Wang Xiangzhai- arrogant yiquan guy

Wang Xiangzhai- arrogant yiquan guy

Postby mls_72 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:44 am

I actually like the principles of yiquan but i dont think its all that-

Now that I read what Wang Xiangzhai speaks of taijiquan i dislike him even more. He has a fe good ponts but he generalizes taijiquan a bit to far thus making his followers look down on the art. He may have been a good fighter and has the right to speak, but i dont think he would really be able to last todays cage fighter.... but thats only speculation so what do i know??

"As masters of the original ‘Taijiquan’, I should recommend the Yang brothers Shaohou and Chengfu. They are also old friends of mine, thus I know that this boxing really has some knowledge of mechanics, but out of one hundred persons not even one gains its essence, and even if one can gain it, it is still one-sided, because the basic skills of intuitive perception already died out a long time ago, thus their lower bodies have no real strength to speak of. Originally this boxing consisted of three fists, also called the "old three cuts", Mr. Wang Zongyue changed it into "thirteen postures", and it was later changed into as much as one hundred and forty or fifty postures, this is the major reason for the distortion.

For health preservation, it restrains the spirit and mettle, and brings discomfort to the practitioner. For combat, it harms the practitioner’s limbs and trunk, and causes the useful body to become a mechanical and stiff thing, it also disturbs the student’s nerves, and is nothing more than wasting one’s time. As for its method of training, a punch with a fist here, a slap with the palm there, a kick to the left, and another one to the right, that is pitiful and laughable.

As for dealing with an enemy in a fight, against a master-hand, please do not even consider it, if the adversary is not stiff and sluggish, even the famous masters of this boxing have no chance to apply their skills. These abuses are so big that ‘Taijiquan’ might soon become just a mere form comparable to a chess manual. For the last twenty years, most people who have studied this boxing have not been able to differentiate right and wrong, even if someone has been able to differentiate them, he has not been capable of putting it into practice. As for common students, most of them use their ears instead of their eyes.

So ruined is this boxing that it has become useless, this is really deplorable. I wish that the powerful members of this school would promptly and strictly clean it up, and attempt to develop it in the future. When the day of success comes, they will be held as the bosom friends of all the boxing fans. I dare to say that I understand ‘Taijiquan’ deeply, those who do not agree, can notify me or lay the blame on me, only the wise ones might understand. At the same time, I suppose those who have really gained something in their study of ‘Taijiquan’, when they read this, they will nod in agreement and cannot help laughing."
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Postby cheefatt taichi » Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:43 am

Hi mls_72,

I agree with you that many yiquan people has the impression of superiority over taiji. Simply puts, yiquan's system is more straight forward and systematic as compared to taiji. Personally, I see people progress faster with yiquan than taiji. For this reason too many taiji people jump boat to yiquan. Yiquan has very heavy Hsing Yi Chuan favour while adopting taiji non-opposing theory. It is very much a fighting art and still is. Yiquan does not advocate yielding and softness as much as taiji, many times Yiquan guy will rely on his strong pengjin to neutralize, divert or open-up an attack. When PH with taiji people who has dull tingjin, yiquan does has its advantages.

However, taiji is in no way inferior. Just that many people lack preseverance, experience and mastery over its usage. Theoritically speaking, taiji has its advantage over yiquan in fighting strategy. By been extremely soft, taiji players can sneak-in and out of yiquan defence easier than the other way round. The problems are not with the art itself but in the structure of training methods between these two system, one more organized while another more complicated but the end result is the same. Frankly, I have PH with many yiquan people who spoke lowly of taiji and shown them otherwise. When you are soft with good tingjin and is able to fajin at will, yiquan is not that difficult to handle.

I remember reading Wang Xiangzhai remarks on taiji as you hv quoted but couldn't remember he said so much bad things about it. The fact that he didn't challenged Yang brothers to prove his points shows that he too respect taiji as an effective fighting art. Another contemporary he didn't fight is Wang Peishei who is a famed Yang stylist.

My sifu who is the inner student of Tung Huling also learned yiquan from a famous Chinese master a few years back. When comparing the two, he confessed that Tung Huling (Yang taiji) demonstrated a more powerful jin than the yiquan master. At high level (comparing the two's skills of their respective arts) jin produced by taiji is much `rou' softer, acute and powerful. While yiquan jin is more `kang'and harsh.

