Erle Montaigue and Yang Family Stories

Postby wushunut » Thu Jul 01, 2004 10:45 pm

Just one more thing, though.

I did receive at least one glowing review of your teacher, Yang Jun:

My school sponsored a seminar given by him (I attended all three days). He is beyond good. We went through the entire long form, but he demonstrated martial applications all through the seminar -- he had my teacher flying across the room!
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Postby Polaris » Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:03 am

Greetings Everyone,

Yeah, I see that wushunut went to MAP and asked about Yang Jun. Of course he got a good answer, Yang Jun has a good reputation outside of the Yang family, IME.

For the record, I'm not angry with wushunut at all, I really meant what I said about being a teacher and was interested in answering his questions. That he didn't care for my (and Jerry's and Wushuer's) answers doesn't make much subsequent difference to me, because, based on his other demonstrations here, it doesn't reflect on their validity.

The Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong martial arts communities don't consider T'ai Chi Ch'uan to be a geriatric style, I know, I've studied martial arts in those places - the MA communities in those cities have a lot more experience with Chinese martial arts than any teenagers from California that I know.

I didn't think that wushunut insulted my teachers, he insinuated that my answer was untrustworthy, making a demonstration of impatience and disrespect from which I concluded that he didn't really want answers at all, that he only asked his questions as an excuse to preach MMA on the Yang family discussion board. If that is the demonstration that he wants to make, that is his business, but he should expect some controversy.

I listed the lineage my teachers (and I) represent for reference's sake, to make the point of why I'd give their opinion more weight than his.

Finally, the T'ai Chi families put a huge emphasis on character because teaching without it is ultimately futile. A school without character will only last as long as the personality of the individual teacher who started it. A school with character will last for generations. There is a reason that The Yang family school has been in business since 1820, and the Wu family's since 1850. What they teach is a complete package, no shortcuts and no gimmicks.

There is a "secret ingredient," a level of evolution, involved in traditional TCC that people like wushunut cannot even conceive of, much less appreciate. That is what I meant when I said that if a student has the native talent to actually be able to learn such a complicated, involved art form then they will have no question of whether they are in the presence of a real teacher or not. You have to have a lot on the ball going into it, in other words. Most people have something else to learn before they can learn T'ai Chi.

Regards,
P.
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Postby Wushuer » Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:17 pm

Polaris,
You, as always, have kept your comments on the point of teaching. While I, as usual, have been egging the poor guy on a bit. I have been a bit, shall we say "pointed", though I certianly have not gotten irate, as he implies.
I can only remember one time in the last dozen years, at least, that I got irate, and that was due to someone physically attacking my wife at a rock concert.
I have to admit, I got a bit angry about that.
I shouldn't have, but I did. I applied a bit more "hard style" against the individual than I would have in just about any other circumstance, and did a bit more damage than I would have probably done if he'd have simply attacked me rather than my wife, but I still feel it was justified.
But I digress.
As always, your character has shown through to be a little less harsh than mine. I again bow to your calm.
I strive, every day, to reach this point but haven't, yet, transcended my hubris entirely, and so sometimes revert to a bit of my old, harsh, acerbic, combative, nature.
I guess that's why I'm still a student and you're the Disciple.
Thank you, yet again, for showing me how it's supposed to be done.
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Postby Wushuer » Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:45 pm

Mr. Nut,
Here we are again, another day, another posting.
I see we have seen fit to attempt to impugn my character, rather than explain the lack in yours.
So be it. I will no longer go there, it's too close to the long weekend and I'm in too good of a mood.
Glad to see you have found one good review of Master Yang Jun. Surprised that's all you've found.

