太極,太極拳,太極班,陳式太極


Founder's History At A Glance

1.  The Beginning

Master Chow Chin Ching, born in Hong Kong, comes from a family of Chinese Kung Fu experts, his father a Master of Kwong Sai Jook Lum Temple Praying Mantis and his grandfather a Master of Shaolin Kung Fu.  At a young age Chow's father started to teach him a few basic movements, he only taught him a few because he wanted his son to focus on his studies. However this would not hold Chow back, he loved what he was learning so he practiced frequently on his own and to find out more he started to read many books on Kung Fu, he would then practice what he read about.  

It was during this time, while he was in secondary school, that Chow by chance came across a Japanese comic book called "Fist Boy".  It was a story with references about Chen style Tai Chi which was a powerful type of Kung Fu.  The book talked about the birthplace of Kung Fu which was located in a far away place called Chen Village in Henan Province, China.  It also mentioned Chen Villages' secret "Sudden Thunder" form.  Unknown to him at that time, Chow's  Kung Fu journey would eventually take him to Chen Village where he would study under one of the great Chen family Masters.  This  was the beginning of his exciting and interesting journey.


2.  Hard Training

The Kung Fu comic books that Chow read were one of the driving forces behind his interest in learning Tai Chi.  This desire led him on a search for a teacher who taught Chen Style (the original form) but he couldn't find anyone in Hong Kong so he decided to study Sun Style instead.  Chow studied this form for about a year but didn't feel like it was enough, he still wanted to learn the original form.  It was at that time that he met Sifu Shen and Sifu Wong who taught Chen Style Old Form.  He began to study with them, he was so excited to finally have this opportunity that he dropped everything in his life so that he could fully dedicate himself to training.  Wanting to perfect the movements, he practiced Tai Chi 10 hours a day going over the form 20-30 times, swords at least 10 times.  He stopped going out and stopped meeting with friends, he ate, slept and breathed Tai Chi.  

About one year after studying with Shen and Wong he met Sifu Meng who taught Chen Style New Form in Shen Zhen.  At the time Chow was living in Tuen Mun and studying computers in Mongkok.  In the afternoon after school he would take the train to Lo Wu train station to get to Shen Zhen then he would take the bus to his new Sifu's home, this trip would take 2 1/2 hours each way.  Chow would take this trip 4 times every week.  He was completely devoted to these classes, nothing could keep him from going.  In fact he decided to live with Sifu Meng one summer.  At that time Sifu Meng would wake him up every morning at 3 a.m. to practice the sword, the training was tough and often punishing but Chow was happy to have this opportunity.


3.  Inheriting Shaolin Kung Fu

A year after training with Sifu Meng, as Chow's Tai Chi moved to a higher level, he decided to study Praying Mantis Kung Fu.  He found Southern Style Praying Mantis to be a good complement to Tai Chi due to it's effectiveness in real fights.  It was a type of Shaolin Kung Fu and it's internal power was fascinating to him.   Chow Gar Praying Mantis and Kwong Sai Jook Lum Temple Praying Mantis are both a type of Southern Praying Mantis.  The various Northern styles are quite different from the Southern style and contain more jumping movements.

Chow knew that his father's type of Praying Mantis Kung Fu was powerful but he had only learned a few basic movements from him.  Wanting to learn more about it, Chow decided to visit the head of Chow Gar Praying Mantis, Master Yip Shui.  At that time Yip was almost 90 years old.  He had a lot of students around the world and was still extremely powerful at that age.  Chow felt like it was a great honor to meet this legendary man.  During the first meeting, Chow did a short demonstration of what he had learned from his father to show Yip what he knew.  Because of his strong performance and his fathers recommendation he was accepted into Yips last group of students.  Through Yip, Chow learned Chow Gar Praying Mantis Kung Fu which contained high level internal power practicing methods.

As Chow learned new ways to fight from Sifu Yip, Yip would ask him to go home to attack his father with his newly learned moves.  Chow was reluctant to do this, instead he went home to discuss this with his father.  Without hesitating his father immediately moved into the fighting position, it was a challenge between Sifu Yip and Chow Senior.  Despite being older Chow was never able to beat his father, his father was too powerful and clever and always knew how to fight back.  Through these two great men, his father and Sifu Yip, Chow was able to lean a lot about Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu.  He went on to learn about Kwong Sai Jook Lum Praying Mantis Kung Fu.  

