Chen Taijiquan Instructor’s Course 2022

As every year, Chen instructor’s course completed the series of courses offered by Sigong for the Tse Centre instructors. Siba had organised a seamless schedule and by the end of each day we had packed together loads of teaching, testing, polishing and training.

Many people, seniors and newer instructors joined the course and it was a great opportunity for us to come together and learn in this online course. This format allowed many people were able to connect from USA, Australia and New Zealand. For some it was too early or too late and it shows their dedication to the skill. Thank you to everybody for a great course.

The first day, we all met in the main meeting, where Sigong, after a very short talk, started the piecewise demonstration of the four forms that were going to be the main focus for this year. These were the shorter forms of 19 and 38 steps, or, the longer ones of Laojia (the Oldest Chen form) or the dynamic Rolling Taiii. Sigong was easily changing from form to form, like swiftly changing from a language to another, moving between them with clarity and precision. All the forms were broken in four parts, something that allowed us to see similarities and differences between the forms. At the end of each part, each form was assigned to a different breakout room lead by a different senior and the participants were selecting the form they wanted to follow, either to prepare for their test or to polish it for their own personal training. By the end of the day, you could have a taste and polishing of all of them. This was the preparation for the next day.

The second day was dedicated to testing. Here, the practice was more focused. Everybody concentrated in the form they needed to prepare, before joining the testers meetings.  Testers, as always, were paying attention to detail in order to give as many points of improvement and corrections. Further polishing was taking place in the polishing meeting, where breakout rooms were divided in a similar fashion as in the first day and people could select to polish and improve any of the forms. There were also some people who tried more advanced forms like the Laojia Dao (And passed – well done Cynthia!). After each test, either somebody passed or not, they felt energized and happy as there was a lot of feedback from the testers. Errors in movement and postures have been corrected and every instructor left with many useful points that will bring their practice to a higher level. For those who already teach a class to come back to their students with more clear instruction.

The last part was the theoretical knowledge where we had to answer questions about taijiquan and the Tse Centre. These, apart from testing us, were also another opportunity for discussion and learning. In his closing comments, Sigong said that performing a form beautifully is good and nice but training in Tui Shou was necessary to improve the martial ability, otherwise your form would just be like empty cloth. So, as you improve, you can handle any hands, of any opponent and thus protect your class. We will soon have an in-person course in order to cover this side of taijiquan practice in detail as well.

After every day many of us ended up sweating as taijiquan is working the whole body and especially the legs, but it also left us buzzing with energy. As Sigong said, Chen taijiquan proper practice is addictive (in a positive sense) as its spiral Chan Si Jing and low postures create a lot of heat, a lot of blood and qi circulation that after a good practice session it leaves you with a special feeling of satisfaction and completeness. There is a sense of thankfulness to our Taiji ancestors for creating and passing on this skill that is bringing us so many benefits. In the same way Sigong asked us to keep practicing and expressed his wish to teach us all that he knows. Thank you so much Sigong!

By Michalis Akritopoulos

Student Comments

Great polishing on Chen instructors’ course! Thank you to Sigong, Siba, Sifu and all the testers and polishers for the time and individual feedback. It’s much appreciated as I really love how practicing Chen feels and learning more about the history and philosophy specific to Chen. Thanks! Kay

There are always neat bits and pieces to pick up — I did not know that the single whip hook in rolling taiji was only two fingers, for example! It really does show that instructor courses are about learning and not just passing. Thank-you sigong for always having more detail to pass on!
Lee B

Such a great instructors course this weekend. Not only being able to have Sigong go through so many of the forms, but also having the chance to polish and discuss with other instructors is invaluable. Thanks to Sigong, Sitai, Sifu and all the testers and polishers who worked to make this a fantastic course
Malachy

Course comment: Another great course. I learnt lots. Thanks very much to Sifu, Sihing and all for organising and testers and polishers for really useful help with forms.
Peter D

Forms were demonstrated, reviewed and polished in greater detail incrementally, making the postures and energy clearer helping us all to go one step closer to one day reaching 5 Yin and 5 Yang. I enjoy the final part when we all come together and are asked questions. This is very stimulating and shows the gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed. Thanks Sifu, Simo and Sihing for all your hard work.
Adam W.

