Spirited and energetic, the Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan will gently lead you to a greater awareness and control of the energy in your own body. For over 600 years, Chen Tai Chi has been treasured by the young and old as a way to preserve and promote excellent health and longevity. Modern research has also show a wide variety of health benefits in practicing Tai Chi including better cardiovascular fitness, longer life, less risk of falling, weight loss, and less risk of developing a variety of diseases. Chen Tai Chi Chuan is a sophisticated fighting art as well as a form of qigong exercise. In time, it also provides a form of moving meditation. Chen Tai Chi Chuan means in Chinese “Grand Ultimate Fist.”
The origins and teachings of Chen Tai Chi Chuan are wrapped in Taoist philosophy and tradition, giving it a meditative and intellectual depth. One Taoist tradition seen in every movement is the theory of Yin and Yang. The theory of Yin and Yang is first described in The Book of Changes (an ancient book describing Chinese fortune telling), which has been a source of many Chinese cultural traditions. This relates to the development and learning of the Tai Chi form emphasizing the soft or hard, fast and slow movements, and spiraling motions within the Tai Chi form.
Chen Tai Chi concerns itself with the development of Chi or Qi. Chi is the energy that flows through the human body. It is the vitality or life force that keeps us alive. Taoist masters, after centuries of experimentation found that by stimulating one part of the body with pressure, heat, cold, the insertion of a needle, and — in modern times — electricity, another seemingly unrelated part could be affected. Various exercises were developed which can affect the quality and intensity of Chi. It was further observed that Chi traveled down consistent pathways through the different body parts and internal organs. Entire systems and pathways called meridians, which govern the flow of Chi, were mapped out in great detail. These are fundamental to the now highly sophisticated healing arts of acupuncture and acupressure which many people gain great benefit from today.
Chen Tai Chi Chuan focuses on the development of internal power not just for health, but also for fighting. Chen Tai Chi Chuan helps to develop a spiraling of internal power throughout the body known as “reeling the silk.” Reeling the silk involves a series of tiny coordinated movements that that flow from the ground all the way into the practitioners’ hand and into their opponent. These types of movements take place in each move of the Chen Tai Chi. Chen Tai Chi Chuan is an art that has limitless depth, that with each goal achieved new questions an d goals arise. Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan is a skill a person can practice for their whole life to help them achieve both a longer and healthier life as well as martial arts proficiency.
Classes at the Little Nine Heaven Internal Kung Fu and Tai Chi School of Chicago will include learning the old form of Chen Tai Chi as well as learning Chi Gong (qigong) and Nei Gong exercises, practical fighting applications for combat and self defense for every move of the Tai Chi form, push hands, a Chen style two man fighting set, sparring, sitting and standing Taoist meditation, and Chinese healing arts.