My own take on Tai Chi history...

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

My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Mon May 18, 2020 6:53 am

...
Thought that it might to be fun to stir the pot a bit. Maybe this will be considered as big trolling in the Tai Chi world?

I am not addressing the actual origin of the art. Well I do, sort of at least, but not stating any actual originator or inventor. This is mostly about Yang Luchan, what he learned and taught.

I usually don't advertise my posts this way, but I spent a whole lot of time on writing this shit and would like to see the extent of how much you don't agree with the content in here. I am sure people will have plenty of objections.
...And as I am bored AF, that would be fun to know...

What Tai Chi Chuan Was Lost in Translation? – Old Yang Style, History & Myths
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby johnwang on Mon May 18, 2020 10:37 am

Many important Q&A are missing in that article.

Q: When did Taiji start to emphasize on pushing instead of kicking and punching?
A: ...

Q: Why punch is not emphasized in Yang Taiji? In the 108 moves long Yang Taiji form, you have to wait until the 20th move to learn "step out, deflect, grab, and punch".
A: ...

Q: Why kick is not emphasized in Yang Taiji? In the 108 moves long Yang Taiji form, you have to wait until the middle of the form to learn "right/left separate leg".
A: ...
I'm still allergic to "push".
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby wayne hansen on Mon May 18, 2020 1:22 pm

John all those things are in both my yang and Wu forms especially the San shou
Bao good job nothing there I disagree with
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby yeniseri on Mon May 18, 2020 6:53 pm

All objective facts will show the following:

1. Taijiquan was a new descriptive convention having nothing to do with Chen Family Art of Chenjiagou (NOTE: It borrowed from Taizuchangquan at x period in history)
2. Li Family is rarely mentioned in current taijiquan though the Chen neighbour family was said to be 'partners' with them for the borrowing of Daoist and other iconographic borrowings along with TCM/CCM definitons. Beijing 1950s simplification also borrowed the yangsheng healthj fitness paradigm as part of bringing taijiquan to the masses. No dount the addition of Western modes of exercise terminology permeated hte wellness criteria and practice of it!
3. All practitioners studied with a lineal master associated with Chenjiagou family art. Anything else is fabrication though it is known that mentioning the filial mythic grandfather of an art give it legitimacy for the 'uninformed" (seeking status and social mythic by acknowledging that mythic founder.
4. I know of no one who studied (per historical record) with Zhang Sanfeng (there were stated to be 3 of them with same name) regardless of the falsification of x documents.
5. When I compare the 'older styles' of "famous masters", dopwn to the last man, they all played form faster than what we see today! Why is that?
6. It was said that Wang Lanting was the best of Yang Luchan's students but mantle was passed to a family memebr of Yang! WHy?
7. What about Li Ruidong? He was stated to be the best but again he led his own charge.
8. Style or variation! Enjoy the form, llearn the routine and be your own master. Have reason to make it so and prosper.
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby johnwang on Mon May 18, 2020 9:30 pm

yeniseri wrote:5. When I compare the 'older styles' of "famous masters", dopwn to the last man, they all played form faster than what we see today! Why is that?

Because you cannot train slow forever. Soon or later, you have to train fast. When you move your arm that you can't even see your own hand, you then understand what "lighting speed" mean.

A: Dear master, What's lighting speed?
B: When you spin your body, you can feel that your eye balls are going to fly out of your eye sockets, that's lighting speed.

To have speed doesn't mean that you have to move fast from the 1st move to the last move of the form. Sometime you have to use a post before your next fast move.

Here is an example:

Last edited by johnwang on Mon May 18, 2020 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm still allergic to "push".
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Steve Rowe on Tue May 19, 2020 2:44 am

Excellent blog and a breath of fresh air, thank you.
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Trick on Tue May 19, 2020 3:48 am

From the blog:
. A spying servant would surely have received a good beating back then, and been thrown out as well
Perhaps that was what was ment to have happen to YLC, but it was not easily done because his spyingly practice and talent to understand what he was learning through his spying he had gained unusual mastery ?
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Trick on Tue May 19, 2020 3:54 am

As for the fast vs slow thing, it really doesn’t matter(if we talk form practice) if one got the understanding of things within (the form).

Anyway, interesting read Bao.
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby GrahamB on Tue May 19, 2020 4:05 am

"
My own take on Tai Chi history..."

Well, that's just like, your opinion, man. -shrug-
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby wiesiek on Tue May 19, 2020 4:10 am

interesting readings, thx. Bao
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Trick on Tue May 19, 2020 4:14 am

johnwang wrote:Many important Q&A are missing in that article.

Q: When did Taiji start to emphasize on pushing instead of kicking and punching?
A: ...

