Shantung Black Tiger fist

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

Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Coiled_Spring on Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:46 am

Anyone has any info about this style? Anyone practicing it anymore? I've heard that it was a pretty deadly style, but thats all I know. What other styles are famous in Shantung Province in China?
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby cerebus on Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:39 am

Praying mantis is quite well-known in Shantung from what I understand.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby kenneth fish on Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:01 pm

Shandong is the home of many styles - some claim (with a bit of evidence) that at least one version of Tan Tui originated in Shandong at the Tielin temple. Sunbingquan, a form of Eagle Claw, Lu Hong Bashi, several kinds of Mantis (Guangban, Babu, Qixng, and Meihua Tanglang) - many others.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby edededed on Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:36 pm

Several famous styles of Chaquan/Zhaquan (including those that were used as the basis of modern wushu) also hail from Shandong (although there are other branches elsewhere, such as Henan).
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Graculus on Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:34 am

All I know of the art is from Draeger's book of the same name. I think most of the exposure in the west stems from that.
Nicely laid out and presented, it looks like standard northern shaolin/cha quan/longfist kind of stuff.

Allan Ellerton's article on Meng Zhao-Xun also mentions that he originally trained in this style, although he specialized in tong-bi.

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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Andy_S on Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:38 am

I bought the book years ago: It was pretty standard longfist, from what I recall, similar to Chaquan.

Allen Ellerton's piece on it in "Fighting Arts International" backed that up: The master there would teach Black Tiger to anyone, but kept his Tongbei close to his chest, he was far more reluctant to teach the latter.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby kenneth fish on Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:06 am

The Black Tiger that Master Meng taught was not at all like that shown in the book by Don F. Draeger and Leo Budiman Prakarsa, and very different from Zhaquan. (The character "cha" 查 meaning "to seek", is also a family name, and pronounced "zha") . Master Meng was very closed with both his Heihuquan and Tongbei - and would not teach Tongbei to anyone who had not learned Heihuquan or other martial arts from him for at least a year or two. Frankly, I think he had a good point - his teaching style was very demanding and there was no point to him wasting his time with students who would not stick with it.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Andy_S on Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:15 am

Ken:

I don't have the FAI article in front of me, but IIRC, the Black Tiger taught by Meng was basic longfist - long stances, extended punches, front and crescent kicks,drop spin sweeps, some qinna, etc, etc - so not particularly distinct from other long fist styles, including Chaquan.

Ellerton made the point that Meng was open with Black Tiger (and why not? I can't see any reason to be secretive about it by the 1980s, when longfist was widely taught), but very closed with his Tongbei.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Graculus on Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:19 am

Andy:
you can refresh your memory here:
http://www.chinesemartialarts.eu/

Ken:
Just out of curiosity, can you offer any more information on what Meng's Black Tiger 'looked' like (or any other salient characteristics). As Andy said, Ellerton's article makes it sound less sophisticated than his Tong-bi, especially with regards to the use of the spear.

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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby kenneth fish on Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:57 pm

Andy:

With all due respect, you did not know Meng Zhaoxun and never saw him practice. Quoting an article to me in this context is silly - especially one written by a friend and room-mate of mine. Master Meng and his wife Fu Suyun were friends of mine as well. I met them while working on the set of "Sunset in the Forbidden City" , a stinker of a film outside of the footage of Madame Fu doing some fairly difficult kung fu exercises.

Master Meng did not teach anyone particularly openly - every move had to be earned. He divided his students into gadflies, spectators, customers, and students. I do not recall him having any close disciples. Towards the end of his life he chose to live in seclusion.

I have seen other teachers of Heihumen (the proper name - Black Tiger System) from Dongbei and Shandong - all fairly similar - but no, not flowery like Zhaquan. More like old, bread and butter Henan Shaolin, but more athletic and demanding. (Writing about what a system looks like is like dancing about architecture.) FWIW I have not seen anything on youtube or youku that looks anything like this system.
Last edited by kenneth fish on Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby chud on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:41 pm

kenneth fish wrote: (Writing about what a system looks like is like dancing about architecture.) FWIW I have not seen anything on youtube or youku that looks anything like this system.


