Laojia 老架 and Xinjia 新架
In Chen Style Taijiquan 陳家太極拳 we also have Xinjia 新架 (New Frame) and Laojia 老架 (Old Frame). Chen style Taijiquan has been passed down for over 400 hundreds of years, beginning with founder Chen Wang Ting 陳王廷 (1600-1680). Those of a studying Chen Taijiquan today need to know whether we are studying Xinjia or Laojia. According to my Sifu, Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang, Laojia comes from 14th Generation Chen style master Chen Chang Xing 陳長興 (1771-1853).
Chen Chang Xing was the teacher of the founder of the Yang Style Taijiquan 楊家太極拳, Yang Lu Chan 楊露禪 (1799-1872). When we study Laojia we can see a similarity between the Yang Style in attitude, gentle and slow movements, however in Laojia there is more sinking. The difference between the Yang style and Chen Style are the lower postures and more spiralling movements. Yang Style Taijiquan is higher and the moving of the hands and changing of direction is more on the heels and legs and so there is less movement of the waist than in Chen. Having said that, they are both good Taijiquan with high level fighting skills and good health aspect, and both have long histories.
Xinjia is newer and was created by my teacher’s grandfather, Chen Fa Ke 陳發科 (1887-1957) who was 17th Generation Chen Style master. Xinjia is more difficult than Laojia.