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Original Forms of Yang Style Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:31 pm
by ziboce
Many claimed to be the original frame of Yang's Tai Chi.
I wonder if anyone can make a list and give links of the related movie clips for discussion?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 4:51 am
by shugdenla

There are no longer 'Original' Forms of Yang style taijiquan. Implying Luchan's form is/would be played the exact same way by every generation is a minsomer.
If you do visual check of almost all the forms, they all approximate Chengfu's external postures. Naturally one body frame wil influence the representation of the form, Chengfu's size affected his playing of the form.

Dong, Li Zheng, Imperial Yang style, more or less follows the same pattern so the Yang frame is still present. Even Manqing's form follows the Yang format depsite being a little 'spagheti like in presentation one can still see Yang in it.

creativity is a beach!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:54 pm
by tccstudent
Mostly true, I would have to concur with Shug, but have you seen the Tian small frame clip??

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:50 pm
by shugdenla
If there is concurrence with Tian and other student(s) who play the same form he does in a similar vein, only then would I agree that this was an Old Yang attribute.

If he was the only one with that form expression then that is more Tian's understanding based on his size and other variables!

Erle Mantaigue states his form is Old Yang. Do we see a concordance with Tian? I do not because Erle's Frame is essentially Chengfu variant. Just being objective here in this regard.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:08 pm
by tccstudent
Shug, I'm not that well versed on the Tian stuff, but the one clip I saw looked nothing like Erle's or Chengfu's. Very likely pre-Chengfu. The clip was on the art-of-energetics web site, but I think they took it down. Personally, I have no idea what old Yang is suppose to look like, but I thought I'd throw it in here as one possiblility.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:27 am
by DavidSchneider
In reference to The "Form". When I arrived in Hong Kong 5 years ago I got to meet Ma Li the daughter of Yang Sau Chung and Grandmaster Ip Tai Tak, his Chief Disciple. There is another form that Master Ip's students do that is a kung fu form that Master Ip said is THE form. Although he is not alive to back that up I would recommend people travel here to work with his students. It is quite an eye opener. Yes they also practice Yang Cheng Fu's form and quite well of course.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:28 am
by Louis Swaim
Greetings David,

Could you explain what you mean by "a kung fu form"?

Thank you,

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:50 pm
by tccstudent_usa
I could be wrong, but I believe he is talking about Yang Sau Chung's application form. I'm not really sure what they call it, but I've heard it is called the application form; some of it from the book itself. I have seen this form performed and it is done with speed, and has jumps, kicks, and some fast hand work. BTW, I wouldn't say this is the "original" form or anything, but I believe it was Sau Chung's own invention.

On another note, I didn't realize that Mr Chan studied with Ip, I thought he studied directly under Sau Chung or did he continue with Ip after Yangs death? Anyway, it's nice to see this side of the family lineage survive.

David, I assume you practice the Dynamic Pushing Hands also; I saw a video of Mr Chan doing it?

[This message has been edited by tccstudent_usa (edited 04-24-2006).]

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:01 pm
by shugdenla

let me define. Pre-Chengfu would be any form or representation thereof not following the present format we know today.
If Jianhou or Shaohu ever taught a form within the vein of Chengfu then it is cannot be considered as so we go further back.

I saw a video of someone named Dian who studied with Jianhou, who expressed the a 'Chengfu' format but with some subtle changes. Luchan's frame (appears similar to Sun Lutang) based on his size, will be different from Chengfu!

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:29 pm
by tccstudent_usa
Shug, thanks for the clarification. I concur. Sau Chung's work is definitely borne from Chengfu's. ala post Chengfu.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:47 pm
by Louis Swaim
Greetings TCC,

You wrote: “I could be wrong, but I believe he is talking about Yang Sau Chung's application form.”

Understood. What I was confused by was David’s reference to a “kung fu form.” On the face of it, I don’t think that there is any such thing. Any form, once mastered, will be gongfu. Also, if David is implying that one form is more martial than another form by his use of the term gongfu, I think that is misleading.

There is a popular association of the word gongfu with martial arts, but it does not refer exclusively to martial arts. I’m a skilled, experienced driver, so I have driving gongfu. A cook can have gongfu, as can a painter or a carpenter.

Take care,

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:53 pm
by tccstudent_usa
I agree, indeed you have the writers gongfu as well as other talents I'm sure.

Now that I have had more time to think about it, I remember reading in Tai Chi magazine when Ip Tai Tak died that he practiced the "snake" style form that he learned from Sau Chung. I believe it is performed very low off the ground and is suppose to be the most martial version of Yangs forms. I believe the article said something about Crane, Tiger, and Snake relating to the health and martial usage of the forms.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:22 am
by Yuri Snisarenko
Here is my definition of "a gongfu form" Image
It's not about height of the stances or speed of the particular movements. It's not about secret or close range 'subtle' techniques. It's about internal skill (neigong). I've read somewhere that after Yang Chengfu taught in Beijing and Shanghai many people bragged that they studied from Yang Chengfu, but within the internal circle only those were considered to be Yang's disciples who could send man flying without much obvious movement, applying short jin & nei jin. Any form of Yang style that trains that is "gongfu form" to me. Not only because of the power but because of the concomitant inner cultivation that was always part of daoist teaching.

I like the following story of Jiang Fa. Maybe it's not a real story but it illustrates my idea. When he traveled across the country and went through Chen Jiagou he saw people practicing martial art and had smiled at their movements. It happened so that Chen Changxin had noticed that and approaching Jiang Fa asked him crossly about the reason of that smile. Chen Changxin's nickname was "Family names tablet", because he looked handsome and had straight poise (like big tablet with family names). But his waist was not really flexible. Jiang Fa said that that martial art is not soft enough. Chen Changxin asked him is he a martial art adept and could he show him what he is talking about. Jiang Fa had replied that he hadn't time for that, and started going away. Then Chen Changxin decided to give the perky stranger a lesson and touched Jian fa at the shoulder. Jiang Fa just had turned back and Chen Changxin got thrown away for several meters. As the story goes on, Chen Changxin became a disciple of Jiang Fa but Jiang Fa went away for three years and told Changxin to pick up stones during that time every day to make his waist flexible (he returned after three years). If you look at the most prominent chen taiji masters (nowadays and in earlier times) they all display excellent waist flexibility and specific shenfa (body methods). Of course each taiji style has its own specifics but generally it's true for whole taiji.

Some consider Jiang Fa to be a successor of Zhang Sanfeng's art. Maybe it just means that his art contained some daoist methods.

[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 04-25-2006).]

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 4:32 am
by ziboce

Besides the above frames you guys mentioned, here is another one for your information.

[This message has been edited by ziboce (edited 05-30-2006).]