6.b.xii.-traditional-chen-style-small-frame-method Section

Traditional Chen Style Taijiquan
- the small frame method

Author: Fan Chun Lei & Frank Shiery

Paperback: 161 pages

Publisher: Author House (2007)

ISBN-10: 1425985858 ISBN-13: 978-1425985851

Reviewer: Nick Gudge (Dec 2011)

Small frame Book CoverEach time I read this book it grows on me a little more. As far as I can determine it is the first time someone has set out to record the small frame (xiao jia) Chen style taijiquan form in English.

The first 1/3 of the book is set aside for basic requirements. These include a brief history, five special characteristics of Chen style taijiquan and some taijiquan theory which I found to be of little assistance. The third chapter was given over to what the authors describe as the Ten Elements of Taijiquan which is predominantly traditional Chinse esoteric theory.

Perhaps of more interest to the reader is their teacher Chen Li Qing’s “Discussion on Taijiquan” which includes some basic body requirements and her ‘13 requirements of Chen Style taijiquan.’

The latter 2/3rds of the book are given over to arrowed diagrams and descriptions of the 78 movements composing the first form of the xioa jia. Each movement includes comments and diagrams on setting the form, the directions of coiling and some offensive and defensive usages.

A think a student attempting to learn from this book alone would be frustrated. The sense of movement from the arrowed diagrams is limited and occasionally incomprehensible. A student learning this form from an experienced teacher I believe would find it useful as a set of course notes. In many respects this book is surpassed by the several DVD’s available of this form, although the first section does contain some very helpful comments.

Ratings:Overall: 5.00 out of 10

Content:3 out of 10,   Language: 6 out of 10,   Accuracy: 7 out of 10,   Helpfulness: 4 out of 10