Denver Eagle Claw Kung Fu School

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Chen Zi Zheng "King Of The Eagle Claw" (1878 - 1933)

Another name for Chen Ji Ping, born in the village of Li Linzhuang, in the Xiongxian area of the Hebei province. Liu Cheng You found in little Chen a worthy successor for the system. He began teaching him when he was thirteen years old and after ten years of strict teaching, Chen Zi Zheng was ready to follow his own path.

To strengthen his body he practiced two exercises daily: the first one involved lying between two chairs, his head on the one and his feet on the other, with an additional weight on the middle of his body. The second exercise involved jumping from ground level to a pole one meter high.

It's worth noting that the second exercise is today widely practiced by athletes of the long jump. Chen Zi Zheng was a superb fighter, a fact that he owes to the strict teaching method of Liu Cheng You. In the year 1900, during the Boxers Rebellion, he leaded the young people of his village in the battle against the foreign oppressors. In 1913, his village was attacked by a group of five bandits and he alone, armed with a branch that he cut from a tree, managed to knock out three of them while the other two fled. In 1919 in Shanghai he fought a top American fighter, who knowing Chen by reputation, asked him no to use his grabbing techniques. Finally the American was defeated by Chen's kicking techniques. In 1922 he defeated a British boxer in the duration of half a round. The trophy he was awarded with was a small Indonesian sword engraved with the sign to "the King of Chinese Wu Shu".

It is said that Chen Zi Zheng never used more than three techniques in a fight. Besides being a superb fighter, he was also an excellent teacher. He was the one who managed to popularize the system throughout the whole of China (from the northern part to Hong Kong) and also Southeast Asia. Additionally he revised the eagle claw system and gave it its final form. He gathered the techniques of Yue Shi San Shou and Fan Zi and unified them, creating ten new roads (segments) named "Shi Lu Xin Quan" and fifty roads that contain the essence of the traditional system, named "Wu Shi Lu Lian Quan". With help from his student Liu Feng Qi, he wrote the "Book Of The Art Of Ying Zhao", "Fifty Roads Of The Eagle" and "Concise Presentation Of Ying Zhao". He was also responsible for teaching the Eagle Claw system in the biggest martial arts association of his era, Jing Wu Ti Yu Hui. For his skills and also his contribution to the system he rightfully earned the title of the "King Of The Eagle Claw".

In 1931, while in his village, he was informed of the outbreak of the war between China and Japan on the 18th of September, and the occupation of Manchuria. After that he became seriously depressed and barely managed to leave his home. In the spring of 1933 he was struck by stomach cancer. He died on the 12th of July of the same year, causing deep grief to the Chinese martial arts community.