Chen Style Tai Chi With Grandmaster Ma Hong

By on 08/12/2015
grandmaster ma hong

Grandmaster Ma Hong

I am on a quest to find  a demonstration of Chen style Tai Chi by (or as close as I can find) the legendary Chen Fa-Kor (1887 – 1955).  Since all forms of Tai Chi practiced today essentially stem from the Chen style, and since now there are many variations, I want to find as close to the original Tai Chi form that I can.  So far I am at this video with Grandmaster  Hong,  but I hope others will help me find older video demonstrations if they are available.

This is Grandmaster Ma Hong (I have also seen it written Grandmaster Ha Hong so not sure which is correct- perhaps both) with part 1 of the Chen style Tai Chi. According to the info accompanying this video, today’s Grandmaster Ma Hong was a longtime student of Chen Zhaokui, the son of the legendary Chen Fa-Kor.  My information is gleaned from accompanying text with this YouTube video, and the book The Inner Structure of Tai Chi.

The fundamental principles for Chen style tai chi chuan are summarized as follows:

Keeping the head upright (虚领顶劲, xū lǐng dǐng jìn)
Keeping the body straight (立身中正, lìshēn zhōngzhèng)
Drop the shoulders and sink the elbow (松肩沉肘, sōng jiān chén zhǒu)
The chest curve inwards and the waist pressed forward.(含胸塌腰, hán xiōng tā yāo)
Sink the energy to the dantian (心气下降, xīn qì xià jiàng)
Breath naturally (呼吸自然, hū xī zì rán)
Relax the hip and keep the knees bent (松胯屈膝 ,sōng kuà qū xī)
The crotch is arch shaped (裆劲开圆, dāng jìn kāi yuán)
keep the mind pure and clear (虚实分明, xū shí fēn míng)
The top and bottom works together (上下相随. shàng xià xiāng suí)
Adjust hardness and softness (刚柔相济, gāng róu xiāng jì)
Alternate fast and slow (快慢相间, (kuài màn xiāng jiàn)
The external shape is curved (外形走弧线, wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn)
The internal energy travels a spiral path (内劲走螺旋, nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán)
The body leads the hand (以身领手, yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu)
The waist is an axis (以腰为轴, yǐ yāo wèi zhóu)  – Wikipedia 


In this Youtube video which is labeled as filmed in 2007, Grandmaster Ma Hong was in his 80’s.


  1. Tom

    11/06/2015 at 7:48 pm

    I tried also to find a video of Chen Fa Ke, have not found anything but pictures so far. It is practically impossible to find the first tai ji quan, but I am pretty sure it had only 13 movements. This web site may help you if you are interested in some old tai ji quan videos although I do not know this tai ji quan teacher: I have not inquired but I am completely satisfied with learning from Zhang Dong Hai. I have found that the style taught by Wang Er Ping to be very beautiful…you can find him by a goggle search. Also…I know what is called “the old frame” is newer than “new frame”. The New Frame (83 movements) was created by Chen Fa Ke in Beijing.

  2. Tom

    11/06/2015 at 7:18 pm

    Yes this is Grandmaster Ma Hong. He was my tai ji quan master’s master and I have met and talked to Ma Hong and have his dvd and book. Ma Hong was the student of Chen Zhao Kui who in turn was the student of Chen Fa Ke. Fact is I have several dvds of Ma Hong my favorite being the one in which he teaches how to use the tai ji quan forms in self defense. Please note the correct Pinyin spelling of the names. Oh…by the way…Ma Hong taught Zhang Dong Hai who taught me. Ma Hong was from Shijiazhuang China and Zhang Dong Hai is from Baoding China which is my wife’s home town.

I welcome your thoughts, insights or questions

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