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Internal Boxing was passed down through the generations with noted practitioners like Chang Sung Chi, Huang Zhen Nan, Huang Pai Jia, Gan Feng Chi and Wang Tsung. Wu Dang Internal Boxing still exists at the place of its birth though it has been diversified into many different styles in the course of the centuries. But still present in its syllabus is a form called Wu Dang Taijiquan. This bears only a little resemblance to the popular Taijiquan of today but has common theories.


We know that the Chen family was famous for generations for their Pao Chui art which was a Shaolin form. It was only after Chen Chang Xin that the art was considered an internal one and specifically from the lineages stemming from Yang Lu Chan the founder of the Yang style of Taijiquan.


According to Chen Xin, Chen Chang Xin learned part of his art from Jiang Fa. Chen Chang Xin had been practicing his boxing when Jiang Fa who was passing by saw him practicing and burst out laughing. Realising that he was observed Jiang Fa hurried away but Chen Chang Xin caught up with him and angrily challenged him as Jiang had slighted his Chen family art. Chen grabbed Jiang's shoulder from behind, Jiang simply turne around and Chen was thrown out and lay on the floor. Realising the superiority of Jiang's art Chen asked Jiang to be his master. Jiang who ran a Toufu shop in Xian was passing through villiage after visiting his mother in Honan. Jiang said that he would return after three years to teach Chen and he indeed returned at the appointed time after which Chen Chang Xin brought him home and learnt Taijiquan from him.


Chen Xin also said that because Chen Chang Xin had studied with Jiang Fa, the Chen family did not permit him to teach the family art of Pao Chui. This could very well explain why Chen Chang Xin held his classes in secret in the dead of night in the back courtyard of his home where Yang Lu Chan spied upon him.


Chen Xin also introduced to Wu Tu Nan another Taiji master from the Chen village called Du Yu Wan (the source for a song formula attributed to Jiang Fa's teacher from Shanxi which is probably Wang Tsung Yueh. This is found at the back of Chen Xin's book). According to Du, his art came down from Jiang Fa who was from Kaifeng in Honan and that his form and Yang Lu Chan's form was the same, even bearing the same postural names like `Grasp Sparrow's Tail' and the same sequence. Du told him that his Taijiquan was not a family transmitted art but a teacher transmitted art. The previous generations of the art, that is the founder of his lineage, were present when Jiang Fa was teaching Chen Chang Xin and had also learnt the art from Jiang Fa. He then demonstrated his form to Wu Tu Nan and the form was the same as the Yang style of Taijiquan.


According to Chen Xin, Chen Chang Xin was very stiff in the upper body and was therefore nick named `Mr Ancestral Tablet'. When he was learning under Jiang Fa, Jiang made Chen practice some loosening exercises to rid him of his stiffness before teaching him Taijiquan. The rest of the Chen family continued in their practice of Pao Chui for which they were famous for.


The input from Jiang Fa, who traced his lineage back to Chang San Feng, which indicates that his art was Wu Dang Internal Boxing or at the very least derived from it, would mark the change of Chen family art from an external one to an internal one.


The earliest available literature on Taijiquan indicates that the art consisted of only 13 postures, the 8 Gates and Five Steps. We know that the 8 gates were 8 postures which represented 8 different types of Jing (refined strength). The Five Steps were the five different directions of their application. These were probably incorporated into the existing Pao Chui postures and the slow, relaxed, continuous and smooth manner of performing the form, the very element which made Internal Boxing look weak, was also incorporated. The result was a long form which had all the elements of Internal Boxing, a modified Pao Chui form which was a vehicle for Internal Boxing's theories and practices. This would have been the art that was transmitted by Chen Chang Xin.


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