World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria

About us

The martial art Taijiquan. Health effect. Fusion of body, spirit and energy.

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...

World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association. World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria.
Taijiquan Center Ba Lin.

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.

Taijiquan Center Ba Lin with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang

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    Taijiquan

♦ 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.

Founder and Head of the Bulgarian branch of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association and
Taijiquan Center Ba Lin.

Svetoslav Somov with his Teacher - Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang

The founder and Head of the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association - Bulgaria and Taijiquan Center Ba Lin is
Svetoslav Somov - 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 Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang 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.

International projects for Taijiquan practice in Bulgaria.

Svetoslav Somov with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang Eleonora Totkova with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang

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 arts' masters/;

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.