Chen Taiji

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Chen Taiji

Postby JohnC » Mon Jan 25, 1999 6:15 am

Rick Wilson:

I too have been intrigued by the Chen Taiji phenomenon! There is a Kung Fu sifu who has studied rather extensively and appears to have a family certification on the wall from the Chen family. Unfortunately, he is about 2 hours away. Image

There is a acupunturist in my town who does the Chen forms in a public park, but he seems to be of the "lotus eater" crowd and maybe a journeyman teacher at best. I'm not too crazy about the public park kwoon approach either, although maybe it would be cool.

My Wing Chun sifu expresses concern(as does my Uechi sensei) about learning too much and getting at cross purposes in cross training. The moves in the Chen style of taiji have a different way of avoiding blows that is somewhat different(bowing the body, etc.)I expect this may be a reflex that can also generate power for a response.

What intrigues me is what I have heard and seen in demos so far, is the kind of power and energy confluence that is generated!

I would be interested in your thoughts on these matters.

Thanks in advance,

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Chen Taiji

Postby Rick Wilson » Tue Jan 26, 1999 7:09 am


First of all let me say that I have an interest in studying Chen Taiji, but as yet have never done so. Two friends of mine have begun to work under Joseph Chen in Edmonton Alberta. They are people I respect so their opinions go a long way with me. They are a Nidan and a Yondan in Uechi Ryu.

I also think that you should discuss your teacher's concerns with them. They are more aware of your training level and ability, so are best to advise you as to what is better for you.

I personally think studying Chen can only help your Uechi if you desire to perform it in a certain way. There are body mechanics that will work there way into your Uechi (THAT IS WHY YOUR THERE RIGHT?). Depending on how your teacher wants the Uechi katas performed this might not be in line with that. But since your Sensei is already working with your Wing Chun cross over, he/she strikes me as open minded. However, you will have to have an open, ongoing dialogue with them.

Fortunately for myself, these body mechanics are the path of my current teacher Sensei David Mott. Whatever I might adapt from a study of Chen would be worked on with his involvement.

An example, the scoop shoken low block while moving into a long stance (forgive me I have no idea what this is called). It is found in Konchin and Sanseirui. I have seen it done with no body movement at all. The entire movement is done with the arms. An alternative way, and from talking to my friends about similar moves in the Chen form they are learning, is the way David Sensei teaches it. The body turns (be sure not to turn the front knee or you expose it to attack) the arms are moved by the body to sweep across, the hand should move across and not go farther to the rear than the elbow or you will be in a position of weakness, the body turns back towards the front driving the arms upward and expanding outward.

In addition, the spirals found in Chen may give you a new perspective on the circle block. I think the study will also help you to relax in your kata, but you may struggle being too relax for Uechi -- something I don't know yet.

Hope this helps some,

Rick Wilson

Chen Taiji

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 26, 1999 11:50 pm


I wasn't sure whether to post under this thread, or the cross training one, but I read this thread second, so...

I think that cross training is great, and sometimes allows insights into one's Uechi that would not occur otherwise. At the same time, I think that cross training without either (1) Having a 'strong base' (perhaps at nidan) in your 'primary' style, or (2) Having someone who is expert in both styles to sort of 'draw the lines' for you.

An example would be the way that I have seen Mott Sensei teach the Wa Uke at camp (Rick, couldn't you somehow force Mott Sensei to get on line? - we sure could use him). The twisting of the body he utilizes to generate power is likely a modification of prinicples inherent in the Chinese arts he has studied (in fact, he probably named the art at the time...). If I were to study those same arts for a brief period, I might make similar changes in my Uechi, but go "too far" based on my less thorough understanding of the principles of either art than Sensei. In other words, it's helpful to be fortunate enough to have an expert guide!


(sorry for all the editing - this ubb stuff is new to me!)

[This message has been edited by Greg (edited 01-26-99).]
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