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What are the Foundation Exercises for Chen Style Taiji

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4. What are the Foundation Exercises for Chen Style Taiji
Q16: What are the Foundation Exercises for Chen Style Taiji?

A: The Foundation Exercises are for beginners who have no experience in Taiji at all and should include:

Warm-up exercises - a series of joint relaxing and limb stretching exercises.

Qigong & Silk Reeling exercises - Breathing exercises in combination with arm spiraling and circling movements.

Taiji Stance with breathing exercises - Body standing upright with both arms placed in front of the chest with all body relaxed and using deep breathing technique from your lower abdomen.

Foot Step with Arm co-ordination exercises - Stepping exercises combined with single or double arm movements practiced in harmony.

They end with a small set of simple Taiji movements that will help you move forward to beginner's level. Click to learn Myocardial Infarction in TCM.

Q17: What are the Beginners Exercises for Chen Style Taiji?               

A: The beginners exercises are for people who have done some relevant Taiji or other martial arts exercises in the past. They should start by learning the 18 Short Forms.

The 18 Short Form movements are simple to learn and easy to follow, especially for those people who have done the foundation course or have an appropriate level of martial arts studies experience. It is very easy to learn and to catch up in the classes before you take up long-form studies.

Q18: Is there any grading system in Taiji?

A: Not traditionally, but there is now a grading system in China. It is called "Duanwei" in Chinese, and was introduced by the Chinese Wushu (Martial Arts) Association. In general, this is an optional service provided to Taiji practitioners who need it for a particular purpose. The "Duanwei" is similar to the "Dan" system used in the Japanese martial arts system and the highest grade is ninth "Duanwei." The first to third "Duanwei" are lower range grades, normally awarded to dedicated students. The fourth to sixth "Duanwei" are intermediate grades and normally awarded to the higher skilled martial artists who have been instructors or professionals for years. In particular, the sixth "Duanwei" holders would have won the national championship in China or have acquired equivalent level of skills. The seventh to ninth "Duanwei" are the advanced grades and normally awarded to people who are respected experts in the martial arts circles with a well-known reputation, having contributed to Chinese martial arts development, such as with publications, papers, videos and DVDs. I currently hold a seventh "Duanwei" and Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei holds a eighth "Duanwei."

Q19: What is Taiji?

A: Taiji is a philosophy. In theory, it is an ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang, which comes from the Yijing,I Ching or Book of Changes in the West, and has existed over two thousand years. Basically, Yin and Yang philosophy teaches that everything has an opposite, such as le.ft and right, soft and hard, fast and slow, internal and external, etc....

The philosophy of Taiji was then applied to a series of Chinese martial arts movements in the late eighteenth century, which happened to be the Chen family style of fighting in Chenjiagou Village, China. The martial movements followed the principles of the I Ching. i.e., the theory of opposing and yet interdependent principles in nature (Yin and Yang).
The full name of what we now see today is Taijiquan, i.e., Taji philosophy plus martial arts (and Qigong breathing exercises). Basically, somebody had a lot of time on their hands in retirement and a passion for martial arts, producing the wonderful complete martial system that we benefit from today !
Q20: What is Chen Style Taiji?
A: Modern academics place the origins of Taiji in the Chenjiagou Village in Henan Province about 350 years ago. Chen Style Taiji is practiced both for its health and exercise benefits and as an effective method for self-defence. It can be seen as a series of coordinated movements that flow smoothly and gracefully into each other combined with Qigong breathing techniques and fighting applications. Chen Style Taiji is both a complete martial system and a comprehensive form of exercise that promotes fitness, coordination, confidence and relaxation. It is a sequence of dynamic movements that combine soft and hard, fast and slow actions in a balanced and natural way that adhere to the philosophical Taoist principles of Yin and Yang from the I Ching (Book of Changes). Click to learn Atrial Fibrillation in TCM.

Contained within its framework are spiraling, twining, twisting, and unique silk reeling energy movements, jumps, leaps and explosive energy releases. During practice, the body remains relaxed with the practitioner's 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 Taiji throughout the world today. Chen Style Taiji continues to remain true to its original meaning and application since its creation with the current head of the Chen family, Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, internationally recognized as one of the highest level masters within the art. Click to learn Pericarditis in TCM.

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