Tai Chi History: III. Half-True (Story) Stage

There are things we cannot know…

but why not? In some cases, it’s not because they weren’t written down — per-se — but because they were lost to history as unimportant artifacts. And, we may know them by their successions.

Follow the rabbithole and one will find that the Chen family intermixed many types of shaolin and local martial arts. They practiced the extant shaolin longfist style boxing of their area and had exposure to many arts such as xingyiquan and tongbeiquan.

So you see, it is true, but we do not know the whole story, there is so much we must admit is omitted because it is lost to history. That doesn’t mean the stories are untrue. There is truth within them. But what does that truth really mean? What can we take away from this? Perhaps something, perhaps nothing.

The Hongdong Tong Bei tradition traces back to Chen Bu-Fu, 12th generation descendant of the famous Chen Taiji Family. Around the year 1780 he killed a government official and was forced to flee. Leaving Henan he traveled to Shanxi province’s Hongdong county in Linfen prefecture where he had relatives living. Hongdong was the original home of the Chen family before they were relocated to Henan during the early Ming land clearances. Changing his name to Guo Yong-fu he sought a job teaching martial arts to the son of a local official. The style he taught was called Wújí Tōng Bèi Chán Quán (Wuji Connected Through the Back Reeling Boxing) otherwise known as Hongdong Tongbei. It’s a mixture of early Chen family martial arts and local Shanxi TongBei.
–TeaSerpent, Aug. 25, 2012