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New Frame First Routine (Xin Jia Yi Lu – 新架一路)

Xin Jia Yi Lu, which translates as “new frame, first routine”, was created by 17th generation Grandmaster Chen Fa Ke 陈发科 (1887-1957), Chen Xiao Wang’s and Chen Xiao Xing’s grandfather. This routine was developed when Grandmaster Chen Fa Ke was in Beijing. The routine is based on Lao Jia Yi Lu with new movements and the characteristic spirals energies seen in qinna and applications. Traditionally, this is taught to students who are already familiar with Lao Ji Yi Lu. It is a beautiful form to practice.

The form has 83 movements. It can be divided into 6 sections like Lao Jia Yi Lu. At regular speed it will take 15 – 20 minutes to complete the form.

Section 1

This section has 15 movements and introduces the student to the various leg stances. In performing Chen Style Taijiquan, the leg stances must be visually clear, i.e. which leg is bearing the weight. There are left and right bow stances as well as empty stances. Weight distribution for the bow stances are usually 70/30 split (provided you can really tell) and empty stances are usually 90/10 split.

1. Preparatory Stance or Starting Form (qĭ shì, yù bèi shì)起势(起勢) or 预备式
2. Strong Man Pounds the Mortar (jīn gāng dǎo duì) (1)金刚捣碓 (金剛搗碓)
3. Holding Coat at the Waist (lǎn zhā yī) (2)揽扎衣(攬紮衣)
4. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì)六封四闭 (六封四閉)
5. Single Whip (dān biān) (3) 单鞭(單鞭)
6. Strong Man Pounds the Mortar (jīn gāng dǎo duì) 金刚捣碓 (金剛搗碓)
7. White Goose Spreads Wings (bái é liàng chì) (4) 白鹅亮翅
8. Inclined or Diagonal Posture with Twisted Steps (xié xíng ào bù) 斜行拗步
9. First receive (chū shōu) (5) 初收
10. Forward Blocking with Twisted Steps (qián dăng ào bù) (6) 前挡拗步
11. Inclined or Diagonal Posture with Twisted Steps (xié xíng ào bù) (7) 斜行拗步
12. Receive again (zài shōu) 再收
13. Forward Blocking with Twisted Steps (qián dăng ào bù) 前挡拗步
14. Hidden Punch (yǎn shǒu gōng quán) (8) 掩手肱拳
15. Strong Man Pounds the Mortar (jīn gāng dǎo duì) 金刚捣碓 (金剛搗碓)

(1) 金刚 is commonly translated as Buddha’s Warrior Bodyguard or Vajra, the two dieties you might see outside a temple door. However, the use of 金刚 usually refers to someone who is very strong.

(2) Many translations have listed this as Lazily Holding Coat or something lazy about it. There is absolutely nothing lazy about this movement. The original Chinese characters refers to ‘waist” and not ‘lazy’. The Romanized representation of these characters are unfortunately the same.

(3) The lifting feeling is on the right wrist, top of head, and left middle finger.

(4) In Chen Village, there are no cranes but lots of geese. So it is always white goose spreads wings and never crane.

(5) This movement is like gathering at the knee in Lao Jia Yi Lu. The receiving action starts at the chest level with palms facing up and then brought down in front of the left knee with palms facing down while it is raised. After that, both hands pushes down and out before transitioning to the next movement.

(6) The original movement is 前螳拗步, which strange. Why would a mantis appear as a movement? After some analysis of the movement. The second character could have been 挡 dǎng for blocking, 趟 tàng for traveling or going somewhere, or 撑 chēng for propping up. Using the original character of 螳 tang, other closely looking or sounding characters might be 堂 táng or 掌 zhǎng . 堂 means hall and 掌 means palm. 前趟 means moving forward. It is unclear why these 2 characters were added in front of 拗步. It almost feels as if the intent is to move swiftly forward by stepping left and right as if wading through a stream. In any case, palm fits the form better than hall. Since Palm and block has similar movement representation, I opted to use 挡 in the movement’s name instead.

(7) Also seen as Oblique Movement, this movement is characterized by the inclined rotation of the body during the execution of the movement in Lao Jia Yi Lu and thus its name, which when directly translated means inclined shape. However, in Xin Jia set, the body is not leaning.

(8) The right knee points at the toes with the calf on top of the foot. Waist is relaxed. Thighs are ‘twisted’ outwards to initiate the spiral rotation. The right fist is not closed tight. The moment of impact is about a tenth of a second when it meets the opponent, only then is it tight. Immediately after the jin reaches the fist and after contact, relax the whole body. Gong versus hong. There are many write-ups that have “yan shou hong quan” or “dao juan hong”, whirling arms backwards. The Chinese character 宏 (hóng) is like 肱 (gōng).The difference is in their meanings. 肱 means upper arm or the humerus, which I believe is what the form is referring to and 宏 means great or grand. While this has been interpreted as punching to the chest, I think this might be punching to the humerus as if someone grabs your left hand and you are going to pull it back and hit with the right fist that was hidden.

