Chén Fā Kē Pào Chuí – Part 1

Great Grandmaster Chén Fā Kē 陳發科

On the October of 1928, Great Grandmaster Chén Fā Kē 陳發科 was invited to Běijīng 北京 by Xǔ Yǔ Shēng 許禹生, to demonstrate his Tàijíquán太極拳. The demonstration was attended by another person called Shěn Jiā Zhēn 沈家桢. Shěn Jiā Zhēn is remembered as he wrote a book, together with Gù Liú Xīn顧留馨 on Chén Style Tàijíquán 陳式太拳極拳, which contains beautiful drawings of Chén Fā Kē 陳發科 and his son Chén Zhào Kuí 陳照奎, performing the first and second form of Chen Tàijíquán – Pào Chuí 砲捶. This book is so influential that people still use it today as a reference for their studies. Xu Yu Seng and Shěn Jiā Zhēn, Gù Liú Xīn and another person, Lǐ Jiàn Huá 李劍華 went on to become senior students of Chén Fā Kē 陳發科.

When the audience sat down to watch Chén Fā Kē they had never seen Chen Style Tàijíquán before and they expected it to be very gentle and slow. This was because they had all learnt Yáng Style Tàijíquán 楊式太極拳 from Yáng Lù Chán 楊露禪(1799-1872) grandson, Yáng Chéngfǔ 楊澄甫 (1883-1936). As Chén Style Tàijíquán is the oldest form of Tàijíquán, they all expected it to be even slower and they believed slow movements were the characteristics of Tàijíquán. Chén Fā Kē demonstration of the first form took about ten minutes, which meant they form was long, but they were surprised to see that the movements were faster than the Yáng Style Tàijíquán they knew, and that there was a lot of Fā Jìn發勁 – releasing power.

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