Styles and Disciplines We Teach
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Guang Ping Yang Style Taijiquan - Long Form
This rare, 64 movement, Yang family form is the oldest surviving Yang family treasure. It is the predecessor to the Yang style forms that are widely popular today. Guang Ping Yang style takes its name from the county and village in Hebei province, China, where Yang Lu-chan, Yang style founder, and his famous sons, Yang Ban-hou and Yang Chien-hou, taught their “secret” fighting arts to local family and clan members before traveling to Beijing, at the request of the Chinese Emperor, to teach the Imperial family and private guard. It is said that while in Beijing the Yangs, who were members of the “conquered” Han people, modified their teachings and disguised some of their secrets in order to make it more difficult to truly master and thus to deprive their Manchurian rulers of the true essence of the art. Fact or legend, the martial roots and close connection to the Chen family styles from which it is derived are certainly evident in this form with its long, low stances, circling/spiraling energies, and powerful movements. The postures and movements are in clear accord with the principles of yin and yang, and embody both the internal harmonies (heart to mind, mind to qi, qi to jin) and external harmonies (hand to foot, elbow to knee, hip to shoulder). Emphasizes fluidity and trains the body and mind in flexibility, balance, and control.
Guang Ping Yang Style Taijiquan - Short Form
This abridged version of the Guang Ping Yang style form was developed to be more accessible to beginning students and to provide a bridge between the smaller framed and less physically challenging Yang Style Short Form. The set provides a complete system for practice while avoiding some of the most difficult movements requiring more advanced skills and physical stamina. Emphasizes fluidity and trains the body and mind in flexibility, balance, and control.
Yang Style Short Form
This 42 movement Short Form provides an introduction to the traditional Chinese internal martial art and meditative exercise, taijiquan (t’ai chi ch’uan). The form was developed by Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing and augmented by his senior student Grandmaster William C. C. Chen, and is designed to promote health and strengthen the body while providing an excellent foundation for self defense. The relaxed practice of this discipline reduces stress and aids concentration.
Taiji For Balance and Health
This class uses the curriculum cooperatively developed by Ohio State University's Center for Integrative Medicine, Master Lucy Bartimole, and the Guang Ping Yang T'ai Chi Association. It is based on the traditional Guang Ping Yang style forms but is modified and targeted at individuals with severe to moderate challenges to balance and health. It uses carefully and specifically designed taiji exercises and incorporates the use of some gentle qigong, guided meditations and controlled breathing exercises.
Forms of “energy work” that can be practiced either for health benefits alone or as an adjunct to taiji practice to improve understanding of the energetic principles of taiji and/or develop greater power and control. Taiji qigong generally involves a combination of still postures, single movement exercises, and short sequences, or forms.
Yiquan (I-Ch’uan, Dachengquan)
Developed by Kuo Yun Shen and codified by his student Grandmaster Wang Xiangzhai, as a way of building and controlling internal energy which can lead to great martial power, it is also an extremely effective practice for health and self-healing. Yiquan initially focuses primarily on the use of standing postures and progresses slowly to ways of moving that make use of deceptively simple principles that, when properly practiced and put to use, can be highly effective in self-defense. Described by some as the “formless form” or "mind-intention boxing" yiquan zeroes in on the development and focusing of the Original Mind, and the use of Intention (yi) to lead the qi which brings power. The power of yiquan can be expressed as either healing energy or explosive martial power.
Taiji Push-hands (tui-shou)
The practice of push-hands is the perfect way for the taiji player to both test and improve her/his understanding of the taiji principles and the various types of energies and techniques learned in the empty hand forms. A series of progressive individual and two-person exercises culminate in learning and playing the game of uprooting. Played in a cooperative spirit the players attempt to overbalance each other in more and more challenging situations as their skills improve. The game can be played with any set of rules and restrictions agreed upon by the players in order to practice desired skills/techniques. The game of push-hands can also be played, with organized rules, as a competitive sport in tournaments and competitions at the regional, national, and international level.
Taiji Two-person Form (san-shou)
These choreographed, empty hand two-person forms are designed to both teach and demonstrate the uses of the taiji movements in martial application. They are practiced with all the softness and fluidity of the solo empty hands forms, but in close contact with a partner and maintaining clear focus on the intended application of each movement. Each of the two parts can also be practiced singly as a separate form to improve understanding of martial applications. Based on the movements of the Yang and Guang Ping Yang styles of taiji. Players learn both sides of the form.
Taiji Feather Boxing
An advanced practice that progresses from restricted movement and techniques to completely unrestricted movement and free use of all taiji techniques. Feather boxing is a form of “sparring” named for the fact that, while Intention is practiced, the level of contact maintained is the “touch light as a feather.” A fun and challenging game in which the players cooperate to help each other improve the full range of skills. Where taiji push hands is limited to the notion of uprooting one’s “opponent”, Feather Boxing can make use of a complete range of circumstances and situations in order to develop, test, and practice the full defensive and offensive repertoire of the players.
Taiji Saber (Dao), Taiji Sword (Jian), Staff, Spear. Taiji weapons forms help the player learn the use of the weapon as an extension of her/his own body and to direct the qi into that extension. Proper weapons practice can inform and improve one’s practice of the empty hands techniques as well as develop the specific skills required for weapons use.