Since the 1970s, tai chi classes have been compulsory for male freshmen at Peking University, resulting in regular success at competitions as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle among the students.
Now, the faculty can also enjoy the benefits of the traditional martial art, as the university has founded a tai chi association for the teachers and administrators that is offering classes twice a week.
At the inaugural session last Wednesday, Wang Xi'an, a tai chi master from Chenjiagou in Henan province — the birthplace of tai chi — was invited to demonstrate a set of tai chi movements that he has developed to maximize the discipline's health benefits.
Wang Dongmin, founder of the association, says that, until now, the university hadn't had an organization that offered classes and instruction for the many tai chi lovers among its faculty members —which numbered 300 at the launch.
Sun Qixiang, director of the School of Economics became the honorary president of the association.
Sun admits that she's not a martial arts enthusiast, but she's enjoys sports like table tennis and swimming in her spare time.
"Tai chi is a perfect combination of traditional Chinese culture and sport that embraces the philosophy of balance," says Sun.
"We are passing down a cultural tradition and echoing words of the university's first president, Cai Yuan Pei, that 'physical activity matters in building a healthy personality.'"