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Yang Sau Chung (Zhen Ming)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:26 pm
by Bamenwubu
I am, yet again and yes I know it's disgusting, on my way to Florida.
This is becoming a regular habit, and I intend to keep it that way.
Hey, what can I tell you? I'm not rich, I have a best friend that owns a house just outside of Tampa and I have a father-in-law that owns a condo just outside of Ft. Lauderdale. It's a horrible burden to have to keep visiting them there during the winter months, but I am doing my best to accept this terrible fate on such a regular basis.
I did a search for Yang style TCC in those locals, and I came up with a link to a school in the city of Stuart, FL, which is about an hour and change north of Ft. Lauderdale.
That link is:

Apparently this is a school in the Yang Cheng Fu lineage, descended through Yang Shau Chung, who is shown on the geneology list on the Yangfamilytaichi website as being Yang Cheng Fu's eldest son, named Yang Zhen Ming, also known as Yang Sau Chung, and through his disciple Gin Soon Chu.
My question is pretty simple, actually.
Is anyone familiar with this lineage? Or with the forms of Gin Soon Chu?
I have sent an e-mail to the address listed on the website, asking if there would be classes or demonstrations I might be able to observe while I am there, but have not heard anything back yet.
Simply curious, that's all. As this appears to be a legitimate Yang Cheng Fu lineage style, I am fascinate by the idea of seeing the forms as taught by the Gin Soon Chu Tai Chi Chuan Federation.
If anyone has any idea about them, I'd like to know, please.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:40 pm
by Louis Swaim
Hi Bob,

Just a note on the name. . . . Yang Zhenming, as noted, was Yang Chengfu’s first son. He appears (as a young man) with his father in some of the famous push hands photos. Sao-Chung is the Cantonese pronunciation of his personal sobriquet, pronounced “Shou Zhong” in Mandarin. The name means, “hold to the center,” or “protect the center,” and comes from the Daodejing.

Take care,

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:17 pm
by Bamenwubu
Thank you Louis, helpful as always.
"Hold to the Center", what a great title to have!
Now you have me wondering again...
I haven't asked before...
What does "Cheng Fu" mean?
I have heard a couple of things, but don't know for sure.
I know he was born Yang Zhao Qing, and that Cheng Fu was a sobriquet.

I have been e-mailed a whole bunch of links about Yang Sau Chung and Gin Soon Chu by my partner in crime.
I will read through it all and see what I can see.
Again, it's just an interesting side bar for me, a way for me to have some fun on vacation, hopefully learn something new, and maybe get to know some fellow Tai Chi enthusiasts.
And if I have a place I can go and practice with other fellow enthusiasts when I'm down there, that would be nice too.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:54 pm
by yangchengfu04

I am a student of Gin Soon Chu and his sons Vincent and Gordon. I also have been down to the Florida school. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them. The instructor in Florida is a really cool guy and very open to visitors. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by this lineage if you have the time to look into it. I know I was, and still am! They practice a lot of power push hands (Dynamic) and their forms are passed right down thru YSC > Gin Soon Chu > Vincent Chu, etc.

Check it out.

[This message has been edited by yangchengfu04 (edited 12-10-2004).]

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:44 pm
by Bamenwubu
I still have not heard back from the school regarding whether there will be something for me to observe.
If you have any contacts with the Florida school, and could pass on my request to get in contact with them, I'd appreciate it.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:47 pm
by Bamenwubu
Oh, I do have a question you may be able to answer.
How do the forms of Gin Soon Chu compare with those of Yang Zhen Duo? Are they pretty much the same, or is there some difference?
Again, I'm just curious.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 5:21 pm
by yangchengfu04
Hi Bamenwubu,

Have you tried the phone number off the website. By the looks of it, I don't think that website has been updated in quite a while, so they may not be checking it too often. I believe they moved the school but it is right up the street from where it use to be. They are now located on the Stuart/Hobe Sound line. You can ask for Dimitri. If no one gets back to you, I'm sure you can just walk right in and talk with him (that's what I did), and see for yourself!!

