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|Grandmaster Chen, Xiao Wang was borne in 1945, into one of the most important families in the development of Chinese Culture. History tells us that his family is the originator of Taijiquan beginning as far back as the 1600’s. Chen, Xiao Wang began training when he was 7 years old under his father, Chen, Zhaoxu and grandfather Chen, Fa Ke. (At dinner one year I asked when he began to understand his importance in his family tradition; Master Chen replied, “I was very young.”) Master Chen continued to train at his family’s school in the Chen Village (Chenjiaogo, Wen Xian, China) through his youth. Master Chen became a carpenter and worked in this field for many years while continuing to train. He inspires us with his stories of practicing the Laojia (about a 15 minute form) at least 27 times each day, along with his standing meditation practice and all the other forms he learned.|
Since beginning to teach, Master Chen has cultivated a broad and talented student population throughout the world. He served in the Chinese National People’s Assembly as the sole deputy elected from
Master Chen Xiao Wang currently resides in Australia but travels over 300 days a year teaching his family’s Taiji to anyone who wants to learn it. Master Chen additionally cultivates teachers on many continents to help him spread high quality Taiji throughout the world - with the goal of health and happiness for all. His brother Chen, Xiao Xing his many family members and community in China continue to work tirelessly to both teach and to renovate his family’s home village & temple so that the birthplace of Taijiquan will remain as a Jewel, in tact for generations to come.
|The History of Taijiquan|
[size=7]From "Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing" (Sim and Gaffney, 2002) Used by permission - Bill & Allsion Helm
Photos added by Kim Ivy and Allison Helm
The original Taijiquan contained five sets of forms, one set of long fist, and one set of cannon fist, for seven sets total. The emphasis is on whole body relaxation, training the mind, softness progressing to firmness then back to softness, and slow and fast actions. The Chen family relied on their martial skills not only for survival but for their livelihood, and worked as bodyguards and escorts. They kept their secret skills in the family and the village for five generations.
Chen Changxing of the 14th generation is given credit for synthesizing the forms created by his ancestors. The two resulting forms, Laojia Yi Lu and Laojia Er Lu, mutually complement each other and preserve many of the original postures and all of the principles of the original forms of Chen Wangting. This was the biggest change in the complete evolution of Taijiquan. All other forms of Taijiquan today were derived from the original form of Laojia Yi Lu.
In the late 1800s, Chen Xin of the 16th generation began documenting the Chen family's martial art. In his groundbreaking book, Illustrated Explanations of Chen Family Taijiquan, he explained the principles and theories of Taijiquan, and the application of postures and guidelines for beginners. Many of the secrets of the Chen family were revealed in this book. (Translations of passages from this book can be found at Jarek's Martial Arts Pages.)
In March 2006 , twenty seven of Master Chen Xiao Wang’s students from all over the world participated in a disciple ceremony in the Chen Village Temple. This group joins the 20th Generation, insuring that Chen Family Taijiquan will be passed on into the limitless future.
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