Chen Style Taijiquan—A Tangled History

chen style taijiquanHappy to announce the arrival of a new book to our Plum catalogue, Mark Chen’s Chen Style Taijiquan: Collected Masterworks—The History of a Martial Art.

Chen has done wide and deep research on the origins of Chen Taiji, not an easy matter. His main focus is Chen ZhaoPi, but he incorporates other voices in the Chen tradition. He also follows Chen ZhaoPi’s life, with its many turns and trials. Not surprisingly, the story of this famous Taijiquan style is a bumpy one, replete with disagreements, claimants, rich recollections and foundational secrets of training.

Here is a quote from the book by Chen WangTing, who many believe to be the creator of six sets of Taijiquan: 
“Ah, in those days, I went forth in full readiness for battle…. I faced disaster many times! The imperial favors bestowed on me are all in vain! Now, aged and on my dying breath, with only a scroll of HuangTing to accompany me. When troubled, I invent boxing; when busy, I till the fields. I take advantage of my spare time to teach disciples and descendants to become outstanding people in fulfillment of their duties.”

We recommend the scholarship of this book; this appears to be a time of great opening up of these old scrolls, and if for no other reason, it is a wonderful opportunity to read the biographies of a Chen master.

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