Older Yang variations and lineages

Postby Wushuer » Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:11 pm

Michael,
I would prefer it if someone with more Yang style experience did that.
I'm no Yang style expert, I barely know the form as it exists and is taught today. While I found Master Yang Jun's lectures fascinating and informative, I certainly would not wish to try to explain what looked like incredibly minor differences in the forms to me. It was almost always something along the lines of "And Yang Cheng Fu did it like this", at which point he would demonstrate something that looked remarkably like what we were doing to me, "but my grandfather changed it to this" and again would do something that looked pretty much exactly the same to me.
He would then do some push hands with poor Carl Meeks and show the differing intentions of each move. Those very subtle changes have some profound effects on the human body.
Could I do them both ways? Nope. I don't know that I'm doing them correctly for todays forms, so I sure can't speak about the changes from an older on to this one.
The only real one I can think of was in the "Strike Tiger" series.
IF I'm remembering correctly there was a pretty major change in footwork in that move. AND to show bad my memory is, I don't recall if it was YCF of YZD who made the change.
A glaring reason why I would rather someone who knows of what they speak talk of changes to the Yang forms.
All I clearly do recall is that now you end up in Bow Stance, whereas previously you didn't. I can remember Master Yang Jun saying something about the footwork is now clear, where as before it was not so clear.
That's all I got.
I'm definitely not your man for Yang style form changes.
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Postby mls_72 » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:23 pm

food for thought-

have you ever noticed that in the Chen (xin jia , lao jia), Wu/Hao (long form and fast form), and Wu (long form and fast form)styles the grandmasters currently teach more than one empty hand form.

I recently got an email that master chen xiao wang was going to be teaching xinjia- new frame. He was here a few years ago teaching laojia yi lu- old frame first routine, and laojia er lu (2nd routine cannon fist). so there is xinjia erlu and yi lu as well. thats 4 empty hand forms the grandmasters of chen are teaching.

yang family is known to have 'old frame' , 'small frame', 'fast frame','middle frame', 'big frame'. it would be nice if they researched and standarized these other 'frames' besides 'big frame' and increased the cirriculum. that could clear away all the confusion out there with the many different lineages of yang style.
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Postby Polaris » Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:21 am

I am hesitant to second-guess the Yang Ch'eng-fu lineage teachers on the form that they teach. As well, I would not say that there is anything missing from their training. Different energies of T'ai Chi are expressed in every motion of a good form; regardless of style good T'ai Chi is good T'ai Chi. It is up to the student to learn them well enough to be able to express them when they need to.

In the Wu family schools, it wasn't until very recently that there was any public instruction in the larger circle "fast" form. Formerly, a student had to study the standard teaching form for many years before they would attempt the fast form. Even then there was no direct instruction, the student had to "reconstruct" the fast form from what they saw when it would occasionally be demonstrated by a family member or advanced student. This was a long, painstaking process, one based on the student's understanding of how the basic principles of the fast and slow forms were applied in the martial art. If the student had no kung fu, then their fast form would suck, and they would get no correction (or even acknowledgment) from the family. If they were actually getting somewhere with it, then they would get a correction here and there, at the instructor's discretion. Maybe one correction a year! The student had to prove their worthiness and skill beyond a doubt, otherwise the family would be encouraging "fast garbage." This has changed recently due to the electronic age, Sifu Eddie Wu has released an archival video of his fast form, so any of our students who wants to can try it. It has led to some rather funny instances of people injecting what they think are bits of the "fast" form into their regular training well before thay should. "Fast garbage" indeed. When my students start that business, I stop them and ask them what they are doing. They are usually embarrassed enough to go back to the standard form. If not, then I'll ask them to demonstrate what they are doing martially. I've yet to see a student with less than 10 years training who can. Still, from a purely selfish point of view, for us advanced students (as well as the merely curious) the video is fascinating.

So, the Yang family teaching one hand form style and insisting that it be done well makes all the sense in the world, an attitude that hearkens back to a time when students had to wait until they were formally graduated by their instructors, instructors who were much less likely to hand over their entire store to anyone who simply asked for it.

