Emil Rechester‘s journey in the Martial Arts world started with Judo when he was 12 years old, and in 2 short years he became a certified black belt rank holder and Regional Champion, holding that title for 3 consecutive years as well as earning many trophies and medals from different competitions. While doing Judo, Emil also learned Sambo (Russian style wrestling similar to Judo or Jiu-Jitsu) and traditional Jiu-Jitsu. The more he learned Martial Arts, the greater his thirst for knowledge grew. In 1982 Emil learned Shotokan Karate, becoming proficient in Shotokan Karate Kata’s and free sparing.
For Emil, Tai Chi Chuan was love at first sight. He saw a gentlemen practicing one of the forms of Tai Chi in the place where he came to do pre-competition sparring. Without any hesitation Emil asked to learn this mysterious yet gracious art. That moment in 1987 marked the start of his journey in the “internal martial arts”, in his home country Moldova (part of the former Soviet Union). Studying under his first teacher Alexander Dmitrienko, Emil learned the art of Standing Meditation, the Tai Chi Chuan 24 form, Taikiken and various Qi-Gong sets.
After coming to America in 1994, he continued to master his craft with teachers of the caliber of Tim O’Connor (disciple of Mary Chou), learning Tung family Yang Style Long Form (108 moves), the ‘fast set’ created by Tung Yi-Jie and Yang Chen Fu, saber form, and different sets of Tui-Shou (push hands). Emil is always on the search for improvement, and in 2005 he met sifu Sam Tam. With master Tam he learned the Yang Style 37 short form created by Chen Man Ching and its applications in push hands. In recent years Emil has studied advanced forms of Qi Gong and Tai Chi Chuan under the supervision of sifu Mark Rasmus.
Emil is certified by ATCQA (American Tai Chi and Qi Gong Association), and can often be found in different parks of Los Angeles area, doing free style push-hands with his friend and students.