IS THERE ANY PUBLIC CLASS CLASS FOR A BEGINNER?
Currently, our academy offers an orientation class and 10-week quarters. There is no walk-in class. Please see this link for more details. https://chenbing.org/quarter
IS TAI CHI OF TAIJI OR TAIJIQUAN?
Tai Chi (Tai Chi Chuan) is a phonetic spelling of the Chinese term 'Taijiquan (太極拳 tài jí quán)' derived from Wade-Giles system. The Wade-Giles is a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese and it has been used widely in the English-speaking world.
In 1958, the pinyin system has been entirely replaced in mainland China. But a wrong spelling of 'Tai Chi' is still mainly used in the English-speaking countries. Taijiquan is correct according to the Chinese pinyin System. It is also simply called Taiji.
Note: In the pinyin system, 'q' sound as 'ch' in English.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEN FAMILY TAIJIQUAN, MODERN TAIJI AND OTHER TAIJI STYLES?
Chen Family Taiji encompasses 25 key disciplines that must be applied at all times during practice. The 25 key principles are specific and detailed requirements for body alignment and internal body conditions during practice. These principles have been continuously developed for hundreds of years in the Chen family. If one fails to demonstrate these 25 key principles during practice, it cannot be called classical Chen Family Taiji. These profound disciplines are the secrets of Tai Chi that make Taijiquan as an internal practice.
Modern Taiji is a performance oriented art that does not include the 25 key principles. The main goal in modern Taiji is to make the form look aesthetically pleasing, similar to a dance form in slow motion, therefore many applications for combat and the 25 key principles are not taught in modern Taiji.
The other recognized traditional Taiji styles are Yang, Sun, Wu and Hao. These styles were all ultimately derived from Chen Family Taiji style and much of their practice may not include all 25 key principles, or they may have different interpretations of the principles.
Also, the other styles practice only slowness and softness which is not the full essence of taiji. Chen family taiji embodies the concept of yin and yang which includes slowness and softness with fastness and hardness.
For instance, would it be called Taiji if you walk or move very slowly? Please ask yourself.
In addition, lots of CBTA's senior citizens started having black hair from white hair because of deepening the 25 key disciplines. They did not dye at all. This phenomenon is not commonly seen in other Taiji styles.
WHAT SETS CHEN BING TAIJI ACADEMY APART FROM OTHER CHEN STYLE TAIJI SCHOOLS?
Regardless of practice level, Chen Bing Taiji Academy teaches every student a series of 8 fang song (relaxation) exercises. These exercises were personally developed by Master Chen Bing and are derived from the Chen Family’s original Old Frame First Road form.
The Fang Song practice helps fix any misalignment in the spine, alleviate herniated discs in the spine, develop an individual’s sensitivity to one’s body, and allow an individual to have a deeper understanding of relaxation. Because of the Fang Song practice's therapeutic way, most practitioners are able to lessen their health issues. During this unique practice procedure, practitioners can find a manifestation of Elixir Field (dantian). This is an important basic practice to prepare the body for more advanced forms of practice.
Also, Chen Bing Taiji Academy emphasizes basics more than other schools. When starting at Chen Bing Taiji Academy, a student will not necessarily learn a form in the beginning. This is because without basics, learning a form would be meaningless. Furthermore, our school provides hands-on corrections that practitioners are able to physically sense and comprehend circulation of energy during Taiji practice.
WHAT IS QI? CAN TAIJI BE CONSIDERED A QIGONG PRACTICE?
Qi is simply the human body’s blood and circulatory system. Blood is essential to the human body to deliver nutrients to the body’s organs and muscles. Without blood there would be no life. As we age, the blood vessels in the body become stiffer and circulation to vital parts of the body become less effective and efficient.
Taiji aims to improve the body’s circulation, and remove “blockages” in the circulatory system so that the aging process can be significantly slower. Through silk reeling exercises and relaxation (fang song exercise), the blood in our body will be able to flow freely to rejuvenate and revitalize all vital organs, muscles and joints. These exercises can be considered a form of Qigong practice.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TAIJI AND YOGA?
Yoga postures stimulate and stretch individual body parts. However, each yoga pose (asana) will only stimulate and stretch part of the body. Yoga requires a practitioner to perform multiple poses in order to open the whole body. Taiji is different from Yoga postures because every Taiji exercise will stimulate all parts of the body. In all taiji exercises, when a practitioner moves his or her dantian (core ), the rest of the body should follow together joint by joint as one unit (Jie Jie Guan Chuan). Because the whole body is always moving together as one, all body parts are effectively stimulated.
DO YOU TEACH PUSH-HANDS, APPLICATION, GRAPPLING OR SPARRING HERE?
Yes, we do. But for the members who are ready and have a commitment. Our academy teaches Push-Hands (Tui Shou) and Taijiquan's application (standing grappling) at our school. When a student has basics and is at an acceptable level, he or she will be invited to learn Push-Hands and grappling. Classically, Chen Family Taijiquan has two different types of Push-Hands.
First one is fixed step patterns that are called "Five Kinds of Push-Hands (五种推手 Wuzhong Tuishou)." These five kinds of Push-Hands enhance practitioners’ sensitivity and alignment while practicing. This is not martial application, but allows them to understand the eight energies of Taijiquan such as Peng, Lu, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou and Kao (Ward-off, Roll-back, Press, Push, Grasp, Split, Elbow and Shoulder stroke).
Second one is free style push-hands with free steps called Push-Hands application (推手用法 Tuishou Yongfa), which is standing grappling derived from Cannon Fist (Second Road of Old Frame and New Frame). This is truly martial application which allows any application and explosive power. At CBTA, push-hands, application and grappling is an optional practice only if a practitioner is ready and wants to do.