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 Bao on Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:27 am

salcanzonieri wrote:Why do you think that the first 3 generations (or more) were super cool? Because they knew WHY they did what they did in a form, and is because they already had a firm foundation in something that already taught them why (Hong Quan, Tai Zu, Liu He Men, Tong Bei, Yue Fei, Rou Quan, etc).
Now, I would I would think that everyone, no matter how long they have been doing tai ji would indeed want to learn WHY so that they can better do HOW.


One problem is obviously Tai Chi for health only practice. People who learn forms with no substance what so ever. Another problem is Tai Chi teachers who teach in stages of first teaching forms/standing/jibengong without applications practice. Then, first after learning solo practice, they go on to pushing hands. And even later they start with applications and more combative training. This is very common. The attitude “self-defense comes naturally from form practice” is also common. If you look at history, well yes, the “tai chi masters” of old all knew what fighting was about and most of them had background in “harder” styles.

Many teachers nowadays believe that “jin” should be learned first and come from solo practice. To not teach applications or teach jin without application is frankly ridiculous. Until you have tried doing things against another person, you have no clue about how your body will react when trying to apply things against another body. You have no clue about when or why you will tense up, how different you need to use your body when using leverage against something or when something is disturbing your balance. If you believe that you have learned “jin”, you still need to re-learn everything from the beginning. Better to learn from the beginning as it was meant to be used, and start to search for jin from there.
Last edited by Bao on Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:04 pm

Totally agree Bao
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:45 pm

So far I am not convinced that the 10 "pre-Yang Lu Chan's sons and grand sons" routines that Imperial/ Funei Yang does actually have any physical connection to what has been deeply researched as the roots of the postural movements that Chen (and Zhaobao) and Yang/Wu/Wu-Hao were created from.

Michuan "Secret" Yang at least is still showing the original roots in their postural movements. it's the 108 made into 127 postures, and it's made from Yang Jian Hou's teachings, which at least makes it understandable, whether they shoved in extra movements or not. So, I don't see what's so secret about it. Maybe that Wang secretly added a bunch of extra moves?

Funei and other Imperial styles should necessarily have some connection to Wu style, since it was taught to the imperial guards. I don't see any, unless someone can show me otherwise.

Any by the way, the Wu Fast form, (considered by some a long lost Pre Yang Chen Fu set) for all intents and purposes is still just the Yang Long form, just done fast with a different frame, but nothing in it is earth shattering different from the long form, which helps to reinforce that the long form is the real original Yang form (from Chen from Shaolin), regardless if it is Large, Medium, Small, slow, or fast.

AND, I have seen and learned an "Original" Yang set that is said to be Pre Yang Cheng Fu, that still follows the long form exactly, but executes the movements a little more Shaolin like and comes from people who do not know about the Shaolin roots to the Yang and Chen styles, but nevertheless, it was clearly there to my eyes.

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?
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:28 pm

I would love to see some film of you doing tai chi
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:34 pm

My Wu style teacher did a yang ban Hao form but only showed it for demonstrations
I never learned it but saw it on many occasions
It was supposedly the form that the Wu style was developed from it was passed down through the Cheng wing Kwong lineage
I don't think the Funei is very different to the other major lineages
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby C.J.W. on Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:19 am

salcanzonieri wrote:Why do you think that the first 3 generations (or more) were super cool? Because they knew WHY they did what they did in a form, and is because they already had a firm foundation in something that already taught them why (Hong Quan, Tai Zu, Liu He Men, Tong Bei, Yue Fei, Rou Quan, etc).


Amen to that. It's exactly how I feel about Taiji, especially when it comes to usage.

I personally think of Taiji as advanced level CMA -- a level that can be reached by practicing any TCMA system correctly and diligently to the point where one has acquired "jin" and understands the body mechanics behind yin and yang.

The main reason the vast majority of modern Taiji practitioners are so clueless about the martial aspect of their art is that they jump right into Taiji without having gone through all the tediously grueling basic training first.

