Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

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

Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:17 pm

everything wrote:What was a test like and how do we know?

No one even knows what Bruce Lee's fight with Wong Jack Man was like, and it's been reported on widely.

When Royce beat everyone, it's clear.

With his grand teacher Maeda, or with Wang Xiangzhai (for example), it doesn't seem so clear.

It's not that I don't believe the stories or the underlying point.


There are some stories passed down but those are mainly the remarkable ones. Yang Lu Chan pressing his fist against the famous boxer's as they both sat in chairs and the boxer's chair creaking and groaning and the boxer sweated profusely and his face turned red with exertion. Or Yang Cheng Fu using the cotton thread test to prove his superiority to a challenger he didn't want to embarrass. Or the challenger that jumped out at Yang Pan Hou from behind a bush or something so Pan Hou hit him in a couple of pressure points and killed him dead on the spot. Or the ones that happened behind closed doors that ended in the challenger simply saying "His skill is legit" afterwards. I mean, there's a million of those stories, honestly, but they don't all speak directly to direct fighting skill.

With Cheng Man Ching there is a little more. Robert Smith's account is that, despite his skill as a western boxer (and coach) he couldn't land a blow on Cheng Man Ching, and then CMC returned a flurry of light blows all over his head and body, any of which could have knocked him out if he hadn't been pulling his punches. Or the guy that CMC fought who he knocked down so hard his head swole up like a melon till CMC came over to set him right with his TCM skills.

But perhaps most telling was when Cheng Man Ching was on the mainland and he beat some foreign soldiers. Another unnamed-in-this-story master patted him on the back to congratulate him on his victory and he became deathly ill, bedridden, until a mutual friend asked the master to come over and take the juju off him. The master reportedly told CMC that now that he was famous, he shouldn't be so proud.

Which speaks to why there aren't very many detailed accounts of garden variety challenge matches. It seems to me that bragging about who you beat and how is a bit like kissing and telling. It would cause a loss of face that the defeated master or their students or just some other enforcer type with mad skills might feel compelled to avenge.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:09 pm

oragami_itto wrote:
salcanzonieri wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:That's a compelling theory, but Yang Luchan's sons never learned anything but taijiquan (though the exact nature of the training is lost to the ages, apparently it was severe enough to drive them to runaway or suicide), neither did Cheng Man Ching, and he's known to have learned post Yang Cheng Fu's "softening".

I'd say in my experience you can learn just taijiquan and do it correctly, standing, individual postures, forms, partner work, weapons and be able to defend yourself just fine. Just takes time and lots of boring, grueling work.


yes, but they had their basic training done with the same foundation as their father / teacher, hence it's grueling nature.


Not Cheng Man Ching.

Plus, what makes it grueling? In my experience, and according to CMCs own writing, the most bitter work is deepening relaxation/sung. The pain is exquisite and requires mental, physical, and spiritual endurance.

The idea that you need "something else first" to make Taijiquan effective is simply ludicrous. Rather I believe that the idea comes from people trying to understand Taijiquan through the lens of prior experience.

lthe whole "eating bitter" is when have to do something one dont want to do. its also a thing that developes skills thats for the party trick bag, as walking under the table__while others party trick is to drink you under the table 8-)
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:31 pm

everything wrote:What was a test like and how do we know?

No one even knows what Bruce Lee's fight with Wong Jack Man was like, and it's been reported on widely.

When Royce beat everyone, it's clear.

With his grand teacher Maeda, or with Wang Xiangzhai (for example), it doesn't seem so clear.

It's not that I don't believe the stories or the underlying point.

yes what was it like back then, whit the fear of loosing face when a master had to "fight" another respectable master ? the story of Wang Xiangzhai where he had an "test of skill" with an taiji master named Li, just upon the touch of hands both of them knew who the better one was and Li left the city
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Bao on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:34 pm

The problem is that all of these stories work like Chinese Whispers/ telephone game. They are distorted from one person to the next one. Small incidents are used to support ideas of marvellous feats. At a summer seminar our teacher shared with a few of us how he had got attacked. The very next day I heard people saying that he had ripped someone's heart out. ;D

The idea that you need "something else first" to make Taijiquan effective is simply ludicrous.


Agreed 100%. Absolutely not necessary. Maybe at least some people who believe so never encountered Tai chi as a complete martial art?
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby C.J.W. on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:42 pm

Funny that CMC's name keeps popping up in this thread as an example of a "real deal" Taiji fighter.

