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The SECRET of Cheng Man Ching’s Tai Chi

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The SECRET of Cheng Man Ching’s Tai Chi

Cheng Man Ching’s Taiji Quan  is Yang Style Taiji Quan, as he learned taiji quan from Yang Cheng Fu. A brilliant Taiji Quan master in his own right, he refined Yang Cheng Fu long form into a shorter version with fewer repetitions. This is something that is widely known, but what is not said is that the short form is short so you can repeat it. It should be repeated for a minimum of five times, and fifteen times, if your legs can handle it.

Of the many lies that you hear mostly on the internet, from people who are not part of this lineage is that the short form is not martial and just for health. Regardless of style or lineage, Chinese martial arts generally promote health and martial ability. How can you fight if you sick? It strengthens the body and the mind.

Cheng Man Ching’s approach to Taiji Quan is expressed in his form. It more compact then Yang Cheng Fu’s one. As this allows for more of the massaging of the internal organs from a health perspective. Martially the compact structure allows more explosive power when attacking. His form also places an emphasis on zhong ding, “central equilibrium” and maintaining this.

About zhong ding there is an article here on that speaks about the concept. Nonetheless, “zhong ding” does not just maintain your centre, by “sinking” and being empty, your opponent will not be able to detect it and therefore be unable to uproot you. The Cheng Man Ching form based on its frame and all puts an emphasis on this.

In his lineage the short form is important, however, there is also the long form. It is, however, practised in the same way the short form is practised. The long form from Cheng Man Ching’s lineage can take up to plus or minus twenty minutes to practice.

Now with regards to the short form, the “reason its short” is not only because of less repetition but also when you finish the form, you begin again where you started and then repeat it. It allows for continuity not just when doing the form, even when you finish. Allowing for it to repeat.

‘Sinking is spiralling and spiralling is sinking,’ as my Shifu would say, you do not need to twist and turn to achieve this. Of course, in Taiji Quan to study it thoroughly its more than just the form. Cheng Man Ching Taiji Quan was not watered down. What happened is that not all his students practised the art to great depth. Especially in the West, some it seems where too caught up on the New Age train, then the actual practice of Taiji Quan Gong Fu.

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“The lone wolf does not seek refuge, he is a refuge. He does not seek out the community. He is a community. Now melancholy might settle, and weakness may creep in. So, he seeks advice from the other lone wolves. Regardless, the lone wolf knows better than to blame the external first. Instead in true Daoist nature examines himself first!”Harmonious Fist

Written by Narcisse Sadi, Tudi (student) of Dr Jeff Lan, certified (by the International Health Qigong Federation) 1st Duan Health Qi Gong and certified (by Dr Jeff Lan) 1st Duan Yang Style (Cheng Man Ching lineage) Tai Chi Chuan Instructor.



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