All the slowing-moving forms and PH are, IMO, high-level training methods unfit for beginners and intermediate-level practitioners. Yang Luchan and other Taiji greats-- the people who reportedly were legendary fighters -- got to the point where they could be slow and soft (and still make their shit work!) after decades of training HARD and FAST.

Jumping right into the slow and soft stuff from the getgo turns Taiji into a health exercise fit for grandma and grandpas, and nothing more....
Last edited by C.J.W. on Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:23 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:06 am

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.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Steve James on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:23 am

Oh well, The majority of tcc people seem to agree that the vast majority of tcc practitioners are clueless. So, it might be true. However, I don't think that most tcc practitioners are clueless because they're lazy or have been unwilling to do the hard work. Ok, almost everyone I know who talks about "eating fu" claims that the younger generation don't eat enough bitter.

Actually, I tend to agree in general. I don't think it's specific to tcc. I haven't seen any other internal cma produce recognized fighters or win in professional venues. Of course, people will say that the Chens have been competing in sanda. However, that's hardly new, and tcc purists will (should) say that it is not tcc anyway.

It's not really important whether it's called tcc or not. But, I agree with sal's point that the early generations of Yang tcc practitioners excelled because they knew why they were doing whatever they did because they had previous experience. To me, that doesn't imply a specific martial art. It means that they had practice using martial arts. They had fought and practiced fighting and their tcc was a product of it. (If one wants to take this process back to a Shaolin origin, that's certainly valid. It's probably true of "martial arts" in general: fighting comes first.

So, imo, it's true that if someone who has never fought before takes up tcc and just does the form, he or she won't become a fighter from his tcc. But, that's true for any cma, isn't it? I don't think doing palm changes or linking forms produces fighters either. Then again, maybe the first generations of tcc people who knew how to fight didn't do tcc to improve their fighting. They didn't need to. Maybe that's why they continued to practice tcc as they aged.

Afa tcc being for grandma and grandpa, why is it that what they can do is unimportant or less important than the ability of younger tcc practitioners to fight? It's a good thing that tcc is good for the elderly. There are plenty of opportunities for the younger tcc elite to go out there and show the world. Nowadays, there's even big money in it. Since all the hard work has been done, it shouldn't be a piece of cake.;)
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:29 am

wayne hansen wrote:My Wu style teacher did a yang ban Hao form but only showed it for demonstrations
I never learned it but saw it on many occasions
It was supposedly the form that the Wu style was developed from it was passed down through the Cheng wing Kwong lineage
I don't think the Funei is very different to the other major lineages


The Funei 10 sets that they do that all the other lineages never do. Those set are indeed very different.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:30 am

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.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby salcanzonieri on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:40 am

Steve James wrote:Oh well, The majority of tcc people seem to agree that the vast majority of tcc practitioners are clueless. So, it might be true. However, I don't think that most tcc practitioners are clueless because they're lazy or have been unwilling to do the hard work. Ok, almost everyone I know who talks about "eating fu" claims that the younger generation don't eat enough bitter.

Actually, I tend to agree in general. I don't think it's specific to tcc. I haven't seen any other internal cma produce recognized fighters or win in professional venues. Of course, people will say that the Chens have been competing in sanda. However, that's hardly new, and tcc purists will (should) say that it is not tcc anyway.

It's not really important whether it's called tcc or not. But, I agree with sal's point that the early generations of Yang tcc practitioners excelled because they knew why they were doing whatever they did because they had previous experience. To me, that doesn't imply a specific martial art. It means that they had practice using martial arts. They had fought and practiced fighting and their tcc was a product of it. (If one wants to take this process back to a Shaolin origin, that's certainly valid. It's probably true of "martial arts" in general: fighting comes first.

So, imo, it's true that if someone who has never fought before takes up tcc and just does the form, he or she won't become a fighter from his tcc. But, that's true for any cma, isn't it? I don't think doing palm changes or linking forms produces fighters either. Then again, maybe the first generations of tcc people who knew how to fight didn't do tcc to improve their fighting. They didn't need to. Maybe that's why they continued to practice tcc as they aged.

