Traditional, authentic martial art
Mindful, intensive body work
Training culture at eye level
Our approach to training
Our system is made up of elements that can be roughly divided into three areas: solo exercises, partner exercises, and supporting exercises. Behind all three areas, however, you will find the same specific requirements for our practice.
The core element of Taijiquan are solo exercises , especially the training of forms, in Chinese taolu (套路). These are longer sequences of positions and movements that contain body mechanics and ideas for application in combat.
Derived from these, we practice danshi (单 式 single positions). These are individual movements and positions (also called pictures in German) from the forms, practiced in an endless loop. Lastly, we also train dingshi (定 式 - fixed positions). For these exercises, we take individual positions or images from the forms and hold them statically, to check posture and statics, and to develop strength. The last type of exercise was also the foundation for zhanzhuang (站桩 - standing pole), often referred to as standing meditation.
Our partner work is again divided into three areas: tuishou (推 手 - pushing hands) describes sets of partner routines as well as freeflow exercises, meant to develop structural strength and tactical and technical ideas in in-fighting and clinching; yongfa (用法 application method) teaches techniques and principles based on form movements; sanshou (散 手 - free hands) refers to striking exercises, sparring and free fighting, all of them designed to work at different distances up to and including physical contact.
Supportive exercises include specific forms of strength training, both with and without equipment, various weapon forms, and meditation.
These elements make up the structure of our training. They are driven by a very precise concept of body mechanics, which runs like a red thread through all forms and exercises. The body mechanics are developed through training in accordance with requirements (Chinese yaoqiu要求) for posture, movement and the control of our attention.
Our teacher: Daniel Barth
I had my first contact with martial arts as a teenager with Taekwondo. I never truly fell in love with it, but my interest was sparked. After moving to Munich, I spent some time exploring Japanese disciplines and was able to gain insights into Okinawan Karate and Iaido. This phase of experimentation only lasted for about two years, but in the end it led me to the Chinese traditions. Here, too, I was able to try out different styles and approaches (among other things Choy Lay Fut and Bajiquan) until I found Chen style Taijiquan. The training methodology of Taijiquan spoke to me, and so I stayed.
When I went to Beijing for one year as part of my Sinology studies in 2005, I had the opportunity to learn from Zhou Jige (Chen Yu's first tudi, or indoor disciple) there. It was my first contact with "real" Taijiquan and strongly shaped my understanding of martial arts in general.
Back in Munich I continued to practice for two years, mostly on my own, occasionally with others, until I sent my martial arts training into hibernation for a total of five years.
One of the most important reasons was that at the time, barely anyone in Germany trained this type of Taijiquan, let alone teach it. After the hiatus, I resumed my martial arts training with a two-year excursion into the southern style of Choy Lay Fut - a powerful, dynamic system. In the end, however, it was the very demanding, detailed method of Gongfu Jia that excited me the most. So, in 2016, I returned to Taijiquan training. In the meantime, Nabil and Konstantin had created the CTND, thus offering interested people in-depth teaching in Chen Yu's Taijiquan in Germany.