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  Little-Known Zhaobao Tai Chi Ch'uan  
  By Zhou Lishang  
     Chen Qingping (1795-1868), the seventh generation of Zhaobao style Taijiquan and a native of Zhaobao, had an unusual talent because he was well versed in both polite letters and martial arts.
  He was also a key person in the history of Taijiquan. He not only achieved a high level in boxing arts but was also good at summing up its expe-riences. Furthermore, he contributed to its theory.
  He taught students in accordance with their aptitude, imparting on them dailijia, lingluojia, or tengnuojia separately. Yang Lu-Ch'an, the founder of Yang style Taijiquan, in the preface of the book “Yang-Style Taijiquan”says:“I learned Taijiquan from Chen Changxing in Chenjiagou Village, but I mastered it from Chen Qingping in Zhaobao Town.”Wu Yuxiang, the founder of Wu style Taijiquan, learned the arts and theory of Taijiquan from him and received from him a book,“Taiji Manual,”written by Wang Zongyue. Based on “Taiji Manual,”Wu Yuxiang initiated Wu style Taijiquan.
Chen Qingping also taught his box-ing to Jingyang (his son Chen), Zhang Yingchang, He Zhaoyuan, Niu Fahu, Li Jingyan, Li Zhuozhi, Ren Changchun, and Zhang Jingzhi, etc. All of them were the eighth generation of Zhaobao Taijiquan.
  Among them, He Zhaoyuan was the best, who had been the guard of Li Tangjie, a minister in the cabinet in the Qing Dynasty. For this, he became a high martial officer. He developed and in novated Zhaobao style Taijiquan: thus it was referred to as “He style Taijiquan.”
  DuYuanhua (1869-1938) the ninth generation of Zhaobao Taijiquan, was born in Henei County, Huaiqing Prefecture, Henan Province (now Xinyang City, Henan Province).
Before learning Taijiquan, he had learned Waijia Boxing, such as Cannon Boxing, Liuhe Boxing, Qiguan Boxing, etc. Then he learned Zhaobao style Taijiquan from famous Master Ren Changchun.
  In 1931 he attended an examination held by the Henan Provincial Wushu Society and was employed as a knight.
  Later, he became the general coach of the society and was the judge in the provincial competition of Wushu. In 1935 he participated in proofreading the book, “The Illustrated Chen-Style Taijiquan,”written by Chen Xin, in which “The Formula Put In Verse Passed On By Jiang Fa, Who Got It From A Master In Shanxi Province”was attached.
In the same year, he wrote the book, “The Orthodoxy of Taijiquan,”which introduces the resource, con-tents, and exercises of Zhaobao style Taijiquan.
  It was the first time that the boxing was made known to the public.However, it didn't reach a wide readership, limited by its small print run. The book was printed and published by the People's Physical Culture Press in 1999.
  He Qingxi (1857-1936) was the ninth generation of Zhaobao style Taijiquan. When working at Henan Provincial Wushu Society in 1928, he taught the boxing to scores of boxers.
  One of them was Zheng Boying, who won an award in an arena in Henan Province. It created an opportu-nity for Zhaobao style Taijiquan to have a successor and to be developed.
  After the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Zheng Boying and Zheng Wuqing, who was another disci-ple of He Qingxi, spread the boxing in Xi An, Shanxi Province, and influ-enced others, as well. So they were called “Two Zhengs in the Northwest of China.”
  Zhaobao style Taijiquan was still prevailing in Zhaobao Town, and The General Association of Zhaobao style Taijiquan was established. Its general coach, Wang Haizhou, is famous in the Wushu world in China because he is one of the disciples who has thoroughly mastered the boxing and weapons.
  Now Zhaobao style Taijiquan main-ly prevails in Zhaobao Town, Wenxian County, Henan Province and in Xi An, Shanxi Province. There are also other boxers practicing this style in various places in China.
