News 2009

12 December – Tai Ji Circle Christmas Party ’09

The Tai Ji Circle year came to an end with a wonderful Chirstmas party for  students and friends, who joined us for tai ji practice, saw dazzling Chen tai ji demonstrations, such as double sabres, and watched in awe as 2 of the students endured breaking pavement slabs and chopping cabbage on the stomach, with Shifu Liu breaking a concrete slab with a pole. Music came from the incomparableLascelles Jones  on sax, and Aaron Curtis on guitar, with little Alex playing Christmas carols on the piano. Another highlight was a Chinese karaoke duet with Shifu and Justin, both have fantastic voices and sang a lyrical song from the high mountain lands of Xinjiang. Thanks to everyone who demonstrated, helped, cooked, cleared up and made it so successful.


24 October – End of 6 month early morning training

Shifu Liu with Chris and some of the Tai Ji Circle students on the last day of a 6 months rigorous morning qi gong training schedule. Congratulations to all those that made it through and came to join us every morning at 6.30am, it’s a real achievment. The training was both a mental and physical challenge, a continuing test of perseverence, persistence and will power, real gong fu. The group were a great help to each other and thanks goes to everyone for their support.

18 July – Camden New Town Festival – TJC Demonstration

The Camden Summer Festival at St Paul’s Hall was a great success, thanks to the students who gave up a Sunday to come and participate. There were demonstrations of Chen hand and weapon forms, and hard qi gong by the students. Shifu Liu also demonstrated the relaxed power of tai ji quan, in which to break a block of concrete with his hand (held by members of the audience), without apparent effort the pieces fell into 2 halves….


11 July – Fun day in Paradise Park – TJC Demonstration

Despite the grey weather, families turned out to enjoy a day in Paradise Park and watch Shifu Liu and students in our Chen Tai Ji demonstration, thanks to everyone for coming along.

10 July – Brighton day trip

Tai Ji Circle students join up with friends of Shfu Liu in a great day trip to gusty Brighton. No time for sun bathing, here we are practicing up to our ankles in the pebbles of the beach, after a fish and chip meal on the sea-front.


21 April – Congratulations Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang!

We are pleased to inform you that Grand Master Chen Xiao Wang has been awarded the 9th Duan Wei ranking by China’s Wushu Association. This is the highest ranking possible in Chinese Martial arts awarded to only a few people who have made very substantial achievements in their respective martial arts and made the greatest contributions and impact on Wushu development. We offer our warmest congratulations to Grand Master Chen.

17 April – Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang in London

Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang presents Shifu Liu with a personally inscribed copy of his new book before the London XInjia workshops. Below are some of the lavishly illustrated spreads

Grandmaster Chen has published a fascinating new book, Chen Family Tai Ji Quan. It is large format and packed full of fascinating family history, old photographs of the great masters from his family, such as Chen Fake, Chen Zhaokui, Chen Zhaopei, and the current ‘4 Buddha warriors’ (Chen Xiao Wang, Chen Zhenglei, Wang Xian and Zhu Taincai) of Chen style as well as the next upcoming generation. There are marvellous photos of Master Chen’s tai j postures, family anecdotes, details of the 4 major tai ji styles that in part derive originally from the Chen family style, (Yang, Wu, Wu and Sun styles) all accompanied by Master Chen’s magnificent calligraphy and his insights into tai ji quan practice. Also included are images and brief biographies of Master Chen’s disciples from around the world including Shifu Liu Quan Jun.

40% of the proceeds of the book will go to restoring Chen Changxing’s house in Chen village. Chen Changxing is a most renowned 14th generation Tai Ji Quan master (Grandmaster Chen’s great, great, great, grandfather) who combined some of the old shorter tai ji routines of Chen Wanting, to form the traditional 74 part long form, Laojia Yi Lu and the dynamic Laojia Er Lu (Cannon Fist), as well as teaching Yang Luchan, the founder of the Yang style.

Tai Ji Circle has some books available for sale at Camden classes, if interested please email for details. The books are large and very heavy so would need to be collected rather than posted out.


29 March – Chenjiagou Temple Ceremony, China

Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang 19th generation and lineage heir to the Chen family style of Tai Ji Quan, with Shifu Liu outside the Chen Temple where the ceremony took place. Within the Temple are the statues and memorials of the ancestors of the oldest style of tai ji practiced today on which many modern styles are based.

Discipleship Ceremony with Chen Xiao Wang

Shifu Liu attended his formal discipleship ceremony with Chen Xiao Wang, held at the Chen family Temple of Chen Village, other students of Master Chen from Europe and America were also there. Another disciple described the ceremony as an ‘emotional experience’, firstly Grandmaster Chen bowed before the ancestoral altar adorned with fruit and flowers, then followed by each of the new disciples, before being presented with their certificates. Ray a student of Shifu Liu from London, now living and teaching in Zhengzhou the capital city of Henan Province, went along and took some pictures for us.

Shifu Liu and Ray outside the gates of the Chen School of Chenjiagou, a long banner draped across the front welcomes Chen Xiao Wang’s students from all around the world

28 February – Da Bei Qi Gong

Da Bei workshop

Shifu Liu used Chinese meridian charts to explain the relationship between qi gong practice, and medicinal theories of the Five elements and the link to the beneficial times of day to practice for the different organs in the body. This was a powerful new Da Bei practice using repeated movements over a period of time, coordinated with the breath, to root the body and feel heat and internal energy rising from the dantian, while keeping the muscles and tissues open and soft. There was empahsis placed on the necessity of daily pracitice, the ‘gong’ of ‘qi gong’ means ‘hard work and perseverence’, there’s no ‘qi’ without ‘gong’!


> 14 February – Valentine’s day workshop

Chansi Gong and Applications workshop

Getting in close on Valentine’s Day! After an hour of silk reeling exercise during which Shifu Liu made very careful posture and movements adjustments to every student, it was time to lay down the mats and find out how these apparently innocent spiralling movements could be used for defence and attack.