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WHAT IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUBLIC AND ACADEMY PROGRAM?
The distinction between Public and Academy programs is that Public classes are available to the general public and require no formal requirements to attend, whereas Academy classes are designed as apprenticeships for individuals seeking certification as instructors and have specific enrollment prerequisites. As a result, prospective Academy program participants must meet certain conditions to be eligible to enroll, while anyone can attend Public programs.
IS THERE ANY PUBLIC CLASS CLASS FOR A BEGINNER?
Our academy offers Tai Chi 101 and 102 courses that cater to beginners, but an orientation session is required prior to enrollment. Additionally, those who have already enrolled in Tai Chi 101 and 102 may also attend the orientation session at a later time.
IS TAI CHI OF TAIJI OR TAIJIQUAN?
太極拳 (tài jí quán), also known as Tai Chi Chuan, is a Chinese martial art. The term 'Tai Chi' is a phonetic spelling of the Chinese term 'Taijiquan,' which was derived from the Wade-Giles system (威妥瑪拼音 wēi tuǒ mǎ pīn yīn), a romanization system for Mandarin Chinese widely used in the English-speaking world. In 1958, mainland China entirely replaced the Wade-Giles system with the pinyin system (漢語拼音 hàn yǔ pīn yīn). Despite this change, the incorrect spelling of 'Tai Chi' is still commonly used in English-speaking countries. The correct spelling, according to the pinyin system, is Taijiquan or simply Taiji. It's worth noting that in the pinyin system, the 'q' sound is pronounced like the 'ch' sound in English.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEN FAMILY TAIJIQUAN, MODERN TAIJI AND OTHER TAIJI STYLES?
Chen Family Taijiquan, also known as Chen Family Tai Chi, is a traditional martial art that involves 25 key disciplines. As our academy's lineage can be traced directly back to the art's creator, Chen Wangting, we prefer to use the term 'Chen Family Tai Chi' instead of 'Chen Style Tai Chi'. This helps to differentiate our practice from other non-family styles of Chen Tai Chi.These disciplines encompass specific and detailed requirements for proper body alignment and internal body conditions during practice. They have been continuously developed and refined for hundreds of years within the Chen family, and without their demonstration, a practice cannot be considered classical Chen Family Tai Chi. The profound disciplines of Chen Family Tai Chi are the secrets of Tai Chi that make it an internal practice.
On the other hand, modern Tai Chi is a performance-oriented art that does not include the 25 key principles. The primary objective of modern Tai Chi 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 Tai Chi.
In addition, there are other recognized traditional Tai Chi styles, such as Yang, Sun, Wu, and Hao. These styles were ultimately derived from Chen Family Tai Chi, but they may not include all 25 key principles or may have different interpretations of the principles. Furthermore, these other styles practice only slowness and softness, which is not the complete essence of Tai Chi. Chen Family Tai Chi embodies the concept of yin and yang, which includes slowness and softness along with fastness and hardness.
For instance, if one were to walk or move very slowly, it would not be considered Tai Chi. Therefore, it is important to recognize the essential principles of Tai Chi to practice it correctly.
It is worth noting that many senior citizens who practice Chen Family Tai Chi have experienced a phenomenon in which their black hair has replaced white hair due to deepening their practice of the 25 key disciplines. This phenomenon is not commonly observed in other Tai Chi styles.
WHAT SETS CHEN BING TAIJI ACADEMY APART FROM OTHER CHEN STYLE TAIJI SCHOOLS?
At the Chen Bing Taiji Academy, we prioritize the practice of Fang Song (relaxation) exercises, which are unique to our school and taught to all levels of practitioners. These exercises, uniquely developed by Master Chen Bing, are derived from the original Old Frame First & Second Road form of the Chen Family and are essential for proper spine alignment, alleviating herniated discs, enhancing body sensitivity, and achieving deeper relaxation. The therapeutic benefits of fang song practice have been widely acknowledged to help practitioners mitigate health issues, while also paving the way for advanced Taiji forms.