  The Tradition of Practicing Wushu in Zhaobao Town
  Zhaobao Town has been an old town in Henan Province, only several kilometers away from Chenjiagou Village. This area is the cradle of the Chen and Wu styles of Taijiquan. In the Age of Spring and Autumn (770-474 B.C.) and Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), Zhaobao had been an important town on the boundary of Zhao Kingdom.
  The name“Zhaobao”came about because the army had been quartered there and many forts had been built there.
  Zhaobao Town has been an impor-tant traffic fortification for various mil-itary forces to dispute and was also an important marketing place for the busi-ness men from different places in ancient times.
To its south is the old famous ferry Sishui on the Yellow River. To its north are the Taihang Mountains. The Wangwu Mountain in Mengzhou Prefecture is its close neighbor and the great North China Plain is open to it.
  Meanwhile, it has also been a place for bandits and robbers to appear and disappear. Therefore, the residents of Zhaobao have been known for the tra-dition of practicing boxing and Zhaobao style Taijiquan is the most prevailing one.
  In 1993 I visited to review the activities of Zhaobao style Taijiquan. I was invited by Wu Jingzeng, the President of the General Association of Zhaobao style Taijiquan, and Wang Haizhou, the General Coach.
There is a saying to this effect:“Anyone who has drunk the water in Chenjiagou can certainly play some of the Taijiquan forms.”This is used to describe how boxing prevails in Chenjiagou Village.
  However, when I visited Zhaobao Town, I found that the inhabitants, habits of practicing boxing there were no less than in Chenjiagou Village.Also, the number of people who participate in practicing is not small. There is a school named Zhaobao School with more than 1,000 students in it.
  Every student can exercise certain forms of Taijiquan, which is regulated as part of the content of physical exercises and the exercise for breaks.
  There, the offspring of famous masters, such as Chen Jingbo, Zhang Yan, Chen Qingping, and He Zhaoyuan, etc., are still following the custom of practicing Zhaobao style Taijiquan.
  The Content of Zhaobao Style
  Zhaobao style Taijiquan is a complete technological system, which includes weapons routines, the secret methods of practicing inner strength and sensitivity, the methods of pointing the acupuncture points, Taiji push hands, and Taiji free fighting, in addi-tion to the boxing routines.
  The weapons routines are very rich, including Taiji sword, Taiji single broadsword, 13 broadsword, Liuhe broadsword. Spring and Autumn big broadsword, Taiji single cudgel, 13 grip cudgel, Taiji spear, and others.
  Regarding the boxing routines, there are three kinds of postures from Chen Qingping. They are the middle posture, the low one, and the high one.
  The middle posture is suitable for the beginner to exercise; the low pose is also called Pangongjia, or Lingluojia, for the middle-aged people to raise their gongfu.
  And the high posture, also called Dailijia, or Neigongjia, is suitable for people who want to practice their attacking skill and inner strength and sensitivity. It is also used for the elders or sick people, who want to build their health or recover from illnesses.
  The main publications include the following:“Analysis Of The Book The Orthodoxy OfTaijiquan,'Written By Du Yuanhua, Zhaobao-Style Taijiquan-A King Of Boxing Passed On Secretly; A Complex Of Zhaobao-Style Taiji Sword, Taiji Simple Broadsword, Taiji Spring And Autumn Big Broadsword, Taiji Cudgel, Taiji Free Fighting,”written by Wang Haizhou and Yan Hanxiu.
  “Wudang And Zhaobao Traditional Taijiquan, Combining Three Into One,”written by Liu Huizhi.“Wudang And Zhaobao Big Pose Taijiquart,”written by Zhao Zengfu and Lu Dimin.
  There is also the CD ROM disk,“Zhaobao-Style Taijiquan And Weapons,”which records the practices of Wang Haizhou.
  (Editor's note: the above-mentioned books and disk are not available in English. They are not known to be available outside of China.)
  A T'AI CHI subscription is a thoughtful gift that arrives six times a year. It will be especially valued by someone interested in T'ai Chi Ch'uan or qigong. At your request, we will be glad to send a gift card.
 
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