Author Topic: Chen family Taijiquan  (Read 5770 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

October 04, 2009, 10:40:13 PM
Read 5770 times


  • Posts By Osmosis

  • Offline
  • *****
  • Greenhorn

  • 861
  • Karma:
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Choosing the path of defending oneself can be correct

In the past martial arts were necessary for protection and living
Henan and its neighboring North China provinces of Hebei, Shandong, and Shanxi were home to a strong martial tradition, for a variety of historical and social reasons. First, they lay in the path of repeated waves of barbarian invasions from the north, the latest of which ruled from Beijing as the Manchu, or Qing (Ching), dynasty. Second, the area was riven by clan and sectarian rivalries which often turned violent. Third, the region was rife with banditry and crime. Barriers to class mobility and the practices of polygamy and female infanticide had created a huge surplus of destitute, single, and alienated young men; to many of them, the attractions of a swashbuckling life of crime and pillage proved irresistible.

During this period, the famous Shaolin temple martial arts in Henan province were very highly developed. Martial arts in general, developed to an extremely high level in Henan province. Martial arts were necessary for protection and survival of the temple, village, or family of almost everybody, and to protect the weak from those that would harm them. Many people consider Shaolin to be one of the greatest, and mother martial arts.

Example of Shaolin Long Fist-

Example of Shaolin 18 Damo Shou-

However, not far from Shaolin temple, is another area famous for martial arts.....The Chen Village.

One of the greatest, high level, and sophisticated martial arts is the Chen familiy Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan. What their strength probably was, was that they took the essense of many martial arts, and completely integrated them into a martial art that was the perfect balance of soft and hard. Developed them to the perfect balance of internal and external, and this eventually became the martial art of Chen family Tai Chi.

Some history about Chen family Taijiquan-
First it must be made clear that Taijiquan was developed by a retired soldier, a fighter who had knowledge of martial arts as well as Chinese medicinal and cultivational practices. It was primarily developed as a martial art practice with the intention of making the best use of the human body's cultivational facility while practicing. It originally was not developed with the idea of giving old people a method of moving slowly in the morning to alleviate arthritis although it can be used that way.

Taiji quan is over 300 years old as a system and takes its roots from further back. the system was developed in northern central China by a retired general (or some sort of soldier official) Named Chen Wang Ting, who had a great and broad martial arts skill. He Mixed his vast skill with ancient Daoist and Buddhist breathing and meditation methods as well as traditional medicinal theory and Qi gong.
Chen Wangting, Ninth Generation member of the Chen Family, served as a professional soldier for the Ming Dynasty fighting rebel forces. He was exposed to a variety of battlefield martial arts, which were more important militarily before the gun appeared on the battlefield. Despite his background and perseverance, in 1644, Chen ended up on the losing side. Rebel forces began to gain an upper hand, and soon thereafter the Ming Dynasty fell. It is then that Chen Wangting likely retreated to Chen Village and developed the comprehensive martial art and internal training system we now call Chen Style Taijiquan.

1000 battles, 1000 victories

Chen Bu
Founding Ancestor

Originally from Shanxi province. Nearing the end of the Ming Dynasty, Chen Bu migrated to Henan province and moved his family to present day Chenjiagou Village in the County of Wenxian. At that time the village was called Chengyang village (mainly consisting of people with the surnames Chang and Yang). When the Chen clan prospered and its population increased, the village name was changed to Chenjiagou ('Chen' - surname, 'Jia' - the family of, 'Gou' - gully or ravine, because the village lies in a gully not far from the Yellow River). Chen Bu was an accomplished martial artist, so everyone in the village has been practising kung-fu since then.

Chen Wang Ting (1600-1680),
Also known as Chen Zouting- of the 9th generation from the founding ancestor Chen Bu, is traditionally held to be the originator of the Chen style of Taiji.

It is said that he was a sucessful candidate in the imperial military examinations at the provincial level in the late Ming dynasty. In 1644 ( the 14th year of Chongzhen in the reign of emperor Sizong- also the final year of the Ming dynasty, in which the combined influences of Manchu military expeditions from the north and rebel insurgences in central China served to topple the dynasty) he was appointed Commander of the Garrison Force of Wenxian county. He engaged in military expeditions against rebel forces commanded by Li Zicheng in Shandong. Upon the fall of the Ming, his opportunities for advancement ruined by the change of dynasties, he retired to Chenjiagou. It is said that while in retirement, he fused techniques from the teachings of the Ming general Qi JiKuang with traditional medical theory and taoist breathing techniques to form a unique yielding form of martial art.

