Chinese TAICHI KUNGFU Martial Arts Centre
Chinese Tai Chi Martial Arts is for anyone interested in relaxing their body, gaining a stronger mind/body connection, more healthy (especially low back) and achieving high levels of fitness and weight loss. Chinese Tai Chi benefits the body, mind & spirit, better than Yoga.
Suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, and with our qualified Chinese Martial Arts Master, you are on a sure path to relaxation and increased awareness.
Master Wang，the famous Chinese Tai Chi Coach, is a postgraduate student of Shanghai University of Sport. He is also the Champion of HeBei Province of China. He has a lot of experience to teach foreigners from all over the world. He also has many students from Australia, America, Italia, Turkey and so on. Master Wang is now Chief Coach of Sydney Tai Chi Centre and Shanghai TAICHI Centre. He has open many classes for foreigners….
Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan (太极拳) is the application of the Taoist philosophy concept of Yin Yang (阴阳) in the human body. The concept of Yin Yang is about opposite energy in unison, balance, motion and flow. Taijiquan uses this concept to form a motion meditation for the mind and body.
The Chen Style Taijiquan (陈式太极拳 , 陳氏太極拳 or 陳式太極拳) is the oldest form of all recognized orthodox family style taijiquan which include the Yang (杨), Wu (吴), Sun (孙) and Wu-Hao (武-郝). Chen style taijiquan is characterized by its silk reeling (缠丝劲), alternating speed motion and bursts of power (发劲). It is the only style of taijiquan practiced mainly for combat, followed by health. The rest of the styles are practiced more for health reason.
Chinese Martial Arts Background
Chinese martial art or Wushu (武术; Wǔshù) are also called Kung Fu (功夫; Gōngfu) or Wu Gong (武功; Wǔgōng). Wushu is formed from two separate words. 武 (wǔ), means "martial" or "military" and 术 (shù) means 'technique, discipline, method or art. The word wushu is best described in English term as combat skill. The term Kung Fu, translated as 'effort' and 'skill' is also a term to describe combat skill.
The historical proof of Chinese martial art are found in the the Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.) but it had probably started much earlier in the 2000 B.C. As far as individual martial art style history is concerned, each style had their own history and most of the time are contradictory to another style. Therefore, as a martial art practitioner, it important not to be too indulge with the style historical details mainly because most of the details are either exaggerated or not properly recorded and in most cases, martial art style history are sensitive subject in family or school.
Chinese martial art are divided into two main categories. Style category which focus on chi (氣 or 气; Qì) manipulation are called as internal (内家; nèijiā), while the other category concentrate on improving muscle and fitness are called external (外家; wàijiā). The martial arts classified as internal styles are Xingyiquan (形意拳), Baguazhang (八卦掌), and Taijiquan (太极拳) which had a close connection to Taoism and the Wudang monastery. The rest are normally classified as external styles and are closely related to Buddhism and the Shaolin monastery.
Both internal and external categories take different approach to train but will often lead to the same end result. For example, the internal style martial arts will quickly touch on the internal energy flow by moving slowly and later progress to learn to deliver swift powerful blow with the similar movements. The external styles starts off by learning to move swiftly and applications. Whenever the master viewed the student as ready, he will then teach the secret advanced steps and in most cases are related to the use of chi (气).
There are currently five version of story that described the originator of Taijiquan.
The five originator candidates were:
Xu Xuan Ping (许宣平) from Tang Dynasty ( 618–907 )
Zhang San Feng (张三峰) from Song Dynasty ( 960–1279 ) and Yuan Dynasty (1314 - 1320)
Zhang San Feng (张三丰) from Ming Dynasty ( 1368–1644)
Chen Wang Ting (陈王廷) from Qing Dynasty ( 1644–1912 )
Wang Zong Yue (王宗岳) from Qing Dynasty ( 1644–1912 ).