My late maternal grandfather was a Taiji enthusiast, and learned Taiji from Gan Xiaozho 干嘯州, one of CMC's disciples, for about 10 years starting in 60s. Later on, my mother and uncle also got interested in the art, and trained under Wu Guozhong 吳國忠 -- another disciple of CMC -- at the 228 memorial park (called New Park back then) in Taipei when they were both in college in the early 70s. My mother once participated in a demo with both Wu and CMC, and actually had the opportunity to train with CMC at his home a couple of times. Furthermore, my Fujian White Crane teacher (over 100 years old now) was friends with Huang Shengshyan and also practices CMC Taiji. So needless to say, I basically grew up watching my family doing Taiji and have heard all the "inside scoop" about CMC, his Taiji -- and his private life.

The reason CMC managed to established himself as the top Taiji guy in Taiwan wasn't really due to his supposedly superb Taiji skill, but his connection to Madame Chiang. He was Madame Chiang's art teacher and, through her, became friends with Chiang Kaishek. At a time when Chiang ruled Taiwan in ways not unlike what Kim Jong-un does in North Korea today, it basically meant that CMC was untouchable, and no martial artist would dare challenge him and make him lose face.

As for CMC's relationship with Yang Chengfu, I was told that when YCF's son Yang Shouzhong was asked about CMC, he replied, "Oh yeah, I remember him. He was a decent painter and doctor who cured my mom's illness and trained with my dad for a few months back in the days."
"Really? But why did your father let him write his book on Taiji? Doesn't that make him his top disciple?"
"No, not really. My dad just thought he was an artist and a scholar -- someone who would be good at writing books."

(It's also worth noting that Yang Shouzhong detested CMC's 37-posture Taiji, and refused to acknowledge it as an offshoot of the Yang style that CMC supposedly got from his father.)

The real reason that CMC came up with his own 37-posture Taiji was because that he only spent a short period of time with YCF, and didn't know his style well enough to teach it. CMC got most of his Taiji skills from Ye Daimi 葉大密, a high-level IMA teacher who opened a school in Shanghai where CMC went and trained for about 4 years.

Lastly, I'd like to say that I really have no reason to bad-mouth CMC, especially considering my family's connection to him. I'm just telling the facts as I've been told by those who were close to CMC and knew him personally because I feel that the Taiji community deserves to know the truth.
Last edited by C.J.W. on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:45 pm

in the book 'Collection of papers' teachers of the hunyjan taji system reflect upon their chosen art. at a place in that book it says that Feng defeted the American martial artist Kuma. but does not mention what the game was. probably just a friendly push hand game
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:43 am

C.J.W. wrote:Funny that CMC's name keeps popping up in this thread as an example of a "real deal" Taiji fighter.

My late maternal grandfather was a Taiji enthusiast, and learned Taiji from Gan Xiaozho 干嘯州, one of CMC's disciples, for about 10 years starting in 60s. Later on, my mother and uncle also got interested in the art, and trained under Wu Guozhong 吳國忠 -- another disciple of CMC -- at the 228 memorial park (called New Park back then) in Taipei when they were both in college in the early 70s. My mother once participated in a demo with both Wu and CMC, and actually had the opportunity to train with CMC at his home a couple of times. Furthermore, my Fujian White Crane teacher (over 100 years old now) was friends with Huang Shengshyan and also practices CMC Taiji. So needless to say, I basically grew up watching my family doing Taiji and have heard all the "inside scoop" about CMC, his Taiji -- and his private life.

The reason CMC managed to established himself as the top Taiji guy in Taiwan wasn't really due to his supposedly superb Taiji skill, but his connection to Madame Chiang. He was Madame Chiang's art teacher and, through her, became friends with Chiang Kaishek. At a time when Chiang ruled Taiwan in ways not unlike what Kim Jong-un does in North Korea today, it basically meant that CMC was untouchable, and no martial artist would dare challenge him and make him lose face.

As for CMC's relationship with Yang Chengfu, I was told that when YCF's son Yang Shouzhong was asked about CMC, he replied, "Oh yeah, I remember him. He was a decent painter and doctor who cured my mom's illness and trained with my dad for a few months back in the days."
"Really? But why did your father let him write his book on Taiji? Doesn't that make him his top disciple?"
"No, not really. My dad just thought he was an artist and a scholar -- someone who would be good at writing books."

(It's also worth noting that Yang Shouzhong detested CMC's 37-posture Taiji, and refused to acknowledge it as an offshoot of the Yang style that CMC supposedly got from his father.)

The real reason that CMC came up with his own 37-posture Taiji was because that he only spent a short period of time with YCF, and didn't know his style well enough to teach it. CMC got most of his Taiji skills from Ye Daimi 葉大密, a high-level IMA teacher who opened a school in Shanghai where CMC went and trained for about 4 years.

Lastly, I'd like to say that I really have no reason to bad-mouth CMC, especially considering my family's connection to him. I'm just telling the facts as I've been told by those who were close to CMC and knew him personally because I feel that the Taiji community deserves to know the truth.


