Friday, November 13, 2009

Female exemplars in Taijiquan

More from Turning Silk: A Diary of Chen Taiji Practice, by Kinthissa:
Apart from Chen XiaoWang's* magnificent XinJia** renditions, I have seen only one other person whose XinJia has impressed me. This was a woman, Japanese, one of the six, all teachers, who came to Sydney in 1997. She was of a narrow and light build. Her delicacy had a lithe power, it brought out quite a different quality in XinJia's character. I find wildness suits women. Female practitioners have a paucity of exemplars to be inspired by. Master Chen said that the woman was gold medal material, only her responsibilities in running an organization did not allow her enough training time. When I have asked him if the training for women is different from men's, his reply has been, "No, it is the same." When I enquired after women in his family who had reached a high level in TaijiQuan (as one hears almost exclusively of men), he said that some had excelled in their early years, but then they had married, etcetera.
* Chen XiaoWang is Kinthissa's famous teacher. An impressive video of Chen XiaoWang in action.
** XinJia ("new frame") is a more modern form of Chen style taijiquan, compared to the LaoJia ("old frame"). In her book Kinthissa writes interestingly and in detail about her experiences studying both frames.


Sue C said...

Hi Dan, you knew this post would hook me it didn't you? I had a quick read of the links you provided - she sounds like an inspiring lady. I may consider getting her book, it's always interesting to see how another woman thinks about her training. Thanks.

Dan Prager said...

Hi Sue

I was pretty sure you'd like this post! Kinthissa's book is an absolutely first rate account. You should get it!

Littlefair said...


That guy can sure generate some power!
That's T'ai Chi!?

Fantastic. His entire body eases and flows into the next explosion of energy. It also seems (at the end of the technique) very firm; solid; almost like he's immovable but only for a split second.

Great vid!

Dan Prager said...

"That's T'ai Chi!?"

Sure is, but not as most of us know it. If you search for Chen Xiaowang on Youtube you'll find him doing slow forms more recognizable as taiji. Worth a look ...