FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How can I register?

Please download  'Chen Bing Taiji Academy USA' from Google Play and Apple app store.   After downloading, please register and book your class through the application.  This is our new management system for school from 2016. 
If you do not use or have a smartphone, please inform us at info@ChenBing.org before joining our class.   We do not prefer walk-ins or drop-ins unless already registered.   Please click here to learn about 'How to Use' our CBTA USA app -  CBTA USA app

I am a beginner.  What do I learn?

For beginners, we highly recommend basic classes.  They are Taiji Relaxation (Fang Song Gong), Elixir Field, Stepping, Central Equilibrium, Reeling Silk , Explosive Power, Oldest Five, Old Frame Eleven and Harmony 13 Form.   These basics are the most important foundation for deeper studies of Chen Family Taijiquan.  

I have been practicing other Taiji styles for over 10 years and now want to attend CBTA USA classes.

I do not consider myself as a beginner.  Can I join the Intermediate or Advanced class?

Please remember that most of our students are Taiji practitioners who used to practice from other schools over 5 years on average.  What they told us was that they wanted to learn the original Taijiquan after spending many years from their previous schools.   We recommend a half year experience of our Primary curriculum before joining our Intermediate and Advanced curriculum.

They all said 'I never learned or experienced this kind of Taijiquan!' right after the first class of CBTA USA PRIMARY classes.   In addition, sincere practitioners have told us that they wanted to learn Taijiquan's internal disciplines more than learning flowery external forms.  
Even though one is an experienced practitioner from other Taiji styles, we recommend our PRIMARY classes before joining any Intermediate or Advanced classes.  CBTA USA's core practicum will examine one's level and depth of Taijiquan.

If other Taiji stylists want to know more details and hidden principles of Taijiquan, we recommend to take our 'TEACHER TRAINING' program with commitment.  For Intermediate and Advanced students, we offer a yearly planned schedule for progressive learning.   Please read class description on 'DATA'.
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Is Tai Chi of Taiji OR TAIJIQUAN?

Tai Chi (Tai Chi Chuan) is a phonetic spelling of the Chinese term 'Taijiquan (太極拳 tài jí quán)' derived from Wade-Giles system. The Wade-Giles is a romanization system for  Mandarin Chinese and it has been used widely in the English-speaking world.  In 1958, the pinyin system has been entirely replaced in mainland China.  But a wrong spelling of 'Tai Chi' is still mainly used in the English-speaking countries.  Taijiquan is correct according to the Chinese pinyin System.  It is also simply called Taiji.       Note: In the pinyin system, 'q' sound as 'ch' in English.

Due to my work schedule, I can't be a regular student.  Can I do a drop-in class?

Of course!  New practitioners are welcome to join.  Please read class descriptions and follow our protocol.   Please make sure that you register thru our application from android and apple devices.  No appointment is required if registered thru the CBTA USA app.  Please see our schedule and curriculum before attending class.

What is the difference between Chen Family Taijiquan, modern Taiji and other Taiji styles?

Chen Family Taiji encompasses 25 key disciplines that must be applied at all times during practice.  The 25 key principles are specific and detailed requirements for body alignment and internal body conditions during practice.  These principles have been continuously developed for hundreds of years in the Chen family.  If one fails to demonstrate these 25 key principles during practice, it cannot be called classical Chen Family Taiji.  These profound disciplines are the secrets that makes Taijiquan as an internal practice.
Modern Taiji is a performance oriented art that does not include the 25 key principles. The main goal in modern Taiji is to make the form look aesthetically pleasing, similar to a dance form in slow motion, therefore many applications for combat and the 25 key principles are not taught in modern Taiji.
The other recognized traditional Taiji styles are Yang, Sun, Wu and Hao.  These styles were all ultimately derived from Chen Family Taiji style and much of their practice may not include all 25 key principles, or they may have different interpretations of the principles.  Also, the other styles practice only slowness and softness which is not the full essence of taiji. Chen family taiji embodies the concept of yin and yang which includes slowness and softness with fastness and hardness.

For instance, would it be called Taiji if you walk or move very slowly?  Please ask yourself. 

In addition, lots of CBTA's senior citizens started having black hair from white hair because of deepening the 25 key disciplines. They did not dye at all.  This phenomenon is not commonly seen in other Taiji styles. 

