Chen Style Taijiquan
Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's 18 Movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan Hand Routine, Chen Tai Chi Short Form

Bibliography     List of Movements     Instructions and Comments 

Videos     Links     Chen Style of Taijiquan

Study with Mike Garofalo        Cloud Hands Blog

 

Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

© Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California, 2009-2013
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S..  All Rights Reserved.


 

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Chen Style Taijiquan
Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short Tai Chi Hand Form of 18 Movements
Bibliography, Links, Resources


   

A Note to Readers:  The Cloud Hands webpages have been online continuously since 2001.  In 2009, over 1,350,000 webpages (excluding graphics) were served to readers around the world from the the websites: Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Valley Spirit Chi Kung, Walking, Taoism, and Yoga.  Since 2005, I have also provided information about Taijiquan and Qigong at my Cloud Hands Blog.  Since the these mind-body arts websites are very well-established and stable websites, they provide readers with a good and secure starting point for their online research into Chi Kung, Taijiquan, Walking, Taoism, Meditation, and Yoga.  The Cloud Hands websites are funded entirely by Green Way Research, with volunteer efforts by Michael P. Garofalo
    Unfortunately, as everyone knows, many other websites and webpages, documents, and videos appear and then disappear from the Internet scene.  Authors do not pay to keep up their web hosting services, loose a "free hosting" option, change filenames, recode away from HTML, or decide to remove the webpages for various reasons.  Consequently, links to some good webpages or videos become invalid and the files are no longer found on the Internet.  You may find a some of these "dead links" to nonexistent webpages or videos cited below; and, there is no way to avoid this troublesome situation.  For this reason, when you do find a good and useful webpage, be sure to save the webpage to a folder on your hard drive or server. 
    I welcome your suggestions for how to improve this webpage.  Your comments, ideas, contributions, and constructive criticism are encouraged.  Send your suggestions to my email box.

 

 

Beginning the Study of Chen Taijiquan  


Cane, Short Staff, and Staff Weapons of Chen Style Taijiquan    Chen Staff Forms  I practice the lively Chen Broadsword (Dao, Saber) Routine with my cane. 


Chen: Living Taijiquan in the Classical Style.  By Master Jan Silberstorff.  Jessica Kingsley Publications, 1st Edition, June, 2009.  320 pages.  ISBN: 1848190212.  "Chen style Taijiquan is the oldest of the five main Taijiquan styles. In this book, Master Jan Silberstorff, a leading Chen practitioner, student of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowant, shares his expertise and insights. He explains the background to Taijiquan, and its key principles, and gives the reader a true insight into the Chen system. Master Silberstorff sets this within the historical context of Taijiquan in China, its country of origin, and explains the martial, health and spiritual aspects of traditional Chen Taijiquan. He discusses the different Chen forms and the importance of each, as well as the place of competition and the effect on participants. The book also contains the complete sequences for both the empty hand and weapon forms. This accessible and comprehensive guide to Chen style Taijiquan is ideal for beginners and will also be useful to advanced practitioners wanting to deepen their practice."  VSCL. 


Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan Study Group in Red Bluff, California


Chen Style Tai Chi Essential 18 Postures with Patrick Martin.  Instructional DVD, 2 DVDs, 238 minutes.  Disk 1, 130 Minutes.  Jade Dragon Tai Chi International, Empty Circle Productions, 2008.  VSCL.  Patrick Martin is a student of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, and has been practicing and teaching Chen style Tai Chi for the last 20 years.  Detailed instruction for each movement sequence. 


Chen Style Taijiquan.  Written and compiled by Feng Zhiqiang and Feng Dabiao.  Hong Kong, Hai Feng Publishing Co., Zhaohua Publishing House, 1984.  227 pages.  ISBN: 9622380166.  Overview, profiles of teachers, review of 83 movement form, and a very informative review of attack and defense using the Chen style movements.  One of the first books in English on Chen Style Taijiquan.  VSCL.  


The Chen Style Taijiquan for Life Enhancement.  Written by Chen Zhenglei and translated by Xu Hailing.  Zhongzhou Classic Publishing House, Zhengzhou, China, 2002.  Text in English and Chinese.  ISBN: 7534821819.  149 pages.  "Describes the principles of Chen style for life enhancement, basic training, Taiji Skills for Preserving Energy and The 18 Forms of the Chen Style. Many photos of Chen Zhenglei doing Exercises and forms. Chen Zhenglei is one of the top Chen stylists in China. Paperback.149 pp. 5 1/2' by 8'. $19.00."  -  Wayfarer Publications  
"It covers the content of the health exercise silk reeling video, and is a useful reference, giving more detail, especially on theory."  - Wushu Center.  VSCL   


Chen Style Taijiquan: Bibliography, Guides, Links, Lessons, Forms, Weapons  


Chen Style Taijiquan Short 18 Form.  Performance by Master Chen Zhenglei.  UTube, color, 3:38 Minutes, 2007. 


Chen Style Taijiquan, Old Frame First Form, Lao Jia Yi Lu.  By Michael P. Garofalo.  2007-2011.  Detailed bibliography of books, media, and articles.  Extensive selection of Internet links.  List of movement names in English, Chinese characters, Chinese Pinyin, French, German, and Spanish; and citations for sources of the movement names.  Detailed list of videos available online.  Extensive notes on the author's learning the Old Frame, First Routine, Lao Jia Yi Lu; and on learning Chen Taijiquan.  Record of performance time of this form by many masters.  Breakdown by sections, with separate lists for each section.  General information, history, facts, information, pointers, and quotations. 


Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword.   By Chen ZengleiTranslated by Zhang XinHu, Chen Bin, Xu Hailiang, and Gregory Bissell.  Tai Chi Centre, 2003.  367 pages.  ISBN: 7534823218.  This book is in English.  Detailed descriptions, with photographs, of the first form, sword form and broadsword form.  An excellent companion to Chen Zenglei's instructional DVDs, with English narration.  Review by Herbert O. Rich: "This is the first translated volume of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's three-volume set entitled "A Compendium of Taiji Boxing and Weapons".  Chen Zhenglei is famed as a 19th generation Grandmaster of traditional Chen Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan). He is known to Taijiquan enthusiasts the world over for his skill and ability in teaching.  This book is a detailed instruction manual for the basic set (or form) of the Laojia ("old frame") Chen style, as well as the single broadsword and straight sword forms.  Profusely illustrated, it describes basic theory, physical requirements, postural movements, Qi circulation, and self defense applications for each of the postures of the form."  Another very good instructional DVD, by Jesse Tsao, Chen Style Tai Chi Old Frame Routine One, with English narration and detailed instructions, is based on the teaching of Chen Zenglei.  The detailed description of each movement in Chen Taijiquan Old Frame, First Form, by Chen Zenglei, with accompanying photographs of Chen Zenglei, is found on pages 65-252.  VSCL. 


Chen style Tai Chi Old Frame Routine I and Chen Tai Chi 18 Essential Forms.  Instructional and demonstration DVD by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.  190 minutes, 2 DVDs.  English or Chinese soundtrack with Chinese subtitles.  VSCL. 


Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing.  By Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim and David Gaffney.  Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books, 2002.  Index, charts, 224 pages.  ISBN: 1556433778.   Provides an excellent introduction to Chen style Taijiquan history and legends, outlines the major forms, discusses the philosophy and foundations of the art, and gives very good information on training methods, push hands, and weapons.  Very well written, highly informative, and a unique contribution to the field.  Essential reading for all learning the Chen style of Tai Chi Chuan.  The Hand Forms (Taolu) are described on pp. 110-141.  VSCL. 


Chen Zhenglei (1949-)   Biography   Biography 2


Cloud Hands Blog: Mind/Body Movement Arts Blog  


Cloud Hands Website: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Ch'i Kung   By Michael P. Garofalo.  


Cloud Hands (Taijiquan and Qigong) Website - Subject Index
  


Comparison of Movements of Chen Short 18 Form and Chen Old Frame First Form (Laojia Yilu) 


Description of the 18 Movements of the Chen Short 18 Form 


Dragon River School of Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan: Chen 18 Form 


Essence of Traditional Chen Style 18 Posture Short Form.  Instructional DVD by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye.  Color, 87 Minutes.  Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York, 1997.  "Cheng Zheng Lei (the 19th generation of the Chen Family) created this form from the old style of Chen first and second routines.  It includes "silk reeling," fa jin (releasing energy), and balance.  This short form is a good introduction for beginners or for those with little Chen style experience."  "A good introductory Chen form that includes silk reeling and fajing movements as well as other characteristics of the Chen first and second routines. Chen Zhenglei, one of today's top Chen stylists, created the form. There is a demonstration of the entire form followed by step-by-step teaching in slow motion with 2-4 views, from the front, back and side. There are front and back demonstrations of each segment (5 to 7 moves each.)  At the end of the teaching there are demonstrations, front and back. There are also excerpts from other Chen forms." - Wayfarer Publications.  CDTKA.  VSCL.  I use a Cboy V-Zon portable DVD player and this DVD works fine because of the way it is organized. 


