Form and Characteristics
The main set of Zhaobao Taijiquan, or Zhaobao Jia, consists of 108 movements progressing in difficulty. Great emphasis is placed on Yi 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 , progress to the Low Frame and end with the High Frame .
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 the techniques conform successfully to the basic tenets of the Taiji 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
The Zhaobao Taijiquan style shares a lot of 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. He created a style known as the "New Frame", which he taught to many disciples including He Zhaoyuan and . The result of this influence means that the Zhaobao Taijiquan style is often considered by observers to simply be a recent off-shoot of the Chen style. But actually the style has a much longer history and retains many unique qualities based on traditional Taijiquan theory and practice, clearly differentiating it as a complete and separate system of practice. See lineage diagram below.
The evolution of the Zhaobao Taijiquan style can be compared effectively to the evolution of Yang style Taijiquan. Yang Luchan the founder of the Yang style was a disciple of a Chen family teacher called Chen Changxing, and is said to have adapted the fundamentals of the martial arts he was taught to fit his own interpretation of Taijiquan practice and principles, and thus originated a similar looking, yet independent style of Taijiquan.
Zhaobao Taijiquan is not a family style and has traditionally been passed down from master to chosen disciple. The Zhaobao name is given to the style as a way of honouring Chen Qingping and the village where he lived; 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: