More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby Audi » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:36 pm

I'm learning the form of CMC system. I happened to have a western sword and played it with my friend.

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/QiiHuqdzEvM/
http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/X1j8QrHeLkc/


Hi Fumin, thanks for posting. Very interesting. Do you ever fence with Western style fencers? From what I understand, they try to go around the opponent's blade, but we try to stick. I am curious as to how the clash in approach tends to feel.
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby fumin » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:45 pm

Hi Audi,

I like to use anything at hand to practice with my friend, such as stick, bamboo broom, bottle, shirt and of course Taichi sword.
I have never fenced with Western style fencers, but my opponent in the video did . The western sword is much lighter than Taichi sword.
I think our waist and steps should follow the eyes and the sword ,at the instant time, reacting upon the opponent's speed, round-side pierce and sudden forward attack. We absorb something from each other.

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/oWS0XDfhpxw/

Have fun
Fumin
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby ShowHong » Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:15 am

by mls_72 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:29 pm
"Being a CMC person from the start....the only thing i have to say is... I asked Fu Zhong Wen about Cheng Man Ching and he laughed. His translator (his grandson) said the Fu had studied with Yang Chen fu since the age of 9 and followed YCF almost everywhere to help teach. He said CMC was only around a few short years."

Many in the Taichi circle have made light of CMC’s Taichi accomplishment basing their allegations very much solely on the perceived short stint of CMC with YCF. These folks have conveniently ignored a very basic fact of life that life is not fair. Some individual’s achievement in a few short years can be much more than what many others can get out of their entire life’s effort and toil. A couple of historical cases come in mind: First, Wu Yu-Shiang, the author of two of the five classics that form the core literary transmission of Yang Taichi lineage. His pedigrees consists of a very short few months of study with YLC and then, if I remember it correctly form what I read many years ago, a very short couple of years with Chen Ching-Ping in Zhaobao Village. His study with YLC was so brief in time and substance that that experience is barely mentioned in Wu/Hao Taichi history. Yet practitioners of his school are responsible for a large proportion of contemporary Taichi literature commonly known to Taichi students. Another case, Sun Lu-Tang studied with Hao Wei-Chen, lineage holder of the Taichi taught by Wu Yu-Shiang, for only a short several months. Yet no one ever questioned if the Taichi he taught and the book he wrote were genuine or legitimate.

Fu Zhongwen stated in an interview published in Inside Kung-fu, April 1993:
"...Cheng Man- ch'ing was legitimate, and now it is important for his students and other North American practitioners to research where 'they first drank the water.'..."

Just imagine that professors at Zurich Polytechnic, Albert Einstein’s alma mater, would advice Einstein’s students to research where ‘they first drank the water’. It is proper that the school would feel proud of its luminous graduates and honored that it took part in their formative years. But it would be preposterous for the school to see itself as if it were indispensible to or the sole source of its graduates’ accomplishment. Sun Lu-Tang got his Taichi from Hao Wei-Chen. He turned around and taught “Taichi Chuan” to others and wrote a book “Taichi Chuan Shue” on it. He did not teach Wu/Hao Taichi nor did he write about Wu/Hao Taichi and I doubt that he ever recommended his students to further their study with the Hao’s after they were done with him. Apparently the Hao’s were not bothered that Sun Lu-Tang and his students did not search where they first drank the water.

If seeking out the ultimate source of the water that we now are drinking is really important or of great interest, then we must own up to the fact that neither any of our teachers nor any of the masters that we know of invented or discovered Taichi Chuan. So we must go beyond YLC. (Sorry, Earl, you didn’t set your sight far enough.) A Taichi master of the Yang lineage did just that. Wang Tzuang-Hong (王壯弘 http://www.taijiacademy.com/trad/master_wong.htm), a Taichi adept graduated in a short two years under Dzu Guei-Ting (褚桂亭) who was an in-door student of YCF, in his later years called the Taichi that he taught Wang’s Taichi to signify that what he taught was based on the principles delineated in the Taichi treaties authored by Wang Tzong-Yue. I have no doubt that he retained many of the methods of the Yang lineage but he did not mistake methods for the principle and he understood that it is the principle that defines the art.

It is also worthy of note that Wu Yu-Shiang and his brothers, Li I-Yu, Sun Lu-Tang, CMC, and Wang Tzuang-Hong are all people of letters. Small wonder that Li Ya-Shuan, though a professional martial artist (i.e., not much schooled or well read), would say that Taichi is meant for brainy people.

