Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Niall Keane on Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:40 pm

the thing about Chen style...

In THEIR book "Chen Style Taijiquan" by Feng Zhiqiang and Feng Dabiao and Zhang Chundong and with Chen Xiaowang featuring prominently, on page 12 of the original edition (1984) you get a diagram styled - "The Evolution of Shadow Boxing"....

It has Yang Luchan learning form Chen Changxing (we all accept that?) and Wu YUxiang learning from Chen Qingping who they show learnt from Chen Youbeng.

Chen Fake learned from Chen Yanxi from Chen Gengyun from Chen Chenagxing (same as Yang)..

SO....

Why are the Wu Yuxiang and Yang forms almost identical and very different from Chen style if Chen and Yang came from similar source?

Then you have the enigma of Song Shuming and classics identical to the salt-cellar classics turning up with a lad unknown by the Beijing brigade... and lets not forget that Li Y Yu wrote the plain sayings in the late 1800's:


Raise and prop (the head), lift the pubic, conceive in the mind,
Loosen the shoulders, sink elbows, qi at the tan tien;
Wrap the pubic,protect the abdomen must downward posture,
Hollow chest, raise back, return to natural.
First posture left right Lazily Arranging Clothes,
Two hands pushing out pulling single whip.
Lift Hands Up Posture looking towards space,
White Crane Reveals Wing fly up to the sky.
Brush Knee Bend Step hit to the front,
Hand Playing The Lute hides and draws close to the side.
Brush Knee Bend Step repeat the Downward Posture,
Hand Playing The Lute again once more.
Step forward first hit with Palm To The Face,
Deflect, Parry, Punch hits the front of the chest.
Apparent Closure pushes to the front,
Draw Body Embrace Tiger go push the mountain.
Return body pull to form Single Whip,
Fist Under Elbow hits the centre of the waist.
Repulse Monkey repeats the posture 4 times,
White Crane Reveals Wings until the cloud top.
Brush Knee Bend Step must Downward Posture,
Withdraw Body Lute at front of chest.
Press Posture overturn body Three Through Back,
Twist neck turn the head back pull Single Whip.
View Hands three times then High Pat Horse,
Left Right Lift Legs who dares stand in the way.
Turn Body One Leg (kick) Then Plant Fist,
Overturn Body Double Lift kick to break the sky.
Hold hody retreat step Subdue Tiger Posture,
Kick With Leg Turn Body is tightly continuous.
Kick With Sole step forward deflect, parry, hit,
Apparent Closure hands face the front.
Embrace Tiger Push Mountain repeat Downward Posture,
Turn head back and again pull Single Whip.
Part Wild Horse's Mane advances towards the front,
Lazily Arranging Clothes is indeed fresh.
Turn Body again pull Single Whip,
Fair Lady Threads Shuttles complete the four corners.
Change pull Single Whip is really ingenious,
View Hands Downward Posture probes the pure spring.
Change Chicken Stands On One Leg is divided into left and right,
Repulse Monkey is again repeated.
White Crane Reveals Wing extends the body,
Brush Knee forward hand is down at the side.
Press Posture Green Dragon again emerges from the water,
Turn body again and again pull Single Whip.
View Hands High Pat palm against heart,
Cross Figure Sweep Lotus overturns to the back.
Point Fist To Pubic hits downwards,
Lazily Arranging Clothes in tight continuity.
Again pull Single Whip again Downward Posture,
Step up begin dischage Seven Star Fist.
Withdraw body step backwards pull Riding Tiger,
Turn leg out hit Double Sweep Lotus.
Scoop Up The Moon At The Sea Bottom must have Downward Posture,
Bend Bow Shoot Tiger neck faces forward.
Embrace Twin Fists who dares advance,
Walk the whole earth no one dares stand in the way.
This song this song 60 verses,
If don't meet an intimate friend don't transmit lightly.

This corresponds directly with Yang and Wu style but there's no "buddha's warrior attendant pounds mortar" etc... its pretty clear that Chen Fake really did reinvent his own art, and then tried to pass it off as original, which speaks of his deceitful character and so probably of his treatment of Chiang Fa and his deletion or distortion from modern Chen Tai Chi Chuan history.


