rocking the boat on LHBF

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rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby kenneth fish on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:22 am

I was in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, Hebei, for a bit about a week ago. The town, called 独流 duliu, is about an hour and change from Tianjin. Its very well known for tough martial artists, and a very complete kind of Tongbei, called Duliu Taizu Tongbeiquan 独流太祖通背拳。 (The Taizu is not the same as the Songtaizu - it is a local term referring to this kind of Tongbei) I was introduced to one of the top people in the area, and visited him and his martial arts family. The teacher is my age, and there were a couple of his elder classmates too - they also demonstrated a bit, and were spry and powerful in their 70's. Things took a turn for the unexpected late in the day - we were watching some films that they had made of the system, and some footage of other systems was on the disc as well - luhong Bashi, Bafa Quan, and Liuhe Quan, all native to the general area. I was very interested in what I saw - the BaFa Quan and the LiuHe Quan (not the Shaolin Temple Liuhe) had several very long forms - and they bore a very strong resemblance to major sections of LHBF - with very similar mechanics, but with much more visible force and exertion, like old style Lohan or Weito Shaolin. (There was also some Erlang Quan, but thats another story). So I asked about the Bafa Quan and the Liuhe Quan - and this was what I was told (which, btw, is consistent with both Wu Yihui's writings and the historical research done on LHBF by the local government) -"These are systems that have been practiced in this area for a long time - probably going back to late Ming or early Qing dynasty. They are well known here and throughout Hebei." "That teacher (indicating a gent on the CD) is the grandson of one of Wu Yihui's teachers." "Yes, we know about Wu Yihui and LHBF. LHBF was developed by Wu Yihui and his teachers. It was developed from these two systems, and other things that Wu Yihui learned (Chinese: 六合八法 这个拳 是 由 六合拳和八法拳 这两个拳法变化出来的)
We don't know where the whole Daoist myth came from - its a myth. This was developed here (meaning rural Hebei), and Wu Yihui was the person who developed and spread it."

Which, as far as I am concerned, makes a hell of a lot more sense than the general LHBF mythology we are all familiar with - and it explains why the system seems to have changed over time while Wu Yihui was still alive and teaching - he was stll working on it and changing it throughout his life.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Strange on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:34 am

very interesting, ken

appreciate you reporting back like this
external similarities are interesting, but would need to see the internal theoretical basis, neigong practice to make a more complete comparison.
if this is true, it would make Wu an ancestor, wow

thanks!
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Overlord on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:44 am

Hi Ken,

Awesome find.
Did you happen to take a photo or vdo it on the way?
I wonder where the term Xinyi come from though. :)
Thanks in advance!

Over
Last edited by Overlord on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Overlord on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:47 am

Hi Ken,

Awesome find.
Did you happen to take a photo or vdo it on the way?
Thanks in advance!

Over
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby kenneth fish on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:52 am

The mechanics are the same - and frankly, LHBF's mechanics are not as unique as most LHBF people make them out to be - what is unique is that the mechanics have generally been transmitted fairly well and fairly intact among a significant number of teachers and students. This is partly due to the tradition of teaching in rural Hebei - never for money, and generally teaching beyond the basics is individual - students come to learn from the teacher one or two at a time, there are no large group classes.

I don't think that it is so unusual for Wu to be an ancestor, either - Chinese martial arts is full of stories of individuals who became very good at one or more systems, had some sort of an epiphany, and went on to craft an art that met the demands of their day - for example Wang Lang and Praying Mantis.

I also got to see some Mian Quan, which everyone seemed to have a high opinion of. Again, much like the systems I described above, strong, elastic, visually looks rounded, relaxed, and "soft", but there is power and strength throughout the frame in every movement. The mechanics that I see in Du Liu Tongbei, LHBF, Xingyi, Xinyi - all there.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Drake on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:00 am

Ken,

Nice find. :) What you've found is what my teacher led me to believe years ago. Nice to see that theory proved.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Wanderingdragon on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:13 am

Legend is romance, logic is is intellect, from one comes the other, whichever is first ,no matter, the creator is genius. All fiction is rooted in fact, the intellect of logic is based on true knowledge of the past, beyond that is guess work, T-rexes were once ancestors of lizards and now are ancestors of birds, what is true? The Creator is genius. No matter how rocky the waters a true helmsman will stay the course. One has simply go to Shaolin and ask about Bodidharma ;D
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby WongYing on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:31 am

Hi Ken,

Great info , glad you finally managed to make it back to Hebei/Tianjin. Interesting info and goes to further clarify the just how widespread systems like BaFanShou/Quan and Liu He Quan etc in the Hebei going back some time. I know that the root founder of eagle claw Ying Jow Faan Tzi Mun, Liu Si Chun was a practioner of both BaFan Shou and Liu He Quan.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Strange on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:53 am

"what is unique is that the mechanics have generally been transmitted fairly well and fairly intact among a significant number of teachers and students."

you're dealing with very dense ppl, we mostly hear only the good parts :)
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Strange on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:53 am

"what is unique is that the mechanics have generally been transmitted fairly well and fairly intact among a significant number of teachers and students."

you're dealing with very dense ppl, we mostly hear only the good parts :)
天官指星 单对月 风摆荷叶 影成双

岳武穆王以枪为拳, 六合形意李门世根, 形意拳五行为先, 论身法六合为首,少揽闲事心田静, 多读拳谱武艺精 - 李洛能 (形意拳谱)
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby drifting on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:19 pm

I know Im not so welcome on this forum anymore... but Im interested in this topic!

kenneth fish wrote:"These are systems that have been practiced in this area for a long time - probably going back to late Ming or early Qing dynasty. They are well known here and throughout Hebei." "That teacher (indicating a gent on the CD) is the grandson of one of Wu Yihui's teachers." "Yes, we know about Wu Yihui and LHBF. LHBF was developed by Wu Yihui and his teachers. It was developed from these two systems, and other things that Wu Yihui learned (Chinese: 六合八法 这个拳 是 由 六合拳和八法拳 这两个拳法变化出来的)
We don't know where the whole Daoist myth came from - its a myth. This was developed here (meaning rural Hebei), and Wu Yihui was the person who developed and spread it."


