Mr. Shen San was the number one wrestler in China. One day Master Chen met him at a martial arts competition. Upon meeting, the two aged martial artists exchanged greetings of mutual respect while shaking hands. Shen then said, "I have heard that Taijiquan is famous for being soft. In the ring, competition is conducted through drawing lots. What will a Taijiquan practitioner do if he is to face a wrestler?" Master Chen answered, "I think there should be a way for a Taijiquan practitioner to compete against a wrestler. I am not experienced in this, but I know that when two parties fight, it is not customary to first ask in what style the other party is proficient."
The respectable Shen then proposed that to answer the question he and Master Chen compare fighting techniques. Master Chen said, "I don't know how to wrestle but I enjoy watching wrestling as an art form. I know that wrestlers always grab the opponent's sleeve before applying any techniques." As he was saying this, he extended both forearms, which Master Shen then grabbed. At the time some students and I were watching them and were quite excited at the prospect of having the rare chance to witness two great masters compete. But, unfortunately, someone came to deliver a message to the two masters regarding a business meeting. They left right away, hand in hand, laughing.
Two days later, Shen came with a gift when we were practicing in Master Chen's house. I invited him in. The respectable Shen said to Master Chen, "Thank you for not humiliating me that day." My master answered, "Not at all! Vice versa."
When I heard their conversation, I thought that they had engaged in another match and felt unfortunate for losing the chance to see them compete after all. Seeing me absorbed in thoughts, the respectable Shen asked, "Didn't Master Chen tell you what happened the other day?" I replied that he had not. The respectable Shen was apparently moved. "Your master is the best. Especially his morals. You must learn from him! Experts can tell the level of kungfu by one single touch. When I grabbed your master's hands, I knew that his skill was far superior to mine because I couldn't apply any strength to him." After respectable Shen spoke with my master for a while and left, a student said to my master, "Since that's the case, why didn't you throw him out [toss him to the ground during the public encounter two days earlier]?" "Throw him out? Why throw him out?" The student didn't dare to answer because he saw the master was so upset. "Now you tell me, do you want to be thrown around in front of so many people?" The student answered "Of course not." "Oh, you don't like it either? How can you apply something to others if you don't want it applied to yourself? You shouldn't even have thought of such a silly idea!" Then he turned to everyone who was present and said, "It is very difficult for a person to become famous like Master Shen. So we should bear other people's reputation in mind at all times when we do something." In hindsight, I thought that it was extremely noble of Master Shen, the number one national wrestler, to admit in front of so many young people that he met a formidable opponent. It is little wonder that since then the two of them have been close friends. They were, in all respects, equally great masters. At the time, Master Chen also told us that through that one touch he had sensed that Master Shen was extremely fast and, if they were to fight, it would have been difficult to predict the result. It is obvious that they two respected one another.