Slanted FlyingJournal of Tai Chi Chuan

Chen Style

Taijiquan And Its Evolution


Shen Jia Zhen

Shen Jia Zhen’s book on the Chen family’s Taijiquan written in Chinese, is the source of the Chen first and second routines illustrated in the “Dao Of Taijiquan” by Jou Tsung Hwa.

At the end of the commentary on the movements (44-45 in the “Dao Of Taijiquan”), Shen Jia Zhen says “this move was created by master Chen Fa Kur in his old age.” He also says in the commentary on movements 18-22 in the 2nd routine Pao Chui or Cannon Fist, “the introduction of this move is actually credited to Chen Fa Our who, in order to popularize Chen style Taiji, added on the “High Pat On Horse” and “Wave Hands In Clouds” within the sequence.”

Hao Shao Ru’s father took out the jump kick from the Wu’s Taijiquan, and the Yang’s Taijiquan went through changes as well. In a book on old Wu style Taijiquan, there is actually a form called Pao Chui translated as Cannon Fist. It is energetic and attributed to Wu Yu Hsiang.

It is therefore fitting that the Chen family’s Xiao Jia or “small frame” form should evolve as well. Chen Zi Ming had a book published around 1930 on small frame Chen’s Taiji with fixed isolated postures which are in several Chinese bookstores, but we are in 2016.

Zhi Ru Lei’s book on the same subject as Chen Xin’s student Chen Zi Ming, and although written in Chinese like Chen Zi Ming’s book, has more of an instructional leaning.

The drawings of the 64 posture form (1st routine), in Zhi Ru Lei’s book are shown with arrows, and 4 postures of Chen Jinao (1899-1971) are also included.


Alan Sims

Chen Jinao was a student of Chen Yao and also his grandson. He also studied under Chen Xin, whose book is well known in Taiji circles. Chen Yao is the brother that Chen Xin refers to in his book when mentioning his brother with excellent Taiji skills.

Also shown and discussed in the book are Chen Boxing and his teacher Chen Kezhong as well as past lineage practitioners.

I would like to give special mention to Jay Dunbar, an original student of Jou Tsung Hwa, and an editor of the Taiji newsletter. Ralph Rodriguez and Pai Diaz are two very good martial from the Taiji Farm. Charles Wang was responsible for the translations from Shen Jia Zhen’s book, along with all of the wonderful students of Jou Tsung Hwa.




Alan Sims

About Alan Sims

Alan Sims is a Tai Chi Chuan instructor and an internationally published author. He lives in New York City. Alan studied Goju karate briefly under James Eaton Jr., Ving Tsun Kung Fu under Lee Moy Shan, and Tai Chi Chuan under Larry Banks - Yang and Chen Tai Chi forms. Alan Sims can be contacted at

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