Chen Taijiquan

What is Taijiquan?

Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is a martial art and literally means “Yin/Yang fist”, and is commonly referred to as Taiji or Tai Chi.  Although Chen Taijiquan is good for improving your health, it is first and foremost a martial arts and a means to defend yourself.  Through repeated practice of the forms meant to develop self-defense, you also develop muscle while learning to relax, control your breathing and improve your posture.

History of Chen Taijiquan

Chen Taijiquan was created by Chen Wang Ting of the Chen family of Chenjiagou Village in Henan Province, China, over 400 years ago.  He developed the first form by combining existing movements with Daoist theory and Yin/Yang principles.  From there the skill was further developed through the generations within Chen village until additional forms were created.  Although the skill was “closed” at first and only taught to Chen family members, it was eventually taught to Yang Luchan who went on to create Yang style Taijiquan, which appears less martial and is the style most commonly seen practiced in the United States today.  It is believed that the other “main” styles of Taijiquan also developed from Chen Taijiquan.  However, Chen Taijiquan remains unique because of its use of spiral energy.

Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang

Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang is the 19th generation inheritor of the Chen family Taijiquan skill.  He is also known worldwide as the standard by which other practitioners measure their Taijiquan skill.  His level of skill is incredibly high and has been witnessed in countless demonstrations worldwide as he continues to travel and spread his family’s skill even today.  His high level can be attributed to the many hours he would spend each day practicing while growing up, taking only take short breaks to rest before continuing again.

Master Michael Tse

Master Michael Tse learned Chen Taijiquan from Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and continues to see him regularly.  Master Tse’s skill is of a high level and he has taught Chen Taijiquan for decades, often with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang in attendance at Master Tse’s classes and seminars.  Although reaching a high level in Chen Taijiquan can take years, Master Tse says that you must relax, let go of all worries and problems and just concentrate on practicing.  If you can do that and also come to class and practice consistently, a high level can be reached.

What will you learn in class?

In class you will learn to follow the five main principles of Taijiquan including relaxing, keeping a good posture, moving from the waist, keeping the upper body loose while keeping the lower body strong and using fajing (releasing power). You can expect to begin with simpler forms such as the 19 and 38 movement forms created by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang before eventually moving on to longer and more complex forms such as Laojia (Old Frame) and Pao Choi (Cannon Fist) and weapons such as the straight sword.  You can also expect to learn the 12 Chen Family guidelines which is useful for both improving your practice and becoming a better person.

Posted November 20, 2010 by BEugenio