America’s T’ai Chi Champion
David-Dorian Ross is one of the most recognized T’ai Chi athletes in America. He is 7-time US national Gold medalist, World Silver medalist and 2-time World Bronze medalist. These are the highest awards ever given to an American T’ai Chi athlete in international competition.
David-Dorian has also competed in many non-tai chi martial arts tournament throughout the United States, winning many regional and national gold medals while competing against many stylists in the hard martial arts. David-Dorian was one of the first to compete with T’ai Chi against karate styles in American martial arts tournaments.
In 2008, at age 51 (and after 15 years retirement), he attended the US national Olympic team trials. He was awarded the highest technical marks in the tournament for excellence in T’ai Chi form.
My Personal Lineage
One of the best things about being international T’ai Chi competitor is the opportunity to meet and study with great masters around the world that one would not normally get to meet, and work out with the best of the best athletes from other countries. When I went to China in 1991, I met Coach Wu Bin, head coach of the Beijing Wushu team – and best known as the mentor of martial arts superstar Jet Li. Eventually he invited me to come back to China and study with him, and I was able to live at his private school and study with him and his team of instructors (grueling and amazing!) I also met Professor Men Hui Feng, one of the original choreographers of the Yang style 24 form (the #1 most popular Tai Chi routine in the world). Prof. Men even assigned his own daughter to train me while I was in Beijing. I also had the privilege of meeting and taking lessons with the late Master Feng Ziqiang, one of the last of the great generation of Chen style T’ai Chi masters.
Even before I went to China for the first time, I was fortunate to study with some extraordinary teachers. My first teacher was Sifu Kuo Lien Ying, who was one of the first Chinese masters to teach T’ai Chi to Westerners. In the early 1980s, I joined the San Francisco Wushu Team and trained under the coaching of Anthony Chan and Bryant Fong. In 1984, we hosted the first group of coaches ever to come from China to the US for an extended period of time, and I trained with Jou Jing Ping, Dong Hong Lin, Li Xia, and Yu Shaowen – all famous champions and coaches. The San Francisco Wushu team turned out many national martial arts champions and movie stars.
In 2006, I met my current teacher Coach Wei Wei. Coach Wei is a former member of the Jiangsu professional team, and he himself studied with many great masters in China. Since meeting Coach Wei, I feel as if I’ve started learning T’ai Chi for the first time. I’ve discovered new depths in my study that I never realized I could get to before. The adventure continues!