5.c.x.-systematic-training Section

Systematic Training

By Chen Zheng Lei


The Chen Family Tai Chi Quan is the cream of Chinese Martial Arts and the precious traditional cultural heritage of China. It is famed the Wushu circles because of it’s unique style and form of movement. The master of past ages has accumulated a series of systematic strict training ways during the process of its development and hand down. Now I will make a brief introduction of the systematic training of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan combining experience of teaching and training.

The systematic training of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan has six stages: studying posture, correcting posture, standardizing actions, harmonizing actions, clearing actions’ use, finalizing posture. During exercising you need clear your studying content and your problem. You need understand you have reached the level. You will lay the solid foundation of Tai Chi Quan for further improvement.

The first stage: studying posture (understand the law and know the routine). The stage is primary stage of learning Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. During the stage, you must master the simple basic movements. The basic movements are including to the fixed-stance and moving-stance with Chan Si Jin (reeling silk power). Through the exercise you will preliminary understand the requirement of hands and stance, and you will clear the basic style and characters of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. You will easily study the whole routine when you master the law and understand the style and characters. If you are beginner, you need clear why and how do the movements and understand the basic requirements, and you need know the actions’ direction and angle. You need master the changing of body-weight. So you will have a good beginning and lay solid foundation. It said that studying is easy and changing is difficult. You will correct the unwell actions is very difficult if you formed the unwell actions form from beginning. As the old saying goes: more haste, less speed. So training Chen Family Tai Chi Quan need conscientiously study every action. After learned the whole routine, you need exercise again and again to remember all actions. Finished this you do the actions skillful and natural. So you will pass the stage.

The second stage: correcting posture (master the main points and show the characters). During the stage, you need be roughly corrected your obvious and easily making mistakes according to the requirements of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. The actions you exercise can show the basic characters of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. During the stage the generality mistakes are body not straight, Qi not smooth, shoulder and elbow not relaxation, bend waist and up buttocks etc. How to settle the mistakes? Starting with the relaxation. The aim of relaxation is rid of the stiff energy and make actions harmony. Then you can strengthen leg’s supporting power. It can cause many mistakes, such as body not straight, shoulder and elbow not relaxation, bend waist etc. if your legs have no enough supporting power. Every mistake has relation each other. If one action is wrong will cause other mistakes. So these requirements ask you need master harmony and coordination, relation and measure of every action, for example, the relation of relaxing shoulders and closing inward chest. You need master the right requirement of every action. If relaxation is over will lose energy; closing inward is over will become arch your back. Besides the points above, you also need clear the body-weight and true or false of actions and the hands’ changing coordinating direction and angle etc. You exercise will show the basic characters of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan, such as, harmony with energetic and gentle, chequered with quickly and slow, the explosive force of nimble and elasticity, spiraling and twining etc. When you can show the characters you will pass the stage.

The third stage: standardizing actions (regulate posture and make it exact). During the stage your every action in whole routine need be made exact according to the requirements of every body’s parts of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. Your every body’s parts can according with the demands and can do every action exactly. For example, close chest and draw the back of body, relax shoulders and down elbow, relax hip and bend knees etc. you make these actions exactly and moderately according with the requirement. In the stage the requirements of fixed posture are extended and poised, straight and natural body hands exactly and moderate. Like the saying in On Quan, said that three-combined strength will be run through all postures. Three-combined are the force of hand and feet, elbows and knees, shoulder and hip. You can feel every part of body is exact and moderate with the method of standing pile. You can make internal energy to the ends of body in thought. You can strength your legs’ power through the exercise of static energy, and make your lower body firmly and steadily. After regulate posture, your actions are extended and poised, harmony closing and opening. The Qi will run through the whole body and the energy can reach the ends of body. The upper limbs are light and nimble. The lower limbs are relaxation and steadily. You will pass the stage if you reach the degree.

The forth stage: harmonizing actions (cohere postures and project style). In the stage, all actions of the whole routine will be harmonized and cohere according to the requirement of natural and smooth. Doing actions are harmonized is like floating clouds and flowing water. In the stage, all posture have fixed in third stage will be cohered on the requirement in On Quan, that are the energy is raised from feet, moved in legs, dominated in waist and reached to the ends of body. You can naturally and exactly make every movement relaxation when you do the movements. You can make Qi run through whole body and reach ends by relaxing shoulders, sinking elbows and body when you do the actions. You do not make pause in moving energy when you cohere. If you cannot control the Qi you need make the thought connecting. During the stage, the exercising style of actions is quick not disorder, slow not out of joint, light not float, stead not stiff. The doing actions is conform to the Quan theory of following with the upper and lower limbs, making waist as axis and successively running through whole body. Through harmonizing actions you will combine the external action with internal Qi. When exercising you make your thought to lead the internal Qi and make the internal Qi to do actions. Your movements are natural and smooth.

The fifth stage: clearing actions’ use (clearing actions’ use and freely changing). After the four stages, you have reached the standard level in your Tai Chi Quan. Then you will come to the sixth stage---clearing actions’ use. In the stage every action will be analyzed on the basis of the postures are neatly, action is standard and the basic of kung-fu is strong. You will know not only the intention and changing, but also the use of every action. In fact you will analyzed Tai Chi Quan from the angle of the art of attack and defense, and make yourself to know more thing of Tai Chi Quan, including to the Tai Chi push-hands (tui shou) and Tai Chi San Shou. In the stage you need know the use of every action, and begin antagonistic training. You first begin to train the push-hands (tui shou), and master the skill of defense and attack through probing power and changing each other. Then you will select some main use method and train again and again. You will improve your ability of actual combat. At last you can make the best use of the situation, stay clear of the opponent’s main force and strike at his weak points adept yourself to changing conditions and subdue your opponent.

The sixth stage: finalizing posture. Through the training step by step, you have systematically, standard and thoroughly mastered the postures of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan, and you will finalize you postures. You will remember and standardize the postures and freely exercise according to the requirement of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. You can combine thought with breath and actions. You basis master the internal and external requirement and moving law of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. When you have the abilities of self-correct, you can adjust your legs and waist for smooth your actions.