Zhaobao Tai Chi Ch'uan
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
In the same year, he wrote the book, “The Orthodoxy of Taijiquan,”which
introduces the resource, con-tents, and exercises of Zhaobao
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
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
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