So you either got a Shaolin master who travelled to hua shan, learnt daoist methods, went to the martial mecca of Wudang, spent 10 years "cultivating" (I'd imagine with other masters drawn to that Mecca) his art and retiring to Baoji to teach monks, a stones throw from Xian where Wang Zue and Wang Zue yue are supposed to reside... or, alternatively, village idiots in a rural backwater supposed to come up with a seriously sophisticated martial art on their own-some?

Occam's razor anyone?
Last edited by Niall Keane on Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:22 pm

No matter how you dice it. Everyone agrees that the Yangs learned from the Chens, and that Wu Yuxiang spent forty days learning from Chen Qing-Ping so the answer to your questions appears self-evident. Yang Lu-Chan had to return to his teacher three times over a period of 18 years to learn what he learned. No, it is simply too convenient to say that Chen Changxing invented everything. It also seems like digging when you go looking for quotes in one book but ignore other quotes in the same book which provide the missing information, or when certain other things get left unstated. But I have a feeling this is unintentional, things get lost because they didn't seem important at the time.

To really understand the story you need to know more details. Such as who was Chen De-Hu. Or Yang's promise to his teacher. Or the sociopolitical culture of the time. Or that Wu Yuxiang spent just 40 days with Chen Changxing and could only go there with a letter of introduction by Yang. Too many problems. And these are not even the really interesting questions. How about, how many people went to Xi'an during the invasion and starvation in the 30s and 40s and the cultural revolution (just Xi'an alone) and what was passed on over there, what survived? And did anyone of those people ever come back to the village? Now that is a good question which I don't think has ever been investigated.

Before, I would hear statements by people such as, "We know for certain that two of the routines were already lost by that time and so only the 3 remaining could account for the final two routines. Whether there was an integration or that another routine was lost through time resulting in the final two is not certain at all." and I would not know what to think. However, now, after a deeper study I am aware of what really happened. It has been passed down, in lineages where preserving it was important. Nothing is really lost, actually. But for someone in the unenviable position of learning from a tradition that did not have to preserve certain kinds of information, then certain kinds of information get lost. It's just how things work out when they don't seem important at the time. But for people who went through the invasion, the war, and the cultural revolution, things are a little different.

In Li's, Hao's and Sun's Tai Chi, one posture name has been changed; that of the central Grasp Bird's Tail. Why was this posture name changed and what could that possibly mean? If you have never wanted to ask your teacher that, then you would never know the answer. You would, of course, also need to ask a teacher who knew the answer, because it was a part of his lineage. It's little things like this, once forgotten, that lead to wild speculation.

FInally, since everyone in the Yang family agrees that they learned it from the Chens and not some outside source, doesn't it make sense to take that version of events? I mean, they were there, and it's not like the information is politically charged. It doesn't read like an advertisement, it just fills in more information. So Wu Yuxiang and others felt it worthwhile to go learn from the Chens. Why? What did they learn that was not taught publicly outside of the Yang family? Is it anything we could learn today? There are answers to these questions, and perhaps they're just as meaningless one way as they are another. But there is always a reason why, Niall. Once you understand the whys then the answers make more sense.
Last edited by Appledog on Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:01 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby I-mon on Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:47 pm

Thanks for the history lessons guys, it's very interesting stuff.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby robert on Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:56 pm

It seems self evident that the Yang 103 form is derived from Chen's Laojia Yilu. The main difference is that Yang style lacks the foot stomps and has less winding/spiraling.



If you look at the basic techniques in the beginning of the forms prior to dan bian -
Chen style
jin gang dao dui (ward off left, ward off right)
lan zha yi (press)
liu feng si bi (roll back, push)

Yang style
grasp bird's tail (ward off left, ward off right, roll back, press, push)

FWIW
Last edited by robert on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Trick on Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:56 pm

I-mon wrote:Thanks for the history lessons guys, it's very interesting stuff.

