The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

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

Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby nicklinjm on Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:47 pm

@Bao, don't think it's quite right to say that modern-day Chenjiagou taiji equals Chen Fake's frame. It's true that almost all of the famous names come from Chen Fake lines, but there are other laojia lines in Chen village which do not go through Chen Fake at all - for example Zhu Laohu's line (Chen Yanxi -> Wang Yan -> Zhu) or Chen Shitong's line, which comes through Chen Changhui (i.e. not Chen Changxing's line at all!).
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Bao on Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:10 am

robert wrote: Laojia is very close to Xiaojia, which has nothing to do with Chen Fake.


Yeah, I generalise too much, had that in mind. My own limited understanding tells me that Xiaojia should be closest to older Chen style. But still, I have seen some quite different variations, which makes me wonder how much Xiaojia and Laojia has been changed. At least for what is usually shown ???

nicklinjm wrote: ... there are other laojia lines in Chen village which do not go through Chen Fake at all - for example Zhu Laohu's line (Chen Yanxi -> Wang Yan -> Zhu) or Chen Shitong's line, which comes through Chen Changhui (i.e. not Chen Changxing's line at all!).


This I know very little about. Will make some research, thank you for enlighten me. 8-)
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby salcanzonieri on Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:28 pm

If you want to see a whole book of Du Yi Ze's Chen Lao Jia set, you can get a book "Chen style Tai Chi Chuan Lao Jia" by He Hong Cai 何宏財
The book is all about the Chan YanXi version of Chen, and you can see the names of the moves and how to do the set step by step.
History info in the front of the book.
You can order it here:
https://www.plumpub.com/sales/chinese/chinbks_trad16TC.htm

$24.95 Traditional Chinese Characters;
139 pages, color photographs

"This is a beautifully photographed color representation of the Chen Taiji Lao Jia set as it is practiced in Taiwan. These teachings from one of Taiwan’s best Chen instructors, Du Yi Ze, or Du Gong, continue the instruction from Chen Yan Xi the father of Chen Fa Ke. This is actually the version of the Chen we practice and, though it has little of the extended postures and more expressive movements of much modern Chen Taiji, it does contain a solid and smaller frame version which harkens back to such pre twentieth century forms as the Chen Small Circle and the Thunder Style. This is because Du was said to have studied from Chen Yan Xi, the father of the famous Chen Fa Ke. A nice presentation."

I found it that it is smaller frame than Chen Fake version, which means a lot.
AND some names of the postures are like Yang TJQ. such as 'Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain' and a few others not seen in modern Chen.
Which is another clue to think about.
Also, there are more postural movements, a good number more (again gets like Yang TJQ).
Last edited by salcanzonieri on Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Bao on Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:51 am

Wonderful tip Sal, this will be the very first book about Chen style I have bought. 8-)
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby charles on Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:08 am

I think this video of Du Yize has been posted before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo

What I see in this video is a variation of a pretty standard rendition of Chen Da Jia (large frame) Lao Jia Yi Lu. It appears to contain some elements of Xiao Jia (small frame). Depending upon which source of history you reference, Xiao Jia is older than Da Jia. Both were practiced in the village. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that there is a lot of overlap depending upon who is performing the form and when.

I'm not sure what insights He Hongcai's book, with its static pictures of He's - rather than Du's - postures, will provide.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby salcanzonieri on Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:54 pm

The book provides the names of all the postures and at least an idea of the movements and postures themselves.

And, once I read the book, I saw it corroborates the old Chen TJQ of Chan Yanxi that I learned, which came from BP Chan. BP had said that this Chen form actually is in the same postural sequence as the Yang family Taijiquan. it even has the same names for postures, not seen in Chen Fake based Chen TJQ.

