ZHAOBAO STYLE(趙堡忽靈架) TAI CHI)
Zhaobao taijiquan performed by Liu Jinquan
Zhaobao Style named for the village where it developed. Zhaobao [] is near Chen Jiagou. Zhaobao Style is a close cousin of Chen Style and developed at about the same time. The movements tend to look smaller and more relaxed.
History of Zhaobao taijiquan
The history of Zhaobao style is controversial with two main points of view on the origins of Zhao Bao Taijiquan, and its influence on taijiquan in general.
Chen Qingping (陳清苹 1795 – 1868) was the teacher of Wu Yuxiang (the founder of Wu Yuxiang Style Taijiquan). When Qingping married, he moved to his wife’s hometown, Zhaobao. There his students developed Zhaobao Style Taijiquan, and Huleijia (thunder) Style Taijiquan, neither of which are considered a part of the Chen family lineage.
Some historians believe that Chen Qingping learned the Chen Style xiaojia from Chen Youben (陈有本) in Chen Village and later transmitted the art it to the Zhaobao Villiage. It is usually assumed that Chen Qingping or his students made the modifications to the art and created what is now known as Zhaobao Style Taijiquan.
Others believe that, while Chen Qingping learned a Chen family art from Chen Youben, he also learned from Zhang Yian, a local Zhaobao master, who came from a lineage that included Jiang Fa (Chen Wangting’s friend and training partner.) These accounts, found in the later works of the Zhaobao Style masters, also state that Jiang Fa learned from Wang Zhongyue. Wong Zhongyue was a school teacher who worked for the family of Chen Wangtings’s mother.
It is possible that contributions to the development of Zhaobao style were made not only by Chen Qingping and his lineage, but by Qingping’s contemporaries and their students as well.
It is interesting to note that, while Zhaobao style has its own internal training methods, weapon forms, two man sets, and moving step tuishou, it does not have any fixed step tuishou practice.
There are two main bare hand routines practised in the Zhaobao. Both are nearly identical in the nature and quality of the movements. The only difference is in the sequence. One form has one hundred eight movements, while the other has seventy-four. The routines are both practised with “two speeds” and “three heights” each for different results.
In this video the names are presented, giving you the opportunity to compare the movements with those of the same name in the other major styles.
趙堡太極拳 / 李隨成演示
Above is Zhaobao taijiquan demonstrate by Grandmaster Li Shuicheng.
Below is the Zhaobao of Li Suicheng with demonstrations of tuishou (push hands) and martial applications.
This video has music, and narration in Chinese with simultaneous English translation. If it is too confusing to listen to, you can control the volume by clicking the control on the bottom right.
Next is an example of a Zhaobao weapon routine. Here is a sword routine.
courtesy of www.insidewudang.info
The popularity of Zhaobao taijiquan is increasing both in China and in the rest of the world.
In October 2005, the First Congress of Wudang Zhaobao Style Taijiquan took place in Wudang mountain. This was the first such gathering in the 400 year history of the style, and went far in furthering the profile of the style.
Some of the most famous masters of Zhaobao Style Taijiquan are:
* Hou Zhan Guo
* Ji Jian Hai
* Li Shu De
* Li Sui Cheng
* Liu Hui Chi
* Liu Rei
* Song Wen Hua
* Wang Hai Zhou
* Wang Qing Shen
* Wu Ren Tang
* Yan Cun Wen
* Yan Qing Wu
* Yuan Shi Jie
* Yu Cheng Yong
* Zhao Zeng Fu
* Zheng Jun
* Zheng Yan Shen
One of the highlights was apparently a performance by Sun Wuyi, disciple of the Grandmaster Zhao Zengfu.
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