Chen Instructor Course 2023

This was the first in-person instructor course since COVID and I think we all really needed it! Sigong opened the course with a quick lecture drawing us back to the purpose of the skill — that it is a martial art first and foremost.

This set the tone really nicely for the whole course, which for me was about developing our skill by touching hands with each other, that crucial element we have all been missing.

Time spent on Tui Shou is so valuable, that Sigong wanted to stress that spending too long on the earlier stationary levels leads to us missing out on more useful development. By revisiting and restructuring the way we think about Tui Shou, Sigong has shifted the focus onto learning to step as quickly as possible so that we can move to the principles of the skill: the softness, the spirals, avoiding and redirecting the strength and energy of an opponent and then bringing it back to them as an attack! The Ba Jing test format has also been reworked along these lines, to help us follow through the eight energies as we encounter them in both tui shou and in practical applications.

This was such a strategic shift that it became the focus of the first day. I know we always say that the point of the instructor courses is to learn and develop, not just to pass forms, but something about the way this course was structured made it really stand out for the learning and the opportunity to pick things up from each other. Sigong did demonstrate Laojia and the 19 form, but then after an afternoon to practise the forms we got to go back into tui shou before dinner, which left us all hungry before we sat down, but with extra dishes at the end of the meal nobody left the restaurant feeling that way!

The course had a hybrid element to it, with some people joining online. The natural human interaction when everyone is together is so immediate that I have always found it tricky to manage a part online cohort at my day job — but my Sifu had a mini tech suite with him allowing for two cameras and a breakout room for testing, I tried as a polisher to look in on the online people as much as I could between testing, and the comments from people online were very positive, so I think it worked out well!

One thing I was really surprised at, at the end of the course, was how much I had missed celebrating everyone’s achievements in the certificate session! There’s something about the glow of the hard work everyone puts in coupled with the achievement which really brings a nice energy to the room and has everyone leaving on a nice note.

Thanks Sigong for bringing us all back together at the centre!

by Lee Baylis

It’s been a great opportunity to have the instructor course online the last few years. What a difference in the energy though when members are together – missed being there in person connecting with wider group, but still loved the opportunity learning and connecting with the senior students online face to face. The 8 Jin took on whole new meaning watching the tui show demonstrations. With gratitude TaiSigong, Sigong, Sibagong & others making this a course worth staying up all night for. -Jennifer

The Chen Taijiquan Instructor course this year was a really great experience. I appreciated a lot the in-person demonstration of the forms and also Tui Shou! Having so many opportunities to focus on every part and to better understand the energy and position of each movement was amazing and very helpful. I feel that my understanding of the forms and of Chen Taijiquan has grown and I look forward to understand it more and more. Thank you Sifu, Moy Sihing and all senior students for your help and guidance and for your work in making this Course possible. I look forward to next year!

It was great to attend a Taijiquan Instructor Course again after a break of a few years. I enjoyed polishing and correcting Laojia and the 8 Jing, and now feel more confident demonstrating this. A highlight for me was practising Tui Shou with our brothers and sisters in the centre again. I’m also glad that our brothers and sisters from around the world could join in this hybrid format. Thank you to everyone involved in organising this, and Sigong and the senior instructors for teaching. Alan.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in a hybrid online / face to face Instructors course so I was delighted at how smoothly it worked out! Although the sound was not wonderful in the first session it was great to see the examples and applications of the 8 Jin and to watch the enjoyment everyone got practicing Tui Shou together. I learned a lot in polishing and testing the forms. Thanks so much Sigong, Siba and the other seniors for sharing and for your leadership. Cynthia , NZ

Thank you Taisigong, Sigong, TaiSitai and all the excellent instructors for an excellent Tai Chi Instructor course. I really feel like I have been stewing in a Chen Tai Chi teapot for the last two days with loads of insights seeping in. There was so much to see and do and it was great to see everyone in person. Many thanks all! Daniel

Thank you Sigong Sitai and Siba for organising a great balance of online and in person seminar which run very smoothly. This instructors seminar was great bringing our practice to a higher level with polishing and reminding key points and details of the forms but also catching up in person with many people enjoy learning together. Seeing Sigong performing was excellent,especially 19 step form as we have not been practicing this regularly in class, but also the new lean and mean tuishou practice which is great for quick progress. Having some extra time in the first day I enjoyed the pushing hands with Chen brothers and sisters which was then followed by a glorious dinner! See you all soon! Michalis

It has been such an enjoyable instructor course this year. I really enjoyed seeing everybody in person – it literally gave the weekend an added dimension! Superb advice and comments from the seniors and all in all a really ‘hyggelig’ experience. Thank you to everyone for a unique course, seniors, Sitai and Sigong. Peter Hogg

I really enjoyed the instructor course. It is such a fantastic way to improve our Taijiquan skill and knowledge. Thanks to Sifu and all who helped organising. Until next time! Marco

Great to do a Chen Instructor Course in person! It was such fun to do Tui Shou with my Chen brothers and sisters.
Thank you to Sigong and all the seniors that made this course possible – a smooth ride throughout!
Paul Hogg

The Chen Instructor course was invaluable as usual, picked up a lot of information, particularly on Tui Shou and 8 Jins, even on-line, as it made me think more carefully about it, imagining what the partner is doing and responding correctly. Always good to polish the forms, and test our knowledge with the questions session. Many thanks to Sigong, Sitai, Siba Darryl and Siba Mike for a smooth organisation of the first hydrid in-person and on-line instructor course. Christine

Another great instructor course, every time the skill and principles get clearer and Sifu shares his insights to this amazing skill. So good to see everyone in person. Thank you Sifu and everyone for a smooth and excellent course
Perer A

There really is no substitute for being able to train together and it was so important to be back in person for the instructor course. Being able to touch hands and see movements not through a screen was such a bonus. I had missed being able to celebrate everyone getting their certificates too. Thanks Sigong for being the centre and bringing us all back together! Lee B

Absolutely amazing to be back in person! The first day alone was more than worth the flight over. It is easy to forget the feeling of an in person course after so many online versions. Great to see Sigong demonstrate and to meet up with everyone and enjoy dinner together. A big thanks to Siba and all the testers. Thank you Sigong! Best, Tom Hogg.

Attending a post-covid, in-person Instructor Course was even better than expected. It was so great to be with everyone in-person, meet new faces, eat together and get the highly valued polishing. Thanks Sigong, Sita, Siba and everyone for bringing us together and deepening our skills. Looking forward to next year! -Kay