Health Preserving Qigong, Chen-style TaiChi Quan I.  Instructional DVD by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.  3 instructional DVDs in the Chinese language with English and Chinese subtitles.  ISBN: 7883046802.  "By Chen Zhenglei. 3 DVDs. A brief introductory section is in Chinese only, but teaching is in Chinese with English and Chinese subtitles. He teaches introductory and foundation exercises as well as an 18 movement form based on Chen Laojia with the difficult moves removed. The teaching is detailed with multiple repetitions and different camera angles."  - Wayfarer.   VSCL. 


The Hidden Song Taizu Chang Quan Roots of Chen Taiji.  By Salvatore Canzonieri.  Shaolin Kung Fu Magazine, January/February, 2007, Article #30.  Utube demonstrations of Shaolin Taizu Chang Quan:  One, Two


How many minutes will it typically take to perform the entire Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form? 


Internal Training in Chen Taijiquan


Learning Chen Style Taijiquan - A Beginner's Notebook by Mike Garofalo 


List of Movements in Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Form   (1 Page, PDF)   English Only.  By Mike Garofalo.


List of Movements in Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Form   (1 Page, PDF)   English and Chinese.  By Mike Garofalo. 


List of Movements in Chen Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form, Laojia Yilu   (2 pages, PDF)  English and Chinese.  By Mike Garofalo. 


Magic Pearl Qigong: A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique 


Medical Benefits of Taijiquan Practice


Old Frame, First Form, Laojia Yilu, Chen Style Taijiquan  


The Origins of Tai Chi: The Chen Camp   Literati Tradition, Xiansheng Bing F. YeYoung


Performance Time for the Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Form  


Photographs of Chen 18 Movements by the Dragon River School of Tai Chi Chuan   A detailed photographic study of the Chen 18 Form. 


Quotations about Chen Style Taijiquan


Red Bluff, California, Chen Style Taijiquan Study Group


Relaxation - Song 


Ripening Peaches:  Daoist Studies and Practices.  Taoist scriptures, bibliography, Quanzhen Daoism, Neidan, gardening, tea, history, qigong/daoyin, readings, etc. 


Resources for the Study of Chen Style Taijiquan


Saber (Dan Dao), Broadsword, Saber Weapon, Chen Style Taijiquan 


Silk Reeling, Chan Ssu Gong:  Links, bibliography, quotes, notes.  Chan Si Gong (Reeling Silk Training): Bibliography, Links, Resources.  Internal Training Exercises Using Spiraling, Coiling, Twining, Winding, Reeling, or Circling Methods.  Chen Taijiquan Qigong, Internal Training Exercises. 


Standing Meditation, Standing Like a Tree, Post Standing, Zhan Zhuang  


Subject Index to the Cloud Hands (Taijiquan and Qigong) Website 


Sword (Jian), Double Edged Straight Sword, Chen Style Taijiquan


Suggestions for Beginning Your Study of Chen Taijiquan


Tai Chi 18 Short Form DVD (PAL) by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei    Instructional DVD in the PAL format (used outside the USA).  "Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei is the foremost authority on Chen Style Tai Chi and the creator of the 18 Short Form. This form has been designed for beginners of Chen Style Tai Chi, and is part of the book Tai Chi for Health. The DVD includes an introduction, followed by a demonstration of the 18 Short Form with step by step instructions for each individual movement as well as explanations and breakdowns repeated from different camera perspectives and at different speeds with detailed commentary to maximize the benefits of practice and implementation. The video footage was filmed in a professional studio in China with the latest DVD authoring techniques enabling you to navigate and watch the DVD easily and efficiently. The commentary of the DVD includes English and Chinese with the introduction section covered by more languages such as Spanish, Greek. Published by the Chen Style Tai Chi Centre.  ISBN: 1904719163."  Tai Chi Centre


Tai Chi for Health.  By Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Liming Yue.  Chen Style Tai Chi Centre, Manchester, U. K, 2005.  ISBN: 194719112.  208 pages.  Color photographs.  "By Chen Zhenglei and his student, Liming Yue. In English. Includes principles of Tai Chi for Health, foundation training exercises, Taji skills for preserving energy, illustrations of the 18 forms, Comments from Westerners about Tai Chi plus interviews with Tai Chi practitioners. Many photos. Paperback. 7 1/4 X 10 1/.4. #9.99."  -  Wayfarer Publications.   AmazonTai Chi Centre  "Tai Chi for Health was officially released at the International Tai Chi Festival and the third International Exchange Competition opening ceremony in China in August 2005. This full color book focuses on the health benefits of Tai Chi, concentrating on the official Chen Style 18 Short Form, Silk Reeling Energy and Qigong exercises. The book contains detailed illustrated instructions and in-depth discussion of the theories behind the practice. The text offers an unprecedented insight into the techniques and theory of Chen Style Tai Chi. The authors bring together their vast knowledge, teaching experience and cultural understanding to create a work that is accessible to western students whilst keeping all the important detail often lost in translations. The book has been written over a two and a half year period by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Liming Yue with the assistance of several of Master Liming Yue's senior students. Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei is the 11th Generation head of the Chen Style Tai Chi and 19th generation of the Chen family.  Master Liming Yue is one of Europe's foremost Tai Chi masters and holds a seventh Duan Wei officially issued by the Chinese Wu Shu Association China."  -  Tai Chi Center, U.K.   The Tai Chi Centre offers two free downloadable sections of this book.  Chen Style Taijiquan Short 18 Form.  Performance by Master Chen Zhenglei.  UTube, color, 3:38 Minutes, 2007.  VSCL. 

 

                   

 

Tai Chi for Health 18 Form DVD.  Instructional DVD by Master Chen Zhenglei.  PAL format???  "The new DVD - Tai Chi 18 Form DVD for the book – Tai Chi for Health - featured by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei has been officially released and It is now available to purchase at: the online shop . Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei is the foremost authority on Chen Style Tai Chi and the creator of the 18 Short Form. This form has been designed for beginners of Chen Style Tai Chi, and is part of the book Tai Chi for Health. The DVD includes an introduction, followed by a demonstration of the 18 Short Form with step by step instructions for each individual movement as well as explanations and breakdowns repeated from different camera perspectives and at different speeds with detailed commentary to maximize the benefits of practice and implementation. The video footage was filmed in a professional studio in China with the latest DVD authoring techniques enabling you to navigate and watch the DVD easily and efficiently. The commentary for the introduction is covered by Chinese, English, Spanish and Greek."


Tai Chi Qigong   Instructional DVD by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.  110 Minutes.  ASIN: B001QU3ZUA.  


Tai Chi--The Perfect Exercise: Finding Health, Happiness, Balance, and Strength  By Arthur Rosenfeld.  Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2013.  ISBN: 978-0738216607.  VSCL. 


Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength  By C. P. Ong.  Bagua Press, 2013.  366 pages.  ISBN: 978-0615874074.  VSCL.  "This book diverges from traditional exposition on Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) as it engages rather than shuns the role of muscles in elucidating the cryptic practice dictum of “using yi (mind) and not li (muscle force).” It centers on the core principle of Taiji balance—the balance of yin and yang, but presents the metaphysics of balance the way the body comprehends it, developmentally, through practice in the musculo-skeletal framework. In the process, the fog of mystique lifts, and the many abstruse concepts of Taijiquan become clear. Taijiquan training is physical at the initial phase, but the slow-motion exercise nurtures a meditative discipline of the mind. As it progresses, the soft methodology grows into one of building qi-energy, and then the practice becomes more internalized. The process fortifies the body with qi and cultivates a holistic balance of the organ systems. The book explains how the training methodology, in pursuing Taiji balance, leads to the development of a highly refined strength called neijin (inner strength). By incorporating the training of “silk-reeling energy” in Taiji balance, the practitioner develops the coiling power (chanrao jin) that underlies the magic of Taijiquan kungfu."  Dr. Ong has a Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. Berkeley.  C.P. Ong is a 20th generation Chen Family Taijiquan disciple of both Chen Xiaowang and Chen Zhenglei. He has traveled with them, as well as with Zhu Tiancai, for a few years in their U.S. workshop tours.