Chen Sou Le
10th generation

During the last days of the Ming dynasty, (1368-1644) the country was in disorder, brigandage and anarchy were becoming prevalent. a citizen of the same couty, from Beipinggao Village, named Wang Jun Bo, was very wealthy. Several hundred cruel robbers from Shandong Province wanted to steal his treasure. Wang heard this news and was going to ask Chen Suo Le for help. On the way to see him,before he arrived at the village, he met Chen Suo Le's two sons, his eldest son Chen Shen Ru and his second son Chen Xun Ru (nicknamed Big Sky God and Second Sky God). Wang told them of his plight and asked for assistance. they resolutely undertook to help him. The brothers were twins of nearly sixteen years of age and were skilled in boxing. At Wang's request, they went (to Beipinggao Village) where all was made ready according to plan. That evening, when bandits came they were all dealt with in one fell swoop, an immediate resolution to the dangerous situation. The people of Wen county admired the two youths who were able to kill the robbers. A drama was composed, titled "A Pair of Heroes Defeat the Bandits". It is often performed during village festivals." _written by Ji Fu, Chen Zhao Pei, 5/9/35, Henan, Wenxian, Chenjiagou

Chen Guangyin
11th generation

Chen Zheng Ru
11th generation


Chen Shanzhi
12th generation

Chen Jingjie
12th generation

Chen Jingbai
12th generation

"In the Jia qing reign (1796-1821) of the qing dynasty, my ancestor Chen Jingbai, whose martial arts skill was of the highest level, travelled as an armed escort in Shandong province for a number of years. His reputation was such that robbers upon hearing that he was guarding the transport would not dare to attack. in Qing zhoufu he defeated Wang Ding Guo, a famous monk of the Shaolin sect. Chen Jingbai was widely praised and admired." _Chen Zhao Pei

Chen Bingwang (1748-?)
13th generation
Teacher of Chen Chang Xin.

Chen Bingren
13th generation

Chen Bingqi
13th generation

Chen Gongzhao
13th generation

Chen Yaozhao
13th generation


Chen Chang Xin (1771-1853)
14th generation.

Known as "Mr. Ancestral Tablet" for his upright posture and reverent attitude, he is best remembered as the instructor of Yang Lu Chan, the founder of the Yang school of Taijiquan. He has been traditionally credited with synthesizing the empty hand routines attributed to Chen Wang Ting into two forms: Yi Lu and Er Lu (Pao Chui, or Cannon Fist). These routines, along with the weapons sets came to be known as Lao Jia (or Old Frame)

A third branch was headed up by another fourteenth generation member of the Chen family named Chen Youheng. Chen Youheng developed what many see as the first New Frame of the style. This New Frame was not a watering down of Chen style by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it was viewed as an even more martial rendering of the style adapting to the ever changing face of military hand-to-hand combat. This approach was exemplified by his offspring, Chen Jishen and Chen Zhongshen who were recognized as warriors who successfully stood up to the Taiping rebels during the reign of the Emperor Hsien Feng. Some accounts credit Chen Zhongshen specifically with adding further developments of a "Big Style" that emphasized a martial prowess, and made the style more practical and adaptable to battlefield considerations.

Chen Kung Yuen
15th generation.

The son of Chen Changxin, he served as a convoy guard (piao-shih) for the gentry in Shandong. His prowess was well known: a monument to him was erected in Shandong attaining to his proficiency as a guard.

Chen Yanxi
16th generation.

The son of Chen Kung Yuen, He was noted as the instructor of the household of Yuan Shi Kai: "famous martial arts experts who met him in contests were invariably defeated. From Shandong he went on to tianjin, teaching continuously for six years. Then, because his mother was getting old, he took his leave and returned home, practicing medicine for the rest of his days" _Chen Zhao Pei He is also remembered as the instructor of Du Yu Tse.

Chen Fa ke (1887-1957)
17th generation

The son of Chen Yanxi, and the great grandson of Chen Changxin, Chen Fake was a sickly child. He was not a serious student of Taijiquan until it became obvious that the heriditary title of standard bearer for the art would pass from his father to a more deserving practitioner. This inspired him to practice in earnest: he is said to have risen in the middle of the night to practice in secret for years until his skill developed. He was recognized as a master when he was 17 years old.
In 1907, at the age of 20 he participated in a tournament in Wenxian, winning top honors. Word of his skill reached the warlord Han Fuju, who wished to employ him as a boxing teacher. Chen refused, and as a result, the angered warlord ordered a subordinate to attack Chen with a spear. Chen easily countered his attack, grasping the tip of the spear as it jabbed toward him, and reversing the force against the attacker. He was also attacked by a man with a broadsword, and forbidden to use his hands. He disarmed the man with his feet.
He is remembered for his diligent practice, performing at least 30 sets of boxing a day, as well as 300 repetitions of "pole shaking" exercises.
In 1928 he travelled to Beijing at the request of Chen Zhaopei, his nephew. He established a name for himself, defeating a number of noted martial artists. As a result of this, Chen family Taijiquan became well known.