BP Chan also learned Old Yang TJQ from Tian Zhao Lin (田兆麟, 1891-1959).
I learned much of this Old Yang long form from another source as well, which traces the Old Yang TJQ from
Old Yang Style TJQ – from Yang Lu Chan > Yang Jian Hou > Yang Shao Hou & Yang Chen Fu >
Tian Zhao Lin & Wu Hai Chuan > Lin Du Ying > Bai Hua (Peh Hua) > Bruce Franztis
Last edited by salcanzonieri on Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby salcanzonieri on Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:01 pm

Bao wrote:Wonderful tip Sal, this will be the very first book about Chen style I have bought. 8-)


I recommend this book as well, it is handwritten Chinese though. But has loads of info and insight into the Old Yang style, which has some postures seen in Chen TJQ but not in Yang Chen Fu based TJQ.

Taiji Records 太極拳譜內外功研幾錄 - TC326
by Shi Diao Mei 施調梅
$19.95 Traditional Chinese Characters;
340 pages, Softbound, Photographs, Font in hand written calligraphy

Some of the older books on Taiji were labors of love. Here is a nice book, with too small photographs, but well done with much information, the Taiji Solo exercise, Push Hands and the Taiji sword. Shi Diao Mei was, among others, the teacher of the Vancouver Shifu Tchoung Ta Tchen. Shi was also head of a police academy. He learned "old Taiji" from Tian Zhao Lin who in turn studied from Yang Shou Hou AND his father , Yang Chien Hou. Originally published in 1959, this is the 2006 edition.

https://www.plumpub.com/sales/chinese/chinbks_trad16TC.htm same page as the Du Yu Ze Chen TJQ book
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby charles on Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:15 pm

salcanzonieri wrote:BP had said that this Chen form actually is in the same postural sequence as the Yang family Taijiquan.


I'm not going to go too far down that rabbit hole, but all of the Chen Yi Lu forms have the same postural sequence and have the same postural sequence as the Yang family Taijiquan, though there are some variations in the "transitions".

Here is a video comparing two performances, one Chen Yi Lu, one Yang family:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HRaAIdkqiY

it even has the same names for postures.


There are numerous variations on the English translations of posture names within Chen style. There are some differences between typical posture names in Chen forms and Yang forms, though it is often obvious that, regardless of the names, the movements are similar. Being neither a historian nor a linguist, I'm not too interest in analyzing the origin of those differences.

I'm not really sure why many people become focussed on differences in choreography between styles that have obvious similarities.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Bao on Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:30 am

charles wrote:I'm not sure what insights He Hongcai's book, with its static pictures of He's - rather than Du's - postures, will provide.


I am not interested In about learning Chen style, but interested in reading more about it and to learn more history. That is something I can not do by merely watching a Tai Chi performance.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Yeung on Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:06 am

HotSoup wrote:Also, if you are genuinely interested in some hints to what Chen Yanxi's TJQ might look like, there is a video of his student, Du Yuze:



But to be honest, trying to find connections by comparing the external expressions might be fruitless. People are different and their memory is not the best knowledge repository to allow for doing exactly same things over generations.


More information on Du Yuze (Yu-tse) (1886-1990):
https://d42c0469-ee65-4c90-aba5-57d50d6 ... fe8899.pdf

According to the Chinese source he became the disciple of Chen Yanxi in 1915, but Chen Yanxi was too old and send his nephew Chen Mingbiao to teach him and act as a security guard for his family.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Yeung on Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:38 am

Another lineage from Chen Yanxi then Chen Xi from 1906:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W53Fvm3KdBw

This was taken in the '80s, the first performer was the 80 year old Chen Zhenwen 19th generation of the Chens family.
Last edited by Yeung on Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Yeung on Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:47 am

According to Fu Zhensong (1881-1953), Chen Yanxi taught him Taijiquan since 1897

According to Hong Junsheng 洪钧生(1907~1996), from 1900 to 1906 Chen Yanxi was teaching Yuan Keding (1878-1958) and did not came home in the first three years. Yuan Keding’s father was Yuan Shikai, who later became the first president of the Republic of China.

According to Du Yuze 杜毓泽 (1897-1990), he became the disciple of Chen Yanxi in 1915 but it was his nephew Chen Mingbiao 陈铭标 that taught him the Chen Shi Taijiquan.

