1.1 Introduction to the Chen style.

Introduction to the Chen style.

The Chen Style(Simplified Chinese: 陈 式; Pinyin: Chénshì) of Taijiquantakes its name from the Chen family, originally from the village of Chenjiagou (陳家溝), a town located in the Wen (溫縣) district of the province Henanchina. Very close to the Shaolin Shi temple, about 60Km, where the famous monks reside.

This style of taijiquan stands out for its low postures and because martial work is more visible than in other styles, making a marked use of the fajin (发 劲, 發 勁,fājìng),or “externalization of energy”. It combines slow, short movements with bursts of energy and it is not uncommon to perform the forms at a higher speed. In addition to the empty hand forms, he also uses weapons, such as the stick, the saber, the sword, the spear and the halberd or Da dao, etc


The Chen style has been documented since the 17th century. Although there are several theories about its origin.

This style was created by Chen Wangting (1600-1680), the ninth generation of the family, who from 1641 was in charge of the garrison of Chenjiagou village. 陳家溝), a town in the Wen district. There he would have created a style based on sixteen previous styles of martial arts described by the general of the ming dynasty Qi Jiguang on his martial arts writings and due to his experience as a military man, summed up his style from these works, (戚继光, 戚繼光, Qī Jìguāng) in the Jixiaoxinshu(纪 效 新书, 紀 效 新書, jìxiào xīnshū, “New Book on the effectiveness of martial arts”).

However, another theory holds that it was learned by Jiang Fa (蔣 發 Jiǎng Fā, born 1574) in ShanxiProvince and later brought to his hometown of Xiaolu, also in Wen District, where Chen would learn it. Wangting.

[Variantes del estilo Chen] Today various variants or forms of the style are practiced:

  • Laojia (老 架), or “Old structure”. It is the style that Chen Fake taught in Beijing. Like the other variants, it is divided into two parts: Yilu(一路), “First Way”, and Erlu(二路), “Second way”. In the Yilu form, also known as Zhangquan (长拳), or “Long Fist”, the movement originates at the waist and from there reaches the extremities. In the Erlu form, also known as Paochui (炮 锤), or “Cannon Fist”, the movement originates from the arms.
  • Xinjia (新 架), or “New Structure”. According to some it is called that because it was devised by Chen Fake from laojia. According to others, the two forms were contemporaneous but xinjia was not taught outside the family, so when Chen Fake made it public in Beijing it was thought to be something “new.” It differs from the previous one in that the movements are smaller and greater use is made of the chansijing, or “energy of unwinding silk”, and of the qinna, or grips and levers to the joints.
  • Xiaojia (小 架), or “Small Structure”.

Modern style forms:

  • The 36 posture form of the Chen, It is originally a design made by teacher Kan Guixiang, when she worked as a teacher at the Beijing University of Physical Education and as a shortened form, learning the characteristics of the style and so that her students could develop it later, as well as obtain the qualities of the Chen style.
  • This form is an adaptation of the master Serrato, it has some small differences with the form of the master Kan Gui Xian that she designed but they are not great in her sense, only martial applications that match her adequately. These changes have been made, during a few years of practice and research of the form. But it is technically well structured and developed, so that students understand the martial movements of the style and its spirals of action, as well as some variants on the stretching of the meridians, to improve their health and how to carry them to it in the best technical way. . This form combines actions on both sides of the body working unilaterally, left and right side in a way that is very proportionate for both sides of the body and the mind.