Kenneth fish, you had a great experience there, I envy you!

My very first teacher of Liuhebafa way back was from Qingdong and taught me a version that wasnt transmitted through Wu Yi Hui. His form contains 100 movements, among which are the 66 that are found in Wu's form, and I still have the poetry of the movements he gave me. From my own comparison it is the same form but performed with very different mechanics, which I think reflects the teacher and not the style. I havent yet sought out that teachers teacher yet to further investigate but Ive been told my version (former version) is similar to what Jiang Jian Ye teaches. There is either some historical significance to the style here, or it did actually come from Wu and received alterations and a re-routed lineage (others have done that before) to give it some weight.

I wouldnt doubt the possibility that Wu Yi Hui was the actual formulator of Liuhebafa though. Actually Ive heard other older generations say that this is what they believed too. However... it also seems to be inconsistent with what we know of Wu's character. From what others like his wife have told Wu wasnt interested in what people thought about him and many close to him had no clue he was a martial arts master, and getting him to teach Liuhebafa was like pulling teeth! If he did devise Liuhebafa then that means he also created several generations of lineage, constructed a system of roughly ten forms, wrote all the poetry and the 5-character secret, and researched an interesting taoist (Chen Xiyi) to attach it to. Seems that if he went through all this effort he would have tried to take the system further and train more students to proficiency, not to mention name himself as the founder... Im just saying.


Kenneth fish, is there anything else about your experience you could share? How did you find these people? Its the kind of research that I usually do myself but I dont get to the north much recently.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Wanderingdragon on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:05 pm

Good to hear from you brother Drift, and please do not take this forum so personally opinions may differ and personalities may clash but on the whole we all seek the same thing, greater understanding, no one is an authority. On this matter I agree whole heartedly, but I am too lazy to do the research, yet the forms offer great intrinsic insight. Although a logical arguement can be made, simple and recent historical facts point to the fact that Master Wu recieved this transmission from an earlier generation as an entire system. As I said logical reasoning is the foundation of piecing together any puzzle, which the past always is, but it is credible and tangible eveidence that take logic to solid fact, hearsay is always part of the trail, but never the end. There is an old saying "a student is a lover courting a fickle mistress who ever eludes his grasp" to that I add my own "one can never hold a mistress without making love to her every day".
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Tom on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:29 pm

Wanderingdragon wrote: "one can never hold a mistress without making love to her every day".


Carlton . . . please get a room. ;)
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby Wanderingdragon on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:15 pm

Hey! >:( you never said that to John Wang ;D
But seriously the only way to know the realities of these arts we study is to do them everyday , this is how you learn their secrets, this is how you get them to come to you



From the complicated come the simple, if I were willing to guess I would suspect that some of the smaller and harder forms came from a larger more complicated system. In this clip I had know idea what Tong Bei looked like until someone said that the silliness at the end looked akin to Tong Bei. When I googled it, they had several different ideas on its origin and history, like a little kid, of course I liked the "Story " of it being created by the same sleepy Monk that is said to have created LHPF, but that is the extent of my interest in the history. To me it is clear that the only deception, theonly reason there would be a change in the transmission of these arts, are from those who would create a history from the "logical puzzle", and from those who only have an academic knowledge of the art, and of course there are the charlatains, and dupes.If I had the time and money maybe I would just Wonder the earth investigating the truth about thes arts, but that's at the end of pulp fiction, these are truly Fantasy arts in todays world, no matter what insights into yourself and life and this world in general you gain from them. If I got honest transmission from my Teacher, then only dedicated training will help me to understand this Art.
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Re: rocking the boat on LHBF

Postby chow_farn on Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:23 pm

Very interesting topic ......... would love to hear more.

So much is made of Wu and rightly so his reputation as a martial artist & his arts legacy are legendary.
Yet we seem to hear nothing Wu's Masters & how there legacy develops the art.



Interesting point about the poetry & 5 character secrets.
How schooled were the early Masters of LHBF ?
In most Kungfu traditions, Masters could not read or write. So how about rural Hebei ?
Was the 5 character ever an oral tradition ?
Does the other non Wu line of LHBF have this poetry?
Was it just given to the top students/lineage holders like Wu ?
If Wu was an educated man - did he just documented it?

I was very interested in what I saw - the BaFa Quan and the LiuHe Quan (not the Shaolin Temple Liuhe) had several very long forms - and they bore a very strong resemblance to major sections of LHBF
LHBF Zhuji form is taught in 2x halves. For example did the first 33 movements of what was witnessed look simular to "LiuHe Quan" & the remaining movements (to 66) look like "BaFa Quan". Or was it just reflected through out ?
If this is so, is this reason Wu credits a couple of LHBF Masters. Might he in fact, had a Master for each of these different arts.
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