Perhaps his greatest contribution to martial arts was his creation of the "xin jia" branch of Chen family Taiji, which he taught from 1940 to his death in 1957. He cofounded the Capital Wushu Association of Shanxi with Hu Yaozhen (Xingyi instructor of Feng Zhiqiang). Chen Fake taught a number of students, among them his second son, Chen ZhaoXu, his third son Chen Zhaokui, Feng Zhiqiang, and Tian Xiuchen.

Chen Fa Ke-
(1887-1957), seventeenth generation descendant of Chen clan, famous Chen style Taijiquan master, Chen Chan Xing's Great grandson. Chen became famous in his hometown for victories in lei tai (free fighting) competitions held in the county and for defeating opponents armed with spear and sabre while Chen stood barehanded(after he rejected the post offered to him by Han Fuju, local warlord). In 1929 , through Chen Zhaopi's recommendation , Chen Fa Ke left Chenjiagou and went to Beiping (today's Beijing) to teach Taijiquan . Very modest, used to say about himself "No Good" and for this reason became known as "Chen No Good". Many times challenged by martial arts practioners (including Bagua and Chinese wrestling experts) , defeated them in great style, without hurting anybody

Chen Fa Ke, the greatest Tai Chi grandmaster of the last century, and clips of his grandson-

I found rare video footage of Chen Zhao Kui, the son of Chen Fa Ke.

Chen Zhao Kui (1928-1981) inherited the inner family lineage of the Chen family Tai Chi from his father Chen Fa Ke. This is the direct lineage of the greatest practitioners in the history of the art, and the history of the Chen family. This must be considered one of the greatest and most high level lines in the history of martial arts. Chen Fa Ke inheritied the system from his father Chen Yan Xi, inheritied from his father Chen Kung Yuen, and inherited from his father Chen Chang Xin(1771-1853). Chen Chang Xin is the creator of the Chen Tai Chi sets and the art of Tai Chi as we know it, and was the great grandfather of Chen Fa Ke(1887-1957). Chen Chang Xin was known as "Mr. Ancestral Tablet" for his upright posture, and he was also the instructor of Yang Lu Chan, the founder of the Yang school of Taijiquan. He is credited with synthesizing the great and braod martial fighting skill and knowledge of the Chen family and his ancestors into two forms: Yi Lu and Er Lu (Pao Chui, or Cannon Fist). No matter what anyone tells you, Chen Fa Ke was the only direct inheritor of these forms.

These 4.... Chen Chang Xin (1771-1853), Chen Kung Yuen, Chen Yan Xi, and Chen Fa Ke (1887-1957), are the highest level Tai Chi fighters in relatively recent history. No one from any other style or family of Tai chi had their level of skills, neither do the practitioners in the Chen village currently today have the level of these 4.

Being the son of Chen Fa Ke, Chen Zhao Kui inherited the indoor form and entire system, as well as all applications. Chen Zhao Kui had the best form and most complete art of all of Chen Fa Kes diciples. In fighting, Chen Zhao Kuis specialty was Shuai Chiao, Wrestling, and Qinna.

It is a shame there is not longer footage of his form, but here is a very cool clip I found...

Chen Zhoukui, Son of Chen Fa Ke
YouTube - Chen Zhaokui (1928-1981)

First Set-

Grand Master Ma Hong, long term indoor disciple of Chen Zhoa Kui demonstrates the main Chen Style form-
YouTube - Chen Style Tai Chi First Routine--Ma Hong: part 1
YouTube - Chen Style Tai Chi First Routine--Ma Hong:part 2

Grandmaster Ma Hong demonstrating New Frame 1st road routine. "The best xinjia(new frame form) player in the world"
YouTube - Ma Hong Chen Style Taijiquan (Xin Jia Yi Lu)

Here is some old footage of Tian Xuchen, one of the top disciples of Chen Fa Ke. What Tians greatest skill was, is softness and the neutralization skills, the ability to redirect and take any force applied by the opponent, anywhere on the body. If someone attempts to apply any strength on someone with this level of skill, by grabbing, grasping, pushing, pressing, or even hitting, they cannot find a place to apply it. The strength is neutralized, and the opponents strength is lost. In the opinion of some, this is the highest level, and greatest skill contained within the art of Tai Chi. Anyone who doubts the softness of the Chen Style, need look no farther than Tian Xuchen.

