Chen Style Taiji Old Frame, First Form

Chen Qingzhou in the Bay Area There are at least 5 commonly recognized styles of taijiquan, and sometimes substyles of each of those.  I’m a big fan of Chen style taiji, the original.  In this article I’ll talk about and list the movements of the first form: ‘laojia’, from the lineage of 19th-generation successor Chen Qing Zhou.

The 14th generation lineage successor, Chen Chang Xing is credited as the person who condensed the previous generations’ works into the first and second forms.  Today these forms are referred to as the ‘old frame‘ (lao jia).

There are many variations of the first form.  The movements listed here are from the lineage of Chen Qing Zhou, disciple of Chen Zhao Pei(1893-1972) .  Unlike his relatives, Chen Qing Zhou never studied the new frame forms.  When you watch him, you dont see the elaborate circles that characterizes new frame.

As a taiji practitioner, taiji laojia is going to become your life-long partner.  Although there are other crucial forms and exercises to be learned in a complete taiji training curriculum, the first form is the only necessary one.

There is a lot of repeat in much of the form.  When I was first learning the sequence, the sections seemed to naturally divide themselves at each iteration of the Single Whip posture.  The form is considered to have 75 moves.  Here then is a list of all the movements:Chen Qingzhou in the Bay Area with Tony Wong

  1. Opening
  2. Diamong King Pounds Mortar
  3. Lazily tucking clothes – Lan Zha Yi
  4. 6 Sealing, 4 closing
  5. Single whip Dan Bian
  6. diamond King pounds mortar
  7. white goose spreads wings
  8. oblique posture
  9. embrace knee
  10. twist steps
  11. (same as 8 )
  12. (9)
  13. (10)
  14. covered hand punch
  15. (2)
  16. angled body fist
  17. green dragon emerges from water
  18. two handed punch
  19. fist under elbow
  20. step back and swing arms
  21. white goose spreads wings
  22. (8) oblique posture
  23. flasht he back
  24. (14) punch
  25. (4) 6/4
  26. (5) Single whip
  27. hand technique / wield hands
  28. high pat on horse
  29. slap right foot
  30. slap left foot
  31. left heel kick
  32. advance carefully with twist steps
  33. grasp and hit
  34. double kick
  35. protect the heart punch
  36. tornado kick
  37. right heel kick
  38. (14) punch
  39. small catch and hit
  40. embrace heads, push mountain
  41. (4) 6/4
  42. (5) Single whip
  43. forward technique
  44. backward technique
  45. part the mustangs mane
  46. (4) 6/4
  47. (5) Single whipclassic single whip
  48. jade maiden works shuttles
  49. (3) tuck clothes
  50. (4) 6/4
  51. (5) Single whip
  52. (27) wield hands
  53. swing foot
  54. drop and split
  55. golder rooster stands on one leg
  56. step back and swing arms
  57. (21) white goose
  58. (8)
  59. (23)
  60. (14)
  61. (4) 6/4
  62. (5) Single whip
  63. (27) wield hands
  64. (28) pat
  65. cross foot
  66. groin punch
  67. monkey picks fruit
  68. (5) Single whip
  69. dragon hacks the ground
  70. step up, make seven stars
  71. step back, open arms
  72. (53) swing foot
  73. head-on cannon
  74. (2) pound mortar
  75. closing movement

Single whip is a good reference point for sections of the form so I boldfaced them above.

Check out Mark Chen’s Old Frame Chen Family Taijiquan, by North Atlantic Books.  An excellent book on Taiji and Chen style, and specifically the first form.  It has photos of all first form end postures and movement descriptions.  Fantastic descriptions of taiji concepts too.

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