Some people believe that Chen Pan Ling was one of the greatest martial arts academicians of the last century. He was instrumental in trying to modernize and standardize Wushu to fit our times. His Taiji is a beautiful mixture of Tai Chi, Bagua and Hsing I. It is sometimes known as Nanjing Integrated Tai Chi. Many famous teachers claim to have derived from his school, sometimes erroneously. He started his career with Shaolin boxing. While in Beijing studying construction engineering he practiced Xing Yi, Tai Chi and Yue Linked Boxing. Returning home he opened a Youth Development Club focusing on Wushu practice. In 1931 it became the Henan Wushu House. In 1936 he moved to Wuhan and started teachers training there. From 1940-44 he was the dean of the Wushu Compilation Committee of the Ministry of Education. He also completed his "Wushu Teaching Material". Moving to Taiwan in 1949, he became Chairman of the Board for the China Guoshu Advanced Learning. In 1955 he became dean of the Wushu branch of the Taiwan China Wushu Skills Committee.
Here is the work of Chen, much of it represented by his own son, Chen Yun Ching.
BOOKS in English
Tai Chi Chuan Textbook
Chen Pan-Ling, Robert W. Smith, Ann
Raye McGwen, Mike Whalen, Y.W. Chang
Chen is considered by many to be
one of the finest teachers and historians of Chinese martial
arts of his time. This is a fine book, exhaustive in its text
and well illustrated with pictures of Chen Pan Ling himself
performing his "integrated" T'ai Chi a style combining
the Reeling Silk of Xing Yi with the step patterns of Ba Gua.
Probably the best synthesis of the three "internal arts"
ever done. Probably the most significant section of the book
is that of Chen's commentary on the T'ai Chi classics. Sections
include a Chinese glossary and chapters on Push Hands and
Smith has said, in his introduction to the book,
"The style of tai chi chuan taught here is Chen's synthesis
of the three major styles - Yang, Wu and Chen - prevalent
in China today. Though eclectic, it is grounded in the traditional
forms and brimming with the ancient spirit. On the outside
it is erect and aesthetically pleasing without being gimmicked
by impractical sensationalist movements. Complementing this,
he describes what occurs inside one's body during tai chi
practice; the connection and interplay of breath (chi) and
intrinsic energy (chin)."
a personal note: one of our staff, Shihfu Mancuso, studied
Chen Pan Ling for a while before it's name was widely associated
with tai chi in the U.S. In his words,"I quite enjoy
the style. It was created by a man acknowledged as one of
the top martial historians. It successfully blends the so-called
internal arts: deriving structure from T'ai Chi, step from
Ba Gua and arm-body rotation from Xing Yi. Chen Pan Ling made
an accomplishment rare in this day of everyone creating his
own system: he achieved a synthesis that actually works."
Check out DVD's of Chen Pan Ling style demonstrated by his son.
BOOKS in Chinese (Chen Pan Ling style)
A218 Shaolin "Peak" Boxing 32 Manners
by Chen Yun Ching
This is the shorter form of Chen Pan Ling’s selected series created to offer the key movements of Shaolin by Chen’s interpretation. This was taught to Chen Yun Ching from his father. The form is short but the actions are varied and interesting. Chen was a famous teacher and student of martial arts and, as one might expect, there is very little “fluff” in this interesting and short form. This is a strong form capturing the directness and structure of Shaolin.
Pure Yang Sword -
Chen Yun Ching $12.95 Traditional Chinese Characters, softbound;
This is part of the extensive Chen Pan Ling collection offered by Plum. For some completely unknown reason we omitted this form, The Pure Yang Sword, from the rostrum. This is a particularly graceful piece with a special emphasis on scales (standing on one leg, arms stretched out like a plane). The movements are unusually open with sword placement precise and nicely balanced. As we said, there are a few swords—Pure Yang, Kun Wu, San Cai, Green Duckweed and Wu Dang—that stand out in a three thousand year experimental quest.
A219 Shaolin "Peak" Boxing 56 Manners
by Chen Yun Ching
This is a clear and well photographed rendition of the Mountain Peak Shaolin set developed by Chen Pan Ling himself and demonstrated here by his son, Yun Ching. Each volume in this series is well done starting with six or more pages of photographs of Chen himself. Charts demonstrate Chen Pan Ling’s martial lineage from Tai Chi Xing Yi Bagua and Shaolin. Short pieces discuss Chen Pan Ling, his son’s work and the form itself. One nice thing the demonstrator (Yun Ching) shows all photos geared to the 56 postures so each posture is broken down with a number like 56-1, 56-2 etc. A nice touch.
A604 Dragon Shaped Sword
by Chen Yun Ching
This 29 movement form was taught to Yun Ching by his father, the famous Chen Pan Ling. It covers important basics and has some nice turns. This is a clean, reasonably sized and classical form. Unavailable in DVD form right now.
