About Chen Style Taiji
Chen Style Taijiquan originated from the Chen Village in China's Henan Province. With over 400 years of history, the Chen Style is considered the origin of this ancient art. It contains dynamic coiling motions and has the appearance of both graceful ease and explosive force. Chen Style is suitable for all ages as the athletic movements appeal to the young and the focus on structure appeals to the old. The gentle and dynamic stretches in the foundation movements helps to open up the kua (hips), chest, and shoulders while strengthening the legs and toning the overall physique. It stimulates blood flow and immune response and is very good for the back and neck.
Source: Hong Kong Commercial Daily Dec 23, 2016 Issue
About Practical Method
The movements of the Practical Method are very precise. For instance, when done properly, there is no lateral knee movement. The knee remains in a fixed position over the heel, transferring energy into the ground and not into the knee. This ensures that there is very little of the knee strain found in other styles. Instead it supports and strengthens all the surrounding ligaments and fascia. All the form is like this. During moves of transition, the structural elements are placed first and remain fixed, thereafter, the internal elements move to create rotation and connection.
When we train Taiji as it was originally intended, it is extremely challenging. The challenge is, to break some of the body's bad habits and to train a new way of moving. We train always with an emphasis on structural integrity, we analyze and validate each movement in the form using the exercises inherent in the system and according to the rules of the system. After a time, this aligns the entire body and builds pathways in the brain and body to use energy in the most efficient way (the analogy of 4 ounces to defeat 1000 pounds). Grandmaster Hong himself described the Taiji movements as 'corresponding to the entire meridian network'.
The Practical Method is a commitment to the heritiage of Taijiquan. Taiji was, after all, created as a martial art. The health benefits which people experienced (and which coincidentally led to its popularity) were an ancillary benefit to learning it as such. Systems based primarily around Taiji's health aspect, while their heart is in the right place, are sadly, often distilled versions, lacking the very thing they seek.