Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

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

Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Bao on Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:26 am

"The Gentry of Ningbo” or Ningbo Fu Shi, dating 1368:

Chang Songqi, skilled in boxing was instructed by Sun Shisanlao. According to him the art of boxing originated in the Song dynasty by Chang Sanfeng. " Here it also says that he was a taoist from the Wudang mountain.

There are also a couple of entries in the Mingshi, or the official history of Ming, written as personal recollections of meetings with San Changing, one describing him as a Daoist with dirty clothes. As they are from early Ming dynasty and much more reliable, Chang Sanfeng was probably born in the end of Yuan dynasty or early Ming.
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:50 am

The immortal Sage named Zhang Sanfeng.
As boy already tall and strong, he knew where he’ll belong.
Wrestling and fighting he thought was enlightening.
A soldier, a General, a man of war he wanted to be, but that’s not want parents wanted to see.
Of to Shaolin he was sent, but only for their boxing he came hellbent, then he went.
Collecting knowledge here and there, day and night sharpening his skill. Skillful and mighty he did become but now felt his path was wrong.

When Wudang called upon him to come and settle he choose to empty his kettle.
Enlightened an ancient knowledge upon him brightened. So simple this knowledge from ancient past but instead of it man puzzle and fuzzle till cannot grasp.

He now knew the grand ultimate way of the universe, and it was not fightening and frightening, now his boxing not for kill and maim to gain but for harmony on all plane.
This his hope for those still caught in the den of puzzle and fuzzle by fist, mouth or pen.
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Trick on Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:51 am

Bao wrote:"The Gentry of Ningbo” or Ningbo Fu Shi, dating 1368:

Chang Songqi, skilled in boxing was instructed by Sun Shisanlao. According to him the art of boxing originated in the Song dynasty by Chang Sanfeng. " Here it also says that he was a taoist from the Wudang mountain.

There are also a couple of entries in the Mingshi, or the official history of Ming, written as personal recollections of meetings with San Changing, one describing him as a Daoist with dirty clothes. As they are from early Ming dynasty and much more reliable, Chang Sanfeng was probably born in the end of Yuan dynasty or early Ming.

Thanks Bao, do you have any good online link to read more
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby robert on Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:53 am

I'm not Bao, but this was written about back in 1964 in Black Belt magazine.

The entry in the Ningbo Fu Shi is discredited by the author, FWIW. It's interesting reading, but obviously there's nothing new ;) The author says there is no evidence that Zhang Sanfeng created taijiquan, but he may have practiced taoyin.

See the article - The Origin of T'ai-chi Ch'uan
https://books.google.com/books?id=XtkDA ... &q&f=false

See the article - T'ai-chi Ch'uan Part II
https://books.google.com/books?id=adkDA ... &q&f=false

See the article - T'ai-chi Ch'uan Part III
https://books.google.com/books?id=KdkDA ... &q&f=false
Last edited by robert on Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Bao on Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:38 pm

Yes, the first one was one of the sources I thought about. Henning amongst others have used this article as a source. The Ningbo and a couple of the Ming dynasty texts are mentioned there. The author also mention another text where "neijia" is brought up, but I can't find any source for that text online so I don't know what year it's dated. Should be quite early though.

Here in this book, "Investigations into the Authenticity of the Chang San-Feng Ch’uan-Chi: The Complete Works of Chang San-feng," you can also find a lot of sources and quotes, some of them earlier than "The Epitath". The whole book is downloadable in PDF format: https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu ... 389461.pdf But I don't remember if there is anything about boxing or neijia mentioned here. The book deals with texts that are supposed to have been written by Zhang Sanfeng, but the author's conclusion is that it's all about speculations and that there are no proofs that Sanfeng has written anything.

The obvious conclusion though is that Zhang Sanfeng was early associated with chinese martial arts, in various texts he is mentioned together with teachers, and students amongst other things. And several texts mention different names associated with Chinese martial arts. So regardless it's all facts or fiction, there is no doubt whatsoever about that the name "Zhang Sanfeng" has a connection to martial arts already in the early Ming dynasty. (in the 14th century) Frankly, I don't understand why people have hard to accept this or claim that it's a recent invention. Daoists practicing strange forms of martial arts was nothing new. Old Wuxia legends and common Chinese myths are filled with fighting daoist monks, and there are several well known historical people who are associated with "Quan" as well. Daoist philosopher Ge Hong (283-363) for instance wrote:

"All the martial arts have secret formulas to describe important techniques and have secret mysterious methods to overcome an opponent. If an opponent is kept unaware of these, then one could defeat him at will."

IMHO, this almost 2000 year old thought is the same as common principle in IMA today, to hide intention or as said in TJQ that you skills should "suddenly appear, suddenly disappear" or "from nothing to something, from something to nothing."
Some scholars trace the historical roots of Tai Chi Chuan and IMA far earlier than Chen Wangting. And they have very good reasons to do that because their argumentation is based on real historical facts, but their reasoning and the historical sources are very rarely brought up in modern discussions.
Last edited by Bao on Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Trick on Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:53 am

Great! thanks for those links
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Yuen-Ming on Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:29 am

Guys, everything but quoting Scott.

He has a hugely developed fantasy and make up stories which he passes for scholarship.

The novel “quoted” does not demonstrate anything. It is “a highly fictionalized account of the voyages of Zheng He, which had occurred nearly two centuries previous. Due to the fantastical elements of its plot, the Sanbao is often regarded as a mere adventure story.” (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... ode=ymng20).

Nothing inside that novel wrt Zhang Sanfeng is anywhere related to historical facts that can be proven from other sources.Very much the same can be said from many of the other characters in the novel, a lot of which are saints, immortals and gods.

Besides, the list of postures listed in that exchange are NOT related to Taijiquan but are simply common techniques found in many styles.
By memory only a couple are also part of the TJQ curriculum as well as of that of many other styles. Golden Rooster standing on one leg comes to mind.

Ciao

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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby GrahamB on Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:00 am

YM, who was saying that the novel wasn't fictional?
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Graculus on Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:38 am

Yes, with reference to this thread, the point is that the novel was a means of proving Zhang Sanfeng was associated with martial arts (and via the names of the moves, more specifically Qi Jiguang) prior to the modern period. Of course it's fantasy, but that doesn't invalidate it on this point.

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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Yuen-Ming on Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:53 am

Graculus wrote:Yes, with reference to this thread, the point is that the novel was a means of proving Zhang Sanfeng was associated with martial arts (and via the names of the moves, more specifically Qi Jiguang) prior to the modern period. Of course it's fantasy, but that doesn't invalidate it on this point.
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Hi Graculus,

If the writer is trying to prove that ZSF has a connection to the martial arts and the ONLY source he ‘quotes’ is misquoted AND it does not reflect any historical truth then - yes - this invalidates his point no? Or maybe I did not get your point?

YM
Last edited by Yuen-Ming on Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby GrahamB on Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:26 am

YM - yes, I think you have missed the point.
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Re: Zhan Sanfeng and his connection to Quan

Postby Graculus on Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:34 am

HI YM,

What I was trying to say was that a fictional ZSF was associated with martial arts (in a fictional world – in the theatre, I think, in this case). Whether this association was widespread or not, is another question. Of course, you're right that this doesn't have any bearing on the real ZSF's relation to MA.

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