24 or the 48 Tai Chi Forms

24 or the 48 Tai Chi Forms

Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:10 pm

If you are practicing the Shortened or modified Taijiquan 24, or the 48 posture forms - STOP!

Click on Erle Montaigue's Web-site (Tai Chi World of Erle Montaigue) Find the Article - Short Tai Chi Forms, and you will see why you should Stop practicing them!
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:18 pm

You have to take much of what Erle Montaigue says with a grain of salt. He does not speak or read Chinese. I watched one of the free lessons from his website and he made some very serious mistakes in his explanation of some Chinese terms. He tends to make and publish controversial statements (like saying Yang Chengfu is responsible for the demise of taiji - http://www.taiji-qigong.co.uk/Articles/demise.html Personally I would disregard any statements he makes disparaging forms taught by teachers other than himself. My guess is he is probably a nice guy and a good martial artist, but he does not have the background to be making some of the statements he does and tends to shoot his mouth off first and ask questions later.


[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 02-23-2007).]
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:34 pm

Hi Jerry; What does it matter if Erle speak or reads Chinese? Did you read the article? <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
<B>You have to take much of what Erle Montaigue says with a grain of salt. He does not speak or read Chinese. I watched one of the free lessons from his website and he made some very serious mistakes in his explanation of some Chinese terms. He tends to make and publish controversial statements (like saying Yang Chengfu is responsible for the demise of taiji - http://www.taiji-qigong.co.uk/Articles/demise.html Personally I would disregard any statements he makes disparaging forms taught by teachers other than himself. My guess is he is probably a nice guy and a good martial artist, but he does not have the background to be making some of the statements he does and tends to shoot his mouth off first and ask questions later.


[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 02-23-2007).]</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:16 pm

It matters a lot if he is trying to explain Chinese terms and doesn't know what he's talking about. I couldn't find the article you are referring to. Did you read the one I linked to? If you have spent any time with Yang Chengfu's descendants, it's laughable.
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:16 pm

Hi Jerry: Go to www.taiji-bagua.co.uk, the article (Shortened Taiji Forms) will be on the left border. Don't be so quick to judge untill you read the article OK? <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
It matters a lot if he is trying to explain Chinese terms and doesn't know what he's talking about. I couldn't find the article you are referring to. Did you read the one I linked to? If you have spent any time with Yang Chengfu's descendants, it's laughable.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:09 am

Greetings,

I read most of the short article, but before I reached the end I exploded.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:41 am

Well, I read it. Nothing but unsupported assertions, some pretty bogus too.
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Postby Rich » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:22 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Thomas C. McCauley:
What does it matter if Erle speak or reads Chinese?</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Little things like "fa-JING" which can be taken to mean a different (and messier) thing to "fa-JIN".

Louis, I too exploded - but almost immediately. Those articles should be kept in a locked box or the potential damage to property could be enormous.

Thomas,

I'd second Jerry's advice to take Mr. Montaigue's assertions with a pinch of salt. He's a pretty spurious guy (I'm sure he's very nice and maybe he has good skills but he does talk alot of c**p) and getting too involved in his advised practices could seriously harm your chances of ever really getting to the meat and bones of good taiji (in my opinion). Just my humble advice - take it or leave it. Best of luck to you.

Regards,

Rich
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:10 pm

What happened to having an empty cup - Its very clear to me that those of you who disagree with the article, without doing Any Investigation, is saying "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up".

This will be my last posting, because of the Immature Attitude of you all!!!
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Postby mckwu » Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:17 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Thomas C. McCauley:
<B>What happened to having an empty cup - Its very clear to me that those of you who disagree with the article, without doing Any Investigation, is saying "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up".
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just exactly what in the article was based on fact?

<B>This will be my last posting, because of the Immature Attitude of you all!!!
</B>

Great. Could you please take your ball home, too?

Put that in your cup and drink it.

