What this course is about
This course introduces you to the first section of Chen Style Taijiquan Old Frame First Routine (Laojia Yilu 老架一路), one of the oldest forms of Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi).
In learning this form sequence, you will also be introduced to Taijiquan fundamentals that are applicable to all styles:
- body alignment (身法),
- stepping, or footwork (步法),
- hand maneuvers, or Silk Reeling Exercises (手法),
- relaxation (放鬆), and
- whole-body movement with Dantian as the center (以丹田為核心的整體運動).
The course materials consist of recordings from virtual classes of a 14-week course, Introduction to Taijiquan, offered at the California University - Silicon Valley (CUSV) as part of the Oriental Medicine curriculum in Summer 2021.
The recordings have been edited and arranged in a way that best facilitates self-paced studies focusing on the Laojia Yilu form, with the fundamentals as supplementary lessons.
About Taijiquan and My Lineage
Students come to this course with various background knowledge about Taijiquan - its history, martial art principles, health benefits, lineages, etc. Here are some initial readings to get you started:
- 🎞 Taijiquan, the official introduction featured in the UNESCO announcement of Taijiquan being inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
- (A Very Brief) History of Taijiquan;
- An article about Grandmaster Chen Qingzhou, who was one of the first masters to bring Chen Family Taijiquan outside of mainland China, and to the US in particular;
- A little bit about my Taijiquan background, and some demo clips.
Benefits of Taijiquan
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a part of National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a series of articles reviewing and summarizing the effects of Tai Chi on a number of health conditions, in comparison to other mind and body approaches.
- Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth (October 2016)
- Mind and Body Approaches for Stress and Anxiety: What the Science Says (April 2020)
- Mind and Body Approaches for Chronic Pain: What the Science Says (September 2019)
And if you really want to geek out on scientific studies of Taijiquan, here's a list of publications at PubMed:
- Tai Chi - Randomized Controlled Trials (PubMed®)
This course is about practice!
The majority of class will be devoted to learning the movements and practicing, which is much more fun and healthful than reading about Taijiquan, trust me! :)