Dr. Tingsen Xu

Dr. Tingsen Xu, Ph.D passed away at 82 on Oct 13, 2012.

This information is from an article on the web site:

Tai Chi Health and Research Association
East meets West

Dr. Tingsen Xu, Ph.D. (1930-2012), Tai Chi Grand Master, is a professor from China. He is currently a Tai Chi Grand Master and an associate professor at Emory University with an extensive medical science research background. Dr. Xu has been doing biochemistry research for 45 years, including cholesterol research at Emory University Medical School. He has also been doing Tai Chi Chuan research, both in China and at Emory. Over the past 45 years he has published more than 100 scientific papers in the above two fields.

Dr. Xu’s Tai Chi Chuan background extends into his 59-year interest in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Dr. Xu studied Tai Chi Chuan (Yang and Chen style and Push Hands) under the guidance of Grand Master Gu Liuxin, who was the Chairman of the Martial Arts Association in Shanghai and the student of Grand Master Chen Fake, 18th generation of the Chen family. He also studied Tai Chi Chuan with Grand Master Po Bingru, the senior student of Grand Master Yang Chen Fu, and also Grand Master Shen Ren Zhi, who was the senior student of Grand Master Wu Chian Chun, the founder of the Wu style.

Dr. Xu taught Tai Chi Chuan in China and has been teaching Tai Chi Chuan in the United States for the past 24 years. He is currently teaching and doing research of Tai Chi Chuan at Emory University and the Tai Chi Research Center. He teaches Yang, Chen and Push Hands. He has more than 4,000 students in the United States and he has been instrumental in adopting Tai Chi Chuan forms for the training of older adults from 1990-1992, supported by a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). Dr. Xu’s work has received much national and international notoriety.

In 1990, former President Jimmy Carter invited him to a luncheon and encouraged him to introduce Tai Chi Chuan to the American society. President Carter also wrote a letter to Jane Fonda and introduced Dr. Xu to her. He received much national TV exposure. He was featured in an article, which included a large picture and two pages of text – in the widely circulated magazine “Modern Maturity” (June-July, 1992). Dr. Xu also had an article in “Tai Chi” Journal” and his picture was on the cover page. Stories concerning Dr. Xu have been included in more than 60 newspapers and

magazines in the United States. Dr. Xu gave a lecture on “Tai Chi Chuan for Prevention” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1994 and 1995. His lecture was shown via satellite throughout all of the United States. Beginning July 15, 1994, Dr. Xu taught Tai Chi Chuan to the public on Channel 52 in Atlanta, five times a week for 13 weeks and received a very positive response. In October 1994, Dr. Xu was invited to give a lecture at the First World Taiji Training Conference in Beijing, which was very successful. In September, 1994, Dr. Xu with Dr. Steven Wolf appeared on the cover of “Magazine of Physical Therapy” which featured an article entitled “East and West on the Information Superhighway: Tai Chi”.

There is increased public awareness of the importance of prevention in solving the nation’s health problems. In covering the White House Conference on Aging, which was held on May 3-6, 1995,

CNN focused on Dr. Xu’s research group of senior adults in Atlanta to report the demonstrated benefits of Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi Chuan showed remarkable success in reducing multiple falls by 47.5%. On July 22, 1996, Dr. Xu was interviewed by CBS for its “This Morning” program. The program was aired nationally and centered on Dr. Xu’s Tai Chi research and teaching in Atlanta. On October 26, 1995, Dr. Xu was elected as Executive President of the Preparatory Committee of the World Taiji Culture Association at the Second World Taiji Training Conference. Dr. Xu received the Science and Progress Award at the Third World Taiji Training Conference in October 1996 in Beijing. The Physical Therapy 1997 Scientific Meeting and Exposition recognized Dr. Steven Wolf , Dr. Xu and others by giving them the “Excellence in research Award” for their research on Tai Chi as intervention.

