Tag Archives: Chen style

Survey results: the most popular Tai Chi style

In fall 2016 I run a survey on which Tai Chi style is the most popular. I was just curious what the result would be. There are people who say that Yang style is the most popular style and 24 form the most practiced form. Well, I just wanted to really know some numbers.

So I started the survey on October 7th andTai Chi style survey 2016 by Qialance it was open until beginning of November. I talked about the survey on this blog, in my newsletter, in different Facebook groups and some other bloggers shared the survey, too.

In total I got 499 answers from all over the world! And I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated and shared. I think that is just terrific that the Internet gives us the opportunity to connect so easily.

And of course I want to share the results with you. Let’s start with an overview:

Tai Chi Style overview: Chen style vs. Yang style vs. others - survey by QialanceSo overall, Yang style is the most practiced Tai Chi style in the world. I guess that’s not really a surprise, however I find it quite strange that “others” is actually more than Chen!

Let’s have a more detailed look at the results:

Tai Chi Styles Survey 2016 results table - by QialanceOr if you prefer a visual:

Tai Chi Styles Survey 2016 results (by Qialance.com)

And these are my personal key findings from this survey:

  • I always thought that Chen style Tai Chi would be much stronger, as it is the original style. Now it seems that 24 form and Cheng Manching form are actually catching up in popularity! If you count Yang style Tai Chi + 24 form + Cheng Manching, that’s more than 50% of Taijiquan practitioners!
  • And then let’s talk about the Wu/Hao Style: less than 1% said that they practice it! That’s really not a lot, especially as the Wu/Hao style until now was considered one of the “main” styles.
  • On the other side, Wudang Taijiquan seems to be getting bigger! I did not ask for it, but as 4% mentioned it (more than Sun style!), I decided to extract it from the “others” section.

And if you are curious what else is in the “other” section, this is a large list of all the “others” mentioned from the Tai Chi style survey participants:

  • Chang Style
  • Chen Ming Style
  • Chen Pan Ling
  • Combined 42
  • Dong / Tung Style
  • Five Steps Tai Chi (Wuxing Taijiquan)
  • Free Style
  • Fu Style
  • Gu Style
  • Guang Ping Yang
  • Feng Hun Yuan
  • Huleijia
  • Hunyuan
  • IWUF Competition form
  • Khor Style
  • Kun Lun Tai Chi
  • Lee Style
  • Li Style
  • Mao
  • Mixed
  • Other
  • Qi Gong
  • Shayuquan
  • Southern Praying Mantis, Bagua, Qi Gong
  • Taoist
  • Teh Nei Nia Chuan
  • Wahnam
  • Xiong Style
  • My personal thoughts on this list: It’s quite a wild mix! But obviously everyone wanted to share which type of Taijiquan they practice. I just decided to leave them all in the survey.

 

Now what to you think about the result of this Taijiquan styles survey? Is Chen style seriously threatened by the Yang dominance? Will smaller styles like Wu/Hao or Sun be extinguished soon? And what about the future of Wudang in the Taijiquan family?

Let’s discuss!

Angelika

P.S.: If you want to have a closer look at the survey results, I will surely send you all the answers as a PDF. Just enter your name and eMail here and you will have it in your inbox shortly!

 

Merken

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Merken

Interview with Violet Li from “Violet Li Tai Chi”

One of my goals with Qialance is to connect with other Taijiquan and Qi Gong enthusiasts around the world. And I like blogging. Obviously I had to create a list of the Top 15 Tai Chi Blogs! But I want to go further and learn more about those bloggers. So I hope you are just as curious as I am because I interview them. And this is the talk with Violet Li from Violet Li Tai Chi.

Some of you may know her as the journalist behind the Tai Chi Examiner. Because that platform was bought and she could not write there anymore, Violet decided to start her own thing. I am glad that she continues to share her well researched articles with us. She actually won the Best Media Award at the World Congress on Qigong, Tai Chi, and TCM in 2016!

Violet, could you please tell us a bit more Violet Li Tai Chiabout yourself?

I tried Tai Chi in my teenage years. But I did not find it attractive then. However, I started to learn it serious about 17 years ago. My knowledge and skills took off seven years ago when I started to take private lessons directly from Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, a 11th Generation Chen Style Lineage Holder.

Which style are you into and why?

I learned Qigong and Tai Chi from many grandmasters of multiple styles. But I study Chen Style Tai Chi most. Chen Style is more rigorous and complicated. So it is more fun to practice it.

