Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby mls_72 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:02 am

Any validity to the magazine article by Ken cohen on the orgins of Yang Taijiquan (Tai chi chuan)?

He says:

"According to abbot Pan Ssu-lin of Liang Hsien Monastery on Mt. Hua, it was a disciple of Chan San-feng from Lo-Shan District who taught Yang LuChan, the founder of Yang Tai Chi.

As the story goes, Yang was dissatisfied with tai chi chuan he learned from Chen family master chen chen-xing. The unique yang style of tai chi is not a modification of the chen family style, but rather a completely different style the taoist call 'Yu Chou' tai chi chuan or 'Universal' tai chi chuan."

Early in the article he talks about, Chan Sang Fang was part of a taoist "sect of the hidden immortals" from Wutang, Mt.Hua, and Omei tracing directly back to Lao Tzu.

the author continues-
"Yang Lu shan learn this style either directly from chang Shan feng or from a disciple of the 'hidden immortals sect'. According to the taoist, the history of chen style is nearly independent of taoist tai chi chuan."
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Postby Richard Man » Fri Mar 10, 2006 8:16 am

Have you heard or read about any other independent source that agrees with this theory?
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Postby shugdenla » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:16 pm

There is a part of that type of history that allows for fabrication of lineage due to secret stuff to make the art appear 'better' rather than skill and adaptability.

Whatever is going on is left to the buyer!
Yang stated he studied with Chen and Chen chronicles notes the same. Anything other than that is suspect! Don't you think?

Freedom to choose is our birthright!
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:20 pm

What we can know with reasonable certainty is that Yang Luchan learned from the Chen family. The rest is myth and stories.
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Postby chris » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:26 pm

Yes, Pan Ssu-lin may have said so.
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Postby mls_72 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:28 am

Well anyways I always felt the yang Lu chan changed his martial art to be much different from chen Family taijiquan because of the posture structure vs. chen posture structure. I was going along with the theory that when Wu Yu xiang and Yang Lu chan were translating the Wang Tsung Yueh 'Taiji classics' found in the old Salt shop (as the story goes) Wu Yu Xiang translated them and they made their own study out of it.

The Magazine article continues with discussion about a buddhist priest who taught a close-range combat call 'tai chi pa fa' "Eight ways of tai chi" two of his students were Yen Chin-chuan and Wang Tsung Yueh. Yen Chin-chuan laters goes off to expound Neijiaquan , a method of military training based on principles similar to taijiquan. Wang Tsung-yueh later became Chen Taijiquan 108 postures.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:54 am

Greetings Matt,

Re: "I was going along with the theory that when Wu Yu xiang and Yang Lu chan were translating the Wang Tsung Yueh 'Taiji classics' found in the old Salt shop (as the story goes) Wu Yu Xiang translated them and they made their own study out of it."

Translated? What do you mean?

--Louis
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Postby mls_72 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:01 am

Not sure either. What is the story behind the 'taiji classics'?

However I feel that Wu and Yangs movements are more higher and more comfortable moving hip joint on an 'axis' as opposed to the chen low stance and waist movements.

[This message has been edited by mls_72 (edited 03-20-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:17 pm

Hi Matt,

You wrote: "Not sure either. What is the story behind the 'taiji classics'?"

Whatever the story may be, it wouldn't have involved Wu Yuxiang translating the classics, unless they were in some language other than Chinese, and Wu Yuxiang were bilingual.

--Louis

[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 03-21-2006).]
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Postby shugdenla » Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:59 pm

The Wu family were scholars and as such the language of the classics MAY have had to be translated to the jargon of the day along with the social class of the Yang family, with provincial dialect changes and structure. i.e tone and homonyms.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:01 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by shugdenla:
<B>The Wu family were scholars and as such the language of the classics MAY have had to be translated to the jargon of the day along with the social class of the Yang family, with provincial dialect changes and structure. i.e tone and homonyms.

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

It seems like a big leap of conjecture that will probably lead nowhere.

