Interview with Master Alan Ding
Chief Instructor and Seventh Generation Lineage
 

Dr. Alan Ding MBBS MRCGP has been studying Tai Chi Chuan under his father, Master John Ding, since he was 5 years old. He has also studied under Master Chu Gin Soon (2nd Disciple of Great Grandmaster Yang Sau Chung) and intensively under Grandmaster Ip Tai Tak (1st disciple of Great Grandmaster Yang Sau Chung). Based in London, he is a practicing General Practitioner and General Practitioner Trainer, as well as being an accomplished Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan practitioner, Chief Instructor for the JDIATCC organisation and a regular contributor for TCAH (Tai Chi & Alternative Health) magazine. 
 
Over the years he has co-written books on Tai Chi Chuan, appeared in videos, DVDs and stage shows and assisted Master John Ding in numerous seminars, retreats and other bespoke Tai Chi programs. Dr. Alan Ding is a 7th Generation Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan lineage holder through his father.
 
TCAH: Master Ding, you started training in martial arts at a very young age. What were your recollection and memories about your early childhood and training?
Although born and raised in the UK, I have the privilege to say that my childhood was both rich and abundant in Chinese tradition. I had always thought of my parents as resolute traditionalist of Chinese culture. However

having had the opportunity to reflect, and now with children of my own, my opinion of them have changed, and I can draw many parallels with the way I would want to parent today. I think it only natural that bringing up a child in a culture dissimilar to your own, requires integration of your own traditions with that of the local community. But as a consequence of this transition, comes a sense and maybe insecurity that ancestral teachings and customs may be perpetually lost.  Perhaps this serves to illustrate the motivations that brought me rich exposure to traditional Chinese culture.

 
During my childhood, I clearly remember that I was different to my peers. As well as the challenges that school brought, there were two other major extracurricular activities in my early childhood - the first of those being Chinese School. This involved rigorous rote learning of the Chinese language that was at the time painstakingly laborious. However as I grew up and continued to do as my parents’ wished, I began to understand more and more the endeavour’s importance. Language provided the gateway to which a huge cultural resource could be tapped. By learning Chinese, it gave me the opportunity to grow and better appreciate my roots better for myself.- to understand my own identity, and to value cultural

 

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