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).
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.
According to a recent interview with Senior Beijing Wrestling and Sanda Team coaches, pushing hands is a modern sport and creation. It has minimal to do with the yin and yang theory in a historical sense. In the late 1970s, confrontational push hand sports were developed, and by 1980s- standardized. Pushing is the most popular technique in the modern Chen sport. Using one or both hands to push the other side out of the venue. In regards to factual Chen Taijiquan training in feudal times- this style of push hands is a new concept.
The “Lao Jia 74 Routine” is considered the most ancient form in the Chen Taijiquan system- revered for its empty-hand pugilism and push hands sports prowess, in modern Tai Chi culture. Many practitioners today remain skeptical that Chen Lao Jia Yi Lu is the “Sword and Shield” tactics of Ming dynasty treatise, as Taijiquan authorities do not acknowledge this as the factual context of the now perceived unarmed formwork. In the world of FEUDAL ACADEMIA, the fact is removed from fiction- historical accuracy and proper documentation is not a guessing game… The Lao Jia 74 is characterized by the “Horizontal Crab Walk”, the form practice generally ebbs and flows Sideways instead of linear. The sidestepping pattern is the foundation for armored knights in Sword and Shield melee. Linear strikes are well protected by the opponent’s shield, neutralizing the Chen Tai Chi man’s sword thrust. Therefore Lao Jia adapted “horizontal crab walking” with the Sword/Shield strategy, extremely crucial in the medieval era. [Note: there is a misconception XIN JIA YI LU 83 Routine is new, and Lao Jia 74 is old. The Chen Fake/ Zhaokui routine integrates the “unarmed boxing and spear” techniques of Ming dynasty treatise with the Lao Jia shield routine- greatly enhancing practicality for unarmed fighting and modern self-defense.]
Many modern scholars of Chinese Martial Studies have been puzzled by the feudal origins of Chen Tai Chi Chuan’s- extremely slow style of movement with “sticking and adhering” qualities as world renown. Chen Taijiquan is indeed an ancient system which thrived in the era of knights and shining armor. The modern “slow qigong” Tai Chi training style seems counterintuitive to the essential speed, agility, and power required by the medieval military. The general consensus concludes 1928 Fitness Reform Chen Taiji was inspired by Medieval European Art, depicting “knights fighting Snails in the battlefield”! According to tradition, medieval knights fought snails, symbolically- because snails represented the Lombards, who had become widely despised lenders throughout Europe in the middle ages. [Note: Please do not take this post seriously, and remember… HISTORY IS FUN!]