What sets Chen Bing Taiji Academy apart from other Chen style Taiji schools?

Regardless of practice level, Chen Bing Taiji Academy teaches every student a series of 8 fang song (relaxation) exercises. These exercises were personally developed by Master Chen Bing and are derived from the Chen Family’s original Old Frame First Road form. 
The Fang Song practice helps fix any misalignment in the spine, alleviate herniated discs in the spine, develop an individual’s sensitivity to one’s body, and allow an individual to have a deeper understanding of relaxation.  Because of the Fang Song practice's therapeutic way, most practitioners are able to lessen their health issues.  During this unique practice procedure, practitioners can find a manifestation of Elixir Field (dantian).  This is an important basic practice to prepare the body for more advanced forms of practice.  
Also, Chen Bing Taiji Academy emphasizes basics more than other schools. When starting at Chen Bing Taiji Academy, a student will not necessarily learn a form in the beginning.  This is because without basics, learning a form would be meaningless.  Furthermore, our school provides hands-on corrections that practitioners are able to physically sense and comprehend circulation of energy during Taiji practice.


How often should I practice?  For how long?

Daily practice is recommended after you learn from us.  However, the length of each person’s practice all depends on the individual’s practice level, body condition and life style. 

How long does it take for a primary student to graduate to an intermediate or advanced level?

The length of time required for a primary student to graduate to an intermediate or advanced level depends on every individual’s practice level and body condition.  On average, it will take a primary student at least 1 year to graduate to an intermediate level.   If a student practices daily and sincerely, his or her progress will be faster.

When a student reaches an acceptable level, the teacher will recommend the student to advance to the next level.

What is Qi? Can Taiji be considered a qigong practice?

Qi is simply the human body’s blood and circulatory system.  Blood is essential to the human body to deliver nutrients to the body’s organs and muscles.  Without blood there would be no life.  As we age, the blood vessels in the body become stiffer and circulation to vital parts of the body become less effective and efficient.  
Taiji aims to improve the body’s circulation, and remove “blockages” in the circulatory system so that the aging process can be significantly slower. Through silk reeling exercises and relaxation (fang song exercise), the blood in our body will be able to flow freely to rejuvenate and revitalize all vital organs, muscles and joints.  These exercises can be considered a form of Qigong practice.

What is the difference between Taiji and Yoga?

Yoga postures stimulate and stretch individual body parts.  However, each yoga pose (asana) will only stimulate and stretch part of the body.  Yoga requires a practitioner to perform multiple poses in order to open the whole body.  Taiji is different from Yoga postures because every Taiji exercise will stimulate all parts of the body.   In all taiji exercises, when a practitioner moves his or her dantian (core ), the rest of the body should follow together joint by joint as one unit (Jie Jie Guan Chuan).  Because the whole body is always moving together as one, all body parts are effectively stimulated.
 

Do you teach Push-Hands, application, grappling or sparring here?

Yes, we do.  Our academy teaches Push-Hands (Tui Shou) and sparring at our school.  When a student has basics and is at an acceptable level, he or she will be invited to learn Push-Hands and Sparring.   Classically, Chen Family Taijiquan has two different types of Push-Hands.  
First one is fixed step patterns that are called the Five Kinds of Push-Hands (Wuzhong Tuishou).  These five kinds of Push-Hands enhance practitioners’ sensitivity and alignment while practicing.  This is not martial application, but allows them to understand the eight energies of Taijiquan such as Peng, Lu, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou and Kao (Ward-off, Roll-back, Press, Push, Grasp, Split, Elbow and Shoulder stroke).  
Second one is free style push-hands with free steps, which is derived from Cannon Fist (Second Road of Old Frame and New Frame).  This is truly martial application which allows any application and explosive power.   At CBTA, Push-Hands, application, grappling or sparring is an optional practice only if a practitioner is ready and wants to do.

Can young kids or teenagers learn Chen Family Taiji?

Of course!  Chen Family Taiji teaches slowness and softness with hardness and fastness.  Chen Family Taiji is suitable for people of all ages.  Because young people have more energy, they will be taught more vigorous forms and Push-Hands for kids and youngsters.  ​

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