Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Yeung on Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:38 pm

Very little is written about Chen Fake's father Chen Yanxi 陈延熙 or 陈延禧, and the dates of his birth and death were not verified. One story said that Chen Fake was born when his father was 60 years of age and his father passed away around the age of 82. So Chen Yanxi should lived between 1838 and 1920.

Fu Zhensong learned from Chen Yanxi when he was 16 and that worked out to be 1897, and Fu Zhensong`s Taijiquan is very similar to what Yang Chenfu had learned.

Du Yuze 杜毓泽 learned from Chen Yanxi in 1915 and he relocated to Taiwan in 1949. His Taijiquan is similar to what is taught in mainland China. The followings are his videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfy7XVSugUU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjaamwOatX8

My postualion is that Chen Yanxi developed Chen Style from the Cannon Fist sets of Hong Dong Tongbeiquan 洪洞通背拳 between 1907 and 1920. Tongbeiquan was the original martial art taught in Chen village before Taijiquan was introduced or developed there.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:53 pm

Yeung wrote:My postualion is that Chen Yanxi developed Chen Style from the Cannon Fist sets of Hong Dong Tongbeiquan 洪洞通背拳 between 1907 and 1920. Tongbeiquan was the original martial art taught in Chen village before Taijiquan was introduced or developed there.


It's possible but I would have several questions.

1. How do we resolve the issue of Chen Yan-Nian to Chen Zhao-Pei?
Chen Yan-Nian was the kungfu brother of Chen Yan-Xi; both were taught by Chen Geng Yun. However, while Chen Yan-Xi taught his son, Chen Fa-Ke, Chen Yan-Nian taught his own son as well-- Chen Deng-Ke. And as everyone knows, Chen Deng-Ke taught his own son as well -- Chen Zhao-Pei.
The problem arises when you consider that if Chen Yan-Xi learned what you said, then Chen Zhao-Pei would have commented on this at some point. There's certainly no conspiracy here, people like Chen Xin were of a completely different lineage; for example CGY's teacher's teacher above was Chen Bing-Wang, while Chen Xin's teacher at that generation was Chen Gong-Shao. There are many other interesting cases. So we have the problem that the Chen's "Tai Chi" art appears to have been established in the village many generations prior to what you are postulating.

2. The postures and training routines
The old five sets are not really lost, the moves appear in the long form. This helps explain why the posture names and order of moves are so generally similar between Yang and Chen style. Also, the fixation on peng, lu, ji, an, etc. and push hands.

3. Yang family acknowledges this history
This is kind of related, in a way, to both 1 and 2. Everyone knows Chen Chang-Xing was Yang Lu-Chan's teacher. But did you know Chen Chang-Xing was Chen Geng-Yun's teacher as well? Yes they are of the same generation. Therefore many people have postulated Chen Chang-Xing formulated the new long forms. This may be true, but I doubt it because of #1. I just admit it for the same reason we see that Chen Zhenglei learned from Chen Zhaopei (yet is from a completely different line in the family).
Last edited by Appledog on Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Yeung on Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:53 am

Chen Yanxi and Chen Yannian were brothers, and Chen Xin learned from Chen Yanxi according to Fu Zhensong. And Chen Yannian was not listed as a practitioner of Taijiquan by Fu Zhensong. In China now a day, Taijiquan is any art that can be done slowly. In Chens village there is the family lineage and there is the Taijiquan lineage which involved outsiders, and there is the traditional martial arts and there is Taijiquan. It is easy to verify various techniques, so my suggestion is to review what was taught rather then looking for connections.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:32 am

Yeung wrote:Chen Yanxi and Chen Yannian were brothers, and Chen Xin learned from Chen Yanxi according to Fu Zhensong. And Chen Yannian was not listed as a practitioner of Taijiquan by Fu Zhensong. In China now a day, Taijiquan is any art that can be done slowly. In Chens village there is the family lineage and there is the Taijiquan lineage which involved outsiders, and there is the traditional martial arts and there is Taijiquan. It is easy to verify various techniques, so my suggestion is to review what was taught rather then looking for connections.


