Sifu Patti was recently interviewed and featured in the
8th issue of Dragon Magazine, a martial arts publication based in Paris. In this interview, Sifu Patti talks about her career and the evolution of international wushu, and she offers empowering advice for all wushu practitioners!
Click here to view the full article in French.
It was a fantastic opportunity to go back to Europe again to share my passion in Taiji, Bagua, and Wushu. It was such a successful workshop with over 100 participants that weekend! I was so impressed that the students were very eager, committed, and positive. Some students even drove from 6 hours away just to participate in this workshop. It was extremely challenging, but I had a lot of fun with everyone. It was a memorable experience for sure.
I also had a great time with Master Yang Liqin, who hosted the European workshop on my behalf. I’m very impressed not only with his students who had such an appreciation and passion for what I teach, but also with students from other martial arts backgrounds who came to train with us.
Not long ago, I had little appreciation for the deep art that is taiji. In the past, I held the common misconception that taiji was exercise reserved for the elderly; clearly this was nothing that would challenge a younger, physically fit man. I could not have been farther from the truth. After returning from a trip to China in late 2010, I was intrigued to learn more about taiji after a brief exposure to the art during the trip. Little did I know my good fortune in selecting Wushu West.
I came to my first class with little idea of what lie ahead. The class was far more physically demanding than I expected. Prior to starting the class, I believed my legs were strong. I realized the error in my thinking rather quickly. Sifu Patti Li’s instruction was pushing all my weak points in very positive ways. I quickly saw the depth of the art and the promise of a lifetime of mental and physical challenges. Learning taiji is not about reaching a particular destination. It offers a lifelong journey filled with discovery and growth for those willing to dedicate themselves to the pursuit.
To watch the strength, grace and power that Sifu Patti displays when she moves is awe-inspiring. I had no idea at first that I was learning from a world champion with a record few can rival. What makes her truly exceptional is not only her world-class athletic ability but her stellar teaching skills. I’m always impressed by her ability to teach a class that challenges everyone in the room, from beginners to advanced students. She is particularly adept at tailoring her teaching to each student’s individual needs. I have always had issues with range of motion in my feet. Sifu Patti has worked with me to modify moves and extend my flexibility. I’ve accomplished things that I frankly never thought would be possible. She routinely pushes me beyond what I think I can achieve and helps me advance to new heights. The journey over the last two and a half years has been life-changing.
I cannot stress enough how fortunate I feel to be part of the Wushu West community and to study with Sifu Patti. Our community is filled with wonderful, dedicated students. We honor the opportunity we’ve been given to learn from Sifu Patti and inspire one another to keep reaching for new goals. It is precisely this energy that keeps me driving to the East Bay twice each week even after moving away to Silicon Valley. It is a part of my week that I always look forward to. I’m excited to see where my personal journey with taiji will lead going forward.