Milan Vigil’s Momentous Trip to Taiwan


Publication Date: 11/21/2008

Milan Vigil, instructor of Chinese and Thai martial arts at Rhodes, recently entered his first Taijiquan (T′ai Chi Ch′uan) tournament and received a gold medal for his performance in one of several groups within the “All Other Tai Chi Forms” category. His group included competitors from South Africa, Argentina, Italy, Germany, France, Taiwan and the USA.  Vigil also was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for his Taiji Sword performance. 

The occasion that prompted his participation was the Second World Cup Tai Chi Chuan Championship held in Taipei, Taiwan October 18-19, 2008. The event featured well over one thousand contestants from about 24 countries.

What drew Vigil to Taiwan, however, was the chance to learn more about his taijiquan roots. From his arrival on October 10, he was in the company of his taijiquan instructor of 19 years, Dr. Jwing-Ming Yang.  During the week leading up to the tournament, Yang introduced the group of students who made the trip to sites and persons significant to his own development as a martial arts master.

“The highlight of the trip was meeting and training with Dr. Yang′s taijiquan teacher, Master Gao Tao, on the occasion of their reunion,” says Vigil. “They had lost contact with each other for over forty years! Only a remarkable chain of events related to the tournament brought them together again.”

While Yang and most of Vigil’s colleagues left the day after the tournament ended, Vigil stayed in Taiwan an additional ten days and spent time with Master Gao. Says Vigil, “I am grateful for the confluence of circumstances that allowed me to be present for this momentous occasion and establish deeper connections to a practice and heritage I treasure.”
For more details on the first ten days of the trip to Taiwan, click here