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  Little-Known Zhaobao Tai Chi Ch'uan  
  By Zhou Lishang  
     “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.”
  Before Jiang Fa went back home. Master Wang urged him again and again:“You should not teach others limitlessly. I do not mean that you never teach the boxing to others, but it must be passed on only to good persons. Once you have chosen a person and thought it is worth teaching him, you should tell all about what you know. Not to teach the ones who should be taught equals no heir. I hope it spreads more broadly.”
  Jiang Fa did not teach a per-son casually, according to Master Wang in his hometown, until he met Xing Xihuai, who lived near Xiaoliu Village, Zhaobao Town.
He had been admiring Jiang's skills for a long time, but he couldn't get an opportunity to learn boxing from him because he had a limited relation with Jiang.
  So he decided to approach Jiang. Therefore, whenever Jiang went to Zhaobao Town on business, he treat-ed him cordially, in the hope of learn-ing boxing from him by increasing the relationship between them.
  After two years of observation, Jiang Fa was sure that Xing Xihuai was honest and sincere, and respectful to others. Thus, he decided to teach all that he knew, especially the secrets of the style, to Xing Xihuai, who became the second generation of Zhaobao style Taijiquan.
Xing worked very hard and made such great progress that his skill reached an amazing level. According to legend, he was of the unique skill of “sticking himself on the wall like a picture.”Following his master, he passed on his skill to his sworn broth-er, Zhang Chuchen.
  Zhang Chuchen, the third genera-tion of Zhaobao style Taijiquan, from Shanxi Province, ran a Chinese medi-cine store first and then a grain store. He imparted his boxing to Chen Jingbai.
  Chen Jingbai, the fourth generation of Zhaobao style Taijiquan, was born in Zhaobao Town itself. Chen was a person of excellent character, believ-able, and his skills of boxing reached an excellent state called “Magical Boxer”because he was famous for both his art of boxing and his virtue.
  To spread Taijiquan more broadly, Chen broke the confinement of not casually passing on the boxing and enrolled more than 800 disciples. Sixteen of them got some essence of the boxing, and eight of them got the general skills. However, only Zhang Zongyu thoroughly took over the man-tle of the boxing.
Zhang Zongyu, the fifth generation of Zhaobao style Taijiquan, was a native of Zhaobao and had a high level of boxing skill. It was said that he had reached a high level that “no force can be added or reduced, not even a feather or an insect.”He passed on the boxing to his grandson, Zhang Yan.
  Zhang Yan, the sixth generation of Zhaobao style Taijiquan, was a remark-able martial arts master, called "Extraordinary Master Zhang Yan." He not only mastered the boxing arts, but also assimilated advantages from different schools, going out of    Zhaobao Town to visit famous masters in different places successfully.
  For example, he went to Chang Naizhou in Sishui County in Henan Province, who had been the Number One of martial arts in an emperor's examination, and to Huang Dangjia in Caozhou Prefecture, called“the king within 500 square kilometers.”He also went three times to Chenjiagou Village, to exchange ideas on boxing arts with them.
  Zhang Yan's swordsmanship reached the acme of perfection, being famous in the martial arts field for removing evil and quieting the good for the local people: killing a huge boa,a ruffian, and a evil monk in Caoxian County. He passed on his arts to Chen Qingping.
 
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