Section 2

This section introduces new footwork of walking backwards and sidewards but the main characteristics of this section is body rotations. Walking backwards means landing with the toes first. Moving side wards means using the heel.

16. Leaning Body Punch (piě shēn quán) (1) 撇身拳
17. Pressing with the back (bèi zhé kào) (2) 背折靠
18. Green Dragon Emerges from Water (qīng lóng chū shuǐ) (3)青龙出水(青龍出水)
19. Push with Both Hands (shuāng tuī shŏu) (4) 双推手
20. Three Palm Exchanges (sān huàn zhǎng) 三换掌
21. Elbow Meets Fist (zhǒu dī quán) (5) 肘低拳
22. Stepping Backwards with Turning Arms (dào juǎn gōng) 倒巻肱
23. Give Way to Press Elbow (tuì bù yā zhǒu) 退步压肘
24. Critical moment (zhōng pán) (6) 中盘
25. White Goose Spreads Wings (bái é liàng chì) 白鹅亮翅
26. Inclined or Diagonal Posture with Twisted Steps (xié xíng ào bù) 斜行拗步
27. Turn Back Quickly (shǎn tōng bèi) (7) 闪通背
28. Hidden Punch (yǎn shǒu gōng quán) 掩手肱拳
29. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì) 六封四闭
30. Single Whip (dān biān) 单鞭
31. Moving or Waving Hands (yùn shŏu) (8) 运手
32. Pat Horse on High Back (gāo tàn mǎ) (9) 高探马

(1) Depending on individual training level, (high, medium or low stances), the hand positions will be different. In high stance, the hands pass above the knees. In medium stance, the hands pass below the knees and in low stance, the elbows pass below the knees. In Lao Jia Yi Lu, this movement includes 背折靠.

(2) Literally translated, it means back breaking lean. This describes the movement very well. In the final position, the right fist, left elbow and left toes form a straight line and the eyes look down the left elbow to align it with the toes. The left elbow can be used to strike an attacker’s elbow (in which case the right is pulling downwards) or hit soft part of the body. The right fist can also be a hit or a pull.

(3) The character 青 means many things. It can be young, the color green or even the color black. When used in this context, it can also mean the dragon from the Da Qin mountain or the direction South. The punch at the end can be a straight punch or a hammer fist. Lao Jia Yi Lu tends to have the straight punch and Xin Jia has the hammer fist, but I have seen boths types. Grandmaster Chen Xiao Xing said it really depends on usage. However, at this point, that punch can change form into elbow strikes or shoulder strikes. In Xin Jia, the final punch is preceded by two other quick “punches”. A right fist punch and a left straight fingers punch – like poking with fingertips.

(4) Sometimes also referred to as double push palms. A common phrase for this movement is 双推手肩发力 shuāng tuīshŏu jiān fā lì. Like Six Sealing Four Closing, there is springiness in the arms when striking and strength is from the center of the back of the shoulders

(5) Ideally the elbow hit the back of the head while the fist hits the nose. Both elbow and fist come together with the coordinated he jin (compression energy). Lao Jia Yi Lu has this movement as 肘低看拳 (zhǒu dī kàn quán), which literally translated is the bottom of the elbow sees the fist.

(6) This is a series of 4 quick and powerful movements after the left elbow strikes the right palm.

(7) While this movement has the same name as Lao Ji Yi Lu, the movement itself is very different.

(8) The simplified Chinese character for cloud is 云(雲). It is very similar to the simplified Chinese character word for moving 运(運). It is very likely that these characters got translated incorrectly and “Cloud hands” stuck as a name and that is a translation error. Waving or moving hands is more accurate.

(9) The body is at an angle in the final resting position. Imagine yourself stroking the top of a high horse’s back.

Section 3

This is a short section but 70% of the footwork, jumping and kicking, is in this section.

33. Right Sweeping Kick (yòu cā jiǎo) (1)右擦脚
34. Left Sweeping Kick (zuǒ cā jiǎo) (1)左擦脚
35. Heel Kick (dēng yì gēn) (2)蹬一根
36. Forward Blocking with Twisted Steps (qián dăng ào bù) (3)前挡拗步
37. Punch towards the Ground (jī dì chuí) (4)击地锤 (擊地錘)
38. Turn back for Double Jump Kicks (fān shēn èr qĭ jiăo) (5)翻身二起脚
39. Beast Head Pose (shòu tóu shì) (6)兽头式
40. Tornado Kick (xuán fēng jiǎo) (7)旋风脚
41. Heel Kick (dēng yì gēn) (2)蹬一根
42. Hidden Punch (yǎn shǒu gōng quán)掩手肱拳

(1) The hands are for show. The top part of the foot ‘slaps’ the hand and not the other way around. In some translation it is written as You Pai Jiao and Zuo Pai Jiao which led to people slapping the foot instead of the other way around. After the second kick, there is a lifting of the left knee followed by a sweep to get the body to turnaround. You have to see Grandmaster Chen Xiao Xing’s video to know what I mean.

