My own take on Tai Chi history...

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

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 7:49 am

Bhassler wrote:It's mostly baseless stories based on nothing.


I don't think so. I would rather say that most of the common understanding of Tai Chi History is "mostly baseless stories based on nothing". People tend to accept things without looking deeper into the facts.

Everyone acknowledged that the style came from Chenjiagou, Yang came directly from Chen,


That is not exactly true.

Yang Luchan only acknowledged that he learned from Chen Changxin, he never stated that the art was from Chen Village. He called it Mianquan and later it was called Changquan. Yang never called it Chenquan or said anything that could make anyone believe that it originated from Chen village.

If you look at all Tai Chi texts, books and writing before 1930, there was no one who believe that Taijiquan originated in Chen village. so that "Everyone acknowledged that the style came from Chenjiagou" is just not true. Most books doesn't claim Zhang Sanfeng as the inventor even if people mention him, but rather they say that no one knows exactly who it was. The only person who thought that Tai Chi was invented by a Chen family member was Chen Xin, but he thought it was a person name Chen Pu who created it. Chen Pu taught some medicin and digestion exercises that could have had Daoist origin. So this could suggest that even the Chen Clan believed that the art had a certain Daoist influence.

Tang Hao was the first one who even mentioned that Wangting had invented Tai Chi. This is what I wrote in the post:

"Tang Hao based his idea solely on maybe the only thing that points to that Wangting created any martial art. But this was only written as a side note, like an appendix, in the Chen Family Manual (Chen Si Jia Pu), that Chen WangTing created something called Chen Quan, or Chen Boxing. This note was added much late by Small Frame practitioner Chen Xin (1849 -1929) who wrote the very first book about Chen Style Taijiquan. But the thing is that Chen Xin never thought that Chen WangTing should have created Taijiquan. Instead, he believed that a person named Chen Pu should be regarded as the first Chen family member who learned ad taught Taijiquan. So what Chen Xin meant by Chen Quan, or Chen boxing, was not Taijiquan. It was something else."

So in fact, Tang Hao based his whole idea on a mistake he made. He didn't know that Chen Xin thought that Chen Pu had invented Tai Chi and that his note meant something else.

The rest of the history, how the Chen family convinced the government to name Chen Wangting the inventor of Taijiquan is about politics and relationships only.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 7:55 am

HotSoup wrote:History is supposed to be backed up with the facts and their sources, not the legends and opinions.


I've already added links to many of the sources. If you wonder about some details, I can give you more things you can look up.

Every version of history is based on opinions, it's more about who can best back up his opinions with arguments and facts.
Last edited by Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bhassler on Tue May 19, 2020 8:41 am

The name taijiquan was applied much later, so citing what individuals called the art doesn't necessarily carry a lot of weight. Whether or not it was Chen Wangting or Chen Pu who created the art doesn't change the fact that it travelled through the village, and from there went to Yang. Again, that goes back to what one defines as the "origin" of the art, or what makes taiji, taiji-- but it doesn't change the overall trajectory of where and how it evolved.

As far as Yang not acknowledging the source of his martial arts, the story I heard was that he was basically kicked out of the lineage and kicked out of the village. Yang was known as a bully and a troublemaker before he came to the village, and after Wangting died, Yang, as Wangting's adoptive son, was still living in the house with Wangting's much young widow. The rest of the village didn't like Yang (as an outsider) and didn't like him being in the house with the widow, so a bunch of them got together and told Yang to get out and stay out, and not to claim any formal affiliation with them.

Obviously, that's just a story and lots of people could argue with it, but that's kind of the point. Everybody's got stories that they heard from someone who should be credible based on their own experience. They're fun stories, and fun to think about. But anyone who starts picking and choosing from those stories to create a narrative is really just engaging in a masturbatory bout of confirmation bias. That's fine and dandy, too, but when those people start publishing this nonsense, people who don't know better start to think it's actually valid, and it becomes part of the narrative. This kind of nonsense is every bit as much responsible for the steady decline of classical martial arts as master worship, chi fantasies, cosplay, delusional lack of realistic training, and everything else. It all goes together. You are, of course, welcome to your opinions. They're certainly no weirder than my own theories. But if you publish something, expect to get pushback. Not because I think my own theories are better, but because people need to realize there are other views out there; from other perspectives, what you wrote comes across as mostly nonsense.
Bhassler
Great Old One
 
Posts: 3199
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: xxxxxxx

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby windwalker on Tue May 19, 2020 9:22 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: ...



