Zhaobao t'ai chi ch'uan

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Zhaobao t'ai chi ch'uan
Also known asZhaobao taijiquan
Zhaobao Jia
HardnessInternal (neijia)
Country of originChina
Famous practitionersXing Xihuai (邢喜怀),
Zhang Chuchen (张楚臣),
Chen Jingbo (陈敬伯),
Zhang Zongyu (张宗禹),
Zhang Yan (张彦),
Chen Qingping (陳清苹)
Ancestor artsT'ai chi ch'uan
Descendant artsWu (Hao)-style taijiquan
Olympic sportNo

Zhaobao taijiquan (pronounced jao-bao) (Chinese: 趙堡太極拳) is a style of taijiquan that is often considered to be a modern style, but actually has a strong documented lineage that confirms its authenticity as an ancient style of taijiquan and as a true transmission from Jiang Fa in the late 16th century.[1]

Form and Characteristics[edit]

The main set of Zhaobao Taijiquan, or Zhaobao Jia, consists of 108 movements in the big frame and 75 refined movements in the small frame progressing in difficulty. Great emphasis is placed on Yi (mind/intent) in Zhaobao training. Like many other styles, Zhaobao Jia can be practiced at three heights, each providing a different degree of complexity. Generally students begin with the Middle Frame (Ren Pan Jia), progress to the Low Frame (Pan Gong Jia) and end with the High Frame (Da Li Jia).

Zhaobao Taijiquan's practical applications rely heavily on spiral uprooting techniques controlled through the use of Qinna, often followed with the use of sweeps or trips to bring the opponent to the ground. Flowing and coordinated techniques conform successfully to the basic tenets of the T'ai ch'i ch'uan Classics.

Zhaobao Taijiquan also has its own Neigong system based on traditional Daoist practice that enables the practitioner to develop the required physical and mental skills needed for successful mastery of the art.

History and Lineage[edit]

The Zhaobao Taijiquan style shares many similarities with Chen-style taijiquan, and this commonality is considered by the school to be the manifestation of influences introduced by a member of the famed Chen family- Chen Qingping.

Zhaobao Taijiquan is not a family style (although there exists the He Family offshoot) and has traditionally been passed down from master to a chosen disciple. The Zhaobao name is given to the style as a way of honouring the village in which the art was kept for many centuries; Zhaobao Village in Wenxian County, Henan Province, China.

According to the style's tradition, Chen Qingping was the 7th generation master from the time that the grand master Jiang Fa brought the style taught to him by Wang Zongyue to the local area in Wenxian County.

Zhaobao Taijiquan's lineage down to Chen Qingping is as below:

Zhang Sanfeng (Chinese: 张三丰)

Various Daoists

Wang Zongyue (Chinese: 王宗岳)

Jiang Fa (Chinese: 蒋法, 1st generation)

Xing Xihuai (Chinese: 邢喜怀, 2nd generation)

Zhang Chuchen (Chinese: 张楚臣, 3rd generation)

Chen Jingbo (Chinese: 陈敬伯, 4th generation)

Zhang Zongyu (Chinese: 张宗禹, 5th generation)

Zhang Yan (Chinese: 张彦, 6th generation)

Chen Qingping (Chinese: 陳清苹, 7th generation)

T'ai chi ch'uan lineage tree with Zhaobao focus[edit]


  • This lineage tree is not comprehensive, but depicts those considered the 'gate-keepers' & most recognised individuals in each generation of Zhaobao.
  • Although many styles were passed down to respective descendants of the same family, the lineage focused on is that of Zhaobao & not necessarily that of a family.
  • Names denoted by an asterisk are legendary or semi-legendary figures in the lineage; while their involvement in the lineage is accepted by most of the major schools, it is not independently verifiable from known historical records.

Solid linesDirect teacher-student.
Dot linesPartial influence
/taught informally
/limited time.
Wang Zongyue*
Dash linesIndividual(s) omitted.
Dash crossBranch continues.
Jiang Fa
Xing Xihuai
2nd gen. Zhaobao
Chen Zhengru
3rd gen. Chen
Zhang Chuchen
3rd gen. Zhaobao
Chen Jingbo
4th gen. Chen
4th gen. Zhaobao
Zhang Zongyu
5th gen. Zhaobao
Chen Youben
c. 19th century
6th gen. Chen
Chen Small Frame
Zhang Yan
6th gen. Zhaobao
Chen Qingping
7th gen. Chen
7th gen. Zhaobao
Wu Yuxiang
He Zhaoyuan
8th gen. Zhaobao
Zhaobao He-style
He Qingxi
9th gen. Zhaobao
Zheng Wuqing
10th gen. Zhaobao



  1. ^ Wen Zee & Andrew Weil (2002). Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan: Ancient Chinese Way to Health. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 15-564-3389-1.


  • Peng, Wen. Zhao Bao Tai Chi Kung Fu, USA Tai Chi Culture Association. ISBN 978-0615255668
  • Zheng, Wuqing. Wudang Zhaobao Taijiquan Small Frame, Da Zhan Publishing Company, Taiwan. ISBN 957-468-163-7 (only available in Chinese)

External links[edit]