Tai Chi Chuan
The Taijiquan of Li Fangchen (also known as Li Jing Lin) who was a friend of Du Xinwu, is an old boxing style created by Yang Luchan (1799-1872). Yang Luchan was forced to teach the imperial court (the Manchus) which he loathed, so he changed the art he taught and removed the internal training. He kept the real art secret and transmited it behind closed doors to his family. Yang Jianhou (1837-1917) who was a disciple and youngest son of Li Fangchen, learned the old form of the boxing which remained alive but hidden. Yang Jianhou also popularised exercises for health based on the movements of their family art.
In the modern version of Taiji taught in most schools today we start learning the form which is just a long choreography inspired by the martial art it once was and is lacking in any other aspects and training of the old art.
In the old art, as in all the internal boxing schools, there are many li gong (strength training), of nei gong (internal strength training) and combat exercises to practice before you start practicing a form.
The health aspect of the form comes from the practice of nei gong and you must know that the martial aspect is not contained within.
In our school the Ten points are important for the practice of Tai Chi Chuan of the Li family:
1. Keep the head up, be calm and natural
2. Keep your shoulders and elbows down
3. Stretch your arms and empty the force of the armpits
4. Relax your fingers and release the wrists
5. Relax the chest and occupy the space with the back
6. Relax the waist and straighten the spine
7. Drop the hips and buttocks
8. Maintaining the feeling of the perineum and Center
9. Keep your knees bent and hips loose
10. Keep your knees soft and feet rooted in the ground
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