Respectfully,
Michael



[This message has been edited by mckwu (edited 02-24-2007).]
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Postby T » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:59 pm

No one on this site really knows much about me and I do not train with the Yang family and to be honest I am pretty happy about that. But I am generally pretty open-minded when it comes to such topics. But I do not feel Chengfu is the Taiji god some make him out to be, but I do believe he was highly skilled. And I do feel, from what little I know about the style of Luchan that it is possible that I would like it better. But then one of the styles I train (and enjoy immensely) is Xingyiquan so higher might be better for me. But I have trained Traditional Yang as it comes from Tung Ying Chieh for many years (greater than 10) and I can say (sadly) without any doubt it works in a fight. Also my sifu is half my size and can throw me around quite easily and can hit damn hard if need be and all he has ever trained is Yang style Taiji (and I am aware that there are some that would say no he doesn’t because his teacher was Tung Ying Chieh, but I am not here to argue that, nor will I)


However I don't completely disagree with Earl either I have seen a lot of people out there doing taiji that have absolutely no idea there is a martial side and I saw a lot of those in China too. I have even talked with some in the USA that feel if you discuss martial arts in the same breath with taiji it is blaspheme. But then these are not real taiji people in my opinion. But then I believe that it was Chen Xiaowang (I know mentioning the Chen family on the Yang page is just wrong, but it is necessary for the point) that said he felt taiji as a martial art was very close to dead. He said there are so few people that do Taiji as a martial art today that the vast majority do not know anything about martial arts and by comparison it is dieing as a martial art due to this. In other words fewer and fewer people are learning the martial side as time goes on. And as a side note I do not think I would want to tell Chen Xiaowang he was not doing martial arts, it is likely a good way to get a demonstration you would not forget.


But is Yang Chengfu to blame for this, possibly... indirectly... but not likely. He was a good teacher with a lot of students so his style went further. Does this mean it was easier, possibly but not necessarily. His brother Shouhou also taught but was incredibly hard on his students and those that survived his training and stayed with him were generally good martial artists but not many did last long with him so he had fewer students than Chengfu. And of all the people out there claiming lineage to Chengfu I tend to feel that about 70 to 80% of them are telling the truth (or know the truth to be honest) and of those 70 to 80% not all were learning from someone that spent a lot of time training with Chengfu. My sifu had a student who learned just the long form and then went off without permission and started a school and called it the “Yang Chengfu Tai Chi School”. He was considerably upset by this and went to talk to the person and they stopped using the name. But they did not half to because this is America and basically the person could pretty much do what they wanted. And this sort of thing is contributing to the downfall of Yang Taiji. But what I feel has a lot more to do with it are the forms like Yang 24 form that does not really come from the Yang family and 48 form which to be honest is not really Yang style, it is a combination of many styles and both are forms competition forms. The forms do have application but few know them and many learn these forms and go off and teach others and call what they are teaching Yang style when in fact it really isn't


And yes Yang Cheng-fu changed his father's and his father changed his father’s form too. If I remember correctly Jianhou changed Luchan's form to medium frame. So if my old and feeble memory is correct the link to Jianhou claimed is not a direct link to the style of Luchan, as Earle seems to believe. Also in reference to Shouhou there is some speculation that he did not learn what he later taught from his father (Jianhou) but actually learned more from his Uncle Banhou who did teach his father’s (Luchan’s) form.


And to say that Taiji has lost its roots is just not correct it is a very general statement and it takes into it all taiji styles; Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao, Sun and Zhaobao styles. Maybe what Earle has seen does not make him happy; I can't fault him for that. Heck a year ago I was not all too happy about the state of Yang style taiji either and was going to quit and focus solely on Xingyi, but I can complain or I can train, I chose to train.


On the topic of Cheng Manching, ok I will admit I like the form, I do not train it, but I like it and I would not call it Yang Style but in reality it was an unapproved change to Yang style so I don't see how this applied to Chengfu other that Manching might have been a student of Chengfu. If I go off and start teaching a style and incorporate Xingyi, Yang style and the Tango into it and call it Yang style it is not the fault of my Sifu, it is my responsibility. But I feel I need to add having once had the honor of crossing hands with William CC Chen, as student of Cheng Manching, I can assure you the man is a fighter and a damn good one.


And since Earl is doing seminars and trying to make money from this, and there is nothing wrong with this, I have to ask myself is he really concerned about the state of Yang Taiji today or is he just trying to make money by advertising what he knows and belittling what is out there. But he is not the only one on the planet that knows the form from Luchan, Banhou or Shouhou, if in fact he knows it and if he is linked to Jianhou he likely doesn’t know it, but I have not heard this form any of those who do know it yet so I am not sure what the general consensus is as to their opinion of the Yang style of Yang Chengfu.


I am not saying Earle is entirely wrong but I do not think he is entirely right either and pointing the finger of blame s not going to make it better, it is just going to start a fight that cannot be won since the only people that could really answer any of the questions and or charges Earle put forth are dead it really can’t be answered.


