*Always consult a doctor before starting a new workout regimen. We are not responsible for any injury that may occur on your journey to health.
Taijiquan* (often called “Tai Chi” . “Taiji” or aka Tai Chi Chuan) is a serious discipline. In order to gain real benefits you have to train diligently daily and persevere for decades. We go beyond just Taiji exercise, we believe in the Taiji martial arts aspects in all the areas the lineage holders have passed down.
Intro: What to expect starting off
Weigong: Strength of Muscles, Tendons, and Bones.
Qigong: breath vitality and cultivate internal organ pathways.
Neigong: Martial Internal skill, the “Steel wrapped in cotton” body
Martial partner Training: Tui shou, Da Lu, San Shou.
Full contact: No non-sense self defense and all ranges combatives.
Meditation and Internal Alchemy: harmonize the mind, brain, and nervous system.
Weapons like sword, saber, and long pole are also part of the traditional curriculum. Two person exercises are introduced like fixed step push hands, moving step push hands, da lu, partner weapons, and free fighting. We believe in order to teach you authentic Yang Family Taijiquan, the system must be complete and not simplified. Be cautious of people teaching fantasy skills, know too many forms, and does multiple styles which does not equate to better. The best taijiquan is from those who have gone deep in one art using the correct method, that is why Grandmaster Fu Zhongwen says there is only “One Tai Chi Chuan”.
We teach mostly by way of “Prescription style” unless we are doing our public or university classes. Tai Chi is not a one size fits all, it will be customized per individual using your personal strengths and weakness.
Our going rate for Tai Chi private lessons: HERE
Did you know?
Taijiquan helps improve: cognitive functions and performance, prevention of falls, and assist in osteoporosis by bone density improvement. Studies also show there was less pain in people with fibromyalgia, and helps those with arthritis.
Wu De (Martial Virtue) is the first lesson. These are the 4 words to develop Taiji Kung Fu: Diligence, Perseverance, Respect, Sincerity.
More about Yang Family here.
About Yang Family Taijiquan (T’ai Chi Chuan)
Tai Chi salute and motto: diligence, perseverance, respect, sincerity are ingredients for Tai chi kung fu.
Diligence– Hard work and effort is prerequisite for skilled development. Daily practice on a regular basis will ultimately be rewarded by beneficial results.
Perseverance-It is important that a long and enduring sense of purpose be cultivated. A sense of purpose combined with regular daily practice will serve to achieve that purpose.
Respect- Respect for your master, teacher, and fellow man is paramount. Deal with others in taking consideration their backgrounds and in the light of their expectations. Mutual respect serves to enhance a sense of community and solidarity in a society where individuals treat each other with respect.
Sincerity- Sincerity in attitude or motivation is a prerequisite for learning Taijiquan. In order to achieve, a genuine resolve to pursue your goal must exist. Deal with others sincerely if you want them to reciprocate. Maintain sincerity in the fore of your dealing with others and you will achieve a smooth flow in relationships.
Authentic 85 Form
The style of Tai Chi Chuan we do is the authentic 85 Yang style. It comes from the lineage of Yang Zuopeng (Yang Banhuo’s son) and Yang Chengfu from his disciple Fu Zhongwen to disciples Coach Xu Jengheng and Coach Wei Qi He, who were my teachers through the U.S.A chapter of Yongnian Taijiquan Association. Fu Shengyuan to Damon Bramich and James Fu (Fu Qing Quan) as well are influences of mine.
The Yang family has 3 main forms the 115, the 85, and the 73 forms. Since Yang Chengfu had taught publicly a modified version of the family 115 form which is now the 108/103 form. The 108/103 is what is taught to the public. The original 115 form was too rigorous to share publicly since it contained jump kicks and spinning moves which were removed and demanded a lot of strength and endurance. Yang Chengfu taught the original 115 form only to a few disciples. The 88 Yang style modern wushu long form is based on this 108/103 form. The popular 37 Simplified Yang short form was also derived from the 108/103 form with additional modifications made by Cheng Man-Ching.
The 85 from was the form designed by the Yang elders in Yongnian, the Yang family hometown. Fu Zhongwen was sent to Shanghai in 1930’s from Yongnian to help teach some of Yang Chengfu’s disciples. Fu Zhongwen, as a family member, was to teach the disciples in Shanghai the family 85 form so that they were not doing the 108/103 public form.
The 73 form is another rare Yang family form that Yang Jianhuo taught and is in Xu Yusheng’s (1879-1945) book: Taijiquan Shi. Xu Yusheng had learned from the Yang family when they were in Beijing.
In 1944 Fu Zhongwen founded the Yongnian Taijiquan association in Shanghai with teachers like Cui Yishi, and Zhao Bin who opened Yongnian associations in other cities. Fu Zhongwen along with Cui Yushi also taught Yang Chengfu’s sons Yang Zhenjie and Yang Zhenduo who were very young at Yang Chengfu’s death.
After the Communist revolution, Fu Zhongwen’s job was to teach the for the People Republic of China Physical education sports department as a teacher for various wushu teams. Fu was pivotal in the creation of the Yang 24 form and the 88 yang form. Many wushu coaches, competitors, and park attendees learned the 24 and 88 forms from him, while his close disciples learned the 85 form. That is why there are discrepancies with form between students that learned from Fu Zhongwen that do a 88 long form (wushu players) and his family and disciples who do the 85 form. The serious disciples stick to one form, the 85 form, the “one true method” for building Taiji gong fu.
In all the Fu’s taught multiple forms for public and private reasons.
