CHEN TAI CHI CHUAN
Tai Chi Chuan (Grand Ultimate Fist) has long been treasured by the Chinese people as a way to preserve and promote excellent health and longevity. Modern research has also shown a wide variety of health benefits when practising Tai Chi, including better cardiovascular fitness, weight loss, living longer, reduced risk of falling and of developing a variety of chronic diseases.
The Chen style of Tai Chi is the oldest and parent form of the five main Tai Chi Chuan styles practised today. It is characterised by its lower stances, more explicit ‘silk reeling’ (Chan Su Chin) and bursts of power (Fa Jin). The origin and nature of Chen Style Tai Chi is not historically verifiable, until around the 1600s when the Chen clan of Chenjiagou (Chen Village), Henan province, China, appeared and was identified as possessing a unique martial arts system. It is from this style that the other four modern orthodox family styles of Tai Chi still practised today can be traced.
Understanding Chen Tai Chi can only be accomplished through constant practice. According to Chen Fa-ke - the styles 17th Generation Grandmaster - those learning Tai Chi must not only appreciate the theories intellectually, they must also train the methods into their body. How much you accomplish depends entirely on how much effort you put in. Chen Tai Chi requires the body to be used in a unique, disciplined way and has wide ranging training methods, including standing exercises, single movement exercises, empty-handed forms, push hands and weapons. Each method, from standing exercises to advanced push hands drills, are interconnected and all are necessary as part of the overall development of the practitioner.
CHEN TAI CHI TRAINING
In the beginning, when learning the 'First Form', students should seek to standardise movements as much as possible. Basic requirements for each part of the body have practical implications for maintaining good health, maximising movement efficiency, increasing chi and blood circulation and heightening the martial effectiveness of each technique. Emphasis is upon the first form as the foundation.
The form's slow nature allows the practitioner to pay attention to detail, make certain that postures are precise, test stability and balance during movement, and enhance lower body strength. The student will become more conscious of the circulation of Chi throughout their body and come to understand the body mechanics involved in performing these techniques.
As the student’s skill increases they may begin to train in the second form of 'Pau Chui' or 'Cannon Fist', as it is translated, in order to develop the relaxed, explosive release of strength and power developed in the ‘First Form’; through correct structure and alignment. Consequently, the two forms represent a complete balanced system of hard and soft, fast and slow, and therefore, conforms naturally with the theoryYin and Yang.
‘Cannon Fist’ is the application of technique in Chen Style Tai Chi. Normally students need to practise the first form for a considerable number of years before they are prepared for learning this form. Without the training in relaxation, balance and accuracy of the first form, methods trained in ‘Cannon Fist’ will be inaccurate and become muscular, thereby inhibiting the overall development of their Tai Chi.
The syllabus for Chen Tai Chi at the Little Nine Heaven UK school consists of ‘First Form’, sometimes referred to as ‘Long Form’ or ‘Old Frame’. This should not be confused with the modern versions of this form. The moves taught are exactly as Grandmaster Chen Fa-Ke taught to Master Pan and subsequently passed on to Master McNeil and have never been modified. The First Form is a beautiful set of movements; it demonstrates circles in different directions as well as variations in speed. The form is composed of 13 sections and 64 movements.
Alongside the First Form is taught a series of appropriate training exercises, Chi-Kung exercises, self-defence applications, two man single and double push hands drills and standing meditation which, when combined, serve to develop the student to their maximum potential.
How long a student takes to develop and progress to the second form of ‘Cannon Fist’ depends entirely on the time spent in practice and the individual development of the student. This advancement should not be rushed and it is the teacher’s decision as to when the student is ready to progress.
The regular Chen Tai Chi class suits all ages and levels of experience and it's emphasis is to cultivate chi flow and develop the good health and wellbeing of the student. However, when appropriate in class, applications and strategies for fighting maybe practised and discussed. Private individual or group lessons can be arranged to cover in greater depth, the application of techniques for fighting purposes if requested. The regular foundation class is taught in a professional but friendly and relaxed environment.
Private lessons covering the Full Chen Tai Chi syllabus can be arranged. See Timetable and Prices page or contact to discuss any queries further.
Struggling to find time to attend regular classes?
Too busy with work?
Why not consider studying in an intensive training course and self study between courses in your own time. Learn the whole Little Nine Heaven UK school Chen Tai Chi syllabus in a structured program to suit your time frame. There are no ranks available in Chen Tai Chi, but a certificate of course completion will be awarded to students after satisfactory completion of the Level 3 Advanced Training course.
Level 1 Basic Training course
First Form instruction (sections 1-7), Stance training, Posture training, appropriate fighting applications and 5 Chi-Kung exercises routine.
Course 1 week (6 Days) 4 hours per day.
Level 2 Intermediate Training course
Full review and correction of First Form (sections 1-7), First Form instruction (sections 8-10), single and double hand push hands exercises, appropriate fighting applications, Standing meditation and Taoist breathing training. Course 1 week (6 Days) 4 hours per day.
Level 3 Advanced Training course
Full review and correction of First Form (sections 1-10) , First Form instruction (sections 11-13), appropriate fighting applications, Chen style two man push hands exercise, 25 Tien Gunn (Celestial Stem) exercises for health and fighting applications. Full review of all syllabus with emphasis on students own requirements. DVD recording of students own first form for self-analysis.
Certificate of completion.
Course 1 week (6 Days) 4 hours per day.
All private lessons and Intensive courses are taught at the fully equipped Little Nine Heaven UK School by qualified and insured instructors. Private instruction at other venues may incur travel and accommodation costs.
For training costs of all packages check the Timetable and Prices page. Feel free to contact for any further information. Intensive courses do not include food or accommodation.