Wu Family Bajiquan has also become synonymous with the highest level of Bajiquan in the late Qing era and has a wide influence in the martial arts community in TIANJIN and BEIJING. Tianjin and Beijing, the Beiyang New Army connection- Chen Yu’s great-grandfather (Chen Yanxi) was Chen Taijiquan instructor for six years with the Beiyang Commander- Yuan Shikai. BEIJING GONGFU JIA Taijiquan and Bajiquan share the same approach from the Qing and trace back to the same Qi Jiguang manual. They both contain the “unarmed” boxing methods of Qi Jiguang treatise, instead of pure sword and shield (Lao Jia 74).
Bajiquan and Beijing Gongfu Jia Taijiquan are both Feudal Shaolin strategy descending from General Qi Jiguang treatise. The systems share the fierce close-distance elbow strikes and capturing technique of Qing era bodyguards/militia. Modernization and inaccurate documentation of Chen Taijiquan historical context, has shifted the medieval systems considerably- in the application and form.
Many Chen Tai Chi practitioners today have minimal interest and knowledge of factual methods of the original system. The 1928 fitness reform in China shifted the context of Chen Taijiquan considerably, yet failed to make any distinction the modern interpretation is not historical truth. Chen Tai Chi practitioners today who do not appreciate the feudal military context of the art, are still enjoying the empty-hand methods of medieval melee combat, used by Ming-era Chinese Knights- whether or not they realize or accept it.
The modern interpretation of Chen Tai Chi Chuan history is rooted in the Peking Opera and folk tradition of the late Qing Dynasty- standardized by the Chinese Government in 1928. Tai Chi, Xingyi, and Baguazhang developed centuries apart, yet are instructed under one category labeled “Internal Martial Arts”. Only the China government has authority to set the standards on internal/ external styles at that scale, as fighting lineages usually never agree on anything.