Timetable & Syllabus

The weekly class timetable is below, with details of the whole TJC syllabus and routes of progression for your practice, which we hope are useful.

The Autumn term, finishes on 17 December.

Chen Taijiquan (Tai chi): Weekly Classes with Shifu Liu
 London Timetable Term Three:  4 September to 17 December  2017
Islington Chinese Association, 21 Hatchard Road, London N19 4NG
18:30 – 19:30 Chen Tai Ji: Beginners Foundation Class 2 – All levels
(New students welcome to try the class)
19:30 – 20:30 Chen Tai Ji 3: 74 Part Old Frame Form Laojia Yi Lu
20:30 – 21:30 Chen Tai Ji 4: Cannon Fist Form Laojia Er Lu
St Paul’s Church Hall, Camden Square, NW1 9XG
13:00 – 14:00 Chen Tai Ji Community Lunchtime Class – with Chris
(Everyone welcome)
Islington Chinese Association, 21 Hatchard Road, London N19 4NG
18:30 – 19:30 Chen Ziqiang’s Big Frame Forms 1 & 2, Dajia Yi & Er Lu.
19:30 – 20:30 Chen Tai Ji 3: 56 Chen Competition Form
20:30 – 21:30 Chen Tai Ji 2: Chen Push Hands, Martial Applications
St Paul’s Church Hall, Camden Square, NW1 9XG
18:30 – 19:30 Chen Tai Ji: Beginners Foundation Course
19:30 – 20:30 Chen Tai Ji 3:  74 Part Old Frame FormLaojia Yi Lu
20:30 – 21:30 Chen Tai Ji 4:  Chen Xinjia Er Lu – New Frame Form 2
1st Saturday of the Month
Afternoon classes are at St Paul’s Church Hall, Camden Square, NW1 9XG
12:00 – 13:15 FREE Tai Chi Class with Tai Ji Circle MeetUp Group led by Shifu Liu in Camden Square Gardens, NW1 (not 2 Dec)
13:30 – 14:30 Chen Tai Ji 2: NEW Tai Ji Ball
14:30 – 17:30 Chen Single Sword/Single & Double Sabre weapons
Other Saturdays
13:00 – 18:00 Regular Chen Tai Ji Workshops – see Events menu
Sundays (venue change from 4 September)
Islington Chinese Association, 21 Hatchard Road, London N19 4NG
09:00 – 10:00 Chen Tai Ji 4: Xinjia Yi Lu – Advanced
10:00 – 11:00 Chen Tai Ji: Beginners Foundation Course – All levels
New 2 x classes for 4 week Course starts 19.11.17
11:00 – 12:00 Chen Tai Ji 1: 19 Part Form – All levels
12:00 – 13:00 Chen Tai Ji 2: Chen 38 Part Form


Drop-in class fees per hour (cash only)
Member: £12      Member Concession: £8
Non-member: £15   Non-member Concession: £8.50
Community Class daytime fee: £3.50

For cheaper class pass fees and payments see Members & Class Fees


New Students
• Beginners to tai chi are advised to enrol in our Autumn Foundation Courses, which we start every four weeks, three times a term. Or if you miss the beginning of a course, just come to the next one. We ask for you to attend twice a week for 4 weeks to gain maximum benefit from the training and help you learn more quickly. You can save on drop-in fees by signing up for an 8 class Pass to cover the course or a 15 class Term Pass which you can use up at any Foundation classes over the 15 week term. Foundation tai chi contains the basic building blocks for the style, you learn the correct position of the arms, legs, alignment of posture, improve coordination, energy, balance and strength.
It is also possible to join in the Foundation 2 class and the Big Frame forms general classes which are also for those with some tai ji experience.
See:  New Students menu

• Posture Correction: Shifu Liu believes that posture correction in movement and standing practice is essential for individual improvement to encourage the free flow of energy and maximum benefits. Many of us stand without the correct vertical/horizontal alignment of the body during our training, and Shifu Liu or his senior students may be asked to help correct this in our classes. If anyone feels strongly that they do not wish to be touched then please let us know beforehand, thank you.

• If you are experienced in the Chen style you can ask Shifu Liu if you can attend other classes at your level of practice, but Foundation training is most important for all levels, and Shifu Liu prefers everyone to attend these classes if they are new.

Video of Shifu Liu at the Camden New Town Festival Tai Ji Circle demonstration 2015.


Hand Forms

Beginners Foundation and  General level Forms:
• Foundation Chen Tai Ji Course & Foundation 2: Standing and Silk Reeling tai chi qi gong practice (for all levels, but especially beginners and new students) Foundation 2 is more challenging.
9 Step Form (sometimes taught in Foundation for beginners and new students) or
Four Direction fist, taught to the left and right directions. Sifang Quan
• Chen Ziqiang’s Big Frame Form 1, Dajia Yi Lu
• Chen Ziqiang’s Big Frame Form 2, Dajia Er Lu
19 Step Form (it is best to have completed the Foundation Course and Foundation 2 training before trying a longer form)
Two-Person Chen Duan Wei – Short Hand Forms  (Learnt individually and then how to use with a partner) No classes running at the moment
• Push Hands, Tui Shou – two partner training for beginners
We are currently running classes of Dajia, the Big Frame Forms, and the 19 Step Form. The 9 Step and Four Direction Fist Forms are taught either at workshops or at our free tai chi in the park classes.

