Return the Art to the Family

by Sun Zhonghua on 2010/09/21

The Story of Master Chen Zhonghua and Hong Sen.

Mr. Hong Junsheng received personal instructions from his master Grandmaster Chen Fake for 15 years from 1930 to 1944. The relationship between them was like that of a father and son. Mr. Chen and his family once lived in Hong Junsheng’s house. Later when he lost his family fortune, Hong Junsheng and his family became guests in Chen’s house. These are only small examples of their deep relationship. To make a living, Hong’s family moved to Jinan. Because he was transmitted to real thing, he did not fall victim to the problem of empty forms. Instead, he studies studiously the core fundamentals of the art for 12 years. In 1956, he returned to Beijing with personal experience to report back to his master. The master and the disciple spent their time working on each move of both forms from morning till night for as long as four months. The next year, Grandmaster Chen passed away. The art had a successor. The Grandmaster could rest in peace.

With the will and encouragement of his teacher, Hong returned to Jinan to teach. Teaching Chen Style Taijiquan became his profession and obsession without the want of fame and reputation. His taiji skills became superior. Taking dozens of disciples in a dozen years, he spread the art to the world and wrote “Chen Style Taijquan Practical Method”. He passed away without any regrets but one. Because of historical reasons of the 10 years of Cultural Revolution in China, his children did not have the opportunity to inherit his art. Grandmaster was wise and intelligent. Even has had any regrets, this was the sore spot.

Hong’s number 6 son Hong Youyi understood his father. He supported his son Hong Sen in learning Taiji. Hong Sen liked the art since childhood and received personal instruction from his grandfather. But to become the inheritor, he must first of all learn the curriculum in detail and in depth. This process requires personal instruction and correction. Only his grandfather’s disciples qualify for this job.

To our delight, in recent years, there is hope.

In China Hong’s senior disciple Li Enjiu is the standard bearer. Overseas, Hong’s high level disciple Chen Zhonghua is the standard bearer. In recent years, Chen Zhonghua returned to his home from Canada and invested on Daqingshan Mountain Resort with millions of dollars. He built two hotels and a tourism industry. According to local legend, Han Dynasty Emperor Liu Bang trained his army on Daqingshan. Today it became Chen Zhonghua’s Taijiquan Training centre. Once can often spot Europeans and North Americans doing Yilus and push hands on beautiful Daqngshan. In the middle of August this year, Chen Zhonghua held a discipleship ceremony here. Most of the new disciples were foreigners but there was a Chinese young man and  a Hong Kong youth. Mr. Hong Youyi and Hong Sen was among invited special guests.

Mr. Hong Youyi gave a speech at the ceremony during which he reminisced his father’s high martial ethics and skills. He encouraged people to pass on the art Hong Junsheng taught. Before returning to Jinan, he solemnly expressed his hope for Chen Zhonghua to give tutelage to his son. Zhonghua is a grateful person. He had long thought about repaying his master and thus happily accepted and promised to impart all he knew to Hong Sen. Hong Sen and his wife stayed behind to train. It became a familiar scene on Daqingshan of Chen Zhonghua teaching Hong Sen and experimenting with Hong Sen. Hong Sen became a permanent part of the Daqingshan Taiji Training Center.

At the end of August, Hong Youyi and Chen Zhonghua invited a dozen of Hong Junsheng’s disciples to meet on Daqingshan. Among them experienced and respected Xu Guicheng, calm and nice Master Li Chugong, and other famous disciples from other parts of Shandong and Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. These masters talk, practice, eat and drink under the mysterious clouds on Daqingshan. While enjoying themselves, they also talked about how to promote and pass on Hong’s art. When Chen Zhonghua relayed Hong Youyi’s wish, all masters obliged. They all promised to help Hong Sen. Hong Sen was obviously moved. He promised everyone present to train hard and learn whole heartedly.

On one side is the defendant of Hong Junsheng wishing to be part of the inheritance. On the other side are Hong’s disciples who want to return the art to Hong’s family. What a beautiful combination! Hong can rest in peace in his grave!

As a bystander, I was happy and impressed. I wish this beautiful endeavour bear bountiful  fruits.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

洪 森 September 24, 2010 at 4:07 am

It was my pleasure and good fortune to meet talented and ethical grandmaster Sun Zhonghua this summer in beautiful Daqingshan! During the close to one month with him in person, I listened to his colorful life stories, serious work experiences and diplomatic stories. I watched him write expressive Chinese calligraphy and enjoyed his flowing sword form. I learned a great deal from him and regard him as a model for life. Here I would also life to thank him for such a great article!
On Daqingshan I experienced the deep understanding of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Methody by my uncle Chen Zhonghua. I was lucky to receive his whole-hearted transmission of the art to me. I learned so much as to feel how little I know. During my stay on Daqingshan uncle Chen spent a great deal of time and effort in helping me. He started with basic foundations, form corrections and applications. He gave me hands on instructions and used his own body as training dummy to show me the energy movements and alignments. I am very grateful to him for this. I have experienced uncle Chen’s hopes for me and his rich understanding of Practical Method. I have decided to give up everything to devote myself to this art so as to show my gratitude to all uncles who have helped me. In order to demonstrate my gratitude I will try to promote the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method the the best of what I have inherited.

Hong Sen (grandson of Hong Junsheng)


Nicholas Fung September 24, 2010 at 10:01 am

Very interesting!
Hong Kong youth


KT September 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Master Sun, Good article!
Mr. Hong, I believe you will, together with Master Chen and other uncles, do a fine job of promoting the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method!
Hong Kong Middle Aged


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