Original Taiji

Chen style is the original version of Taiji, which combines meditative search for relaxation with body control. The purpose of the exercise is to develop internal power and to learn to use it according to the principles of an ancient martial art.

The slow movement of Taiji is not an end in itself but makes one more sensitive to observe one’s body and movement in a new way and makes it possible to make the movement connected. An important part of learning Taiji are the tuīshǒu (推手) or “push hands” exercises which the practitioners can use to test their progress and abilities. Tuīshǒu training is also a link between form training and combat. Pair training is recommended for all practitioners, not only those interested in combat. Meditative qigong exercises can also be included in Taiji training as additional tools for making progress.

Movement Like Weaving Silk

Chen style training starts with soft, round and serene movements where the important point is to develop a good and natural posture also in movement. Later on as breathing becomes part of training and as the deeper musculature wakes up, training becomes holistic and at the same time detailed investigation of ones body from the inside. Ancient Chinese described Chen style as a silk worm weaving its cocoon.

From Guided to Natural

We start the training with guided movements which together form Chen style Taiji’s first form. Later on, as the correct form has been adopted, the movement will become more natural and harmonized with breathing. The practitioner learns to relax, concentrate and also detect external stress factors.

Movement Like Weaving Silk

Chen style training starts with soft, round and serene movements where the important point is to develop a good and natural posture also in movement. Later on as breathing becomes part of training and as the deeper musculature wakes up, training becomes holistic and at the same time detailed investigation of ones body from the inside. Ancient Chinese described Chen style as a silk worm weaving its cocoon.

From Guided to Natural

We start the training with guided movements which together form Chen style Taiji’s first form. Later on, as the correct form has been adopted, the movement will become more natural and harmonized with breathing. The practitioner learns to relax, concentrate and also detect external stress factors.

What is Taiji?

Taiji or Taijiquan (Chinese: 太极拳, pīnyīn: Tàijíquán) is an ancient Chinese martial art whose roots are the in early period of the Qing dynasty. Today Taiji is better known as a health promoting meditative exercise which is suitable for everyone regardless of age and gender. The basic exercises of Taiji are the tranquil forms which teach how to relax, improve physical balance, make the body stronger and more flexible and develop the cooperation of the body and the mind. Among other things, Taiji training is a safe and effective way to treat neck and back problems.

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The Taiji of the Chen Family

Of the two Taiji styles practised in our association, Chen family’s Taiji (陳氏太極拳, pīnyīn: Chén shì tàijíquán) has preserved the fighting aspect more clearly, as evidenced by its movements. The movements of Chen style are spiral-shaped and the rhythm follows the slow-fast-slow cycle. The special feature of Chen style is the silk-reeling power which refers to the twisting movement of the whole body.

Taiji’s roots are in the Chen family martial art but for those seeking a health-oriented exercise Yang style Taiji may be a better and more easily digestable choice. For those looking for more complete Taiji training both Chen and Yang styles, including tuishou (推手) (“push hands”) pair training are recommended. Using tuishou the practitioners can check their progress and tuishou also serves as a link between form training and combat training.

Chen Style Taiji’s History

There are many legends about the birth of Taiji but historically we know that Chen family Taiji is the oldest one of the five known traditional Taiji styles. It was developed in the Chen Village in Henan province and remained a closely guarded family secret for more than two centuries. The earliest historical records are from the 17th century. Chen Wangting (1580-1660) is often mentioned as the creator of Taiji. He was a military officer during the end of the Ming dynasty but as the power switched to the Qing dynasty he had to flee and hide in his family’s village Chenjiagou (陳家溝) in Henan province.

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Chen Style Taiji’s History (“NÄYTÄ LISÄÄ” -VALIKON ALLA) Chen Wangting created his own martial art by combining yin-yang theory and knowledge about the human body based on Chinese medicine to contemporary martial art techniques. He is credited for having created Taiji’s unique tuishou (“push hands”) pair training method as well as seven forms which are the original basis of all Taijiquan forms up to modern times. The martial art of the Chen family remained a closely guarded secret for more than two centuries and was not taught to outsiders.

The first person to teach the Chen family martial art to outsiders was Chen Changxing (1771-1853). He taught Taiji to the talented Yang Luchan (1799-1871) who later developed his own version of it, namely Yang style Taiji, having promised not to teach the Chen family style to others. Later other Taiji styles were developed based on the Yang style. Chen style’s spread into the public started after Chen Fake (1887-1957) moved from the Chen village to Beijing. He became famous for his fighting skills and started to teach Taiji in Beijing. One of his best students was Feng Zhiqiang (1928-2012) who was Lü Baochun’s teacher.

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Taiji as a martial art

Despite its roots, Taiji is not very well known as a martial art and is usually considered a health exercise (which it also is). This is not surprising in the sense that to learn Taiji on a level where it is really useful for combat takes a long time and requires...

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The Posture Names of Chen Style Taiji’s Yi Lu Form

预备式            yù bèi shì                     Preparatory Posture 金刚捣碓        jīn gāng dǎo duì         Buddha’s Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar 揽扎衣            lǎn zhā yī                     Grab the Coat and Tie It Up 六封四闭        liù fēng sì bì                Six...

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On Taiji Training

Taiji training is based on two "pillars", namely form and pair training. All of Taiji's "secrets" can be found by form training and verified and checked in pair training. Form Training Taiji forms are composed of combat techniques which have been seamlessly arranged...

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A Master as a Teacher

Chen style Taiji is one of master Lü’s main disciplines. He learned it from Feng Zhiqiang. Chen style is a good supplement to our association’s curriculum as it enables learning to apply Taiji also as a martial art. Chen style Taiji is a combining factor between martial and meditative movement. If you are already experienced in martial arts you can get more depth to your training by getting familiar with Chen style Taiji.

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