Patrick Watson would often refer to Professor Cheng’s accomplishments as an artist and doctor as well as a master of tai chi, saying that it was this combination which shaped the Professor’s approach to tai chi for healing, and as an extraordinary art in itself. Having been raised by an artist mother Patrick was a lover of the arts, and also oriental medicine. Professor Cheng was a Master of Five Excellences – painting, calligraphy, poetry, medicine, and tai chi chuan. He said the other excellences were like the four fingers of the hand, and that tai chi chuan was like the thumb: it opened up the other excellences, and made them work for you on another level. Tai chi potentiates medicine and the arts, providing inspiration and refinement of technique, and opens them up as paths of enlightenment and service.
-T’ai Chi Press, Vol. I No.IV