Chen Jifu is not yet forty years old, has practiced Taiji Boxing since childhood, and has never practiced any other boxing art.
Although it is the same branch of the same school, two people teaching a boxing art will naturally have differences.
I was very uncertain at that time and did not dare to casually judge who was right and who was wrong.
前淸丁未年間。我在日本會見一位直隸朋友。就聽他說起北方練拳術的人。有幾個大派別。一派是練八卦拳的。一派是練形意拳的。一派是太極拳的。還有一派練岳氏散手拳的。後來由岳氏散手。又產生一派。謂岳氏連拳。此外雖尚有不少的家數。然練習的比較人少。不能自成一派。我當時聽了這些話。不過知道有這些名目罷了。究竟各派是些什麼手法。彼此分別之點。在什麼地方。因那位直隸朋友。不能一一演給我看。無從知道。直到民國癸卯年。遇見李存義的弟子葉雲表、郝海鵬。纔見着了形意拳。八卦拳也看了一部份。太極拳。仍是不曾見着。不過曾聽得葉、郝二人說起太極拳意義。使我增添了許多向往之心罷了。In 1907, I was in Japan visiting a friend from Hebei, and I happened to hear him talking about northern practitioners of boxing arts: “There are several major schools, such as Bagua Boxing, Xingyi Boxing, Taiji Boxing, as well as Yue School Sanshou, and another system produced from it called Yue School Continuous Boxing.” Although beyond these there are many more styles, there are fewer practitioners of them and so they have been unable to build themselves up into fully fledged systems, and when I heard his words, I only knew of these major names anyway.
Each system has its own batch of techniques, its own distinguishing characteristics, and belongs to a particular place.
My goal was just to study boxing arts, and so I was incapable of being biased toward any style, that much more so in the case of the Taiji boxing styles, which had emerged from the same school.
I was only concerned with facilitating my studies, and since Wang was staying in my home, it was convenient to focus on learning from him.When I heard about such a noteworthy person, I had to take a look.I was then recommended by Xu to come to the School and see this unique boxing art and its pushing hands, and to discuss with the man for a while. After meeting him, I was left even more confused than before, because this authentic version of Taiji Boxing is not only entirely different in appearance from Wu Jianquan’s teachings, but also completely dissimilar to Yang Chengfu’s.As for Chen Jifu’s opening posture, it is called ARHAT POUNDS THE PESTLE, and although his set contains a posture called TUCK IN THE ROBE, the movements of his hands and body bear no resemblance to the CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL of either the Wu or Yang schools, nor to Sun Lutang’s TUCK IN THE ROBE.Furthermore, throughout Chen’s postures there are many different names, such as BLUE DRAGON LEAVES THE WATER, DOUBLE-HAND PUSH, IMMORTAL MAKES A GRAB, SMALL CATCH & HIT, BECKONING IN FRONT & BEHIND, IRON FORK [DROP AND EXTEND], CATCHING THE EARTHWORM, or CANNON STRAIGHT AHEAD.Because the government moved the capital city to Nanjing, the Beijing economy fell into a depression, influencing some famous practitioners of Taiji Boxing, such as Yang Chengfu and Wu Jianquan, to follow better conditions to Nanjing or Shanghai, where I have met several such teachers.