Amongst all the Tai Ji styles (or, at least, amongst the five official styles) Chen style is the most ancient one. Its origins date back to the beginning of the 17th Century and it developed in the Hebei region, near the village of the Chen family, situated not far from the place where the Shaolin monastery lies nowadays in the North of China.
Among the official styles, this is certainly the most martial: this is mainly due to the fact that its execution is not constant, because it alternates slow, soft phases and sudden explosions of power with very swift and quick motions.
From an energy point of view, Chen style mainly works on spirals, torsions and spins of the whole body. On the matter, a very famous exercise is the Chan Tze Jin (“rolling and unrolling the cocoon”) in which you learn the basic movements of pelvis, legs and arms in the Chen style.
A very important historical personality was Chen Fake, a master who lived around the end of the 19th Century, who is famous for his incredible talent of fighter and for his demonstrations of ability and power in using his energy. Starting from the Lao Jia, the ancient form of the Chen style, made of 75 movements, he created a new form (Xin Jia in Chinese) that respects all the principles and internal (use of power and energy) and external (study of movement) criteria in the tradition of Chen style. It is based on 83 movements, so that the boxing can be even more effective and straight in the fight.