Taijiquan Class Content Description
Below are very brief descriptions of some of the content offered in our classes.
The benefits of standing meditation are plentiful, but to put it simply, it helps to relax the mind and body as well as find your center and correct body alignment which not only helps with the practice of taijiquan but with keeping your calm in daily life. It is recommended to practice standing meditation for at least 20 minutes a day for health benefits, and one hour a day for martial benefits.
Through smooth, circular motions, silk reeling exercises are basic standing exercises which help the taijiquan practitioner at any stage of progress to develop strength, flow, body/mind awareness, and control.
Push hands practice is a form of silk reeling practiced with a partner. Martial applications are put to use in push hands practice. Training starts slow and simple in a static standing position with circular movements to help the student develop sensitivity to the direction of movement and intention of the opponent. Silk reeling and form practice help the taijiquan practitioner develop awareness and control of one’s own central equilibrium and movements; push hands helps to develop this awareness and control of another’s central equilibrium and movements. One of the basic principles is to use the opponent’s force against them, thus putting in action the saying, “deflect a thousand pounds with 4 ounces of power.”
SIMPLIFIED 24 TAI CHI ROUTINE
Although the focus of our curriculum is to teach traditional Chen style taijiquan, the simplified 24 Yang style routine is taught to our beginners first in order to ease them into the more challenging Chen routines. This is probably the most commonly practiced routine in the world and can be practiced by anyone of any age.
LAOJIA YI LU (Old Frame First Road)
Laojia Yi Lu is a form (routine) which is described as the “mother form” from Chenjiagou and traditionally precedes practice of other taijiquan forms. It consists of slow, smooth movements which utilize the silk reeling exercises with steps moving in all directions. There are few explosive, power moves throughout the form which help to begin development of "fali" or "fajin," explosive martial power. Practicing this form in its entirety can take from 12 to 20+ minutes depending on speed of practice. Making this a part of your daily training will help to condition the body and focus the mind which can reap many health and martial benefits.
TAI CHI KUNG FU FAN
The tai chi fan is generally the first weapon introduced to the beginner as it is relatively easy to learn due to its small size and simplicity of the movements. It begins slow paced (a warm up), becomes fast paced in the middle (offering a mild cardio workout), and finishes very slow (cool down).
32 AND 42 SWORD FORMS
Chen style and competition forms using the straight, double-edged sword as an extension of the body. Cutting, stabbing, poking, and deflecting with the sword are practiced within these forms.
DAJIA ER LU (Large Frame Second Road)
Dajia Er Lu is a short routine developed by 20th generation Chen family member Master Chen Ziqiang. It is a more advanced routine and consists of stomping, stepping, pivoting, jumping, leg sweeping, many explosive movements and strikes, lower stances, and moves at a faster pace.
SHAUNG JIAN (Double Mace)
A Chen family weapon routine designed to be practiced at a faster pace with taijiquan principles existing within the movements.
Tai chi has been practiced for centuries in China not only for health of the body and mind, but as a martial art. The graceful movements range from slow and steady to strong and explosive. Relaxation of the muscles along with breath control, posture, and alignment are emphasized. Anyone can practice tai chi and many doctors are encouraging people to practice for the many health benefits (supported by medical studies) which come with consistent and dedicated practice. Those who are spiritually conscious will find tai chi is ideal for helping reach higher self awareness.
Our tai chi classes involve warm-ups to loosen and warm the joints, qi gong breathing exercises, meditation exercises, basic posture movements, push-hand exercises with partners, and forms which entail a sequence of movements. Advancing students will begin to work on weapons such as fan, straight sword, and broadsword.
In the practice of tai chi, you can discover that rooting your energy into your feet and practicing good posture and strong stances will help with balance and steadiness. The power of tai chi is generated from speed which comes from a state of relaxation. As an advanced student, you can have control over where the energy is directed throughout your body. The idea is to allow the energy to flow through the movements freely, like water gently flowing down a stream. Just as the water follows the nature of the stream, the movements should be allowed to follow the nature of the body.
Over time, through the practice of the forms, you can develop a deeper awareness of the body and the way it moves. As your coordination and awareness progress, the finer details of the movements can be worked on. With the practice of push hands, two people become one, and you can gain awareness of another person's energy and how it interacts with your own. By developing "listening" skills through the skin, you can learn to "borrow" another person's energy to use it against them, for the purposes of self-defense.
Tai chi is a discipline that takes patience and perseverance, but the rewards are worth the effort.
Come and try a FREE class with us. We hope you have fun and wish you good health and happiness!