Liu Yun Qiao and Chen Fake exchanged martial concepts in Beijing during the late 1920s. Both masters at the time- Chen Fake (Beijing Chen Taijiquan) and Liu Yun Qiao (Bajiquan) agreed there was a great similarity between the systems. Both fighting arts utilize segmentation of elbows, short-range power, the similar tempo of footwork etc. In the Ming Dynasty, Bajiquan and Chen Taijiquan were one system- gradually separated through modernization, with the fall of Qing Dynasty. The fusion and historical artifact are preserved in Beijing Gongfu Jia of Chen Yu (Chen Zhaokui’s son).
Chen Wangting, the founder of Chen Taijiquan- is a Military General who commanded hundreds of thousands of troops in battle, during the fall of Ming Dynasty. While Chen Wangting did indeed instruct feudal Chen Taijiquan to farmers- the farmers were elite troops… a farmer oriented-army. Modern Chen Taijiquan curriculums are influenced by the second wave of sports modifications after the mid-20th century, integrated with the western calisthenics movement in the 1920s. The popular context of Tai Chi vs MMA is very much a result of contemporary sports promotions- not ancient whatsoever.
Feudal Taijiquan enhances biomechanics in profound ways. Authentic Tai Chi which descends from feudal dynasties withstands the test of time- the mechanics become refined and sophisticated, honed with each generation. Many elite “internal” characteristics of Taijiquan are preserved in the martial lineages, in contrast to modern promotions after the 1928 fitness reforms. The distinct muscle control and nuanced body mechanics were a result of feudal martial occupations which required precision and practicality.
Razor’s character (Wang Kar Wai’s film) as a military secret agent/Bajiquan fighter is inspired by Liu Yun Qiao and his teacher Li Shuwen. Liu Yun Qiao is the security consultant and instructor of Chiang Kai-shek’s bodyguards in 1970s. Liu Yun Qiao sought to develop abilities in all areas of accomplishment: intellectual, artistic, and physical- but most importantly, REAL KUNGFU.