Chen Village, also known as Chenjiagou, holds a significant place in the annals of martial arts history as the birthplace of Tai Chi. Situated in Wen County, Henan Province, China, this small village has been a thriving center for Tai Chi practice and the ancestral home of the Chen family for centuries. Delving into the rich history of Chen Village unveils a captivating narrative that intertwines tradition, legend, and the development of one of the most renowned martial arts styles in the world.

Ancient Origins:
The origins of Chen Village can be traced back over 400 years. According to legend, it all began during the late Ming Dynasty (late 16th century) when Chen Bu, a military officer, moved to the area and settled there. The locals soon recognized the family’s exceptional combat skills, which laid the foundation for the Chen family’s reputation as skilled martial artists.

Birth of Tai Chi:
The pivotal figure in the history of Chen Village and the creation of Tai Chi was Chen Wangting (1600-1680). He was a skilled martial artist who developed an internal martial arts system known as “Chen-style Tai Chi.” Chen Wangting synthesized his family’s martial arts knowledge, incorporating elements of Qi cultivation, slow movements, and precise techniques. This marked the birth of Tai Chi as a distinct style.

Preservation and Evolution:
For generations, the Chen family passed down their martial arts traditions within the confines of Chen Village. However, it was Chen Changxing (1771-1853), a prominent Chen family member, who expanded the practice beyond the village’s borders. He began accepting students from outside the family, spreading the art of Tai Chi to a wider audience.

Chen Village Flourishes:
During the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), Chen Village experienced a period of cultural and martial arts prosperity. Notably, Chen Fake (1887-1957), a renowned Tai Chi master, made substantial contributions to the development and promotion of Chen-style Tai Chi. He attracted many disciples and became a leading figure in the martial arts world, elevating the reputation of Chen Village as the cradle of Tai Chi.

Revival and Global Influence:
Following the turmoil of the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Tai Chi faced suppression during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). However, the resurgence of interest in traditional Chinese martial arts in the late 20th century led to a revival of Tai Chi, with Chen Village reclaiming its status as a prominent center for training and research. Today, Chen-style Tai Chi has spread globally, with practitioners and enthusiasts flocking to Chen Village to deepen their understanding of this ancient art.

Preserving Tradition:
Chen Village has strived to preserve its historical significance and cultural heritage. The village has become a popular destination for tourists, martial arts enthusiasts, and researchers seeking to immerse themselves in the roots of Tai Chi. The Chen Village Museum, established in 2004, showcases artifacts, documents, and exhibits that shed light on the village’s history, making it a hub of knowledge and appreciation for Tai Chi enthusiasts.

Traveling to Chen Village .

on a trip to Chen Village, the hallowed birthplace of Tai Chi, offers a unique opportunity to delve into the origins and essence of this ancient martial art. Nestled in the serene countryside of Wen County, Henan Province, China, Chen Village, also known as Chenjiagou, beckons travelers with its rich history, cultural heritage, and the chance to witness Tai Chi in its authentic setting. Here’s a guide to help you plan your unforgettable journey to this revered destination.

  1. Choosing the Right Time: Chen Village experiences a temperate climate, making it suitable for travel throughout the year. However, consider visiting during spring (April to May) or autumn (September to October) for milder temperatures and pleasant weather. These seasons also offer opportunities to witness traditional Tai Chi festivals and events, adding an extra layer of cultural immersion to your visit.
  2. Getting There: The nearest major airport to Chen Village is Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO). From there, you can take a domestic flight or a high-speed train to Zhengzhou. From Zhengzhou, several options are available to reach Chen Village, including hiring a private car, taking a taxi, or utilizing local buses that ply the route. The journey takes approximately 2-3 hours, allowing you to soak in the picturesque countryside along the way.
  3. Accommodation: While Chen Village retains its rural charm, it offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. From quaint guesthouses to traditional courtyard-style inns, you can find a comfortable place to stay within the village or its immediate vicinity. Consider booking in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred accommodation.
  4. Exploring Chen Village: a. Chen Village Museum: Begin your journey by visiting the Chen Village Museum, a treasure trove of Tai Chi history and artifacts. The museum offers insights into the village’s rich martial arts heritage and showcases exhibits detailing the evolution of Tai Chi. Engage with knowledgeable guides who can provide deeper context and unravel the village’s intriguing past.

b. Tai Chi Training Centers: Immerse yourself in the essence of Tai Chi by joining training sessions at one of the village’s renowned Tai Chi academies. Professional instructors, many of whom are direct descendants of the Chen family, guide participants through the intricacies of the art form, helping you refine your practice and deepen your understanding.

c. Cultural Experiences: Beyond Tai Chi, Chen Village offers cultural experiences that provide a glimpse into local traditions. Engage in calligraphy workshops, learn traditional Chinese music, or witness a tea ceremony, all of which add an extra layer of authenticity to your visit.

  1. Local Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of Henan Province by savoring the local cuisine. Chen Village offers a range of authentic dishes that reflect the region’s culinary heritage. From hearty noodles and dumplings to locally grown vegetables and fragrant teas, the village presents a gastronomic adventure that complements your Tai Chi journey.
  2. Etiquette and Respect: When visiting Chen Village, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Tai Chi holds immense cultural and spiritual significance, so observe training sessions quietly and avoid interrupting practitioners. Seek permission before taking photographs or video recordings, and adhere to any guidelines set by the training centers or instructors.

Easy Way is to Book the Ticket to China Bei Jing, airport code”PEK”, or ZhengZhou “CGO”, there is two route options how you want to get to Chen Village,

First options get off on Beijing Intentional Airport, Terminal 3 , Exit the Airport and buy the Bus Ticket (25rmb) to Beijing West Railroad Station, and buy the High Speed Train ticket, Normally every 45 mintes there one train passing through Beijing to Zhengzhou, When you get there, buy the train ticket, Checkin in, and start waiting for the train, when you get on the train, take seat it take about three hour and forty mins arrive in Zhengzhou. after you arrive in ZhengZhou city, exit the train station across the stree is the (Er Qi) bus station, and from there you buy the bus ticket to Wen County, after you arrive to Wen County you take the short bus to Chen village which in about 15 mins, They will stop right ousdie the Chen Village, then you paid ticket and go in.

if you take the route one, it will consume much more time, From Beijing Airport to Train station take about 2:30 hours, and another 1 hours to get on the train, another 3:40 hours to Zhengzhou City, another 70 Mins to Wen County, another 15 mins to Chen Village, Total time spend on route about 7 hours. Most likey when you get off Beijing Airport in the Morning and you will arrive in Chen Village in roughly 7-8pm. the same day.

Second Options  you take connecting flight from Beijing to Zhengzhou city, which took about 2 half hours, after you arrived in Zhengzhou, you exist the airport and take Taxi to Two Severn ( Er Qi)  tower Bus Station, in there you buy bus ticket to Wen County , (Wen Xian) , after you arrive to Wen County you take the short bus to Chen village which in about 15 mins, They will stop right outside the Chen Village, then you paid ticket and go in.

For this route, 3 hour on the connecting flight, 1 hour tax and 70 mins bus and another 15 mins busy, totally used about 6 hours, you will get to Chen village in about 6 Pm the same day.