All valid inquiries.
I would suspect that when they stopped having to validate the art based on outside competitions a lot of the practice changed, to those of relegating the art within a narrow confines of ideas and philosophies.

In another post you mentioned Teacher Brendan Lai 7* mantis. At one time he had an
open sparring day that people out side his gym could try, against his students that wanted the experience.
This gave his students a lot of experience, gave their practice reality they experience directly
against other methods.


Push hands, IMO stopped much of the development of the art
has become the focus of it, defining the art .
Last edited by windwalker on Tue May 19, 2020 9:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Writing your name on water. The greatest thing is to be ordinary."
windwalker
Wuji
 
Posts: 8242
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:08 am

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby johnwang on Tue May 19, 2020 9:34 am

windwalker wrote:Push hands, IMO stopped much of the development of the art has become the focus of it, defining the art .

Agree! The static PH prevent people from training their footwork.

In one of Adam Hsu's books, Adam said, "Taiji people have done too much push and forget about how to punch."

In another Adam Hsu's book, Adam said, internal guys like to train:

- Taiji waist,
- Xing Yi punch, and
- Bagua foot work.
Last edited by johnwang on Tue May 19, 2020 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm still allergic to "push".
User avatar
johnwang
Great Old One
 
Posts: 9470
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Tom on Tue May 19, 2020 10:30 am

yeniseri wrote:All objective facts will show the following:

. . .

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.


Almost none of the facts with respect to Taijiquan history before 1915 are objective. ;D

6. It was said that Wang Lanting was the best of YLC's students . . . by Wang Lanting's student Li Ruidong. There is nothing about Wang Lanting in any other lineages' source documents.
7. LRD was stated to be the best . . . again by his own students.
8. This I wholeheartedly agree with. 8-)

Brian: Marin has written on more than one occasion that we can't be certain of the Chen lineage or history before about 1920. The history is the weakest element (in terms of documentation) in Chen Xin's enormous volume of miasma.

Graham: Of course it's all David's opinions. He says that very clearly at the outset of the piece. It may seem, I don't know, somewhat heretical to many. ;)
The spring does not fear the iron hammer’s strike.—Martin LaPlatney
User avatar
Tom
Administrator
 
Posts: 4745
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:33 am

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby GrahamB on Tue May 19, 2020 11:14 am

I know Tom. Got me a bit of that damn old British satire there, me old mucker. Bobs yer uncle g'vner.

Bhassler - aren't you getting your chanxings and your wangtings mixed up in your story? I'm not sure...
The NHS is not drained by migrants, but sustained by them.
Heretics podcast | The Tai Chi Notebook
User avatar
GrahamB
Great Old One
 
Posts: 12270
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 3:30 pm

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 12:40 pm

Bhassler wrote: You are, of course, welcome to your opinions. They're certainly no weirder than my own theories. But if you publish something, expect to get pushback.


Of course. 8-)

I am not trying to make up things or impose ideas on others. But sometimes it's good trying to re-evaluate what we know and try to look at things at different angles. Personally I don't like to accept things just because a majority of people believe this or that. History tends to be complicated.
Last edited by Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby nicklinjm on Tue May 19, 2020 5:45 pm

Love that we are still arguing about this in 2020. Any history of taiji which purports to be objective needs to explain the facts as they stand today, i.e. the existence and history of all the main styles.

All of the arguments on this thread completely ignore Zhaobao style. Although Chen village have persistently asserted all Zhaobao is from Chenjiagou, there are lineages of Zhaobao (e.g. Hou Chunxiu's) which do not go through Chen Qingping at all. Any proper account of the history of taiji needs to explain this, otherwise it just creates more questions than it answers.
nicklinjm
Wuji
 
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:22 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bhassler on Tue May 19, 2020 8:15 pm

GrahamB wrote:Bhassler - aren't you getting your chanxings and your wangtings mixed up in your story? I'm not sure...


Yep. All the origin stories kind of reside in the same place in my brain, right next to all those horrible X-Men movies with no plot, reason, or self-consistency. They're just about as relevant to my practice, too.

It's not something I've really studied in depth, so I shouldn't even comment. I will say that I've seen several narratives emerge over the past 25 or so years, and am pretty comfortable saying that they all seem tied to money or ego.

