Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Basic Training for Silk Reeling and Taijiquan

For beginners, Chen Xiaowang's "The Five Levels of Taijiquan" can be a bit abstract. Here is a really nice article that explains clearly and in plain English the practices and the changes the body goes through in developing what I understand to be those First Level Taijiquan skills.

What was gratifying for me in reading this article was that I resonated with most of what he was describing. I attribute this to my Wujifa training experiences, many of which I've shared in this blog. That said, I still consider myself unable to demonstrate some of these higher-level, basic skills. I need to practice more.... much more!

Read the full article here: The Five Most Important Taijiquan Skills for Beginners
The Five Most Important Taijiquan Skills for Beginners
by Wang Hai Jun and translated by Nick Gudge (2010)
Many people spend years studying taijiquan but for most of them their progress is slow in gaining the skills of taijiquan. Part of this is probably insufficient practice, but a significant element is not understanding the basic skills that beginners are required to develop. It is not possible to start taijiquan training and learning at a high level. Using conventional learning as an analogy, it would be like trying to start at Phd. research Level. In reality, first there is primary education, then secondary education, then undergraduate study etc. This is equally true in taijiquan. Without a good mental and physical understanding of the basic skills that are at the foundation of taiji, high level taiji skills will not be developed. It is not magic, but the result of consistent and sufficient training in the correct manner.
When asked what I consider the five most important skills for a beginner student in taijiquan, I  listed them as:
  1. Fang Song – Loosen the body by relaxing the joints
  2. Peng Jing – an outward supportive strength, the basic skill of taiji
  3. Ding Jing – upright and straight
  4. Chen - rooted
  5. Chan Si Jing – Reeling Silk Skill
These five basic skills should be considered the early steps in taijiquan training. Without these basic skills being embedded in the body and the accompanying changes that occur during the process, a student is stuck outside of taijiquan. They are learnt through exercises and in the process of learning and training the foundation form of taijiquan. Continue reading...

Master Wang Hai-Jun was the first non- Chen family student to be traditionally trained in Chen Village in Henan in modern times. His teacher, Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, is one of the "Four Golden Tigers" of Chen style Taiji. More information is available at Master Wang Hai-Jun's Chen Taiji Academy.

And if you haven't read Chen Xiao-wang's Five Levels of Taijiquan, you can find information about this at my article about The Five Levels of Taijiquan.

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