Chen Xiao Xing's Tai Chi Training School
- An Introduction to the School
- About Chen Xiao Xing
- About Chen Zi Qiang
- Chen Zi Jun and the Other Coaches
- The Chen Tai Chi Syllabus
- About the Students
- Accommodation & Food
- Training Fees & Other Costs
- About Chen Jia Gou
- Getting to the School
- Contact the School
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An Introduction to the School.
The Chen Jia Gou Taiji School was started in 1982 and was the first school to provide an intensive Tai Chi education for Chinese students, often from the age of 5 upwards. There are usually around one hundred students boarding at the school and others come in from the nearby area.
Chinese and foreign students are also welcome to stay on a shorter term basis and usually train for anywhere from a week to a year. Some students have returned year after year to explore the real depth of Chen Tai Chi and this is possible to achieve at this school.
Chen Xiao Xing
The head of the school is Chen Xiao Xing.
He is the younger brother of Chen Xiao Wang, the current head of this line of the Chen family and grandson of Chen Fake, famous for his Xinjia Chen Tai Chi.
Chen Xiao Xing like Chen Xiao Wang also travels internationally to teach, but at the same time he has chosen to stay in Chen Jia Gou and supervise the family training from there.
Many of the 20th Generation Chen family masters have passed through this school under the supervision of Chen Xiao Xing, as well as many senior international Tai Chi students who no doubt now run Tai Chi schools of their own around the World.
I'm not clear whether this is true for all students or not, but my friend at the school told me that his time learning with Chen Xiao Xing, focused mainly on working with Wuji stance, to open up the Qi in body.
I've only done this with Chen Xiao Wang in seminars, and its hard work if you do it for extended periods everyday, but if Chen Xiao Xing is anything like his brother, having corrections all the time while you stand for a month, sounds like an amazing journey.
Chen Zi Qiang
Chen Zi Qiang is the elder son of Chen Xiao Xing and the head coach at the Chen Jia Gou Taiji School.
It is possible to ask to train with Chen Xiao Xing or some of the other specialist teachers at the school, but most students will learn with Chen Zi Qiang and possibly his brother Chen Zi Jun.
Chen Zi Qiang's Tai Chi is quite awesome to watch. I had the privilege of sitting in on a training session in the central hall of the school in 2008 and was very impressed by what I saw.
Chen Zi Qiang walked into the afternoon training session, stood at the front of a hall full of high level Chinese practitioners and then went straight into Lao Jia Yi Lu, Lao Jia Er Lu, Xin Jia Yi Lu and then Xin Jia Er Lu, counting through each step of the sequences with a hauntingly powerful yet restrained : yi..., er..., san..., si... while moving like some kind of archetypal power figure, the whole room following.
Truly this was something of a life experience to sit and watch Tai Chi performed at this level and I was very grateful for the opportunity.
I then went on to watch him training foreigners and he seemed attentive and keen to work on their forms, making small corrections and it was good to watch.
I'm happy that this is a good environment to train in and passing on Tai Chi at the highest level is what this school is all about.
As with the other schools, foreigners pay more than Chinese students, but this is reflected in the level of attention and time that they receive with the main teachers and we are very lucky to receive this.
Chen Zi Jun and the other Coaches at the Chen Jia Gou Taiji School
Chen Xiao Xing's second son, Chen Zi Jun is the assistant head coach at the school.
Chen Zi Qiang and Chen Zi Jun are assisted by many coaches and assistant coaches.
The Chen Style Tai Chi Complete Syllabus
As with every school what a student learns will depend on their level and requirements.
Everything that is under the umbrella of Chen Tai Chi is taught at this school, but most people will start with the 'mother' form Lao Ji Yi Lu or possibly Chen Xiao Wang's short forms 19 & 38.
There is a lot on offer here to learn. How much time do you have?
The school's official broshure lists the following forms :
- 19 Form Chen Style Tai Chi
- 38 Form Chen Style Tai Chi
- 1st Form Chen Old Style Tai Chi (Lao Jia Yi Lu)
- 2nd Form Chen Old Style Tai Chi (Lao Jia Er Lu)
- 1st Form Chen New Style Tai Chi (Xin Jia Yi Lu)
- 2nd Form Chen New Style Tai Chi (Xin Jia Er Lu)
- 56 Form Chen Style Tai Chi
- 1st Form Chen Family Small Frame Chen Style Tai Chi (Xiao Jia Yi Lu)
- 2nd Form Chen Family Small Frame Chen Style Tai Chi (Xiao Jia Er Lu)
- 2nd Form Chen Family Big Frame Chen Style Tai Chi (Da Jia Er Lu)
- Single Sword Chen Style Tai Chi
- Double Sword Chen Style Tai Chi
- 36 Form Single Sword Chen Style Tai Chi
- 54 Form Single Sword Chen Style Tai Chi
- Sabre Chen Style Tai Chi
- Double Sabre Chen Style Tai Chi
- Broadsword Chen Style Tai Chi
- Double Mace Chen Style Tai Chi
- 13 Posture Long Pole Chen Style Tai Chi
- Eyebrow Level Stick Chen Style Tai Chi
- Pole (Shao) Chen Style Tai Chi
- Stick (Shao) Chen Style Tai Chi
- 24 Spear Chen Style Tai Chi
- Pushing Hands Chen Style Tai Chi
- Short Pole Sparring Exercise Chen Style Tai Chi
- Long Pole Sparring Exercise Chen Style Tai Chi
- Health Enhancing Gonfu Chen Style Tai Chi
- Taiji Ball Chen Style Tai Chi
About the Students
I've only met a few of the students from this school, so I can't say too much at present.
Occasionaly the school is quite busy, when a Chen teacher brings their own students along on a Tai Chi tour or special course, and Chen Xiao Wang also does this each year bringing a large group with him.
At other times, there are usually only a few foreign students present, although this is likely to change in the future.
Some of the students stay for a whole year and others just keep coming back year after year when they have time. There is a lot to learn.
My understanding is that most of the people who come to this school have already learnt Chen Tai Chi for a reasonable period, and have no doubt attended international seminars with Chen Xiao Wang.
I don't know at the moment whether people who are beginners or as good as, are welcome or not, but as with Chen Zhao Sen, I don't see why not.
The school can certainly handle beginners using the younger coaches to assist Chen Zi Qiang.
This could also be a good environment for GAP year students. It is on a bigger scale than Chen Zhao Sen's school and has a bit of a 'college' feeling about it, but at the same time it's different to your average school environment.
I really enjoyed wandering round the school in the evening, watching the students practice their Tai Chi and many people performed at a good level.
Accommodation and Food
The school has reasonably comfortable rooms for foreign students. I think they have a mixture of double and triple rooms with bathroom inside, which will include air conditioning and hot shower etc. I don't know whether you need to pay extra to use aircon or not.
Anyway accommodation seemed fine. I'll update this section when I know more.
Meals are usually taken in a private room within the school, not in the main school canteen.
Training fees will vary depending on what a student wants to learn, for how long each day and who with, but I believe its reasonable to expect to pay about 600-1200 Euros including accommodation and food for a month at this school, and this rate probably continues at a similiar level for two or three months training. It is probably cheaper once one goes beyond this period. Please enquire with the school for more specific details regarding fees.
Contact the School
So to summarise this is a complete Tai Chi training environment set up with a definite sense of responsibility and duty to ensure that Chen Style Tai Chi continues to flourish around the World in the future at the highest level possible.
It will no doubt be an interesting environment for many international Tai Chi students to study at.