(2) Heel kicks are directed at the hips to turn it or to the kneecap to turn or break it. Eyes look at where you are kicking. Lao Jia Yi Lu has this as left heel kick 左蹬一根 (zuǒ dēng yì gēn) but in Xin Jia, it is simply heel kick. The first one is a left heel kick, the second one, movement 41 is a right heel kick.

(3) See section 1, (6) notes. Pay attention to the transition here.

(4) The left and right arms need to be coordinated. The left fist will sweep downwards under the left knee and then back up to protect the head. The right fist will go up, as the left goes down, in a smaller circle to punch down as the left fist rises. The fists are formed during transition. The use of this move has been unclear. Some say to strike the attacker’s foot while others said it is used to strike an attacker after you knock him/her down. It doesn’t matter since there are many uses for one movement. I personally this is for the body that is already down, and you will hit any soft parts. The important thing is to not expose your head to your opponent, or he/she can take advantage of that.

(5) As the name implies, both legs will have to kick up. The first kick is a fake kick and the second kick is the real one. Push off with the right foot without taking a step forward.

(6) In Lao Jia Yi Lu, this is called 护心拳 (hù xīn quán) aka Protect Heart Fists. It is a long movement. It is representative of the yĭn shàng xià jìn (引上下进) method of attacking. First draw across the top while inserting the leg underneath to be in front or behind the attacker. The two fists line up along the midline of the body. Right fist in front of the left fist. I have seen also others placing the fists slightly to the right side of the body. Some explain this as protecting your own heart, which means either center or right is the wrong placement. I see this as striking someone’s left side after exposing it. That side is the opponent’s heart side and is usually on my right side. I kept the literal translation of the characters so there’s a visual image of the final resting position.

(7) This kick can be done at various level. The key is to be stable when executing this kick. The left hand meets the inside of the left foot when the body is turned to the final position, 180 degrees and not sooner. The hand can hit the thigh, calf depending on your skill.

Section 4

Less foot work in this section and more hand work for pushing, grasping and hitting.

43. Small Grasping and Hitting (xiǎo qín dǎ) (1)小擒打
44. Push Mountain from the Head (bào tóu tuī shān) (2)抱头推山
45. Three Palm Exchanges (sān huàn zhǎng)三换掌
46. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì)六封四闭
47. Single Whip (dān biān)单鞭
48. Protect the Front (qián zhāo) (3)前招
49. Protect the Back (hòu zhāo) (3)后招
50. Part the Wild Horse’s Mane (yě mǎ fēn zōng) (4)野马分鬃
51. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì) (5)六封四闭
52. Single Whip (dān biān)单鞭

(1) Like Lao Jia Yi Lu, it starts out the same but right at the end of the palm strike, there’s another hit that starts from the back to the front and downwards. Watch the video.

(2) The push is an upward push, so the dang goes down and then up along with the push. This is used to uproot the attacker.

(3) The 招 comes from 招呼, to greet or to receive. It is like greeting someone who comes in front or behind you. The jin used here is horizontal jin so the strikes to the front and rear are along a horizontal plane. I see this as a protection by parrying.

(4) This movement is quite different than Lao Jia Yi Lu because of the extra hits. After the first parting, there’s hit at chest level from right to left. After the second parting, there’s a waist level hit from right to left.

(5) This is different than Lao Jia Yi Lu as it does not have the big steps forward. More silk reeling and standing up before the push.

Section 5

This section is mainly a review section but introduces some big movements like jumping far, reaching high, and diving lows. This section also introduces the lotus kick.

