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Chen Style Taiji works excellently with other type of martial arts

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3. Chen Style Taiji works excellently with other type of martial arts
Q11: What is the difference between Old and New frame?

A: The original ancient Chen Style Taiji evolved about 350 years ago and was created by Grandmaster Chen Wangting, of the ninth generation of the Chen family.

Old Frame (Laojia), originating around 180 years ago, was created by the 14th generation Grandmaster Chen Changxing (Yang Luchan's Master). Old Frame (Laojia) is much more simpler and more straight forward. There are less twining and circling movements with less martial arts applications shown within it, such as "Grasp" and "Arm Lock." It is suitable for people who are just starting in Taiji and it is much easier to learn.
New Frame (Xinjia) is a version evolved from the Old Frame (Laojia) and is only around 100 years old.

Around 30 years after the Old Frame (Laojia) was created, Grandmaster Chen Changxing' s son, a 15th-generation descendant of the Chen family, Grandmaster Chen Genyun, started to work on his father's Old Frame (Laojia) and modified it gradually. Finally, he created the Bew Frame with a lot of Silk Reeling Energy twining and twisting movements. Also more applications were added to the form, whereas in the Old Frame it was hidden and not so abvious to see. This development process carried on until the 17th generation, when the family head and heir, Grandmaster Chen Fake, mixed more "Qin Na" (catching, grasping and arm locks) and modern martial arts applications into the New Frame, finalizing it. He started to teach it in Beijing and passed on his skill to his students. Click to learn Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) in TCM.

The New Frame is very comprehensive, so it is normally only taught after students have finished the Old Frame, or to dedicated and hardworking students.

Q12: You just mentioned ancient Chen Style Taijiquan. What is it?

A: Ancient Chen Style Taijiquan is based on the ancient Chinese martial arts routines - "Chang Quan" (Long Fist). The Chang Quan (Long Fist) was created by a very famous Martial Arts Grandmaster, Qi Jiguang, who was a great martial arts general in the Chinese Army. Based on this very powerful and inspired ancient "Chang Quan" (Long Fist), the founder of Chen Style Taiji, Grandmaster Chen Wangting, created a series of Chen Style Taiji short sets using his understanding of the Yin-Yang philosophy mixed with Taoist breathing techniques.

Each set consists of only a few movements. They were a combination of techniques practiced with the breathing techniques. Later, all those short sections were linked into the two long series that you see today. The first one is more gentle, soft and smooth. It is considered as the Yin aspect of Taiji. The second one is powerful, dynamic, hard and with separate energy releasing movements for martial arts. It is considered as the Yang aspect of Taiji and is usually called Cannon Fist. Click to learn Premature Heart Beat in TCM.

Q13: Which form do you teach and why?
A: I teach my senior students the New Frame as it is the definitive guide for Chen Style Taiji. I choose the New Frame 83 Forms as an overall form to enhance my Taiji and Kung Fu skill. For me, it shows more real Kung Fu. In the Chenjiagou Village, Old Frame (Laojia) is taught first. Later, only the most dedicated and hardworking students would be taught the New Frame.

So, I choose the New Frame, which I feel is the most comprehensive of the Chen Style Taiji forms and contains the most exciting and attractive movements to perform and watch. I am happy to say that I have taught over a thousand students the New Frame Chen Taiji 83 Forms. I only teach the Short Forms to beginners as it is much easier for people who are just starting Taiji exercises.

Q14: Do you have to wear a Taiji suit to train Chen Style Taiji?

A: The Taiji suit is normally worn under special circumstances such as demonstrations and photographic opportunities. I have received many phone calls from people asking what they should wear to their Taiji classes. I always tell them to wear whatever they feel the most comfortable provided that it is loose fitting and does not restrict their movements. We have no standard uniform.

To achieve the best benefit from the practice, we recommend that students wear loose comfortable clothes with soft shoes as Taiji is a very relaxed, quiet and soft exercise. A Kung Fu suit is the best clothing to wear for practice and demonstration purposes. However, it is only an optional requirement and not always necessary. Click to learn Angina in TCM.

Q15: Does Chen Style Taijiquan work well together when training in any other style of martial arts?

A: Yes. Chen Style Taijiquan works excellently with any other type of martial arts. I have many students that still do other martial arts styles alongside with their Taiji training. All of them have gained great benefits by adding Taiji practice to their existing training. It has helped them a lot and makes them feel more balanced, sensitive and flexible in their movements. In addition, they feel more energetic in their daily life.

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