If Hong was correct in his 1988 publication then Chen Yanxi should be over 80 years of age in 1906 while Chen Fake was 19. The question is how much did he learn from his father while there is no other known practitioner of Taijiquan in Chens village. According to Fu Zhensong, Chen Xin 陈鑫 (1849-1929) learned from Chen Yanxi.

My postulation is that Chen Fake learned the Shanxi Hongdong Tongbeiquan from his cousins when his father was away and this is why there Shen Jiazhen (1963) emphasised the need to get rid of stiff strength. Shen did find that Taijiquan theory of the Yangs was applicable to what he learned from Chen Fake. Maybe this sort of explained the difference between Chen Fake’s students in Beijing and those from the Chens Village. It appear to me that the Chens have some difficulties in doing pushing hands but that was not Shen’s concern because he was already well versed in Yangs. Shen’s concern was why so different between the Yangs and the Chens and he undertook research on the subject in his later years. Unfortunately his work on the subject was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. I think this is a great experiment on the application of Taijiquan theory to other activities such as Tongbiequan. On the other hand, some people considered Taijiquan is just performing any movement softly and slowly. It is clear in using brute force or little brute will not yield the fighting power as demonstrated in pushing hands. According to Shen, Taijiquan is a stretchy and springy exercise. And unfortunately that the practitioners of Chens Taijiquan from Chens Village did not appear to have these unique features of stretchy and springy.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby yeniseri on Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:04 pm

Based on the last response, I can see why Yang style was considered the original 'Soft Fist" as opposed to Chen style, despite (Chen) being the foundation of, and for Yangshitaijiquan.
Fu Zhengsong is interesting because although he studied with a Chen foundation, he solidified his own "system" with Yang style in form expression (as opposed to Chen)!
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Yeung on Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:45 am

Chen style Taijiquan meets the norms of the Chinese Communist Party, as it was developed in the Chen’s family and has nothing to do with the Daoist religion and it is simply doing any martial art movements slowly that can easily train any practitioners of physical exercise to coach Taijiquan in a short period of time to promote the national exercise scheme. And it sort of retains the image of martial art like any other martial arts. Maybe this is why it was promoted during the Cultural Revolution with the blessing of the Chinese Communist Party and become more commercialized in later years. Any martial arts have advantages over the people doing soft exercise in terms of physical strengths but not necessary over other martial arts. This is very clear in the development of Chens family martial arts and competitive Wushu Taijiquan in China before 2008. This is why the contradictions between modern development and classical theory become more appearances in China. The other extreme in China is to water down Taijiquan as a kind of soft exercise or Qigong with some meditative benefits which can no longer strengthening the tendons of the practitioners. Maybe further research in sciences will verify and revive the traditional arts of Taijiquan.
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Re: The Taijiquan of Chen Yanxi 陈延禧 (熙)

Postby Trick on Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:48 am

Yeung wrote:Chen style Taijiquan meets the norms of the Chinese Communist Party, as it was developed in the Chen’s family and has nothing to do with the Daoist religion and it is simply doing any martial art movements slowly that can easily train any practitioners of physical exercise to coach Taijiquan in a short period of time to promote the national exercise scheme. And it sort of retains the image of martial art like any other martial arts. Maybe this is why it was promoted during the Cultural Revolution with the blessing of the Chinese Communist Party and become more commercialized in later years. Any martial arts have advantages over the people doing soft exercise in terms of physical strengths but not necessary over other martial arts. This is very clear in the development of Chens family martial arts and competitive Wushu Taijiquan in China before 2008. This is why the contradictions between modern development and classical theory become more appearances in China. The other extreme in China is to water down Taijiquan as a kind of soft exercise or Qigong with some meditative benefits which can no longer strengthening the tendons of the practitioners. Maybe further research in sciences will verify and revive the traditional arts of Taijiquan.

hmmmm, yes blame the ccp for youre feeling your taiji practice is watered down
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