return flight and hotel in the centre of Taipei is about £1350 and that is on the lower end of the scale. I am wanting to do this at the end of July, beginning of August 2018 as this is the only week that I can get off work this year. I also have to buy some equipment to document the trip ( Spare batteries for camera and memory cards etc). There is also transfers from Taipei airport by Taxi, as well as travelling around the city.
I will really appreciate anyone`s help to make my dream become reality. By you helping me fund this project, it will not only help to complete something that I have been wanting to achieve for many years, but it will also help the many people who I teach on a weekly basis. Even if you don`t donate to my project, I would like to say thank you for reading my story.
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Jan the Tai Chi Man started crowdfunding