 

                                    

 

Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power  By Yang Yang with Scott A. Grubish.  Champaign, Illinois, Zhenwu Publications, Center for Taiji Studies, 2005.  Bibliography, index, notes, glossary, 219 pages.  ISBN: 0974099007.  Emphasis upon the theory and methods of Taijiquan, exercise science, and health benefits.  VSCL. 


Taoism and the Philosophy of Tai Chi Chuan


The Dao of Taijiquan: Way to Rejuvenation  By Jou, Tsung Hwa.   Edited by Shoshana Shapiro.  Warwick, New York, Tai Chi Foundation, 1980.  263 pages.  First Edition.  MGC.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An excellent comprehensive textbook.  A Third Edition is now available.  Master Jou was very knowledgeable about Chen Taijiquan, and recommended that you learn Chen Taijiquan first.  A significant portion of this book is about the Chen Taijiquan.  The First and Second Form movements are listed and illustrated on pp. 11-41.  Silk Reeling is covered on pp. 148-158.  This was a landmark book - the first comprehensive textbook on Taijiquan in the English language.  Master Jou was a very influential teacher and workshop organizer on the East Coast of the USA.  [Jou Tsung Hwa 1980]  


Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California.  Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo, M.S. 


Videos of Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Form
 

VSCL =  Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California 
 

Yang Style of Taijiquan   Bibliography, links, resources, quotes, notes. 


Yang Style Taijiquan, Standard 24 Movement Short Form


Zhan Zhuang, Standing Like a Tree, Post Standing, Standing Meditation  

 

 

Chen Taijiquan, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California
 

Bibliography

Links Chen Blog

Short 18 Form

Old Frame, First Form Old Frame Second Form

Sword

Staff Saber

Spear

Pole Ruler

Standing

Silk Reeling Ball

Qigong

Internal Training Relaxation

Cloud Hands Blog

Cloud Hands Website Cloud Hands Index

Yang Style Taiji

Green Way Research Valley Spirit Center

Mike's Notebook

Chen Taiji Quotations Home

 

 

 

 

 

UTube Video Performances of the Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Form


New videos of performances of the Chen Short 18 are added to UTube on a regular basis.   Based on what I've viewed, as of 2/1/10, I recommend:

    1.  Performance by Master Chen Zhenglei, 3:38 Minutes. 

    2.  Performance by Augusto Garcia, 3:29 Minutes. 

    3.  Performance by Master Peili Hu, 3:56 Minutes. 

 

Chen Short 18.  Performance by Master Chen Zhenglei.  UTube, color, 3:38 Minutes, 2007.  Professional setting in a grant hall; but video is bit unclear.  Sound good. 

Chen Short 18.  Performance by Master Chen You Nan.  UTube, color, 1:42 Minutes, 2007.  A brisk performance by Master Chen in a shopping center. 

Garcia Short 18.  Performance by Augusto Garcia.  UTube, color, 3:29 Minutes, 2007.  Performed outdoors in a park, mixed sounds. 

Henry Short 18.  Performance by Henry.  UTube, color, 2:30 Minutes, 2009.  In Henry's backyard. 

Hori Short 18.  Performance by Seiji Hori.  UTube, color, 4:21 Minutes, 2009.  Filmed in a studio, from a left front view.  Filmed a bit too close so you can't see feet below knees. 

Huang Short 18, Part I.  Performance by Master Henry Huang.  UTube, color, 2:27 Minutes, 2009.  Filmed in an outdoor setting in Thailand.  Part I. 

Huang Short 18, Part II.  Performance by Master Henry Huang.  UTube, color, 1:45 Minutes, 2009.  Filmed in an outdoor setting in Thailand.  Part I. 

Man Short 18.  Performance by an unnamed young man.  UTube, color, 4:05 Minutes, 2008.  Filmed outdoors in a backyard.  Outdoor sounds of cars and birds. 

Suter Short 18.  Performance by Michael Suter.  UTube, color, 2:29 Minutes, 2008.  Filmed from a side view.  Mr. Suter names the movements.  Not all of form is shown. 

Liu Short 18.  Performance by Master Liu Yong.  UTube, color, 2:06 Minutes, 2007.  Very blurry video. 

Peili Short 18.  Performance by Master Peili Hu.  UTube, color, 3:35 Minutes, 2008.  The lighting is too dark.  The video includes the names of each movement. 

Wang Short 18.   Performance by Master Wang Zhi Ping.  UTube, color, 3:56 Minutes, 2005.  A new interpretation by Master Wang.  Not all of the form is shown. 

Woman Short 18.  Performance by a unnamed young woman.  UTube, color, 2:56 Minutes, 2009.  Filmed near a lake.  Incomplete. 

Search UTube:   Chen Taijiquan 18 Form,

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Chen Style Taijiquan
Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Movements Tai Chi Hand Form

List of 18 Movements

 

1.     Beginning Posture of Taiji 

2.     Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar

3.     Lazily Tying One's Coat  

4.     Six Sealing and Four Closing  

5.     Single Whip 

6.     White Crane Spreads Its Wings

7.     Walk Diagonally  

8.     Brush Knee

9.     Stepping to Both Sides   

10.   Cover Hands and Strike with Fist  

11.   High Pat on the Horse  

12.   Kick with the Left Heel  

13.   Jade Maiden Working Her Loom  

14.   Cloud Hands  

15.   Turn Body with Double Lotus Kick 

16.   Cannon Fist Over the Head  

17.   Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar  

18.   Closing Posture of Taiji    

 

List of Movements in Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Form  (1 Page, PDF)  English Only 

List of Movements in Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Form  (1Page, PDF)  English and Chinese  

List of Movements in Chen Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form, Laojia Yilu   (2 pages, PDF)  English and Chinese 

Comparison of Chen 18 Taijiquan Form with the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu.

 

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Chen Style Taijiquan
Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Movements Tai Chi Hand Form

Description, Notes, Comments, Instructions

 

It not my intention to provide detailed verbal descriptions of each movement.  Books by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei already provide this detailed and useful information. 

I want to collect together my thoughts about the possible meanings of the movement names, historical musings, interesting quotes, interrelations with ideas from other Taijiquan styles, and related matters. 
I will frequently give directional information for movement sequences, because this information is useful to me. 
When learning, it benefits me and helps me to remember by making notes and doing research.  So, is this webpage really intended for readers other than me?  Yes and No! 
When citing references, I will use the convention of "(Author, Publication Date: Page)" and list all references cited from the resources listed in the general Chen Taijiquan Bibliography.
All movements in the Chen 18 Tai Chi Short Form are found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form.  I find the Chen 18 Form more Old Frame than New Frame.  Do you agree? 
This webpage is an ongoing project, and will not be a finished product in 2014. 
I welcome comments, suggestions, ideas, constructive criticism, and feedback from the readers of this webpage. 
I have been practicing Taijiquan and Qigong since 1986, and teaching Taijiquan and Qigong since 2000, and teaching Yoga since 2004.  I do have some suggestions for beginning Taijiquan students. 
Practice and study, practice and study, practice and study! 


1.   Beginning Posture of Taiji   (Taiji Chu Shi)

 

The first movement sequence is called the "Preparing Form" (Taiji Chu Shi).  This movement consists of quiet standing for awhile, then stepping left, then raising and lowering both hands.  The movement is found in all the Taijiquan forms I am familiar with (Yang, Sun, and Chen).  This phase of quiet preparation and beginning is called "Beginning of Tai-Chi" (Jou 1980), "Preparation Form" (Sim & Gaffney 2002), "Beginning of Taiji" (Chen Zenglei 2005), "Ultimate Infinite Stance" (Wong 1996), "Raise Hands and Lower Hands" (Yang Taijiquan), "Preparation", or "Stand at Ease."   

