Erle Montaigue and Yang Family Stories

Erle Montaigue and Yang Family Stories

Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:56 am

The Yang family was famous for its fighting abilities, but there don't seem to be many people teaching fighting forms anymore.

Erle Montaigue is one person who teaches Yang taiji for fighting.

In your opinion, are his methods valid examples of Yang family taiji fighting?

Is there any of the Yang family that teach the fighting methods of Yang Lu Chuan? Is there any place we can learn this?

All the schools only seem to have forms and push-hands, but no other applications, except for Erle Montaigue.

Thanks!
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:33 am

While there are indeed few people qualified to teach T'ai Chi martially, those who are so qualified are IME reluctant to "show off" their abilities publicly.

Instructors who actually have kung fu have gone through a lot of personal changes to get what they've got, and in that process they will gain some circumspection, some reticence, as to who they want to work with. Learning the martial aspect is a long term proposition, and instructors look for students who are capable of making that commitment. Why build up the hopes of someone who obviously won't be able to learn? As well, some students don't deserve to be shown the martial, for whatever reason.

So there are martial schools, but even if you find one, there is no guarantee that they will show you the martial art. The traditional attitude is that the student has to earn the right to learn it. I am distrustful of teachers who don't thoroughly evaluate a student's character before taking them on for the full ride.

P.
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:57 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polaris:
<B>The traditional attitude is that the student has to earn the right to learn it. I am distrustful of teachers who don't thoroughly evaluate a student's character before taking them on for the full ride.

P.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The problem is that traditional attitude might have made sense 150 years ago, before guns were so prevalent.

But these days martial arts aren't a state secret, because it's so easy for you to get hurt by somebody who knows nothing.

That, and a lot of people are using that excuse now that actually know nothing, because they learned after the Cultural Revolution, when martial arts in China were watered down and applications were removed.

So a lot of teachers use that excuse -- have to wait to check out their character. Then you find people who have been 'waiting' 10 years, because in actuality the teacher doesn't have the goods.

I would be wary of any teacher who can't demonstrate skill in the first few classes or in a seminar, because it's likely they don't have the goods.

And even more wary of somebody who said they had to wait to 'check out my character'.

Bad guys carry guns. Bad guys don't spend 3 years learning martial arts to beat people up.
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:13 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wushunut:
<B>
And even more wary of somebody who said they had to wait to 'check out my character'.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

With this attitude you are not going to get very far with traditional Chinese teachers. If you want to perform amazing feats with taiji it takes years of training to get the basics. During those years you are not going to be able to impress your friends and bully your neighbors. Maybe martial arts is not for you.
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:48 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
With this attitude you are not going to get very far with traditional Chinese teachers. If you want to perform amazing feats with taiji it takes years of training to get the basics. During those years you are not going to be able to impress your friends and bully your neighbors. Maybe martial arts is not for you.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's not about performing basic feats. It's about not getting taken advantage of by Chinese teachers teaching watered down martial arts, and actually learning self defense, not taiji dancing.

IMHO there are two types of Chinese martial arts teachers these days. Firstly, those that left China before the Communists took over.

These people went many places -- Taiwan especially, and while they have etiquette and expect you to work hard, they teach applications typically right off the bat and a lot of times have real righting skill.

What I'm running into a lot now are teachers from China who grew up under Communism, and they're the only ones talking about taking years and years to apply martial arts. And it seems they're doing this because they didn't learn the martial applications for their techniques. The reasons for this vary, but it seems that the Chinese made it illegal for martial arts to be taught for anything other than exercise.

So now you have standardized wushu forms, but most of the teachers never do any applications or sparring. There is no more martial in the martial arts from China these days.

These people teach foreigners primarily for money, even though they don't teach foreigners the actual martial arts, they do it to make a living.

So that's why I've been asking about these teachers because I don't want to waste 3-4 years studying with them if they don't have the goods.

And I've talked to people who have studied with masters like these for 10+ years, and they haven't gotten any martial arts out of them.

They don't seem to mind because they aren't interested in martial arts.

Anyways, thanks for your advice and comments.
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:55 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
bully your neighbors. </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I didn't see this part of your quote. LOL

Bully the neighbors. Nobody's going to do martial arts to bully the neighbors.

This is a standard excuse made by non martial martial artists.

Hello! I was in Bellevue, WA 4 weeks back and they have Taekwondo studios there where they do applications and sparring from day one.

You can literally walk off the street, sign your contract, and do sparring.

People doing crime use guns and knives, not martial arts.

Nobody's going to spend years learning a martial art to learn to beat people up.

I've taken Karate and by far and away in karate people learn to be more respectful of others, because they learn their limitations.

Especially they learn humbleness during sparring, because they learn that there are people who can easily beat them up.

I've never run into anybody who used their martial arts to hurt people offensively. Quite the opposite, I've only run into people who were made better and more disciplined and more humble by martial arts.

