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Category: Information

Chenjiagou(Chen Village) Taijiquan Training

Chenjiagou(Chen Village) Taijiquan Training

Many of you will have seen older folks in the gardens, parks, community centres and such, doing their slow gentle exercises in the mornings. Taijiquan (太tai,meaning big, 极ji means extreme 拳quan meaning fist or Tai Chi Chuan) nowadays is commonly practised with a very gentle and relaxed pace, such that it gives rise to the misunderstanding that this is what Taijiquan is all about. Then again, most old folks taiji (Tai Chi) as a form of gentle activity than as a martial art, which suits them just fine. Sadly, most so-called Taijiquan instructors lack a real understanding of its martial and health benefits. The original martial application has been left out, and Taijiquan as most will know it today has evolved into those competitive forms (Jing Sai Tao Lu) instead. These forms are mostly devoid of any combative elements and their primary focus is on aesthetic appearance! This is really, really sad.

Training Goal of CHEN VILLAGE TAIJIQUAN

The end goal is to achieve such a state of balance in the body that there is always a Peng Jing (expansion energy in every direction) inherent in every posture that it takes. And when the body is in motion, the movements should create a spiralling force arising from the Dantian Qi at the waist area. In order to cultivate strong Qi, beside being relax mentally and physically you need to have strong leg muscles, as they are the pillars of your body. Your legs form the foundation on which your body stands. The firmer the foundation, the stronger will be the force that you can exert. Hence, the most basic training goal is to develop your leg power, which will enable you to maintain your “bow-stance” at a fixed height throughout the routine, and so be able to root yourself into the ground.

 

Pushing Hands

Pushing hands is meant enhance your sensitivity to an opponent’s exertion of force. This is practised against another partner. One learns how to apply your body in directing your opponent’s energy in order to overcome them. The governing principle lies in “Using four ounces to overpower one thousand ounces”.

Weapons

Training in the use of weapons is usually not encouraged until you have attained a certain level of mastery in the Basic Old Form. Just for knowledge, the Chen Style weapons training include the Sword, Broadsword, Pole and Spear. The same Chan Si Jing or spiralling energy needs to be applied to the weapon and this takes a great deal of skill – that’s why you need to be well-versed in the Old Form first. The weapon has to be treated as an extension of your own body.

 

Internal Development

Your Qi is developed through regular practice. Slowly by slowly, depending on your rate of development into Taijiquan, your Qi will gradually build up. First, you notice it in the tips of your fingers where a feeling of numbness will occur as the blood rushes into them. At the next level, you should develop a prickling sensation in your hands like many needle pricks or ants’ bites. This is the beginning stage in the development of Qi. However, experiencing Qi in isolated areas as the hands or fingers and actually controlling your Qi through the various gateways of your body are worlds apart. The development is definitely incomplete!! There are further stages you need to progress through before you can even think of mastering your Qi. As our masters often advise us, you need to practice seriously and very hard in order to break through the different stages.

The specific development of the mind in using it to control the body is essential to Taijiquan. This is important in that you have control over your body just by using your mind’s intent.

Taijiquan is actually a highly refined science of the dynamics of the human body. It teaches not only self-discipline through the its mental focus, but it teaches the body to seek a state of optimal balance. In terms of Taijiquan, optimal balance means seeking a physical position (posture) which enables a person to achieve a maximal creation of power with the minimum of effort. This brings us back to the principle of “Using four ounces to overpower one thousand ounces”.

To All Beginners

CHEN STYLE TAIJIQUAN is a distinctively unusual pugilistic art, which deserves more study. It is definitely worth learning and you can start learning it at any time of your life. It is a holistic health regiment that everyone should be encouraged to build into their lives.

Generally, you will notice that your muscles and joints become stronger, suppler and you have better motor coordination.

Why we call Chenjiagou Taijiquan and not Chen Style Tai Chi?

Why we call Chenjiagou Taijiquan and not Chen Style Tai Chi?

There are many variants of Chen Style Taijiquan being practised all over the world. Chen Style 56 movement-competition routine, Chen Style 83 movement, Chen Style 37 movement particular to the Beijing/Shanghai area just to name a few, Chen Practical Method etc. However most of these which are taught – are quite different in characteristic in comparison to what is passed down within Chenjiagou (Chen Village). So in order to differentiate ourselves from the commercialized (or ”sport”) versions out there, the “Chenjiagou” (Chen Village) tag is used here to single ourselves out, in deference as well as in concurrence with the wish of our teacher, Grand Master Zhu Tian Cai. 

