What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a sequence of dynamic movements that combine soft and hard, with fast and slow actions, in a balanced and natural way that adheres to the philosophical Taoist principles of yin and yang from the "yijing" (Book of Changes). Contained within its framework are spiralling, twisting, and unique silk reeling energy movements, jumps, leaps and explosive energy releases. During practice the body remains relaxed with the practitioners consciousness, breathing and actions all closely connected. These unique features enhance benefits to health, fitness, and weight-loss and are just a few of the reasons why so many people, regardless of age and level of fitness, regularly practice Chen Style Tai Chi throughout the world today. Chen Style Tai Chi continues to remain true to its original meaning and application since it creation - with the current head of the Chen Family, Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, internationally recognised as one of the highest level masters within the art.
What is Chen Style Tai Chi?
Chen Style Tai Chi (Taijiquan) was created in Chenjiagou Village, Wenxian County, Henan Province, China in the late Ming Dynasty, almost 400 years ago, by the 9th generation Chen family member; General Chen Wangtin. Following a decorated military career General Chen retired to Chenjiagou where he began formulating an internal martial arts that incorporated the wisdom of the ancient Taoist philosophy of Yin and Yang, with specialised breathing techniques, and a profound understanding of the internal energy meridians "jingluo" used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Such was its intrinsic power that the art was only passed from master to student in great secrecy and remained hidden for almost 300 years within the village. It was not until the 14th generation of the Chen family (around 120 years ago) that Grandmaster Chen Changxing taught the art to Yang Luchan, a household servant. Yang Luchan (founder of Yang Style Tai Chi) was the first to take the art away from the village and quickly his reputation spread throughout China as an unbeatable Kungfu master using this fascinating art. During the popularisation of Yang Style, Chen Style remained within Chenjiagou, with its village members dedicated to the advancement of all aspects of their tradition, just as their ancestors had done for almost 400 years. Chen Style Tai Chi has only recently made its appearance on the world scene and is fast becoming the most popular form of Tai Chi in the world today. Both old and Young Tai Chi practitioners are beginning to appreciate why generations of the Chen family were determined to maintain their sacred art in its purest form so that everyone may experience the maximum benefits under their guidance.
Tai Chi and Health
Tai Chi exercises regulate all systems within the body improving digestion, respiration and circulation. As the movements are performed in a relaxed manner this can also lead to a reduction in stress-related disorders. The low-impact nature of the routines improves the condition of bones, joints and muscles without strain whilst encouraging balance, focuses, flexibility and co-ordination to promote health and vitality within the individual. Tai Chi is recognised by the Chinese Government and many Health Institutes around the world as the form of exercise that offers one of the greatest all-round benefits to health.
Tai Chi Push Hands
Push-hands is a practice method of traditional Tai Chi martial arts. Two students with their arms in contact practice twining and sticking actions to develop the sense of touch, awareness and balance within the body. This is the training method where Tai Chi movements connect with martial arts applications, and develops the understanding of how small forces can defeat strong physical power.
Who can practice Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical fitness. The movements can be performed slowly and gently for health and relaxation, or faster and more powerfully for fitness and self defence applications.