Can Wang Xiangzhai stand-up against today cage fighter? Well, Wang is only 5'7" and weight 70-80kg the most. I dont know if he is put in with a 6 footer guy weight over 100kg full of muscles, but with someone with same build most likely he will prevail. Don't forget his fame comes from his many victories over many martial art experts including challenges as far as Japan, South East Asia and an European boxer. They fought with no rules and many conceded they are outclassed totally, not with rough and brute strength (as in cage fighting) but with superior skills.
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Postby mls_72 » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:07 am

I pushed hands with several yiquan people and they just gave me stiff peng energy so i gave them MORE back. They lost their breath. I controlled mine.

I am 33. If a 33 year old Wang Xiangzhai walked up to me to fight, knowing what I know now. i wouldnt be scared.

[This message has been edited by mls_72 (edited 11-14-2005).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:05 am

One thing to consider – Sun Lutang already was a famous skilled master of Xingyi and Bagua when he started to study taiji quan! Why he did so? Just because of interest? Just because of meeting Hao Weizhen? I don't think so, knowing how he and his daughter prized taiji quan.
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Postby cheefatt taichi » Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:34 pm

I have no doubt Wang XiangZhai is a very talented fighter. Even before he invented Yiquan, he has been defeating many famed fighters in Northern China using his Hsing-I kungfu. I always wonder what then prompted him to adopt taiji softness into his Hsing-I and become Yiquan as what is known today if not for the formers effectiveness. To Wang's credit, I believe he was indeed a very good fighter because if not, his disciples would not dared proclaimed yiquan as Da Cheng Chuan (big success boxing). Even the defeated European boxer conceded that Wang's skills was beyond his understanding.

Maybe Wang's admonishment was aimed at people who practised taiji casually at his time. If view at this perspective his remarks may be appropriate because martial art is a serious endeavour then and is not meant to be a recreation activity. If his remarks were derogative, I am sure banner carriers of taiji like Yang and Chen masters will not keep quiet. The fact that many of them still maintained as Wang's good friends supported this view.

In contrary to mls_72, I used extreme softness to counter yiquan's strong pengjin. I let them peng into emptiness and when I sense there is stiffness within their pengjin, I fajin immediately sending them feet away. I can do that because I rely on taiji softness and hide my strength. Thought they have strong pengjin, if there is nothing to 'peng' on, all their forces will feel like nothing.
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Postby shugdenla » Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:20 pm


Wang Xianzhai, based on anecdotal references was very realistic in vision and he is right only because what he speaks is truth. 'Modern' taijiquan has truly lost alot of its essence and even the individual character that taijiquan (in general) is supposed to develop, is also lost based on how people who respond as a human characteristic.

As example, many talk about martial taijiquan but when you query them, they insinuate you want to fight! People actually believe the ridiculous benefits of taijiquan and suspend all judgement in favour of absurd hypotheses.

'Take my taichi and you can repel attacks without touching' OR 'my taichi is better than your taich' and similar stuff that actually makes the obersver note that this is petty stuff. Why sweat it?

Yiquan can show concept and principle whereas taijiquan adepts cannot! Just a generalization only, mon
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Postby tai1chi » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:23 pm


well, I don't think taijiquan needs to be defended. Wang himself notes that there are tjq practitioners who can use their art. If we took his remark 'only 1 in a hundred' literally, and estimated that there were only 10 million practitioners, there'd be 100,000 effective fighters.

Ironically, internet discussions suggest that tjq practitioners themselves believe that there are very few who can use the art, or even learned it correctly, or from a reputable source. It's not at all hard to find people who have practiced for decades, yet also claim that they've met few practitioners they'd consider "high level" --or at Wang's level. Many would say that they'd met only one --their teachers.

That's essentially what Wang said, and he says he was speaking as someone who understood tjq. I can understand why the way he said it bothers people. It may especially bother those who practice tjq martially on a regular basis, or who have done. But, how many do that.

