The Tai Chi Chuan Traditions
Tai Chi Chuan is long recognized for its benefits to the body/mind. It has been followed and handed down for century's. Several Tai Chi Chuan systems employs soft graceful movements. Some Tai Chi Chuan Traditions are very dynamic and full of martial intent. Tai Chi Chuan exist in many shapes and points of focus. It can be taught as a Martial Art, a Taoist imagery practice and that of a flowing moving meditation. There are short and long forms and many types of training sets. Following a Tai Chi Chuan practice is one of personal achievement. Its not about of competion, but following a tradition that successfully help balance the body. The videos on this channel reflect standard forms. They are not the whole picture, but rather best practices of teachers I have experience with.
Chen Tai Chi Chuan
by qigonghealing on March 14, 2017 at 7:41 AM
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The video presented here is for appreciation of Chen Tai Chi Chuan. It is for viewing and common understanding and is not a detailed form breakdown; impossible to study from. I will post a more complete one in the future with notes.
Chen Tai Chi Chuan Orthodox Barehanded form; most commonly known as Lao Jia Yi Lu is the original Tai Chi Chuan training form from Chen Village. The first form consist of 74 flowing postures, and can take anywhere from 15 - 20 minutes depending on how one articulates its movements/form.
The demonstration is performed by the Chen family member Chen Xiao Wang. I will say, that from a personal/comparative experience point of view, Chen Tai Chi Chuan is a extremely important family style since Yang, Wu, Sun & Hao are derived from it's original teachings. I has benefited from it's teaching's and practice throughout my Tai Chi Chuan Journey and is enjoyable. Visit his website here:
Northern Wu Tai Chi Chuan (Sophia Delza)...
by qigonghealing on March 5, 2017 at 9:12 PM
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Wu Tai Chi Chuan
Sophia Delza influenced several generation's of Tai Chi Chuan practitioners. Her teachers where Ma Yueh Liang and Wu Ying Hua. A professional dancer by trade she encountered the Wu Chian Chuan Association in Shanghai late 1940's. She studied with this unique husband and wife team for around three years, learning the Wu Family Long Slow Form. Most likely she learned from Wu Ying Hua, whom is always credited for teaching and demonstrating the slow form. This is not to say that Ma Yueh Liang did not teach her as well. It is well known although that Ma Yueh Liang and the original flowing fast form are like one. He always demonstrated the form and taught it to students. His pushing hands skill was second to none, in which he had incredible control of anyone whom he would engage with. Most people that think of Mah Yueh Liang can recall either seeing him on Bill Moyers special or seeing him on archival footage of him laughing quite joyously as he flails someone away with effortless energy.
In 1961 Sophia Delza published her first book on the slow form taught to her in Shanghai titled " Tai Chi Chuan Wu Style: Body And Mind In Harmony -- The Integration Of Meaning And Method". The original was done all in line drawings which can be challenging to get the form correctly. The book is still of value although even as old as it is. Prior to her death in 1996 shes wrote a 10 Chapter reflection book on Tai Chi Chuan titled "The Tai Chi Chuan Experience Experience: Reflections and Perceptions on Body-Mind Harmony". This book would be welcomed by anyone whom practices or teaches Tai Chi Chuan.
She's an important American Tai Chi Chuan pioneer, wrote one of the first books on Tai Chi Chuan from a westerner, operated first Tai Chi Chuan Studio, taught at the actors studio and even gave classes at the United Nations. Most likey was the first non Chinese female to learn Tai Chi Chuan and teach it in the public. A real trail blazer of a person whom lived a full and exciting life!
My observation of her performance of Wu Family Slow Form: Reading her first book and seeing it demonstrated somewhat on the archival footage, I can tell that she had practiced what she learned in Shanghai. With that being said although experienced eyes can tell she had modified the form and influenced it with her own perceptions on how to do the Style of Wu Tai Chi Chuan. It is not as crisp and "oh so perfect" as in some Wu Tai Chi Circles. One could say that her take is in the "Style of Wu Tai Chi Chuan" . She most likely wanted to feel she owned the style in her body/mind and yes her stage and dance exerience most likely influenced her view on the form. Her interest seemed to be on the health and spiritual side of Tai Chi Chuan and that is ok. We all will get old and health maintenance is primary to anything else. If you don't have your health you have nothing. Don't listen to the "naysayers", about her I think her base was most likely health and wellness students, students learning how to improve dance through Tai Chi movement. She obviously was a good teacher/practitioner lived a great long life. She had learned latter in life so obviously her interest was longevity. She had edited Ma Yueh liang's book on Pushing Hands back in 1984 and wrote a preface for it as well. So with that being said one can say Mah Yueh Liang thought highly of her enough to participate in editing a one of a kind book, based on oral and physical instructions.
Take time to read Ben Judkins article on Sophia Delza; a well written and researched article:
Sophia Delza books of Interest:
(I) Tai Chi Chuan Wu Style: Body And Mind In Harmony -- The Integration Of Meaning And Method: Originally published in 1961and revised in 1985:Sophia Delza describes the Northern Wu Style taught to her by Mah Yueh Liang & Wu Ying Hua, with careful directions and illustrations for learning the practice of the exercise-art of Tai Chi Chuan
(II) The Tai Chi Chuan Experience Experience: Reflections and Perceptions on Body-Mind Harmony: This book written fours years prior to her death, Sophia Delza. Delza, offers succinct and illuminating comments from her viewpoint as both teacher and practitioner. She expresses the substance and function of Tai Chi Chuan that lie behind the movement and that are manifest in the movement to only the most discerning eye. She provides insight and inspiration for entering into Tao of Tai Chi Chuan, that integrates body, mind, beauty, and goodness. Beginners and experienced followers of Tai Chi Chuan pathways who have studied it for a number of years will benefit from the guidance provided in this book.