According to some schools of Taijiquan, Xu Xuan Ping (许宣平) is considered to be the Dao Yin (導引) teacher of Zhang San Feng (张三丰) who created Taijiquan. Some other schools told that Xu himself was a Taijiquan practitioner, and that the style Xu passed down was simply called 37 (三世七, Sānshì qī), because it consisted of 37 postures or techniques. During this time it was also known as Chang Quan (長拳) or Long Boxing as a reference to the never ending flow of the Yangtze River (揚子江), also known as Chang Jiang (長江). Xu had a disciple called Song Yuan Qiao (宋远桥) who passed the Song Family Taijiquan system down through the generations to Song Shu Ming (宋书铭). Song Shu Ming was an advisor to Yuan Shikai (袁世凯), president of China and a famous Taijiquan master in Beijing from 1910’s to the 1920’s. He left Beijing with the fall of Yuan Shikai in the 20's. However, there was no evidence back then or today that supports those claims.
Zhang San Feng (张三丰 or 张三峰) was a legendary Chinese Taoist priest from Wudang (武当) monastery believed to have lived at least 200 years. He was said to be living in the Song dynasty, Yuan dynasty and Ming dynasty. His name is said to have been Zhang Junbao (張君寶) and he was a Shaolin monk before he became a Taoist monk. Zhang San Feng’s Taijiquan is known as Shi San Shi (十三式) or Thirteen Postures. All Taijiquan practiced today are said to come from this style. However, historical facts do not have evidence that Zhang San Feng was the originator of Taijiquan. There are also claims that there are actually two Zhang San Feng.
Wang Zong Yue (王宗岳) was a legendary figure in the history of taijiquan believed to be a famous student of Zhang San Feng. His Taijiquan Lun (太极拳论) or Taijiquan Theory, was frequently quoted as one of the classics in the study of Taijiquan. Wang's disciples, Jiang Fa (將發), went on to make important contributions to the development of modern Taijiquan by passing the matial art to Chen Wang Ting. However, the story is vague and the timeline do not support the story.
Chen Wang Ting ( 陈王廷 , 1600-1680) is the militia battalion commander of Wen County before the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644. In his old age, Chen Wang Ting retired from public life and created a martial art system based on his family martial arts inheritance, his own war experiences, his knowledge of various contemporary martial arts styles, the combination of theories and studies of Yi Jing, Chinese medicine, Yin yang, five elements, Jingluo, Dao Yin (導引) and Thu Na. This is the martial art system of Taijiquan that we know today.
Whether Xu Xuan Ping, Zhang San Feng, Wang Zong Yue or Chen Wang Ting create Taijiquan, it is still under dispute. But the fact that must be accepted is that Chen Chang Xing (陈长兴, 1771-1853), the 14th generation Chen master, was the first to teach Chen Taijiquan to Yang Lu Chan (杨露禅, 1799-1872), an outsider to Chen family. Yang Lu Chan traveled to Beijing in 1860's and soon became famous for being an unbeatable master. Yang formulated his own Taijiquan form based on Chen Family Taijiquan and became the founder of Yang Taijiquan. This was the beginning of the spread of Taijiquan from family art of a small village in central China to an international phenomenon.
Taijiquan Training Requirements
Taijiquan requirements are written in a Chinese poetic rhythm where five letters phrases are used and it is my intention to get this in it's original phrases to be memorized so that during practice the practitioner can remember the requirements.
The Chen style Taijiquan training requirements are as below:
虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn)
立身中正 (lìshēn zhōngzhèng)
松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu)
含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo)
心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng)
呼吸自然 (hū xī zì rán)
松胯屈膝 (sōng kuà qū xī)
裆劲开圆 (dāng jìn kāi yuán)
虚实分明 (xū shí fēn míng)
上下相随 (shàng xià xiāng suí)
刚柔相济 (gāng róu xiāng jì)
快慢相间 (kuài màn xiāng jiàn)
外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn)
内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán)
以身领手(yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu)
以腰为轴 (yǐ yāo wèi zhóu)
Meaning of 虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn):
虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn) is the most important and elusive of all the taijiquan requirements. There are many different interpretations on this requirement, some to the extend to stick up the head awkwardly like a tortoise that blocks chi flow. 虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn) actually means to keep the head upright, chin slightly tuck in and the mind calm. In Chen Xin's book, he explained it as an imaginary string pulling upward the Bai Hui (DU20) acupuncture point. When the head is as if suspended or raised upward, the resulting position of the head enable it to turn freely and aids the balance of the body.