A603 Heaven & Earth Double Broadswords
by Chen Yun Ching
This form, from the early days of the National GuoShu movement, was passed from Chen Pan Ling to the demonstrator, his son, Chen Yun Ching. The set covers most major movements with an emphasis on the broadsword attack of cutting upward. If you have the right type of mind most Kung Fu can indeed by learned from books, at least as far as the actions and directions. In fact some famous styles were passed on almost exclusively through books. But, we have to be honest learning a double saber set from a book is probably only equaled by learning either the three sectional staff or the rope dart from pages. Nonetheless, a nice reference.
A607 Stone Dragon Staff
by Chen Yun Ching
This fairly long and involved staff set comes from the Shaolin branch of Chen Pan Ling lifelong studies. The demonstrator, his son Chen Yun Ching, learned it from his father. This book shows the set with clear photography and clean lay out.
A602 Spring Autumn Big Knife
by Chen Yun Ching
This 42 movement form with the Kuan Dao or Spring and Autumn knife (they are not exactly interchangeable but they always use the same forms) was taught to the author by his father, the famous Chen Pan Ling. It covers the classic movements of the weapon which, in martial circles, is not only a symbol of strength but of righteousness connected in the martial mind with Guan Kung, one of the heroes of the San Guo times when China was divided into three countries. The introductory information about Chen and his son is the same in each of these series books. This one is not represented by any DVD as yet from Chen Yun Ching.
A606 Yang Family Spear
by Chen Yun Ching
This is NOT Yang family as in Tai Chi but the same family much earlier in history when they created one fo the most famous spear sets of history. This form is through Chen Yun Ching from his famous father Chen Pan Ling. This 43 movement form covers not only the simple and direct actions of the spear but such poses as running steps and some spear throwing where the spear is tossed in the air. Also more hand changes, flips and reversals.
Nice clear photography.
A701 99 Health and Long Life Exercises
by Chen Yun Ching
From the inheritance his son derives from Chen Pan Ling, we have this regimen for health and longevity. Self massage, posture and strengthening exercises from martial arts are all blended in this extensive series of movements.
Form BaGua Swimming Body Palms
by Chen Yun Ch'ing
is by a student/son of the famous teacher and historian CHEN PAN LING,
one of the top martial academicians of the last century . Clear illustrations
and text with pictures of Chen and his complete lineage in the different
arts. This book speaks about Chen Pan Ling's instruction and gives some
key points on the practice of BaGua. Changing Palms pictured with directions...
TC 632 Tai Chi Teaching Material
by Chen Pan Ling & Chen Yun Chao
This is the original of the book represented in our English language edition at the top of this page. The pictures are small but pretty clear and they show Chen himself demonstrating the set. The style of printing is calligraphic with boxed comments on each form. The layout shows foot positions and this book was probably a radical departure in education for its time. This book was authored by Chen himself.
TC 731 Dragon Shaped Bagua Double Swords
by Tian Xiao Lei 天嘯雷
This book shows Mr. Tian's Double Bagua Straight swords learned from his teacher, Chen Pan Ling. Besides the introductory pages, about Chen Pan Ling's lineage, and multiple forwards the bulk of the book is a description of t he form along with decent though dated photos and foot pattern charts relating the movements to positions on the circle. A nice set and one of the early Bagua Double Swords. Photos of the author demonstrating.
TC 321 DRAGON Shape BaGua Swimming Body Palm
by Tian Xiao Lei 天嘯雷
This book is by the author of the Xing Yi Ten Animal text we
sell (TC 106). The
photographs are not old but clear showing strong form. Each
circle is explained with clear, columnar Chinese characters
and about two photos per page so they aren't two small. The
practitioners form is good and highly demonstrative. We have
very few copies of this. Mr. Tian was a student of Chen Pan Ling and this text records the Xing Yi he learned from Chen.
TC 106 XING
YI CHUAN 12 SHAPES
by Tian Xiao Lei 天嘯雷
One of the first and best books on Xing Yi animal styles. The photographs
are not perfect but they show strong and clear form. Each of
the animals is explained in Chinese and the photographs are
large and there are enough of them to really get an idea of
Xing Yi's 12 animal motions. A comprehensive volume and a good
addition to a martial library. This is
a well-known Xing Yi book that isn't always easy to obtain. The author, Lei Xiao Tian, was a disciple of the famous Chen Pan Ling.
DVD 12075 1995 Chen Pan-Ling Memorial
Forms Exhibition Tournament
"Taizhong, Taiwan. Family and students of the late great master and historian Chen Pan-Ling hold this large forms exhibition tournament. Bagua Zhang and Taiji forms are demonstrated for approximately 1 hour. Though this is not a teaching tape it is a wonderful reference collection of Chen's forms. Additionally, Yang style Taiji sword and empty-hand forms are shown. Forms are demonstrated by both adult and children's groups making this both an educational and fun tape to watch. Chen Pan-Ling's Bagua Zhang form is shown by a large group moving in unison and clearly presenting his unique collection of old Bagua postures and movements. Dubbed with traditional Chinese music. It's like watching a dream."
