What is Chen Style Taijiquan?
Chen style Taijiquan was created by Chen Wangting, a seventeenth century royal guard from what is known today as Chenjiagou Village in Wenxian County, Henan Province. Shrouded in secrecy even in China until the early twentieth century, Chen Taijiquan is now practiced widely, not only in China and the Far East, but also throughout the Western world.
Historically, Chen Taijiquan was developed as an eclectic fighting system incorporating many of the most effective techniques from the famous Ming General Qi Jiguang's Canon of Boxing. Inspired by Qi's military text, Chen Wangting created five Taijiquan routines; a Changquan (Long Boxing) routine consisting of one hundred and eight forms; and a Paocui (Cannon Fist) routine.
Before the invention of firearms, the purpose and attitude of martial arts was serious, as the security of country, village, community, family and individual depended on it. Survival was its foremost purpose, not the health, meditative or aesthetic qualities, although practitioners did derive considerable health benefits as a by-product of the art. Successive generations of Chen family boxers earned their livelihood acting as escorts for rich merchants transporting valuables through the surrounding provinces. Faced with many challenges and dangers, their skills were developed to an extraordinarily high level. Many legends have been recorded of their exploits, which serve as an inspiration to the present generation.