On August 1996 Dr. Xu and Dr. Fang established the nonprofit organization “Tai Chi Health and Research Association.” Dr. Xu was elected as president. More than a hundred people joined the

Association. Now more and more people are interested in learning and doing research with him. The Association presented four different free public workshops on Tai Chi in 1997, 1998,1999 and 2001.

In addition, Dr. Xu was the course director for the EmoryUniversity nationwide conference entitled “Tai Chi Traditional Rehabilitation Interventions” presented in April 25-26 and again in September 25- 26 of 1997 in Atlanta. In October 25-26, 1997, the MountainAreaHealthEducationCenter in Asheville, NC invited Dr. Xu to be the Course Director for St. Joseph’s Hospital Rehabilitation Department entitled “The Health Benefits of Practicing Tai Chi”.

In 1998, Dr. Steven Wolf (principal investigator) and Dr. Xu, (in charge of the Tai Chi Chuan teaching), received a new NIH grant, “Intense Tai Chi Chuan Exercise Training in Older Adults” (1998-
2001). The results will come out soon.

In 1998 Dr. Xu also presented three workshops, coordinated by the Healthcare program and Dr. Steven Wolf, on “The Application of Tai Chi to the Elderly” in Dallas, Hartford, and Philadelphia and in 1999 in San Diego. Over 100 health professionals attended each of these programs. In the summer of 1998, Dr. Xu presented a workshop at “A Taste of China”, an annual national meeting for Tai Chi in Winchester, VA, and gave four lectures at the International Kungfu and Wushu Association in Baltimore, MD. Also on October 1998, he received the “Chinese Martial Art Award” at the sixth worldwide Chinese Culture and Artistic Heritage Awards in Taiwan, China for his outstanding achievements in the field of Tai Chi Chuan.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, World Journal, Emory Report and Emory Wheel and CNN visited Dr. Xu’s Tai Chi class at the Department of Physical Education at EmoryUniversity from 1998 to
2004. More than 500 students have joined the class for credit. From 1998 to 2002, more and more students have joined Dr. Xu’s Tai Chi beginning and intermediate classes. NBC and PBS stations have also visited Dr. Xu’s new Tai Chi research classes sponsored by the NIH grant (1998-2001).

In 2000 Dr. Xu and Dr. Fang taught Tai Chi Chuan for 12 weeks at the Robert Shaw Elementary School supported by DeKalb County Board of Health. The purpose of this teaching was to improve children’s mental and physical balance. A videotape of this program was created by Bob Wells called “Tai Chi Chuan at Robert Shaw Elementary School.” Another grant titled “Chinese Exercises

Modalities in Parkinson’s Disease Trial” supported by the NIH was approved. The principal and co- principal investigators are Dr. Jorge Juncos and Dr. Steven Wolf. Dr. Xu was in charge of the Tai Chi Chuan teaching. In July 18, 2002 President and Mrs. Carter invited Dr. Xu and his wife, Dr. Sunan Fang to have a dinner to celebrate Xu’s 40 years marriage. From 2000 to 2004 Dr. Xu has been teaching President and Mrs. Carter a Tai Chi Chuan program and Dr. Xu received a volunteer Award from the Carter center in 2003. In March 6, 2004 WGN-TV (cable, Chicago) interviewed with Dr. Xu for their ”Health Corner” program. The program was aired nationwide and centered on Dr. Xu’s Tai Chi chuan teaching and research at Emory. Currently, Dr. Xu has been teaching four Tai Chi classes (three basic and one advanced) at Department of Physical Education and Dance at EmoryCollege, and one class for Mrs. Carter and her colleagues at the Carter center. Sometimes Mrs. Carter comes to the Department of Physical Education and Dance to take private lessons. Dr. Xu and Mrs. Carter are making a special vide tape for the families of the victims of September 11. In March 2005, Dr. Xu was appointed as full time Associate Professor at Department of Physical Education and Dance. Dr.