Yes agree very interesting, thank you
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Niall Keane on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:35 am

No one disputes that Yang Lu Chan learned from Chen Changxing. The yang derived traditions say that he learned from Chang Fa who learned from Wang zung yue...

It is said that Chen changxing was a disgrace to the village because he was defeated by Chang Fa and went on to learn and teach his art "inside the door". I'm sure I don't need to repeat the story of Chang Fa looking and laughing at Chen teaching the village pao chui.... being caught doing so and turning to leave where Chen chases after him only to be effortlessly thrown down then begging to be taught.

My own teacher was there in 1984 and changxings tombstone was thrown up against a fence and his name basically errased from the record.

Wu tu-nan said that the village teacher told him that Chen fake went to great efforts to kill the history of Chang Fa off and insist that the art was invented by their own ancestors...

the Chen form is the only form to contain techniques of budhist allusion. Both the yang derived and Chen forms contain techniques not in the other and we are not talking about a simple name change.


There can be no certainties in any of this... but the Chen village dogma stands alone and has lots of holes.and the song shuming element proves the art comes from outside the village.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Trick on Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:31 am

Niall Keane wrote:
So you either got a Shaolin master who travelled to hua shan, learnt daoist methods, went to the martial mecca of Wudang, spent 10 years "cultivating" (I'd imagine with other masters drawn to that Mecca) his art and retiring to Baoji to teach monks, a stones throw from Xian where Wang Zue and Wang Zue yue are supposed to reside... or, alternatively, village idiots in a rural backwater supposed to come up with a seriously sophisticated martial art on their own-some?

Occam's razor anyone?

Is the Shaolin temple very far away from the Chen village ?
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Trick on Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:53 am

Niall Keane wrote:It is said that Chen changxing was a disgrace to the village because he was defeated by Chang Fa and went on to learn and teach his art "inside the door". I'm sure I don't need to repeat the story of Chang Fa looking and laughing at Chen teaching the village pao chui.... being caught doing so and turning to leave where Chen chases after him only to be effortlessly thrown down then begging to be taught.


Wu tu-nan said that the village teacher told him that Chen fake went to great efforts to kill the history of Chang Fa off and insist that the art was invented by their own ancestors

Who was Chang Fa? where can I read more about above incident ? If this Chen changxing indeed was a disgrace to the village maybe that's why he was let in charge teaching outsiders ? ......as I said, I know almost zero about the history of TJQ, but this tread sparked an interest
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:15 am

Niall Keane wrote:It is said that Chen changxing was a disgrace to the village because he was defeated by Chang Fa and went on to learn and teach his art "inside the door". I'm sure I don't need to repeat the story of Chang Fa looking and laughing at Chen teaching the village pao chui.... being caught doing so and turning to leave where Chen chases after him only to be effortlessly thrown down then begging to be taught.

My own teacher was there in 1984 and changxings tombstone was thrown up against a fence and his name basically errased from the record.

Wu tu-nan said that the village teacher told him that Chen fake went to great efforts to kill the history of Chang Fa off and insist that the art was invented by their own ancestors...


Why isn't any of this recorded anywhere? Also, it doesn't seem to make any sense. Why? What would the point of any of this be?

The idea that Yang LuChan stayed in the village for a while and was the only one to be able to reliably pass on a history doesn't make sense. Au contraire if anyone would, he would have had the means motive and opportunity to change it. Changing the records and history and everyone's version of oral history in and around Chen Village however would have been a monumental undertaking. It's a kind of outrageous claim -- I would need to see some very strong evidence before believing such a story. It's too tall a tale. Chen Changxing's tombstone thrown up against a fence? It doesn't make sense. Especially in 1984. Why? If that was Chen Fa Ke's modus operandi why didn't Chen Zhao-Kui do it 10 years earlier? Or why didn't he do it himself or tell Chen Zhao-Pi to do it? Chen Zhao-Pi was the generation after Chen Fa-Ke.

