Phoenix Feather School of Tai Chi


What is Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art which was widely applied before the invention of firearms. These days it is mostly used for maintaining health, improving fitness and self-defence.

The full name of the art is Tai Chi Chuan. Tai Chi translates as "supreme ultimate" and refers to our internal power of the mind. Chuan means "fist" or "boxing" and encompasses martial skills. By practicing Tai Chi Chuan we refine our mental and physical abilities, which is the reason why the art is a very powerful tool indeed.

The forefathers of Tai Chi came to realization that for a martial art to be effective just physical kicks and punches were not enough. The art was created as the essence of traditional Chinese medicine, theory laid out in the Book of Changes or Yi Zing, breathing exercises (Qigong), Daoyin - practice for smoothing the energy flow and body dynamics principles.
Philosophical roots of Tai Chi lay in the Chinese concept of Yin and Yang. The movements can be hard or soft, attacking or retreating, quick or slow and so on. A practitioner strives to achieve equilibrium of the opposite forces by reaching for a supreme ultimate balance.


Chen Style Tai Chi

Chen Style Tai Chi is the pearl in the crown of Chinese Wushu (martial arts).

This oldest of all tai chi styles originates from Chenjiagou, a village in the Henan province of China some 400 years ago. There, members of the Chen family developed their unique fighting skills, first to protect themselves from bandits and then to maintain health and vitality.

The founder of the village was Chen Bu, historical patriarch of Chen family, skilled in martial arts. He became famous after getting rid of the bandits in the area and set up a martial arts school.

The next important milestone was 9th generation Chen Wangting, who was highly educated and also a good martial artist. He was employed to protect merchant caravans and held high a post in the military forces. Chen Wangting combined the best of martial skills at the time and is considered to be a father of Tai Chi.

The next step in Tai Chi development came with Chen Changxing of 14th generation, who created two forms: Yilu (First Routine) and Erlu (Second Routine). Yilu is the oldest form from which all other forms of Chen and other styles originate. First Routine is the main vehicle to test practitioner's commitment and condition their body to move according to Tai Chi principles. The body is strengthened and the student begins to feel the flow of Chi. The Second routine requires stamina due to the multitude of jumps, kicks and repeated fajing (issuance of power). Both forms complement each other and are powerful tools in a balanced development of Tai Chi skills.

Chen Wangting (seated)
Next milestone in Tai Chi development came with Chen Fa-ke of 17th generation who put together Xinjia, New Routine, very popular in the world now. Its wide acceptance is largely because this routine has more fajing, spiralling movements and qinna (joint-locking) applications.

Chen Style Tai Chi is unique and differs from other styles because of the variety of slow and fast as well as soft and powerful movements to be enticing to any taste and physical ability practitioner. This is the main reason why it is quickly gaining worldwide popularity.



Tai Chi's benefits are truly remarkable.
  • Relaxation
    A major aspect of Tai Chi training is aimed at reaching a state of full relaxation so that no energy is wasted. In the modern world such ability is priceless. Relaxation brings better sleep, and is the key to our mental and physical health, creating an environment for a happier more fulfilling life.

  • Movement
    Tai Chi satisfies the body's requirement for movement. Especially, Chen style, which has a great arsenal of slow and gentle or fast and powerful forms as well as various weapons exercises. This oldest style amongst others has a wide spectrum of movements appealing to different tastes, ages and physical abilities.

  • Recovery From Injuries
    Gentle spiralling and shifting weight movements are excellent for those recovering from injuries or wishing to improve their coordination and balance. Such movements also reduce the possibility of falls amongst senior practitioners.

    See also More Info page of the website last item (Further Recognition of the Benefits of Tai Chi)
  • Toned Body and Improved Circulation
    A trade mark of Chen style Tai Chi is its circling, twisting silk reeling movements, which massage internal organs, improving circulation of blood and chi (energy) to the great benefit of the whole body. Practitioners note better digestive and immune systems, reduced blood pressure an eased effects of arthritis. As a result of Tai Chi exercises the body is toned with muscles gaining strength and resilience. All these effects lead to a healthier and longer life.

  • Harmony
    Tai Chi brings us back to our natural balance - harmony of body, mind and soul. We stay tuned into ourselves and discover our real aspirations.


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