YCF form differences

Postby JerryKarin » Sat May 22, 2004 11:29 pm

I think I would also disagree completely with the notion that chansigong or silk reeling is 'hard style' or 'external'.

I am trying very hard to believe that oldyangstyle is not peddling 'my style is authentic internal style but Chen style is actually corrupted by external stuff' but I am not totally succeeding in this effort.
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Sun May 23, 2004 4:40 am

I don't say that the Yang's didn't know the "Pao Chui", but only that it was not a part of their curriculum.
Maybe the "Lineage Chart" ( http://www.geocities.com/oldyangtaijiquan/lineage3.htm ) seems only a speculation, but I think that it make sense.
The percentages of hardness and softness are only approximations to show (understand) the developement.
Chansigong or "silk reeling" isn't a 'hard style' or 'external' but that (Chen's) Chansigong is 50% internal and 50% external.
Maybe tne name "oldyangstyle" is a bit misleading. I am not saying that one style (Yang, Chen or other) is better than another, I only try to (you can call this a speculation) clarify the Taijiquan developement.
O.K. My opinion is "Chen Chang Xin was teached in "Pao Chui" (traditional Chane Family martial art teached to him by Chen Bing Wang) and "Taijiquan" (a martial art from the outsider Jiang Fah). Chen Chang Xin has two main disciples: Chan Gen Yun (we can call it Old Chen Taijiquan) and Yang Lu Chan (we can call it Old Yang Taijiquan). Is said that Chen Chang Xin teached the "Pao Chui" by day in the Chen village practice place and the "Taijiquan" by night in secret. Yang Lu Chan was not teached in Pao Chui (because it was destinated only for the Chen Family members and to his teacher was prohibited to teach it because his outsider teacher) but only in Taiquan." You may not agree with it, but is the only possible explanation.
How I said I am not trying to discredit nobody, only to make things more clear. There is not a exact point of view of the Taijiquan hostory, I am nobody but the real masters talked about it!
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Postby Polaris » Sun May 23, 2004 5:05 am

I have some more food for thought. In the tradition that I train in, it is said that Yang Ch'eng-fu and Wu Chien-ch'uan (Wu Jianquan) started smoothing out their forms around 1914 or so because of the students they were teaching at the Beijing Physical Culture Institute. Previous to 1914, the students they would teach were hand-picked, usually younger military or family members, and in very good shape already, so the vigourous expressions of Fa Ching and the jumping, kicking and stamping was easy for them at first. After 1914 they were teaching students from the general public, older people and bureaucrats from the Kuomintang. Seeing that these people would lose more internal energy than they could generate jumping around, and even possibly hurting themselves, they decided to smooth out the forms so that they would be easier for the new beginners to learn. The story told by my teachers then goes on to say that there was a benefit to the smoothing that they started to notice, however, that anyone who trained that way developed smoother, deeper and more subtle internal energy much more quickly than before. So, while they still knew and showed the old Fa Ching forms to family and senior disciples, from that point they showed the public the smoother continuous forms they had developed because they were better for health and safer for average people to begin their martial training with.

This is just one tradition, so you may take it or leave it alone, but my Sifu's great-grandfather was Wu Chien-ch'uan, FWIW.

Regards,
-P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 05-23-2004).]
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Sun May 23, 2004 1:49 pm

After the "1920" all the principal TJQ masters:
- Yang Cheng Fu (1883-1936) [Yang family / style],
- Wu Jian Quan (1870-1942) [Wu family / style] and
- Hao Yue Ru (1877-1935) [Hao family / style]
midified the TJQ and made it slow and continuous. Some said that they did that to make possible to teach TJQ in public classes. Also is said that the Yang's did that because the "Wudang" Neijia Quan has also slow and even movements.
Regardless why they did that, this mean an improvement for the TJQ.

[This message has been edited by oldyangtaijiquan (edited 05-23-2004).]
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Postby Audi » Sun May 23, 2004 2:20 pm

Hi all:

Polaris, thanks for repeating your story. I again find it very interesting and have not heard this explanation elsewere.


Oldyangtaijiquan,

Thanks for your response to my earlier post. This helps me understand your viewpoint better.

Thanks also for the hyperlinks. They contained some quite interesting and unexpected material. The diversity of opinion about these matters is truly amazing.

