Judy and Sam Chung are avid practitioners of Tai Chi, and come to nearby Carolyn Rosas Park in Rowland Heights to take classes with other older adults everyday.

Judy & Sem Chung

The Tai Chi Practitioners

Judy and Sem have been living in Rowland Heights for over 30 years. Their kids went to high school there; both of whom are now professionals, with good jobs and families of their own. But back in those earlier years, Rowland Heights was a small and quiet unincorporated community without any Asian food supermarkets, so the Chungs would have to travel 25 miles west to Chinatown to stock up with food for the week. Today, most of their neighbors are Chinese; they can find food within a short walking distance and can get by speaking Mandarin alone. “We can take care of anything in Chinese today,” says Judy, “this wasn’t the case before.” For the past decade, Judy and Sem have started every day with Tai Chi practice at the nearby Rowland Heights Park, joining up to 60 other people who follow the same movements, like a slow dance in unison. Tai Chi focuses on inner energy —a concept that is very hard to describe but that anyone can feel if they practice regularly. Most of Judy and Sem’s fellow Tai Chi peers are Chinese immigrants of their generation. “We know how to practice, so we could do it at home,” says Judy. “But we want to be able to get out of the house, see our friends and we love joining them for breakfast afterwards.”