Background of Chen Taijiquan

Chen Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), which means Chen's Supreme Ultimate Boxing, is an internal martial art that is most noted for its healing uses, rather than self-protective. It's characterized for its use of slow and fast movements, and its spiral-force and relaxed power, known as fa-jing.

It is one of the major branches of martial arts in China, and is the root of all other forms of Taiji. Chen Style Taijiquan is practiced in a continuous and relaxed manner, with circular and extended movements.

The art was founded by Chen, Wang Ting (1600-1680), a well-respected General during the Ming Dynasty. It was passed down from family member to family member until an outsider named Yang, Lu Chan earned the respect of the 14th-Generation heir, Chen, Changxin (1771-1853).

From that point, Taiji started its rise in popularity. While most martial arts are noted for their technique training, Taijiquan differs in that proper posture, relaxation, and internal development are first emphasized and actual martial technique is secondary. All actions in Taiji are originated by the rotational action of the dan-tian, spiraled through the body to the tips of limbs.Chen Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan/Tai Chi) is a Chinese martial art for health, fitness AND self-defense.

Classes in Chen Style Taijiquan are taught progressively from the basics of standing meditation to more complicated empty-hand and weapons forms and two-person exercises. Also, self-defense applications are often used to make the forms come alive in real-world scenarios. The practice has great depth so the novice and advanced student can learn something new in each and every class.

Taiji is one of several systems recognized as nei jia (internal style martial arts), along with Baguazhang (Pa Kua Chang) and Xing Yi (Hsing Yi). Other styles related are Yiquan (I'Chuan), Bajiquan, Liu He Ba Fa, Tong Bei, and Aikido. What separates these styles from other martial arts is the extreme focus on nei gong (internal energy training) rather than wei gong (external energy training).

Is Taijiquan a Martial Art?

Currently, most people view Taiji (Tai Chi) as a health-promoting exercise geared toward the elderly. While this may be true to an extent, what made Taiji famous in China is the combat exploits of its practitioners.

Here in the US, the majority of Taijiquan taught is a watered-down version of the original. Real Taijiquan is a combination of Chinese yogic exercises and martial arts with the idea that only with a healthy body can you effectively defend yourself from danger.

The Center offers specific training for martial skills development including:

  • Footwork Training
  • Solo Combat Drill Training
  • Partner Combat Drill Training
  • Sensitivity Training
  • Joint Locks and Submissions
  • Throws and Takedowns
  • Weapons Training