Afa tcc being for grandma and grandpa, why is it that what they can do is unimportant or less important than the ability of younger tcc practitioners to fight? It's a good thing that tcc is good for the elderly. There are plenty of opportunities for the younger tcc elite to go out there and show the world. Nowadays, there's even big money in it. Since all the hard work has been done, it shouldn't be a piece of cake.;)


TCQ for health is fine with me, I think it is valid, just that people need to be connected to the movements, not move like zombies with squids tied to their hands.

One thing to note, Shaolin never taught how to "fight" as in sports fighting, but as in self defense (being Buddhist and Zen at that). Which means you were taught to deal with an ambush (as a Monk) to be a bull fighter, which means to evade an incoming attack (yield), evade it (redirect), change the energy so the incoming force can be used against itself (absorb and send it back). Everything that Taiji Quan and other internal martial arts require. Bagua Zhang and Xingyi Quan also have deep roots in Shaolin as well. And ultimately, Shaolin gets its "stuff" from Shuai Jiao anyways.

My book: https://www.amazon.com/Hidden-History-Chinese-Internal-Martial/dp/1490430717/
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:58 am

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.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:04 am

Steve James wrote:Oh well, The majority of tcc people seem to agree that the vast majority of tcc practitioners are clueless.


Everybody else's taijiquan sucks, this is true. Just like their driving.

So, imo, it's true that if someone who has never fought before takes up tcc and just does the form, he or she won't become a fighter from his tcc. But, that's true for any cma, isn't it? I don't think doing palm changes or linking forms produces fighters either. Then again, maybe the first generations of tcc people who knew how to fight didn't do tcc to improve their fighting. They didn't need to. Maybe that's why they continued to practice tcc as they aged.

Well "the form" is just one aspect of a comprehensive system. If all you do is learn a form without any context or the additional training required to even make the form "full", then yes, you're not going to have much gongfu.


Afa tcc being for grandma and grandpa, why is it that what they can do is unimportant or less important than the ability of younger tcc practitioners to fight? It's a good thing that tcc is good for the elderly. There are plenty of opportunities for the younger tcc elite to go out there and show the world. Nowadays, there's even big money in it. Since all the hard work has been done, it shouldn't be a piece of cake.;)


In my opinion Taijiquan is first and foremost a healing art. Once you've got superior health you can start to talk about self defense. Conflict resolution, in my opinion, is just another aspect of it's healing power.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Steve James on Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:37 am

TCQ for health is fine with me, I think it is valid, just that people need to be connected to the movements, not move like zombies with squids tied to their hands.


"Arm-waving" is an issue. But, knowing an application and having experience making it work when it counts are two different things.

Your point was that, for ex., YLC had practiced Hongquan or Rouquan before learning tcc. To me, that's no different than if someone who learned muay thai takes up tcc. I.e., the fighting ability didn't come from the form, but from the qualities a person gained from practicing muay thai. It's not the fighting; it's the experience of hitting and getting hit, and the desire to continue. Most of the time, the "eating bitter" is a matter of getting beaten up by one's betters.

Otoh, I agree that basic self-defense applications will work against uncommitted, inexperienced, and surprised aggressors. Grandpa can take someone out on the street.
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Re: Thoughts about Chen - Yang TJQ and so on

Postby Ron Panunto on Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:36 am

Steve James wrote:
TCQ for health is fine with me, I think it is valid, just that people need to be connected to the movements, not move like zombies with squids tied to their hands.


"Arm-waving" is an issue. But, knowing an application and having experience making it work when it counts are two different things.

Your point was that, for ex., YLC had practiced Hongquan or Rouquan before learning tcc. To me, that's no different than if someone who learned muay thai takes up tcc. I.e., the fighting ability didn't come from the form, but from the qualities a person gained from practicing muay thai. It's not the fighting; it's the experience of hitting and getting hit, and the desire to continue. Most of the time, the "eating bitter" is a matter of getting beaten up by one's betters.

Otoh, I agree that basic self-defense applications will work against uncommitted, inexperienced, and surprised aggressors. Grandpa can take someone out on the street.


YLC studied with the Chen's for 18 years; I don't think he had to rely on any other martial art to be effective.
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