I have seen a few systems being built (both in terms of martial arts and in other domains), and know more or less what the process looks like. Wandering taoists, mysterious teachers, and sudden radical fusions of disparate methodologies (like qigong and martial arts) don't fit the pattern of how things are successfully developed in the real world.
Bhassler
Great Old One
 
Posts: 3199
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:05 pm
Location: xxxxxxx

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Tue May 19, 2020 8:42 pm

nicklinjm wrote:Love that we are still arguing about this in 2020. Any history of taiji which purports to be objective needs to explain the facts as they stand today, i.e. the existence and history of all the main styles.

All of the arguments on this thread completely ignore Zhaobao style. Although Chen village have persistently asserted all Zhaobao is from Chenjiagou, there are lineages of Zhaobao (e.g. Hou Chunxiu's) which do not go through Chen Qingping at all. Any proper account of the history of taiji needs to explain this, otherwise it just creates more questions than it answers.


Digging deeper into Zhaobao would be fun. There are a lot of things that need to be explained.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Formosa Neijia on Wed May 20, 2020 12:16 am

The problem with this post is that it now conflicts with this one:
https://taichithoughts.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/on-weight-lifting-strength-training-and-tai-chi-chuan/
You seem to want to show that taichi came from Song taizu long fist, shaolin, etc. and you're talking about how Yang shao-hou and Ban-hou's practice was very stenuous. Yet, in the post above, you specifically quote Gu Ruzhang as stating that taichi should make no effort.

In regards to long fist type styles which he knew so well Gu says:"We constantly observe external stylists trying so hard in all their jumping and shouting. Such training only ingrains a habit of excessive effort. The art of Taiji Boxing does the opposite. To emphasize anger makes one stiff, and to emphasize effort makes one clumsy. How could we talk of nimbleness in such cases? When practicing the solo set, it should be completely natural and not have the least bit of strenuous effort." ::)
Sounds like Shao-hou and Ban-hou knew nothing about taiji, huh?

I'm not sure if you've done taizu long fist but I can assure you it's extremely stenuous. My Chen teacher taught his taiji as the highest level of the long fist system.
This is what our taizu looked like.


With that in mind, this below is very pertinent:
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: ...

All of the long fist systems take basic punching and kicking much more seriously than putting them "somewhere in the form" as the Yang style does. If early taichi was much more vigorous then POV's like Gu's above are wrong.
User avatar
Formosa Neijia
Great Old One
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 4:10 am
Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Wed May 20, 2020 1:15 am

Formosa Neijia wrote:You seem to want to show that taichi came from Song taizu long fist, shaolin, etc. and you're talking about how Yang shao-hou and Ban-hou's practice was very stenuous. Yet, in the post above, you specifically quote Gu Ruzhang as stating that taichi should make no effort.


Oh my, then my writing must be very bad. :-[ I have never said that Tai Chi needs to be hard, quite the opposite. What I wrote in this post, or at least meant, was not that Tai Chi must be hard or that it came from hard Shaolin. What I said was that the Tai Chi that Yang Luchan was not developed in the Chen village, that it was probably brought in from outside. Much later it was infused with something that was called Chen Fist which was probably Song taizu long fist or a variation of this art. What Yang Luchan was taught was the original art of Tai Chi (though it was not called so), and first later it was the Chen family Tai Chi changed. Examining facts, this is the theory which I have found to be the most logical. I don't believe that the Yang Luchan Tai Chi was hard, or necessarily very fast, but there are indication that they used sparring and partner exercises using full speed and that they tried to set each other up, so if you didn't do things right you were going to be hurt. This type of practice was common in TCMA back then.
Last edited by Bao on Wed May 20, 2020 1:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Trick on Wed May 20, 2020 1:26 am

Has “Taiji” push-hand practice been around since the days when YLC spend time spying in the Chen village ? Or is that an later invention ?
Trick
Wuji
 
Posts: 3322
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:30 am

Re: My own take on Tai Chi history...

Postby Bao on Wed May 20, 2020 1:52 am

Trick wrote:Has “Taiji” push-hand practice been around since the days when YLC spend time spying in the Chen village ? Or is that an later invention ?


Wow, that is a question alright! :o ;D

There are similar exercises in other TCMA, so why not? I would think so. All of the big five styles have the same exercises.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7447
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

PreviousNext

Return to Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: johnwang and 17 guests