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  Little-Known Zhaobao Tai Chi Ch'uan
 
  By Zhou Lishang  
     The Origin and Development of Zhaobao Taijiquan
  According to the book,“The Orthodoxy of Taijiquan,”written by Mr. Du Yuanhua in 1935, this kind of boxing was invented by Lao Zi who lived in the Spring and Autumn Period (722 to 418/480 B.C.).
  The book says it was passed on to many generations through his disciple. Mi Xi, then to Zhang Sanfeng, and after sev-eral generations to Wang Linzhen, who lived in Taigu County in Shanxi Province. Wang taught it to Jiang Fa who lived in Wenxian County in Henan Province; Jiang Fa passed it on to Zhaobao Town.
  Jiang Fa, the first generation of Zhaobao Taijiquan, was born in the second year of the reign of Wanii in the Ming Dynasty. He lived in a small village named Xiaoliu Village, several kilometers from Zhaobao Town.
  When he was 22 years old and competed with others, he happened to be noticed by an old man who occas-sionally stayed at an inn in Zhaobao Town. The old man had a talk with others about the competition and said:“Between them, the young man wearing the purple cotton gown (e.g., Jiang Fa) has a rather good, natural gift.”
  The innkeeper passed on the old man's comment to Jiang Fa. Hearing that, Jiang Fa knew that the old man must be a master with deep gongfu.
Then he asked the innkeeper to call on the old man with him and expressed to him that he hoped to formally acknowledge him as his master, so as to learn gongfu from him.
  The old man, whose name was Wang Linzhen, refused him, giving an excuse that he was very busy with his business. However, he agreed to teach him at last after Jiang Pa's continuous requests.
  The next day, Mr. Wang was leav-ing for Zheng Zhou to inspect his busi-ness. Jiang Fa saw his master off at Sishui Ferry. Before they said good-bye, they made an appointment for Mr. Wang to come back to meet Jiang and take him to Shanxi Province to teach him Taijiquan.
  On the given day, Jiang went to the ferry to meet his master, and Mr. Wang arrived on time. Jiang went back home with his master. After simple prepara-tions were made, he went to his mas-ter's hometown in Shanxi Province and learned Taijiquan from him for seven years. A good relationship was estab-lished between them.
  Master Wang told Jiang Fa: "I learned this kind of boxing from a wandering Taoist priest. He told me that this kind of boxing had a long his-tory, and there is a direction put in verse to be as evidence for it.
“It says: 'Taiji comes from the Earth and Heaven; initiated by Laozi and passed on by Mizi; . . . teaching you the boxing, you can be immortal.' Now I have taught you the boxing and told you the secret directions. You should teach it to the chosen per-sons, but never do it casually.”
 
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