To illustrate this skill, I would like to post an account of what happened when Chen Fa Ke, the greatest Tai Chi master of the last century, met Mr. Shen Shan one of the greatest Shuai Chiao masters of his time...

"Mr. Shen San was the number one wrestler in China. One day Master Chen met him at a martial arts competition. Upon meeting, the two martial artists exchanged greetings of mutual respect while shaking hands. Shen then said, "I have heard that Taijiquan is famous for being soft. In the ring, competition is conducted through drawing lots. What will a Taijiquan practitioner do if he is to face a wrestler?" Master Chen answered, "I think there should be a way for a Taijiquan practitioner to compete against a wrestler. I am not experienced in this, but I know that when two parties fight, it is not customary to first ask in what style the other party is proficient." The respectable Shen then proposed that to answer the question he and Master Chen compare fighting techniques. Master Chen said, "I don't know how to wrestle but I enjoy watching wrestling as an art form. I know that wrestlers always grab the opponent's sleeve before applying any techniques." As he was saying this, he extended both forearms, which Master Shen then grabbed. At the time some students and I were watching them and were quite excited at the prospect of having the rare chance to witness two great masters compete. But, unfortunately, someone came to deliver a message to the two masters regarding a business meeting. They left right away, laughing. Two days later, Shen came with a gift when we were practicing in Master Chen's house. I invited him in. The respectable Shen said to Master Chen, "Thank you for not humiliating me that day." My master answered, "Not at all! Vice versa." When I heard their conversation, I thought that they had engaged in another match and felt unfortunate for losing the chance to see them compete after all. Seeing me absorbed in thoughts, the respectable Shen asked, "Didn't Master Chen tell you what happened the other day?" I replied that he had not. The respectable Shen was apparently moved. "Your master is the best. Especially his morals. You must learn from him! Experts can tell the level of kungfu by one single touch. When I grabbed your master's hands, I knew that his skill was far superior to mine because I couldn't apply any strength to him." After respectable Shen spoke with my master for a while and left, a student said to my master, "Since that's the case, why didn't you throw him out (toss him to the ground during the public encounter two days earlier)?" "Throw him out? Why throw him out?" The student didn't dare to answer because he saw the master was so upset. "Now you tell me, do you want to be thrown around in front of so many people?" The student answered "Of course not." "Oh, you don't like it either? How can you apply something to others if you don't want it applied to yourself? You shouldn't even have thought of such a silly idea!" Then he turned to everyone who was present and said, "It is very difficult for a person to become famous like Master Shen. So we should bear other people's reputation in mind at all times when we do something." In hindsight, I thought that it was extremely noble of Master Shen, the number one national wrestler, to admit in front of so many young people that he met a formidable opponent. It is little wonder that since then the two of them have been close friends. They were, in all respects, equally great masters. At the time, Master Chen also told us that through that one touch he had sensed that Master Shen was extremely fast and, if they were to fight, it would have been difficult to predict the result. It is obvious that they two respected one another. They are both our models to learn from and to keep in memory.

Tian Xuchens Chen style Tai Chi set-
Tian Xiu Zhen

Cannon Fist, 2nd set

Feng Zhiqiang also had extensive contact with Chen Fa Ke, 2nd routine Cannon Fist. Feng Zhiqiang was the most powerful disciple. His greatest strength is his power, strength and Fajing
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Er Lu (Pao Chui) - Feng Zhiqiang

Lei Mu Ni demonstrates the 2nd Taijiquan routine, Cannon fist
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Er Lu (Pao Chui) - Lei Mu Ni

Chen Yu is the son of Chen Zhao Kui, here he demonstrates the second Road set of Chen family Tai chi, Cannon Fist-

Chen Yu demonstates a little bit of New Frame 2nd routine
YouTube - Chen Style

Cannon fists. The power hits and moves fast like a cannon, and sometimes it's really cool because it moves like a wrapped chinese fire cracker--
YouTube - Tai Chi ?????