That's what I mean. It's evident that when new discoveries or new techniques were introduced they spread quickly throughout various branches of the families. It's not enough to say that Chen Yanxi invented anything, because people in previous generations seemed to know what he was supposed to invent (i.e. chen chang-xing/yang lu-chan). Because this is the earliest point where we have outsiders looking into the village, people say that this is when the art was formulated into what we see today. But the truth and reality is we don't really know when the long form was created, it might have been created generations earlier. (Edit: Then again, maybe he did -- and the changes were just superficial enough that it was easy and seen as beneficial to promote those changes in other branches of the family).

I think there is actually some hard proof (as hard as you can get) i.e. writings in the chen family which record that chen chang-xing created this or that -- that would be about the only proof you could find, I think. There's too much crossover between various branches in the village.

Fu Zhensong learned Chen style when he was young and then went on to learn Sun style and to learn from yang cheng-fu. The only thing I get from this is that people who were in the village all their lives would certainly know and have passed down a more reliable history, and so, I would again refer to the writings and oral histories in the Chen village as a more reliable source of information.

I mean, personally I have no skin in the game who invented what, it just seems a little strange to say Chen Yanxi because normally most people say Chen ChangXing did it (because of Yang Lu Chan). Did you have any writings or comments from previous generations which gave you this idea?
Last edited by Appledog on Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Yeung on Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:20 am

In Fu Zhensong's book published in 1946 has a clear lineage of Taijiquan from 1st to 9th generation, and Chen Xin's book was not entitled as Chen Taijiquan. I viewed it is just part of a continue development, the problem with Fu Zhensong is that he is too well known for his Baguaquan.

I think it is difficult to make up a system of Taijiquan without going to the basics, and Chen Xin had problems in getting rid of stiffness. From his writing, I do not think he knew how not to use brute force as most practitioners promoted by the Chinese Government. The Chen family fail to sort out themselves after all these years is a big question of do they really know Taijiquan. I think making up some forms is just not good enough to be called Taijiquan.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby charles on Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:45 am

Yeung wrote:... Chen Xin had problems in getting rid of stiffness.


On what do you base this statement? Chen Xin (1849-1929).

From his writing, I do not think he knew how not to use brute force as most practitioners promoted by the Chinese Government.


I've been told that Chen Xin's book was an important influence on Hong Junsheng. Hong undeniably had good skills. It seems odd that Hong would have placed so much emphasis on a book that didn't "get it".

The Chen family fail to sort out themselves after all these years is a big question of do they really know Taijiquan.


What is the Chen family failing to sort out for themselves? They are pretty clear about the history of their family's art.

I'm not sure where you are trying to go with all of this. Is it your attempt to "prove" that the Chen family art isn't "Taijiquan"? Let's say, for discussion sake, that we agree that the Chen family art isn't "Taijiquan". Now what? What difference does it make?
Last edited by charles on Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby willie on Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:39 am

Yeung wrote:
I think it is difficult to make up a system of Taijiquan without going to the basics, and Chen Xin had problems in getting rid of stiffness. From his writing, I do not think he knew how not to use brute force as most practitioners promoted by the Chinese Government. The Chen family fail to sort out themselves after all these years is a big question of do they really know Taijiquan. I think making up some forms is just not good enough to be called Taijiquan.


Maybe there might be some important information that you may be missing?
Chen does posses great power, But most of that power is being used as gears meshing and not dealing with direct opposition.
All of the forms have applications that have outstanding gongfu. It's just that there are not many teachers who really know
them and Even more importantly really use the applications.

I was going to post this video for Appledog, But after reading this, I think here...
Contained is links from form to pushhands.

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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:57 am

Yeung wrote:In Fu Zhensong's book published in 1946 has a clear lineage of Taijiquan from 1st to 9th generation, and Chen Xin's book was not entitled as Chen Taijiquan. I viewed it is just part of a continue development, the problem with Fu Zhensong is that he is too well known for his Baguaquan.

I think it is difficult to make up a system of Taijiquan without going to the basics, and Chen Xin had problems in getting rid of stiffness. From his writing, I do not think he knew how not to use brute force as most practitioners promoted by the Chinese Government. The Chen family fail to sort out themselves after all these years is a big question of do they really know Taijiquan. I think making up some forms is just not good enough to be called Taijiquan.


I guess, but I'm not sure where you're trying to go with all of this. I can tell you as someone who did Yang style, Chen style, etc. that Chen style is most definitely a form of Tai Chi.