Preparing Form    [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]   
Beginning Posture of Taijiquan (Taiji Qi Shi)    [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
Beginning of Taijiquan (Taiji Chu Shi)    [Mark Chen 2004]  
Beginning of Tai-Chi    [Jou Tsung Hwa 1980]  
Preparing Form (Taiji Qi Shi)  [Sim & Gaffney 2002]
Preparing Form  [
Zhaohua 1984]
Preparing Stance  (Yu Bei Shi)
Maintien Commençant de Taijiquan  [French]
Anfangenlage von Taijiquan
  [German] 
Postura que comienza de Taijiquan  [Spanish] 
预备式  :  Yu Bei Shi  [Chinese Characters & Pinyin] 
Preparing Form, Shaolin Tai Tzu Chang Quan Yi Lu, from military Hong Quan, circa 970 CE
 

Bibliographic Citations for Chen Taijiquan for the Cloud Hands' Webpages     Bibliography of Chen Taijiquan.

List of Movements in Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Form  (1Page PDF) 

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115.  Each move in the Chen 18 Form is also found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74 Movements Form, and the most detailed description of the Laojia Yilu is found in Chen Zhenglei's book Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword, 2003, pp. 65-262. 

 

 

 


A note on the directional scheme.  

1a - 1e.  Face N 12.
1d.  Raise hands up to about shoulder height. 

Martial Applications of Beginning Posture of Taiji, UTube, 2:02 minutes, Part 1.  Part 2, 1:21.

 

    We begin by standing in a relaxed, upright, dignified posture.  The head is erect.  The shoulders are down.  The back is straight.  The hands rest along side of the body, with the palms lightly touching the pants.  The feet are together.  The head is held up, and the chin is slightly tucked down towards the chest.  The lips are gently closed, a gentle smile graces the lips, and the tongue is placed at the roof of the mouth behind the teeth.  We want our head in line with our spine.  The bottom of the pelvis is slightly tucked up and forward. 

    In Taijiquan, this beginning pose is often called the "Wuji" pose, referring to the stillness and emptiness that proceeds movement.  "Wu" refers to emptiness, an undifferentiated state, a pregnant pause, Zero, the mystical Primordial One before the emergence of Yin-Yang, the One.  The influence of the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42, is evident: 

"The Way begets One;
One begets two;
Two begets three;
Three begets the myriad creatures.

The myriad creatures carry on their backs the yin
And embrace in their arms the yang
And are the blending of the generative forces of the two.

Thus a thing is sometimes added to by being diminished
And diminished by being added to.

What others teach I also teach.
'The violent shall not come to a natural end.
I shall take this as my precept."
-  Laotzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 42, Translation by D. C. Lau, 1963
 

The demeanor of body and mind is relaxed (Sung), alert, calm, without holding tension in the body, ready to respond, dignified, open and free.  Taijiquan encourages you to calm and quiet the mind, reduce thinking, be fully present here and now, reflect the Other clearly in the clear calm lake of diminished ego.  Standing meditation is a cornerstone of Taijiquan practices, influenced by Taoist and Buddhist practices.  In Hatha Yoga, just standing is called the "Mountain Pose" (Tadasana). 

      Slowly and gently let the weight shift into the right leg, then lift the left foot, and step to the left.  Settle comfortably into an upright stance, with the legs about shoulder width apart.  The knees are slightly bent.  Eyes looks straight ahead.   Position shown in illustration #1. 

    Gently raise the hands, palms facing down, to about shoulder height.  The elbows are slightly curved as the arms rise up. Then gently lower the arms back down to the waist, with wrists touching the waist, palms facing down.  Maintain the feeling of Sung.  This movement is not shown in illustration #1. 

    Some Taiji performers, before stepping sideways and raising hands and lowering hands, begin with feet together and do a Taiji Salute (i.e., right fist covered by open left hand held at sternum height, then bow head slightly while looking forward, then return hands to side and stand up straight), then step out sideways to the left to settle into standing with legs separated.  Some end the form with a Taiji Salute

    For directional reference purposes, I will assume that the performer/player/person will begin facing North (N 12), and that she/he will be looking towards and facing the 12 o'clock position (N 12) in the directional scheme that I will use in when describing movements in this document. 

 

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2.   Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar
      (Jin Gang Dao Dui)

 

Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]   
Pounding the Mortar (Jin Gang Dao Dui)   [Chen Zhenglei 2003]
Diamond King Pounds Mortar  (Jin Gang Dao Dui)  [Mark Chen]
King-Kong Nailed Fist  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar (Jin Gang Dao Dui)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds with Pestle  (Jin-gang Dao Dui)  [Chen Xin 1932, 2007]
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar  [Zhaohua]
Martèlement du Mortier 
Zerstoßen des Mörsers
 
Golpear el Mortero
金刚捣碓  :  Jin Gang Dao Dui
Scoop Moon from Ocean Bottom (Hai di lao yue), Grasp Hammer (ba chui), Shaolin Tai Tzu Chang Quan Yi Lu, from military Hong Quan, circa 970 CE. 
 

 

 

A note on the source of the illustrations.



2d.  Step with left foot towards NW10.5.  Head and chest facing NE2.  Right arm pointing towards SE4. 
2g and 2h.  Face towards N12. 

Martial Applications of Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar, UTube, 1:49 minutes.

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115.  Each move in the Chen 18 Form is also found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74 Movements Form, and the most detailed description of the Laojia Yilu is found in Chen Zhenglei's book Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword, 2003, pp. 65-262. 

Keep in mind that the famous Shaolin Buddhist Temple is just a two days walk from the Chen Village in China.  At the entrance to many Buddhist Temples, or on the four cardinal directions of the Temple, are sculptures of four guardian deities called the Four Heavenly Kings or Four Diamond Kings.  Chinese Buddhist temples consist of several halls and chapels called by a common name, tien. In the "entering hall" (sï-i‘ien wang-tien), two colossal wooden statues meet the eye on each side. These are the Mahârâjas, or "Four great kings of Devas," or Sï-ta-t‘ien-wang.  The Sanskrit names are explained: "Vaishramana" (Pi-sha-men), "He who has heard much;" "Dhritarashtra" (T‘i-to-lo-to), "Protector of kingdoms;" "Virudhaka" (Pi-leu-le-cha), "Increased grandeur;" and Virupaksha (Pi-lieu-pa-cha), "Large eyes." They are called in Chinese To-wen, Ch‘ï-kwo, Tseng-chang, and Kwang-mu." 
Chinese Buddhism   and   The Four Heavenly Kings - Wikipedia    Four Heavenly Kings

                         

 

"Virudhaka, Guardian of the South Gate, 
The Boundless Diamond King, Tseng-chang Tian, with shimmering sword in hand,
Blue as the Great Sky,
Spurring growth, increasing grandeur,
Subduing demons, frightening evil ones, cutting through ignorance,
Vowing to help everyone master limitless approaches to Dharma.  

Dhritarashtra, Guardian of the East Gate,
The Powerful Diamond King, Ch‘ï-kwo Tian, in tune with the Wise,
White as the Shining Sun,
Protector, Energizer, Honoring the Three Treasures,
Keeping Treasured Kingdoms whole, Saver of the Earth, 
Helping unravel the illusions of self, and freeing the slaves of Mara,
Vowing to aid all who strive to achieve the Supreme Awakening.

Vaishravana, Guardian of the North Gate,
The All Hearing Diamond King, To-wen Tian, listening to the endless sorrows,
Yellow as the Mystic Rose,
Seated and Silent, Compassionate,
Silencing the falsehoods, Singing the Dharma, Preserving the Word,
Vowing the eradicate vexations without end.  

Virupaksha, Guardian of the West Gate,
The All Seeing Diamond King, Kwang-mu Tian, unblinking in the face of death,
Red Eyed and Ever Vigilant,
Visionary of the Diamond Kings, Seeing the Unseen,
Subduing serpents of vice, keeping enemies in the dark, holding the Sacred Vajra,
Vowing to help Enlighten Sentient Beings without number.  


These Four Diamond Kings protect all Earthly and Sacred Worlds,
Faithfully Guard the Four Gates to Shambhala's Realm,
Active day and night on Mt. Sumeru and in the Ten Thousand Realms,
Rewarding the good and reforming the evil ones,
Overcoming all obstacles,
Fearless Defenders of the Middle Way,
Bodhisattvas ferrying followers to the Other Shore,
Grinding potions with mortar and pestle to Lessen the Pain, 
Sending Dragons into the deepest seas, riding Tigers to the Mountains,
Moving the Vast Clouds with Their Hands;
Yet, the Four Diamond Kings all bow in deep respect,
Honoring the Great Dharma Lord they forever serve."
-   Mike Garofalo, Above the Fog


 

The Bodhisattva Warriors.  The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art within India and China.  By Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio (Terence Dukes).  Boston, MA, Weiser Books, 1994.  Index, bibliography, extensive notes, 527 pages.  ISBN: 0877287856.  VSCL.   

