[8 & 9] CHEN YOUHENG & CHEN YOUBEN
Chen Youheng, called Deji, passed the county-level civil service examinations in the first year of the reign of Emperor Daoguang . He was obsessed with Taiji Boxing, but drowned in Dongting Lake in the prime of his life.
His younger brother, Youben, called Daosheng, passed the county-level civil service examinations at the age of thirty-six. He reached the deepest level of the Taiji boxing art for his generation. He had an unassuming demeanor, always acting inferior to the other person. At that time, all the best Taiji Boxing exponents had learned from him.
A third branch was headed up by another fourteenth generation member of the Chen family named Chen Youheng. Chen Youheng developed what many see as the first “new” frame of the style. This new version was not a watering down of Chen style by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it was viewed as an even more martial rendering of the style adapting to the ever changing face of military hand-to-hand combat. This approach was exemplified by his offspring, Chen Jishen and Chen Zhongshen who were recognized as warriors who successfully stood up to the Taiping rebels during the reign of the Emperor Hsien Feng. Some accounts credit Chen Zhongshen specifically with adding further developments of a “Big Style” that emphasized a martial prowess, and made the style more practical and adaptable to battlefield considerations.
Chen Youheng's Big Style was passed on to Chen Zhonghen, as well as Chen Jishen and Chen Boshen. Chen Jishen passed it on Chen Sen. However, Chen Zhonghen was able to pass it on to Chen Yao, as well as Chen Xiao and Chen Miao.
The idea of “new” is also interpreted by some to mean that Chen Youheng discovered a new approach to applying the style. In other words, he didn't alter it necessarily, but, instead, found more direct paths to application; and emphasized methods which were less flowery and more sensical. Chen Youheng's Big Style continued to live on when Chen Yao passed it on to Chen Ziming and Chen Chunyuan. However, with the popularity of the teachings of Chen Changxing's grand student Chen Fake and Chen Zhaopei, as well as the the most popular modern Chen stylist and prodigy Chen Zhaokwei, it is believed, at the very least, this version of Chen style has become obscure, and this once prominent and central branch of the style has hardly survived. That which has endured is practiced by very few. Certainly in lieu of the developments in application, it would be interesting to see Youheng's ideas brought back to life. http://www.chiflow.com/html/Taijiquan_Chen.htm