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Chen Style Tai Chi

1, What is Chen style Tai Chi or Chen style Taijiquan?

2, The history of Chen style Tai Chi.

3, What are the features of Chen style Tai Chi?

4, What are the benefits of practicing Chen style Tai Chi?

5, Master Yang's Chen style Tai Chi lineage.

6, What will we teach in our school(include online courses)?

7,  Frequently Asked Questions.

 

1, What is Chen style Tai Chi or Chen style Taijiquan?

            Chen style Tai Chi(Taichiquan, Taijiquan)is the original style of Tai Chi, it emphasizes not only health benefits, but also a distinctive form of self-defense. In the beginning, Tai Chi was developed foremost for self-defense and not for health only. Today, there are some different types of Chen Tai Chi. What we teach in Wudang school is the Old-frame, Big-frame, Low-posture Chen family Tai Chi.

          There are some key words here for the style we teach: Old-frame, Big-frame, Low-posture, Chen family. These keywords as Tai Chi term have specific meaning in the Tai Chi community in China. Old-frame means this style is the old routine, not the modern way of doing it; the Big-frame means that it is not the small circle form; Low-posture means that most of the movements need to be done in low-posture, which will increase the intensity and difficulty of the practice, meanwhile it will have more benefits too; Chen family Tai Chi means that this style was only taught among Chen family before, when Chen Fake went to Beijing, this routine began to be known by people who were not from Chen family.

            When you practice this style, it will be helpful to remember these four keywords.

 

2, The history of Chen style Tai Chi.

            (1), The history of Chen Village.

            In order to understand the history of Tai Chi,we should know something of the history of Chen Village.
In the late period of the Yuan Dynasty, the government became very corrupt, the people rebelled against their unmerciful exploitation. A brave army composed of rebel farmers from Anhui Provence crossed the Yellow River, overthrew the Yuan Dynasty and founded the Ming Dynasty(1367). At that time, there was a famous battle in Huai Qing City, near present-day Chen village. Most of the people who lived in this area were killed. Because the new Ming emperor thought the people would aid the old emperor against his army. After three massacres, there were almost no people living in the region, and the land fell fallow.

            In 1372, the emperor published an order asking people from Hong Dong town(in Shan Xi province)to immigrate to the deserted Huai Qing City. There was a youth whose name was Chen Bu (Chen is the family name) who moved to a small village about 20 miles from Wen Town(part of Huan Qing City) with his wife and children. After this, the name "Chen Village" was given to that small part where they lived.Now, there are about 2600 people in Chen Village. This is a brief history of Chen Village.

            (2), The origins of Chen Tai Chi.

            In order to protect his family, Chen Bu began to teach his children some of the martial arts he studied before.

            Chen Wangting, of the ninth generation, was a candidate for a government officer. He was good at martial arts, and helped the government of the Qing Dynasty to pacify bandits, becoming famous in that area. But, the government did not use him very well. And, he became disappointed. Chen stopped thinking of becoming an officer in government and turned to developing his martial arts. After studying Yi Jing(The Book of Changing), Nie Jing(Yellow Emperor Medicial Book) and Military Book, he turned to the martial arts taught by his ancestor 108 Long Fist Form (different from the routine practiced in modern China). Then, he invented a kind of martial art that has special features(soft with hard, fast and slow). Chen Wangting developed five Tai Chi routines, Cannon Fist one routine, two person push-hands and some weapon forms.


            During the period he developed Tai Chi, there was a famous martial artist named Jiang Fa , a friend and a student of Chen Wangting who helped him a lot. Chen needed a good partner to practice and verify his invention.

            (3), The development and evolution of Chen Tai Chi.

            After Chen Wangting invented Tai Chi, the people in Chen Village studied it very hard. So, Tai Chi became a necessary training in that village.

            Chen Changxing (1771-1853, the fourteenth generation of Chen family) wrote some books such as "Ten Important Items of Tai Chi","Useful words of Tai Chi" and "Chapter of Tai Chi Application". Because there were so many repetitions of the routines, he adapted the five routines into one routine creatively. His form was called Old Frame or Big Frame. His students were very famous too, such as Chen Gengyun (from his family), Yang Luchan (the founder of Yang style Tai Chi).

            One of the masters of the fourteenth generation, Chen Youben, simplified the Chen Changxing's routines(First Routine and Second Routine). His style called Xiao Frame(Small Frame), Xin Jia. From then on, people called the form developed by Chen Changxing Old frame, or Lao Jia.

               Chen Qingping (of the fifteenth generation) married a girl who lived in a small town 5 miles from Chen Village, called Zhao Bao. He developed his style following Chen Changxing and Chen Youben . His style became more complex, and more circular. So, people called it Zhao Bao Frame, also, Chen Qingping taught the master who created Wu(Hao) style.

            Chen Fa'ke, of the seventeenth generation, great-grandson of Chen Changxin, was a great Chen Tai Chi master in later China. When he moved from the Chen village to Beijing, he was the top authentic master. Around 1928, he was invited to Beijing to teach Tai Chi by his nephew(Chen Zhaopi, eighteenth generation, 1893-1972, the first Chen Tai Chi master in Beijing, later went to Nanjing in the south of China). After Chen Fake began to teach in Beijing, he did a lot of outstanding work for Chen Tai Chi. From 1929 to 1957, he taught Tai Chi in Beijing.

