Talk-It-Out Radio

Why and How Does the Chinese Art of Tai Chi Heal and Build Wellness?

Talk It Out Radio host Nancy Kahn interviews Stephan Berwick on: Why and How Does the Chinese Art of Tai Chi Heal and Build Wellness?

Nancy Kahn interviews the famed Chinese style marital arts teacher and researcher, Stephan Berwick about how Tai Chi healed and transformed the late rock music icon, Lou Reed in an exclusive discussion about his work bringing Reed’s dream book on Tai Chi, “The Art of The Straight Line. My Tai Chi” to fruition (and just published by Harper Collings), with Reed’s wife, artist Laurie Anderson”.

Lou Reed was a musician, singer, songwriter, poet, and founding member of the legendary rock band the Velvet Underground. He collaborated with many artists, from Andy Warhol and John Cale to Robert Wilson and Metallica. Reed had a groundbreaking solo career that spanned five decades until his death in 2013.

Reed was also an accomplished martial artist whose practice began in the 1980s. He studied with Chen Tai Chi pioneer Master Ren GuangYi. This book is a comprehensive collection of Reed’s writings on Tai Chi. It includes conversations with Reed’s fellow musicians, artists, friends, and Tai Chi practitioners, including Julian Schnabel, A. M. Homes, Hal Willner, Mingyur Rinpoche, Eddie Stern, Tony Visconti, and Iggy Pop.

“The Art of the Straight Line. My Tai Chi” features Reed’s unpublished writings on the technique, practice, and purpose of martial arts, as well as essays, observations, and riffs on meditation and life.

Stephan Berwick is a martial arts instructor, performer, and researcher, specializing in Chen Tai Chi and Chinese swordsmanship. As an original student of Master Ren, Berwick conducted primary research at Tai Chi’s birthplace in Henan, China over two decades ago. From that research, Berwick published the first English language profiles of the emerging Chen village masters, and other works on traditional martial arts. Before devoting himself to Chen Tai Chi, Stephan was one of the two first Americans – with Asia’s top action star, Donnie Yen – to train in Xian, China under its national martial arts champion, Zhao Changjun and his coach, Bai Wenxiang. With Yen, Berwick went on to perform in Hong Kong action films under the tutelage of the director, Yuen Woping, as one of the few Western martial artists to star in Chinese action films. Years later, he met and befriended Lou Reed in 2003 at a national martial arts event with Master Ren.