Chen Xiaowang demonstares Old Frame 2nd road routine, Cannon Fist.
Chen Tai Chi Chuan Cannon Fist

Chen Bing demonstrating cannon fists
YouTube - Chen Bing

Chen Xiaoxing demonstrates cannons
YouTube - Chen Xiaoxing - laojia erlu clip

Fa Jing set

Zhu Tian Cai Fa Jing set
YouTube - Zhu Tiancai Chen Tai Chi Fajin Power Release 1

Also included in the Chen lineage is something very cool, 2 older Chen Family sets, which pre-date the creation of the First Road set and 2nd road cannon fist set by Chen Chang Xin. These are the 24 Short Fist set, and the 108 Long Fist set-

24 Short fist

108 Long Fist

Taiji Ball training
YouTube - TaiChi Ball Exercise

Tai Chi Power training, Strength, and Fajing

YouTube - Chen Tai Chi - Weapons

Broad sword
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Broadsword

Double Broadswords
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Double Broadsword

Example of Long Pole shaking
YouTube - CZL Chen taiji 13 pole
Chen Village Tai Chi Technique - Pole Shake
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Longpole

YouTube - Chen style tai chi Spear (Pearflower Spear) Demonstration.
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Spear
YouTube - Chen Style Tai Chi Chen ZhengLei Tai Chi Spear KF1-11

Example of Halberd
YouTube - The King of Broadsword Chen Zhaosen
YouTube - Chen Family DaDao in Chenjaigou with Chen Zao-Sen

Straight sword
YouTube - Chen Xiaowang Straight Sword

Double straight sword
YouTube - Chen Style Tai Chi Chen ZhengLei Double Sword KF1-9
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan Double Straight Sword
YouTube - Chen Style Tai Chi Chen ZhengLei Double Sword KF1-9

Chen Xiaowang practicing Weapons-

Taijiquan fighting application clips

Feng Zhiqiang Intercepting and Push Hands-
YouTube - Chen
YouTube - feng zhiqiang

YouTube - Chen Tai Chi Master Liu Yong - application of Lie (split)

In depth detailed demonstrations of the entire first traditional Tai Chi set, and detailed fighting applications with Ma Hong-

Traditional Chen Family Push Hands with Ma Hong-

Chen Yu demonstrates Cannon fist fighting applications-

YouTube - ?????? Chenyu Demontrates Qinna and Throw
YouTube - Taiji Chen ????? Master Chenyu (??) shows Tuishou methods

1000 ways to break you-
YouTube - Chen Yu 1
YouTube - Chen Yu 2

Chen Yu
YouTube - Master Chen Yu - Tui Shou Applications / ?????? ???? ?? - ??????
YouTube - Chen Yu

1 Finger-
YouTube - chenyu1 finger

Qinna joint locks-
YouTube - Master Xu ShiXi's Tai Chi & Bagua Throwing skills

Chen Xiaowang applications-

YouTube - ?????
YouTube - ??
YouTube - ??????
YouTube - ???
YouTube - ????_02

Chen Xiaowang Qinna-

Chen Xiaowang structure-
YouTube - chen xiaowang: rooting, balance

Intro video to Chen Style Taiji. Shows something unique to Taiji at the 3:14 mark, the ability to not be overpowered and throw off 5 people at once-
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan introduction

4 people can't lock Chen Xiaowang's arms behind his back
YouTube - Chen Tai Chi Documentary (2of2)

fighting technique demos--
YouTube - Chen Xiaowang

Standing on one leg vs. 3 people
YouTube - taijiquan (TaiChiChuan)demonstrated by Master Wu.?????--????  

strikes, elbows, shoulders, etc.
YouTube - Chen Xiaowang -fajin
YouTube - - Continuous Fajing demo
YouTube - Chen taiji quan fajin by Chenyu ?????

Push Hands
YouTube - Chen Ziqiang Tui Shou
YouTube - Chen Xiaowang & Chen Ziqiang

Chen Bing applications on cage wrestlers-
YouTube - Master Chen Bing's Push-Hand 1
YouTube - Master Chen Bing's Push-Hand 2

Push Hands competition from Chen village-

1998 Chen village Push Hands Competition-

More Tai Chi push hands, throws, and wrestling
Tai Chi Tricks

Tai Chi vs. Wrestling
YouTube - Grappling work - Chen Taijiquan

knife vs. knife
YouTube - Knife vs. Knife

and longer Documentaries-
YouTube - Chen Tai Chi Documentary (1of2)
YouTube - Chen Tai Chi Documentary (2of2)

As well as-
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan from Chen Village (part 1)
YouTube - Chen Taijiquan from Chen Village (part 2)
YouTube - Visit to Teacher's Home Village and Chen Village
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 02:38:47 PM by Kilik »