Willie: Nice video, why was it originally intended for me? Do you want me to comment? :)
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:31 pm

Don't know how true it is but at a meeting of all the tai chi families ,I think it was 1924
The Chen asked if they could attend
Wu tu nan was said to say yes but you can only sit and observe because your art is Shaolin red fist
Like I said I have no idea how true the story is but it seems to fit here
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby windwalker on Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:50 pm

The famed Wu Tunan (also known as the Northern Star of Taijiquan) was in charge. A discussion came up, with regards to categorization of styles,leading to a great deal of controversy as to where Chen Style Taijiquan belonged. Some suggested that it belonged to the External Division. At the time, the slow and gentle nature of Yang style Taijiquan was considered the standard of Taijiquan. What Chen Fake practiced certainly did not fall fall into this category.

Others countered that it is, after all, called Chen Style Taijiquan, so it should be included as part of the Internal Division. Master Wu Tunan did not concur. He felt that Chen Style should be treated as an external style, similar to Shaolin. Someone turned to Chen Fake, Master Chen, you are the standard bearer of the Chen Family, is it external or internal?

Chen Fake answered, If the revered master Wu thinks it is external, then it is external! We did not have this distinction at home. (Later on, in a remarkable reversal of logic, this statement was actually quoted by some as proof that Chen Style Taijiquan is not the original source of Taijiquan, since family member Chen Fake did not even acknowledge it as an internal style.)

http://practicalmethod.com/2012/02/from ... in-a-name/

Hong Junsheng, a disciple of Chen Fake, was understandably upset about this treatment of Chen Style. He began his Taiji studies with Wu style, and later switched to Chen Style. For him, Chen and Wu were both authentic Taijiquan styles, and both were internal.

He begged his teacher for an explanation. Master Chen’s answer had nothing to do with either Chen or Wu styles: My ancestors invented it. My great grandfather practiced it [translator’s note: This refers to Chen Changxing, who taught Yang Luchan, the creator of Yang Style]. My father practiced it. I practice it now. We do not call it Taiji. We do not have a name for it. You can call it anything you want, I will still practice it the same way I was taught. I don’t care what they put in the name!


Chen Fake was certainly not a philosopher. However one might appreciate the profound depth of his perspective. He saw the name as nothing more than a shallow symbol of the object. What Chen Fake learned and taught was Chen Style Taijiquan. The change of the name by others or the views of others will never affect what it is.


Interesting in light of some of the other threads.

Chen Fake was certainly not a philosopher. However one might appreciate the profound depth of his perspective. He saw the name as nothing more than a shallow symbol of the object.

Which many talk about the "distinctions" as to what makes what what and why.

If
At the time, the slow and gentle nature of Yang style Taijiquan was considered the standard of Taijiquan.


What is known as taiji is based off of an understanding, observation of "yang's style"
as such does it matter?

In all cases none of the family modern day masters prove the art as the org. founders did.

This might be a problem for those looking for examples and understanding of what taiji is,
less of an issue or those looking to learn the historical Chen, Yang, or Wu, family's "style"
practices and traditions.
Last edited by windwalker on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby windwalker on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:35 pm

a post from the same link


Find the history and thoughts concerning it interesting.
Just sharing here as part of the gen. conversation.


http://practicalmethod.com/2012/02/from ... in-a-name/
bruce.schaub August 31, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Generally speaking I agree with what you are saying, that Chen Taijiquan very likely has some of it’s roots in longfist, Shaolin, etc., but what people often fail to realize is that there is a very fundamental difference in how they function.

Chen Taiji has had one of the most characteristically Taoist methodologies applied to it that makes it internal. Reversal of Yin and Yang. Every Chinese martial art has Yin Yang theory applied to it in various ways, but whereas typical longfist works with “normal” human tendencies and capacities and seeks to enhance them, Taijiquan, quite to the contrary, gradually reverses the inner dynamics in such a way that on the outside it may appear the same as a “normal” “longfist” type of martial art, as soon as you touch someone like Master Chen who has put themself through that training, you know immediately, this is anything but simply a longfist variant.