53. Double earth-shaking stomps (shuāng zhèn jiǎo) (1)双震脚
54. Jade Maiden Shuttles back and forth (yù nǚ chuān suō)玉女穿梭
55. Holding Coat at the Waist (lǎn zhā yī)揽扎衣(攬紮衣)
56. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì)六封四闭 (六封四閉)
57. Single Whip (dān biān)单鞭(單鞭)
58. Moving or Waving Hands (yùn shŏu)运手
59. Arrange Legs to Split (băi jiăo diē chà) (2)摆脚跌岔
60. Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg (jīn jī dú lì) (3)金鸡独立
61. Stepping Backwards with Turning Arms (dào juǎn gōng)倒巻肱
62. Give Way to Press Elbow (tuì bù yā zhǒu)退步压肘
63. Critical moment (zhōng pán)中盘
64. White Goose Spreads Wings (bái é liàng chì)白鹅亮翅
65. Inclined or Diagonal Posture with Twisted Steps (xié xíng ào bù)斜行拗步
66. Turn Back Quickly (shǎn tōng bèi)闪通背
67. Hidden Punch (yǎn shǒu gōng quán)掩手肱拳
68. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì)六封四闭
69. Single Whip (dān biān)单鞭
70. Moving or Waving Hands (yùn shŏu)运手
71. Pat Horse on High Back (gāo tàn mǎ)高探马

(1) In Lao Jia Yi Lu, this movement is combined with Jade Maiden Shuttles move. It is the initial lift and jump from that movement.

(2) In Lao Ji Yi Lu, the lotus kicks 双白莲 (shuāng bái lián) before the split is listed as a separate move. In Xin Jia, the lotus kick is still there. It is embedded into the drop and split move.

(3) In Lao Jia Yi Lu, the strike with the right hand is a palm strike. In Xin Jia, it is a chop. The left hand also chops down after performing this movement on the left side.

Section 6

This section can appear to be confusing. There are only two ding bu (stationary postures) and the rest flows from one movement into another.

72. Cross Lotus Kick (shí zì bǎi lián) (1)十字摆莲
73. Punch to the Groin (zhǐ dāng chuí) (2)指裆锤
74. White Ape Presents Fruit (bái yuan xiàn guǒ or yuan hóu tàn guǒ) (3)白猿献果 or 猿猴探果
75. Six Sealing and Four Closing (liù fēng sì bì) (4)六封四闭
76. Single Whip (dān biān)单鞭
77. Earthworm burrowing under the mud (què dì lóng) (5)雀地龙
78. Step Forward into Seven Stars Pose (shàng bù qī xīng) (6)上步七星
79. Step Back to wrap with forearm (tuì bù kuà hǔ) (7)退步跨虎
80. Turn Back and Wave Double Lotus Kick (zhuǎn shēn shuāng bái lián)转身双白莲
81. Cannon Fists to the Head (dāng tóu pào)当头炮
82. Strong Man Pounds the Mortar (jīn gāng dǎo duì)金刚捣碓
83. Close (shōu shì)收势

(1) In Lao Jia Yi Lu, this is 十字脚 (shí zì jiǎo). Xin Jia is clearer that it has a lotus kick in it. The Chinese characters 十字 mean intersection, although some will think it has something to with the number 10. Cross kick is as good a description as I can find. This movement uses the Wai Bai Jiao footwork where you whip the right leg around to hit the left hand.

(2) There are a couple more move before the punch to the groin. Double hammer fists to the left with the thumbs facing the right and then followed by another set of hammer fists with the thumbs facing left.

(3) In Lao Jia Yi Lu, this move has a couple of names. 白猿献果 (bái yuan xiàn guǒ), white ape presents fruits or 猿猴探果 (yuan hóu tàn guǒ), monkeys and apes searching for fruits. Based on how the movement is executed, I think the ape presenting the fruit is the most descriptive.

(4) In Lao Jia Yi Lu, this movement is not listed separately.

(5) The Chinese characters compose of a sparrow and earthworm. The story is that the earthworm would creep under the mud pushing sand to the top, forming small mud hills. As children, they would look for the white sand and then scoop the earthworms out from the base of those mud hills. With the sparrow in front of the worm, it may mean a sparrow searching for the earthworms and would scoop in like the children’s hands. In the low form, left leg is straight in front, left leg is bent. The drop is on the calves not on the buttocks. Some description has this as flying down like the sparrow.

(6) The 7 stars represents the Northern Dipper 北斗七星 (běi dǒu qī xīng). This movement needs more clarifications from my teacher. I have heard that the 7 stars are formed by the head, shoulders, elbows and wrists. One version has it that the 7 stars a a line like the Dipper. Another describes the box formed at the end of the move as the box in the Dipper, and thus stepping into the 7 stars. Key things to note is left goes up first and right side follows.

(7) Lao Jia Yi Lu has this as 下步跨肱 (xià bù kuà gōng) and Xin Jia has it as 退步跨虎 (tuì bù kuà hǔ). 下步 and 退步 have the same meaning as stepping back. 跨 again refers to stepping or riding or adhering. The character 虎 represents tiger but as an adjective, it means vigorously. 肱 means the humerus, so I believe that this movement refers to adhering to the humerus and pulling it back. Lao Ji Yi Lu probably has the right name.

3/15/18 – clarification from CXX is that these two are actually just 1 move. Pi Shen Chui.

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Last updated on 4/21/2020