What this whole discussion boils down to is that in order for you to get a highly respected TCC instructor to show you the "real deal" about TCC, you are going to have to show them some respect.
I believe, if my aging memory serves me correctly, that on another thread here we established that you were close enough to Seattle to actually train at Master Yang's school, or at least with one of his certified coaches.
Do yourself a favor, take section 1 of thier system, meet the teacher whether it be MYJ or one of his certified coaches, and get to know them. Show them some respect, take it for granted that they might even know of what they speak. Try what they show you, really give it some effort.
I'm not asking for much, just give that a shot for the length of the section 1 class, usually about ten to twelve weeks.
If when you're finished with that class you still have the same opinion of TCC, then come on back here, tell us all we're crazy and move on.
But if, at the end of that class, you have discovered what I believe you have....
Come on back here and tell us that too.

Could you at least give that a try?
I had a situation, well documented on this board, where once I got to my present location, nearly 400 miles from the nearest Wu's T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy, I was seeking qualified TCC artists close enough to me to train with.
In a nutshell (absolutely no pun intended):
My job fell out from under me, I had to move to seek gainfull employment in my field, I did so, I work long hours and do not have the free time (nor can I guarantee I will be in one place long enough, due to the type of work I now do) to train my own students.
I began to seek other TCC artists who were allready at the level of push hands and free style sparring I had reached.
I found them at my local YCF Center.
I began to train with them, push hands at first, but as our styles were different it wasn't paying off.
What to do?
Obviously the only answer, which I soon reached, was to begin training in their system of TCC and get myself up to snuff on what they were doing.
And that's what I've been doing.
I have learned a very great deal of genuine TCC, of a different ken that what I was studying before but similar enough that I was able to make some pretty impressive leaps in their system.
That's where I am today, a stranger in a strange land, learning something completely different, yet scarily similar, and having one of the best learning experiences of my life.
I'm having fun, I'm learning, I've met some wonderful people with new attitudes and ways of looking at things.
It's been pretty much all good.
And it keeps getting better.

Do as I've suggested, give the Yang family schools a chance, open your mind.
I can pretty well gaurantee you'll enjoy it.

That's about all I can tell you.
Am I some great guy because these Masters said so? No.
I'm a great guy because I'm a great guy. I didn't need their validation for that.
What I had to do was PROVE that to them, and all that I wanted to know followed.
I still have to apply myself to the training, it didn't just drop into my lap because of my stunning good looks and stellar personality (choke, gag). If I'd relied on that, I'd be nowhere.
I have not yet reached that elusive place that is "Mastery" of TCC, and I may never do so. Who knows?
But I've gotten everything out of TCC that I put into it, and then some.
The benefits come, but it's something you have to work for, want, and train for continuously.
No one's going to give it to you.
Wushuer
 
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Postby rmfield » Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:57 am

This thread is a good chance to practise pushing hands, or at least the non-resistance part of it. Pushing hands can be a metaphor for life: the people who let you in to a certain point and stiffen up, those who keep pushing you off to the left or the right, those who use more and more muscle and then get edgy when you won't muscle them back.

The question that comes to mind from the thread is, why push back?

R. M. Field
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Postby Polaris » Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:12 pm

Because, as the Buddha said to Mara when she told him it would be useless for him to try to teach in this world:

"Perhaps someone will listen."
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Postby Greyphantom » Mon Jul 05, 2004 4:22 pm

Please forgive me if I am out of line here... but I dont think that Nut was disrespecting anyone in particular but making a comment that there are a few unscrupulous teachers out there who dont know as much as they say and will fob the unknowing (include yours truely here) off with a story or excuse on why the wont teach certain forms... I am trying to find a good teacher and it is hard... I am finding that there is alot of hype out there and sifting through the cowdung to find the pearl is a long and harduous task all on its own... On a good note... been studying tai chi for 3 weeks or so and it only gets better...
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Postby wushunut » Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:37 pm

Thank you Greyphantom.

At least somebody gets it.
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Postby wushunut » Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:45 pm

Oh, and Polaris, you seem to think that I didn't take you seriously.

Well, you don't study with Yang Jun! You study with a completely different lineage!

I was looking for people with Yang Jun experience, why the heck do you think I'm on this board?

