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Chen Zhaokui Biography
Yang Yang BioQiu Zhen YiTaijiquanRomanizationlineage

Chen Zhaokui Chen Zhaokui (1928-1981), the youngest son of Chen Fake, grew up in Beijing. A student of his father, Chen Zhaokui was a renown martial artist known especially for his catching and joint-locking (qinna) skills.

At the request of Wu Xiubao and others, Chen Zhaokui returned to the Chen village to teach the 19th generation. Chen Zhaokui taught in the Chen Village for a period of one week in 1973, one month in 1974, and two months in 1976. In subsequent years, he spent a few months in nearby Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province, and in Jiazuo, and taught others then. Yang Yang studied with Chen Zhaokui in private classes in Jiaozuo over the summer of 1980.

Chen Zhaokui first returned to the Chen Village in 1965, at which time he did not teach. The villagers immediately perceived external differences between Chen Zhaokui's form movements and the traditional form being taught by Chen Zhaopei, the top 18th-generation teacher in the village at that time.

Wu Xiubao, a student of both Chen Zhaopei and Chen Zhaokui, explains that Chen Zhaokui's form was different in that: (1) it contained relatively more fajin that was executed over shorter distances (i.e., more 'inch force'), (2) it contained relatively more 'tight and refined' silk-reeling circles, and (3) it was performed in a lower stance than the form taught by Chen Zhaopei.

These differences eventually led some to characterize Chen Zhaokui's form as a "new style," (xinjia) versus the "old style" (laojia) form taught by Chen Zhaopei. It is noted that this explanation of old and new styles, although the most recent, is but one of several incarnations of old and new form characterizations of Chen style forms over the years. The reader is referred to Appendix I - A Brief History of Taijiquan and Developments of the Modern Chen Style of Yang Yang's new book for a more thorough discussion of various old and new (and big and small) characterizations of the Chen Style form.

Image courtesy of Cheng Jin Cai.

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