By the way, what exactly does “folding the waist and chest” mean? I am not familiar with this concept.

<< The Shaolin (Pao Chui) elements in the Chen are the (external/hard) elements such as winding the wrists and shoulders folding the waist and chest, springing and leaping, and emphasizing Chan Ssu Jin.>>

Doesn’t Yang Style contain “springing and leaping” in the weapons forms? Does it not also contain wrist and shoulder rotations? Similarly, isn’t Fajin an integral part of all Taijiquan? I would agree that the surface expression of Chen Fa Ke’s art was apparently very different from Yang Chengfu’s form, but I am not sure why this would make one more “Shaolin” and the other more “Wudang.”

I think I would agree that it is problematic to see Yang Style as merely a variation of current Chen Style, but I wonder how anyone can have confidence in describing various aspects of the art that existed more than 150 years ago. Taijiquan is so subtle that I am skeptical that much of the fine details of past practice can be understood with much certainty, except to the extent that they have been carried down into current practice.

On this forum, I have read much about the relationship between Yang and Wu Styles that leaves much unclear to me, and yet this relationship is surely better documented than the one between Yang and Chen Styles. Similarly, I have read how some people make sharp distinctions between Yang Chengfu’s “indoor” and “outdoor” teaching. If the details of even this are disputed, how could I hope to understand the relationship between what Chen Changxin might have taught by day and what he might have taught by night over 150 years ago?

If someone desires to study “authentic Taijiquan,” I am afraid that the only sources left are a variety of traditions that have all evolved and that have all evolved somewhat differently. I think an individual can acquire “authentic” knowledge from any of those traditions. Knowing something of the history of those traditions is important up to a point; but beyond that point, I wonder if such inquiries can be more harmful that helpful in understanding the practicalities of the present.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Polaris » Sun May 23, 2004 3:17 pm

Greetings,

There is another tradition which mentions the high esteem in which Sun Lu-t'ang's abilities were held by Yang Shao-hou, Yang Ch'eng-fu and Wu Chien-ch'uan. I'm not sure if Sun had much of a direct influence on YCF's teaching, but I am told that Wu Chien-ch'uan incorporated footwork, linear "long-arm" attacks and many short range palm changes from Sun's Hsing-i Ch'uan (Xingyiquan) and Pa Kua Chang (Baguazhang) into Wu family training. Indeed, the similarities between Sun and Wu style are the most obvious of those between any of the major styles (at least to my eye).

Audi,
I can report the same thing about expressions of Fa Ching in the forms in Wu style. while the hand forms are rather smooth and continuous (unless done very quickly by advanced practitioners, and relatively rare even then) our weapons forms also have much jumping, stompimg and fast double kicking along with Fa Ching through the weapon or opposite hand as well as the shoulders and elbows.
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Postby Polaris » Sun May 23, 2004 4:14 pm

Here is a link to an old story of the time of Yang Lu-ch'an and Wu Ch'uan-yu:

http://users2.ev1.net/~stma/QuanYou.html

I'm not sure how factual it is, but it should at least be entertaining!

Cheers,
P.
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Sun May 23, 2004 8:25 pm

Audi, I agree with you.
The key point in TJQ is practice. The TJQ history has only a value for academic purposes. The discussion about the Taijiquan origins without the evident proofs is only an exchange of opinions.
As all, without evident proofs, I have my belief on the TJQ origins and developement (history). Maybe I am wrong, but also to say that there are no proofs. Many facts in the past were not documented or was hidden so today we can only suppose what is right.
Polaris - the above story is credible.
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Mon May 24, 2004 10:35 am

The main today TJQ styles evolved from (nearly) the same surce. The old styles of Chen, Yang and Wu were similar, but they evolved/changed in different ways and today are very different. The »main« (modifications) authors of the today most popular TJQ styles were made by Chen Fa Ke, Yang Cheng Fu and Wu Jian Quan.
The Wu Style Fast Frame is also known as the Old Wu Style (the style of Quan You) and it was the Yang (Lu Chan) Style »Small Frame«. The form had fast and slow movements. Also the Old/Small/Fast Frame of the Yang Style had fast and slow movements.
Some modifications were made for teaching purposes and were not a »watering down« of the martial art. We can practice TJQ in different ways [different frames]:
- different speed (slow, fast),
- different height (high, low) and
- different size (small, medium, large).
Also »fast« and »slow« are two ways/frames for practice. We practice TJQ with slow and even movements (Training Method / Practice Frame), but when we use (practice) TJQ for self-defence we will do it with full speed (Usage Method / Application Frame). The beginners must practice TJQ with »Practice Frame«, the advanced can also practice TJQ with »Usage Frame«.
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:53 pm