Xu was named to 2006 Asian Who’s Who in Georgia. 2006 marks the ten year anniversary of The Tai Chi Health and Research Association with warm congratulations from Mrs. Carter.

Dr. Xu has five DVD and videotapes available for those wishing to learn from him: “Tai Chi: A Gift of Balance”(NIH program),”10 Forms of Tai Chi Chuan” , “24 Forms of Yang style of Tai Chi
Chuan” ,“Tai Chi for Seniors” and “108 Forms of Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan”. He also teaches Tai Chi Chuan in the Atlanta area, the United States and all over the world. He is also available for longer training workshops by special arrangement. Please contact the Dept. of Physical Education and Dance. For more information, please call (404) 320-0055 (404) 320-0055 or (404) 727-7036 (404) 727-7036 . Or e-mail Dr. Xu at txu@emory.edu or write Dr. Tingsen Xu, P.O. Box 98426, Atlanta, GA 303 45 USA.

The information below is from Dr. Xu’s obituary in the Atlanta Journal newspaper.

Dr. Xu’s Obituary

Updated: 9:10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 | Posted: 4:07 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012

Tingsen Xu, 82: Scientist also a grand master of tai chi

By J.E. Geshwiler

When Tingsen Xu (pronounced “Shoo”) came to America from China in 1980 to do research at Cornell Medical College in New York, there was more to his résumé than a doctorate in biochemistry. He also was a grand master of tai chi.

So as he regularly engaged in its routines, he piqued the curiosity of Westerners who observed him and became attracted to the slow-motion martial art.

Soon he was instructing small groups in tai chi, a sideline he turned into a full-time practice after he took a post at Emory University.

Xu did biochemical research at Emory from 1989 to 1994. Four years later Emory gave him a totally different position as adjunct associate professor of physical education teaching tai chi. His students even got academic credit for it.

He also taught tai chi at the Atlanta Unity Church in Norcross, at senior centers around Atlanta and at community events in DeKalb County. One of the instructors Xu trained, Bob Wells of Atlanta, estimated Xu introduced thousands of metro Atlantans to tai chi.

One of these was former first lady Rosalynn Carter. On Friday she issued a statement that said, “Jimmy and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Tingsen Xu, who was my tai chi instructor for many years. Many people are healthier in body and spirit because of his mastery of both the physical and spiritual elements of tai chi.”

Another student, David Hirschorn of Vinings, said there were more dimensions to Xu’s instruction than merely teaching movements. “He’d talk about philosophy, about the ways to harmonize body and mind, about ancient Chinese medicine,” Hirschorn said.

Hirschorn was struck by how much Xu was at peace with himself. “I came to feel we, the young, have much to learn from people of his age,” he said.

During the 1990s, Xu played a key part in a National Institutes of Health study that determined that regular tai chi exercises significantly reduced injuries from falls among people who are 60 and older. It was the first Western study of its kind of a Far East health-related discipline.

Tingsen Xu, 82, of Atlanta died Oct. 11 at Budd Terrace of complications following a cerebral hemorrhage. His memorial service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Carter Center. SouthCare Cremation Society, Marietta, is in charge of arrangements.

Born and raised in Shanghai, Xu had to pass rigorous exams to win entrance for doctoral studies at the University of Moscow, which he completed in 1961. But later, his academic credentials didn’t impress Maoist hardliners running China’s Cultural Revolution, and he was assigned to a rural area for a year feeding pigs.

In the late 1970s, as China’s economy began opening to the West, Xu took part in joint ventures with American firms, and he seized an opportunity to come to the U.S. to work in research.

Xu became an American citizen in 1988. “He liked the freedom to do what he wanted. He felt comfortable here,” said his wife, Dr. Sunan Fang.

Also surviving are a daughter, Ke Xu of Tallahassee, Fla.; a son, Bing Xu of Los Angeles; and three grandchildren.