--Louis
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby nicos » Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:00 pm

wudang priest have been practicing the internal arts for centuries. whatever names have been attached to them over time whether neichia quan, liu he pa fa, huaquan, prenatal boxing, tao yin, qi gong, circle walking, whatever whatever, they all have underlying similarities and follow principles which are distinctly Taoist. also unlike shaolin gong fu which has enjoyed the "limelight" for centuries, ie being taught to soldiers,familymen and other folk wudang gong fu was not so generous(if so not as much as) and i think only about in the 1980's made a conscious effort to come out in the open. my whole point is that yang luchan learning some sort of wudang gong fu after training chen style would not be far off. yang tai chi closer resembles the tai chi we see practiced today at wudang than chen style ,look at the zhang san feng form, some "authorities" on the subject today suggest that these wudang forms were recently created, yet the fact is the don't know and knew very little of wudang martial practices till recently. there is no doubt that even though these arts were kept in the monasteries they would have seeped out over time,and then become systematized and combined with other arts thus chen, & zhaobao and naturally prctitioners would become curious and trace the arts back to the origin thus yang and wu and their mysterious treatises by zhang san feng and wang zongyue. i may be wrong or not to far off who knows these speculations will go on forever just like the story of the southern shaolin temple and it's five elders, there's no end to speculation
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby Audi » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:05 am

Hi Nicos,

Many people do talk about Tai Chi as a Daoist art; however, not all do. From what I can recall Master Yang Jun says that his art has no specific religious orientation and is not Daoist, Confucian, or Buddhist. What he stresses is that it is an amalgam of different strains in Chinese culture that includes these influences, but also ideas from Chinese medicine, Sunzi, the Tai Chi classics, and lineage teachings. Underlying many of these are also Yin-Yang theory, the Five Elements, and the Yi Jing. Since I follow Master Yang in my teaching, I am constantly referring to concepts, theories, and strategies that come from sources other than Daoism alone.

As for the origins of Yang Style and Tai Chi, I think part of the difficulty is not only in the differing facts, but also in differing assumptions about what Tai Chi is and is not and differing assumptions about which "origin" is most meaningful. From what I understand the Nile has two main sources: the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile is longer, but the Blue Nile provides the bulk of the water. Which then is the true primary "source"? Likewise, which source of Yang Style is the most important? The form sequence? The postures? Push hands? Weapons? The classic writings? The theories? Yang Luchan's training regimens? The name "Taijiquan" itself? Each of these threads may lead to a different source, and many of them may have come together at different times.

These are my thoughts and carry no authority.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby nicos » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:26 pm

I get you. when you look at Chinese culture and the culture of the world in general, various philosophies and schools of thought have been intertwined and built upon each other it is impossible to figure out who did or said what first. I think what master yang said is a good way to look at it. it avoids too much pondering and enables the practitioner to get to the heart of the matter. (almost like clearing ones mind of too much dogma when following a religion. but hey that may be a horse of a different color. hope i didn't strike a vein there...sorry :wink: ) but i firmly believe Tai chi is based on the book of changes which is hands down one of China's oldest and most influential texts and the Taoist have revolved around that among other things over the centuries. maybe they didn't invent Tai chi maybe they did but i believe their contribution to it is undeniable. but like i said these things can be discussed and disputed forever. This may be for a different topic but i thought i would share it anyways it is from a site by a guy called Peter Lim (I think) about his summary on Wu Tunan's Interview with Chen Xin at Chen Village. You may have read this before if not very enlightening

"Wu Tu Nan visited the Chen Villiage in 1917. There were few educated people in the villiage at the time and he was directed to meet Chen Xin, this was before Chen Xin's book was published. Chen Xin was very frank in his interview with Wu Tu Nan and gave him an account of how Taijiquan came to the Chen Villiage . He said that both Taijiquan and the indigenous Chen family Pao Chui was practiced in the villiage but that Taijiquan came down from Jiang Fa. He also introduced Wu to Du Yu Wan who practiced Taijiquan and who said his art came down from Jiang Fa who was of the Wudang lineage, Du's subsequent book on Taijiquan in 1935 confirms this view and the authenticity and accuracy of Wu Tu Nan's interview material.

