Lou Reed Got Qi

Lou Reed and I shared the same Taiji teacher. Granted as Master Ren Guanyi was based in New York City and I, in the San Francisco Bay Area I took as many lessons from him as opportunities permitted and those were few and far between. I met master Ren very early in my career with TC Media, publishers of what was then titled some variation of Wushu Kung Fu Qigong magazine. He had arranged to have his own Sifu featured Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and brought him out to Silicon Valley where the magazine was headquartered. That was one of the few photoshoots we took outdoors and on location and it was at the top of a hill overlooking Wildcat Canyon where I first experiences the power and fluidity of Taijiquan’s Fajing. I was even a part of a photo-spread attempting to arm-bar the grand master.

Master Ren is a formidable martial artist who left a mighty impression. So while I took any opportunity to work with him, they were mostly comprised of photo-shoots and one very intense all day seminar and of course the practice videos – DVDs – whatever.

Still, it was that familiarity and experience that put me in the ideal position to be the photographer for the photo-shoot which would for the first time present Lou Reed: Godfather of Punk as a martial artist rather than a musician.

Portrait of Musician/Martial Artist Lou Reed

Years after that initial photoshoot, I was notified that Lou selected a T-shirt I’d designed [Kungfumagazine.com’s iconic “got qi?” T] in his fashion shoot with Entertainment Weekly. An expression of his devotion to the art.

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