Moreover, we emphasize the fundamentals of Taiji practice more than other schools. Rather than solely teaching forms at the beginner level, our hands-on approach allows practitioners to physically sense and comprehend the circulation of energy during Taiji practice. These personalized corrections help learners develop a strong foundation, which in turn enables them to acquire advanced skills with greater ease. This focus on mastering the basics is what sets the Chen Bing Taiji Academy apart from other Chen Style Taiji schools.
WHAT IS QI? CAN TAIJI BE CONSIDERED A QIGONG PRACTICE?
The concept of Qi in traditional Chinese medicine refers to the vital energy or life force that flows through the body's meridians. In Taiji, Qi can be understood as the body's blood and circulatory system, which is essential for sustaining life. However, aging can cause the blood vessels in the body to stiffen, leading to less effective circulation to vital organs and muscles.
To address this issue, Taiji incorporates practices such as silk reeling exercises and relaxation techniques like the Fang Song exercise to improve circulation and remove blockages in the circulatory system. These practices are considered a form of Qigong practice as they promote the free flow of Qi and enhance the body's overall health and vitality. By prioritizing the cultivation and circulation of Qi, Taiji practitioners can maintain their physical and mental well-being and achieve a deeper understanding of the art.
It's worth noting that Tai Chi and Qigong are distinct practices. Although Tai Chi incorporates some Qigong elements, such as the focus on breath and movement, it also has its own unique discipline, such as the coiling of the whole body with the Dantian. Qigong, on the other hand, refers to a broader range of practices that focus specifically on cultivating and balancing Qi, and includes a wide variety of exercises and techniques.
In conclusion, while Tai Chi and Qigong share some similarities, they are different practices with unique approaches and objectives.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TAIJI AND YOGA?
Yoga postures serve to stimulate and stretch specific body parts, although individual poses only target particular regions of the body. Therefore, a sequence of multiple poses is required to promote overall body opening in Yoga. In contrast, Taiji practices differ from Yoga as each exercise is designed to stimulate all parts of the body simultaneously. Specifically, in Taiji, when a practitioner initiates movement from the Dantian core, the rest of the body should follow in a coordinated manner, joint by joint, functioning as a single unit (Jie Jie Guan Chuan). Consequently, the movement of the whole body acts as a comprehensive stimulus, effectively promoting the stimulation of all body parts.
DO YOU TEACH PUSH-HANDS, APPLICATION, GRAPPLING OR SPARRING HERE?
Certainly. At Chen Bing Taiji Academy USA, we offer advanced training in Push-Hands (Tui Shou) and Taijiquan's application (Standing Grappling) for those who are committed and sufficiently prepared. In traditional Chen Family Taijiquan, there are two types of Push-Hands practice. The first type, known as the "Five Kinds of Push-Hands (五种推手 Wuzhong Tuishou)," involves fixed step patterns that enhance practitioners’ sensitivity and alignment while practicing. This type of Push-Hands is not focused on martial application, but rather on cultivating a deep understanding of 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).
The second type of Push-Hands is free-style push-hands with free steps, known as Push-Hands application (推手用法 Tuishou Yongfa). This is standing grappling derived from the Cannon Fist (Second Road of Old Frame and New Frame), and is a truly martial application that enables practitioners to develop explosive power and effective self-defense techniques. Please note that advanced training in Push-Hands, application, and grappling is optional and only offered to those who are ready and willing to commit to this rigorous practice.
No Walk-in Policy: For reasons of liability, we cannot accept walk-ins. Pre-book for safety.
Progressive Learning: 10-week modules. Late? We'll help you catch up.
Attire: Wear comfy, free-moving clothes.
Footwear: Socks only. Exceptions: indoor shoes for health reasons.
Punctuality: Arriving during class? Please enter quietly.