Keeping the head upright may sounds simple but in actual practice, beginner will usually sway the head either to the left and right or up and down.
Meaning of 立身中正 (lìshēn zhōngzhèng):
立身中正 (lìshēn zhōngzhèng) means keeping the body upright. If the body is not held upright then there will be excessive muscular activites leading to stiffness. Again, keeping the body upright sounds really simple but in actual practice, most people simply do not know how to stand up straight or can't stand straight. Most of the time we either tilt to one side or lean backwards. This creates stiffness around the spine and across the body and hip.
Meaning of 松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu):
松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu) means drop your shoulders and sink the elbow. 松 ( sōng ) means relax and relax in taijiquan context is to loosen the muscle strain to prevent stiffness. The prevention of shoulder stiffness allow chi to flow freely from the chest to the shoulder, elbow and then to the hand.
Meaning of 含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo):
含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo) means keeping the chest slightly curve inwards and waist slightly pressed forward. Simple enough, yet a lot of time this is misunderstood by hunching the back.
Meaning of 心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng):
心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng) means sink the qi to the dantian and lower parts of the body. It is the same as 气沉丹田 (qì chén dān tián). The purpose of 松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu), 含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo) and 心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng) is basically to relax the upper body portion and keep the upper body in balance for front, back, left and right.
Meaning of 呼吸自然 (hū xī zì rán):
呼吸自然 (hū xī zì rán) means breath naturally.
Meaning of 松胯屈膝 (sōng kuà qū xī):
松胯屈膝 (sōng kuà qū xī) means to relax the hip and keep the knees bent. Slightly bend your knees, and slightly tuck the lower pelvis forward, as if about to sit down. This will relax the the hip or “kua”.
Meaning of 裆劲开圆 (dāng jìn kāi yuán):
裆劲开圆 (dāng jìn kāi yuán) means keeping inner side of the thighs and the genital area in an arch shape like a bridge.
Meaning of 虚实分明 (xū shí fēn míng):
虚实分明 (xū shí fēn míng) means to keep the mind pure and clear. Look forward and the ear concentrate to listen at the back.
Meaning of 上下相随 (shàng xià xiāng suí):
上下相随 (shàng xià xiāng suí) is to keep the upper and lower part of the body movement synchronized.
Meaning of 刚柔相济 (gāng róu xiāng jì)
刚柔相济 (gāng róu xiāng jì) means to adjust hardness and softness accordingly.
Meaning of 快慢相间 (kuài màn xiāng jiàn):
快慢相间 (kuài màn xiāng jiàn) means to practice fast and slow pace intermittently.
Meaning of 外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn) and 内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán):
This two phrase have to be used together. 外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn) means the outer part of body moves in arch shape while 内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán) means the internal force churn in spiral form. Basically this is what taijiquan is all about. It is qi moving in the Fibonacci spiral form.
Meaning of 以身领手(yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu):
以身领手(yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu) means that the body leads the hand. In another words, the dantian leads all movements.
Meaning of 以腰为轴 (yǐ yāo wèi zhóu):
以腰为轴 (yǐ yāo wèi zhóu) is to take the waist as the main movement axis.
Dantian Rotation ( 丹田)
Dantian ( 丹田) or more accurately the Lower dantian (下丹田, Xia Dantian) is an acupoint located about three fingers width below the navel and two fingers width behind the navel.
The lower dantian is the most important acupoint in Taijiquan as it is:
The center to store chi (气 ) or internal energy
The center that radiate chi (气 ) or internal energy to the whole body
The center of balance and gravity
The point where jin (劲).force originate
In Chen Style Taijiquan, the most important principle to grasp is to train the whole body to support the dantian and for the dantian to support each and every parts of the body in return. When the dantian rotate the chi will flow from joints to joints and the body moves accordingly.
