Chen style tai chi is the root from which all other tai chi styles grew. It's characterized by a mix of slow and gentle movements with quick and energetic ones, while maintaining a loose, supple motion.
LaoJia YiLu and LaoJia ErLu are the two sets of forms developed by Chen Changxing of the Chen family's 14th generation. They combine many of the original postures from the seven sets of boxing routines created by his 9th generation ancestor, Chen Wangting. The result was two all inclusive forms that respect the principles of the original seven sets. The original form of LaoJia YiLu is the root form from which all other tai chi forms can trace their development.
In this class students will learn the LaoJia YiLu form, as well as the fundamental principles of tai chi. This will include the basic practices of silk reeling, push hands, standing and qi exercises. Together, these practices will help the student develop a well-rounded tai chi practice. Suitable for beginning or intermediate practitioners.
Standing exercises help develop the proper body structure, which is essential to learning the tai chi movements. A proper stance should be relaxed and efficient, but not limp. From the outside it will appear solid and strong; internally it feels relaxed, centered and connected.
Silk Reeling Exercises:
Silk reeling exercises teach proper body structure during movement. While moving through tai chi forms, your body structure needs to dynamically adjust for every part of the movement. This maintains the connection of the upper and lower body, a requirement in practicing tai chi. When done properly, your movement will feel relaxed, connected, balanced and coordinated.
Push hands is a two person practice that teaches you to maintain your own center and structure while being aware of your partner's. Practicing with a partner provides physical feedback that will help you to find your center and then learn to move from it. This helps to develop a practical, functional, full bodied movement, which is then brought back into the tai chi form..
Qi exercises build your body's qi (energy, breath) through qi gathering movements that cultivate a natural strength and resilience. They also teach you how to slow down your breathing, and to breathe from dantian (just below the navel). This has a calming effect, allowing you to relax and quiet your mind. This is the state your mind should be in when practicing tai chi.
About the teacher:
The teacher for this class will be John Carrier. John is one of the four partners of Asian Arts. He has been practicing tai chi for more than 24 years and has been teaching it for more than 20 years. He is primarily a Chen practitioner, and also has a strong background in Yang style tai chi.
John is a 12th generation direct line disciple of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei, one of China's top ten martial arts masters. Grand Master Chen is the 11th generation direct-line inheritor of Chen family tai chi, the family that created tai chi more than 400 years ago.