Well said Dr Fish. I think that in this modern day world everyone assumes that everything out there must have been posted on Youtube by now, but of course that is not the case.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Coiled_Spring on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:15 am

Thank you everyone for the inputs - especially Dr. Fish.

Dr. Fish,

I came to know about Black Tiger system through this video, which, in my opinion, is pretty impressive.



One of the commentators to the above clip mentioned the name of a certain Sifu Wei Tu Lo, and that this system was pretty famous among short men. Could you elaborate more on its efficacy in real fighting? And if it involved some chi gung like exercises to develop power and strength?
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby Andy_S on Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:27 am

Ken:

OK, I stand corrected. The thing I like about RSF is that young fellows like my good self (ahem! I am approaching 45) can converse in good faith with greybeards (feel free to correct) like yerself.

But seriously: What about Meng's Black Tiger was particularly advanced? Did ye ever fight his students? Did ye ever power test him/spar with him?

A master (whose name I now forget but I can look it up if ye insist) demonstrated traditional Chaquan to me in Beijing in 1994, and it was fairly standard Shantung material, IIRC. Said master was, at the time, the chief instructor of the Beijing Combat Police, and was one of the key figures behind modern sanda. I was fortunate to be introduced to him via my late Mantis instructor, Wang Shiang-min, a Shantung native who taught at the Chinese school in Seoul.

Anyway, as noted: With respect and regards.

BTW and IMHO, "Sunset in the Forbidden City" is a magnificent title, regardless of how bad the book - written by Pu Yi's English tutor - was.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby kenneth fish on Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:09 am

Thanks Andy. While the title to the movie was what drew me to it (日落紫堇成)(that and the opportunity to hang out with some other extras whom I was very taken with) the film had only the title in common with Pu Yi's book- it was about corruption and gangs and brothels and drug trade and had only the thinest of plots.

Meng's reputation was already known to me. My best friend, Liu Yanzheng, was training the Taiwan National Taikwondo team, along with Li Jimin and Tan Daoliang (Delon Tan) (already an up and coming aciton film star). Meng had smacked the crap out of Li and Tan by way of demonstrating some moves - I learned from their experience.

Master Meng's movements were crisp, athletic (he already around 60 then), and he expressed power throughout every movement, while remaining fluid and supple. His Black Tiger was very impressive - fast, powerful, almost acrobatic. You got the impression that if you got in the way he would have torn right through you, like a freight train speeding over a fallen branch. I have seen a lot of Shaolin and Minjian martial arts, and very few approached his ability (I would say he was in the same class of skill as my Lohan Shaolin teacher - their power and sheer command over their movement was similar).

There is nothing wrong with Zhaquan. A friend of mine, a retired Army Colonel (who drove a taxi to support himself) was excellent at the system - although the forms were flowery and athletic, the ancillary training was very hard and the applications brutal.

FWIW the clip that was posted looks more like plain vanilla Northern kung fu - even a bit like the basic beginner forms in Eagle Claw.

Also - Alan studied a very short time with Master Meng - again, the harshness of the instruction was a factor, and Master Meng was not exactly a barrel of laughs. Master Meng's son was living in New Jersey a while back (his mother, Fu Suyun, sometimes lived with him). I don't know if he is still there, or if he learned from his father, but it would be interesting to hear what stories he might tell.
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Re: Shantung Black Tiger fist

Postby johnwang on Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:09 pm

Talking about Meng Zhaoxun, his wife Fu Suyun, XingYi master 黄国祯 (Hwang Guo-Xhen), and my teacher were the gang of four. Evereytime my teacher took me to the muslim restaurent in Taipei and if I saw the other 3 were also there, it always means trouble for me. Usually there would be someone who had said something dis-respectful to one of those four, and I woud be the one to talk to that person face to face to request a formal apology. :-\
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