What does your family know of Yap Sui Ting,I would love some more info
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby windwalker on Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:54 am

C.J.W. wrote:Funny that CMC's name keeps popping up in this thread as an example of a "real deal" Taiji fighter.

My late maternal grandfather was a Taiji enthusiast, and learned Taiji from Gan Xiaozho 干嘯州, one of CMC's disciples, for about 10 years starting in 60s. Later on, my mother and uncle also got interested in the art, and trained under Wu Guozhong 吳國忠 -- another disciple of CMC -- at the 228 memorial park (called New Park back then) in Taipei when they were both in college in the early 70s. My mother once participated in a demo with both Wu and CMC, and actually had the opportunity to train with CMC at his home a couple of times. Furthermore, my Fujian White Crane teacher (over 100 years old now) was friends with Huang Shengshyan and also practices CMC Taiji. So needless to say, I basically grew up watching my family doing Taiji and have heard all the "inside scoop" about CMC, his Taiji -- and his private life.

The reason CMC managed to established himself as the top Taiji guy in Taiwan wasn't really due to his supposedly superb Taiji skill, but his connection to Madame Chiang. He was Madame Chiang's art teacher and, through her, became friends with Chiang Kaishek. At a time when Chiang ruled Taiwan in ways not unlike what Kim Jong-un does in North Korea today, it basically meant that CMC was untouchable, and no martial artist would dare challenge him and make him lose face.

As for CMC's relationship with Yang Chengfu, I was told that when YCF's son Yang Shouzhong was asked about CMC, he replied, "Oh yeah, I remember him. He was a decent painter and doctor who cured my mom's illness and trained with my dad for a few months back in the days."
"Really? But why did your father let him write his book on Taiji? Doesn't that make him his top disciple?"
"No, not really. My dad just thought he was an artist and a scholar -- someone who would be good at writing books."

(It's also worth noting that Yang Shouzhong detested CMC's 37-posture Taiji, and refused to acknowledge it as an offshoot of the Yang style that CMC supposedly got from his father.)

The real reason that CMC came up with his own 37-posture Taiji was because that he only spent a short period of time with YCF, and didn't know his style well enough to teach it. CMC got most of his Taiji skills from Ye Daimi 葉大密, a high-level IMA teacher who opened a school in Shanghai where CMC went and trained for about 4 years.

Lastly, I'd like to say that I really have no reason to bad-mouth CMC, especially considering my family's connection to him. I'm just telling the facts as I've been told by those who were close to CMC and knew him personally because I feel that the Taiji community deserves to know the truth.



Good post,

accords with much I have read or heard about over the years. He did have other sources that I believe influenced the changes to his Taiji.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby cloudz on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:19 am

salcanzonieri wrote:
Which brings me back to Funei, how come if that was true why does Funei look like it has roots in no Chinese martial art I have every seen?




I'm not entirely sure where you're coming from - pretty much looks like yang style to me.
A few re arrangements in sequence and that kind of thing are barely noteworthy.
Why do you feel this is such a departure?
Maybe I'm missing something here.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby cloudz on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:30 am

salcanzonieri wrote:The Funei 10 sets that they do that all the other lineages never do. Those set are indeed very different.


I'm not sure you need to read too much into that, to be honest.
All of a sudden you're in the professional teaching arena. And you're teaching people 'in the trade' so to speak.
There is time to fill now.

The Yangs cirriculums were typically very large. What YCF passed on as a cirriculum was relatively streamlined in comparison.
I think most if not all of those forms you mention can and should be considered supplementary training for the most part.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Appledog on Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:28 am

cloudz wrote:The Yangs cirriculums were typically very large. What YCF passed on as a cirriculum was relatively streamlined in comparison.
I think most if not all of those forms you mention can and should be considered supplementary training for the most part.


When I began to put more time into practicing I told my teachers that I had more hours to fill and the end result was that I was taught different ways of doing the same thing, Probably just to relieve boredom.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby everything on Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:51 am

the "teacher" thing is common, probably not just in MA, and not just in Chinese culture. my dad was in CMC's class, but I seem to recall he said the man himself was not the teacher. This is the same thing if you win Shark Tank. You don't actually get to work with Mark Cuban. You work with his team. Same thing in some cases at professional football (soccer) teams. The manager may or may not run various training sessions.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Steve James on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:08 am

Other than the stories, there seems to be no evidence that any of the tcc masters could fight at all. Of course, masters wanted to save face for practical reasons; their livelihoods depended on their reputation. How did they gain reputations, especially since there must have been a competition to fill rice bowls? The masters didn't fight. The family styles all had "gate-keepers" who would represent their style against challengers. Fu Zhongwen was a gate keeper when someone challenged YCF's style.

I don't buy any of the fantastic stories about YCF (eg., the bird in the hand, the string trick, leaping on a roof, etc). I do believe that there were people who knew they'd make their reputations by defeating him. And, I think many of them would look something like these fellas.
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It's not really different from boxing or wrestling. People went to Cus D'Amato's gym because he produced successful fighters, like Tyson.