Regards,
P.
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Postby Polaris » Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:05 pm

Well, each instructor has their own variations. The fast form is very idiosyncratic; it is based upon body type, understanding of the basics and personal preference (does a person want to express "three method" na, or p'eng, lu, chi and an in Grasp Bird's Tail, for example). Untilthe tape was released there wasn't a standard version of it as such. The late Wu Yan-hsia's fast form had relatively large circles and especially intricate footwork, Sifu's fast form is diffrerent, it isn't a "large circle" form as such (especially by YCF lineage standards), it is more of a medium frame but still much larger than the standard form and his footwork is much closer to that of the standard form (except in the kicks).

It does surprise me that you were taught any part of the round fast form if you aren't a disciple of the family. As far as I know, there was a workshop set up in 1995 at our Toronto convention in which Sifu gave pointers on the fast form (he didn't have the time to teach the whole thing) to non-disciple students. Other than that, only disciples have had any classroom instruction (again, as far as I know) from our most senior disciples. Sifu did demonstrate his fast form at the Toronto Pan Am Wushu tournament in 1998, and nowadays of course he gives seminar level instruction to people in the fast form all the time in order to promote the new 54 posture competition version of it.

How soon before the videos were published did you get a copy? Only those of us who actually worked on the videos had access to them on a few sample VCDs made from the master tapes before they were published. Once the VHS tapes were made, I remember they went straight to the website, with a delay of only a few days (Jocelyn already had the copy typed up).

Regards,
P.
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Postby mls_72 » Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:48 am

There was a Tai Chi magazine a while back that had an article on A Yang Taiji Fast frame that Wu Tunan picked up from Yang Shou Hao I believe. there were some interesting pictures in that article because the performer was in very physically demanding stances and jumps.

from tai chi magazine:

Yang Style’s Applications Frame, Li Lian interivewed by Zhou Lishang

I have seen the Wu fast frame performed first in Shangahi by Dr. Li Li a student of Ma yeuh Liang. It is the shanghai version. It is practiced in Va., Johnny Kwon Ming Lee from Tx. has performed the same wu fast frame form but with his own flavor as well as Wen Mei Yu in Ca.

I'm not sure if it is 'small' or 'large' frame, but those postures didnt look like anything I saw in the tai chi magazine.

[This message has been edited by mls_72 (edited 08-10-2004).]
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Postby Jamie » Tue Aug 17, 2004 11:45 am

Hi All,

My Great Grandteacher, Li Ya Xuan, was a disciple of Yang Chen Fu - he also studied under Yang Jian Hou who was getting old at the time. As far a changes - there haven't been any in our lineage. You can see photos of Li Ya Xuan's postures - 3 pages of them - at this link

http://home.pchome.com.tw/team/chhguo/yaxuan/yaxuan-1.htm

We are very careful to keep our postures the same as his and those of Yang Cheng Fu - they are an excellent standard.

Take care,

Jamie
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:41 pm

Jamie,
Wow, cool link.
Who are these folks? Primarily the guy who they have the individual still photos of? He's got a very good form.
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Postby mls_72 » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:17 pm

Yang variations study:
what i purchases to survey this past few months were-

1. guang ping 1st form (no 2nd cannon fist is available right now) basically it has apparent chen movements and a few interesting variations of part horse mane, fair maiden play shuttles, 7 stars ride tiger, brush knee, and jump kick and more.

2. Imperial Yang Taijiquan- both Li Zheng's and Xiao Tieseng 'old frame' were the same form, li zheng is a bit older and more refined. it contains alot of rear leg weighted stances and some chen-like and wu-like postures. the imperial 'small frame' seemed a shorter and faster version of the old frame with same type of postures while the chang chuan or 'longfist' form was faster more agile, more fajing and had even bagua walking in it!!

3. Middle frame taijiquan of Yang jianhao- by wang Dianzhen. 13 animal shapes- each resembled linear sections of the yang long form or repeated single postures like grasp birl tail, part horse mane, brush knee, kick section, fair maiden. the postures look more comfortable and open compared to the other earlier forms, but its not da jia (large frame).

4. the 64 yang spear form by jiang jie-ye (aka video man of every style-no shame in the game) probably got this form in china and brought in back to the states probably from someone more legit than himself (wang chouyu). i wanted to see what it compared to with the 24 spear i learned from my yang teacher xianhao. it didnt resemble it at all. it seemed more like shaolin/lohand spear. it has figure 8's, jumps, fast pace, quick turns. no taiji flavor, but interesting in its own right. some of the spear movements of this form were the same as those by wang dianzhen who studied with the yang jian hao lineage.

