Chen Style Taijichuan Training Curriculum with WCSTAA
Traditional Chen JiaGou Taijichuan is widely acknowledged to be the oldest and ancestor of all the other Taijichuan (Tai Chi) styles. It is characterized by low powerful stances, gentle coiling movements, stomping and explosive releases of power that are mostly absent from the practice of other styles of Taijichuan. Traditional Chen Taijiquan can also be practiced with graceful, slow and light movements. The martial aspects and health benefits are preserved and retained in Traditional Chen taijichuan.
Generally speaking, there are 4 barehanded forms in Chen JiaGou Taijichuan, LaoJia Yilu also known as old frame first routine and LaoJia Erlu as Paochui canon fist and XinJia Yilu known as new frame first routine and XinJia Erlu as new frame canon fist or Paochui.The variations in these barehanded forms are based upon the lineage of each respected teacher.
The first form (Yi Lu) is gentler and more flowing in look. This form is used as a tool to help develop a student’s strength, balance, coordination, and understanding of basic Taiji principles. The strength of the form is based on the basic “Chan Si Jing” (silk reeling energy). The first four primary jin (Peng, Lu, Ji, An) is emphasized heavily. Because of this characteristic, LaoJia Yilu is an essential form for beginners to learn to establish the foundation (PaanJian), it is also beneficial for those who want to practice Taijichuan for health reason.
The second form Laojia Erlu (Cannon Fist) is more complex. It is geared more toward the development of explosive power and fighting techniques. The secondary Jin (Tsai, Lie, Zhou, Kao) is emphasized heavily in the form. Therefore, there are many fast, powerful, and hard movements. It is said that both the Erlu routines in Laojia as well as Xinjia are easy to learn but harder to practice.
The first routine of Xinjia (new frame) has much more complex movements than Laojia, it emphasizes more in silk reeling and generally there are movements in individual form. Chen Fake (Grand father of Master Chen XiaoWang) created the routine based on the Laojia Yilu form and created the Xinjia Paochui canon fist form based on the Laojia Erlu and added some extra movements. To some people the Laojia and Xinjia have different characteristics but bear the same principle of practice. Externally it appears slightly different in that it has more explosive Fajing movements. Inwardly, the principles required to practice Xinjia is based in Laojia.
Traditionally, beginners always start out with the first form of Chen Taijichuan along with some basic exercise to get rid of body ‘stiffness’. Practicing the combination of the first form and the basic exercises correctly will help the beginner develop “Chan Si Jing” (spiral energy). Once the foundation is established, the second form Paochui then help us to develop more explosive power.
In Most of Tim’s classes, students with background in taichi will be taught the 38 forms created by Master Chen Xiao Wang to get an introduction to Chen Style, after that students are encouraged to learn Laojia to build strong taijichuan foundation (PaanJia) and Silk-Reeling exercise for correct hand and energy path as all circular movements in LaoJia are based on these exercises. Those have never practiced taijichuan before will be taught the 19 forms also created by Master Chen XiaoWang.
LaoJia Erlu (Paochui) will be taught once the Yilu is completed and completed well, after that students can begin to learn simple push hands and so on with the rest of the barehanded forms. Weapon forms will only be taught at the interest of the students but with one condition that the student must complete the Yilu form well.
Students training with the WCSTAA will be asked to sign a Waiver Application.