History of Liu He Ba Fa Chuan

Chen Tuan

     Chen tuan, other name chen Tu-Nan, a native of Bo-Zhou in Anhui province, At his youth, He demonstrated a great ability at mathematics and interpretation of the Book of Changes and poetry, so much that at age of 15 years, scholars would pay their respect to this young prodigy. His destiny as a high official of the Imperial court however, was cut short upon his failure at the state examination. This event turned the young scholar to forsake the lofty ambition of mankind and decided to retire his life as a hermit upon the scenic mountains of China.

After several years, he was advised by another Taoist master to go to the Rock of Nine rooms on Wu Tang mountain, to cultivate his skills. There he perfected his skills in Chi Kung and the art of hibernation. Although Chen remained a hermit, his reputation as an able scholar made him sought after by the royal court. Because of this reputation, the emperor Shh Tsung of the Chou Dynasty suspected that Chen had his eyes on the kingdom and had him incarcerated for one hundred days. After several months the emperor inquired on the condition of the Taoist master, only to have the guard report that he was fast asleep. Only then did the king realize that Chen had no desire for power or fame and released the sage.

It was during one of his visits with the second emperor of the Sung Dynasty, Sung Tai Tzuu (960-975), that Chen Tuan was given the title (Chen Hsi I), meaning "rare among men" also seasoned boxer, stating his skill in kung fu. Although the Taoist master was concerned with the welfare of the people, his desire was to live peacefully at his mountain retreat. Oddly enough, it was a a game of chess (wei chi) with the emperor that would decide if he would stay to advise him or return to being a recluse on Mount Hua. After winning the game, he returned to the mount where he taught Taoist yoga and exercises.

Chen Hsi I is also in Taoist succession in the (Yin Hsien Pai) (sec; of the hidden immortals) who passed Lao Tzu Taoism down through time and also taught on Mount Wu Tang. He is said to have been the teacher of Huo Lung, who was the teacher of the Chang San Feng, legendary founder of Tai Chi. This is why some scholars have placed him in the Sung Yuan Ming Dynasty. Recently a statue of Chen could be seen at the Jade Source Monastery (Yu Chang Yuian) located at the foot of Mount Hua. Chen Hsi I continued passing on his teaching and elucidation of the I Ching (Book of Changes). The modern interpretations are based on his art passed on to (Lee Tung Fung), who passed his skills on to the masters below.