Dantian basically can be imagined as a tiny ball and it can orbit or rotate in two rotational axis. One axis is the up, forward, down and backward rotation. The other orbital axis is the up, left, down and right rotation.
Microcosmic Orbit (小周天)
The meridian or jing luo (经络) is a path through which the life-energy known as chi (气) is believed to flow. There are generally 72 channels of therapeutic importance. The most important and essential ones for the circulation of Chi, and for most therapeutic applications are the twelve Primary Meridians and eight Extraordinary Meridians.
The Eight Extraordinary Meridians represent the body’s deepest level of energetic structuring and are carriers of Yuan Chi (元气). Yuan Chi or original energy in direct translation from Chinese, is the ancestral energy (prenatal energy) which corresponds to genetic inheritance. They function as deep reservoirs from which the twelve main meridians can be replenished or drain their excesses.
The specific meridians belonging to the “ Eight Extraordinary Meridians” are:
Du Mai ( 督脉, Governing Vessel)
Ren Mai (任脉, Conception Vessel)
Chong Mai ( 冲脉, Penetrating Vessel)
Dai Mai (帶脉, Belt Channel)
Yang Chiao Mai ( 阳跷脉, Yang Motility Channel)
Yin Chaio Mai ( 阴跷脉, Yin Motility Channel)
Yang Wei Mai (阳维脉, Yang Regulating Channel)
Yin Wei Mai ( 阴维脉 , Yin Regulating Channel)
The Du Mai, Ren Mai, Chong Mai and Dai Mai are the most important of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians. The functions of the Du Mai meridian are to regulate the circulation of blood and chi in the Yang meridians. The function of the Ren Mai meridian are to regulate the circulation of blood and chi in the Yin meridians. The Chong Mai flows vertically deep within the body and is most closely associated with Yuan Chi. The Dai Mai circles the waist, and is the only horizontally flowing meridian that acts as a belt to contain the other vertically flowing meridians.
Breathing (呼吸) in Taijiquan
Breathing in taijiquan is an important portion of the taijiquan practice. If you are a beginner, then you will only need to know that you have to breath naturally during your practice. As a general rule, when the hand or body moves backward or inward we inhale (breath in). When the hand or body moves forward or outward we exhale (breath out). When the we punch or attempt to fa jin (发劲) we blow out.
Further down in practice, the taijiquan practitioner will need to learn the reverse abdominal breathing. In reverse abdominal breathing, we divide our abdomen into two parts, using our navel as a divider. Our abdomen from our navel up is the upper abdomen, and the part below the navel is the lower abdomen or dantian (丹田). When we inhale, air goes into our lungs and upper abdomen, and at the same time the qi (气) from lower abdomen travels up the Du Mai ( 督脉, Governing Vessel) from the back of our body. Therefore, our chest and upper abdomen expand while our lower abdomen contracts when we inhale. When we exhale, the air goes out of our lungs, and at the same time qi (气) in the mouth travels down the Ren Mai (任脉, Conception Vessel) to the lower abdomen. Therefore our chest and upper abdomen contracts while our lower abdomen expands when we exhale. This is also covered in the microcosmic orbit explanation.
13 Postures (十三式)
Shi San Shi (十三式) or Thirteen Postures does not mean thirteen different postures or movements steps but actually means thirteen basic skills. The 13 postures are also known as Bafa Wubu (八法五步) and Bamen Wubu (八门五步).
The hand skills of Taijiquan follow the principle of Bagua trigram. Bafa (八法) or Eight Method are eight hand skill methods of Jin force. All hand skills and techniques are generated from the Eight Method.