38 Step Form
Old Frame Long Form One (74 step), Laojia Yi Lu
Chen 56 Competition Form 
Applications and Techniques class  for more experienced students

Old Frame Form TwoLaojia Er Lu, Cannon Fist or Paochui
• New Frame Long Form One, Xinjia Yi Lu, New Frame
New Frame Form Two, Xinjia Er Lu, New Frame Cannon Fist
Power training in some of the more advanced classes

Chen-style Weapon Forms

• Single Sabre (it is sensible to have practiced Foundation hand-forms prior to starting Single Sabre Form)

• Single Sword

• Double Sabres
• Long Spear, Short Form

Partner Forms
Push Hands,
 Tui Shou two partner training
Martial Applications and Techniques sometimes taught with Push Hands or with Chen hand forms in specific workshops at a higher level.
Two-Person Chen-style Applications Form from Duan Wei system, first taught individually (no classes at the moment)

Techniques for learning tai chi
Learning tai ji quan is a mix of external and internal awareness, most importantly in class, watch closely and copy exactly the teacher’s movements (don’t close the eyes except in Standing Post). Slowly, keeping a calm mind, by relaxing nerves, muscles and ligaments, the body begins to relax and open up to let energy flow more freely.

A ‘form’ or routine is a sequence of linked movements that create a continuous flowing exercise that applies the silk reeling movements and principles (taught in Foundation classes) in action. Because routines are practiced as a continuous sequence, once they are memorised, they allow the mind to relax and the body to start moving more freely. It takes time and constant practice to refine the postures and movements of each form that slowly builds strength and understanding of the martial applications contained within the movements.

Routes to progression in Chen Taijiquan

We offer some practice programmes to maximise your training using the 5 Class a week or Freedom Passes.
Introductory Foundation Beginners Tai Ji Courses: run three times a term, 2 x classes per week for four weeks
Beginners: After the course, study Foundation 2 classes, try Dajia Yi Lu, (for one Term), then Foundation x 2, Dajia Yi and Er Lu, or try the 19 Form x 1, and Sabre x 1 class (when you have learnt a hand form)
We recommend that new students study Foundation training for their first term (15 classes) before trying out the Dajia, Big Frame Er Lu or 19 Form and Single Sabre class, and still continue with Foundation classes even when they are training at other levels.
Intermediate: 38 Form x 1, Foundation x 2, Laojia Yi Lu x 2, Sword/Sabre x 1
Advanced: Laojia Yi Lu x 1, 38 Form/19 Form/Foundation x 1, Laojia Er Lu x 1 (Cannon Fist), Xinjia Yi Lu x 1, Xinjia Er Lu, Sword x 1, Double Sabres x 1, other weapons, spear, pole etc.

Time required to learn basic forms at each level (approx)
• Foundation Beginners suggested minimum 1-2 term required
• Foundation Forms Dajia Yi and Er Lu approx 1 term
• 19 Form, Single Sabre, 1 Term
• 38 Form, Single Sword, 2-3 Terms
• Laojia Yi Lu, Xinjia Yi Lu, Double Sabres, 1 year or more, as the forms are longer and more complex

Assessments: Held once or twice a year. To pass the different levels of training Shifu Liu requires students to be comfortable with each part of the curriculum and perform hand and weapon forms at their level for the Assessments. Even at higher levels of practice Shifu Liu would recommend students do at least one Foundation silk reeling class per week, as they are important for increasing energy and integral to Shifu Liu’s method of training.

Chen Taijiquan has a profound and subtle background of theories it is very different from other forms of exercise that concentrate more on the external body to get fit. It has mental and physical challenges, memory of forms, balance, and coordination etc. and demands a lot of regular practice to see improvement, it is not a quick fix like going to the gym. Improved health and wellbeing are the by-products of the practice and to be skilled in use for self defense takes much time and dedication. New students begin with apparently simple exercises and are not necessarily aware of the internal dynamics taking place in the practice, and the complex theories behind them. It is the beginning of a long path, initially experience rather than theory is the key and it may take many years before the theories can be integrated into the practice. However the contrast between a beginner and when a real tai ji master performs is evident from the flow, quality and strength of the action and the understanding of the martial applications of the movements.

Click the link for more information on Chen Taijiquan

Class Advice
• All students should abide by the Code of Conduct of the Chen family
• All the classes are taught in English using the Chinese names rather than the English movement names, which are standard and useful when attending other Chen Taijiquan classes with Chinese teachers worldwide
• Students should wear loose comfortable clothes and flat shoes, preferable tai chi suits and shoes
• Do not eat a heavy meal for at least 1 hour before class
• Tight leggings or jeans are not suitable for internal martial arts practice, as it is important for the air to be able to circulate so the skin can relax and open, enabling energy to enter the body
• If you attend a class when the weather is very hot, bring a change of ‘t’ shirt and a small towel, if it is cold wear layers as the hall may be chilly.

The video shows Shifu Liu performing the Chen New frame long form, Xinjia Yi Lu, which demonstrates movement principles, as well as, slow and fast, soft and strong, the principles of yin yang prevelent in the Chen style.

DA BEI QI GONG (chi kung)
(Only available for private tuition from Shifu Liu in 2017)

Regents Park Da Beiweb

Da Bei Qi Gong is particularly good for boosting energy and for chronic health conditions, those with serious health issues can attend free, but should email us first and make sure that your doctor is happy for you to attend.

Qi gong can be practiced seated on a chair or standing, and there are several different types of practice, some gently moving, some meditative and still, or using the voice for chanting sounds to vibrate and stimulate the main organs of the body. Shifu will teach what is most appropriate for those attending. No former experience is necessary.

Tai Ji Foundation logo

Tai Ji Circle is a registered charity: Number 1151369

For information in London contact: [email protected]

Learn Chen Taijiquan in London with Shifu Liu Quanjun