Chen style

Chen Taijiquan's Integrated Curriculum by David Gaffney

A great insight into Chen Tai Chi by a very experienced martial artist with long term connections to the school at the Chen Village. This piece covers important basic stuff in easily understood terms – I am looking forward to the rest of the series. Read the article …

Many looking at the plethora of Tai Chi styles, forms etc. forget or may not be aware that all Tai Chi started in one place – the Chen family village at Chenjiagou in Henan Province – central China.

It was here in the early 1600s that Chen Wangting created exercises and forms which became known as Tai Chi and it was here too in the house of Chen Dehu that Yang Luchan lived while he learned Chen Style Tai Chi from Chen Chanqxing, later transposed into Yang Style and taught widely – so leading to the development of the other Tai Chi styles, including Wu, Hao and Sun styles.

I therefore seized at the chance to visit this historic place – with some romance and a sense of coming full circle from my early days of martial arts in the 1970s. The trip was organised by Patrick Wan (London) who first introduced Master Chen Xiaowang to the UK and was kind enough to extend an open invitation to accompany him to a by now annual one week international training seminar with Master Chen Xiaowang in the Chen Village Taijiquan school at Chenjiagou run by Chen Ziqiang.

See here to read more of this trip.

Ian Deavin pushes hands with his teacher Karel Koskuba

This is a piece I wrote some years ago now while still practicing Karate alongside Tai Chi – which I did for at least 10 years – and it was actually the way that Tai Chi added to my Karate and was a major contributing factor in my 4th Dan grading that ultimately convinced me to focus exclusively on Chen style Tai Chi.  Looking back I find my thinking on this is still much the same – but with the complication that few people understand just how very effective Tai Chi can be as a martial art whereas many people have some understanding of it as an alternative health activity – it is thus much more acceptable socially to practice Tai Chi. In that sense Tai Chi even more than Karate encapsulates the paradox I describe – I would pose one question in addition ” Why would a long term committed martial artist switch styles apparently so fundamentally?”

So to the piece –

As a 4th Dan Shotokan and a Tai Chi practitioner, I am intrigued by the unusual position of martial arts in society and the ambivalent view that people often take of activities such as Karate.

This is exemplified by the response “Oh if you do Karate, I’d better be careful what I say.” Generally voiced with a degree of respect and humour, but clearly a lack of understanding.

Like it or not the serious martial artist (and certainly in my experience most senior grades are serious people) is looked at rather sideways by society at large. Indeed often also by our own students until they have progressed and gained a measure of understanding.
Since I believe that martial arts and associated activities have a great deal to offer people at many levels, I should like to address this issue in a general way.

For me these unusual aspects of martial arts were highlighted when I went with my daughter to an archery club, where we had six weekly introductory coaching sessions.

For the first time in many years I was able to compare my own experience as a student in a martial arts class and was surprised how used I had become to a high level of care and detailed instruction.

Read the full article here.

Ian Deavin pushes hands with Karel Koskuba I was delighted to hear the other day that 2 of my students are intending to learn Chen style Taiji Double-Fan form with Eva Koskuba in the Autumn – the class runs on  the weekend 7/8 November
& Sunday 14 February 2016 – great fun!

Also another student tells me he intends to enrol on the Three-year Taijiquan Instructors Course with Karel Koskuba and Eva – I did this course and found it really brought my practice on by leaps and bounds so great choice and good luck!

Details of both courses are available on the CIAA website.

Just get in the water and dive……

25 July 2014

I was intrigued by a story on the radio recently of a western freediver who went to learn from Japanese pearl divers – whose only advice was ” get in the water and dive” It reminded me of the only advice I got while in the Chen village ” relax and sink, practice the form” […]

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Forthcoming Chen Style Tai Chi events

17 October 2013

Very soon now we have our own seminar – Tai Chi Exercises and Meditation with Alexander Technique – at the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living this Sunday – we still have a few places left and Judy Hammond and I are really looking forward to working with everybody. Please contact the Centre to book your […]

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2 Day Chen Tai Chi Seminar

27 June 2013

Once again we are holding a 2 day seminar on Chen style Tai Chi at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living on Tues and Weds 27th and 28th August – this year it will cover a wide range of subjects from basic exercises through Chi Kung standing into Silk Reeling and the Chen Laojia 74 […]

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New Tai Chi video clips!

12 February 2013

Browsing through Youtube the other day I came across some interesting clips of Master Chen Xiaowang, the Chen village and Master Chen Bing – they are all on the video links pages of our website. Share the post “New Tai Chi video clips!” FacebookTwitterLinkedInE-mail

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New articles and new video links

1 February 2012

I had some thoughts recently about Tai Chi in life a general sense and put some notes together – there are 3 quite short pieces which may provoke further thought : Application of Tai Chi practice to other activities, e.g. golf, swimming, football, manual work etc How Tai Chi links to Western models of medicine, […]

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Tai Chi – East/West

1 February 2011

Tai Chi has grown in the West being practiced as a martial art or as a way of dealing with physical or emotional problems – or for personal development. Thanks to the work of people like my own teacher Karel Koskuba  and his teacher Master Chen Xiaowang ( shown above making corrections to my own posture […]

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