 

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3.   Lazily Tying One's Coat   (Lan Zha Yi)

 

Lazy About Tying the Coat    [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]   
Lazily Tying One's Coat (Lan Zha Yi)    [Chen Zhenglei 2003] 
Lazily Tucking Clothes (Lan Zha Yi)  [Mark Chen] 
Grasp Sparrow's Tail  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Lazily Tying Coat (Lan Zha Yi)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Holding One Lap Pull of the Robe  (Lan Zha Yi)  [Chen Xin, 1932, 2007] 
Lazy About Tying Coat  [Zhaohua]
Attacher Paresseux Son Manteau 
Irgendjemandes Mantel Faul Binden 
Perezoso Atar Su Capa  
懒扎衣  :  Lan Zha Yi 
Head-on Wrenching Hand (Ying-mian Ban Shou), Shaolin Tai Tzu Chang Quan Yi Lu, from military Hong Quan, circa 970 CE.   
 

 

 

 


3f.  Head facing NE2.  Right arm pointing towards NE2.   

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115.  Each move in the Chen 18 Form is also found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74 Movements Form, and the most detailed description of the Laojia Yilu is found in Chen Zhenglei's book Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword, 2003, pp. 65-262. 

 

         
             3f


"In order to learn Taiji well, the first requirement must be diligence and perseverance.  Taiji classics state: "Without perseverance there can be no gain" and "Learning Taiji is like rowing a boat against the flow of water; if you do not go forward, you will drift back."  In order to glimpse the full wonder of Taiji and to attain a high level of skill, one must possess a will to carry on despite hardships, setbacks, frustration and boredom.  From the beginning, students must be willing to commit themselves to a long-term goal and be patient during the process of achieving that goal.  The process of learning takes time, and the necessary length of time must be allowed to understand the content of the teaching.  One will not succeed if focus is only on the final product."
-  Sim and Gaffney 2002: 212

 

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4.   Six Sealing and Four Closing   (Liu Feng Si Bi)

 

Six Sealing and Four Closing    [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]  
Sealing Six Avenues of Attack and Closing Four Sides (Liu Feng Si Bi)    [Chen Zhenglei 2003] 
Six Sealing, Four Closing (Liu Feng Si Bi)  [Mark Chen] 
40% Open and 60% Closed  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Six Sealing and Four Closing (Liu Feng Si Bi)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Six Sealing and Four Closing  [Zhaohua] 
Six Scellant et Fermeture Quatre 
Sechs Versiegelnd und Vier Schließend   
Seises que Sellan y Cuatro que se Cierran  
六封四闭  :  Liu Feng Si Bi

 

 

 

A note on the source of the illustrations.

 

 


4h.  Head facing NE2.  Right arm pointing towards NE2.   

Martial Applications of Six Sealing and Four Closing, UTube, 1:29 minutes. 

Troubleshooting "6 Sealing and 4 Closing."  Comments on short forms and the left version of this movement and 60%/40%. 

"However-- I have to disagree that there is deep meaning in the movements at all, let alone in the Chinese names as opposed to the English translations. This is a martial art; or if it's not really a martial art anymore as it's frequently taught, it still has martial origins. The movements aren't mystical clues a la Dan Brown; they're punches, kicks, throws, blocks, etc. They don't have MEANING, they have PURPOSE. Furthermore, the names for the movements are often misleading, uninformative, or open to interpretation. Chen taiji stylists say "six sealing, four closing"; Yang taiji people say "like sealing, like closing", or shorten the whole thing to "apparently closing". The two phrases sound very similar in Mandarin; they're written with different characters, but the martial artists who originally came up with the names were illiterate, so we don't really know what they had in mind. I'm inclined to think it means six parts sealing, four parts closing, except I don't really understand what the difference is between the two verbs in the first place."  -  Jerry Larson  

I believe that "deep meanings" can be associated with any movement.  Philosophers and scholars who practice Taijiquan and Qigong have long been interested in using and connecting  Buddhist, Taoist, I Ching, Confucian, Chinese cultural, and Traditional Chinese Medical ideas, theories, practices, and iconography with various internal martial arts and Daoyin mind-body movement arts.  Sun Lu Tang, Cheng Man Ching and others helped popularize internal martial arts by making these theoretical, metaphorical, and "mystical" connections.  Most who practice Taijiquan know no little or nothing about martial applications, but still enjoy this mind-body art.  These days, in the post-firearms era, many persons find the meditative, spiritual, and mystical aspects of "New Age" Taijiquan more useful, uplifting, and meaningful than thinking about how they might kick someone's butt in a bar fight. We often "think" via associative and metaphorical means, thrive on open interpretations, and cherish imaginative games.  We now have a greater need to fight stress, boredom, rigid thinking, literalism, and laziness. Taijiquan can seal us off from these destructive forces. 

"The training exercises of Taiji, like those from all the internal martial arts traditions of China, are designed to build gong.  What does it mean to built gong?  Physically, the accumulation of gong refers to constant improvements in balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, sensitivity, and strength or power.  Mentally and spiritually, the accumulation of gong refers to improved awareness and confidence, and constant advancements toward realizing tranquility of heart and mind.  These physical, mental and spiritual improvements are the benefits and purpose of practice.  The priority of accumulating gong (as opposed to martial technique or trickery) is repeatedly emphasized in many of the most famous sayings from the oral tradition of the Chinese internal martial arts."
-   Yang Yang,  Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power, 2005, p. 5.

 

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115.  Each move in the Chen 18 Form is also found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74 Movements Form, and the most detailed description of the Laojia Yilu is found in Chen Zhenglei's book Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword, 2003, pp. 65-262. 

 

 

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5.   Single Whip   (Dan Bian

 

Single Whip (Dan Bian)    [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005; Chen Zhenglei 2003]
Single Whip (Dan Bian)  [Mark Chen] 
Single Whip  [Jou Tsung Hwa]
Single Whip (Dan Bian)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Single Whip  (Dan Bian)  [Chen Xin]
Single Whip  [Zhaohua]
Choisissez Le Fouet 
Single Peitsche  
Escoja El Azote
 
单鞭  :  Dan Bian 
Pull up hidden block (Liao Yin Jie), Shaolin Tai Tzu Chang Quan Yi Lu, from military Hong Quan, circa 970 CE.   

 

 

 


5e.  Head facing W9.  Chest facing N12.  Left hand facing W9.     

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115. 

How many minutes will it typically take to perform the entire Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form?

 

"Taijiquan is like a bright mirror -
it reflects our physical and mental weaknesses,
we need to polish it constantly to see our true selves."  

 

"In practicing taijiquan, the requirements on the different parts of the body are: keeping a straight body; keeping the head and neck erect with mindfulness at the tip of the head as if one is lightly lifted by a string from above; relaxing the shoulders and sinking the elbows; relaxing the chest and waist letting them sink down; relaxing the crotch and bending the knees. When these requirements are met, one's inner energy will naturally sink down to the dan tian. Beginners may not be able to master all these important points instantly. However, in their practice they must try to be accurate in terms of direction, angle, position, and the movements of hands and legs for each posture. At this stage, one need not place too much emphasis on the requirements for different parts of the body, appropriate simplications are acceptable. For example, for the head and upper body, it is required that the head and neck be kept erect, chest and waist be relaxed downward, but in the first level of kung fu, it will be sufficient just to ensure that one's head and body are kept naturally upright and not leaning forward or backward, to the left or right. This is just like learning calligraphy, at the beginning, one need only to make sure that the strokes are correct. Therefore, when practicing taijiquan at the beginning, the body and movements may appear to be stiff; or 'externally solid but internally empty'. One may find oneself doing things like: hard hitting, ramming, sudden uplifting and or sudden collapsing of body or trunk. There may be also be broken or over-exerted force or jin. All these faults are common to beginners. If one is persistent enough and practices seriously everyday, one can normally master the forms within half a year. The inner energy, qi, can gradually be induced to move within the trunk and limbs with refinements in one's movements. One may then achieve the stage of being able to use external movements to channel internal energy'. The first level kung fu thus begins with mastering the postures to gradually being able to detect and understand jin or force."
Seattle School of Chen Style Taijiquan

 

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6.   White Crane Spreads Its Wings   (Bai E Liang Chi

 

White Crane Spreads Its Wings   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005] 
White Goose Spreading Its Wings  (Bai E Liang Chi)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]
White Goose Spreads Wings  (Bai E Liang Chi)  [Mark Chen] 
White Crane Spreads Wings  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
White Crane Spreads Its Wings (Bai He Liang Che)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
White Goose Reveals Its Wings  (Bai E Liang Chi)  [Chen Xin 1932, 2007]
The White Crane Spreads Its Wings  [Zhaohua] 
La Grue Blanche Répand Ses Ailes 
Weißer Kran Verbreitet Seine Flügel 
La Grúa Blanca Separa Sus Alas 
白鵝亮翅  :  Bai E Liang Chi 
Support Forearm (Cheng Bang), Shaolin Tai Tzu Chang Quan Yi Lu, from military Hong Quan, circa 970 CE.   