If anything, Wang's general observation about the number of people who practice tjq with a martial emphasis is correct. But, this doesn't justify the conclusion that taijiquan is ineffective. It doesn't matter much anyway, since many practitioners do not seek martial benefits.

Wang's comment on the health benefits is relative. Health is a personal perception of one's state of being, ultimately. People seem to be satisfied with the results they get, or switch to something else if they don't.

But, this is the oldest argument in/about tjq, no?

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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:48 pm

Greetings Matt,

What the heck is a cage fighter, and why should I care?

Who translated the Wang interview snip that you posted?

In describing Wang Xiangzhai, I would not say arrogant, but audacious and iconoclastic.


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 11-15-2005).]
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:01 pm

The sad part is, this man is correct.
Arrogant? I really don't get that impression.
I think he is speaking plainly and somewhat sadly on the state of an art he pretty obviously admires.
I don't get the impression that he's slamming TCC so much as he's slamming people who claim to practice it but really don't.
The same exact arguments can be used when speaking of Yiquan as TCC, though. How many people who practice Yiquan actually know what they are doing? Not too many, from my personal observations. I too have pushed hands with Yiquan enthusiasts. I have met just about the same level of player in that system as in TCC in general, you take it from there.
There are those who understand and those who don't in any martial art. TCC is no different.
Same thing in Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jujitsu, Aikido, Wing Chun, Hun Gar, you name it. There are those in any system who like to talk about it but never put in the time or effort to truly understand it. I think that's who this gentleman is discussing in his talk.
And let's look at the other side of this issue, because it's not entirely the "students" fault. How many "teachers" of TCC really know TCC and how many are have simply self graduated from a short course they took at the Y and now call themselves Sifu or Master? A lot.
How can people be expected to learn genuine TCC from someone who has no genuine understanding of TCC but is just in it to make money?
In my own little town there is a guy who is an excellent, excellent martial artist, a genuine Master of his art, no question about it. He teaches a hard style, no reason to go into which, and is respected world wide. I had heard his name long before I ever got here and was actually quite surprised when I found out his school is located in such a podunk, small town as this. If I were to actually mention his name, I'd bet half the people on this board would go, "Wow!". Followed shortly by "Really? You're kidding right? THAT guy?" Anyway, this guy teaches classes in TCC both at his studio on the main drag and at the local Y to senior citizens on Friday mornings (his price is OUTRAGEOUS, by the way).
I can tell you, unequivocally, that he has no idea what real, genuine, TCC is. He just doesn't. I've seen the form he teaches, I've watched him do it with my own two eyes and I have NO idea what it is. I work with one of his black belt students in the hard style who also has his "black belt" in TCC from this "Master". While the guy can leap up in the air and break boards with his bare toes ten feet of the ground, he really doesn't exhibit any of the qualities or principles of TCC that I've ever heard of.
Do you see where I'm going here? This guy isn't teaching TCC, he's teaching something he invented, outright and out of whole cloth, and calls TCC because people pay money to learn Tai Chi.
I mentioned that I work with one of his TCC "black belts" (he took his hard style ranking system and put it firmly in place on his invented form of TCC. Why not? HE invented it, he can do it any way he wants). Well, I can pretty well tell you that my skills at TCC are low...
Very, very low.
I'm not good yet, I need more practice.
Consequently my skills at push hands are low. Again, very low.
This "black belt" at the form of TCC this "master" invented and now teaches wanted to test his TCC skills against me when he found out I practice TCC, so we did some push hands.
I can only tell you that even my poor, low, awful, really terrible skills at TCC were at least good enough to adhere, stick, follow and eventually offset this guy.
Still are.
I'm not even good at push hands, but these guys are using hard style techniques and calling them TCC and even my poor skills are enough to really fluster this guy, who has gone through years of training in his Masters style of TCC.
He is easily defeated by even a guy like me, who is admittedly not good, because all I do is allow him to start trying to use brute strength against me. He does, every time, and then I lead his stength to an empty place and let him go there after it.
He stopped pushing hands with me about a year ago. He's one of these guys who can't stand to lose, so he got tired of losing pretty quickly and now he never even mentions TCC to me.