            Chen Zhaokui, son of Chen Fake, studied Tai Chi from his father when he was very young, and mastered this system. His father taught the Old Chen Frame which people call Chen family low posture, big frame, old frame form. In China, many people also call it Chen Fake Form or Chen Zhaokui Form.

           After Chen Zhaopi moved to Nanjing, he had not seen his uncle Chen Fake for 30 years. After, he moved back to Chen Village and taught many good students such as Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Wang Xian and Zhu Tiancai. So, the form between Chen Zhaopi and Chen Fake is different. Nowadays, the form practiced in Chen Village mostly came from Chen Zhaopi.

            Chen Xiaowang, Grandmaster of Chen Tai Chi, was born and grew up in Chen Village never studied Tai Chi from his grandfather Chen Fake. He studied First Routine (75 forms) from his uncle Chen Zhaopi. In 1972, Chen Zhaopi died. In 1973, Chen Zhaokui(the son of Chen Fake)went to Chen Village to teach. But, Chen Xiaowang and some other masters in Chen Village said: The form(83 forms) which Chen Zhaokui taught is Xin Jia, new frame. The frame (75 forms)which they practice Lao Jia, old frame.However, they have not shown any proof or evidence until now. And, in 1985, Chen Xiaowang wrote a book "Chen Tai Chi", in which he expresses this view made in Chen Village.

           So, before 1985, the date of Chen Xiaowang 's book, when people talked about the old frame, it meant Chen Fake's form(from Chen Changxing, old frame), and, the new frame or Xin Jia ,which meant Chen Youben form. But, after Chen Xiaowang's book, people became confused. In China, this topic was debated intensely for a time...

            The top master, Chen Fake moved to Beijing in 1928, and taught the real Old Frame. So, some people even in Chen Village said: "Old frame is the new frame. The new frame is the old frame", "Chen Village is an old place, but, the Tai Chi does not mean old..."

            Chen Fa'ke had many good students such as Tian Xiuchen (his form is popular in Beijing), Li Jingwu(famous Tai Chi Grandmaster), Hong Junsheng(Chen Style Hong Form Tai Chi founder), Feng Zhiqiang (founder of Hunyuan Chen style),Gu Luixin(the author of "Tai Chi Quan"), Lei Muni,and Xiao Qinglin (famous Tai Chi Grandmaster).

            In our opinion, all forms are good, and excellent, and are the fruit of Chinese culture. People should not argue this question too much only for business reasons or vanity. What we should do is study the advantages of the different forms, and digest Tai Chi nutrition by ourselves. Make Tai Chi go from outside to inside of our body. In the end, the Treasure of Tai Chi will be shown through our practice. At that time, people understood: All Tai Chi in the world is one family, because all of them are from one word: Dao...

 

 3, What are the features of Chen style Tai Chi?

            The philosophy of Yin-Yang pervades Tai Chi from beginning to end. It is mainly manifested as "open and close", "round and square", "enroll and extend", "heavy and light", "soft and hard", "slow and fast", "up and down". These are the basic principles of Tai Chi.

            Not only does Tai Chi have a unique appearance, but also the unique requirement of internal practice. So, when people practice Tai Chi, they must first use mind rather than force. Mind and Qi movements are inside our body. Spirit and power movement are outside. Chen style has a special force, named Chansijin---Silk Reeling. As Tai Chi classic texts say: "When one part moves, all others will move together"; "Mind coordinates with body".

            The main features of Chen Tai Chi.

            (1), Movement of Mind and Qi controlled by the mind (Shen).

            The classics say:
"Circulate Qi with heart, and sink down the Qi in order to gather Qi into your bones"
"Move the Qi to your body, but never do it too casually. Then, your heart can control the Qi."
"Heart is the commander, Qi is the war flag."

"The whole body should be controlled by the mind and spirit instead of by Qi. The body will be stiff if you only focus on Qi".
So, we may come to the conclusion from the above: Tai Chi is the martial art that should use Mind and Spirit, not only Qi. We should not only focus on the movement of Qi when we practice Tai Chi, because Qi is the war-flag. Mind and Spirit command.

            (2), Flexible movement through extending limbs and trunk.

             The classics say:
"Neck erects, leads a force upward. Sink Qi into Dan Tian."
"Hollow the chest and keep the back vertically align. Sink down the shoulders and elbows."
"Relax the waist and arch groin. Open hips and bend knees."

"Concentrate Qi and Spirit, extend your body and arms"
In this way, Tai Chi helps people keep good posture, and strengthen the back, legs and other parts of the body. We will have the Peng-Force (ward-off power) when our body is in the correct posture.

            (3), Silk-Reeling energy.

            The classics say:

"Movement looks like the reeling of silk."

Silk-reeling is the spirit of Tai Chi. In the beginning, it should be in large circles. Later on, the circle will be smaller and smaller; this is the advanced level. This movement is a very important feature of Chen Tai Chi.

            (4), Movement from soft to hard, and back to soft.

            The classics say:
"Softest, then it can be the hardest."
"Soft outside, hard inside"
"Tai Chi should not be too soft, and, control everything by spirit and mind".
"When you do Tai Chi, firstly, change stiff into soft, then, make soft to hard. Soft and hard, hard and soft, this is Tai Chi."

