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The Boxing Song Formula attributed to Chen Wang Ting is taken from the Liang Yi Tang Ben manual of Chen martial arts, it is also the only old manual that records a form called the 13 postures. Its content is an addition on to an old Chen martial art manual called the Wen Xiu Tang Ben which does not record any form called the 13 postures. So it is possible that the Liang Yi Tang Ben is a later manual with additions not found in the original Chen transmission. The poem attributed to Chen Wang Ting is found in the Liang Yi Tang Ben and there is no other evidence to authenticate it.

Another early Chen family writer is Chen Zhi Ming. It was he who accompanied Tang Hao and Gu Liu Xin on their trip down to Chen Jia Gou for investigations into the origins. His work is thus as important as theirs in terms of evidence for the early Chen arts. In his book on the Chen family arts he quotes from the old manuals and records old song formulas, many of which are revealing (see next chapter for more information)

Chen Xin also authored the Three Three Boxing Manual (San San Quan Pu) which uses Taiji Boxing theories to complement Hsing-I theories. It contains 3 of the 10 thesis of Hsing-I. Tang Hao also posited that Chen Wang Ting had used 29 out of the 32 boxing postures in General Qi Ji Kwang's (1528-1587) book Ji Xiao Xin Shu. We shall examine this claim in detail in the next chapter.

From the above evidence, it is quite clear that the Chen family did probably learn and practice arts from outside the Chen village. Based on this, the theory of Chen Wang Ting creating Taijiquan cannot be supported.

The Four Old Schools Of Taijiquan In the Sung Manual: Sung's Taiji And Its Offshoots

The manual was first given to Wu Tu Nan by a friend of his in late 1908 or early 1909. Later when Sung Si Ming came to Beijing to teach Taijiquan, Wu had the opportunity to compare the manual he had with Sung Si Ming's manual and they agreed in content. In the manual it lists four old schools of Taijiquan, namely Hsu, Yu, Cheng and Yin. The postures delinated in the manual have names similar to Yang Taiji and the form and sword form postures are almost identical to the Yang style, it is obvious that the Sung style of Taiji came from the Yang style so the historical data in the manual is suspect and cannot be regarded as factual.

That Jiang Fa Transmitted It To The Chen Village

The early sources all record the existance of this personage and that he was skilled in the art of Taijiquan. Zhao Bao style traces their lineage to him and even Chen Xin's book 'Chen Family Taijiquan Pictures And Sayings' has a song formula of his which Jiang apparent got from his teacher from Shanxi (who would be Wang Tsung Yueh). So even in Chen Xin's book, there is a reference to Jiang as being a teacher of the art.

This song formula in Chen Xin's book comes down from Du Yu Wan, whom Wu Tu Nan had met during his investigative visit to the Chen Villiage. Du himself wrote a book which was published only once in 1935. The original handwritten manual has been traced to the Zhao Bao viliage though it has not been made public. It states that Jiang was the teacher of Du's art and was taught by Wang. There is a chapter i Du's book called 'Wudang Taijiquan Beginnings' indicates that Du considered his Taijiquan as coming from the Wu Dang school.

The Yang family tradition also records that it was Jiang who taught Chen Chang Xin the art. Wu Tu Nan's book 'Research On Taijiquan' (1984) records his encounter with Chen Xin on the matter. Chen Xin admitted that Chen Chang Xin had learnt the art from Jiang Fa after Jiang had defeated Chen Chang Xin and that because of that, Chen Chang Xin was not allowed to teach Pao Chui.



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