Public: 24 wushu , 88 Yang wushu forms as was his job as a Wushu coach, and a 85 form to prepare future disciples without the details, and a 28 short form for demo purposes based on the 85 form.
Disciples: 85 form that is not in books or videos which is the authentic form containing the details and Fast Fajin form. In addition, Fu Zhongwen is the only teacher to go public about the Jin li dian method which only comes from years of well connected correct practice and deep understanding.
Build your strength up daily: Taiji is a slow and logical progression.
Be sensitive to your body and do not pile stress on top of stress. Exercise every day until you break a light sweat. Dress warmly in several layers and walk, do slow motion squatting exercises, or Tai Chi until you sweat (lightly). This helps eliminate toxins and raise the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) so that you more efficiently metabolize the food you eat. Make small goals each day: maybe start with 15 minutes of Tai Chi in the morning and afternoon and build up the time. When you develop a routine in the morning, it helps your body to save some energy. Go to bed on time and then get up early enough to give yourself time to follow your routine calmly and quietly. Each time you get out of the routine, it is a small trauma for your body. There is a saying in Gung fu training: Training is like rowing up a river, but when you take time off from your routine, you are going down the stream and losing your gains to the final destination. Kung Fu means time and energy you put into something until you have refined skill.
A general History of Tai chi-
Tai Chi Chuan (pinyin: Taijiquan) is practiced by millions of people daily in Asia and around the world as a means of exercise for health and healing. Tai chi chuan is often associated with myths that it was studied by monks in the temples at the sacred Taoist mountain of Wu Dang. It was created by a legendary martial artist at Wu Dang named Chan San Feng who had studied some Shaolin boxing, but having a dream of a crane and snake fighting, came up with the idea of a boxing style that would use principles of yin and yang, softness and hardness in execution. Tai Chi is the classic Taoist term for Yin and yang symbol (pronounced Tai gee aka Taiji). It is also the name of the Taoist constellation of the North star ‘Polaris’ which is in line with the axis of the earth. The human body also can rotate on its own axis and center of gravity. Chang San Feng’s tai chi was known as “13 postures” and makes of what is more common in today’s Tai Chi.
Some historians point to Xu Xuanping was from She County, Huizhou Prefecture, in the Jiangnan region during the Tang dynasty. He was a taoist hermit. His Tai Chi was said to have 37 postures and was called ‘Long boxing’. Song Shuming wrote about this style and was part of the Beijing Tai Chi scene in early 1900’s.
Other historians point out that the origin is Chenjiaogou, a village in Henan province of China. This martial art was eventually studied by a Garrison Commander, Chen Wan ting. Chen family hid their art for many generations. Yang Luchan, was a servant to the Chen family. He was able to study with Chen Changxing, a 9th generation Chen family. However some argue that Yang Luchan had already learned a style called Mianquan or “Cotton boxing”.
Yang Lu chan learned to fight with the art. He was invited to teach for the Emperor’s Imperial guard in Beijing’s Forbidden city. Later his sons, Yang Pan Hou and Yang Chien Hou, became famous teachers in Beijing and Shanghai for their fighting prowess. Yang Lu Chan’s grandson, Yang Chen Fu had the most impact on the growth of Tai Chi Chuan teaching to many cities in China. He standardized the form and wrote several books.
In 1956, the People’s Republic of China’s physcial education department created a short form using the Yang’s style of Tai chi called 24 step Tai chi, so that it would be easier for people to practice.
Tai chi chuan was studied by several different families. The movements are expressed differently, so we have many styles of Tai Chi today. Some Tai chi forms are using small circles, other large circles, some use a low stance, while others might use high or medium level stance, some focus more on fajin “explosive power” while others try to relax inside or do soft chan su jin “silk reel and pull”. In China, the different styles are classified in several ways- Old frame, New frame, Big frame, Small frame, High frame, Low frame, Fast frame, Big frame, etc. The Yang style form is considered “Big frame”.
There are some styles of Tai Chi, ‘Wu Dang’ Tai chi, that is from the Wu Dang temple. There is the ‘Chen Tai Chi’ practiced by the Chen family descendants. Lao Jia(Old Frame) Chen forms are popular as well as Xian Jia (New frame chen) and practiced today. Both the Chen Lao Jia and Xian Jia have two routines: Yi Lu (first road) and Er Lu (second road)form, the first road is a softer form, while the second form is nicknamed Pao Chi or “Cannon fist” which is higher use of fajin explosive movement.
Yang Tai Chi is from the Yang family style which we talked about earlier. Wu Tai Chi is from Wu Quan Yu and his son Wu Chien Chuan who studied with Yang Lu Chan were Manchurian Palace guards. There is another Wu style from Wu Yu-Hsiang from Yang Lu Chan’s home town of Guang Ping, in Yongnian Prefecture, who also studied with Yang Lu-Chan and Chen Ching Ping. There is Hao style Taiji and Li style Tai Chi that evolved from Wu Yu-Hsing’s nephew Li Yi-Yu and his disciple Hao Wei Zheng. Lastly there is Sun Tai Chi from Sun Lu-Tang, a student of Hao Wei Zheng.
Cheng Man Ching helped develop Tai Chi in the USA in the 1960’s. He was a ghost writer for Yang Chen Fu’s books, and his variation on Tai Chi chuan is very popular in the Taiwan, Malaysia, USA, and Europe. It is often called the ‘Yang 37 Short form’. Cheng Man Ching’s student Robert W. Smith, who wrote many books on Tai Chi Chuan in English, taught and lived in the Washington D.C. metro area and is pivotal to the development in America as well. There are even a dozen other rare styles of Tai Chi, but those mentioned are typically the most popular and well known.