Yang style vs. Chen style

Yang style vs. Chen style

Postby onenoc » Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:05 pm

Does anyone know the difference between Yang and Chen styles? I am not sure I'll be able to find a good Yang style instructor where I'm going, but I have found a Chen stylist with a good background. Also, with a background in the external martial arts (shaolin chuan, and previously Taekwondo), would one be easier to learn than the other? Thanks.
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Postby gene » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:41 am

Hi Onenoc:

Whew, you don't ask easy questions! In brief and in general: the Yang style is derived from the Chen style. The Yang style places emphasis on open, expanded postures and flowing, even, graceful movement. A main focus of Yang style is "peng jin," which is difficult to describe but is the type of energy you might feel if you tried to push a beach ball down into the water of a swimming pool. The Chen style is more obviously martial and contains more vigorous movements, including fast punches and kicks. A main focus of the Chen style is "chan ssu jin," or a coiling type of energy. Neither is easy to learn; they both demand a lifetime of study, and they are both well worth it. In my opinion, unless you are sure that a particular style is absolutely the only one for you, it is much more important to find an excellent teacher. He or she will make the art interesting and rewarding, regardless of style.

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Postby WU » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Greeting O!
It doesn't matter what style of Tai Chi you would choose as long as it is a real internal art (Please refer to my posts on how to pick Tai Chi instructor).
Chen style has lower stances plus fast and slow movement which should help some beginners to understand the Tai Chi philosophy and internal basics. Silk-reeling (Chan Si Jin) is not a trade mark of the Chen style only. The traditional Yang's does teach silk-reeling at a higher level (or application). I suggest that you should start with the Chen's then move onto the Yang's after mastering the Chen's. The reason is the Yang's would help you more at the high level. This is a natural evolution! Please see the following chart:

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It means a newer developed style is harder to master, but would give you more internal stuff. From my experience, the Sun is the hardest style to learn with the highest stance but the most dangerous one in term of martial arts. Best of luck!
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