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Chen Style Tai Chi 18 Beginner Form

The Chen Style Tai Chi 18 Beginner Form teaches the basic principles, stances and transitions of Chen Style Tai Chi making it a beautiful entryway into the founding style of Tai Chi. This form will also prove to be a great stepping stone to the beautiful Chen 24 Fan Form as well as the highly dynamic and powerful Chen 56 Competition Form or the graceful traditional Lao Jia Yi Lu. (Old Frame, First Routine)

Chen Zhenglei

Tai Chi Impressions: "Tuck in Robes" stance - oftentimes also referred to "Lazily tying the Coat" - as shown by Grand Master Chen Zhenglei, the creator of the Chen 18 Form and a 19th generation descendant of the Chen family.

Chen Style Tai Chi alternates between slow/fast and soft/hard movements and is characterized by a pronounced coiling, spiraling characteristic (chan si jin), with sporadic fast releases of energy/power (fa jin).

Be it as an introduction, enhancement or addition - learning the Chen 18 Beginner Form will be a great opportunity for:
  • Beginning Tai Chi students
    Chen Style forms tend to be quite long and this accessible short Chen Style form which is rarely taught in the Bay Area is a great stepping stone and foundation for learning other Chen Style routines like the Chen 24 Fan form, the Chen 56 Competition form or the traditional Lao Jia Yi Lu form.
  • Students coming from an external martial art
    More than any other style of Tai Chi, Chen Style Tai Chi combines internal as well as very pronounced external/physical martial arts aspects making it a great addition for any external martial arts student studying Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Karate, Judo, Taekwondo or Mixed Martial Arts by helping them to integrate a Yin (soft) component to their mainly Yang (hard) practice - and therefore achieving balance and completeness as well as becoming a more rounded martial artist.

    The Chen Style is also very suitable for more mature external martial artists looking to transition to a softer, more gentle yet dynamic & powerful internal martial art with more stress on health and spiritual development and less risk of injury or chronic damage to the body.

  • Tai Chi practitioners having learned a different style of Tai Chi
    Learning a Chen Style routine will not only give you a different perspective of Tai Chi - with Chen Style being the oldest and founding style of all other styles of Tai Chi - but will also be an invaluable addition to your mental, physical & technical skill set and without doubt will also enhance/advance the initial style of Tai Chi you learned.

How Tai Chi can help you:

  • Enhanced body awareness and conditioning: Learn a more holistic, gentler approach to conditioning and harmonizing body, mind and spirit than through high-intensity, high-impact exercises or sports that can harm joints, muscles or ligaments. Experience not only being physically balanced but also emotionally.
  • Nourishing inner peace, stillness and connectedness: Focus, clarity & inner harmony through connecting mind, body & spirit - not only within but also without. Only by being connected can we become whole and in balance.
  • Finding fulfillment in physical practice and spiritual immersion: A good martial artist is like a superb traditional craftsman - always refining, deepening technique, feeling and knowledge - knowing that the whole universe exists in the tiniest of movements. The art of Tai Chi Chuan instills the practitioner with a deep feeling of gratitude and humbleness, of being part of something bigger, something deeply meaningful in which the self becoming less and less important.

Since this class started in June a good Chen Tai Chi foundation is required to join the class at this point in time - please make sure to contact the instructor before attending class.

If you are interested in future Chen style Beginner classes please subscribe to our mailing list so that we can keep you up-to-date with our newest class offerings or contact the instructor.

A Chen Style 24 Fan Form class (Beginner II) is currently forming.

NOTE: Current students in this class are already through the first few moves of the form but since the class is small we decided to open up and rewind the form to the beginning to allow new students to join. While we will start the form from the beginning again, the learning pace might be a little faster than as if everyone starts from a 'blank page'.

This class will also introduce the 8 Brocade Qigong Set and later on basic Silk Reeling Exercises as a warm up before form practice.

** This class may not be well suited for people with acute mobility related health issues or injuries.

Class Level: Beginner
Class Times: Weekday evenings *

Class Location:
  • The Berkeley Performing Arts
    2560 Ninth Street, Suite 119
    Berkeley, CA 94710

Class Tuition:
  • Monthly Group Class Tuition: $90 (4 classes/month)
  • Trial Class: $10
  • Private Lesson: $95 (1 hour, can be shared (max. 2 students))
*For payment policy please see below


  • * Scheduled for beg/mid March, exact start date/time TBA
    If you haven't done so already, please make sure to pre-register. Final date/time will be announced via email to pre-registered parties.
  • Clicking on the "Pre-register" button below simply sets up an email that you then can choose to send and that let's us know that you are interested in this class. It also will provide us with a way to contact you in regards to final start date/time of this class.

*Pre-registration is required…

Pre-registration is required:

  or call 415.422.9933

Why is pre-registration required? The no-obligation pre-registration simply gives us a little bit of an idea of the to be anticipated class size and also allows us to contact you with the exact start date/time for this class.


*Payment Policy: Tuition payments are accepted in cash, check or if you prefer you can pay your tuition with your preferred credit card in person or online via PayPal (a PayPal account is not required). Please note that a nominal 3% processing fee ($93 Monthly Group Class / $98 One-Hour Private Session) applies to all credit card payments. The cancellation fee for private lessons is $35.

Tuition is payable in advance the first week of the month.To keep the program viable we unfortunately cannot offer a per-class or drop-in fee with the exception of our trial class which we offer at $10 (50% off our regular class fee basis)

Students already paying the full monthly tuition fee can pay a simple drop-in class fee of $20 per class if they would like to attend additional classes in another form that is appropriate for their level. Please ask the instructor for details/approval.

Please understand that the monthly tuition is a fixed fee as in any other martial arts, fitness or health program and cannot be reduced if classes are missed for any reason from the student's side. Tuition payments are paused if the student's absence exceeds 4 weeks - please notify the instructor in a timely manner if you anticipate any prolonged absence from class.

Students will receive a credit or reduction in the monthly tuition for classes cancelled by the instructor due to vacation, illness or unforeseen events. Classes are closed on federal holidays - the monthly tuition though is not affected by holidays falling on class days and remains payable in full.

If you decide to sign up or join a class after the 1st week of the month your monthly tuition will be prorated accordingly.

Please email us with questions in regards to our payment policies.