Grand Master Chen Zheng-lei was born in May 1949 in Chen Village Wen county Henan province. (Chen Village is the birthplace of Tai Chi Quan). He is the 19th generation of Chen’s family and the 11th generation direct-line successor of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan. He is now one of the “Top Ten Martial Arts Masters ”in China. He is the committee member of Chinese Wushu Association, the vice-chairman of He Nan Wushu Association, the senior National Wushu master, the committee member of Chinese Sports and Science Institute. At present, he is the executive president of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan Association of He Nan province and the director of Chen Village Tai Chi Quan Training Center of Zheng Zhou and the outstanding successor of He Nan Provincial Folk Culture. Since he was 8 years old, Grandmaster Chen Zheng-lei has followed his uncle Chen Zhao-pi for practicing Tai Chi Quan handed down from the older generation of Chen family, including push-hands, and Tai Chi Weapons about broadswords, spear, sword, cudgel etc. Moreover, he studied Tai Chi theories. (Chen Zhao-Pi was famous Tai Chi Master in his time, former honorary professor of Nan Jing Central Wushu Institution, National Senior referee and was selected as committee member of the National Wushu Association in 1964). After his uncle died from disease in 1972, he continued to pursue advanced studies for another uncle Chen Zhao-kui who was famous Tai Chi Grand Master in his time. Grand Master Chen Zheng-lei specialized in the theories and the skills of Tai Chi Quan and push-hands skills, which were handed down by his Grandfather’s brother Chen Fa-ke. He was taught by two Grand Masters’ personal examples as well as their verbal instruction for over 20 years.
Since childhood, Grand Master Chen was orphaned and helpless and repeatedly encountered various hardships and took Tai Chi Quan as life sustenance and future hope. So he devoted himself into practicing Tai Chi Quan for over 10 years and never stopped. His skills were out of the common run and his Tai Chi theoretical level was eminent in Chen Village because he enjoyed exceptional advantages of his two uncles.
From 1974 to 1987, he has not only won over 10 Provincial Competitions Gold medals consecutively in Pushing Hand, Tai Chi Sword and Tai Chi Quan Martial Arts Competition, but also successfully defended his title as Grand Champion of Tai Chi quan in two consecutive National Tai Chi Quan Competitions. And he was given the titles of “ excellent performance”, “ golden lion” and well known as “Tai Chi Buddha Warrior” in China and overseas.
Over the pass thirty-four years, Grand Master Chen has cultivated more than 40,000 students in China and overseas. His students have won over thousands Gold medals in Provincial, National and International Martial Arts competitions.
From 1981, foreigners, out of admiration, come to learn Tai Chi under Grand Master Chen. Since 1983, he has been invited to Japan、USA、UK、France、Italy etc over 20 countries for teaching Tai Chi Quan and giving lectures. He was invited to act as the consultant、the honorary chairman, the president, by over hundreds of Wushu societies and organizations all over the world. Taiwan Wushu circles has presented him pennants and praised that his skill has reached the peak of perfection. Malaysia Martial Arts circles presented him the silver plate and praised that he was the Mountain Tai-shan and Big Dipper in Tai Chi circular.
While he practiced and taught Tai Chi Quan, Grandmaster Chen devoted himself to collect and collate Tai Chi Cultural Heritage and wrote many works. The main works is as follows: on ten-phases skills, the collection of Chen Family Tai Chi Weapons, Chen Family Tai Chi Quan for life enhancement, Chen Family Tai Chi boxing etc— which have become precious documents for Tai Chi study. Partial works have been translated into other languages, such as Japanese, English, French, Korean, and Spanish and have been released in many countries. In 1988,some teaching videos such as Family Tai Chi boxing demonstrated and explained by Grandmaster Chen were issued by high education publishing house and teaching in 1996, others such as Chen Family Tai Chi Quan, sword, and push-hands explained by Grandmaster Chen were issued by people’s physical education publishing house. At the same time, they were translated into Japanese, English, and Korean etc— and have been released in many countries. In 2000, he recorded the following teaching videos the old frame Routine I and II of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan, single sword, push-hands, revised edition of Tai Chi weapons appreciation, the new Frame Routine I and II of Chen Family Tai Chi Quan and life enhancement etc…which were issued by people’s physical education publishing house and Yellow River video works Publishing house.
