People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby mls_72 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:11 pm

Social media, Youtube, and the like, seriously have a ton of people out there claiming "Yang Family" this or that. Crazy how I see people from Cheng Man Ching side say this is "Yang family" , or the "Imperial Yang" people say this is "Yang family" when it is very far and different than what the official "Yang family Association" has in their curriculum, training, and website.

I can understand that someone in the 2nd and 3rd generations people learned from the other family members either in the Imperial court, or from Yang Banhou or Yang Chienhou, etc. but isn't it more prudent to just say "Yang style" rather than Yang family unless you are in the Yang Family Association and it is recognized by the Yang family itself?

There are tons of things:
1. A guy holds a 18 foot pole and saying this is the official Yang family spear.
2. A cheng Man ching person from Huang Xian Shyan's branch saying, " this is how the Yang family trained."
3. People promoting Fast forms.
4. Now some claim they have the Yang family small frame form.
5. People trying to sell the Middle frame forms.

None of these are practiced nor promoted or even recognized by Yang family, in my opinion.

It really gets out of hand in this sea of dis-information called the internet. Sad how some of these people can market and advertise they have the "secret" method that the Yang family association and people do not have. Pitiful indeed.
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby DPasek » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:11 pm

I call what I practice and teach “Yang style” or a “Yang style variant” so this naming convention issue does not really concern me. But I wanted to point out that you will not be able to control what others call their versions. You can only control what you call your own style; perhaps “Yang Family Association style” would work.

Out of curiosity, would you consider Fu Zhong Wen to not be “Yang family style” and his pole shaking (spear) as not being within the Yang style curriculum?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-dEvSfYIWI
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby mls_72 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:35 pm

Good morning DPasek,

Yes, while I do consider FZW material Yang Family as he was married into the Yang family, I do notice the Youtube of Damon says www.youtube.com/Yangstyletaichi

Interestingly Damon was in Guangfu town and said that: "there was a 5m Spear at FZW memorial for years."

I asked him about pole length: He said "length is 9 or 11 feet any longer and it's not beneficial..."

Here are some samples of people saying "Yang Family Tai Chi" that has me thinking otherwise:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X67HYia8K4M

http://discovertaiji.com/en/3-aspects-o ... n_297.html



Matt
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby DPasek » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:16 pm

Matt,

Sorry, not being an Association member I am unfamiliar with the official curriculum, and I did not realize that it was just the 18’ length that you were objecting to rather than any pole longer than standard. The two poles that I train “pole shaking” with are both about 10’ long, but are longer than the ones that I use for forms and interactive practice.

Fu stated that he only transmitted what was taught to him, but some think that the Yang style partner dao/saber form was created by him:
https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/yang-style-taiji-saber-according-to-fu-zhongwen/

If this form is NOT taught by the Association, but comes from Fu Zhongwen, then would it still be appropriate for it to be called a “Yang Family” dao form?

DP
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby mls_72 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:47 pm

The 2 man Saber routine comes from Yang: YBH son Yang Zou Pun who FZW trained with in Guang Fu before going to train with YCF.

Be also aware that the Saber form that FZW does is slightly different. I think Yang Jun or Yang Zhendou made some small changes. for example FZW's ends with punch down, while Yang Family Association form ends with step to 7 stars. Yang zhendou was apparently trained by FZW and Cui Yishi by request of Yang Chenfu since he was very young when YCF died.

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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:43 pm

All you can do is smile and move on.
Unfortunately there's not a "Tai Chi Chuan" police force to keep this kind of thing from going on.
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby Audi » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:25 pm

Greetings all,

I think part of the problem is that different members of the Yang family have taught different things to different people at different times. It is also widely known that different members of the family have themselves practiced differently over the generations. All Yang Style Tai Chi by definition must trace back in some way to the Yang family.

I think the term "Yang Family Tai Chi" was simply meant to refer to the Yang family as a living unit and the Tai Chi that they still teach. I don’t think it was meant to address anyone else’s claims or lineage.

Tai Chi people over the Internet claim a lot of things. Some of it is true; some of it is not. Some has good evidence; some does not. Some of it would be beneficial for a given practitioner to pursue and relevant for their practice; some of it would not be. Some of it is excellent Tai Chi and respectful of the art as a whole; some, not so much.

The blessing and curse of Tai Chi is that it is very easy to practice and very hard to master. Those seeking some level of mastery must put in a lot of work and effort into a set of reasonably correct and reasonably comprehensive practices. It is hard for beginners to chart this path through to the presumed end. Those with more experience must make their own judgments based on their individual goals.

Anyone serious about teaching Tai Chi probably has some obligation to promote and market what they have learned in order to share what they have benefited from. Unfortunately, some people occasionally go beyond marketing themselves to trying needlessly to outdo the reputations of others. I don’t think that Tai Chi is now so pervasive anywhere that we should spend more effort competing with each other than in promoting the art itself.

