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Chen Peiju demonstrates movements of Small Frame of Chen style Taijiquan

Tying a Coat (Lan Za Yi)
Single Whip (Dan Bian)
Chopping Posture (Pi Jiazi)

[5] Here Ms. Chen Peiju made a remark that performing a Small Frame routine from the beginning till the end of the set should give an impression of a ball rolling forward (Gun Qiu). Although there are movements back and forth as well as folding (Zhe Die), but they are all on the outside - Internal Strength (Nei Jin) is all the time coiling. One does not fold (repeat) the movement several times before completing a posture. This is the main outside difference between Small Frame and Large Frame - Small Frame "rolls" continuously forward, while Large Frame repeats some circles several times before proceeding to the next movement.
[6] This claim originally comes from Tang Hao's writings. Tang Hao was taken to Chenjiagou in January 1932 by Chen Ziming, Chen Xin's disciple. It was Tang Hao who published the results of his research in Chen Ziming's book "The Art of Chen Family Taijiquan Transmitted Through Generations" (Chen Shi Shi Chuan Taijiquan Shu) published in 1932 and - apart form the above statement - used the terms of "Old Frame" (Lao Jia) and "New Frame" (Xin Jia). Ms. Chen Peiju says that "Small Frame practitioners support the idea of Chen style existing in two Frames - Large and Small, but reject the division into Old Frame (Lao Jia) and New Frame (Xin Jia). Also Chen Zhaokui's son, Chen Yu, is against this way of dividing the style". On the other hand not only Tang Hao, but Chen Ziming as well used the names "Old Frame" and "New Frame" in his book.

The claim that Small Frame was created by "gradually abandoning some more difficult and vigorous movements" should be reconsidered in the light of some very difficult movements still existing in Small Frame routines, including the most characteristic "Kicking with Both Heels" (Shuang Deng Gen) which does not appear in Large Frame sets.

[7] To read excerpts from Chen Xin's "Illustrated Explanation to Chen Family Taijiquan" click here.

[8] Actually "The Introduction to Yin Fu Spear Manual" mentions only "Mr. Wang from Shanxi" (Shanyou Wang Xiansheng). Tang Hao bought an old manuscript in Beiping (today's Beijing) in 1930. It contained the above mentioned "Yin Fu Spear Manual" and Taijiquan Boxing Manual (which later appeared to be of Yang style tradition). Tang - using unconvincing arguments - drew a conclusion that the author of the spear manual - "Mr. Wang from Shanxi" - was Wang Zongyue, and "The Introduction to Yin Fu Spear Manual" described the life of Wang Zongyue. In this way Tang Hao placed Wang Zongyue at the end of 18th century. However many researchers (including Wu Wenhan, often quoted by D.Wile in his books) disagree with Tang's conclusions.

Chen Ziming demonstrating movements of Small Frame of Chen style Taijiquan


Punch of Covering Hand (Yan Shou Chui)
Brush the Knee and Twist Step on Both Sides (Lou Xi Ao Bu)
White Goose Dries Wings in Sun (Bai E Liang Chi)
Yellow Dragon Stirs Water (Huang Long Jiao Shui)



1.Transmission of Small Frame of Chen style Taijiquan (brief):

Chen Wangting (1st Generation of Chen style Taijiquan) Chen Suole (2nd) Chen Zhengru (3rd) Chen Jie (4th) Chen Gongzhao (5th) Chen Youben (6th) Chen Youlun, Chen Qingping, Chen Zhongshen, Chen Jishen (all 7th)

Chen Youlun (7th) Li Jingyan ("Sudden Thunder Frame" - Hulei Jia)

Chen Qingping (7th, 1795-1868) He Zhaoyuan (Zhaobao Taijiquan), Wu Yuxiang (Wu Style Taijiquan)

Chen Zhongshen (7th, 1809-1891) Chen Xin (8th, 1849-1929) Chen Chunyuan, Chen Ziming (all 9th)

Chen Chunyuan (9th) Chen Honglie, Chen Kedi, Chen Kezhong (all 10th)

Chen Honglie (10th) Chen Liqing (11th, 1919-), Chen Lixian (11th, 1922-1983)

Chen Kezhong (10th, 1908-1960) Chen Boxiang, Chen Boxian (all 11th)

Chen Kedi (10th) Shi Lei

Chen Lixian (11th, 1922-1983) Chen Peilin, Chen Peishan, Chen Peiju (all 12th)

2.In its historical part the article suggests that Chen Youben modified the original Chen style Taijiquan and taught it to Chen Changxing's son, Chen Gengyun to improve his skill before Gengyun left the village to work in caravan escorting business. That modified version was later called Large Frame (Da Jia) to make distinction between it and the original Chen style, which people started to refer to as Small Frame (Xiao Jia). This would suggest that Chen Changxing also practiced Small Frame, and that it was probably the style that Yang Luchan learnt from him.




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