As far as the YZD/GSC forms differences, I can't really say because I've only seen a little bit of the YZD forms. But, I have a strong feeling that there are many differences, or at the least, it appears that the teaching curriculum is a little more extensive on the GSC side.

I hope this helps.

[This message has been edited by yangchengfu04 (edited 12-13-2004).]

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 2:05 pm
by The Wandering Brit
My teacher also teaches the same lineage from Yang Sau Chang, but through his first disciple Ip Tai Tak..from what I have seen of YZD's form (which is not a lot and I am not very experienced, so...)there are quite a few differences externally.

Also, there is a strong emphasis on standing Chi Gung practice.

[This message has been edited by The Wandering Brit (edited 12-14-2004).]

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:30 pm
by Bamenwubu
Well, that's something I want to see then!!!
I want to see those differences and the similarities.
Bill Wojasinski, my teacher and Center Director, says I will find their style "interesting" and wants me to pay close attention to their posture.
If I can get through to them, and there is something for me to see while I'm there over a holiday period, then I certainly will.
I am going to leave a message on their answering machine the next time I call.
I have not wanted to, so that they wouldn't have to call me back long distance, but I can't get anyone to answer their phone and keep getting machine, so....

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:31 pm
by The Wandering Brit
Well, if you do get through be sure and report back - I'd be intrigued to hear your thoughts and observations. I'd be fascinated to hear how they differ and what your take on the variations is.

YCF04 - do you do a lot of standing practice also?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:26 pm
by yangchengfu04
WB, all lessons with the Chu's are done individually, so we are expected to do "standing," as well as "waist" exercises, as part of our daily practice. I can tell you that a lot of the GSC people seem to put more of a lean (but aligned) in their postures. Some more than others, but VC is very straight in his postures, and his power is awesome in my opinion (I have felt it). Doing dynamic push hands with him can be quite brutal, but it certainly is a learning experience!

Bamenwubu, please do go and check out some of the more senior students and the teacher doing dynamic push hands. Some of the students build up a lot of power from what I can see. If you do go, please do report back I'd love to hear your thoughts also.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:53 pm
by Bamenwubu
I got an answer on the phone down there.
I spoke with a gentelman named Dimitri, who assures me that the school will be open and training every day from 4:30 to 8:30 pm., except for Fri and Saturdays while I'm there, due to the holidays.
I have quite a wide open window to get up to see them.
It's an hour or more drive from where I'm staying, but that simply won't keep me away.

Dimitri says the forms shouldn't be very different. He says that Grand Master Yang Zhen Duo learned his forms as much from Yang Sau Chung as from Yang Cheng Fu and that as far as he knows they're nearly identical.
The web sites I've visited and some of the articles I've read seem to bear this out, as well.
The one thing he says may be different is that they practice large, medium and small frame forms, all three.
Anyway, he was very nice and seemed happy to hear from me. He invited me to come by any time, he'd be ready for me and would be happy to show me around.

I can't wait!
I'll let you all know when I get back about the forms and such.

P.S. I realized I had been misspelling Dimitri's name. So I fixed it. Sorry Dimitri.

[This message has been edited by Bamenwubu (edited 12-15-2004).]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:33 pm
by yangchengfu04
Hey Bamenwubu,

I can't wait to hear about your impressions with them. Check out the pictures of the Yang family on the walls, some I haven't seen elsewhere! I see them teaching the large and medium frames mostly, which is what I was referring to about the GSC/YZD differences. I think the large frame looks really cool, but I've been told the medium frame is more difficult.

Also, I was wondering... do the YZD schools teach only the medium frame or large frame, or do they teach both?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:46 pm
by Bamenwubu
It is my understanding that the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association teaches the large frame.
You make it smaller as your skill gets greater, pretty much on your own, so it's not really necessary to "teach" the smaller frames, per se.
But remember, that is MY understanding of the concept, and I've misunderstood a thing or two in my lifetime.
Dimitri Mougdis, who I spoke with yesterday on the phone, mentioned to me that all three frames were taught in their schools, and that students are evaluated for the skill level and the appropriate form is taught to them after that time.
I did not get into the particulars at that time, but I will ask more about that when I get there.
He told me they are open from 4:30 to 8:30 pm on most nights, and that beginner training starts at 4:30. So I was planning to show up around 4:30 and observe for a while.
He also told me that there is general form practice from 7 to 7:30, so I'll be sticking around at least that long to observe their form in its entirety.
I most certainly will check out the photos on the walls, thanks for letting me know about that.

