Taijiquan or taiji is known as a health-nurturing exercise. The slow and soft movements suit people of all ages and physical shapes. Everybody can train taiji according to his/her own premises and objectives. This ancient Chinese “morning gymnastics” is also a very versatile, meditative martial art.
Taiji in the Guilin Taijiquan Association
Chen style, which we practice at the Association, is the oldest form of taijiquan, upon which all other taiji schools are based.
Initially, this martial art was carried over from one generation to the next within the Chen family only. Its secrets were not disclosed to the outsiders. The best taijiquan master of each generation was selected as the “standard-bearer of the style”. This was done to prevent side-tracks in the style because the style of the official bearer was the “correct” style and only he could develop the style further.
When teaching the Chen style outside the Chen family began with Yang Luchan, anybody who could learn the Chen style could establish an own school by modifying the original style. Thus, several new styles like Yang, Wu, Sun and Wu/Hao appeared. Of these, the Yang style is at the present time the most well known taiji style.
In Guilin Taijiquan Association, we focus on Chen style as Ma Hong teaches it. Our students and teachers also practice Yang style.
Sword, saber (sabre, broad sword), staff and spear are used in taiji. Other tools used in taiji training are the fan and the taiji stick.
For the sword basic course, previous experience with bare hand Chen or Yang style training is an advantage. However, the Chen-style broadsword form is rather short and easy to learn. It is also suitable for school-age children.
Loaned weapons, either metal or wooden, are provided for newcomers at the training location. When training has been going on for some while, usually people want to get their own arms. More experienced students can help you in picking the correct weapon for you.