Further if it was the Chens that changed the art away from a "was formerly more like Yang style" art -- why -- and when? We can guess that Chen Fa-Ke taught basically the same thing that was taught to Yang Lu-Chan; Chen ChangXing taught Chen GengYun. Chen QingPing was GengYun's contemporary but was in a completely different lineage, and was able to teach Wu Yuxiang the continuance of his art. So we know that whatever Yang Luchan was taught matches what was taught in the next generation after him. We also know that Chen Yan-Xi didn't change anything because in the same lineage as him (but from his kungfu brother) comes Chen Zhao-Pi, whose art closely matches what Chen Fa-Ke taught. So both of them (Yanxi and Yannian) did and taught the same thing. Associated with this is the "Chen ChangXing/Chen QingPing were bad" issue. Saying Chen Chang-Xing or Chen Qing-Ping were disrespected lineages. Said by whom? Recorded where? If this is true wouldn't it be in the interest of the Chen village to record the reason why? And, where then is the respected lineage? Since Chen Zhao-Pi and Chen Fa-Ke were from the ChangXIng lineage, what is the point of disrespecting their own lineage? And where then is the superior kungfu from the other lineages? This idea is self-evidently false. It also ignores the facts; we know Chen QingPing has a wife and business in Zhaobao village, which was only a few miles away (not even really in another village in modern terms, but back then it was far aways I guess). That's why he was over there. The idea that Changxing would tell Wu Yuxiang to visit QingPing (who was in a completely different lineage going back 5+ generations) and that they basically taught the same thing can only mean that neither of them changed the art but that it was someone before them; or perhaps that it was Yang Lu-Chan that changed the art. Considering everything, it just becomes such an incredibly easy thing to say the Yangs changed it.

Finally, the whole Song Shuming/Wu Tu-Nan thing. There is a lot of weirdness surrounding that story. Kind of like an alternate universe kinda feeling. I think that if you need to rely on something Wu Tu-Nan or Song Shu-ming said to prove a point your point has issues. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'd start by trying to find a single corroborating source. There aren't any. Song Shuming was a magical pied piper who waltzed in, told his story, then waltzed out. Poof gone. It's kind of like a magical fairy who conveniently came in to verify everything Wu Tunan said, and then disappeared. I would also ask as an aside; have you seen Wu Tunan's form? It seems strange.
Last edited by Appledog on Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:37 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby amor on Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:59 am

Appledog wrote:Finally, the whole Song Shuming/Wu Tu-Nan thing. There is a lot of weirdness surrounding that story. Kind of like an alternate universe kinda feeling. I think that if you need to rely on something Wu Tu-Nan or Song Shu-ming said to prove a point your point has issues. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'd start by trying to find a single corroborating source. There aren't any. Song Shuming was a magical pied piper who waltzed in, told his story, then waltzed out. Poof gone. It's kind of like a magical fairy who conveniently came in to verify everything Wu Tunan said, and then disappeared. I would also ask as an aside; have you seen Wu Tunan's form? It seems strange.


Wu Tunan's taichi is the real deal. One of the few styles and learners of this particular form of taichi, that ive come across, who know how to use it devastatingly well imo
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Trick on Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:02 am

amor wrote:
Appledog wrote:Finally, the whole Song Shuming/Wu Tu-Nan thing. There is a lot of weirdness surrounding that story. Kind of like an alternate universe kinda feeling. I think that if you need to rely on something Wu Tu-Nan or Song Shu-ming said to prove a point your point has issues. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'd start by trying to find a single corroborating source. There aren't any. Song Shuming was a magical pied piper who waltzed in, told his story, then waltzed out. Poof gone. It's kind of like a magical fairy who conveniently came in to verify everything Wu Tunan said, and then disappeared. I would also ask as an aside; have you seen Wu Tunan's form? It seems strange.


Wu Tunan's taichi is the real deal. One of the few styles and learners of this particular form of taichi, that ive come across, who know how to use it devastatingly well imo

Are there records of this Wu Tunan using his Taiji in a devastating way ?
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Niall Keane on Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:03 am

It's well known and even stated by his
senior students that Chen fake changed his form and introduced pao chui elements to it.

