Taijiquan, Tai Chi Chuan, Tai Chi... No matter how you pronounce it or how you see it spelt,
the meaning is the same - this is a Chinese martial art. Yes, a martial art but... something more as well. And
it is exactly this - the different thing - which is the essence of Taijiquan, the mystique that makes it unique
and unparalleled, unifying millions of people all over the world.
Chinese martial arts that are commonly referred to with the general terms Wu Shu or Kung Fu are divided in
two main branches - external and internal styles. Internal styles such as Taijiquan emphasizes mainly on the
development of the internal energy "qi", on meditative techniques, on the ability of a man to use the most of
his abilities and strengths in any given situation. External styles, more popular as Shaolin Kung Fu, concentrate
more on physical development and body strength, which in a way makes them similar to Japanese Karate. While Karate
practice has some requirements concernig age, body structure, a certain amount of physical strength and ability
to withstand stressful exercise, on the other hand Taijiquan can be practiced by everyone without consideration
of age or physical condition.
Taijiquan is an art which helps people. It makes them healthier, stronger, nicer, more genuine. In Taijiquan as
an internal Kung Fu style exists a fusion between body, spirit and energy. The slow, and fluent movements typical
for Taijiquan, make the art accessible to people of all ages. The health effect of Taijiquan practice is very natural
and well proven. The exercises are very efficient in strengthening the muscles and bones. Practicing Taijiquan gives
us a certain culture of breathing, the benefits of which, can be felt throughout our entire lives. Taijiquan is an
excellent aid for achieving better concentration and mental strength, for the conditioning and constant exercising
of our mind. Taijiquan helps us retain our calmness and the feeling of fulfillment in every moment of our daily life.
Last but not least Taijiquan is one of the best known methods of self-defense.
Having originated centuries ago, carried through and survived in wars, turmoil, falls and rises of the Chinese empire,
the martial art of Taijiquan reaches us to prove once again, that there is no limit to that which is of true
nature. Mastering Taijiquan is a process which takes a long time but is felt deeply and truly. Practicing it,
day after day, we discover something new about ourselves, something that makes it worthwhile to carry on... Along the way...
The World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association was established by Grandamaster Chen Xiaowang.
The Association has branches in over 30 countries and is the largest union in the world of
people and clubs practicing Taijiquan.
In 2009 the foundations were laid of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria and it started
functioning as the Bulgarian branch of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association.
Currently the trainings are held in the city of Plovdiv and in the city of Sofia.
World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria works towards the development and promotion of Taijiquan in Bulgaria.
The goals of the Association are:
♦ To establish a working and strong union of clubs and people practicing Taijiquan in Bulgaria
♦ To promote the martial art of Taijiquan in its classic form and to draw more and more people to the principles and philosophy of
♦ To organize international workshops and practices in different cities across Bulgaria that will facilitate the exchange of ideas and
experience with Taijiquan practitioners from all over the world
The foundation of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria is Taijiquan Center Ba Lin.
Taijiquan Center Ba Lin was found in Plovdiv on 14 April 1997. Initially it was a place for practice of the three main
variations of Taijiquan - the Chen, Yang and Wu family styles in their classical versions. Since 2004 only the traditional
Chen family style is practiced. Beside the traditional empty-hand forms, weapon forms are also practiced - Saber, Sword,
Spear and Halberd. Exercises with partners are also done - Tuishou (Push hands) and martial applications. Attention is also
paid to some less known techniques of Meditation, Qigong and other Taoist practices.
The founder of Taijiquan Center Ba Lin Svetoslav Somov is a recognized member of the Chen family, enabling the practitioners
to have an overall vision on the latest tendencies of Taijiquan teaching on a global scale.
The founder and Head of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria and
Taijiquan Center Ba Lin is
a disciple of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang. Svetoslav Somov was born in 1972 in Plovdiv. He graduated from the High-school
of Mathematics in his home city and the Technical University in Sofia with a major in Computer Systems. His martial arts practice
started in 1988, and he started with Taijiquan back in 1991.
Since 1997 Svetoslav Somov has been teaching Taijiquan and throughout this time he has been judging on national competitions in
Taijiquan and internal styles. Since 2004 he has been participating in international workshops and courses around the world held by
Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang - 19th generation master of the Chen family, standard-bearer and keeper of the tradition of the
Chen family style of Taijiquan, Head of the Chen family school of Taijiquan.
In the end of March 2009 Svetoslav Somov was accepted as a disciple by
and was associated as a member of the Chen family in the 20th generation.
The ceremony of initiation was held in the birthplace of Taijiquan - Chenjiagou (Henan province, China) in the presence of numerous
officials and guests from all over the world. The association to the family and acceptance as a disciple is very much in the
spirit of traditional Chinese martial arts. It is a recognition of sorts for the student, the end of one stage and passing into a
whole different level of training and learning.
Based on the idea of Svetoslav Somov in 2006 a project was started for a series of workshops in
traditional Chen family Taijiquan. The workshops are held by:
Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang /born in 1945 in Chenjiagou, China, 19th generation Chen family master,
standard-bearer of Chen family Taijiquan, Head of the Chen family school of Taijiquan/;
Master Jan Silberstorff /20th generation Chen family master, disciple of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang,
Head of WCTAG - the German branch of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association, one of the most renowned European martial
Master Chen Jun /20th generation Chen family master, eldest son of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang,
heir to the tradition of Chen family Taijiquan/.
The series of workshops by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, Master Jan Silberstorff and
Master Chen Jun are an excellent opportunity for all Taijiquan practitioners in Bulgaria to get in
touch with some of the most famous and popular martial art masters around the world. Such events present an opportunity
for more people to understand the theoretical background of Taijiquan and the numerous benefits that can be gained
from practicing it.