Chen Taijiquan Forms
Chen Taijiquan is a complete system comprising of foundation exercises, open hand forms, weapons forms and two person training exercises each instilling different skills. It can be compared to learning to write, you start with mastering the basic formation of the individual letters of the alphabet, then develop those letters into short words which become longer more complex words. These progress into sentences, paragraphs and so on... all the way up to beautiful works of literature.
Like the art forms of classic literature and calligraphy, Taiji is considered a skill or gong fu to use the Chinese term, and like all worthwhile skills it takes time and effort to build the strong foundations that lead to the impressive demonstrations of Taiji seen performed by the Grandmasters of the Chen system. While we all have different aims with our Taiji practice, seeing it at it's highest level can inspire us to develop ourselves to our full potential and so gain the benefits that Taiji is renowned for.
With this in mind, and to aid you in your practice, here are some demonstrations by one of the Four Tigers of Chen Style, GM Chen Zhenglei along with PDF's of the names of the postures.
To make any of the videos bigger just click on the youtube logo in the bottow right corner where you will be able to make it full screen.
Laojia Yilu (Old Frame First Form)
Of the Chen family syllabus, Laojia Yilu (Old Frame, First Form) is the oldest remaining form. It is an amalgamation of 5 routines developed by Chen Wangting and teaches the Taiji student the basic foundation skills. It trains the first four instrinsic energies of peng, lu, ji and an along with embedding the silk reeling principles into the body.
Laojia Yilu demonstration to the right.
Laojia Yilu (Old Frame First Form) - Follow On
A follow on video by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei to help in your practice
For the posture names click here
Jian (Sword) Form
The sword or Jian is the oldest of the traditional weapons forms and is usually the first weapon taught. This form stretches and strengthens the bodies joints and makes postures open and expansive. Flexibility in wrists and hands, lightness of footwork and agility in the waist are the hallmarks of the sword form. When performed correctly it is said to resemble a dragon swimming through water.
Sword form demonstration to the right.
GM Chen Zhenglei's book on sword, sabre and baton available in class - £25
18 Movement Form
The 18 Movement Short Form was developed by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei as an introduction to Chen Taijiquan for beginners. It is taken from the Laojia Yilu form and so contains its benefits in a condensed form.
18 form demonstration to the left.
18 Movement Form - Follow On
Follow Ian through the 18 movement short form. Performed slowly and filmed as if you were behind him in a class even when the direction changes.
For the posture names click here
This 18 Movement follow on form available on DVD in class - price £3.50
Thanks to Maxim Abalenkov for the video filming and production.
GM Chen Zhenglei's book on health and wellness covering the 18 form available in class - £16
Ding Bu (fixed step) Push Hands
Pushing hands is a two person practice to develop sensitivity and listening skills which ultimately lead to effective martial arts ability. Using the 4 energies of peng, lu, ji,and an it complements the Taiji form along with highlighting any weaknesses.
To the left Ding Bu is demonstrated and broken down by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Wang Haijun