            Here, we can understand that Tai Chi is an exercise that makes stiffness or rigidity go away through practice. Then, change the real soft into hard. Always remember Yin and Yang---Soft is Yin and Hard is Yang.

           Master Chen Xin said: "Only Yin without yang is weak-hand. Only Yang without Yin is Stiff-hand. One Yin and Nine Yang is a stick-hand. Two Yin and Eight Yang is messy-hand. Three Yin and Seven Yang still hard. Four Yin and Six Yang is good-hand. Only Five Yin and Five Yang is excellent-hand. Because there is always Tai Chi when excellent-hand practices it, and, he can make form disappear during practice." This is the standard of Soft and Hard in practicing Tai Chi.

            (5), Movement of Slow to Fast, From Fast to Slow.

            The classics say:
"You should be fast when your enemy is fast. you should be slow when he is slow"
"I will not move if he has not moved. However, I have already moved when he is still just beginning".
"From slow to fast, from fast to slow. Then combine them together".

            Thus, Chen Tai Chi should combine fast and slow together. The First Routine is slower than the Second. The speed should vary among different forms in one routine. And, different movements should be different in speed even in the same form.
In brief:"Be fast and slow as needed."

            Our Tai Chi practice will be as good as our understanding of these featured principles, this is why it is very important to learn and understand these classic Tai Chi principles, and apply them into the daily practice. Without principle, nobody in the world can master the art of Tai Chi. Without physical practice, people will not be able to understand these crucial Tai Chi principles.

 

 4, What are the benefits of practicing Chen Tai Chi?

            We have mentioned that Tai Chi is a martial art instead of only for health purpose. Therefore the most important benefit of doing Tai Chi, especially Chen Tai Chi is for self-defense. The reason for slow-moving is to move fast later on. So being slow is not the purpose, it is part of practicing progress. It is the same reason for being soft too. So we should not get confused when we see Tai Chi practitioners demonstrate it slowly and softly, being soft and slow has martial art training reason. In China, Tai Chi is considered as a very high level martial art in terms of the training method. 

            Chen style Tai Chi will help you to understand the soft force, understand the importance of keeping dynamic balance in combat, train the whole body in order to have the special Tai Chi force, which enable us to conquer the hard force with soft force. With the special practice, which is called Push-Hand, people will gap the bridge between the form and real combat. 

            Chen style Tai Chi is good for health too. The combination of slow and fast movements, the softness and hardness and well-designed routines will ensure our body gets enough physical, mental and exegetical training. We do not have to do other exercises in order to keep body in good shape after you do Chen style. Chen style will offer you enough Cardio-exercise after you practice the whole routine, will give you enough chances to improve your flexibility and mobility, will make your respiratory system get the maximum capacity with the special deep breathing exercise. 

            For more information about the health benefit of Chen style, please refer to a related part of this site.

5, Master Yang's Chen Tai Chi lineage.

            Lineage is a very important issue in China, it stands for how the knowledge get transferred by generations. Master Yang mainly studied from two Grandmasters of Chen Tai Chi: Ma Hong and Yang Fengwu (Master Yang's  uncle).

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6, What will we teach in our school(including online courses)?

            It is very important to know what the contents of the Chen style system you are learning. Since Tai Chi is not only some basic movements but also there are a lot of routines and exercises in this style. This is the reason why Tai Chi is considered as a high level martial art in China. Without systematic knowledge of any system, people will only master part of the whole practice. But any any complicated system should begin from single and simple movements.

            We teach the complete Chen Tai Chi system, includes:

  • The First Routine(83 movements), 
  • The Second Routine(71 movements), 
  • 10 types of Push-Hand, 
  • Detailed Application of each single movement, 
  • Guan Dao(long handle Sabre), 
  • Sword (Chen Fake Form),
  • Saber, 
  • Spear,
  • Tai Chi long pole,
  • Tai Chi Ruler and other traditional training equipments,
  • Single movements for force and combat training,
  • Silk Reeling Exercises,
  • Tai Chi Classics and theory.

            You could watch some sample video and photo on the Gallery section through the main menu.

            For the online courses please refer to the related section on this site.

 

7, Frequently Asked Questions:

           Click  Here.

 

 Watch a demonstration of Chen style Tai Chr(the first routine, part) by Master Hai Yang

 

 

Xing Yi

 

1, What is Xing Yi?

2, The brief history of Xing Yi?

3, What are the features of Xing Yi?

4, What are the benefits of practicing Xing Yi?

5, Master Yang 's Xing Yi lineage.

6, What will we teach(include online courses)?

7, Frequently Asked Questions.

 

1,What is Xing Yi?