In the same article Fu Zhongwen also stated:
"The traditional methods of the Yang family style must be preserved..."
In one of Yang family Taichi Chuan instruction CVD Yang Zhenduo also said something similar that his goal and duty is to preserve his father’s form/frame.

To me this sounds like the death nail to the Taichi Chuan his forefathers had mastered. As a comparison, one of CMC’s students, Wu Guo-Tzong, who happened to have studied for only a short five years (CMC’s last five years), got it right – “methods may change but not the principle”. He surely understands the nature of the art very well.

Sincerely,
Show-Hong
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby Audi » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:35 am

I think it is fair and appropriate to ask challenging questions, but I think I have little to offer about Fu Zhongwen's views of Cheng Man-ch'ing. I would like to say, however, that I have enjoyed the presence of at least one devoted student of Cheng's teaching at Association seminars and at the Nashville symposium where five styles were present. In both cases, I believe the individual was simply seeking further insight into his own practice, rather than seeking to change styles.

In the spirit of drinking water upstream, downstream, and in parallel streams, I would like to pose a question about White Crane Spreads Wings in Cheng's form. In his form, Cheng maintains the back foot at a 90 degree angle, which is something I do not remember seeing in any other style or anywhere else in his form. I recall reading somewhere that this posture helped to open the right hip, but do not recall seeing any other explanation. Does anyone know what the purpose of this stance is?
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby jacob28 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:19 am

hello audi the purpose of the back foot at a 90 degree angle is to help keep the kuai open .not sure i spelled that right but keeping the foot like that opens every thing so you can sink a relax more into the struture ..as far as CMC go's not a big fan he might may have helped to bring tia chi to the westerners but his tai chi hes doing does not follow the princibles or have realy any structure he is colasped every just looks like a wet rag being moved around he did not spend enough time with his teacher .and as fu zhongwen go's he took care of yang chengfu affairs and took on all challengers for yang chengfu and wasnt beaten CMC played with fu zhongwen and fu threw him around like a rage doll .you have to give credit were credit is dew
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby twc » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:42 am

I have not met with any of the forefathers before, so I cannot comment if they were really formidable. What I can take reference from is the fact that the social backdrop at their times was one of turbulance. To them, being good at their martial arts, regardless external or internal, was a means to survive. For them to survive to ripe old age, that must really mean something.

I am sure if anyone in this forum was able to time-travel to the times of these Taiji forefathers, we could not even "hold the potty" for these grandmasters. Our asses would be kicked right away.

So regardless how one grandmaster commented about another grandmaster, I don't really care. The fact that I am learning the style of one grandmaster does not necessarily mean that I am as good as that grandmaster. So what if Grandmaster A kicked the ass of Grandmaster B? That's his accomplishment, and does not mean that his student (or his great-grand-student) can do the same.

My teacher always reminds us: "What you are practising now is still mine. Only when you have mastered it would it become yours. Focus on the most important things in your lives. If Taiji is important to you, then start practising and stop chatting".
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby Audi » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:24 pm

Hi Jacob and twc,

Jacob, thanks for your response.

the purpose of the back foot at a 90 degree angle is to help keep the kuai open .not sure i spelled that right but keeping the foot like that opens every thing so you can sink a relax more into the struture

From what I recall, this explanation does seem right. I think why it did not stick with me is that I couldn't figure out why all the empty stances in his form would not have the same same shape. In the form that I practices, only this posture had the empty stance with the 90-degree angle. Considering it now, I wonder if the thinking wasn't simply that readjusting the foot after the shoulder strike was too awkward and leaving it as is was felt to be compensated for the feeling of opening.

One thing this reminds me of is that different teachers, styles or substyles often reach different conclusions on the same facts. Our form greatly stresses sinking the Qi, but would prescribe a 45-degree angle between the feet to help enable this. We would tend to feel that keeping the kua at 90 degrees would make it difficult to feel the weight in the bubbling well, round the crotch, relax the "waist," and sink the Qi to the Dantian.

twc, I think I share an orientation similar to yours and particular liked this quote:

My teacher always reminds us: "What you are practising now is still mine. Only when you have mastered it would it become yours...."


