Re-thanking Victor Crawford, who inspired me towards the taijiquan path

Thanking Victor Crawford for encouraging my taijiquan path

Dec 25, 2015 Re-thanking Victor Crawford, who inspired me towards the taijiquan path

In 1991, at one of my first Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association meetings, I met 58-year-old lawyer Victor Crawford. Within a short time, Vic somehow mentioned that he practiced taijiquan, which tickled me as I asked him whether farting is a necessary part of the martial art, as we see at the end of each taijiquan session of the brother-in-law in Peter Wang’s A Great Wall (min. 0:30) . Answering my question seriously, Vic mentioned the farting as the expelling of collected negative energy (I believe he said), but I later learned that flatus is not a part of the Yang style taijiquan he practiced, at least not what I have learned yet.

Three years later, feeling imbalance in my life, I called Vic and asked him to recommend a taijiquan teacher. Happy to oblige my curiosity, Vic mailed me pamphlets of several area taijiquan teachers, along with a handwritten note on his former state senator stationery foreseeing amazing doors that were about to be opened through learning t’ai chi. What an understatement.

Today, twenty-one years later, taijiquan remains an integral part of my life and law practice.

One time after that after receiving Vic’s letter, I bumped into him at the weekly free taijiquan early morning weekend practice session at Glen Echo Park. By then, he had cancer that would claim his life in 1996, at sixty three.

I stopped by Vic’s Rockville, Maryland office one day, and he told me that he knew his body better than his doctors, with taijiquan apparently having helped that insight level.

Only after Vic passed did I learn that he had previously lobbied for the tobacco industry, but later switched sides to oppose tobacco after he had been stricken with cancer from smoking, and then admitting that he had lied on behalf of the tobacco industry that nicotine was not as harmful as it is.

One year before Vic died, he was profiled on 60 Minutes. The interview captures Vic’s essence as at once brash (see minute 3:30) and committed to the groundedness of taijiquan (see minute 12:00).

Deeply thanking and bowing to Vic Crawford.

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