4.  A Chance Meeting With Master Chen Qing Lei The 19th Generation Tai Chi Master From Chen Village

It was during a competition in the city of Jiaozuo that Master Chow met his Sifu, Master Chen Qing Lei.  This unexpected meeting would change Chows life.  Chen was the 19th generation master of Tai Chi whose family is from the birthplace of Tai Chi.  When Chow's bus arrived at its destination he by chance saw a woman from his bus window doing explosive Tai Chi movements on the ground.  She was so fluid and powerful that he felt compelled to go and meet her.  It turned out that she was the daughter of Master Chen.

Chow went on to study "Sudden Thunder" style Tai Chi with Master Chen for several years.  He would go to Chen Village 3 times a year for 2 weeks at a time.  He was extremely dedicated, when the SARS virus was at its height and no one was willing to travel Chow made the journey, nothing would prevent him from going.  He also decided to stop teaching for 2 months in Hong Kong so that he could devote himself to special training with Master Chen.  


5.  A Lonely Kung Fu Road

After meeting Master Chen at the Jiaozuo International Competition, Chow and two of his friends, Chung who was 50 at the time and Ling who was 40, decided to study with Chen in Chen Village.  He had known Chung for a long time, they frequently practiced Tai Chi together and had shared many good times with each other. Chow met Ling at the Jiaozuo competition and the two hit it off immediately.

So in August 2002 the three had decided that it would be a great idea to train with Master Chen Qing Lei.  Master Chen was from Chen Village, the birthplace of Tai Chi.  That first year the 3 friends went 3 times spending 2 weeks in the village during each visit.  The plan was to do this annually but during the second year SARS had spread through Hong Kong, paralyzing not only the people of Hong Kong but the world.  Despite this, Chow and Ling decided that they still wanted to go and train, Chung decided to remain behind.  As the years went by Chow's devotion to Martial Arts only grew stronger, he was fully committed and never ventured away from his training.  Due to other commitments Chung would only go intermittently 1 or 2 times periodically through the years making it difficult for him to get past level 5 (there are 15 levels in Tai Chi).  Chung remained at level 4, unable to finish learning the entire explosive form which contained more than 200 explosive power movements.  Mr. Ling also gradually stopped going to Chen Village leaving Chow to continue on this journey alone.

Wanting to help his friend get to a higher level, Chow decided, after his 2 months of intensive special training in Chen Village, to teach Chung all of the things he had learned - push hands technique, application practicing methods, along with sharing his notations that he had written regarding the 15 levels of Tai Chi.  Chow also taught his friend the long broadsword which he had learned in 2001.  However, because of his weight and age, Chung found it to be a challenge to learn the broadsword and to do high level push hands and jumping correctly so Chow continued to train with him hoping to help his friend.

6.  Becoming The Inheritor of Chen Style Tai Chi

Master Chow's years of hard training and dedication to learning Tai Chi was recognized and honored by his Sifu, Master Chen Qing Lei and the Chen Family Council Members.  During his years of training, Chen had eventually passed on all of the highest most secret Chen Tai Chi techniques to Chow.  Then, Chen and his Family Council decided to bestow upon Chow the highest honor possible by asking him to become the inheritor of Chen Style Tai Chi.  The ceremony which followed ancient traditions, was held on December 27, 2006.  It was an historic moment.

7.  Thunderbolt Hands

While practicing continuous explosive movements in Chen Village, Chow had really impressed his classmates with his power and quickness, so much so that he was given the name "Thunderbolt Hands".  And even after becoming the inheritor of Chen Style Tai Chi, Chow continued to push himself.    In March 2008, in an attempt to further perfect his technique, Chow created a rigorous training routine for himself.  He would continuously practice the form with explosive power up to 20 times a day, this included jumping, kicking and punching.  He easily spent several hours a day doing this routine.

8.  Fate

Chow was fortunate to have lea