The fault is not always, in fact I'd say not even very often, the fault of the students. It is usually the fault of the so called "teachers" of TCC that they are learning from.
In order to understand TCC, you have to learn it from a teacher with some genuine knowledge of the art.
That doesn't happen very often. As more and more "teachers" self graduate themselves, or, even worse, are graduated by their teachers into an art they truly don't understand, hang up their clapboard signs that say "Tai Chi taught here" and take good money for bad rubbish, we're going to see less and less genuine TCC and more "tai chi chi" kind of stuff.
It's sad, but that's the way it goes.

Oh, well.
That's my soap box for the day.

Bob Ashmore
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Postby tccstudent » Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:57 pm

Hi Bob,

I'm just curious, did you ever mention to the black belt in TCC that he was learning shit? I like your story by the way. I think that is quite common in TC these days.
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Postby Wu Chang-Chi » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:09 pm

>>What the heck is a cage fighter, and why should I care?

Mr. Swaim,
"Cage fighter" is one of the terms used for professional fighters in mixed martial arts today - mixed martial arts because of the multitude of styles that these fighters usually study. Example, one who wants to learn more about submissions or perhaps defend against the takedown may train with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club. One who wants to learn how to punch may train with a boxer, etc.

Some of the bigger (better known) fight circuits are Pride, K-1, K-1 San Shou, UFC, Extreme Fighting. But, there are many, many other circuits in the amateur levels as well.

I haven't seen many traditional martial artists competing in Cage / No-Holds-barred fighting. I don't know why this is. However, you do see many Olympic-caliber athletes that train the practical aspects of an art to fight in these competitions. There seem to be a lot of traditional wrestlers (high-school, college, professional experience - and no, I don't mean WWF or whatever it's called these days) who are in such great condition, and are great althetes already, are used to a high level of competition, and they go into MMA to compete at a higher level.

I don't know what the significance is of comparing a Yi Chuan practitioner and a modern cage fighter would be or why you should care. I just happen to watch these competitions and find it fascinating to see some really nice techniques applied and used against unwilling opponents and thought I could at least answer that part of your question.

Wu Chang-Chi
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:28 pm

Um... No.
Why would I? If I insult his current TCC style, he's not going to be very likely to come to those who do know TCC to train it.
Besides, I'm no more an expert on TCC than the guy who invented his own system. It's not up to me to pass judgement on the style he trains.
I let my push hands speak when it came to that. He got the message pretty quickly and I didn't have to say one word.
And I never will.
I have tried to introduce the guy to traditional Yang style TCC by doing my best to adhere to the principles of the Association and leading him there by example. He's not ready yet.
If he ever does become ready to train I have allready given him the contact information for both of my Center Directors and they will be more than able and willing to teach the guy in the traditional manner.
As I said, the man who invented his own style of TCC is a world renowned martial arts Master. He has students all over this area, all over this country and even a few all over the world. He's written two books on the style of martial arts he really is a Master at, both are staples in that art. He has been making a living teaching that art for longer than I've trained TCC all together, which is over two decades now. I don't hold a candle to this guy in fame and fortune in the martial arts world so my saying his invented style of TCC is crap would be like my saying Zeplin didn't know how to build a derigible, at lest before the Hindenberg went up in a puff of smoke and flame.
So while it might be true that they were making flawed derigibles, they were the company building them and selling them to eager buyers. Who would you listen to in that situation? The guy who is standing there with no experience to speak of, or the guy with the company building them all day long?
You see?
So I smile and nod my head when he carries on about his training. If he ever wants to push with me again, I will smile and do so. I have no doubt I will, once again, offset him numerous times as I have in the past. Hopefully he'll get the picture on his own and this way I don't have to put up with any hard feelings from anyone.
It's really much simpler this way.

Bob Ashmore
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Postby shugdenla » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:24 pm

The 'cage' comaprison is apropos because it gives a standard as to how taijiquan or yiquan handles itself or not. This is not say the cage fighter should go against a taijiquan or yiquan person trained at the same level.

Again as comparison, the average person may train at 15-30 min a day, if that much! That is hardly even below minimum standards for even health benefits.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:41 pm

The remarks here about cage fighting confirm that it's not something I should care about.

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Postby mls_72 » Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:52 am

Everyone had good stories and information and wisdoms to share on my ranting about the yiquan guy.

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