I have been very fortunate to have studied Chen Style Taijiquan from authentic grandmasters and masters from Chen Village. Here is a list of those who have instructed me and showed me the way.
Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang
Chen Xiao Wang (1946- present) 19th generation, grandson of Chen Fa Ke, began training under his father, Chen Zhao Xu, at age 8. He also trained under Chen Zhao Pei and Chen Zhao Kui, becoming known as one of the four “Buddhas’ Warrior Attendants”, the four outstanding exponents of the 19th generation in Chen Jia Gou. In 1980 he won first place in the National Wushu Tournament, beginning a string of first place honors on the national level. He is the creator of two simplified forms, the 19 and 38 posture routines. He is the current standard bearer for Chen family style taijiquan. Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang is also the president of the Chen Jia Gou Taijiquan school . He was already a famous Taijiquan master in China when in 1990 he left China and started promoting Taijiquan around the world. He now has students in many countries and is a worldwide famous taijiquan teacher.
Grandmaster Chen Xiao Xing
Chen Xiao Xing (1952 – present) has lived in Chen Village all his life. He knows everyone in the village, and they all know him. He runs the Tai Chi school in the village, which is next to the elementary school. Grandmaster Chen has been teaching taijiquan since 1976. In 1981 the first Japanese students came to Chen Village. In 1982 the Tai Chi school opened, and since 1983 Grandmaster Chen worked full time there. He is considered to be the top master in the village. Although on occasion he has travelled in China and overseas teaching, he plans to stay in the village to make sure that the next generation gets brought up properly.
He is the youngest son of Chen Zhao Xu, and started learning with him when he was very young. His father died early, and he continued his study with his ‘House’ uncle, Chen Zhao Pei, who himself was a student of his grandfather. When Chen Zhao Pei passed away, his uncle Chen Zhao Kui taught him. After that, he continued under the guidance of his elder brother Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang. He is significantly younger than the other 19th generation Masters, so you get a slightly different and refreshing perspective from him.
He won gold medals in the Henan Provincial Tournament for Traditional Forms (1979 & 1986), Pushing Hands (1983) and Sword forms (1986). Chen Xiaoxing was awarded the title of ‘Star of Taiji’ by Wen Xian county in 1994 and the title of International Taiji Master in 1998. additionally, in 2001 he was employed as Chief Instructor by the Wen Xian Educational Authority. In April, 2004 he was employed by the China International Martial Arts Promotion Center as a Chinese and International Martial Arts Professor. He has been regularly featured in articles published by popular martial arts magazines and continues to be sought out in literary circles as an expert in his field.
Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei
Chen Zheng Lei, born in May 1949 at Chen’s Village, China, is a 19th generation descendant of the Chen’s family and a 11th generation direct-line inheritor of Chen’s Taichi. He was the head coach at the Chen’s Village National Taichi Center and vice-president of Henan Wushu Stadium. He is officially accredited with the title of “China’s Top Ten Contemporary Martial Arts Masters”.
He began his martial arts training at an early age with Grand Master Chen Zhao Pei and Grand Master Chen Zhao Kui. For over 30 years with hard work and diligence, he mastered the complete Chen’s Taichi system at a high level and earned the honor title of “Taichi Jingang”.
From 1974 to 1988, he has won numerous gold medals and championship titles in national and international tournaments. He led his team between 1989 and 1996 through Chinese provincial and national wushu championships and won first place three times, grand champion twice and thirty-five single event gold medals. His teaching career began in 1972 and now his students spread in all provinces in China and over dozens of countries in the world. In 1981, on behalf of the Chinese government, he hosted the first international taichi delegation to Chen’s Village headed by Hideo Miura the director of Japanese National Taichi Association. Subsequently, he hosted over a hundred of international delegations behalf of the Chinese governmentt. His international tours began in 1983. Throughout the years, he has been dozens of countries to host workshops and seminars.
Master Chen is well learned in Taichi theories. His major works include Ten Phases of Taichi Practice, A Collection of Chen’s Taichi Boxing and Weapon Routines, Chen’s Taichi for Health and Wellness, The Wonders of Taichi Kungfu, etc. These books are both rich in texts and illustrations and they are highly regarded as important materials for scientific research of Taichi.
Master Chen Hui Xian
Master Chen Hui Xian is Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei’s niece. She was born in Chen Jia Gou (Chen Village), Wen County, Henan Province, China. Starting at the early age of 6-years-old, she began learning various taiji routines from her father, Grandmaster Chen Chun Lei. In 1998, she began studying Tai-Chi with her uncle Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei. As a Disciple of Chen Zheng Lei, Chen Hui Xian began a deeper study of the art of taijiquan, including martial art theories, combat techniques and gradually formed her own understanding of taijiquan development in the world. She began attending numerous competitions throughout China, and has been awarded several medals.
She attended Tianjin Normal University, in Tianjin, China and Graduated with a B.A. in Physical Education. Chen Hui Xian is Certified as a Fifth Level (Wu Duan) Wushu, Gongfu, and Taijiquan Coach by the Chinese Wushu Association and the Chinese State Physical Culture and Sports Commission. She is also a Certified Senior Level Coach of the Chen Village Taiji Training Center of China.
Master Chen is the President, Founder and Senior Instructor of Chen Huixian Taijiquan, LLC an organization based out of Kansas City for the purpose of spreading the traditional art of Chen Village Taijiquan in the United States. Master Chen travels regularly throughout the U.S. and abroad to teach Chen Taijiquan training seminars to Taiji Enthusiast Worldwide.
Master Chen Bing
Master Chen Bing (陳炳) is an outstanding representative of a 20th generation of the Chen family and the only son of Chen Yong He who was an old brother of Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang and Chen Xiao Xing. He is a direct descendant of the Taijiquan creator (Chen Wang Ting) and president of Chen Bing Taiji Academy. My last workshop with Master Chen Bing was in OH in April 2014.
Due to his many recognition from international competitions, he earned the name of “Taiji Almighty (太極全能)” and is considered “Chinese Intangible Cultural Asset of Taijiquan.” Master Chen Bing is a former vice mayor of Chen Village and graduated from Shanghai University of Sports.
Master Chen Zhi Qiang
Chen Zhiqiang, 1974 was born in the birthplace of Tai Chi Chuan Wen County, Henan Province Chenjiagou. Chen Zhi Qiang is Grandmaster Chen Xiao Xing’s son and head coach of Chen Village School. He has won many awards at competitions throughout China and most famous for his push hands competitions where he displays true to form how taijiquan is used in combat. I am fortunate to have studied push hands with him whenever he comes to the US. In 2014, I was invited to translate for his workshop in Seattle, WA. What an opportunity. I learned so much from his answers to student’s questions and our time together was enlightening. For a person of such a young age, his knowledge on this family art is so rich. He talked about how hi wants to practice more and he explore new feelings with each movement. He goes through 22 forms each day – hands, weapons, etc. So inspiring!
Master Ren Guang Yi
Master Ren Guang Yi is senior disciple of Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang. He teaches in New York. His most famous celebrity student is Lou Reed. Ren Guang Yi invented a small cannon fist step that can be performed in a small living room in NYC. It has been a while since I studied with him.