Yang Tai Chi Chuan
by qigonghealing on January 24, 2017 at 5:55 AM
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The Value of East Asian Healing Exercises
When we practice and study healing exercises we must first comprehend what they are. Practice's such as Qigong, Taijiquan and meditation were developed by early indigenous people of China. These practice's are a type of traditon where Heaven, Humans and Earth are harmonized as one.
The healing meditations and movements naturally nourishes ones life and quite easily preserves one's health. Taijiquan taught from many angles in today's world do preserve health and vigour and prevent illness, prolongs longevity. They all are suitable from the very young to advanced age as well.
Yang Family Taijiquan is the most popular tradition in common Taijiquan circles. I began my Taijiquan practice as a Junior high school student in search of ...? Well I had no idea where it was going at the time except for the pure joy of doing it. Taijiquan has been a huge part of my life. I think there's something here for anyone, and one would be foolish not to embrace some level of it . In upcoming post I will highlight the differences in "angles" found in Taijiquan of today.
The video here is for Taijiquan lovers, it demonstarted by Grandmaster Yang Zen Duo, that through a lifetime of dilgent practice even in ones advance age we can cherish the practice.
Yang 13 Form Set
by qigonghealing on March 20, 2016 at 5:59 AM
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Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan 13 Movement Hand Form
On this video Grandmaster Yang Zhen Duo demonstrates the 13 form that he developed for anyone looking to learn a smaller set. I learned this set several years ago, and still practice it today. It is a wonderful set that you can actually do alot with. The form only takes actually between 5-8 minutes depending on how you nuance it.
My Experience: For practitoners who like doing Qigong sets it is perfect after a warm ups and Standing Meditation Tradition. You can practice it with matching sides, turn it to four directions, cycle it through pre natal and post natal direction cycles as well. The form is very easy; and if you are very busy this could be the one for you. If you start utilizing the above ideas you will get alot of joy from it and immediate Tai Chi results.
In my classes, students I mentor, we even begin sometimes even with a 8 movement form, then the 13 form, 16 form. If they go forward on one should go to the Traditional 103 Long Form, it will better prepare them as far as form practice goes. There is many other fundamentals that go along with this as well. Don't let the small sets fool you that they are not complete; if you learn how to work with them, you will get the "less is more" philosophy. Perfect set for entry level Tai Chi form practice. Below are the movement names:
Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan 13 Movement Hand Form
1. Opening Tai Chi
2. Cloud Hands
3. Single Whip
4. Fist Under Elbow
5. White Crane Spreads its Wings
6. Left Brush Knee and Push
7. Hand Strums the Lute
8. High Pat on Horse with Palm Thrust
9. Turn Body and Chop with Fist
10. Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
11. Grasp the Bird's Tail
12. Cross Hands
13. Finish Tai Chi/Returning
Tai Chi for Health #2
by qigonghealing on July 11, 2015 at 7:40 PM
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This second video shows practical everyday "alleged" defense moves, with Li Family Tai Chi Chuan. They are elementary and not as true to the Traditional Yang Family Teaching. But in the lack of information and teacher age they served a purpose for those who like to play with them.
Maybe Master Li was just trying to give everyday people some ideas on Tai Chi Chuan Self Defense. Never the less its great to see; one can learn something from anything. Please see video #1 in the Li Family series, for more information on Master Li Ying Ang.
Tai Chi for Health #1
by qigonghealing on July 11, 2015 at 6:58 PM
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These videos on Tai Chi for Health made by Li Ying Ang, were most likely one of the first pioneering videos on Tai Chi in North America. I remember watching them at a home on reel to reel! Talk about how far we have came with media. Master Li Ying Ang was a doctor of Chiropractic Medicine and Traditional Acupuncture residing in Hong Kong in the 1970's, was well known in Hong Kong, Macao Kung Fu Community's. A published author through Unicorn Press he wrote extensively during the dark years of the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976).
This movie footage and his book "Lee's Modified Tai Chi for Health (1968) is the most clear presentation of that era on a version of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan in English. This style has its own cult following with those whom claim affinity to "Li Family" Tai Chi Chuan. It is a respectable style adhering to a medium frame form versus that of large wide open posture/sequence. Many teachers from Hong Kong and Taiwan do the medium frame.
Myth and Mystery with Li Ying Ang
On the internet and in many private community's the stories of Li Ying Ang always seem to pop up. Its pretty much the soap opera level these days. It reminds me of musician "Sixto Rodriguez" and the lore of his death, of commiting suicide. But viola he was right here still in Detroit living with much grace and contentment, maybe Master li just wanted to disappear and become a Taoist legend. Will he re-appear most likely not, he was born in 1930, said to be murdered in 1988, anything is possible.
So many older teacher friends of mine from Hong Kong whom knew him, say that he moved to Guatemala Central America. Legend says he was murdered. There are no details on the who, what or why- only speculation. For me a person whom made these traditions apparent in my early life - I just like to remember him sitting somewhere laughing at us all. But truly a sad end to a early pioneer of preserving Tai Chi Chuan and Kung Fu in the early days.
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