5. earl montagui's yang lu chan old form. (had to see why everyone either hates or loves this guy) this was nothing like the other old frame forms and recent research suggests this might be a form related to Chen pan ling who studied with yang shou hao and yang chen fu, the wu's, and chen's at one point. and that what the form looked like a different expression of those styles. there is plently of fajing, and different variatins of part horse mane, brush knee, fair maiden play shuttles, strike tiger. he has a second video on small and large san shou i felt covers some good self defense.

total assesment- might be good to have in your yang library if you like to see other variations.

final assesment- better to practice with a great master one thing really well, stick to the family lineage than the hybrid styles.

stay true to the form...

matt
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Postby Jamie » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:28 am

Hi Wushuer,


This is Li Ya Xuan you are likely talking about. He studied under Yang Jian Hou and Yang Chen Fu. His postures are awesome. First time I saw them I was amazed at the length of his stances for a guy that age ( I think mid 70s at the time of those photos).


Take care,

Jamie
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Postby bamboo leaf » Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:19 pm

(The only thing there is to worry about is how well you study the style you have chosen and learn and can demonstrate the principals.)

very well said Image

recently i met the master of a teacher that i train with here when I was in china. the master is 85.

i asked him about taiji styles. he said, wu,yang, and chen are named after families and famous people. at some point your taiji becomes yours, taiji is taiji.

i like his view point.

On the net these days there are many claming to teach the real or secrete transmissions of taiji. If you look and think about it most are trying to sell something.

Taiji does not need to be sold, maybe preserved is a better word to use. Reading the many views on this site, and the site its self it looks like there are many fine people doing this.
Preserving it for true seekers and future generations.



[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 09-21-2004).]
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Postby Brandon » Sun Sep 26, 2004 1:31 am

Just curious if anyone has seen the most current Taiji Magazine, with the last interview before his passing Ip Tai Tak? He was the first Deciple of Yang Cheng Fu's Eldest son. It kind of suprised me when he was talking about learning the Snake Style Yang Family Taijiquan. I am not trying to take it out of context and understand he was talking about Frame as well (he mentioned Crane and Tiger as well) But how he mentioned an attack based on the Snake. I found this interesting. This was the first I heard of this.
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Postby Kenfucious » Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:29 am

I really don't understand how anyone could discredit Erle Montigue. Unless of course you have never seen him do his "Old" Yang form. I'm not talking about the instructional video. I'm talking about the video where he does the form five differant ways.I don't care if aliens beemed it down to him from Mars. That form is incredible. Erle also has lineage through Chu King Hung who was a disciple of Yang Sou-Chung. I have had the chance to correspond with Erle a few times and I have to say that he is one of the most down to earth people that I've encountered since getting into the Tai chi community. I have also met a few others with "Great lineages", and I have to say, that I have not been real impressed with the egos that I have encountered. Lineage or no lineage, everyone of us are human as were the people who originated these arts. I am never judgmental of others forms and believe that there is always something to be learned. I am first and foremost a student of life.There are going to be variations in every form because the form is an expression of ourselves and no matter how hard we try to fit ourselves into that form, we will always see the internal take over. I believe that the older a pratitioner, the more the form has been molded. It is like a rough piece of clay. We mold it into art. Also, I think it is important to realize that the founders of these arts;The monks and taoist hermits were living on the tops of mountains. These arts were not about boasting or about who was better, these arts were about self-discovery and getting back to the Wuji. Ending distinction and returning to oneness.Thank you for your time.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:56 am

I don't think anyone is trying to discredit Erle Montaigue here. One only wishes Erle himself would take the same approach on his own site.

For example, here:

http://www.taijiworld.com/Articles/demise.html

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 01-26-2005).]
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Postby Bamenwubu » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:06 pm

Well, that settles that.
Glad I've never had anything to do with someone with a mindset like that.
I do have to thank him for his rant, though, as it saved me wasting any of my precious time in the future on anything he might have to say about TCC. I have not had an opportunity to read anything by EM, and I've never seen his form, but now I don't have to. He has settled the question of his bona fides quite clearly, he has none.
Thanks Jerry, for pointing us to where we could find that out quickly and from his own words.



[This message has been edited by Bamenwubu (edited 01-27-2005).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:33 pm

He is probably a great martial artist and a great guy. I think his published take on Yang Chengfu and Fu Zhongwen needs re-thinking.
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