The part of Tai Chi that interests me the most is in how theory and practice relate to each other and not really in theory or practice by themselves. I have just returned from an Association seminar where Master Yang Jun talked at length about 文(wén) and 武 (wǔ). Before his explanation, I had understood these words only in terms of two aspects of traditional Chinese government and the aspirations of all educated scholars within it: civil and martial. After his explanation, I understand these terms much more broadly and also now understand why certain types of Tai Chi teaching have appealed to me more strongly than others. I want to hear more than excerpts of theory and see more than occasional applications. I like hearing and seeing a clear and detailed method that leads from one to the other.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby ShowHong » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:25 am

Hi Jacob,

by jacob28 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:19 am
>> “and as fu zhongwen go's he took care of yang chengfu affairs and took on all challengers for yang chengfu and wasnt beaten CMC played with fu zhongwen and fu threw him around like a rage doll .you have to give credit were credit is dew” <<
Credit!? What credit? When Fu accompanied YCF in Shanghai he had studied Taichi chuan for more than 10 years, most likely full time, and could be considered as having graduated from his study and become an independent practitioner. So his being able to throw around Cheng, an amateur Taichi newbie, is not something to write home about. If Fu did take that as a feather in his cap I can only say “what a shame.”

You may think Cheng’s Taichi form is less than unimpressive but other’s having direct experience with him view the same characteristics quite differently. Here is a trailer of sort from a documentary film on Cheng that is being made which gives a sample of Cheng the person and maybe some flavor of his art.
The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tai ... urney-west

YCF had his detractors in his days as well. But some simple facts prove his detractors sour pusses. YCF’s Taichi accomplishment/ability can be attested by the following. First, YCF was well respected by bona fide martial artists, for example, Wu JianChuan, whose family not only learned Taichi Chuan from YLC but was also professional martial artists. Second, YCF had students who were established martial artists before studying with him. These students were unlikely to follow a teacher who did not have real martial abilities. Third, YCF had students who were high caliber intellectuals. These intellectuals might not have much martial ability or experience to speak of but they had the brain power to spot a phony if there was one. These together indicate that YCF is a genuine article.

Cheng Man-Ching’s Taichi accomplishment/ability can be similarly ascertained. In spite of his short stint with YCF, his skill was good enough to be commented favorably by Li Ya-Shuan who was one of YCF’s senior students with unquestionable Taichi skills. Cheng had students who were well established Chinese martial artists and students who were high caliber intellectuals. Cheng’s American students in New York were all well educated and many also were skilled in martial arts. Cheng might not have a chance to take challenges for YCF but it was well documented the he took on challenges while in mainland China and never lost one in Taiwan – and, yes, some bona fide martial artists lost to him and became his students. So, if you want to criticize Cheng it would be wise to at least wait until you have skills as good as, if not better, than Cheng’s students - many of whom later became Taichi masters in their own right.

>> but his tai chi hes doing does not follow the princibles or have realy any structure he is colasped every just looks like a wet rag being moved around <<
I don’t know what you know about Taichi principle but I do know that CMC’s understanding of Taichi principle was second to none in his generation and beyond, including his teacher YCF. Just look at Fu ZhongWen’s book, all there is in it concerning principles is but regurgitation of other people’s stuff. So is YZD’s book. You think you can do better than your masters? As far as the wet rag thing goes, that is your observation all right but what make you think looking like a wet rag is bad? Yip Man, the Wing Chun master of certain fame who counted Bruce Lee among his students, was warned by his first teacher that he must be careful when he does touch hands with strangers if the stranger’s hands are like spent wet rags. Later on Yip did encounter a guy like that and he became his student paving his way to masterhood. Granted not all wet rags are good, it is the person who owns it that counts. I think you missed the count.

Sincerely,
Show-Hong
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:12 pm

An open reply to anyone who thinks CMC TCC isn't "real" enough or that he wasn't a "Master" of this art...

I've had my rear end served to me on a plate during Pushing Hands and Sparring, more than once, by several people who studied under the CMC lineage, so I would never even dream of denigrating his level of skill in TCC.
"Steel wrapped in cotton" is something I've heard a lot of times and that's all well and good to say but rare indeed to actually feel. Pushing against CMC players I have, however, often felt "steel wrapped in a dish rag" and I can personally attest to its effectiveness.
Go ahead and try to find, then apply jin against the center of a "dish rag" sometime. I dare anyone here to give it a go.
Do I do my forms as "dish rag limp" as CMC stylists do? No.
Why? I was never taught that way.
However, I have learned to allow different parts of my body to go that limp from them when it becomes necessary.
I have a CMC stylist to thank for teaching me my first real and effective "counter" to Chin Na and all he did was teach me to relax my wrists so that even when they are being twisted all that happens is I stand there looking at you while you try to torque on me.
I have since tried to take that same principle and apply it to every joint in my body, when I can do it (not every time, for sure) my opponents can try pretty much anything against me and all I do is smile.

