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Chen Xin



From (source 1), Chen Xin 陈鑫, styled Pinsan (1849-1929) claims in his book[i] that his ancestor Chen Bu , the first generation, brought this art with him when the Chen family moved from Da Huai Shu in Shanxi to Wen county in Henan. According to history Chen Bu followed the move of the people first to Henan, to Henei county (today’s Qinyang county ) Chen Bu Zhuang (today this village still exists, it belongs now to Wen county), but due to that the village was in a marsh area and was often flooded, they moved again to the east of Wen county city ten li to Changyang village on Qingfeng ridge. In the village there is a trench (ditch) “gou” going from north to south. After the Chen members became numerous the name was changed to Chen family village “Chen Jia Gou”. Chen Xin , styled Pinsan (1849-1929)

Chen Xin wrote in his preface to his book:

“in the 7th of Hongwu (1374)[ii] in the Ming period . The ancestor Bu when not studying (and tilling the fields), used the Yin Yang opening and closing movement of the whole body, teaching his children and grandchildren the method of digesting what had been eaten, based on the theory of Tai Ji, for this reason it was called Tai Ji Quan ”.

Chen Xin never stated who created the art though[iii]. In this case we are not sure if the meaning of Tai Ji Quan as mentioned with Chen Bu is actually boxing or if it is to be seen in some other way. In some cases it could refer to a form of gymnastic exercises more than to the boxing art with hand forms and weapons. What is meant here is difficult to say.

The article's section on Chen Xin continues, “I will not discuss the story of Chen Wangting (1600-1680) and if he created the Tai Ji Quan or not. Originally this was not an idea put forward by the Chen family and certainly not by Chen Xin. Chen Xin has a part about Chen Wangting saying something like “when busy I am tilling the fields, when bored I make boxing” but not referring to Tai Ji Quan. The first time we see Chen Wangting referred to as the creator of Tai Ji Quan is in articles by Tang Hao. This idea was also put forth by Gu Liuxin in his books and also by later authors on the Chen style of Tai Ji Quan.

Chen Xin taught Chen Kezhong (1908 -1966) . Chen Kezhong was given the “Sansan liu quanpu” to keep.”

From Brennan's translation of Ziming's book




Chen Xin, called Pinsan, was recommended to be a scholar by his local government during the Qing Dynasty. He studied Taiji Boxing in extreme detail. He wrote several volumes about the Chen family’s history, as well as several volumes on An Yuxuan’s poetry and essays, four volumes of Illustrated Handbook of Taiji Boxing, and one volume of Taiji Boxing for Beginners, but none of these works have yet been published.

Chen Xin (1849-1929), 8th generation Chen family member, provided one of the most important written description of the Chen style. He was the grandson of Chen Youshen (陈有恒), 6th generation Chen family member. Chen Youshen was the brother of Chen Youben (陈有本), the creator of Small Frame. Chen Xin's father was Chen Zhongshen and Chen Xin's uncle, Chen Ji-shen were twins. In that 7th generation Chen family, Chen Zhong-shen, Chen Ji-shen, Chen Geng-yun (陈耕耘, the son of Chen Chang-xing), Yang Lu-chan (杨露禅, founder of Yang Style) and Chen Qing-ping (陈清萍, promoter of Zhaobao style Tai chi ch'uan) were all martial artists with exceptional abilities.

Chen Xin initially trained with his father but his father ordered him to study literature rather than the martial arts. It was only later that he decided to use his literature skills to describe his understanding of the secrets of Chen style. In Chen Xin's generation, his older brother, Chen Yao and his cousin, Chen Yanxi (陈延熙, father of Chen Fake) were considered masters of the Chen style. Chen Xin's legacy is his book and his student, Chen Ziming (陈子明). Chen Ziming, went on to promote Chen style small frame throughout China and wrote books promoting the art. Chen Ziming was in the same generation as Chen Fake.

Also see: Chen Bu, Chen Wang-Ting, Chen Chang-Xing, Chen You-Ben, Chen Fa-Ke.


  • Brennan's translation of Ziming's book
  • [i] Chen Xin , “Chen shi Tai Ji Quan tu shuo” (1933).
  • [ii] Chen Xiaowang , “Shi chuan Chen shi Tai Ji Quan ”(1985) p.1 states that it was in 1372
  • [iii] Chen Shaodong , p.7 in no.12 Wu Lin (1992) states that Chen Bu created Tai Ji Quan . Chen Shaodong is one of the editors of Chen Xin’s book and 1992 he was 93 years old.
taiji/chen_xin.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/27 03:58 by serena