Oh, btw, I doubt that push hands could ever be used as a test of skill except by people who practiced the same style. A shuia jiao or karate guy may show up to challenge, they don't do push hands. And, in tcc, there are just too many types of push hands. Yang family style is not like CMC style is not like Wu style and none are like the Chen push hands competitions --which look more suited to wrestling, and completely unlike the push hands we saw in the CXW clip (where he was "pushed" and his opponent was so happy).
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby everything on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:24 am

yes, which is why it's so hard to say, I think.

as I mentioned before, people have been great at wrestling since the dawn of time. all of them probably looked like those guys. if you want a wrestling test, it's probably easy and relatively safe.

once you want to make it more "fighty", who knows what you do. in the case of mcgregor and mayweather, jr., you make some weight and boxing rules agreement.

it kinda all makes the Royce days super interesting, doesn't it? "No rules" and no time limit. Not matter what, he just takes you down and slowly, inevitably, you get to take a nice nap.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby windwalker on Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:02 am

Steve James wrote:Other than the stories, there seems to be no evidence that any of the tcc masters could fight at all. Of course, masters wanted to save face for practical reasons; their livelihoods depended on their reputation. How did they gain reputations, especially since there must have been a competition to fill rice bowls? The masters didn't fight. The family styles all had "gate-keepers" who would represent their style against challengers. Fu Zhongwen was a gate keeper when someone challenged YCF's style.

I don't buy any of the fantastic stories about YCF (eg., the bird in the hand, the string trick, leaping on a roof, etc). I do believe that there were people who knew they'd make their reputations by defeating him. And, I think many of them would look something like these fellas.

It's not really different from boxing or wrestling. People went to Cus D'Amato's gym because he produced successful fighters, like Tyson.

Oh, btw, I doubt that push hands could ever be used as a test of skill except by people who practiced the same style. A shuia jiao or karate guy may show up to challenge, they don't do push hands. And, in tcc, there are just too many types of push hands. Yang family style is not like CMC style is not like Wu style and none are like the Chen push hands competitions --which look more suited to wrestling, and completely unlike the push hands we saw in the CXW clip (where he was "pushed" and his opponent was so happy).


good post.

a story regarding this.

"there was a famous martial artist traveling from the south of China to the north, knocking on all the doors of different schools challenging and defeating each one. And one day he knocked on the Yang family door.

When the students heard who it was, everyone looked at each other, wondering who was going to go out. Nobody went out. Nobody was willing to go out. This looked bad for Yang Chengfu, because if he then did not go out when a challenge was issued, it would be worse.

It was at this moment that Zhang Qinlin, of all the students, stepped forward and said he would go out.


CMC also interacted with Zhang Qinlin, the one who I feel influenced him to change his practice.

" Zhang Laoshi looked at Zhang Zhijiang and ?OId Man Pu" with a questioning expression. Zhang then said to Zheng Manqing, "Do you really want to push hands with me?" Zheng replied, "Yes." After making sure everyone agreed, Zhang Laoshi consented.

<p> </p>In 1993 I went to Shanghai5 and met with Pu Bingru6. Pu was an avowed student of Yang Chengfu and the only one alive today to have studied with both Zhang Qinlin and Yang Chengfu. She recounted the same story (that Zhang Laoshi told me) but from Zheng Manqing's point of view (as follows):<p> </p

>"In the room was a table where they had eaten. The two men were on one side of the table pushing hands. On the other side of the table was a wall, which was not very thick and made of wood (something like plywood).

At that time Zheng Manqing considered himself to be pretty good. While pushing with Zhang Qinlin, he was very intent on trying to push Zhang over. Zhang Laoshi was just deflecting right, deflecting left. He then made a Ji, and Zheng Manqing flew - over the table and into the wall, which almost fell over."


Its very rare to see of feel this level of skill in what passes for push hands in todays time.

"Zheng stood up (a little shaken but not hurt - the outcome was not what he had anticipated) then went to his knees and said to Zhang Laoshi, You must take me as your student." Zhang replied, "I just came for dinner. You demonstrated your form, and I demonstrated my form. This is not something I had expected.

" He told Zheng, "At the moment I do not have any time, and I am only here temporarily. I live in Shanxi province right now.

If you want me to be your teacher, you will have to send someone to get me."<p> </p><p>Zheng Manqing was very happy and realized that he would have to send a proper invitation to Zhang as well as make whatever special arrangements were necessary in order to bring Zhang Laoshi from Shanxi to Shanghai, where Zheng Manqing was living. Zheng spent a lot of money making these necessary preparations."


https://www.facebook.com/notes/david-le ... 084882079/
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