Taijiquan is one of the three main 'internal' martial arts - martial systems developed in China that all share certain characteristics.
Chen style is the oldest and original form of Taijiquan, from which all other major styles have derived. In its current form it was developed since around 1600AD using ancient systems of Chinese knowledge, by the Chen family in Chen village (Chenjiagou), Henan province, China. The Chen family used their martial art system to defend their village and livelihoods.
Chen style is a dynamic system, with soft and flowing movements complimented with harder explosive movements. Thus yin and yang are in balance. Like iron wrapped in cotton, the movements are soft on the outside, but hard and powerful on the inside. This means the practice is an excellent whole-body workout.
Chen style Tai Chi represents a unique and exquisite achievement of the meditative, healing, and martial traditions of ancient China. It is arguably the most profound, refined and effective health and well-being system that is currently known, as well as perhaps the most complete and powerful martial art.
I teach traditional Chen style Taijiquan from the birthplace of Tai Chi, Chenjiagou
foundation form (Lao Jia Yi Lu)
The first form of the old frame is the foundation of Chen Tai Chi practice. Consisting of 72 movements/postures, it is used to teach the body to move in a more natural and relaxed way, to improve proprioception, and to incorporate specific bio-mechanical movement principles into the body
silk reeling (Chan Si Gong)
Developed during the second half of the 20th century, the silk reeling exercises are a distillation of the essential movement principles contained within Lao Jia Yi Lu. They are a focused way to learn the fundamental principles of Taijiquan.
standing post (Zhan Zhuang)
A common element within all internal arts, standing meditation is excellent for developing postural awareness, deepening the breathing, and relaxing and integrating the body. It is also essential for increasing sensitivity to the inner feelings of the body.
pushing hands (Tui Shou)
Once a basic level of proficiency in the core principles of Taijiquan is achieved in solo practice, the next stage is to incorporate practice with another person. This practice of 'pushing hands' continues to train the fundamental movement principles, while further developing kinesthetic sensitivity.
The advanced syllabus continues with all the essential elements of the main syllabus. In fact, even in advanced training the large majority of training time is still dedicated to the fundamentals of foundation form, standing, and silk reeling.
To this is added weapons training, and in particular heavy weapons. Heavy weapon training develops strength, both in the muscles and the tendons. It is also used for increasing the power of fajin.
Advanced training also includes competitive pushing hands. Where the pushing hands practiced to this stage is primarily cooperative, used to develop sensitivity, in advanced training one also needs to practice against a resisting opponent. However it is essential that this type of resistance training is not done too early, as this can greatly hinder the development of the correct body method.