Sword Form (jian) Sword form helps us further develop the foundation we laid in the 60 movement Tai Chi form. It is based on all the basic principles but here the sword is an extension of the fingers. We seek to energize from the roots in our feet to the tip of the sword. In the sword form the footwork appears to be a little more lively or nimble. But again, relaxation remains essential. Fencing adheres to the same principles as push hands; we seek to "hear" or sense our partner's intension by maintaining a light contact with their sword, while using footwork to follow the partner's energy. You don't have to wait 5 or 10 years to learn the sword..
Push Hands(Tui Shou) "Sensing Hands". This part of practice is done with a partner. In playing the form we have developed balance, separation of heavy and light, alignment, relaxation etc. Now we discover how to relax and adhere to the basic principles while in contact with a partner. Push Hands helps improve the qualities of our form and adds an important dimension and clarity to the entire practice. This is where we begin to develop the sense of Tung Chin, understanding the opponent's strength. This is where we learn about ourselves and learn about other people. We are guided by the principle. "do not resist, do not insist"; we follow our partner's movements. We develop flexibility. Many people say that after a session of playing in this manner they "feel as if they have just had a deep massage" Push hands is not fighting. However, if done properly push hands can help you improve your fighting skills. Unfortunately, push hands is one of the most neglected and misunderstood practices in Tai Chi Chuan.
Free Fighting ( San Shou) Boxing, many people insist, is Master William Chen's forte'. In sparring we further develop the principles of Tai Chi Chuan. We learn how to relax while taking or giving a punch. Similar to the form and push hands practices we see how being relaxed helps us direct energy to the fingertips instantly and accurately. We take a disciplined approach to free fighting to develop basic fighting skills consistent with the principles of good Tai Chi. I discourage beginners from brawling.
In my experience free fighting has made our forms much more relaxed and focused. It has also made my push hands gentler and more accurate, mostly by dispelling any delusion that "push hands is fighting". As the form finds its expression in push hands, push hands also finds its expression in free fighting.
In 2003 Master William CC Chen was selected by "Inside Kung Fu" magazine as one of the 30 most influential people in Chinese martial arts. He was number 4 on the list and described as, " a brilliant fighter who has demonstrated that tai chi is a combat art". Yet, Master Chen remains one of the gentlest and most relaxed people I have ever met.
Areas of Practice and Study
Private and Group Instruction at your home, office, or park; in the Los Angeles area
Tai Chi Chuan Form. This is the foundation where one develops balance, separation of heavy and light, alignment, relaxation and body mechanics. I teach William Chen's 60 movement form. We carefully adhere to the basic principles of Tai Chi. We take an approach that balances the health and postural benefits and recognizes the martial art applications. Relaxation and good sense of balance are 2 principles that make Tai Chi a healthful exercise and an effective martial art.
How I Instruct
I work with each student, at their level, in a way that makes them comfortable and stimulated in their practice. I have helped 80 year olds in search of better health; as well as young men looking to improve their speed and power. For Push Hands, Sword, and Free Fighting I welcome students with previous Tai Chi experience; who have developed an understanding of the principles, and a good attitude. I do not require that you learn my form in order to study push hands, sword or free fighting. We communicate openly. There are no secret teachings, mysticism or gimmicks.
Master Chen has always been generous and open minded with his students. They have flourished because of this. I have dedicated the past 46 years to this lineage. There are many Tai Chi teachers who teach a variety of systems, styles and forms, and those who often mix hard styles with Tai Chi. Beware of flashy moves that do not appear to be balanced, relaxed and soft. I specialize in one school, one lineage which has a pedigree of world renowned teachers and Masters. I am fortunate that my teacher is continuing to help me refine my practice.
Please contact me to discuss your Tai Chi Practice.