In Chen Village, the following forms are practiced:
1) Laojia Yilu 72 movement (Old form first set)- This is the compulsory basic foundation for all beginners.

2) Laojia Erlu 59 movement (Old form second set)3) Xinjia Yilu 83 movement (New form first set)
4) Xinjia Erlu (New form second set)
5) Xiaojia (small frame)

In traditional training at Chenjiagou, only when one has at least 2 years plus of Laojia Yilu experience, the Master will then proceed to teach the students this routine.

What is Tai Chi?

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a series of meditative, continuous movements with a strong emphasis on proper postural alignment. Its origins date back some 500 years ago in China. It began as a form of martial arts in Chenjiagou, or Chen Village, Henan Province in China. Over the years, the Chenjiagou martial art form was recast into gentler and more subtle movements to hide the defensive techniques inherent in the routines. Since then, the forms were modulated by different masters who branched off from the Chenjiagou style and diversified into their own schools of boxing. 

Overall, there are 5 major schools of Tai Chi Boxing. They are the 1) Chen Style 陈氏 (founded by 陈王庭, Chen Wan Ting), 2) the Yang Style 杨氏 (founded by 杨露禅, Yang Lu Chan, he learnt from Chen), 3) the Wu Style 武氏 (founded by 武禹襄, Wu Yu Xiang, learnt from Chen ),  4) another Wu Style 吴氏; the romanised translation is the same since they are homophones but the chinese characters are different (founded by 吴鉴泉, Wu Jian Quan, learnt from Yang ) and lastly, 5) the Sun style 孙氏 (founded by 孙禄堂, Sun Lu Tang, learnt from 3 above, the Wu武).

These modified forms are now collectively known as Tai Chi.

BENEFITS

BENEFITS OF TIAN CAI TRAINING SYSTEM – CHEN STYLE TAI CHI

  • Increases strength and flexibility.
  • Decreases pain in joints
  • Improves fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Reduces risk of falling
  • Increases bone density
  • Decreases stress and reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Helps with symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Improves balance
  • Increases sense of well-being

WHO IS SUITABLE FOR TAI CHI?

Tai Chi is generally considered to be a safe exercise. Tai Chi can be modified to suit your goals and personal fitness level.

Benefits

BENEFITS OF TIAN CAI TRAINING SYSTEM – CHEN STYLE TAI CHI

  • Increases strength and flexibility.
  • Decreases pain in joints
  • Improves fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Reduces risk of falling
  • Increases bone density
  • Decreases stress and reduces high blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Helps with symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Improves balance
  • Increases sense of well-being

WHO IS SUITABLE FOR TAI CHI?

Tai Chi is generally considered to be a safe exercise. Tai Chi can be modified to suit your goals and personal fitness level.