Personally, I feel that there is too much breath and too much ink wasted on arguing who has the best or unique techniques to learn Tai Chi and not enough common sense about what mastery of Tai Chi has to entail and what level of mastery is right for a given person. For me, there is much more of an issue with people improving their own practice of their own version of Tai Chi than with worrying about which version is best or most “authentic.”

I study with the Yang family because I respect and like them as individuals, respect and like what they teach, and respect and like their vision for their art. They are not, however, the only people doing worthwhile things. In fact, the Yang family has spent a great deal of time, effort, and money supporting no fewer than six other Tai Chi styles across three different international symposiums.

At the same time the Yangs strongly support and promote Tai Chi as whole, they also have contributed to it by trying to bring up the standards of the part of Tai Chi they know and are responsible for. They try to support their students in their practice and teaching by, for example, establishing the Association ranking system and various teaching accreditation programs. Others can do their part in their way.

1. A guy holds a 18 foot pole and saying this is the official Yang family spear.
2. A cheng Man ching person from Huang Xian Shyan's branch saying, " this is how the Yang family trained."
3. People promoting Fast forms.
4. Now some claim they have the Yang family small frame form.
5. People trying to sell the Middle frame forms.


I personally think these claims are a mixed bag, but with more good than bad, I also think more harm would result from trying to sort them out than from letting them rise or fall on their own merits.

Speaking of a merit-based approach, I remember Master Yang Zhenduo once being asked in a seminar in the US about whether they taught the sword form in a left-handed version. He answered that they did not and that this was not part of the tradition in China that he knew, but that Americans were known as being innovative and maybe could figure out a way to do it. I then realized that he was not so much pitting tradition against innovation or variation as addressing the impracticality of teaching the same form to the same people doing it in opposite directions while brandishing somewhat sharp objects.

The Yang family also stresses martial morality (wǔdé 武德). In my view, those of us who look to the Yang family for guidance should welcome any way someone wants to connect with the family, as long as that person tries to respect this morality. If someone does not respect it, we should avoid them and try to set a good example by focusing on what we think should be cherished and nurtured.

Take care all,
Audi
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby mls_72 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:43 pm

Saw this on FB the other day. Movements are little too embellished for my taste and not what the Yang insiders do.

Gu Lisheng (studied with Yang Family: Yang Shaohao and Yang chenfu in Beijing), his student Chi Qingsheng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wt0aEoNdZU

A response to the video from person:

"In the early part of the 1900’s Xu Yusheng opened the Beijing Physical Education Research Society (Beijing P.E.R.S.).Many great masters including the Yang, Chen, Wu, and Sun family taught there. It was Xu Yusheng’s intention to help bring Taijiquan to the public. Classes were taught with limited curriculum, different from what the indoor students and disciples of the respected guest teachers were teaching. What was taught was just the “icing on the cake” to give students a taste of Taijiquan and demonstrate that Taijiquan had much more to offer. Since there was a rotation of teachers, people had limited exposure to such great masters like Yang Banhou, Yang Jianhou, Yang Shaohao, Yang Chenfu, Wu Jianquan, Sun Lutang, Chen Fake, and others.

What they did at Beijing P.E.R.S. resembles little to what the inner door and disciple students received. The Yang family system despite having a public lessons, also has a very detailed and heavily guarded non-public system. When people demo systems that claim to be rare like “Shaohao, Jianhao, and Banhou” branch, they have very little to no resemblance to what the inner students and family are currently doing. Those claiming “Shaohao, Jianhao, and Banhou lineages” either learned it at the Beijing P.E.R.S., or have completely made it up. The public short systems from these various rare style teachers at Beijing P.E.R.S. is often times what you are seeing in guys like Chi Qingsheng who come from the lineage of Gu Lisheng who trained with the Yang's at Beijing P.E.R.S. Sadly it gets advertised as something of great value."- Wang Yu Men
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Re: People who claim "Yang Family Tai Chi" on the internet

Postby Dennis01 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:55 pm

When I decided to start doing Tai Chi, I researched the internet and found a zillion different styles and interpretations of styles. The more I read and the more videos I watched, the more confused I became: different names for the same postures (play pipa, strum the lute, play guitar, etc...) different numbering of the same form (85, 103, 108, 150, etc...), and different ways the movements are performed (i.e. beginning form: from flat wrists to extreme wrist bending, when lowering arms, from slightly bent knees to heavily bent knees, etc...), all within the 'Yang' style.

I now realize how and why this happened. Audi has rightfully explained much of this in numerous posts - thanks Audi!

Eventually, I chose to follow the YF Tai Chi for the same reasons expressed by Audi "I study with the Yang family because I respect and like them as individuals, respect and like what they teach, and respect and like their vision for their art.

I hope to meet them in person one day - at least Yang Jun. In the meantime, I only look at the wealth of info and videos available from the YFTC.

There is plenty to learn that will last a lifetime to perfect, and I will enjoy every minute!
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