Eight Methods Trigram Name Direction Attribute Key Acupoint Map to Five Element
Peng, 掤 Kuan North Water Mingmen Water
Lu, 履 Li South Fire Xuanguan Fire
Ji, 挤 Zhen East Thunder Jiaji Wood
An, 按 Dui West Marsh Tanzhong Metal
Cai, 采 Qian Northwest Sky Xinggong Metal
Lieh, 列 Kun Southwest Earth Dantian Earth
Zhou, 肘 Gen Northeast Mountain Jianjing Earth
Kou, 靠 Xun Southeast Wind Yuzhen Wood
The footwork of Taijiquan follows the philosophical concept of Wuxing (五行) or Five Elements. Wubu (五步) or Five Footwork are the five footwork skills. It is more about Shenfa or body movement skills because footwork and body movement have a very tight relationship.
Five Footwork Attribute Direction Element Acupoint
Jinbu, 进步 Step forward North Water Huiyin
Tuibu, 退步 Step backward South Fire Zuqiao
Zuogu, 右盼 Sideway step forward East Wood Jiaji
Youpan, 左顾 Sideway step backward West Metal Tanzhong
Zhongding, 中定 Central equilibrium Center Earth Dantian
These 13 basic skills are the foundation of all Taijiquan skills. All other skills come from the different variation and combination of these basic skills.
The meaning of those 13 skills are as below:
Peng- ward off
Lu- roll back
Cai - pull down
Jinpu- step forward
Tuipu- step backward
Zhougu - step to the left side
Youpan- step to the right side
Zhongding- central equlibrium
Chen Style Laojia Yi-Lu (陈氏太极拳老架一路)
1 起势 (Qǐ shì) Opening Form
2 金刚捣碓 (Jīngāng dǎo duì) Warrior Pounds Mortar
3 懒扎衣 (Lǎn zhā yī) Lazily Holding Coat
4 六封四闭 (Liù fēng sì bì) Six Sealings and Four Closings
5 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
6 金刚捣碓 (Jīngāng dǎo duì) Warrior Pounds Mortar
7 白鹤亮翅 (Báihè liàng chì) White Crane Spreads its Wings
8 斜形 (Xié xíng) Walking Obliquely
9 搂膝 (Lǒu xī) Brush Knee
10 上三步 (Shàng sān bù) Forward Three Steps
11 斜形 (Xié xíng) Walking Obliquely
12 搂膝 (Lǒu xī) Brush Knee
13 上三步 (Shàng sān bù) Three Steps Forward
14 掩手肱拳 (Yǎn shǒu gōng quán) Cover and Strike
15 金刚捣碓 (Jīngāng dǎo duì) Warrior Pounds Mortar
16 撇身捶 (Piē shēn chuí) Twist Body Obliquely
17 青龙出水 (Qīng Lóng chūshuǐ) Green Dragon Comes out of Water
18 双推手 (Shuāng tuīshǒu) Push with Both Hands
19 肘底看拳 (Zhǒu dǐ kàn quán) Fist Under Elbow
20 倒卷肱 (Dào juǎn gōng) Step Back and Whirl Arms
21 白鹤亮翅 (Báihè liàng chì) White Crane Spreads its Wings
22 斜形 (Xié xíng) Walking Obliquely
23 闪通背 (Shǎn tōng bèi) Flash to the Back
24 掩手肱拳 (Yǎn shǒu gōng quán) Cover and Strike
25 六封四闭 (Liù fēng sì bì) Six Sealings and Four Closings
26 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
27 云手 (Yún shǒu) Wave Hands like Clouds
28 高探马 (Gāo tànmǎ) High Pat on Horse
29 右擦脚 (Yòu cā jiǎo) Brushing Right Foot
30 左擦脚 (Zuǒ cā jiǎo) Brushing Left Foot
31 左蹬一跟 ( Zuǒ dēng yī gēn) Kick with Left Heel
32 上三步 (Shàng sān bù) Three Steps Forward
