CHEN STYLE TAI CHI CHUAN

(CHEN WANG-TING OLD STYLE)

Tai Chi Chuan has been recorded in formal documents since the time of Chen Wang-Ting. Chen Wang-Ting was born in Ho-Nan province in northern China during the late 16th century and was appointed as an army officer in Shantung province in 1618. He returned to his birthplace at the collapse of the Ming dynasty in 1644. At that time he began teaching Tai Chi Chuan. At that time the system consisted of five routines. From genereation to generation many new teaching methods were accumulated, and many excellent boxers were developed. In each of the five generations after Chen Wang-Ting there was a famous Tai Chi Chuan expert.

Chen Chang Xin (1771-1853) united and simpilified Chen's Tai Chi Chuan to a first routine of Tai Chi Chuan, and a second routine of Pao Chui.

Chen Fa Ke (1887-1957) the son Chen Yan Xi, and the great grandson of Chen Chang Xin. Chen Fa Ke was a sickly child. He was not a serious student of Tai Chi Chuan until it became obvious that the hereditary 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 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 fu ju, 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 reversedthe 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, reportedly performing at least 30 sets of boxing a day, as well as 300 reptitions of "pole shaking" exercises. In 1928 he traveled to Peking at the request of Chen zhao pei, his nephew. He established a name for himself by defeating a number of noted martial artists. As a result of this the Chen family Tai Chi Chuan became well known. Perhaps his greatest contribution to martial arts was his creation of the "Xin Jia" branch of chen family Tai chi Chuan, which he taught from 1940 to his death in1957. He co-founded the capital Wushu Association of Shanxi with Hu yao Zhen. Chen fa ke taught many famous students. Chen Fa Ke always emphasized Wude(martial virtue) in his teachings.

 

 

A student of Chen Fa Ke was master Pan Wing Chow (1905-1996) who began studying in Peking in 1931. After the communist takeover of mainland China, Master Pan moved to Taiwan where he introduced Chen style Tai Chi Chuan.