As to understanding Chinese. It is rather important if you are going to study a Chinese martial art in depth and talk about it’s history and you really need a pretty good understanding of the older writing system as well. I recently ran into an issue with the character for “Subdue” being translated as “downward” and that simple little mistake made a BIG difference in what was being said. However I am not sure if that would apply to what Earle is saying. He appears to be just writing down his thoughts and not quoting from translated history. Or at least that is what it appears to be in the article I just read. (http://www.taiji-qigong.co.uk/Articles/demise.html) If I missed the original article I would appreciate is if someone would point me to where the original is.


[This message has been edited by T (edited 02-24-2007).]

[This message has been edited by T (edited 02-24-2007).]
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:32 am

Hi T.

Its Great to see that there are some people that have enough expirence to be able to write a Good Post Statement!

I also have a Great number of years in the Martial Arts. Now, having said that, When I read Erle's article of why we should not practice the Modified Taijiquan Forms (24, and the 48 posture Forms) is all i'm talking about! Even Wang Xing-wu, who invented the 48 form says its RUBBISH, its just that He HAD to invent it for the Chinese Government for their Competitions! For those of you that still practice these worthless forms - Go right ahead. Or You could write Erle on the following web-site (erle@qigong.org.uk) and He will be glad to inform all of you what the TRUTH IS.
Kind Regards
Thomas C. McCauley Kudan/ Nonaka Ryu Ju-jutsu
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:11 am

Thomas, in case you hadn't noticed, this site, yangfamilytaichi.com, is a part of the organisation run by Yang Jun and Yang Zhenduo (Yang Chengfu's son). Most of us who hang out here practice the Yang Chengfu form and have spent time learning it with the Yangs. Few of us practice the 24 or 48 forms. We have a shortened form which is used for demo purposes. So when we express dissatisfaction with the way Erle Montaigue slags other styles and forms, this is not a matter of defending our own style from criticism by Erle. I have looked at Erle's tapes, read his online pronouncements. From my standpoint as a student of the Yangs, I know from real experience that Erle's statements about Yang Chengfu are worthless. It is by no means necessary to learn Chinese if you want to practice taiji; if however one wants to be a cultural broker and pose as someone who can explain aspects of Chinese culture to westerners, it would behoove that person to either know Chinese or somehow manage to get his information correct. Unfortunately Erle fails on both counts.
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:59 pm

Hi Jerry;
Of course I noticied who runs your web-site.
That is why I decided to Warn You All of the Dangers of practicing the 24, and 48 posture forms! That is all that I was concerned about-YOUR HEALTH!

Now, as far as weather Erle's Articles concerning Yang Chengfu are correct or not -
I do not have enough information to express an opinion! It is to bad that You feel that you have to Attack Erle on a public format.
This does tell me that maybe Erle has hit a sore spot with you - Could it be that Erle just might know what he is talking about - for you to be So Sensitive?
Why don't You e-mail Him and express your concern?

You should also tell your leader to clean up , or stop those Juvenile's from making Immature comments - Its hard enouph to find someone with even a little experience to converse with, without having to put up with Those Immature cronies!

Have a good Day

Tom
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:28 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Thomas C. McCauley:
<B>Hi Jerry;
Of course I noticied who runs your web-site.
That is why I decided to Warn You All of the Dangers of practicing the 24, and 48 posture forms! That is all that I was concerned about-YOUR HEALTH!

Now, as far as weather Erle's Articles concerning Yang Chengfu are correct or not -
I do not have enough information to express an opinion! It is to bad that You feel that you have to Attack Erle on a public format.
This does tell me that maybe Erle has hit a sore spot with you - Could it be that Erle just might know what he is talking about - for you to be So Sensitive?
Why don't You e-mail Him and express your concern?

You should also tell your leader to clean up , or stop those Juvenile's from making Immature comments - Its hard enouph to find someone with even a little experience to converse with, without having to put up with Those Immature cronies!

Have a good Day

Tom</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Since this is a site devoted to the long form, your warning about short forms is rather misplaced, isn't it? OK, warning noted. It's nonsense, but whatever floats your boat. As far as 'attacking' Erle goes, haven't you got it backwards? He has had that 'demise' article up in various internet spots for 14 years. Some of the things he says in there are directly contradicted by the article you pointed out. Maybe it's time for him to stop slagging everyone else and show some respect.
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