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Chen Wei-Ming


Chen Weiming (1881–1958) was a scholar, taijiquan teacher, and author. He was also known by his name Chen Zengze (陳曾則), Weiming being his hao, a pen-name.

Chen came from an educated family with roots in Qishui, Hubei, China. His great-grandfather was a famous scholar; and his mother was skilled at calligraphy. As a boy, Chen prepared for the civil service exams by studying the Chinese classics, Chinese calligraphy, poetry, and essay-writing. He passed the mid-level exam of juren in 1902, and received a post in the Qing History Office. His two brothers also became scholars and authors.

Chen began to study the Chinese martial arts in Beijing under Sun Lutang (1859–1933), with whom he studied xingyi (hsing-i) and bagua (pa-kua). He then began to study taijiquan (t'ai chi ch'uan) with Yang Chengfu (1883–1936), grandson of Yang Luchan, founder of the Yang family lineage.

In 1925, Chen moved to Shanghai and established the Zhi Ruo (Achieving Softness) Taijiquan Association.

Chen recorded Yang's teachings in three books under his own name: Taijiquan shu (The Art of Taijiquan, 1925), Taiji jian (Taiji Sword, 1928), and Taijiquan da wen (Questions and Answers on Taijiquan, 1929). These books are important not only for their content, but because they were among the first taijiquan books published for a mass audience. Chen also wrote several scholarly books under the name Chen Zengze. He wrote prefaces to Sun Lutang and Zheng Manqing's taijiquan books.

Though Chen did not create a large following through his teaching as did his classmates Dong Yingjie (Tung Ying-chieh) and Zheng Manqing (Cheng Man-ch'ing), his books have remained influential and are important references about taijiquan in the early 1900s.

DFW's Bio

Chen Wei-Ming founded the Tai Chi Chuan school called Zhi-Rou Quan She (The Soft and Gentle Boxing Club) in 1925. Chen Wei-Ming was himself a senior student of Yang Cheng-Fu, the founder of the Yang school of Tai Chi Chuan . Chen Wei-Ming also taught Tai Chi in Shanghai in the 1930's and 40's before the revolution.

In 1925, Yang Cheng-Fu asked Chen Wei-Ming, to write a book entitled “Tai Chi Chuan”, with detailed captions to Yang Cheng-Fu's pictures as illustrations. In 1931, Yang had all the pictures retaken and compiled into “The Methods of Taijiquan”, which was revised two years later into “A Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan”.

Chen Wei-Ming was also allowed to author the book “Tai Chi Chuan Ta Wen”, considered by most to be a modern classic in Tai Chi Chuan literature. This favorite pupil of Yang Cheng-Fu wrote three books on behalf of his teacher, whose desire it was to make Tai Chi Chuan more well-known to the public at large at the beginning of the last century. The third book written by Chen was “The Form of Tai Chi Chuan” (Taijiquan Shu, 1925).

“Tai Chi Sword and Other Writings” (1927) dedicates itself with texts and photos of the Tai Chi Sword form, as he learned from teacher Yang Cheng-Fu. The text is almost entirely a pure description of the individual movements of the sword form and probably originally served as a reminder to the pupils. We know, all too well, that even the most extensive texts and detailed designs and photos cannot replace a teacher, and thus the information in the available text is purely technical and contains nothing new about the form.

Chen went to Canton to represented his teacher to teach the southerners the Yang style of Tai Chi. Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong's teacher, Hu Yuen-Chou studied with him for three years before Chen Wei-Ming returned to Shanghai and sent his teacher Yang Cheng-Fu to Canton to teach Hu Yuen-Chou and the other students the advanced level Tai Chi Chuan forms and Push Hands principles.

taiji/chen_wei-ming.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/14 14:42 by serena