This is why I'm at a loss to understand these teachers who say they take time to 'check out your character'. I haven't seen any of these people apply their martial arts or do sparring. Whereas I've met tons of karate people, hung gar people, etc., who do applications from day 1, and can apply their martial skill very well.
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:33 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wushunut:
<B> It's not about performing basic feats. It's about not getting taken advantage of by Chinese teachers teaching watered down martial arts, and actually learning self defense, not taiji dancing.

IMHO there are two types of Chinese martial arts teachers these days. Firstly, those that left China before the Communists took over.

These people went many places -- Taiwan especially, and while they have etiquette and expect you to work hard, they teach applications typically right off the bat and a lot of times have real righting skill.

What I'm running into a lot now are teachers from China who grew up under Communism, and they're the only ones talking about taking years and years to apply martial arts. And it seems they're doing this because they didn't learn the martial applications for their techniques. The reasons for this vary, but it seems that the Chinese made it illegal for martial arts to be taught for anything other than exercise.

So now you have standardized wushu forms, but most of the teachers never do any applications or sparring. There is no more martial in the martial arts from China these days.

These people teach foreigners primarily for money, even though they don't teach foreigners the actual martial arts, they do it to make a living.

So that's why I've been asking about these teachers because I don't want to waste 3-4 years studying with them if they don't have the goods.

And I've talked to people who have studied with masters like these for 10+ years, and they haven't gotten any martial arts out of them.

They don't seem to mind because they aren't interested in martial arts.

Anyways, thanks for your advice and comments.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pretty much all of the above is garbage. Are you basing this on your own experience, or what you heard someone say, or what you read on the web somewhere, or what?
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Postby wushunut » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:55 pm

It's based on the past 4 years of dealing with taiji teachers of various flavors, watching over the past 20 years as Chinese Martial Arts (CMA) in Northern California has changed from being primarily fighting based to compulsory wushu forms. They have a wushu tournament now in Berkeley that doesn't have any sparring at all.

It is based upon studying Chinese history, talking to many people coming out of China after the communists took over, talking to people who go over now to study in China who can't find teachers who actually teach fighting, sparring and applications.

I know somebody over in China now who talked this over with the Chinese teachers. He said there is a prevalent work ethic in China after Communism called 'mo yang gong' or 'grind foreigners work', which basically means you do as little as possible for foreigners.

He actually talked to a lot of the teachers about this, and basically, they do not teach foreigners real applications, and have them all believing it's because they have to work on their character, etc.

Even the Yi Chuan teachers, the guy who invented Yi Chuan changed from doing applications to doing just exercises because they outlawed martial arts applications in China. They do some Yi Chuan applications these days, but that was re-introduced after the Communists opened up a bit.

The Communist government systematically killed the major masters and made taiji, yi chuan, bagua, etc. only forms for exercise.

It comes from attending martial arts classes with Chinese teachers who are adamant about doing forms for years. This isn't just in the Chen lineage such as Gao Fu, but many other teachers as well.

Most people doing taiji these days, which supposedly was the premiere fighting style in China, can't fight decently at all.

Now people think fighting is K-1 championships, Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing, karate, etc. and people think Chinese martial arts are a joke, and are only for exercise.

Whereas the old teachers in Hung Gar, Kung Fu San Soo, Chow Lay Fut, etc., all do sparring and applications from day one.

Whatever. If you want to spend years and years studying taiji and push-hands and not getting the real goods, then that's well and good for you!

[This message has been edited by wushunut (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:01 pm

I think you are here under false pretenses. Peddle it elsewhere.
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:44 pm

I hate to say it, but Wushunut's is the insulting, challenging attitude that we see in the West all the time. That's OK, I've kicked around more than a few challengers in my day, it separates good T'ai Chi teachers from the hacks...

Wushunut, even if you don't believe it, people really do have to earn the right to learn an art like T'ai Chi, like it or not. We know T'ai Chi, you don't. You're going to tell us how to teach you? Preposterous. Only in the West...

If Tae Kwon Do teaches sparring the way you like, then go learn Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do and T'ai Chi Ch'uan are very, very different. They have different body mechanics and different goals. Not better or worse, just different. If you can't see that, then how are you qualified to criticise traditional family T'ai Chi teachers about how we teach our art?

Only 6 generations separate my generation from Yang Lu-ch'an:

Yang Pan-hou
Wu Ch'uan-yu
Wu Chien-ch'uan
Wu Kung-i
Wu Ta-kuei
Wu Kuang-yu (Kwong-yu, Eddie)

6 generations of people who, every single one of them, spent their ENTIRE lives learning and then teaching T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Now, who should I believe, them or a teenager from California? Think about it...

P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:51 pm

JERRY!!!!!
This guy was funnier than a barrel of monkeys poured in cold water! And you ran him off.
I was hoping he was going to get himself all twisted up in his own words even worse than he was.
Oh, well.
It was fun while it lasted.

;-)
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:02 pm

Now, now...

As teachers, we should try to EDUCATE the poor benighted soul!

