Rodell began studying martial arts at the age of nine. He practiced karate, judo, tournament and instinct archery, wrestling, Olympic fencing, and marksmanship before devoting his training exclusively to Yang style taijiquan in 1981.
Rodell studied taijiquan with two senior students of Cheng Man-ch'ing (questions have been raised regarding the lineage claims of Cheng Man-ch'ing), William C.C. Chen and T.T. Liang, before finding his principle teacher, Wang Yen-nien. From Wang, Rodell learned the entire Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan (“Yang Family Hidden Teaching”) system. Wang Yen-nien is a disciple student of Zhang Qinlin, who in turn studied with Yang Chengfu and later Yang Jianhou.
|Wang Yen-nien||Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan form, applications, tuishou, fan, spear, jian|
|William C.C. Chen||Tuishou, sanshou|
|T.T. Liang||Yangshi ("Yang style") taiji jian, tuishou|
In addition to his martial studies, Rodell was one of the first ten Americans to enter the door of the Jin Shan Pai, a traditional school of Taoist neigong. Rodell, initiated into the Jin Shan Pai by Wang Yen-nien, is a sixth generation teacher in this tradition.
In 1991, Rodell began teaching in the Soviet Union at the request of the Soviet Wushu Federation. In 1992, the Great River officially opened a Moscow branch. Since then, Rodell's seminars and training camps have expanded Great River Taoist Center to include many branch groups and affiliates located throughout the continental United States, Northern Europe, and Australia. Northern European locations include the Estonian cities of Talinn, Tartu, and Narva as well as Amsterdam, Netherlands.
USAWKF Northeast Regional Competition, June 24 & 25, 1995, NYC
International Taiji Quan Championship, 1990, Republic of China
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