RESEARCH ON TAI CHI

  1. Fuzhong Li, Ph.D., Peter Harmer, Ph.D., M.P.H., Kathleen Fitzgerald, M.D., Elizabeth Eckstrom, M.D., M.P.H., Ronald Stock, M.D., Johnny Galver, P.T., Gianni Maddalozzo, Ph.D., and Sara S. Batya, M.D. Tai Chi and Postural Stability in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:511-519. 9 February 2012. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1107911
  2. Chenchen Wang, MD, MSc,Christopher H. Schmid, PhD, Patricia L. Hibberd, MD, PhD, Robert Kalish, MD, Ronenn Roubenoff, MD, MHS, Ramel Rones, BS, and Timothy McAlindon, MD, MPH. Tai Chi is Effective in Treating Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Nov 15; 61(11): 1545–1553. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3023169/
  3. Uhlig T1, Fongen C, Steen E, Christie A, Ødegård S. Exploring Tai Chi in rheumatoid arthritis: a quantitative and qualitative study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2010 Mar 5;11:43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205741
  4. Chenchen Wang, director and professor of medicine, Christopher H Schmid, professor of biostatistics and co-director, Roger A Fielding, director and professor of medicine, William F Harvey, assistant professor of medicine, Kieran F Reid, scientist III, Lori Lyn Price, statistician, Jeffrey B Driban, assistant professor of medicine, Robert Kalish, associate professor of medicine, Ramel Rones, tai chi instructor, and Timothy McAlindon, division chief and professor of medicine. Effect of tai chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia: comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial. BMJ. 2018; 360: k851.
  5. Published online 2018 Mar 21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5861462/
  6. Hamed Mortazavi, Mahbubeh Tabatabaeichehr, Ali Golestani, Mohammad Reza Armat, and Mohammad Reza Yousefi. The Effect of Tai Chi Exercise on the Risk and Fear of Falling in Older Adults: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Mater Sociomed. 2018 Mar; 30(1): 38–42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5857038/
  7. Karen L Caldwell, Shawn M Bergman, Scott R Collier, N Travis Triplett, Rebecca Quin, John Bergquist, and Carl F Pieper. Effects of tai chi chuan on anxiety and sleep quality in young adults: lessons from a randomized controlled feasibility study. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published online 14 Nov 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118018/
  8. Aileen WK Chan, Doris SF Yu, KC Choi, Diana TF Lee, Janet WH Sit, and Helen YL Chan. Tai chi qigong as a means to improve night-time sleep quality among older adults with cognitive impairment: a pilot randomized controlled trial. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Published online 2016 Sep 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5034925/
  9. Weibing Wu, Xiaodan Liu, Longbing Wang, Zhenwei Wang, Jun Hu, and Juntao Yan. Effects of Tai Chi on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2014; 9: 1253–1263.
  10. Published online 2014 Nov 7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4230171/
  11. Shuai Zheng, Christine Kim, Sara Lal, Peter Meier, David Sibbritt, Chris Zaslawski. The Effects of Twelve Weeks of Tai Chi Practice on Anxiety in Stressed But Healthy People Compared to Exercise and Wait‐List Groups–A Randomized Controlled Trial. Wiley Online Library, First published: 13 June 2017. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/jclp.22482
  12. Albert Yeung, M.D., Sc.D., Jessie S. M. Chan, Ph.D, M.P.H., Joey C. Cheung, B.S., Liye Zou, Ph.D. Qigong and Tai-Chi for Mood Regulation. Focus Vol. 16, No. 1, Winter 2018 focus.psychiatryonline.org, 1 January 2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321299648_Qigong_and_Tai-Chi_for_Mood_Regulation
  13. Stanley Sai-Chuen Hui, Yao Jie Xie,1 Jean Woo, and Timothy Chi-Yui Kwok. Effects of Tai Chi and Walking Exercises on Weight Loss, Metabolic Syndrome Parameters, and Bone Mineral Density: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2015, Article ID 976123, 10 pages. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/976123/
  14. Guo JB, Chen BL, Lu YM, Zhang WY, Zhu ZJ, Yang YJ, Zhu Y. Tai Chi for improving cardiopulmonary function and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil. 2016 Aug;30(8):750-64. Epub 2015 Sep 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26396162
  15. Tsai JC1, Wang WH, Chan P, Lin LJ, Wang CH, Tomlinson B, Hsieh MH, Yang HY, Liu JC. The beneficial effects of Tai Chi Chuan on blood pressure and lipid profile and anxiety status in a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Oct;9(5):747-54. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14629852
Wanting to improve your standard in Tai Chi? Put this in your practice!!!

Wanting to improve your standard in Tai Chi? Put this in your practice!!!

Acquiring internal energy first before your proficiency can be upgraded
So, what is internal energy?
First off, it is not brute strength. Rather, it is a vigor that emits through your external form from within. It can also be said that it is qi born from an aligned body structure paired to your breathing as well as your intent. Slow and deep breathing will help you to increase your body awareness or proprioception (perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body.) When your proprioception or sense of body awareness has increased sufficiently, then you could progress to the important part – moving the entire body structure as a whole unit.

The Spiral Line, Myers, Thomas W. (2011). Anatomy Trains. London: Urban & Fischer.

13 Movements

Learn how to maintain a comfortable and healthy posture in motion, with our comprehensive class that goes through the most ancient and authentic Tai Chi movements. These movements are gears to make your body more flexible and agile.

When you have a degree of mastery over minute movements in your body, you will be able to target the fascia or connective tissues in the whole body. By focusing on puffing out yourself like a balloon and stretching out the skin each of your joints, you will be able to access the connective webbing just under the skin. and connective tissues that are located just under the skin. Imagine that your skin is a stretchable body suit you wear or that you are a human balloon. By continually stretching outwards and lengthening out, you will begin to develop control over your fascia as one of your most important sources of power. This is the main reason why all schools of Tai Chi require us to relax, or to “open or unblock the meridians” so to speak. In other words, we have to think about stretching out our fascia webbing all throughout, grounding, then releasing tension in order to gain access to our powerful fascial lines.

 

In Fascia :

“When one part moves, the body as a whole responds . Functionally , the only tissue that can mediate such responsiveness is the connective tissue.”

 

Tai Chi Classics: : 

“When one part moves, all parts move; the whole body responds”

Theme: Overlay by Kaira Movement Facilitation for Fluidity and Stability 
Ardross, WA, Australia