            Xing Yi (or called Hsing I, Body-Mind Boxing) is an internal martial art very popular in China from the day it got created. It has an important place in the history of Chinese martial arts since its unique characteristics. Xing Yi as a well-developed system was created based on Xin-Yi(Heart-Mind Boxing) through fundamental evolution, such as Stance, basic movements and special quick-pace training method. These changes ensure that people will get maximum martial result in the comparatively short period of time of practice. This style emphasizes the unity of internal and external as one in order to make body generate power for combat; Xing means the body, the external aspect or animal movement parts, and Yi means Mind, the internal aspect or Five-Element part. In Chinese martial art community, Xing Yi has been a dominating style for more than one century. For example, at the national full contact competition which happened in the 1930s, most of the best fighters were from Xing Yi school, or Hebei school. This style does not have any fancy movements, instead of, Xing Yi focus on internal power training and real-situation application. For health purposes, Statistics show that Xing Yi practitioners tend to live longer than other styles' people, Although this style will not emphasizes the health benefits but people will live longer since the internal power make practitioner stronger and healthier. In China, there is a proverb that "Xing Yi does not play games."or "you can not go out the door with Tai Chi before doing it for 10 years but you can kill someone with Xing Yi in 3 years practice.

 

2,The Brief History of Xing Yi.

            Xing Yi is generally considered as the oldest of the traditional Chinese internal style if we take the history of Xin yi, the previous style which Xing Yi came from as consideration. The basic theory between these two styles does not have dramatic difference but their practice or the interpretation of the old theory is different. Most people in China believe that the founder of Xin Yi was Ji Jike(or Ji Longfeng, a native of Shanxi province in north China in the late Ming Dynasty (1368--1644) and early Qing Dynasty (1644--1911)) instead of Yue Fei, the famous general of Southern Song Dynasty (960--1279). 

            The history with written proof which most people believe is: a businessman who lived in Hebei province traveled to Shanxi province after he heard that there was a best style of martial art named Xinyi in Qi town of Shanxi province,. Eventually he learned that style from Dai family(Dai Long bang and Dai Kui, the son of Dai Longbang) who was the only family kept that style among their family members at that time, but in the beginning Dai family refused to teach him since he was not the member of Dai family. This person was the founder of Xing Yi, the legendary master Li Luoneng. Li Luoneng's another name is Li Laoneng, he was born in 1803 and died in 1888. He was from Douwang Village in Hebei province, he loved martial art from a kid. He was very famous already before he learned Xin Yi. He learned Five Elements and 10 animal forms of Xin Yi in Shanxi. Then he created a style named Xing Yi after he mastered the previous style, which was Xin Yi. After he created Xing Yi, he was invited to Taigu, a city of Shanxi province to teach his new art. At that time, he had eight famous students from Hebei province and Shanxi province.At there, he added Tai and Tuo, these two animal forms plus the 10 animal forms he learned from Dai family became the Xing Yi style practice. He changed cat form into tiger form, he created five-element linking form and other routines, especially two person forms for quickly help students master this difficult style. After he passed away, his students kept developing the art which he initially created and promoted it around the north of China.

            So that, we can say that Li Luoneng should be the founder of Xing Yi. Many people get confused in China about the progression of the development of this style, even worse, they confused the differences between Xing Yi and Xin Yi. This is why many people call Xin Yi as Shan Xi style Xing Yi. Actually it is totally wrong. Shanxi style Xing Yi was from Heibei style although Xing Yi was from Xin Yi, the style was created in Shanxi. So Xing Yi is Xing Yi, Xin Yi is not Xing Yi. There is no Hebei style Xin Yi although there is Shanxi style Xing Yi.

            Now, let's talk about the Hebei style. There are different branches Hebei style as well. All of them share the same characteristics. Most of the time,  people without deep training cannot tell the differences between these branches. Overall, there are Li Cunyi branch, Shang Yunxiang branch, Zhang Zhaodong branch, Sun Lutang Branch and Xue Dian branch. If we take Li Luoneng as the first generation of this style, then the third and forth generations really made this style well-developed. Since the first and the second generations did not make a lot of routines and weapon training methods. The later generations abounded this system based on Xing Yi original theory and principle.

             When we talk about any style, there are many standard figures of each of them, Xing yi is not exceptional. In the last century, most of these Xing Yi masters learned or practiced in Tianjin, especially Li Cunyi, Zhang Zhaodong and Xue Dian branches since they were the Xing Yi figures back to that time in the Chinese martial art world. The official martial art institute of Tianjin only taught Xing Yi back to that time. Tianjin is the place where people still keep the original practice of this style. When Xing Yi moved to Beijing and other cities of China, Xing Yi have been modified in certain aspects such as for the purpose of demonstration or for health purpose mostly. Some even combine Xing Yi with other styles such as southern Chinese styles. In outside of the mainland of China, some Xing Yi even mixed with Karate, the style from Japan. In order to keep this art pure and the traditional way of practice, we will gradually publish the traditional Xing Yi training material and knowledge from now.

            It is the time for people who love Xing Yi, one of the most effective style in combat and health to get the practice back to how the style was practiced in 100 years ago, in order to get the maximum benefits through serious training.

 

3, What are the features of Xing Yi?

            Xing Yi as a such famous style in China have distinctive and unique features, there features are related to the practice,      understanding them will help Xing Yi practitioners to master this style.