Q: Why punch is not emphasized in Yang Taiji? In the 108 moves long Yang Taiji form, you have to wait until the 20th move to learn "step out, deflect, grab, and punch".
A: ...

Q: Why kick is not emphasized in Yang Taiji? In the 108 moves long Yang Taiji form, you have to wait until the middle of the form to learn "right/left separate leg".
A: ...

But what does it matter where in the form and how many/little times fist and (obvious)kicks are at display in the Taiji form.
When mastered the form you do what you like and suit you best(within the idea of the Taijitu, so it still can be called Taijiquan) ?
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 6:07 am

johnwang wrote:Many important Q&A are missing in that article.]
Q: When did Taiji start to emphasize on pushing instead of kicking and punching?
Q: Why punch is not emphasized in Yang Taiji? In the 108 moves long Yang Taiji form, you have to wait until the 20th move to learn "step out, deflect, grab, and punch".
Q: Why kick is not emphasized in Yang Taiji? In the 108 moves long Yang Taiji form, you have to wait until the middle of the form to learn "right/left separate leg".
A: ...


Maybe for a second round. +3000 words is long enough for most readers.

wayne hansen wrote:Bao good job nothing there I disagree with


Thanks Wayne! 8-)


yeniseri wrote:All objective facts will show the following:
....


Good points. I'll look it up closer in details.

Steve Rowe wrote:Excellent blog and a breath of fresh air, thank you.


Thank you Steve, your kind words are very much appreciated. 8-)

Trick wrote:From the blog:
. A spying servant would surely have received a good beating back then, and been thrown out as well
Perhaps that was what was ment to have happen to YLC, but it was not easily done because his spyingly practice and talent to understand what he was learning through his spying he had gained unusual mastery ?


Maybe. I have a hard time believing it. I could almost bet on that one of the Chen's made it up. There are other versions that makes more sense from a historical point of view.

Trick wrote:As for the fast vs slow thing, it really doesn’t matter(if we talk form practice) if one got the understanding of things within (the form).

Anyway, interesting read Bao.


Agreed. Personally I believe that slow practice always has been an integral part of the practice. Also it's not as uncommon in Shaolin arts as people thinks, so it's nothing particularly unique. Thanks.

GrahamB wrote:"
Well, that's just like, your opinion, man.


Yeah, my opinions only. Based on sources and research. I don't care much about what others believe if they cannot come up with a good argument. I put up links to many of the sources I used. Should probably put in more of it, but very few seem to be interested in actually clicking on the links.

wiesiek wrote:interesting readings, thx. Bao


Happy you thought it was interesting.
Last edited by Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 6:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
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- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bhassler on Tue May 19, 2020 7:09 am

It's mostly baseless stories based on nothing. Everyone acknowledged that the style came from Chenjiagou, Yang came directly from Chen, and all the other styles came from Yang until the Chen clan managed to make themselves into the next Shaolin tourist attraction and turned it into a multi-million dollar business. Then, all of a sudden, the Yang's and everybody else (i.e. Wudang) wanted to get their piece of the pie and started coming out with their own stories about how each was more taoist-er and mystical-er than the next guy.

All the original disputes about origin centered around whether Chen Wangting created the whole thing, or whether the taoist/neigong elements came from outside the village and were incorporated by Chen Wangting. So it really comes down to a semantic debate of what a person means by "origin", which ties directly to what the individual believes to be the essence of the art, or what makes a thing what it is. Folks can debate that all they want, but when people get into silly theories about taiji not passing through the village at all, wandering taoists, etc., it just become ridiculous.
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby HotSoup on Tue May 19, 2020 7:32 am

History is supposed to be backed up with the facts and their sources, not the legends and opinions. This looks more like a conspiracy theory :) Hard to take it seriously while staying within the borders of the scientific worldview.
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Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby everything on Tue May 19, 2020 7:39 am

Bhassler wrote:It's mostly baseless stories based on nothing. Everyone acknowledged that the style came from Chenjiagou, Yang came directly from Chen, and all the other styles came from Yang until the Chen clan managed to make themselves into the next Shaolin tourist attraction and turned it into a multi-million dollar business. Then, all of a sudden, the Yang's and everybody else (i.e. Wudang) wanted to get their piece of the pie and started coming out with their own stories about how each was more taoist-er and mystical-er than the next guy.

All the original disputes about origin centered around whether Chen Wangting created the whole thing, or whether the taoist/neigong elements came from outside the village and were incorporated by Chen Wangting. So it really comes down to a semantic debate of what a person means by "origin", which ties directly to what the individual believes to be the essence of the art, or what makes a thing what it is. Folks can debate that all they want, but when people get into silly theories about taiji not passing through the village at all, wandering taoists, etc., it just become ridiculous.


I like this summary as well.

Bao, enjoyed reading your post.
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