Minutes Sound is only PA announcements in Chinese - very limited supply
NEW! DVD#14068Push/Listening Hands
First, we always try to warn people: this is a perfectly fine DVD but it has NO CHAPTERS so you will have to use that Fast Forward button to navigate.
That understood, this is a well organized presentation showing Push Hands variations in an orderly fashion. It starts with a single hand demonstration of the Eight Basic Energies. Then we witness a number of un-narrated but very clear repetitions of Single Arm Push Hands with emphasis on energies such as the basic one arm circle (they call it Beng/Lu); next, Single Hand Infinity Shape; then Basic Double Hand Routine Swinging; then One Step Swing; Variable Step Four Hands; Circling Step; Propeller Hands; Dynamic Propeller Hands; Advancing and Retreating Four Hands and finally some open hands exchanges in an informal setting. Much information for basic circling. We hope to see more applied Push Hands in the future.
DVD#14067Shaolin Gung Fu
This DVD records Chen Pan Ling's choice of Shaolin forms. There are three: Crouching Tiger Empty Hand, Shaolin Sword and Shaolin Saber. Of particular note is the straight sword which is fluid, sophisticated and rather handsome. The saber is also good, solid and very traditional. At the end of the disk is a series of Chen's specific basics mostly from Tai Chi and Bagua. Note: this contains a short sequence of Chen Pan Ling himself from Robert Smith's collection (same as 14065).
DVD#14066Chen Pan Ling convocation
This DVD captures a 10 day workshop in Taiwan of Chen Pan Ling enthusiasts. Many things are covered including: Cane, tai Chi, Xing Yi Linking form, Xing Yi five eleMountainments, Top boxing, interviews, Bagua Changing Palms, Bagua stick, some basic health movements and Qigong, in short a taste of everything. Much convivial practice and many shots of people enjoying themselves in the practice.
DVD#14065Mountain Top Boxing
The pun here is that Mountain Top also comes from Chen Pan Ling's alternate name which had the character Feng. This is a set created by Chen himself and combines his knowledge of Shaolin, Tai Chi, Xing Yi and Bagua. It is a sophisticated form where each move represents an idea. The movements are not so much connected for continuity as representation of major concepts. The method is cautious, considered and conscious. Aspects of the DVD include: Front and Rear views, breakdown with details pointed out, and interview with two of Chen's sons, sections from a workshop in Taiwan on this subject. Note: this contains a short sequence of Chen Pan Ling himself from Robert Smith's collection (same as 14067).
DVD#14064Hsing I Chuan
This DVD shows one of Chen Pan Ling's strongest styles: Hsing I. The first part demonstrates the basic elements This is followed by earlier film footage, probably form Taiwan, where his son again shows the five elements. He then demonstrates the linking set. Then, finally, all twelve animals. Though many of the movements are standard Hsing I there are distinctive postural and footwork characteristics we can only associate with Chen Pan Ling's interpretation. No instruction per se, more of a general reference but very clearly shown. We have been told that the money from the sales of this DVD series goes to preservation of the pure teachings of Chen: Chen Pan Ling Foundation Inc.
DVD#14063Thunder Stick Form
This DVD actually shows two of Chen Pan Ling's series. The first is a series of Longevity exercises which might be considered healthful Qigong and basic stretching simultaneously. Next is Chen's own Thunder Stick form which, in this case, means a CANE set. This is followed by applications from the set. The form itself is filmed from multiple angles. No instruction per se, more of a general reference but very clearly shown. We have been told that the money from the sales of this DVD series goes to preservation of the pure teachings of Chen: Chen Pan Ling Foundation Inc.
#14057Authentic Tai Chi Chuan $39.95
We are not sure how we could have missed this from a teacher famous for his Tai Chi Chuan. Here is Chen Pan Ling's special version of Tai Chi, demonstrated by his own son. This DVD has two wings. It comes with a complete rendition of the entire 99 movement Tai Chi form. It also shows functional breakdowns, demonstrated by Mr. Chen's wife and teacher James Sumarac.
This form is graceful and appears to encourage natural, elongated motions. Its sections are easy to identify (assuming some Tai Chi knowledge) and relaxed. The applications follow in the same manner. This form is something of a historical question. Erle Montaigue proposed his style was "Old Yang" fist which he learned from a class mate of Chen Pan Ling. On the other hand, I briefly studied a version taught by Chang I Chong here in America and it was a very technical and sophisticated blend of Tai Chi, Xing Yi and Bagua. For instance, the steps to Cloud Hands were done entirely with Bagua twist stances. The point is that here you have an important contribution from a major teacher. Click the picture to see a few postures.
Minutes, English translation
This DVD is a record both of Chen Pan Ling's style of Bagua Zhang but also a Bagua Stick set. The first half demonstrates the eight palm changes of the style. The second shows the staff set which is based on circle walking like the palm changes. No instruction per se, more of a general reference but very clearly shown. We have been told that the money from the sales of this DVD series goes to preservation of the pure teachings of Chen: Chen Pan Ling Foundation Inc.