Chen Xin had told Wu that he was writing a book on Taijiquan. Wu then asked Chen Xin whether he practiced Taijiquan. Chen Xin replied that his father had let his older brother learn martial arts but had made him get an education instead so he did not know any martial arts. Wu then asked how he was going to write a book on martial arts if he did not practice martial arts. Chen replied that Taijiquan is based on the Book of Changes and that he felt that as long as an art conformed to the Book of Changes it was Taijiquan. So he intended to use the boxing postures of Pao Chui and relate them to the Book of Changes and that his purpose of the book was to show how the Book of Changes was related even to martial arts, it was not his intention of writing a martial arts manual...."
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby T » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:07 pm

One of many problem with throwing Zhang Sanfeng into the mix is..... which one

There is some speculation that Zhang Sanfeng was officially mentioned much earlier but so far the only thing I have come across that is solid and provable is he was first mentioned in the 1650s in the “Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan” written by Huang Zongxi (1610-1695) [note: Chen Wangting 1600-1680] and he is mentioned there Wang Zhengnan is the only living successor to the martial arts lineage of neijia of which Zhang Sanfeng is the founder. He refers to Zhang Sanfeng as a Taoist alchemist and says that Zhang Sanfeng revised Shaolin style to emphasis offense and defense using softness and not relying on hardness. However it is not called taiji it is called Baiji by Wang’s son and it has little in common with taijiquan with no internal training and it is big on pressure point techniques. But it is a soft style like taiji.

But to the reference to Zhang Sanfeng in the Epitaph; it is believed it is more of a political move than a historical reference. A bit of “take that you foreign Manchu oppressors” kind of thing.

And now back to which Zhang Sanfeng?

The one I previously mentioned from the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) as stated by Sun Lutang
or the ones that were mentioned by Xu Yusheng who associated the name Zhang Sanfeng with at lest 10 different people but ultimately puts Zhang Sanfeng in the Sung Dynasty (969-1126) and who had hundreds of disciples in Shaanxi. And of course there is the Zhang Sanfeng born in 1247 during the Southern Sung Dynasty (1127-1279) and there is another reference to him by another author that puts him in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

In China since 1650 Zhang Sanfeng has been called a Taoist, a Shaolin Master, a Warrior and a Confucian by various rather well trained and reputable Chinese writers that were writing “the facts” about Zhang Sanfeng…based on hear say and myth.

And it has also been said since 1650 that Zhang Sanfeng created taiji by watching a snake and a bird fight. And of course there is the cave; by being lead by a mysterious light into a cave (Martial arts founders like caves apparently) where he found 2 golden snakes and a book that gave him the idea for taijiquan. and it is also said that he took from the Yellow Emperor and Lao Tzu to devise taiji.

There is a rather long list of reputable authors since 1650 that have written histories of taijiquan that have linked it to Zhang Sanfeng in various ways but few have ever given any biographical information about him beyond myth. So far the only ones that completely ignore Zhang Senfeng is the Chen family and they have good reason to since it does not align with their taiji creation story.

Chinese history tends to be punctuated with myth. A good example Yue Fei (1103-1142) although a real person and military officer is credited with the founding of several martial arts styles when if fact he nothing to do with most or any of them. It is an attempt at legitimacy or outright salesmanship by the person teaching the art. Yue Fei was a great warrior but he was not as prolific (in his short life) at developing martial arts styles as he is given credit for.

I am at a point where I believe that someone somewhere was a martial artists and did a lot of study of the "I Ching" and possibly daoyin (qigong) and you end up with taiji was it the Chen family? Could be. Could be that someone did develop something akin to the 13 postures and the melded that with a type of Qi training which was later picked up by the Chen family and melded with Paoqui (this has been put forth as a possibility by a couple of Chinese historians but the way) Could be that it originated with a Taoist on Wudang mountain, could be it was a Shaolin Master that converted to Taoism and came up with it could be any number of possible combinations of things and I do not think there is any reputable historian/researchers in China who is sure either

And I am not a scholar or a researcerh on the topic, I jsut find it interesting to study the history of the arts I train
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