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In the last two weeks I heard two of my students (with ample prior experience) describing our Chen Taijiquan frame to someone. One of them, being a Chinese speaker, used the term 丰富 fengfu, which means "abundant". The other one, an English speaker who comes to my workshops from afar, said to another student: "this frame is very rich, with so many details". When I think about this the German word "reichhaltig" comes to my mind, which means something like "rich in content".

I think all these terms present a very good way to think about this frame and actually about Taijiquan or gongfu practice in general. I heard people saying, this frame is so complex and not easy to learn. And while this is true, I think it is better to think about it as being abundant and overflowing with contents. So actually you learn something which you can add to your practice regardless of whether you are a beginner or an advanced veteran. And the learning doesn't really stop. I remember one of my students asking me something and adding: "Actually, a year ago I would have never imagined being able to even ask a question like this."

And all the contents inside the frame are logically tied together by strong core concepts of a holistic body work full with martial theories. So I think it is not really about calling something too complex, too strict or too difficult. But we should rather think about contents. Something which doesn't have much to offer is surely easy to learn. But think about it: what have you really learned, when it didn't have many contents, but only external choreography?

If you watch my teacher you can see what one circle in our frame has to offer, in terms of body method, body mechanics, breathing, mind work and so on. And this was just a normal public class setting. Chen Taijiquan is a very rich art indeed!   



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