Practising Chen Taijiquan is a feeling like no other. The spiralling energy and movements flow from one to another, generating warmth throughout the body. This fascinating martial art is passed down to us through the hard work and dedication of Sigong and his senior students. Every course I attend, I find myself inspired by the level of knowledge and practical displays of skill. Clear and precise instruction always allows me to refine and develop my practice, 2022 being no exception. A very big thank you to all that helped make this another successful Chen instructor course.
Oliver Lock

Really enjoyed the Chen Instructors course. Good to see Sigong demonstrating four forms in great detail, especially those I have not seen for a while. Always learning something new, whether in movements or knowledge. Was good to have time with everyone on the course, always learn something from everyone questions and movements. Special thank you to Siba Darryl and Mike for managing so well the tricky testing schedule, it all went very smoothly. Thank you Sigong and Sitai for all your efforts. Christine

Another amazing Chen Instructor Course this weekend! It is invaluable that we can all come together and keep improving the skill. A big thanks to Sigong, Moy Siba, and all the testers! Best, Tom Hogg.

Interesting to see the four different forms – 19, 38, Laojia Yilu and Rolling Taiji. As Sigong said, they are like different languages. Or maybe dialects?
I now feel quite warm and worn after a lot of rolling and jumping around!
Looking forwards to next year in person.
Thank you to Sigong, Siba Moy for organising, and all the seniors for their help and testing.
Paul Hogg

2022 Chen instructors course was a really great experience. It was a great opportunity to see all the difference forms demonstrated and to start to notice the differences between each on. I mainly focussed on Laojia and it was amazing how each polishing instructor focussed on a different dimension of the form each bringing a new level of understanding to me – the most interesting point was the discussion on Pung!
I had two tests both of which I failed but I had such detailed and important feedback from each tester that I really found the whole process to be very worth while. Thankyou Taisigong for a great instructor course
Daniel

I really enjoyed the Taiji instructor course – After some years working on Lao Jia, I got the chance to test! It’s always a pleasure to see the kung fu family in the play rooms and to get loads of great tips from the seniors. Many thanks to Sigong and Sitai, to Siba Moy and all the seniors who made this possible. Peter Hogg

It was great to look at the detail of the movements and to see how much knowledge there’s still to be learned.
Marco

A very good instructor course this year for Chen Taijiquan. Every time feels like going more and more into the details and energy of Taijiquan and deepening our understanding and skill level. Thank you Sifu, Simo, Moy Sihing and all senior students who helped us understand more and improve ourselves and the Chen Taijiquan skill!
-Radu

This Chen Instructor Course weekend was different for me I practiced quite a bit and still picked quite a bit in the polishing and demonstration it’s always an eye opener and clarity wether in the form or the knowledge testing I can always improve, thank you Sigong, Sitai and Seniors for clearing are pathways of a lot of debris so that we can walk the right road an excellent course, earl

Thank you Sigong for a very useful Chen Instructor’s Course! The demonstrations with questions and answers were so valuable. And the corrections during testing were insightful and helpful. I learned a lot and leave with so much to work on to improve my skill and knowledge. Also, thank you to Siba Darryl and all the polishers/testers. I can’t wait until we can all meet face-to-face for an in-person Chen instructor’s course!
Jenn G

Another great instructor course, covering a lot of form polishing and questions. Time went very quickly. Chen Taijiquan is an amazing skill. Thank you Sifu
Peter A

I really enjoyed the Chen course – many thanks to Sigong, Siba and all the polishers snd testers. As always, so much learning from them all. The Rolling Taiji demo was an eye opener !many thanks for making it work more easily for the overseas people. Cynthia New Zealand

It been a busy year& I didn’t know if I should attend as I hadn’t learned any additional forms- So glad I attended from all the great polishings to the Q&A, & everyone’ coming together. Thank you TaiSigong, Sibagong, & Sigong and all.
Jennifer Leaf