What is the biggest benefit you get from your practice? 

I was extremely weak physically from childhood. As a working mother of two children and a traveling husband, I constantly felt exhausted. With Tai Chi practice, I gain so much energy and I am more physical flexible then ever.

Most importantly, the practice of Tai Chi makes me rethink the value of life and it also offers me a different way to view my relationship with the nature, universe, family, and friends. I feel a lot more calm and content.

Additionally, four years ago I used Qigong and Tai Chi to cure myself from a serious shoulder accident without surgery, shots, and physical therapy.

I am also a mother of two children and I can totally confirm that my Tai Chi practice is really crucial for my sanity! And it’s good to hear that you could use your experience to help yourself heal.

Which piece of advice would you give a beginner in Taijiquan?

Find a good teacher. Learn Tai Chi Chuan not just the forms but also the philosophy and principle of it by reading.

Who are or were your most important teachers?

Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei and Grandmaster Effie Chow.

Is there any teacher or master you would like to learn from in the near future?

I consider myself privileged and fortunate since I am a journalist and I have the opportunity to meet and interview some of the greatest minds and masters of our time.

Is there a book you recommend? One you often like to pick up and refer to?

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi even if people do not practice the art.

(Actually, Violet wrote an article about why everyone should read The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi. You can read it here.)

Thank you Violet for this interview and for your enduring promotion of Tai Chi and its benefits!

 

If you want to read more from Violet Li have a look at her homepage here!

Happy Qi!

Angelika

 

Interview with Scott Meredith, blogger at “Tabby Cat Game Space”

One of my goals with Qialance is to connect with other Taijiquan and Qi Gong enthusiasts around the world. And I like blogging. Obviously I had to create a list of the Top 15 Tai Chi Blogs!

But I want to go further and learn more about those bloggers. So I hope you are just as curious as I am because I interview them. And this is the talk with Scott Meredith from Tabby Cat Game Space.

Could you please tell a bit more aboutScott Meredith, blogger at TGCS (Tabby Cat Game Space) yourself?

About me, I have been practicing Tai Chi since age 13 (now 58). I have also learned and practiced many other martial arts in depth such as Western boxing, Chinese Shaolin systems, and Russian Systema.

Wow, 45 years of Taijiquan is quite a long time! You surely tried many things, so which style are you into currently and why?

I have learned most of the major Tai Chi styles. My daily preference is the Zheng Manqing modified Yang Style Tai Chi form, as transmitted by Benjamin Lo. I have explained in my books the technical reasons why I find this particular style to be an excellent embodiment of the core foundational principles of Tai Chi as expressed in the Tai Chi Classic Writings.

I also practice the Chen Style Old Frame and traditional 5 Element / 12 Styles Xingyiquan, which are supplementary internal arts.

What is the biggest benefit you get from your practice?

Tai Chi is known to be good for health maintenance and for instilling a calm and peaceful mind. Beyond those general benefits I find the mental training involved in the experience of the overwhelming torrential surge of internal power and it’s guiding, intensification and shaping by the mind to be of astonishing and endlessly fresh interest.

Which piece of advice would you give a beginner in Taijiquan?

The most important thing in Tai Chi is to learn to relax without sacrificing your mind. A drunk, unconscious or comatose person is physically relaxed but no mind is present. In daily life our mind is present but we tend to get over tense, which constricts the internal power flow. Tai Chi is a way to work consciously on keeping our mind active even while giving up unnecessary physical tension.

That is also one of the main benefits for me: my daily life is smoother when I practice Tai Chi!

Who are or were your most important teachers?

Though I have learned from many great masters, my most important Tai Chi teacher has been Benjamin Lo of San Francisco. I consider his combination of a physically rigorous yet highly principled practice, under a regimen of strict mental discipline with invariant expression of absolute lightness and gentility of touch and approach to be among the highest real-world realizations of the abstract Tai Chi ideals.

You already mentioned that you’ve already written books about Taijiquan. Is there a book you recommend? One you often like to pick up and refer to?

All of Tai Chi is defined in a collection of brief essays that can be considered a single book. Those are called the Tai Chi Classic Writings. These define the art and their principles cannot be departed from while retaining the name ‘Tai Chi’. Apart from that, I have offered more detailed answers to many of your interview questions in my own book JUICE: Radical Tai Chi Energetics.

Thank you, Scott, for the interview and for sharing your martial arts story.

If you want to read more from Scott Meredith, visit his blog here!

Happy Qi!

Angelika

 

Merken