Chen Shi Taijiquan Xiaojia

Brief biographies of the masters

Preliminary note

The following biographical sketches are intended only as a brief introduction to some of the past and present personalities in the tradition of Chen-Clan Taijiquan of the Small Frame. Especially regarding the earlier generations (Chen Wangting, Chen Youben), serious research is often difficult. The reason for this is that only a little material is available in translation, while at the same time many Chinese sources are in family possession and cannot be easily accessed. More detailed information on some of the more recent representatives can be found in the appendix to the 'Comments on the Graphic Explanations of Chen-style Taijiquan'. More detailed biographies of important representatives such as Chen Wangting, etc. are planned for the future, which will also include Chinese sources that have not yet been translated.


Chen Wangting

ca. 1600 -1680

Chen Wangting is considered the actual founder of the martial art of the Chen clan, which was later to be called 'Taijiquan'. He is considered to be of the 9th generation of the Chen clan; or of the 1st generation in terms of the tradition of Taijiquan or the martial art of the Chen clan. In the rank of a military commander, he took part in many campaigns and battles. Two short texts by him have been preserved: the 'Song of Memories' and the 'Classic of Boxing'.

Chen Youben

1809 - 1860

Chen Youben is a member of the 14th generation of the Chen clan (6th generation of the martial arts tradition). He was an outstanding expert of his time, who was said to possess 'the dragon pearl' (i.e. the deepest understanding of Taijiquan). He is considered a key figure in the further development of Taijiquan in the Chen clan.

Chen Zhongshen

1809 - 1871

Chen Zhongshen learned Taijiquan together with his twin brother Chen Jisheng from his uncle Chen Youben. He was involved in many battles, but is particularly remembered for defending his home province of Huaiqing against the Taiping army in 1853.

Chen Xin

1849 - 1929

Chen Xin (16th generation Chen clan, 8th generation Taijiquan), the third son of Chen Zhongshen, is best known for his work 'Graphic Explanation of the Taijiquan of the Chen Clan', in which the theory and practice of the Chen martial art are presented in detail for the first time. However, he was not only an accomplished writer, but also a skilled practitioner who contributed greatly to the preservation of the martial art of the Chen clan. 

Chen Honglie

1997 - 1945

Chen Honglie (18th generation Chen clan, 10th generation Taijiquan) is to be thanked, together with Chen Chunyuan (1877-1949), for the publication of Chen Xin's work after his death. Over a period of several years, he also sold private property in order to provide for a group of Taijiquan practitioners during times of famine and unrest in the country. This and other achievements, as well as his personal mastery of the art of boxing, make him a significant representative of the tradition.

Chen Liqing

1919 - 2008

Chen Liqing (19th generation Chen clan, 11th generation Taijiquan), daughter of Chen Honglie, was the first woman to be included in the family tree of both the Great Frame (Dajia) and the Small Frame (Xiaojia). She has successfully participated in a large number of competitions and written important works on the theory and practice of Taijiquan.

Chen Lixian

1923 - 1983

Chen Lixian (19th generation Chen clan, 11th generation Taijiquan) dedicated his life to martial arts and serving the poor and sick in a unique and selfless way. In addition, as an engineer, he was involved in the design of many important projects in his home region or implemented them independently. For all this, he has gone down in history as 'Chen of the Three Excellencies'.

Chen Peilin


Chen Peilin (20th generation Chen clan, 12th generation Taijiquan), eldest son of Chen Lixian, head of the public security office in Sanmenxia (Henan). In addition to his professional activities, he is involved in scientific and sporting committees and acts as a consultant for TV productions on the topics of Taijiquan and martial arts.

Chen Peishan


Chen Peishan (20th generation Chen clan, 12th generation Taijiquan) is the second son of Chen Lixian. He has been living in Japan since 1988, where he has been working as a professor of architecture and construction theory for many years. At the same time, he has contributed greatly to the promotion and dissemination of the Small Frame of the Chen clan's martial art in Japan and throughout the world.

Chen Peiju


Chen Peijiu (20th generation Chen clan, 12th generation Taijiquan) is the fourth child and second daughter of Chen Lixian. She graduated from the Institute of Martial Arts at the Beijing Sports College in 1991 and now works as an assistant to the director of the Central Administration of the Martial Arts Movement at the Ministry of Sport in Henan. In this way, training, work, preservation and continuation of the Chen-Clan Taijiquan flow together in a special way.