The Competition Routine of Chen Style 56 Form Taijiquan

The Characteristics of Chen Style 56 Form

The competition routine of Chen style Taijiquan is famous for its distinctive rhythm and the magnificent postures. When practising, it is important to emphasize on the “spiral twisting force” and the basic requirements of relaxing, agility and springing which are the special features of Chen style Taijiquan.

The movements stress on the twisting of the torso. The twisting force of the upper and lower limbs are connected through the twisting motion of the spine and the changes of folding in the chest and the abdomen in order to obtain a full twisting force all over the body.

For the upper limbs, twist the arm wrist in coordinately like twisting a wet cloth dry. For the lower limbs, twist the ankles, the thighs and the calves like driving in a screw.

For the force, you should avoid over-releasing the force which would result in displaying a stiff force or a false one. After releasing the force, it is imperative to maintain the continuity with the next movements without the severance in the force.

Avoiding Pitfalls:

In order to master the correct techniques of the force releasing, from the start, you should emphasize the extension of the body movements from the internal motions to the twisting motions and finally to the external releasing of the force.

It is also important to specifically train the force releasing of individual movements and other supplementary exercises such as the exercise of flexibility and the “pole trembling” exercise.

The hand forms of Chen style Taijiquan are also different from other Taijiquan techniques. The main difference is that the palm is in the form of a Chinese tile and slightly retracted inward with the thumb and the little finger slightly folded and facing each other, and the tip of finger slightly pointed backward. This is in agreement with its attacking features and a distinctive difference of Chen style from others, so you should remember not to confuse it with other Taiji styles. The "hook form" of Chen style is also different as it is a natural clutching of all fingers.

For the footwork, rubbing the moving foot with the stationary one before treading out is also a distinctive feature of Chen style. Sometimes the learners missed the rubbing motion. It is usually related to the strength in the footwork and the understanding of the "emptiness and solidity" besides the difference in the ground quality. In addition, accuracy regarding where and when the feet should rub against each other is also important. You should specifically train the footwork techniques separately, and should strengthen the legs and feet through practising standing stances.

The Names of Chen Style 56 Form

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1. Commencing Form
2. Buddha’s Warrior Attendant Pounds the Mortar
3. Tuck in Robes
4. Six Seals & Four Closings
5. Left Single Whip
6. Parry & Punch
7. Protect Hear Fists
8. White Crane Spreads Wings
9. Walk Obliquely & Twist Step
10. Lift & Withdraw
11. Wade Forward
12. Hide Hand & Strike Fist
13. Body Defending Punches
14. Back Fold Strike
15. Black Dragon Comes Out of Sea
16. The Chopping Hand
17. Turn Over Flower & Brandish Sleeves
18. Overturn The Ocean Waves
19. Left Hide Hand & Strike Fist
20. Left Six Seals & Four Closings
21. Right Single Whip
22. Wave Hands Like Clouds, Right
23. Wave Hands Like Clouds, Left
24. Search High On The Horse
25. Right Cannonballs In Series
26. Left Cannonballs In Series
27. Deflect Through The Back
28. Strike Groin with Fist
29. White Ape Presents Fruit
30. Double Push Palms
31. Middle Winding
32. Forward Trick
33. Backward Trick
34. Right Parting The Wild Horse’s Mane
35. Left Parting The Wild Horse’s Mane
36. Lotus Kick & Drop Into The Splits
37. Left & Right Golden Rooster Stands On One Leg
38. Step Back & Whirl Arms On Both Sides
39. Step Back & Press Down the Elbow
40. Slap Foot
41. Kick Out With The Edge Of Foot
42. Overturn The Ocean Waves
43. Pound Ground With Fist
43. Turn Over Body & Double Jump Kick
45. Stamp Both Feet
46 Heel Kick
47. Jade Girl Working With Shuttles
48. Smooth Elbow
49. Wrapping Fire Crackers
50. Dragon Dives To The Ground
51. Step Forward With Seven Starts
52. Step Back & Straddle The Tiger
53. Turn Body & Lotus Kick
54. Strike Head Like Cannons
55. Buddha’s Warrior Attendant Pounds The Mortar
56. Closing Form

Bibliography: Sim & Gaffney, Chen Style Taijiquan, the Source of Taiji Boxing, 2002



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