            (1), Focus on power training. In Chinese martial art community, some styles focus more on skills or tracks, some of them focus on power. Xing Yi is one of these styles which power is the most important part of training. The power we are talking here is called internal power, which is the result of whole body coordination includes physical body, mental concentration and breathing technique. Internal power will not exist without movements, so that Xing Yi's simple movement is the media of the power. Analyzing and experiencing how to align the body structure according to the principle of this style is the key of practice. In order to get this standard, we have to follow the traditional way of training, we have to understand the practical experience by fore-generation's masters, we have to test the principle through application. Anyone who wants to master this style should not neglect any points of these principles. The most important difference between internal style and external style is the internal power, so when you get the power then people will say that you have mastered this style. 

            The advantage of mastering internal power is that in the real combat, the opponent can change their fighting strategy, so that it is very hard to prepare with tracks or prepared movements or skills. But with internal power, people will be able to apply the power according to the opponent's fighting strategy, it means that techniques, movements and skills will come out automatically with the internal power. This is the most important benefit of focusing on internal power training. 

            Traditionally speaking, Xing Yi master will be honored after they defeated the opponent with power instead of with tracks or skills. Like legendary master Li Cunyi, he wrote in his book that he would never use tracks to win when fighting happened. He would use internal power to defeat his opponents with honor. Follow masters' sample, we should focus on power training when we practice this unique style.

            (2), Unify the offense and defense as one. Since Xing Yi training focus on internal power development, it ensures the possibility of the unity of the defense and offense. The classics of Xing Yi say that " the offense is defense, and the defense is the offense as well." As we mentioned at point (1), one of the advantages of internal power is that it can adjust according to the opponent's movements, the extension of defense becomes offense through sending the power toward the center line of the opponent or through unbalance the opponent's center of force. This is the high level principle but practitioners can master it with serious training. 

            Another way to realize this feature is that Xing Yi practice will focus on different segments of limes and body, it is the famous "three-segment principle" of Xing Yi. Most part of the human body can be divided as three connected parts, they are rooted, middle and ending part. So Xing Yi will focus on attacking the root part or a root segment instead of attacking ending part. Normally Xing Yi people will defense themselves with a middle part and attack the opponent with his middle or ending part. This kind of fighting strategy highly effective in real combat. It is from the principle of unifying the offense and defense as one.

            (3), Feet and hands work spontaneously. Xing Yi emphasizes the coordination of feet and hands. Xing Yi has the explosive force by well-designed body movements. When Xing Yi people move forward, mostly the force should be pushed by the back leg. So there is a proverb in Xing Yi "techniques and skills are from the back leg." this kind of forwarding pushing movement can move the whole body with power very efficiently in terms of reaching the opponent in combat. When the leg pushes the body move, at the same time, the real weapon, which are the hands will reach the opponent. So the speed of the fist is resulted in the combination of the leg work and the arm work. Not only the speed, but also the pushing movement will ensure the whole body force unify together to attack one target, this is why Xing Yi attack is very deadly. The unique foot work of Xing Yi makes this style different from other styles by the quick powerful movements. Another Xing Yi classic says " When you defeat the opponent, the body should move first, hands and feet should arrive at the same time."

            In Xing Yi history, a famous master named Guo Yunshen, he was one of the eight disciples of Li Luoneng who was the founder of Xing Yi, was good at quick stepping with a powerful punch. People called him "defeat everyone with half step punch". Actually Guo Yunshen was not the only one who were famous of quick stepping into Xing Yi history, the reason is that the unique stepping practice makes it happen. 

            (4), Movements look simple but each movement has very strict standards. Xing Yi movements look very simple, so many people think this style is very easy to study. But there is a difference between studying a style and master a style. Even worse, some people believe that Xing Yi system does not have strict principle or standard, so people can modify it according to personal understanding and interpretation. Academically speaking, it is totally wrong. Practically speaking, it is a very dangerous opinion. People should not imagine there is no rule of Xing Yi because they have never studied it. In this style, any small mistakes will lead to wrong practice. The result will be useless movement or powerless movements. It is very dangerous in real combat if practitioners believe that anyone can modify the practice. In Xing Yi history, there has been nobody who has modified the basic principle of Xing Yi practice, since the basic rules of Xing Yi are still there, they are standard of this system. In order to be good in Xing Yi practice, we suggest that everyone should study these old documents.

            Our personal and individual wisdom is so tiny compare with this knowledge which has been accumulated through generations of masters back to the real-fighting time. In the west, there is a language barrier but we will make it is possible for people who want to study these Xing Yi old documents to understand these treasures.

            Xing Yi will not concentrate on fancy movements, instead, this style emphasizes on simple movements which have been tested in the real combat situation. If some movements are fancy but lack of power, it will be not Xing Yi at all, or at the most, people can call it as a Xing Yi exercise but not a martial art.

            Therefore, following and respecting the traditional practice without personal modification will be another key feature of Xing Yi, and it is a key to master this style as well.

 

4, What are the Benefits of Doing Xing Yi?

              Any Chinese martial art has both of martial and health benefits, as an internal martial art style, Xing Yi has health benefits besides the martial art aspect. Most people already know the martial prospective of Xing Yi, so it is necessary for us to talk about the health aspect here.

            (1), Xing Yi has special deep breathing practice. Classic asks Xing Yi practitioners develop a kind of a special combination of deep breathing with audible sound effort. The traditional name of this result is "Hu Bao Lei Sheng", means "tiger, leopard and thunder sound". It requires that it should be audible sound when practitioners do Fajin exercise, or force releasing exercise. It is one of the most important breathing technique. It has unarguable martial result in combat but also, can greatly improve practitioners; health condition. Physically speaking, this practice can increase the capacity of respiration, increase the oxygen level in the human body through deep breathing.

