Movement and Stillness for Life-Long Health
Encouraging Daily Practice of the Classical Chinese Arts
- Expansion/compression of joints
- Coiling of soft tissue
- Lengthening connective tissue
- Softening muscles
- Relax the nervous system
- Posture and structure
- Whole body coordination
- Focused concentration
- Uninterrupted circular motion
- Being present in the moment
- Diaphragm breathing
- Balance Yin Yang in the body
About Chen Tai Chi
Chen style Tai Chi is an internal martial art, slowly moving the body in a relaxed yet powerful way, using coiling and spiralling movements to aid health and wellbeing. Chen style originated from Chen Village (Chen Jia Gou) in China. View over the following webpage to find out more about the historical lineage of Chen style Tai Chi. Read the article ‘This isn’t your grandmother’s Tai Chi’ about Chen style.
Historical Class Information
From October 2010 to December 2015, instructor Nicola taught Chen Taiji drop-in classes, study courses and weekend workshops in Dublin, Ireland and Horsham, Crawley and Worthing in West Sussex. Her classes followed the forms of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei:
- Zhan Zhaung – Standing practice.
- Chen Foundations – The principles of Chen Tai Chi for beginners covering silk reeling exercises, Tai Chi stances and foundation Chen Tai Chi movements. Suited to the absolute beginner with no experience.
- Chen Four Corners – A mini version of the form suitable for new beginners. This covers the first five movements, performing them to the four corners.
- Chen 18 Form – A beginner Tai Chi form covering the 18 movements as created by Grand Master Chen Zhenglei as a simplified Laojia 74 Form.
- Chen Laojia Yi Lu (Old Frame First Routine) – An intermediate Tai Chi Form with 74 movements in total.
Instructor Nicola helped students progress through the traditional principles of silk reeling and the empty hand forms, teaching through a hands-on method rather than ‘watch and follow‘. All of her Tai Chi classes started with traditional Chen warm up exercises that loosened every major joint in the body. She also included a Qigong breathing session, focusing on relaxation, softening the body, lowering the heart rate and slowing the breath. Next students would do ‘Standing Practice’ (Zhan Zhuang), a static Qigong posture as a meditation and stillness exercise. Moving onto Silk Reeling Drills, the signature movement of Chen style and then the main content of her lessons covered the empty hand form.
Detailed below is the historical class information…
|Beginner Tai Chi Courses||For new Tai Chi students wishing to learn within a structured course, progressing as a group. The emphasis is on learning the foundation silk reeling exercises and the empty hand form with constant instruction and monitoring through method. The beginners form is the first five movements of all Chen style Tai Chi forms and contains the signature movements of Chen style Tai Chi. It is the easiest form to learn and is known as ‘The Four Corners’. This is taught over two rotating x 8 week courses.|
|Short Form Courses||Students who have completed the beginner Tai Chi course (16 weeks in total) can apply to attend this course. This is suited to students who wish to start learning Chen style as a discipline. The emphasis is on the student being active in the learning process and is a mixture of instruction and self practice. Known as the ‘Chen 18 Form’, this takes roughly 7-9 months to learn.|
|Long Form Courses||Students who have completed learning the Chen 18 Form can apply to attend this course. This is suited to students who wish to explore Chen style with commitment and discipline. The emphasis is on the student being responsible for their learning. The class is a mixture of instruction and self-practice. This is taught on an individual and small group basis and traditionally takes 2-3 years of study.|
For students wanting help with practicing at home, we’ve collated some useful you tube clips, articles and information covering Chen Tai Chi and our health qigong practices.