Here is what Yang Sau Chung had to say about the frame differences, according the Gin Soon Chu:
"As a beginner, if a student is in a reasonable physical condition, he should begin with a high stance and a medium frame posture. If an older student begins, a higher stance can be combined with a large frame posture. This is generally recommended because the large frame provides more movement with the body and hands which is better for the blood circulation.
Also, a higher stance does not demand a lot of work from the legs. These are the best ways for most novices to get into Tai Chi Chuan training.
A serious practitioner should work with either a medium or low stance in combination with the three frames to achieve maximum practice. The difficulty of the low stance pushes one to achieve the highest skills in Tai Chi Chuan training as a martial art system.
In self defense applications, a high stance combined with the small frames is best because a high stance gives better mobility and a small frame moves in a straight line rather than a circular line to execute a movement to defend oneself.
Although his father, Yang Cheng Fu, was famous with the high and large posture, from the explanation given by Yeung Sau Chung, one can see why he taught his family style individually, according to the student."

Bill Wojasinski sent me that this morning, I'm not an expert on Yang Sau Chung or Gin Soon Chu.
I just like to give credit where credit is due.
Thanks, Bill.


[This message has been edited by Bamenwubu (edited 12-15-2004).]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 7:03 pm
by yangchengfu04
More on frames (from GSC website).....

Frames of The Yang Styles of Tai Chi Chuan
For training in Tai Chi Chuan as a martial art, the Yang Family Members developed the 108 Lao Jia Solo Form into three major styles, each with its own distinguishing characteristics to arm the practitioner for combat. Yang Cheng Fu developed the famous "Large Frame" Style. The objective of this style is to stretch the body's tendons, ligaments and develop the flexibility of all the joints so that it is able to function in martial art's high demanded. Large refers to the large degree of circular motion in each movement. Large frame style emphasizes the find tuning and conditioning of the body's joints. Therefore, it is also known as the "enter the door style" or a style for the beginner.

Yang Jian Hou developed the "Medium Frame" Style. The objective of this style is for martial usage. The emphasis is on martial technique. he divided a movement into many smaller sub-movements so that it is more effective in offense and defense. Medium refers to the degree of circular motion that involve the body's joints not large as in large frame and not too small as in small frame. It is the distand that one is able to quickly execute an offensive or a defensive maneuver. Therefore, medium frame is also known as an application style.

Yang Pan Hou developed the "Small Frame" style. The objective of this style is on practicing the chi and spirit. Small refers to the small degree of circular motion in each movement. The circle is so small that most of the movement is based on the rotation of the waist and coiling the body. The emphasis is on the chi and spirit, not the physical. Therefore, it is known as an advanced style and it is generally practiced among senior and experienced practitioners.


There are many ways of practicing the Solo Form, but the sequence, principles, concepts and philosophy remain the same. The significant difference is in the objectives and the execution of each movement. A practitioner must focus on one method before practice and adhere to this method throughout the practice session.

From a martial art point of view, a practitioner must practice different ways to prepare the body to expect the unexpected in a combat environment. Yeung Sau Chung said "The practice has to be alive! You have to practice the Solo Form with lightness, heaviness, softness, hardness, fastness, slowness, big circle, medium circle and small circle.

If the Solo Form practice concentrating on 'hardness', the chi will come up from the dantien to the four limbs. If the practice concentrating on 'softness', the chi will return to the dantien. Hardness without softness is not enough strength. Softness without hardness is not enough circular motion. A movement with a fast component without a slow component is not considered as having control. A slow motion without a fast component indicates that the practitioner's skill is not very high. Hardness does not mean stiff and softness does not mean weak. Strike fast but not confused. Strike slow but not empty. This is the correct execution."