In 1986, he was selected as a member of the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In 1988,he was selected as deputy to the national people’s congress, the Headmaster Of Chen Village Tai Chi School, the Head of the Tai Chi and Shao Lin research institute. In 1994, he was elected as international Tai Chi Grandmaster. In December 1995, he was selected as one of “Top Ten Martial Arts Maters of Present Day” in china. He was listed in the authoritative lexicographical works: china contemporary education celebrities dictionary, china present martial marts masters, contemporary reform elites.
Since he was 8 years old, Chen Zhenglei learned Taichi from his two uncles: Chen Zhaopi (famous Taichi master in his time, former honorary professor of Nanjing National Wushu Institute, state senior referee, and was selected as committee member of National Martial Arts Association in 1964) and Chen Zhaokui, the son of Chen Fake. Under the two masters' personal examples as well as their verbal instruction for over 30 years, and the support of the lofty ideal of the struggle for carrying forward Taichi culture, he repeatedly overcame various difficulties and hardships, studied diligently and trained hard, and finally made great progress in Taichi boxing, saber, spear, sword, pole routine and push-hands. He also formed his own splendid high level of Taichi theory, and enjoys the reputation of being one of the world's most outstanding Taichi masters.
From 1974 to 1987, Master Chen won the “Excellent” and gold medals over ten times in a row, won the national championship two times running, and the titles of “ Excellent Performance” and “ Golden Lion” at two successive national Taichi competitions.
From 1989 to 1997, students trained by Master Chen won the championship 65 times at national and provincial competitions.
Master Chen began his teaching career in 1972, and his thousands of students are now distributed over the world, grand ceremonies of accepting apprentices have been held since Dec. 1996, now he has more than one hundred direct-line apprentices in China. Since 1981, Master Chen has been receiving foreign guests, and in 1983, he began to visit abroad at the invitations of over 30 countries, such as Japan, America, France, Italy, Britain, etc. He has also been invited as Taichi adviser, honorary chairman and director by over 50 Wushu societies and organizations around the world, and was awarded the silk banner “ the Peak of Perfection” by Taiwan Wushu circles, presented the silver plate as “Mount Taishan and the Big Dipper” by Malaysia Taichi field.
Putting his spare time to good use, Master Chen devoted himself to theoretical research, the following are some of the most well known books written by him, which have become precious documents for Taichi study. “ Ten-phases Kongfu Discussion”, “Chen-style Taichi Boxing”, etc. and some teaching video works have been released by High Education Publishing House, People's Physical Culture Publishing House and Huanghe Video Works House, and some of the books and DVDs have been translated into other languages, such as Japanese, English, French, Spanish and Korean. Along with his great contribution to the development of Taichi, Master Chen enjoys the support of the whole nation and being accepted by the world. In 1986, he was selected as a member of the standing committee of Jiaozuo Political Consultative Conference, was selected as deputy to the National People's Congress in 1988, the principle of Chen Village Taichi School, and the president of the Academy of Pingdingshan Taichi-shaolin Study and Rearch, he was put in the famous book of “China's Great Figures” in 1992, was elected as International Taichi grandmaster in 1994, and “Top Ten Martial Arts Masters” of present day China by China National Wushu Association in Dec. 1995, and was listed in the following authoritarian and lexicographical works: “ China Contemporary Education Notables”, “China Present Martial Arts Masters”, “Contemporary Reform Elites”, “Contemporary Galaxy of Talent” and “World Celebrities”.