Taijiquan originates from Chenjiagou, a small village to the east of
Written accounts about the boxing arts, figures and stories of Taijiquan began from records of Chen Wangting, the descendant of the ninth generation of the Chen family. Chen Wangting, a celebrated name in
Shandong area during the period between the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Qing dynasty, had once mopped up the bandit gangs in
Shandong and won such a great reputation that the gangsters dared not approach him. Yet in the unrest society, he could not fulfill his ambitions, so he lived in seclusion in his old age and created Taijiquan, which was based on the martial arts handed down from his ancestors, absorbing the merits of various kungfu schools and combining the theory of yin and yang, the doctrine of jingluo of traditional Chinese medicine and the art of expiration and inspiration. Chen Wangting passed on five sets of Taijiquan, one set of paochui (powerful boxing), 108 positions of changquan (long boxing), double tuishou (pushing hands) and weapons such as dao (broad sword), qiang (spear), gun (staff), jian (mace), double nian qiang (a special spear), etc. The double tuishou and the double nian qiang, in particular, are unprecedented and innovative. Most works of Chen Wangting could not be found any more due to long years and only his Ballad on Arts of Boxing and one poem named Changduanju (Random Sentences) are handed down.
Exercising taijiquan is very popular in Chenjiagou, and everyone there, young or old, man or woman, all do such exercises. The local saying goes like this: “Whoever drinks water of Chenjiagou will know how to practice taijiquan.” Such customs are passed on from generation to generation, thus many famous kungfu masters emerged through the ages.
Taijiquan of Chen Family has gradually developed into four major styles. Nowadays, taijiquan has been popularized in
China, and has been known aboard. While the martial arts of
Temple are celebrated for its strength and swiftness, the taijiquan of Chen Family is world-renowned for its combination of force and gentleness.