The problem is so few people actually teach the true process required to reverse and transform yourself internally, that these types of ideas get perpetuated. Another problem is that people often make these types of statements without identifying themselves or there backgrounds, and use terminology like “by researching” , ” further studies indicate “, ” it was even mentioned ” and ” it was stated ” …. who researched? who’s studies? who mentioned ? who stated ? etc.

It sounds very official and scholarly but if those things are not sourced and identified, then basically people can say whatever they want and bend the truth to whatever direction they want, and unfortunately often people will read something like that and believe it or be influenced by it. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it’s really more important to keep an open mind and keep looking for the deeper truth. Fortunately, Master Chen is very open with his sharing of knowledge and is meticulous about maintaining very strict integrity when it comes to the information he shares.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby willie on Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:37 pm

Appledog wrote:
Willie: Nice video, why was it originally intended for me? Do you want me to comment? :)

Yeah, I was going to post it on the other thread where you asked about qi.
You can comment if you like.
The forms and application were taught directly to my Sifu from various sources.
Master Zhang Lu Ping (senior student of chen Zhaokui's senior students).
GM Chen Zhenglei.
GM Wang hai jun
Last edited by willie on Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:35 am

willie wrote:
Appledog wrote:Yeah, I was going to post it on the other thread where you asked about qi.
You can comment if you like.
The forms and application were taught directly to my Sifu from various sources.
Master Zhang Lu Ping (senior student of chen Zhaokui's senior students).
GM Chen Zhenglei.
GM Wang Hai Jun


Yeah ok well you asked. It does seem to be strongly a Chen Village Laojia style.

1. 0:15 seems strange, as if you pass through ward off too quickly; I think there is something missing from your form at that point but I am unsure as I mainly do Xinjia and not Laojia.

2. 0:50 you appear to be turning too far to the right, far over your right leg as you step out. I don't understand that movement, I was taught not to turn so far over the right leg.

3. There appear to be breaks in your form before and after lazy tie coat, i.e. right after pounds mortar and right after "an", and after single whip, and I don't see any settling to compensate. Actually in that regard I might call #1 (at 0:15) a sort of 'break' too.

4. I would have preferred to see a more upright spine and head and a lower stance. But you can't have everything.

In general I would peg you at the 5+ year level, since you obviously have some kind of smoothness, but I would not say 10+ years. I don't understand what you are doing in push hands and I don't understand why you are making those noises. I feel like I could teach you for about 10 hours and then you would be a lot better. But after that short time I would have nothing to comment on. I'd say you know 95% of what you need to know about the form so far. 95% is a really good mark, A+ if I recall. Gong I would rate about 50%, neutral, everyone needs to work on something, I am working on my gong more and more these days too.

Are you adjusting your steps to compensate for the room size?
Last edited by Appledog on Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Trick on Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:52 am

wayne hansen wrote:Don't know how true it is but at a meeting of all the tai chi families ,I think it was 1924
The Chen asked if they could attend
Wu tu nan was said to say yes but you can only sit and observe because your art is Shaolin red fist
Like I said I have no idea how true the story is but it seems to fit here

I know very very little about the history of TJQ, but what happened there in Beijing in the late 1920's, Chen Taiji got a foot in the martial arts community in Beijing and began to grow, and both Yang Chengfu and Wu Chien-ch'uan left for Shanghai
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby willie on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:35 am

Appledog wrote:
willie wrote:
Appledog wrote:Yeah, I was going to post it on the other thread where you asked about qi.
You can comment if you like.
The forms and application were taught directly to my Sifu from various sources.
Master Zhang Lu Ping (senior student of chen Zhaokui's senior students).
GM Chen Zhenglei.
GM Wang Hai Jun


Yeah ok well you asked. It does seem to be strongly a Chen Village Laojia style.


I actually started taiji about 15 years ago. I was more of a Yang stylist. My first teacher was very martial at
free style pushhands. So that's what I learned. "martial pushhand" He did not think very much of what he called "form guys".
Anyways, later he moved away for a while and I met my first Chen tai chi instructor, about 12-13 years ago. He taught me silk reeling which smoothed
and rounded out my old yang style. Then I went and learned some Wudang taiji. About 2 and a half years ago I met my current teacher.
He is by far the best. Anyway's there are always mistakes in taiji. It's just a very difficult art, Especially Chen.

Thanks for your remarks.
Last edited by willie on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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