There is much to be learned from Prof. Cheng by all practitioners of TCC.
Denigrating a recognized Master of the art isn't going to earn you any brownie points and, in my personal and not so humble opinion, is downright foolish.
I would recommend that anyone who considers Prof. Cheng to not be good enough of a Master for their tastes to go find any of his students, or their students, and find out for yourself if what he taught is "effective" or "real" rather than rant uselessly and with no basis in reality while sitting comfortably in front of your keyboard.

Bob
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby mls_72 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:18 pm

I can attest to everyone there are some real bad A$$ CMC people out there, but I gonna say this:

These days, training for real life functionality and tactical (street wise self defense) over rides arguing about past masters and what they did and did not accomplish, who said what, and other rumors. I think the real person of interest for all Taiji players should be the study of Yang Luchan (YLC). In actuality, what he did is something we all should strive for:

1. Learn for a really long time the essence of Taijiquan. YLC learned a great deal of Chen Taijiquan for somewhere up to 18 years. No short cuts, he did the gong (hard work).

2. Evolve and become better than your teacher: YLC surpassed his teacher and other seniors of chen village. He found the strengths and flaws, he modified the Taiji for a few reasons, but basically he evolved as a person and fighter and carried the torch to humanity, otherwise it would still be locked away in some remote village in China.

3. Be open minded and share your knowledge: YLC did not have to go to Beijing and teach what he had learned. However he did teach what he knew and did not make short cuts or shorten his forms and teach only part of his system.
maybe he kept things private, but future generations also taught many outsiders.

4. Be the better Man. YLC laid the example of this by virtue his wu de.

5. Test your skills with people outside your kwoon. If you only push hands with your best students, your only going to be as good as your best student. Push hands at open push hands groups, try push hands competitions, try san shou fighting, try lei Tai fighting. if you have done so, then you have my respect. Real fighting comes down to this end the converstation and finish the fight, nothing pretty and rules on the street if some is really trying to kill you.

There is nothing more annoying that going to a martial art schools like that claims "we are the place to be" when they do not even have the complete system being taught by their parent system. some of the most close-minded people I know are Cheng Man ching students: they do not believe in training in the original long form, they do not do saber, they have no knowledge or willingness to compare the Yang family push hands system with their own, nor they do not do spear, and other parts of the art that CMC's system came from. I have the right to say this cause my first few teachers were American CMC stylists until I met a Chinese master who taught the Yang Long form and complete system. It opened my eyes to all the "gongs" that the CMC people were not doing.

CMC people need to search out and respect, and examine the original Yang trainings. Yang stylists very much respect Chen style Taijiquan. Come to the Symposium, sponsored by Yang Family and inviting all the styles. I'm not saying drop what you are doing and learn Yang or Chen, but examine the truths, differences, and similarities.

To get good you need to be a journey man, especially with neijia; sadly, very few Shifu possess the whole package. Few realize all the best neijia stylist were high level weijia stylist.
You are force, to after a while, if you are searching, for a truth...

Nobody wants to stretch, stance , kick , basics, no hard work is no good kung fu in neijia. Old saying: a bee seeks nectar from many flowers not one. seek truth in kung fu. I see Yang Luchan as someone who really understood this.

sincerely,

Matt
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby Bob Ashmore » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:50 pm

Matt,
Will you be attending the Symposium?
I will, in fact...
I have to get to their webpage and sign up! Today!
I'm glad you reminded me.
If you sign up before Dec. 15 you get a pretty hefty discount.

On my way there!!!!

Bob
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Re: More on Cheng Man-ch'ing and Yang Style T'ai Chi

Postby mls_72 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:46 am

Bob Ashmore wrote:Matt,
Will you be attending the Symposium?
I will, in fact...
I have to get to their webpage and sign up! Today!
I'm glad you reminded me.
If you sign up before Dec. 15 you get a pretty hefty discount.

On my way there!!!!

Bob


I want to go to network and meet other folks from the Yang Family Association. However, I have two big things going on: One is acupuncture college starting in April and my wife is hoping to get pregnant. If those do not happen, I will most likely be there. I def want to see the Muhammad Ali museum.

Matt
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