By Nick Scrima, Journal of Chinese Martial Arts
Chén Zì Qiáng is a 20th generation descendant of Chén family Tài Jí Quán and Chief Coach of the Chén Jiā Gōu (Chén village) Tài Jí Quán School in China. A multiple national champion in China, Chén has coached many students who achieved national tournament success. He is skilled in all Chén style hand and weapons forms and actively promotes Tuī Shǒu (Push Hands) and Sǎndǎ.
This wide-ranging interview covers the many historic influences on Chén style Tài Jí Quán and Chén Zì Qiáng’s early training as part of an illustrious family. He discusses the essential training for building a solid foundation in the style (including post standing, silk reeling, breathing exercises, and the basic forms – Lǎo Jià Yī Lù and Lǎo Jià Èr Lù), and offers his ideas on Chén Tài Jí as compared to other Tài Jí styles. He describes the health benefits and stress-relieving properties of correct Tài Jí practice, as well as the principles and practices of Tuī Shǒu and the application of Fā Jìn. He notes the training methods for his Sǎndǎ team and his thoughts on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).