Most Westerners have never heard this stuff before (although I agree with Jerry that the guy probably just came here to flame T'ai Chi), so we should patiently and repeatedly explain our positions, at least until the abuse starts ;-)

P.
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:59 pm

Polaris,
You are a kind and gentle soul. I once again bow humbly to your wisdom.
I will try, in future, to remember your words and use them as a caution against such actions and thoughts.
It WAS fun though!

For all he was really just here to flame TCC in general, he got more talking going on here than anything I've seen in quite some time.
Good to know we're all still here, too.

I guess my loyaltly to Eddie and the Wu family must still be in place pretty well, because my back got up pretty darned quick and he wasn't even insulting the Wu family directly.
I must have picked up on some of my Yang family instructors loyalty to Master Yang Jun, which is obvious in word and deed, because my back, my hair and my eyebrows all went straight up when he started criticizing him (in a literal sense, I remained calm in reality).
I will have the honor of meeting MYJ in just a few weeks.
I am sincerely looking forward to it.


[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby wushunut » Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:29 am

I wasn't trying to put down your teacher or anything. I haven't met him. Did I say your teacher was bad or that taiji was bad? No. He may be the best martial artist in the world. I have no idea. I've never met him.

All I said was I had bad experiences with wushu teachers from China who do only forms, and suggested the history that may be behind the change in China to where compulsory wushu is something separate from sanda.

If you disagree, you can just disagree. Tell me I'm stupid and don't know anything, that's fine.

At any rate, I'm not going to grovel as has been suggested by others on here and apologize for having a skeptical attitude. I won't post anymore if it offends you.

The only thing I will apologize for is wasting your time by posting on here since you think I'm such an idiot.

Thanks for all the links and information from the people who have helped out. I've gotten more information today than the last couple of years of posting on forums about taiji and people's experiences with real teachers.

[This message has been edited by wushunut (edited 06-30-2004).]
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:51 pm

Wushunut,
You did, most certainly, insult Master Yang Jun, even if only indirectly, by inferring that his families TCC is not adequate due to being "watered down" and that his teaching skills were less than stellar by proxy of your not seeing anything "amazing" on the first day from his teachers.
You not only insulted the Master with these insinuations, you insulted his entire extended family, of which I and several others on this board are part through ties of blood and spirit.
His family ties back in, intimately, with the Wu family and many others who are their disciples (which, in case you didn't know, is a type of extended family network). So when you insult the TCC of the current sixth generation lineage holder of the Yang family, you insult the entire family, including their disciples and all of thier family members and descendants.
And by doing so you included me and Polaris, at the very least, in the insults you expressed on this board. To which we have responded.
It's a perception thing.
You came on here and espoused a theory that, while widespread, is demonstrably untrue. And your attitude is appalling, to say the least.
I would not train you. I will tell you that right now.
You are, in all honesty, one of the few people on this planet I would pointedly ask to leave my class if I knew who you were.
I know now, with no question or hesitation, why it is that you cannot receive what you would consider adequate training in the fighting applications of TCC. There's simply no mystery left for me.
With your expressed attitude there isn't a qualified TCC instructor that I know, or have ever heard of, who would teach you any of the "real deal" that you say you so wish to learn.
Anywhere.
The worst part? You will now take this as a personal attack, which is good because it is, and flounce off without having learned what everyone here, and obviously some poor souls who are teaching out there in Washington, seem to not be able to get across to you.
You will most likely never be trained in the "real deal" of fighting with TCC, because you don't have the proper attitude.
No one, absolutely no one, would ever expect you to "beg" for the secrets of TCC. That's not how it works. You can't beg for the secrets, you have to work for them and part of that work is to display the proper mindset required for learning this art.
Even if you got on your knees and begged humbly of a thousand TCC Masters that they teach you the secrets of TCC, not one of them could even if they wanted to. And that's because of your mindset.
TCC is more mental accumen than physical. I will give you that "ancient chinese secret" for free, so you may see that no begging is required to learn the profound secrets. That is one of the most profound secrets of our art and now you know it, and it didn't cost you a thing.
Understand this, if nothing else: Your attitude IS your TCC, more surely than any other part of you.
If you do not exhibit the proper attitude you will not be able to properly learn TCC, this is fact. So why would a Master, or even a decent teacher, waste his time training you?
Does that make sense? Was that clear enough for you? Do I need to elaborate further?
Since you seem to be a touch arrogant about yourself, "And even more wary of somebody who said they had to wait to 'check out my character'", you will not find anyone who would be willing to teach you anything you could use to cause harm to yourself or others.
Does this make sense?
I hope so.
You will get no further response from me unless you moderate your tone regarding our art and the current Masters thereof. Just as you will have a long, hard row to hoe in TCC if you continue to approach it with the attitudes you have expressed here.
With this attitude, you would do well in a hard style. I will make my last suggestion to you by saying: Do that. You'll be happier, much happier, there.
When you get some maturity on you, and you begin to understand the meaning of the expression "the more I know, the more I know that I don't know", then come back.
Then, we'll be glad to have you.

Peace.
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