            (2), Xing Yi has Cardio exercise benefit as well. When people practice Xing Yi, the movements are intense, it requires a lot of physical movement of the whole body. Modern medical research has shown that the strong Cardio function is one of the important essential factors of healthy living.

            (3), The movement of Xing Yi is very natural, for example, arms are not extended totally straight, most of the Xing Yi kicks are not higher than the hip level, classic documents even ask that kicks are generally lower than the knees. So the natural movements will decrease the possibility and chances of being injured to practitioners. So being physically healthy has been part of the principle of this style even though the low kicks and natural movements have martial art factors mainly. Many people who do martial art have certain kind of injuries during years of practice, but when you practice Xing Yi, this risk can be lowered in order to protect anyone who does Xing yi being injured.

             (4), Strong mental attention and concentration. Xing Yi, literally translation means Form(or Body) Mind Boxing. So the mental involvement during practice is important. Xing Yi classics asks people to concentrate on every single movement, no any single movements should be done without concentration. This combination of physical movement and mental concentration will unify our body and mind together, which is the fundamental principle of Daoism practice. It will make our martial art more effective in combat and make our body more healthy in long term practice.

            Overall, Xing Yi has very valuable health benefits besides martial factors. People can keep good shape not only the physical body but also the mental state, remain flexibility of the body and improve battle ability through practicing this style.

 

5, Master Yang's Xing Yi Lineage.

            The Xing Yi school has a stick rule of lineage, this principle of lineage was from the founder of Xing Yi.

Xingyi Lineage

 

6, What will we teach(including Online Courses)?

            Xing Yi is a large training system, in order to master this style, practitioners should follow the traditional way of training, which is designed systematically for the progression.

            Hebei style Xing Yi has different branches, since there are small differences among them. We will teach based on Li Cunyi's branch, since it is the standard style of Xing Yi, then we will teach Zhang Zhaodong's branch since at this stage, Xingyi-Bagua system, which was created by Zhang Zhaodong, will be introduced. Then, we will introduce Xuedian's branch, it is a very rare system which includes not only Xingyi(people call it Dragon style Xing Yi) but also the Xiang Xing Shu(Animal Style), this style was only taught to a very small group people in Tianjin. Even now, there are not many people master this system. Fortunately Master Yang studied it, he will teach some students who are qualified to practice this rare style.

            Basically, we will teach not only the movements but also the details application and theory behind every movement, only in this way, parishioners will be able to get the knowledge of Xing Yi

  , One Person form:

·         Five Element Fists--the most important exercises of the whole system, without mastering these five movements, practitioners should not do any other forms, it is the key of the Xing Yi system, I cannot emphasize the importance of this opinion more.  

They are:

o    Metal,  Pi in Chinese;

o    Water, Zuan in Chinese;

o    Wood, Beng in Chinese;

o    Fire, Pao in Chinese;

o    Earth, Heng in Chinese.

·         Twelve Animal Forms--another important part of the Xing Yi system, these animal forms should be practiced after mastering the basic practice of Five Element Fists. Animal forms focus on special skills of each animal, it is the technique or skill part of Xing Yi. They are: dragon, tiger, monkey, horse, rooster, snake, swallow, Tai bird(a kind of little eagle with small tail) , Tuo(different branches have different definition, basic, they are water lizard, alligator or small creator live on water), hawk, eagle and beer.

·         Five Element Linking Form--it is the first routine in Xing Yi;

·         Twelve Fist Linking Form--some turnning exercise is practiced in this routine;

·         Eight-Posture Form--focus on more of animal forms related to birds;

·         Mix Form--the longest routine in Xing Yi;

·         Eight-word Form--very important practice, a complementary set of five elements and twelve animal forms, this practice makes up Xing Yi's force and application;

·         Other Forms.

(2), Weapon's Forms:

·         Xing Yi spear--the practice mostly focuses on improving the force of the back and hips, Xing Yi posture is basically from spear movement, so it is very important weapon in this style;

·         Xing Yi saber--the famous master Li Cunyi made this weapon famous in Xing Yi, help people to have chopping force;

·         Xing Yi sword--double-hands swords which is useful in combat;

·         Xing Yi staff--practice the high back and arms, good for force training;

·         Other weapons--some unique weapons such as judge pen, 13 spears ( the difficult form for whole body force training)...


(3), Two Person Forms:

Xing Yi uses this part exercise to help practitioners master combat technique quickly, in order to enhance reflex, power and speed.

·         Si Feng Si Bi(Four sealing and Four Closing),

·         Wu Hau Pao(Five Flower Fist),

·         An Shen Pao(Protect Body Fist),

·         Other Forms. 

           You could watch some sample video and photo on the Gallery section through the main menu.

           For the Online Courses please refer to the related section on this site.

 

7, Frequently Asked Questions.

Click Here.

 

Watch a demonstration of Xing Yi Five Element Form by Master Hai Yang

Ba Gua

 

1, What is Ba Gua?

2, What is the Brief History of Ba Gua?

3, What are the features of Ba Gua?