We are left with two possibilities, either the chens change their form (most say with Chen fake) or somehow long lost cousins from wu-li-hao-Sun to yang to wu (quan yu) to li (ru dong) etc. All changed theirs, presumably around the third generation to be almost identicle at the same time... come on???

Remember "tai chi chuan" is named after yang lu chan.

So either yang passed on exactly what he learned in Chen village off Chen changxing which was nei jia wih no connection to the famiIy pao chui, (I would believe this) or that was only part of his building blocks in forming tai chi chuan(I don't believe this). either way the chens can't rightly claim to be doing tai chi chuan... as such wu tu nan was correct. they of course could well be practicing a related art, should they have eventually adopted the nei jia art into their family practice.

If indeed even a smattering of nei jia can overcome shaolin, perhaps they got tired of having their arses handed to them by Chen changxing line within the village.

They certainly made him a minor figure by the mid twentith century while concocting the myth about the founding ancestor being a general ...
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby Appledog on Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:52 am

Niall Keane wrote:It's well known and even stated by his
senior students that Chen fake changed his form and introduced pao chui elements to it.

We are left with two possibilities, either the chens change their form (most say with Chen fake) or somehow long lost cousins from wu-li-hao-Sun to yang to wu (quan yu) to li (ru dong) etc. All changed theirs, presumably around the third generation to be almost identicle at the same time... come on???

Remember "tai chi chuan" is named after yang lu chan.

So either yang passed on exactly what he learned in Chen village off Chen changxing which was nei jia wih no connection to the famiIy pao chui, (I would believe this) or that was only part of his building blocks in forming tai chi chuan(I don't believe this). either way the chens can't rightly claim to be doing tai chi chuan... as such wu tu nan was correct. they of course could well be practicing a related art, should they have eventually adopted the nei jia art into their family practice.

If indeed even a smattering of nei jia can overcome shaolin, perhaps they got tired of having their arses handed to them by Chen changxing line within the village.

They certainly made him a minor figure by the mid twentith century while concocting the myth about the founding ancestor being a general ...


Huh hmm.. Yeah, never heard any of that before.

The problem is that I am not getting this information from you in a vacuum; the things you are saying appear to conflict with existing information. You're also ignoring what I said -- it should be obvious from what I wrote that your theory above is impossible, because Chen Qingping in another village and in another lineage and another generation was capable of teaching Wu Yuxiang productively. Also it should go without saying that you don't have any experience with Chen style. If you did it would probably clear up some stuff.

I did Yang style for 10 years before learning Chen, when I learned Chen style it was as if my eyes were opened for the first time. Sun style wasn't as dramatic but I still count it as a worthwhile experience. That being said I am not really partial to Chen style, but it's a bit weird for you to be attacking it so much like this. It's Tai Chi, and it is the style the Yangs modifid, without any question whatsoever. From a technical standpoint the difference is like black and white vs color television. You just get more with Chen style, it's denser. That also means it's harder to learn. In many ways Yang style could be viewed as an evolution -- and Zhu TianCai says the same thing, that Yang style is a kind of evolution. But it's the same art.

They're all the same. Tai Chi is one big family.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby robert on Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:02 am

Niall Keane wrote:My own teacher was there in 1984 and changxings tombstone was thrown up against a fence and his name basically errased from the record.

I don't know about 1984, but I was in Chenjiagou in 2006 and the cemetary was in a state of disrepair. I was told it was being repaired. I was back last year and now the ancestral halls, cemetary, and museum are all contained in a nice complex and the cemetary is restored.

Far from being erased from history the house where Chen Changxing taught Yang Luchan is a museum and there is a statue of Chen Changxing passing taijiquan on to Yang Luchan.

Image

Chen Changxing is also featured in the Chen family ancestral temple.

Image
Last edited by robert on Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chen Fake`s father Chen Yanxi

Postby charles on Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:02 am

Appledog wrote:...the things you are saying appear to conflict with existing information. You're also ignoring what I said...


One can't reason with someone who is irrational.

Kudos for trying, though.
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