 



6a.  Face

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115. 

 

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7.   Walk Diagonally   (Xie Xing

 

Walk Diagonally  [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]
Diagonal Posture  (Xie Xing)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003] 
Oblique Posture  (Xie Xing)  [Mark Chen]
Kick Forward and Twist Step  [Jou Tsung Hwa]
Walking Obliquely (Xie Xing)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Walking Obliquely and Twist Step on Both Sides  [Zhaohua] 
Marche Inclinée 
Schräg Gelegenes Gehen 
El Caminar Inclinado 
斜行  :  Xie Xing

 



A note on the directional scheme.  

7a.  Face

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115. 

"The 18 form takes the essential movements of LaoJia YiLu and removes much of the repetition to create a short form that retains the essence of YiLu without requiring as much time to learn or to perform. This is an ideal form for beginners who want to gain the benefits of practicing YiLu in a shorter amount of time. The experienced practitioner will gain the benefits of being able to refine movements directly applicable to YiLu as well as learning a useful form to teach to beginners or to practice when time constraints don't allow you to practice the full form. Learn this form from the person who created it!"
Tai Chi Center UK

 

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8.   Brush Knee   (Lou Xi

 

Brush Knee  (Lou Xi)  [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]  
Holding Up the Knee  (Lou Xi)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003] 
Embrace Knee  (Lou Xi)  [Mark Chen] 
Brushing Knees (Lou Xi)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Genou De Brosse 
Bürste Knie 
Rodilla Del Cepillo
搂膝  :  Lou Xi



8a.  Face

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115. 

 

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9.   Stepping to Both Sides   
      (Ao Bu

 

Stepping to Both Sides (Three Steps Forward)  (Ao Bu)   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]
Stepping to Both Sides (Ao Bu)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]
Twist Steps  (Ao Bu)   [Mark Chen]  
Side Walk and Twist Step [Jou Tsung Hwa]  
Stepping Three Steps (Shan San Bu)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Brush Knee and Twist Step  (Lou Xi Ao-bu)  [Chen Xin 1932, 2007]
Wade Forward and Twist Step on Both Sides  [Zhaohua] 
Progression Aux Deux Côtés 
Treten Zu Beiden Seiten 
El Caminar a Ambos Lados 
拗步  :  Ao Bu



9a.  Face

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115.  Each move in the Chen 18 Form is also found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74 Movements Form, and the most detailed description of the Laojia Yilu is found in Chen Zhenglei's book Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword, 2003, pp. 65-262. 

How many minutes will it typically take to perform the entire Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form?

 

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10.   Cover Hands and Strike with Fist  
        (Yan Shou Gong Quan

 

Cover Hands and Strike with Fist   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]  
Cover Fist and Punch  (Yan Shou Gong Quan)  [Chen Zenglei 2003] 
Covered Hand Punch  (Yan Shou Hong Quan)  [Mark Chen] 
Hidden Hand Punch  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Hidden Thrust Punch and Whirling Upper Arms (Yan Shou Hong Quan)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Screening Hand Strike with Hidden Forearm  (Yan Shou Gong Chui)  [Chen Xin]
The Fist of Covering Hand and Arm  [Zhaohua] 
Covered Fist Punch  [Mike Garofalo]  My Notes on Movement 14
Poinçon Couvert De Poing 
Bedeckter Faust-Durchschlag 
Sacador Cubierto Del Puño
掩手肱拳  :  Yan Shou Hong Quan



10a.  Face

 

 

A Few Highlights of Chen Taijiquan History

"According to the Li Family Genealogy, the early patriarchs of Li, Chen (Chen Bu), and three other families became sworn brothers on their migration from Shanxi in the fourteenth century. This event took place in the Qianzai Temple of Tang Village in Boai County, which is about 30 miles away from the present Chen Village. By the ninth generation, the Li patriarchs Zhong and Xin, and their inter-marriage cousin Chen Wangting again swore themselves to be brothers like their forefathers, and took the abbot Bogong Wudao as their master at the Taiji Gate of Qianzai Temple. The contents of the papers day that Chen and the Li brothers created taiji yangshen gong, or "the art of Taiji Cultivating Life," and practiced and transmitted wuji yangshen gong, or "the art of Wuji Cultivating Life," shisanshi tongbei gong , or "the Thirteen Postures Boxing." "The art of Wuji Cultivating Life" and "the Thirteen Postures Boxing" had been created by the Qianzai Temple priest Shi Li (614-741), or Li Daozi, according to stone tablets at the temple, who well studied the Three Teachings, Qianjin yifang: "Revised Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold;" daoyin: "guiding and pulling"; and tunai: "expelling the old breath and drawing the new." It is said that various martial art postures (from nearby Shaolin and other sources, such as the Chang Nai Chou’s Nei Jia Quan, from the neighboring Wen county) were combined with classic Chinese internal health theories of passages of blood, air flow, and energy. This new art eventually became known as Chen family boxing. By the 1700's, Chen Wang Ting's style had developed into the Five Routines of Pao Chuoi and Hong Quan, a 32- and a 108-posture Tai Ji form, and one Duan Da (short strike) form. Over time many of these forms were said to have been lost. By the end of the century, the art had been passed to Chen Chang Xing, 14 th generation, who united and simplified the various routines. It is said by some that Chen Chang Xing re-introduced Nei Jia Quan into his Chen family art via teachings from Wang Zong Yue and Jian Fa. According to an interview (by Yuan Quan Fu) with Li Libing, the present eighteenth generation of Li family, Wang Zong Yue came from Shanxi, and lived in the Tang village as a schoolteacher for five or six years. There, Wang studied martial arts with Li Helin, who was born in 1721, the twelfth generation of the Li Family. (Chen Chang Xing was also the teacher of Yang Lu-chan, originator of Yang Tai Ji Quan. What is very interesting is that the Chen linage, Yang Lu Chan, and Wu Yu Xiang and his brothers, ALL had learned Shaolin Hong Quan in their youth. Many of the ideas and movements seen in Yang style, but not obvious in Chen style, can be found in Hong Quan forms, especially the Xiao Hong Quan form. The concept and movements of Tai Ji Quan’s Push Hands are also found in the Step Forward Push Palms postures in Xiao Hong Quan, along with the Fair Lady Works at Shuttles movement.)"
-   The Hidden Song Taizu Chang Quan Roots of Chen Taiji.  By Salvatore Canzonieri.  Shaolin Kung Fu Magazine, January/February, 2007, Article #30. 

The Origins of Tai Chi: The Chen Camp   Literati Tradition, Xiansheng Bing F. YeYoung 

 

Chen Wangting, 1600-1680, 9th Generation in Chen Village, Creator of the original Chen Taijiquan corpus of Seven Routines.
He is considered the founder of Chen Style Taijiquan. 

               
                                                    
                                                           Chen Wangting (1600-1680)

 

Chen Changxing, 1771-1853, 陳長興, 14th Generation in Chen Village, utilized the hand forms of the original Seven Routines of Chen Wangting's Taijiquan and consolidated and rearranged them into the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame (Laojia) First Form (Yi Lu) and Second Form (Er Lu). 


Chen Changxing (1771-1853)

 

Chen Zhenglei, 1949- , 19th generation in the Chen Village, utilized the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form (Laojia Yilu) and created a simplified Chen Taijiquan short form of 18 movements in the 1990's. 

