A Chen Family Boxing Taijiquan Treasure

In May of 2015, I discovered a book written in Chinese on the Chen family's 64 posture "small frame" form that had been published in 2014.
The book is what I take to be an updated and evolved version of the Chen family's Xiao Jia (small frame) 1st routine (form), which is mainly presented in drawings with arrows, and photos of the author Zhi Ru Lei, and his former teacher Chen Jinao (1900-1971) in various postures from the routine.
Zhi Ru Lei states in the book that he learned the 1st and 2nd routines, sword, and the spear (which he is shown demonstrating).
The sequence of the form follows the same sequence as the illustrations in "The Dao Of Taijiquan" by Jou Tsung Hwa (which uses drawings from Shen Jia Zhen's book on Chen's Taijiquan), but most of the postures and the movements in between them are totally different.

Chen Xin's book on Taijiquan is making a comeback in recent times, with several English translations (over 700 pages) covering different subjects while also covering the 1st routine to some extent.
But to have been a student of Chen Xin and his brother Chen Yao (whose martial skills were of the highest level), was an opportunity presented to Chen Jinao, who was not only a student of Chen Yao, but also his grandson. Having also studied from Chen Xin must have contributed to his understanding of theory alone to a remarkable degree.
It is easier to describe the Xiao Jia or "small frame" by comparing the few similarities that it shares with the Xin Jia or series in "The Dao Of Taijiquan" than it is to explain the differences, which is a whole article of itself. "Tying The Coat" is basically the same, but in what I will call the new Xiao Jia , the "Tying The Coat" posture is a reoccurring one than in Xin Jia.

The "Single Whip", "Hidden Hand Punch", "Wave Hands In Clouds", "Crane Spreads Wings", "Side Walk And Twist Step", "Chop Opponent With Fist", Upper Arm Rolls", "Mustang Ruffling It's Mane", and additional postures are totally different.
Slapping the right crescent kick, "Rub Left Foot", "Rub Right Foot", "Snake Creeps Down", and one or two other moves are similar, myself having played different versions of Chen family routines including the Xin Jia "Pao Chui" (Cannon Fist).
Not only have we been missing out on this 64 posture form, but the second routine (Xiao Jia Cannon Fist), the sword and spear forms, but what else have we been missing from this one relatively unknown system which haven't even been listed? I would like to thank all of Jou Tsung Hwa's wonderful students carrying and upholding The Taiji banner.



by Alan Sims