4, What are the benefits of Doing Ba Gua?

5, What is Master Yang's Ba Gua Lineage?

6, What will we teach(include Online Courses)?

7, Frequently Asked Questions.

 

1, What is Ba Gua?
            Ba Gua, or called Baguazhang, is one of the 3 internal Chinese martial art. The name and the principle of this style were from one of the oldest Chinese classics, the I-Jing(Yi-Jing as Mandarin or I-Ching as Cantonese pronunciation), or The Book of Changing. This style as a martial art, just gets the basic practical principle from I-Jing, or we can say that The Book of Changing gives the basic practice guidance toward the Ba Gua, or Baguazhang as a martial art system. So that Ba Gua is based on a theory of continuous changes adapted to different situations. It is one of the youngest style of the 3 internal styles, many people in China believe that it is the combination of Xing Yi and Tai Chi, since the force of Ba Gua is close to Tai Chi and the movements of Ba Gua are close to Xing Yi. There are a few different styles of Ba Gua in China, like Cheng style, Yin Style and some other styles. However, no matter what is the individual features among each other, all of them follow the same basic idea: focus on circular walking, attack with palms mostly and focus on internal power instead of physical strength only.

 

2, What is the Brief History of Ba Gua?

            The style we teach is Cheng style and Xingyi-Bagua style. In China, Cheng style Ba Gua is considered as the one which is close to Dong Haichuan's original practice the most. Xingyi-Bagua style was created by Zhang Zhaodong in Tianjin, which is the combination of Xing Yi and Ba Gua, so Zhang's style can not represent the pure or the standard BA Gua style. So that we will not talk about this style here, instead of, we will focus on Cheng style. In order to understand Cheng style Ba Gua as a unique martial art system, we should explain the history of how this style, as a representative style of Ba Gua, gets developed systematically.

            (1),General History of Ba Gua.

             In the martial art community of China, people believe that Dong Haichuan(about  1813--1882) was the founder of Ba Gua. Since it is almost impossible to create this major system by one person, so many people also believe that Dong Haichuan was the first person who promoted Ba Gua in China after he learned from some unknown hermits. Written document shows that he had traveled many places such as famous mountains and temples, he learned from some Daoism hermits, for example, Bi Chengxia was one of Dong Haichuan's masters in some documents. So that, no matter he was the founder or not, he was the first master who taught people Ba Gua as a martial art system in Beijing back to Qing Dynasty(1644--1912).

            Dong Haichuan did not show his skill when he arrived in Beijing. He worked for Prince Su. One day, he showed his martial art skill and impressed everyone who saw the demonstration. From that day, he has become a martial art teacher of Prince Su since back to that time, practicing martial art was very popular and almost everyone did martial art in big cities like Beijing, especially in the Qing Dynasty, the Royal Family members took practicing martial art as a necessary work.

            Different from other master, Dong Haichuan could teach students who had different previous martial background. He knew how to improve their practice based on what they had studied from other styles. This is one reason why Ba Gua has many styles and some styles in Ba Gua have distinctive differences in the demonstration. For example, Yin style Ba Gua has a Shaolin feature since the founder of that style learned Luohan style before he met Dong Haichuan, and Master Dong added Ba Gua practice on his Luohan background. Cheng Tinghua, the founder of Cheng style Ba Gua learned Chinese Wrestling, Chinese Wrestling is not considered as martial art but it has the similar function as martial art, so there are a lot of taking-down movements in Cheng style Ba Gua. Many other Ba Gua styles were combined from Yin and Cheng styles since after Master Dong past away, Yin Fu and Cheng Tinghua became these masters who taught others students for Master Dong, even though those students were officially under Dong's name. But no matter what style is it since they are still part of Ba Gua style, they share the same characteristics of the BA Gua system.


            (2), Brief History of Cheng style Ba Gua.

            The founder of Cheng style Ba Gua was Cheng Tinghua. He was from Shen Town, Hebei province. He was born in 1848 and died in 1900. He learned Ba Gua from Master Dong. When he was a kid, he learned Chinese Wrestling. Master Dong taught him soft-palm system since wrestlers have better flexibility and garbing skills. The soft - palm system looks like swimming dragon, this is why this style is called Dragon Ba Gua palm or Swimming body palm. The palm shape of this style requires that some fingers slightly keep grasping posture, so people called it as Dragon shape palm too. After Cheng Tinghua mastered this style, he openly exchanged and practiced with other masters in order to verify and improve his knowledge, with time, he learned many practice from other styles, eventually, he added these methods into Cheng Ba Gua. So we can say that some skills of Cheng style were from other students of Dong Haichuan and some other other styles, such as Wind-Wheel Palm of Ma Weiqi and some Tai Chi and Xing Yi body method as well. This is why the Cheng style Ba Gua have so many different aspects of practice. His training system had been approved by other martial art masters back to that time, so that he became a one of the most important figures of the Ba Gua system. He had very high reputation in the Ba Gua style of Dong school that, he taught other students for Dong Haichuan when Dong was old, especially after Dong past away. In China, people call this as Dai Shi Shou Yi--teach the knowledge for your master. He taught the people at the south part of Beijing city, so people called his style as South-City Style, and comparatively, Yin Fu's practice is North-City Style.