                     

                                     Chen Zhenglei (1949 - )

 

 

 

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11.   High Pat on the Horse   (Gao Tan Ma

 

High Pat on the Horse  (Gao Tan Ma)   [Cheng Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]
Patting the Horse's Back  (Gao Tan Ma)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
High Pat on Horse  (Gao Tan Ma)  [Mark Chen]
High Pat on Horse  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
High Pat on Horse  (Gao Tan Ma)  [Sim & Gaffney]
High Pat on the Horse  (Gao Tan Ma)  [Chen Xin]
High Pat on Horse  [Zhaohua]
高探马  :  Gao Tan Ma



11a.  Face

Martial Applications of High Pat on Horse, UTube, 1:10 minutes. 

The best description of the Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form, is found in Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yuei's Tai Chi for Health, 2005, pp. 75-115.  Each move in the Chen 18 Form is also found in the Chen Taijiquan Old Frame First Form Laojia Yilu 74 Movements Form, and the most detailed description of the Laojia Yilu is found in Chen Zhenglei's book Chen Style Taijiquan: Sword and Broadsword, 2003, pp. 65-262. 

How many minutes will it typically take to perform the entire Chen Taijiquan, Short 18 Form?

 

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12.   Kick with the Left Heel   (Zuo Deng Yi Gen

 

Kick with the Left Heel  (Zuo Deng Yi Gen)   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005] 
Kicking with the Left Heel  (Zuo Deng Yi Gen)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
Left Heel Kick  (Zuo Deng Yi Gen)  [Mark Chen]
Turn Body and Kick  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Kick with the Left Heel  (Zuo Deng Gen)  [Sim & Gaffney]
Kick with Left Heel  [Zhaohua] 
左蹬跟  :  Zuo Deng Gen


12a.  Face

 

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13.   Jade Maiden Working Her Loom   (Yu Nu Chuan Suo

 

Jade Girl Works the Shuttles  (Yu Nu Chuan Suo)   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005] 
Jade Maiden Working Her Loom  (Yu Nu Chuan Suo)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
Jade Maiden Works Shuttles  (Yu Nu Chuan Suo)  [Mark Chen]
Fair Lady Works at Shuttles  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Jade Girl Works Shuttles  (Yu Nu Quan Shou)  [Sim & Gaffney]
Fair Lady Works the Shuttles  (Yu Nu Chuan Suo)  [Chen Xin] 
The Jade Girl Works at Shuttles  [Zhaohua] 
玉女穿梭  :  Yu Nu Quan Shou



13a.  Face

 

It might be helpful to consider each posture from the perspective of the "Sixteen Requirements" set forth by Chen Zhaokui (1928-1981) in his book "Entering the Door of Taijiquan" (Sim and Gaffney 2002: 116):

"Chen Zhaokui lists sixteen requirements that must be present throughout each posture:
Eye movement (the direction of the eyes)
The shape of the hands, and how the hand changes as the movement is being performed
Footwork (how to execute changes when stepping)
Shun-chan
and ni-chan of the legs
Open and closing of the chest and back  
Rising and falling of the buttocks  
Dantian rotation (waist and lower abdomen) 
Shifting weight (the relationship of substantial and insubstantial) 
Beginning and end points, as well as the transition movements of the upper and lower limbs 
How much strength to us, and where the strength should be concentrated (i.e., where is the attack point) 
Position and direction of posture 
The rise and fall of spiral movement (top and bottom coordination) 
The change in tempo (alternating slow and fast) 
Breathing (coordination of breathing and movement)  
Listening."

 

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14.   Cloud Hands   (Yun Shou

 

Wave Hands  (Yun Shou)   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005] 
Rolling Hands Through the Clouds  (Yun Shou)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
Hand Technique  (Yun Shou)  [Mark Chen]
Waving Hands Like Clouds  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Cloud Hands  (Yun Shou)  [Sim & Gaffney]
Wave Hands Like Clouds  (Xia Yun Shou)  [Chen Xin] 
Wave Hands  [Zhaohua] 
雲手 v运手  :  Yun Shou



14a.  Face

 

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15.   Turn Body with a Double Lotus Kick  
        (Zhuan Shen Shuang Bai Lian

 

Turn Body with Double Lotus Kick  [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005] 
Turning Around and Sweeping with Both Legs  (Zhuan Shen Shuang Bai Lian)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
Swing Foot  (Bai Jiao)  [Mark Chen]
Turn Around and Sweep Lotus  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Turn Back and Wave Double Lotus  (Zhuan Shen Shuang Bai Lian)  [Sim & Gaffney]
Shake Foot  (Bai Jiao)  [Chen Xin] 
Turn Body and Double Wave Lotus  [Zhaohua] 
双摆莲  :  Shuang Bai Jiao  :  Slap Foot



15a.  Face

 

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16.   Cannon Fist Over the Head  
        (Dang Tou Pao

 

Cannon Fist Over the Head   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]
Cannon Right Overhead  (Dang Tou Pao)  [Chen Zhenglei 2003]  
Head-on Cannon  (Dang Men Pao)  [Mark Chen]
Face Opponent Cannon  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Head-on Blow  (Dang Tou Pao)  [Sim & Gaffney]
Head-on Blow  (Dang Tou Pao)  [Chen Xin] 
The Cannon Right Overhead  [Zhaohua] 
当头炮  : Dang Tou Pao

 



15a.  Face

 

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17.   Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar  
        (Jin Gang Dao Dui)

 

Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]   
Pounding the Mortar (Jin Gang Dao Dui)   [Chen Zhenglei 2003]
Diamond King Pounds Mortar  (Jin Gang Dao Dui)  [Mark Chen]
King-Kong Nailed Fist  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar (Jin Gang Dao Dui)  [Sim & Gaffney] 
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds with Pestle  (Jin-gang Dao Dui)  [Chen Xin 1932, 2007]
Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar  [Zhaohua]
Martèlement du Mortier 
Zerstoßen des Mörsers
 
Golpear el Mortero
金刚捣碓  :  Jin Gang Dao Dui



17a.  Face

 

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18.   Closing Posture of Taiji  (Taiji Shou Shi)   
        

Finishing Form   [Chen Zhenglei and Liming Yue 2005]  
Closing Posture of Taijiquan  (Taiji Shou Shi)  [Chen Zhenglei]  
Closing Movement  (Shou Shi)  [Mark Chen]
Conclusion of Tai-Chi  [Jou Tsung Hwa] 
Closing Form  (Taiji Shou Si)  [Sim & Gaffney]
Closing Form  [Zhaohua] 
收式  :  Shou Shi



18a.  Face

 

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Chen Style Taijiquan
Suggestions for Beginning Your Practice of Chen Taijiquan
By Mike Garofalo

 

If you are fortunate enough to have a qualified instructor teaching you the Chen Taijiquan short 18 form, then just resolve to carefully and diligently learn from that instructor and practice often on your own. 

If, like me, you do not have a local Chen Taijiquan instructor to teach you directly, then you can still proceed to learn and practice the basics on your own using instructional DVDs, books, and Internet resources.  I live in a rural area that is 130 miles from Sacramento where there are Chen Taijiquan teachers. 

The instructional DVDs and books I have used are listed in the bibliography on this webpage.  In particular, I used the following four resources on a daily basis when first learning the basics of this form:

1.  Chen Style Tai Chi Essential 18 Postures with Patrick Martin.  Instructional DVD, 2 DVDs, 238 minutes.  Disk 1, 130 Minutes.  Jade Dragon Tai Chi International, Empty Circle Productions, 2008.  VSCL.  Patrick Martin is a student of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, and has been practicing and teaching Chen style Tai Chi for the last 20 years.  Detailed instruction for each movement sequence.  This would be my first choice for an excellent instructional DVD on the Chen 18 Form. 

2.  Essence of Traditional Chen Style 18 Posture Short Form.  Instructional DVD, 87 Minutes, with teaching by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye.  (Note: Some of the angles of the postures in this instructional DVD do not match those of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, so one needs to carefully adjust one's practice to the standard set by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.  However, this instructional DVD is very useful for English learners in the USA.)

3.  Tai Chi for Health.  By Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Liming Yue.  Textbook for the 18 Form, warm ups, silk reeling, principles. 

4.  Health Preserving Qigong, Chen-style TaiChi Quan I.  Instructional DVD by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei.  3 instructional DVDs in the Chinese language with English and Chinese subtitles.  ISBN: 7883046802.  "By Chen Zhenglei. 3 DVDs. A brief introductory section is in Chinese only, but teaching is in Chinese with English and Chinese subtitles. He teaches introductory and foundation exercises as well as an 18 movement form based on Chen Laojia with the difficult moves removed. The teaching is detailed with multiple repetitions and different camera angles."  - Wayfarer.   VSCL.  These instructional DVDs cover the exact same material as found in the book Tai Chi for Health.  The English subtitles are adequate for understanding, although the printed translations are a bit ungrammatical and awkward at times; or, I would have preferred a voice over by an English speaker. 

