Standard Bearer of Chen Taijiquan
Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang was born in 1945 in Chenjiagou (Chen Village), Henan Province, China and is currently the standard bearer of the 19th generation of the Chen family. He is a senior national martial artist and professor in the Chinese Martial Arts International Promotions Centre. Upon the solid foundation of the experience of his ancestors, Chen has not only been successful in Taijiquan himself, but has tirelessly promoted his “family martial art” throughout the world. He is direct descendent of the legendary Chen Wang Ting, originator of Chen Taijiquan in the 17th Century, and the grandson of Chen Fa’ke, renowned as the greatest Taijiquan master at the beginning of the 20th Century.
At a very young age, Chen received rigorous training in Chen family Taijiquan theory, forms, weapons, push hands, and free sparring from his father, Chen Zhaoxu, and his uncles, Chen Zhaopi and Chen Zhaokui. In 1980, he became a board member of the Henan Institute of Sport and began teaching Taijiquan professionally. He entered the National Taijiquan Competition winning gold medals for three consecutive years (1980-82). In 1985, he represented China in the First International Martial Arts Invitational Competition in Xi’an receiving the World Champion title for Taijiquan. Chen continued to compete in sizable competitions and was awarded the title of champion in Taijiquan more than twenty times.
Chen served as the sole deputy elected from Taijiquan circles to the Chinese National People’s Assembly. In 1988, he was awarded the Contribution to Martial Arts prize by the National Institute of Martial Arts, and the Chinese Government recognised him as a “Living National Treasure.” He is recognised as one of four “Buddha’s Warrior Attendants,” the four outstanding exponents of the 19th generation in Chenjiagou. Chen Xiaowang was chairperson of the Henan Province Chen Push Hands Taijiquan Association; deputy head of the Wushu Academy of Henan Province; and technical advisor and official assessor for the standardised competition routines for the Chen, Yang, Wu, and Sun styles of taijiquan. In 2010 he was honoured with the highest distinction in Chinese martial arts, the 9th duan wei.
Chen has created two condensed forms of the laojia and xinjia forms; a 38-posture form and a 19-posture form, and the 9-posture form for beginners. He told inside Kung-Fu Magazine in 1991, “I have tried to do away with all the repetitions and simplify the exceedingly difficult moves without destroying the characteristics of Chen Style Taijiquan, with special emphasis to attack/defense and the chansi technique.”
He has represented China sharing martial arts knowledge with people all over the world. His deep Taijiquan skill has allowed him to defeat all martial artists who have challenged him. Over many years, Chen has taught tens of thousands of Taijiquan students both in and outside of China.
Chen has held many positions of leadership in areas of martial arts, calligraphy, culture, and Chinese medicine and currently holds various positions in many international and Chinese Taijiquan institutions. He was the principal in the films on Chen family Taijiquan produced by Chinese Central Television (CCTV) and has choreographed and directed martial arts films. Additionally, he authored a number of renowned books and essays on Taijiquan. His books and videos have been translated into many languages and have been published worldwide.
Chen is also leading a project to rebuildo the house of Chen Changxing, the fourteenth generation Chen family. A project made possible by the contribution of his disciples and all the students who have bought his beautiful calligraphy, (example above “Jing , Qi, Shen”, Essence, Energy, Spirit, which TJC used for their T shirt).
Chen has contributed significantly to the international promotion of Taijiquan. In 1990, he left China on a mission to promote Taijiquan to the world. He established the World Chen Xiaowang Taijiquan Association and has since been touring Europe, North America, South America, and Asia promoting and teaching Taijiquan. The distance he travels each year is equivalent to twice the circumference of the earth. In February 2003, he accepted an invitation to return to his hometown, Jiao Zuo, to author a Taijiquan book for elementary and high school students. Both the people and government of Jiao Zuo warmly welcomed him.
Chen’s big heartedness, his outstanding Taijiquan skills, and his personal characteristics make him highly respected around the world. He is truly the most outstanding Chen family Taijiquan master of his generation and a world-renowned martial artist.
‘Chen Family Taijiquan’ by Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang
Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang has published a detailed volume, Chen Family Taijiquan. It is large format and packed full of fascinating family history with old photographs of the great masters from his family, such as Chen Fake, Chen Zhaokui, Chen Zhaopei, and the current ‘Four Buddha warriors’, (Chen Xiao Wang, Chen Zhenglei, Wang Xian and Zhu Taincai), of the Chen style as well as the upcoming younger generations. There are marvellous photos of Grandmaster Chen’s tai ji postures, family anecdotes, details of the four major tai ji styles that in part originally derive from the Chen family style, (Yang, Wu, Wu and Sun styles) all accompanied by Grandmaster Chen’s magnificent calligraphy and his clear insights into taijiquan practice. Also included are images and brief biographies of Grandmaster Chen’s disciples from around the world including Liu Quanjun. It is a terrific resource for anyone studying Chen style Taijiquan.
40% of the proceeds of the book go to restoring Chen Changxing’s house in Chen village (Chenjiagou). Chen Changxing is a most renowned 14th generation Tai Ji Quan master (Grandmaster Chen’s great, great, great, grandfather) who combined some of the old shorter tai ji quan routines of Chen Wanting, to form the traditional 74 part long form, Laojia Yi Lu and the dynamic Laojia Er Lu (Cannon Fist), as well as teaching Yang Luchan, the founder of the Yang style.
Tai Ji Circle has some books available for sale at our Camden classes. The books are large and very heavy so would need to be collected rather than posted out, email us for details.
Link of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and other masters talking about the history and demonstrating the Chen style