Thank you for talking about your experience with your teacher as well, however. But Canada is a bit of a distance away. Perhaps when the local teacher from your lineage opens his school that will provide more options.
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:51 pm

All teachers from mainland China are not just 'a few' teachers. And when someone says 'no wonder people think you are x' in my book that means the speaker agrees with those people. It would have been fine if he came here to simply ask for the name of a good teacher. Instead he announced that he thought taiji had become a dance with no martial arts content. What did he expect would be the response to that?
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Postby WU » Mon Jul 05, 2004 7:22 pm

Greetings!

This is my honest opinion: only 5% of all Tai Chi practitioners including those in China, may know how to defend themselves with the real Tai Chi skills (I mean challenging any other styles, hard and soft, not their own group of students or training partners). What about rest of 95%(+/-)? It's up to you to judge them. Thank you for your understanding!

[This message has been edited by WU (edited 07-05-2004).]

[This message has been edited by WU (edited 07-05-2004).]
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Postby wushunut » Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:14 am

Taiji for self defense?

Most people don't even consider taiji a self defense art.

[This message has been edited by wushunut (edited 07-05-2004).]
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Postby mls_72 » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:30 am

Wushunut,

Hey I am am wushu nut as well. i started with yang taiji but later learned all those wushu basics and stretch kicks so i could be more flexible and add another dimesnion to my yang taijiquan. in the older times i heard that even taiji masters were very flexible. In the guang ping style of yang taiji we stretch to touch chin to toe! I practiced traditional and modern longfist as a recommended by a taiji and wushu teacher because it would only imporove my taijiquan.

I want to reply to your first post because you mentioned Earl montigue. he claims to be from the yang 'old frame' school of taijiquan. I have seen some of his videos and wasnt to all impressed but he is a big guy and sure he would love a fight if one came to him. I am part of the Yang organization because you have to get close to the source and lineage if you really want get it.

there are those that can fight and teach it as part of Yang Taiji. I am a fighter type and spar in my school and throw out taiji methods. i have met many taiji teachers. I can say that the fighting, applications, and training of yang taiji can produce a good fighter. you have to train hard in developing endurance and stamina, be flexible, and follow the principles. they are sound for boxing. if you do taijiquan you have to increase the time to develop something you get in taiji- hua jing- a pliable strength. the fighting part is still in the yang family, but dont forget health, peace of mind are more important these days.
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Postby Polaris » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:23 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by wushunut:
<B>Oh, and Polaris, you seem to think that I didn't take you seriously.

Well, you don't study with Yang Jun! You study with a completely different lineage!

I was looking for people with Yang Jun experience, why the heck do you think I'm on this board?

Thank you for talking about your experience with your teacher as well, however. But Canada is a bit of a distance away. Perhaps when the local teacher from your lineage opens his school that will provide more options.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Cheers wushunut,

I appreciate your clarification. As Jerry says, your language did give the impression that you had an agenda beyond finding a teacher. this is an object lesson in the principle of character. A good teacher will tell you that how you approach a source of instruction strongly determines the tone of the subsequent relationship. The I Ching, for example, says that the beginning is the most important time for such things. What I am saying is that if you ever do find a good teacher, you will be better served to watch and listen respectfully (at least on the outside) rather than saying "Prove it, old man!" You should be sceptical on the inside if you don't want to get ripped off, but on the outside, you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If the guy doesn't have it in your estimation, vote with your feet, not your words.

I come from a fighting school. We use T'ai Chi exclusively as a martial art, all the other stuff, as good as it is, is a secondary benefit. My teachers and I have nothing but the highest regard for Yang Jun and the rest of his family. if you can get into one of his classes and really learn something from him, you will automatically have the respect of the rest of the traditional T'ai Chi world.

Regards,
P.
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Postby WU » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:53 pm

The truth is that Tai Chi is one of the best self-defense systems on earth for the old and the young or both male and female! The problem is that 95% of peoples don't see it or won't be able to master it!
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