   I have given a number of suggestions to beginners about learning Taijiquan in my webpage on the Standard 24 Beijing Short Form in the Yang Style of Taijiquan.  

I also post to my Cloud Hands Blog about Chen Taijiquan

Beginning students need to keep in mind that Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei recommends in his text book Tai Chi for Health a program of study and practice including:

    1.  Warm up exercises.  He provides an interesting gentle warm up routine, or you can practice a variety of qigong routines, e.g., Eight Section Brocade, Five Animal Frolics, etc. 
    2.  Standing or seated meditation.  The subject of quiet sitting, post standing, and meditation is quite complex.  It is one of the cornerstones of Buddhist and Daoist practices. 
    3.  Silk Reeling exercises.  These exercises involve twisting, turning, circling, twining, reeling, winding movements - both externally and internally. 
    4.  Practicing the Chen Tai Chi Short 18 Movement Routine

Learning and practicing with a group can always be fun and beneficial.  A dedicated Taijiquan practice group does not always need a "leader" to succeed in helping you learn and practice. 

I always recommend learning from the Master Teachers of Chen Taijiquan by READING their books and using their instructional DVDs

Keep looking for Chen Taijiquan workshops, seminars, and camps that you can attend.  Maybe we will meet at one of these events in 2014 in the Western USA. 

   My very best wishes to you for good health and success in your study and practice of the Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Form. 
   May we all enjoy peace and prosperity in 2014,

       
        
        Mike Garofalo
        January 2013, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California
        

 

 

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Chen Style Taijiquan
Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei's Short 18 Movements Tai Chi Hand Form

General Notes, Endnotes

 

 

 


Performance Time for a Complete Performance
Of the Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Movements Form of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei
      

Time Performer Source
              
3:38 Chen Zhenglei UTube.  
4:24 Jiang Jian-ye DVD, 1997.   
3:33 Peili Hu

UTube, 2008

3:31 Augusto Garcia

UTube, 2007

3:54 Chen Zhenglei Chen style Tai Chi Old Frame Routine I and Chen Tai Chi 18 Essential Forms, DVD
     

 

 

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A Note on the Source of the Illustrations

The nice, detailed, and clear line drawings of a person performing the Chen Taijiquan, Old Frame, First Form (Chen Taijiquan Laojia Yilu) were found in Chinese books written by Chen Sin and Shen Chia-Jen.  Jou Tsung Hwa reproduced the illustrations in his 1980 English language classic "The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan: Way to Rejuvenation."  Master Jou says "The pictures of the first Lu depict Chen Fu-Ku's son, Chen Chai-Kuei.  These diagrams are reproduced from the most authentic, original sources available, those written by Chen Sin and Shen Chia-Jen." (Jou 1980, p.13)  The reproduced line drawings were organized with around 30 drawings on a page, and numbered to correspond to Master Jou's list of the 83 named movements of the First Form (Yilu).  These black and white illustrations are widely available on the Internet.  It should be noted that these illustrations do not correspond exactly to how the Chen Taijiquan Short 18 Form is actually done. 

Using the drawings published by Chen Sin and Shen Chia-Jen, I have organized 4-8 of these line drawings into a graphic for each individual named movement sequence where possible.  Each drawing is numbered  consecutively within each named movement pattern to facilitate a more detailed commentary.  I reduced the size of the graphic, and made the graphic transparent.

Another source for detailed line drawings of a version of the Old Frame First Form (Laojia Yilu) can be found in "The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan" by (Wong 1996).  The original Yilu consisted of 83 movements or patterns (Jou 1980); and Master Wong uses a simplified version of 54 movements; while Maste Cehn Zhenglei says the form has 74 movements.   

The best photographic study of the Laojia Yilu has been published in the instructional DVD featuring Master Ren Guang Yi.  Chen Taijiquan: Lao Jia Yi Lu and Straight Sword.  Demonstration and instruction by Master Ren GuangYi.  Music and narration by Lou Reed.  "Captured in high-definition (HD) in New York's Central Park, each form is demonstrated angles.  Each form is also shown in FlipperVision, a slideshow comprised of nearly 2,000 photos by famed photographer Martin von Hasselberg, so you may carefully study each of Master Ren's postures in detail."  A YMAA production.  90 minutes, color.  ISBN: :1594390819.  Instructional DVD.  2006.  Ren GuangYi's Website.

 

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Standard Directional Scheme Used for Describing Chen Taijiquan Forms
Used By Mike Garofalo

Directional Instructions

 

Key Clock Hour
Direction
Compass
Direction A

     
N 12 12:00 o'clock North - Front Side of Body
NE 1 1:30 o'clock Northeast
E 3 3:00 o'clock East - Right Side of Body
SE 4 4:30 o'clock Southeast
S 6 6:00 o'clock South - Back Side of Body
SW 7 7:30 o'clock Southwest
W 9 9:00 o'clock West - Left Side of Body
NW 10 10:30 o'clock Northwest

 

 

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Chen Taijiquan Hand Forms
 

Short 18 Chen Form Taijiquan, Chen Zhenglei

 

Old Frame First Form, Laojia Yilu, 74 Movements

 

1.  Beginning Posture of Taiji 1.  Preparing Move 
2.  Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar  2.  Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar  (#2, 6, 15, 73) 
3.  Lazily Tying One's Coat    3.  Lazily Tying One's Coat  (#3, 49) 
4.  Six Sealing and Four Closing  4.  Six Sealing and Four Closing  (#4, 25, 41, 46, 50, 60)
5.  Single Whip    5.  Single Whip  (#5, 26, 42, 47, 51, 61, 67) 
6.  White Crane Spreads Its Wings    7.  White Crane Spreads Its Wings  (#7, 21, 56) 
7.  Walk Diagonally  8.  Walk Diagonally  (#8, 11, 22, 57) 
8.  Brush Knee  9.  Brush Knee  (#9, 12) 
9.  Stepping to Both Sides (Three Steps Forward)  10.  Stepping to Both Sides  (#10, 13) 
10.  Cover Hands and Strike with Fist 14.  Covered Fist Punch  (#14, 24, 38, 59) 
11.  High Pat on the Horse  28.  High Pat on Horse  (#28, 63) 
12.  Kick with the Left Heel  31.  Kicking with the Left Heel  (#31) 
13.  Jade Maiden Working Her Loom  48.  Jade Maiden Working Her Loom  (#48) 
14.  Cloud Hands  52.  Cloud Hands  (#27, 52, 62) 
15.  Turn Body with a Double Lotus Kick  71.  Turn Around and Sweep with Legs (#71) 
16.  Cannon Fist Over the Head  72.  Cannon Right Overhead (#72
17.  Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar 73.  Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar  (#2, 6, 15, 73) 
18.  Closing Posture of Taiji  74.  Closing Posture of Taiji

 

 

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Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Website

 

Mike's E-mail

Biography of Michael P. Garofalo

 

Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern Central California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Willows, Corning,
Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Tehama, Proberta, Gerber, Manton, Cottonwood,
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, and Redding, CA, California.

 

© Michael P. Garofalo, 2009-2013, All Rights Reserved

This webpage was last modified or updated on October 18, 2013. 

This webpage was first published on the Internet in May of 2009. 

 

 

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Chen Style Taijiquan, Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California

 

 

 

 

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Vacation and Learn in Beautiful Red Bluff, California

Beginning T'ai Chi Ch'uan Options:  Yang 24, Chen 18, Sun 24, Cane 18

Beginning Chi Kung (Qigong) Options: Five Animal Frolics, Eight Brocades , Daoist Temple, Magic Pearl, Yoga

Valley Spirit Center

Chen Taijiquan Study Group


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Reasonable Hourly Rates

Instructor:  Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

Excellent Recreational Opportunities for Persons of All Ages in the North Sacramento Valley
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The Valley Spirit Center includes extensive gardens for Tai Chi practice and a Sacred Circle
A Full Array of Services and Excellent and Reasonably Priced Accommodations in Redding or Red Bluff

Contact Mike: Email or Phone 530-200-3546

My Daily Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung Training Program

 

 

                          

 

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Pulling Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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in the North Sacramento Valley Area, California

 

Study with Mike Garofalo

 

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