I am an indoor disciple of Chen ZiQiang 陳自强, Chief Instructor of the Chenjiagou Chen Village Taijiquan School 陳家沟太極拳学校 (tjqxx.com) under Principle Chen XiaoXing 陳小星, origin of all styles of what westerners call Tai Chi.
After the first six months of teaching I've come to realize nobody is teaching traditional internal energy cultivation and posture strengthening, not even the great masters in the Denver area. This is what my students tell me.<br>
What I teach my students first is internal gongfu (AKA neigong 内功). It is the foundation of all three internal martial arts: "Tai Chi", Bagua, and Xing Yi. According to experienced students, their prior training has all neglected fundamental root/balance and energy generation. Many of them are 25+ year experts in their own art. Now their paths converge here at our school in their search for the essence of balance, fluidity, health and well-being through some form of exercise.
If you want to feel 氣 "Qi" or "Chi", you will be overwhelmed here, not just a trickle of prickly feeling. Within the first two lessons you will encounter the surge and rapid circulation of heat and air, deep inside your torso and limbs. You will also have the well-known swelling and pulsation in your hands and fingertips. These are normal manifestations in our class, and proof of true internal achievement.
Once you achieve stability, fluidity, and supple strength, you move on to form work. Without those fundamental elements, form work is just an empty dance, done with erroneous spine alignment, rigid hips, and no root. If your lower back is not flat and soft while you are standing or moving or "dancing", you are cutting off your own torso circulation in half. Opening that lower back is essential to health, and can only be done through hands-on adjustment.
Curriculum in brief:
In the village tradition, I make constant corrections to your spine, hip joint, neck, and knees, to make sure you achieve root and balance in a relaxed state. Without this correction, a student will never truly advance internally. Traditional tai chi is not a dance; this is a rigorous exercise to increase circulation of energy and blood, through fluidity and suppleness.<br>
What are the fundamentals of internal gongfu? Hip and spine alignment, stance correction, silk reeling 纏絲功 (single and double hands), rooting, generating Qi, and a lengthy Taiji Qi Gong 太極氣功.<br>
Form work consist of two beginner forms (Tao Lu 套路), first one (19 posture) more yielding and supple (yin energy), and second one (21 posture) more explosive (yang energy).<br>
We will strive to open our backs and hips, reduce stress and joint pain, strengthen tendons and ligaments, and increase qi 氣 and blood circulation. And do the forms the right way!
I don't know about you, but I want to steer clear of the wheelchair and walker when I am 90. Other than true internal gongfu, no other sport or exercise can guarantee this. So come to class, train, and stay agile for the rest of your life.