Chen Zhaopi

1893-1972

nazývaný Chen Jifu

učil se od časného mládí s Chen Denkge (jeho otec), s Chen Yanxi a Chen Xinem

?zdokonaloval se s Chen Fake (myslím, že to Zhu Tiancai popřel)

jeho syn je Chen Ke Shen


v 1914 učil v Gansu

v 1926 se vrátil domů a bránil vesnici

v roce 1928 odešel do Pekingu

za války odešel do Luoyang, pak do Xianu, v roce 1958 do vesnice

texty: Chenshi Taijiquan Huizhong

žáci: Chen Yu (syn), Chen Chunlei, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei (synovci), Zhu Tiancai, Feng Dabiao, Fu Halie, Hu Bingquan, Wang Xian, Zhang Chungong, Zhou Mingdou


Herb Rich:

Chen Zhao Pei (1893-1972) 18th generation.
He was also known by his pen name, Chen Jifu.
The son of Chen Deng Ke, he also studied with Chen Yanxi, Chen Xin, and Chen Fake.
At 21, for reasons of commerce, he left Chen village for Gansu and Hebei, during which time he also taught Taiji. At 28 (1921) he returned home to study further, and to teach for the Wenxian Martial Arts society. In 1928 he travelled to Beijing to teach.
In 1930 his work caused him to relocate to Nanjing: it was during this period that he published his work Chen Shih Tai Chi Chuan Hui Tsung, based on the earlier works of his teacher, Chen Xin. It was also during this period that he created the Double Straight Sword form. He was also involved at this time with the famous Nanjing Central Kou Shu Institute. In 1942 his work caused him to travel to Xian, where he also taught.
Following the conclusion of World War ll, he moved to Kaifeng, Henan, to teach. In 1958, he retired from work, and returned to Chenjiagou. His return was said to be prompted by a concern that Taiji was dying out in Chenjiagou, following the departure of Chen Fa Ke (the 17th generation standard bearer of the art) for Beijing in 1928, who never returned to the village to teach. Indeed, he is remembered by exponents of the 19th generation as the man who sparked a rennaisance of Taijiquan in Chenjiagou, teaching such modern day masters as Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Wang Xian, and Zhu Tiancai.
It is worth noting that, although persecuted during the cultural revolution (despite being a member of the CCP) for his teaching of the traditional art, he persevered, instructing his students in secret. His school, located in his home, became the inspiration and the nucleus for the Chenjiagou Taiji Promotion Center.


Chen Zhenglei:


Q. You have been practicing Taijiquan for over forty years. Could you tell us something of your experiences and recollections of training with Master Chen Zhao-Pi?


A. Although my teacher left us over 20 years ago, I will keep the memory of how he taught in my heart always. Chen Zhao-Pi was my uncle. I started training with him when I was eight years old. [Editor's Note: Chen Zhao-Pi (1883-1972) was a student of Chen Deng-Ke (his father), Chen Yan-Xi, Chen Pin-San, and Chen Fa-Ke. His teaching and efforts to continue the legacy of Chenjiagou Taijiquan led to the spread of Chenstyle Taiji to the world outside Chenjiagou, as well as the establishment of the Wushu Training Halls in both Chenjiagou and Wenxian.]

In 1928 he went to Beijing to teach. During this period he asked Chen Fa-Ke to come to Beijing to teach also. After Chen Fa-Ke arrived in Beijing, Chen Zhao-Pi traveled to Nanjing. At that time, the Kuomintang was in power, and the Mayor of Nanjing invited him to come and teach a class there. [Editor’s Note: At that time, he also served as an honorary coach at the famous Central Martial Arts Institute.]

From 1928 to 1958, he taught Taiji outside of the village. Some of the cities he taught in were Beijing, Nanjing, Xian, Lanzhou, Luoyang, Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou. In 1958 he returned to the village. After his return visit, he realized that not very many people were practicing Taijiquan anymore, due to the stresses of the World War, and the war between the Nationalists and the Communists. Seeing this, he became very worried that the art would eventually decline. So, he returned to his job at the Yellow River Regulatory Commission (in Kaifeng) and requested an early retirement. He returned home to the Spartan life of the village to recruit a group of children for serious training.

There were about thirty kids who would gather in front of his door for instruction. He would lead the class in front while his wife would be in the back, making corrections. He was very patient, and took great pains to make corrections. He was never angry. During these years, there were three years of "natural disasters" (flooding, famine, etc.) as well as the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution, Taijiquan was considered to be old-fashioned, and part of old religions and superstitions. It was forbidden to promote Taijiquan at this time. Also, because he was connected to the Nationalists in Nanjing in the 1930's, he was in a lot of trouble. During this time, if you wanted to teach or learn, it was very difficult. [Editor's Note: Chen Ke-Sen, Chen Zhao-Pi's son, wrote of this period: "During the Cultural Revolution, my father was persecuted and subjected to public "struggle sessions", but during the still of night, Chen Zheng-Lei and several others of his prized disciples secretly went to study under him. My father, demonstrating that he was not afraid of the persecution, bravely carried on with his teaching of Taijiquan."]

So, at times, he would see his students practice seriously, and at other times, not so seriously. I know that this made him angry, but he never showed it to us. Instead, he would tell us stories to make us understand why we needed to practice with determination. He told us many stories about heroes in history whose efforts led them from obscurity to success.

He told us the story of the famous ancient musician who was the inventor of the 5-tone style of Chinese music. Because he wanted so badly to develop this music, he rubbed salt in his eyes to blind himself and rid himself of the distractions of sight and thus could focus his attentions on his hearing, and his music. He also told us of General Yueh Fei who had his mother tattoo four characters on his back that read, "give yourself wholeheartedly to your country."

He told us these stories because he wished us to follow in the example of these heroes, and so that we would be resolute and tough in our lives. Most importantly, he made us realize that we were the future successors of the art of Taijiquan, and that we must practice continuously to live up to this responsibility. If we did not, our generation would break the tradition of instruction passed down from our ancestors. Taijiquan comes from the Chen family. If we broke this tradition, we would not be able to stand before our ancestors, and our children would curse us. So, when we were very young, we were made to understand our responsibility. Regardless of how difficult our situation was at the time, we had to practice hard.

Toward the end of the Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party decided to begin to promote martial arts. As a result, my teacher's morale and confidence improved. His teaching began to increase. He would teach with great patience. If you did not understand a movement, he would repeat it over and over for you. Not only would he explain the movement, he would also explain the principles behind it and the applications.

At that time, he was in his eighties, but he would still teach push hands. In 1972, he died. He died as a result of overwork. He took Taiji teams all over China to compete. His living conditions were not good in the village, and could not sustain the energy he expended in teaching over those years. Before his death, he taught me all of the principles, techniques, barehanded routines, weapons and push hands that he knew.

Chen Zhaopei has passed away, but he left a group of young people dedicated to Taiji. Teachers of the style, whether they are from Chenjiagou or not, all are in a way descended from him. He was the one responsible for promoting the art when it was in decline, and rasing the next generation of teachers in the village.