According to historical records, Chen Wangting reorganized and innovated his family’s martial art techniques, which later generations named Chen-style Tai Chi. He also created routines like the Chen-style Tai Chi Spring and Autumn Big Knife. In the modern martial arts world and Chenjiagou village, Chen Wangting is revered as the founder of Chen-style Tai Chi. However, during that time, the dissemination of Chen-style Tai Chi was limited to the Chen family.
Chen Wangting’s journey to becoming the founder of Chen-style Tai Chi is filled with legendary stories. To know the detailed content, please read about Chen Wangting’s astonishing legendary career.
In his youth, he killed a drum beater in the school arena of martial arts examinations and was forced to seek refuge on Jade Belt Mountain due to difficult circumstances.
It is said that during the Chongzhen period of the late Ming Dynasty, Chen Wangting demonstrated his solid martial arts skills and passed the martial arts examination. His father, Chen Fumin, and the entire family were delighted. However, Chen Fumin still strictly demanded that Chen Wangting continue to work hard and prepare for the martial arts imperial examination. Chen Wangting did not disappoint his father’s expectations and practiced diligently for several years. When the martial arts examination approached, he and his martial arts companions from the village went to the examination venue together.
On the day of the martial arts examination, Chen Wangting appeared in neat attire, exuding a dignified aura, riding a chestnut horse. He displayed great spirit and lined up with other examinees, waiting for the command of the examination officials. As soon as the chief examiner gave the order, Chen Wangting spurred his horse, drew his bow to the full moon, and shot three consecutive arrows in a “Feng Duo Cao” style, hitting the bullseye with each arrow. This remarkable display earned him thunderous applause. “Feng Duo Cao” refers to shooting the second arrow deeper into the bullseye than the first, knocking the first arrow to the side, and letting the second arrow occupy the center. The third arrow follows the same pattern, shooting into the bullseye where the second arrow hit and claiming the center. This technique resembles birds building their nests, hence the name “Feng Duo Cao.”
The drum beater who signaled the shots was also mesmerized and forgot to beat the drums for the second and third arrows, only signaling the first arrow that hit the bullseye. As the chief examiner based his judgment on the drumbeats for hitting the bullseye, the omission of the second and third shots by the drum beater nullified Chen Wangting’s achievements. Filled with anger, Chen Wangting couldn’t bear the thought that his years of training and hard-earned results were easily disregarded. In a fit of rage, he rode forward, drew his sword, and stabbed the drum beater.