Look at my new page:
http://www.geocities.com/oldyangtaijiquan/zsftjq.htm
There are the line drawings of the Zhang Sangeng Taijiquan that can be find in the manuscript "Zhang Sanfeng Secrets of Taiji Elixir Training". I don't know exactly when this line drawing appeared firstly, some say that they are from Ming dynasty. My opinion is that they were made before the Yang Lu Chan learned in the Chen village. Because I have a limited traffic on the Geocities server I put only the low quality version pictures. The text is only in Slovenian.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:48 am

What is the oldest work you know of that contains these drawings?
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:08 am

For now I don't know exactly which is the oldest work that contains these drawings (when they appeared), but I am still searching.
The oldest work (that I know) with the drawings is the book Zhang Sanfeng Secrets of Taiji Elixir Training (Zhang San Feng Taiji Lian Dan Mi Jue) by Xiao Tianshi (from his collection Essence of the Daoist Canon [Daozang Jinghua]) from about 1956.
The works of Zhang San Feng were firstly collected by Wang Xiling (1664-1724) [Wang Hsi-ling, Wang Xeeling] and later in 1844 by a inner alchemy master Li Xiyue (1806-1856) [Li Hsi-yueh, Lee Xu Han] published in a book "Complete Works of Zhang Sanfeng" (Zhang Sanfeng Xiansheng Quanji). Who is the author of the supposed Zhang San Feng's work is not known, but they originate from the Ming dynasty. For now I don't know if the drawings were in them, but I hope that I will able to know this soon.
Also is my opinion that the TSF's manuscript was in the TJQ manual that was given to Yang Lu Chan by Chen Chang Xing.
However, this is (as all other versions of the Yang TJQ origins and developement) only a theory,
and is, until it will be proved, irrelevant. The most inportant thing is regular practice of TJQ, apart from who created it Zhan San Feng, Yang Lu Chan, Yang Chen Fu or other.
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Postby Graham » Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:49 am

1956 eh? Pretty damn old... Image
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Postby oldyangtaijiquan » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:10 pm

Is true that the year 1956 is not very ancient, but at that date the taoist researcher Xiao Tianshi (Hsiao Tien Shih), who researched the sacred taoist texts of taoist priests and taoist temples, published that line drawings with other sacred taoist texts. He was not a martial artist but only a researcher, and he had no reason to publish something false.
If the drawings of ZSF are aviable elsewhere I don't know, but how I said I am searching for them. Maybe was not published elsewhere because was keept in secret in some Wudang temple.
I don't know if Zhang Sanfeng really existed, maybe was a mystical person and some unknown things (as a creation of Taijiquan) were attributed to him. The fact is many things from Ming dynasty were attributed to him - there is not inportant "who" created something but "when". And Taijiquan was created in Ming dynasty (if not earlier).
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:28 pm

Greetings Old,

I’m inclined to be skeptical about these drawings, and suspect that they are imaginative reconstructions based on what resembles the Yang form. The _Zhang Sanfeng Quanji_ (complete works of Zhang Sanfeng) does not, to my knowledge, contain anything about martial arts. It does have material about inner alchemy (nei dan), sexual cultivation, and daoist inspired poems and essays. What’s more, the provenence of these collected writings is anything but clear. One scholar, Wong Shiu Hon, wrote a monograph, _Investigations into the Authenticity of the Chang San-Feng Ch’uan-Chi_(1982, Austalian National Univ. Press). Wong strongly doubts that most or any of the material was written by Zhang Sanfeng, and concludes, “In view of the many spurious works that can be found in the Chang San-feng ch’uan-chi, I feel justified in concluding that its authorship is doubtful.” (p. 158)

I can't comment on the 1956 work by Xiao Tianshi, as I've never seen it.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 06-06-2004).]
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