33 击地捶 (Jī de chui) Punch the Ground
34 踢二起 (Tī èr qǐ ) Double Kick Jump
35 护心拳 (Hù xīn quán) Protect the Heart Fist
36 旋风脚 (Xuànfēng jiǎo) Tornado Kick
37 右蹬一跟 (Yòu dēng yī gēn) Kick with Right Heel
38 掩手肱拳 (Yǎn shǒu gōng quán) Cover and Strike
39 小擒打 (Xiǎo qín dǎ) Small Capturing and Hitting
40 抱头推山 (Bào tóu tuī shān) Cover Head and Push Mountain
41 六封四闭 (Liù fēng sì bì) Six Sealings and Four Closings
42 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
43 前招 (Qián zhāo) Forward Move
44 后招 (Hòu zhāo) Backward Move
45 野马分鬃 (Yěmǎ fēn zōng) Part Wild Horse's Mane
46 六封四闭 (Liù fēng sì bì) Six Sealings and Four Closings
47 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
48 玉女穿梭 (Yù nǚ chuānsuō) Jade Girl Works at Shuttles
49 懒扎衣 (Lǎn zhā yī) Lazily Holding Coat
50 六封四闭 (Liù fēng sì bì) Six Sealings and Four Closings
51 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
52 云手 (Yún shǒu) Wave Hands like Clouds
53 双摆莲 (Shuāng bǎi lián) Waving Double Lotus
54 跌岔 (Diē chà) Stretch Down
55 金鸡独立 (Jīnjī dúlì) Golden Cock Stands on one Foot
56 倒卷肱 (Dào juǎn gōng) Step Back and Whirl Arms
57 白鹤亮翅 (Báihè liàng chì) White Crane Spreads its Wings
58 斜形 (Xié xíng) Walking Obliquely
59 闪通背 (Shǎn tōng bèi) Flash to the Back
60 掩手肱拳 (Yǎn shǒu gōng quán) Cover and Strike
61 六封四闭 (Liù fēng sì bì) Six Sealings and Four Closings
62 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
63 云手 (Yún shǒu) Wave Hands like Clouds
64 高探马 (Gāo tànmǎ) High Pat on Horse
65 十字脚 (Shízì jiǎo) Waving Lotus
66 指裆捶 (Zhǐ dāng chuí) Punch the Crotch
67 猿猴探果 (Yuánhóu tàn guǒ) White Ape Offers Fruit
68 单鞭 (Dān biān) Single Whip
69 雀地龙 (Què de lóng ) Dragon on the ground
70 上步七星 (Shàng bù qīxīng) Step to Seven Stars
71 下步跨肱 ( Xià bù kuà Gōng) Step Back and Mount the Beast
72 转身双摆莲 (Zhuǎnshēn shuāng bǎi lián) Turn Body and Double Wave Lotus
73 当头炮 (Dāngtóu pào) Forward Cannon
74 金刚捣碓(Jīngāng dǎo duì) Warrior Pounds Mortar
75 收势 (Shōu shì) Closing Form
二十四式太极拳拳谱(中英) 24 Formed Tai Chi
1、起势 （Starting Posture） 2、左右野马分鬃 (Mustang Parting Its Mane)
3、白鹤亮翅 (The White Crane Spreading Its Wings)
4、左右搂膝拗步 (Holding the Knee in Bending Step)
5、手挥琵琶 (Swinging Pipa) 6、左右倒卷肱 (Upperarm Rolling)
7、左揽雀尾 (Pulling Peacock’s Tail Left)
8、右揽雀尾 (Pulling Peacock’s Tail Right)
9、单鞭 (Single Whip) 10、云手 (Cloud Hand)
11、单鞭 (Single Whip） 12、高探马 (Reigning the Horse)
13、右蹬脚 (Raising the Right Foot) 14、双峰贯耳 (Twin Peaks)
15、转身左蹬脚 (Turning the Body and Raising the left Foot)
16、左下势独立 (Standing on One Foot and Extending Left Leg)
17、右下势独立 (Standing on One Foot and Extending Right Leg)
18、左右穿梭 (Shuttling Back and Forth)
19、海底针 (Needle at the Bottom of the Sea)
20、闪通臂 (Swinging the Back)
21、转身搬拦捶 (Turning Body , Pulling , Blocking and Pounding)
22、如封似闭 (Stoping Blows)
23、十字手 (Crossed Hands)
24、收势 (Finishing Posture)