Chen Zhaoxu, (1912 – 1959), was the oldest of Chen Fake’s children, (Chen Fake had another male child but this child died quite young), and was trained by his father at an early age in the Chen Style. He was so good at what his father had taught him that, at his father’s request, he returned to the Chen Village and continued the family legacy. Sadly, he was coming of age during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which stagnated and tried to halt all Martial Art’s forms, Zhaoxu suffered greatly and died quite young. (More on T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Martial Arts in China during WW II and the Cultural Revolution to follow)
However, Zhaoxu did have sons that also carried on the Chen style. His second son, Chen Xaiowang, (b. 1945), is now living in Australia and is considered by many as one of the leading practitioners and teachers of the Chen style T’ai Chi Ch’uan today. His youngest son, Chen Xaioxing, (b. 1952), along with his own son Chen Ziqiang, continue to teach and practice in their home village in China today.
Chen Yu Xia, (1924 – 1986), was Chen Fake’s only daughter. She began studying under her father’s tutelage at the early age of eight and was soon one of the most proficient of all his students. Most notably the “Sword Form”. When students of Hong Junsheng, (a disciple of Chen who had seen the Master Chen preform the Chen style T’ai Chi Ch’uan while still in training and of whom I will speak of later), asked their Master about the Sword Forms, he immediately gave them the name Yu Xia as he said she was the “only” one who still understood the vast intricacies of the form and directed them towards her. She remained one of the utmost authorities on Chen style, and in particular the Sword style, until her death.
Chen Zhaokui, (1928 – 1981) was the youngest of Chen Fake’s children and it was he who trained many of the T’ai Chi Ch’uan practitioners that remain in China to this day. His son, Chen Yu, (1962 -), is to this day teaching the Chen Style around the world.
There are many, many students of Chen Fake and later we will look at some of the most notable however, as I do not wish to take up pages, upon pages of who was who and who taught what and where, we will simply conclude that Chen Fake has quite the enduring legacy. If it were not for he, there may not be today a Chen Style form of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, nor the Push Hands or the modern Sword Forms. If Chen Fake had not been asked to come to Beijing to teach his style of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, the form quite possibly could have been lost to the ages.
Chen Fake.., Photo credit “pinterest”. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/391109548861808691/