            He had taught many students and some of his students were famous master before they studied with him, this is why Xu Zhedong, the famous Martial Art scholar, wrote about Cheng Tinghua in his book that "when people talk about Ba Gua, no one will not know Glasses-Cheng(Cheng Tinghua's business was making glasses, so people called him "Glasses Cheng").

            In the year of 1900, when China was invaded by the eight Countries, he was shot by German soldiers after he fought with armed soldiers.

            Many famous masters learned from Cheng Tinghua such as Cheng Dianhua(his brother), Cheng Youlong (his oldest son), Cheng Youxin (his youngest son), Sun Lutang, Li Wenbiao.

            (3), The development of Cheng style Ba Gua.

            There were two threads of this topics: one was inside of Cheng family, the other one is "outside" of Cheng family, or we can say it is about how other people who were not from Cheng family developed this style. We will focus on the first one, because Cheng Tinghua's brother and Cheng Tinghua's sons developed this style the most in terms of keeping the knowledge going and improving more practice into the style which their father created.

              a, Inside of the Cheng family.

            The Ba Gua practice has been developed in the second generation of Cheng family. After Cheng Tinghua past away, his oldest son, Cheng Youlong coordinated with his father's students to promote this style. He studied not only Ba Gua from his father and uncle, but also he learned Xing Yi as well. He learned Yang style Tai Chi from Yang Jianhou, the son of Yang Luchan(Yang style Tai Chi founder), he worded with Liu Dekuan together to create Bagua-Taichi style. He helped his younger brother Cheng Youxin and worked with him to finish the creation of Cheng style 64 Palms. In the year of 1929, he died in Tianjin.

            Cheng Youxin, the youngest son of Cheng Tinghua, was very young(about 9 years old) when his father Cheng Tinghua past away, so he did not learn a lot from his father. However, he studied from his uncle, brother and other students of his father. He was one of the master who designed the Cheng style 64 palms and promoted it in China. He taught Xing Yi in Tianjin also, it means that he was not only good at Ba Gua but also he was good at Xing Yi. From this generation of Cheng Family, they made the system more abundant. Especially to weapon routine, since they practiced with different masters so that, they could make the weapon routines of Cheng style Ba Gua more practical. We can say that most of the Cheng style Ba Gua routines were from both of these two masters.


             b, Outside of the Cheng family.

            Besides Cheng Family members, students of Cheng Tinghua also made valuable contributions to this style, for example, Sun Lutang published Ba Gua book to make this style available to public, Li Wenbiao taught Ba Gua to military, Gao Yisheng(learned from Zhou Yuxiang, the student of Cheng Tinghua and got instruction from Cheng Tinghua too) created the Cheng style Gao form, or Gao style Ba Gua, this style has become a very popular one in the BA Gua community of the world.

          From above, we can get a conclusion that Cheng style Ba Gua as one of the most important part of the whole Ba Gua style, has never stopped being developed in the last 100 years. Many masters put their whole life and effort to make this style more available, and more practical.


3, What are the features of Ba Gua?

 


4, What are the benefits of Practicing Ba Gua?

 


5, What is Master Yang's Ba Gua Lineage?

            Master Yang mainly studied from Grandmaster Yang Qinglin, his grandfather and Grandmaster Fu Shoubo, who taught him the Cheng style Ba Gua.

Bagua Lineage


6, What will we teach(include Online Courses)?

           Since Cheng Style Ba Gua is a complete training system, Everyone who wants to learn this style should start from the basic circle walking exercise, here, we only mention the routines without basic exercises which are very important.

(1), Empty Hand Form:

·         Eight Basic Palm: basic static posture circle walking, the foundation of the system;

·         Eight big Palm: the main practice of the Ba Gua system, the essence of the style;

·         Linking Form: practice the continuity of the style;

·         Swimming Body Palm: more advanced techniques and practices will be learned from this form;

·         64 Palm: the most complicated Cheng style Ba Gua system, the quintessence of painstaking effort from generations of Cheng style Masters. Before, it is a proof to see someone has mastered the Cheng system or not;

·         Eight-Fightting Palm: Special and unique techniques of Cheng Style, made by Cheng Youlong in Tianjin;

·         Others.

(2), Weapon Form:

·         Ba Gua Sword: Eight Small-Routine and one Long Routine with Ba Gua long sword;

·         Ba Gua Saber: Eight Small-Routine and one Long Routine;

·         Ba Gua Spear: Eight Small-Routine and one Long Routine;

·         Ba Gua Deer-Horn Knife or Sword: the unique Ba Gua Weapon, Eigh Small-Routine and one Long Routine;

·         Ba Gua Guandao(Long Handle Saber): the largest Ba Gua weapon, Eight Small Routine and one long Routine;

·         Others.


(3), Ba Gua push-hand, two person exercises and forms, theory and practical principle.

To Xingyi-Bagua Sysyem, We only teach those who have mastered Xing Yi and basis of Cheng style Ba Gua practice, since it was how Zhang Zhaodong(the Founder of this style) requested when he taught this style.

 

7, Frequently Asked Questions.

Click Here.

 

Ba Gua teaching video by Master Hai Yang.

 

Introducing Energy Art

 

Welcome to the Internal Energy Arts session.

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