Origin of Taichi Explanation

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

Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Bao on Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:22 am

@Robert:

Thanks for the input!


@Charles:

"those making the claims shouldn't be too surprised that they are met with dismissal or just outright ignored."

I would not and I am not. Actually I am very surprised that I don't get attacked harder and more often. ;)

"Is there ANY substantiating evidence that you can point to that supports that assertion regarding CFK? "

YFC left Beijing for Shanghai, CFK took over and started teaching there. Same big crowd, same expectations.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby LaoDan on Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:35 am

Trick wrote:
Bill wrote:It looks to me that a couple of lines as missing from the 'back' drawing. Anyone else notice that?

That’s what I’ve been trying to point out. .....Perhaps Chen Xi’s writings are better than his drawings.

Actually, the drawings may be somewhat theoretical, but if one assumed that the spiraling is like how a cord wraps around a body, then you can do the following yourself:

Place the middle of a rope ~ at your dantien (I fastened it to my belt buckle), pass each end to your back and cross them before passing them over each shoulder and then under each armpit, then continue wrapping the rope once around the upper arm to around the elbow, and once around the forearm to around the wrist, and finish with the ends crossing the palms and ending at the middle fingers.

When I did this it precisely replicated Chen’s illustration.

Similar windings can be done from the big toe and up the legs to the groin. I did not attempt the crossing over the chest, but as has been pointed out, some lines seem to be missing from the diagram. Perhaps wrapping a rope around his body is what Chen did in order to model his illustrations. Whether or not this precisely replicates what is happening inside one’s actual body is another question.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby GrahamB on Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:01 am

We recorded Part 1 of The History of Tai Chi last night for our podcast. I think we nailed it. There will be no more deabte after this. Expect public release in a matter of days. 8-)
















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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby pacman161 on Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:52 pm

GrahamB wrote:We recorded Part 1 of The History of Tai Chi last night for our podcast. I think we nailed it. There will be no more deabte after this. Expect public release in a matter of days. 8-)

Are you going to post a link when it goes up?
















;)
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby GrahamB on Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:29 pm

charles wrote:Wow.

Let's start with this:

GrahamB wrote:Anyway, I'd like to know what you/anyone here thinks of the SPP theory on the origins of the move after the "Jin Gang"move. Don't focus on the man - focus on the theory. Is it a ritualisitc expression from common theatre performance of "mixing the exlir of immortality"? (around 5.58) I mean, if not, what is it? It seems devoid of martial function. (There are various holes in the whole theory, especially the naming "Play the Pi Pa", which is from Yang not Chen, but let's not get into that). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAKBqB5vUeE


First, SPP's Chen style isn't great. What he is demonstrating in Xin Jia. If one is looking for origin theories, it would make sense to look for those in older "frames", such as Xiao Jia or Lao Jia. He's modified movements in his performance to match his fanciful theories. For example, "Because he's half bear, he drags his leg and then stamps his foot to expel yen spirits". I don't know of any bonafide practitioner who performs that movement dragging his leg. It's a step forward.


Charles,

Something that came up recently reminded me of this thread. I believe Xin Jia is New frame?, Xiao Jia is Small frame? and Lao Jia is old frame?

And according to the video by Yang Hai, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiB2CsmU08Q "New frame" and "Old frame" are at least equally old (historically) and some people think that the New Frame is actually the oldest?

So, his performance aside, I think it's ok (ish?) for him to be presenting his theories using that form. As I've dug into the origins of tai chi chuan, the idea that the form was simply created by Yang LuChan, based on his existing knowlege of older martial arts, has become much more likely in my eyes. (See Heretics podcast, The Tai Chi Myth part 1). https://www.spreaker.com/user/9404101/5 ... yth-part-1

Were those existing sequences of Tao Lu based on some telling of a story? Who knows. I think if they were then the song had been long forgotten and the tune was now playing itself.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby pacman161 on Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:31 am

GrahamB wrote:
charles wrote:Wow.

Let's start with this:

GrahamB wrote:Anyway, I'd like to know what you/anyone here thinks of the SPP theory on the origins of the move after the "Jin Gang"move. Don't focus on the man - focus on the theory. Is it a ritualisitc expression from common theatre performance of "mixing the exlir of immortality"? (around 5.58) I mean, if not, what is it? It seems devoid of martial function. (There are various holes in the whole theory, especially the naming "Play the Pi Pa", which is from Yang not Chen, but let's not get into that). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAKBqB5vUeE


First, SPP's Chen style isn't great. What he is demonstrating in Xin Jia. If one is looking for origin theories, it would make sense to look for those in older "frames", such as Xiao Jia or Lao Jia. He's modified movements in his performance to match his fanciful theories. For example, "Because he's half bear, he drags his leg and then stamps his foot to expel yen spirits". I don't know of any bonafide practitioner who performs that movement dragging his leg. It's a step forward.


Charles,

Something that came up recently reminded me of this thread. I believe Xin Jia is New frame?, Xiao Jia is Small frame? and Lao Jia is old frame?

And according to the video by Yang Hai, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiB2CsmU08Q "New frame" and "Old frame" are at least equally old (historically) and some people think that the New Frame is actually the oldest?

So, his performance aside, I think it's ok (ish?) for him to be presenting his theories using that form. As I've dug into the origins of tai chi chuan, the idea that the form was simply created by Yang LuChan, based on his existing knowlege of older martial arts, has become much more likely in my eyes. (See Heretics podcast, The Tai Chi Myth part 1). https://www.spreaker.com/user/9404101/5 ... yth-part-1

Were those existing sequences of Tao Lu based on some telling of a story? Who knows. I think if they were then the song had been long forgotten and the tune was now playing itself.


As far as small frame goes, from what I understand, neither Yang Luchan, Li Yiyu, Chen Fake, or anyone around that time mentioned two separate lineages of Chen style. In fact, Wu Tunan said that Chen Xin was not even a practitioner of Chen style. And if you read Chen Xin's book, some stuff he talks about doesn't really makes sense, and deviates quite a bit from what was taught by Chen Fake and his students and grand students, as well as what is commonly understood among all internal styles. And thus far, I have not come across a single practitioner of small frame that has the kind of power generation and ability that Chen Fake, his students Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang, and their students like Chen Zhonghua, have. This should cast some doubt as to whether or not small frame was ever really a thing or just another modern invention.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Bao on Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:12 pm

pacman161 wrote: As far as small frame goes, from what I understand, neither Yang Luchan, Li Yiyu, Chen Fake, or anyone around that time mentioned two separate lineages of Chen style. In fact, Wu Tunan said that Chen Xin was not even a practitioner of Chen style.


Wu Tunan didn't believe Chen style was Tai Chi, so by saying that Chen Xin didn't do Chen style, he might have meant that Chen Xin's art Tai Chi. -shrug-

And if you read Chen Xin's book, some stuff he talks about doesn't really makes sense, and deviates quite a bit from what was taught by Chen Fake and his students and grand students, as well as what is commonly understood among all internal styles.


Chen Xin's book was published posthumously. He died 1929 but the book was first published 1933. Some things points to that things was added that was not Chen Xin's material. Also there is a foreword he would not agree with. Obviously some things must be different from what Chen Fake taught. The small frame had not been changed to teach in public to big groups.

What do you mean is different to things commonly understood in all interna styles? This is something you need to explain better.

And thus far, I have not come across a single practitioner of small frame that has the kind of power generation and ability that Chen Fake, his students Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang, and their students like Chen Zhonghua, have. This should cast some doubt as to whether or not small frame was ever really a thing or just another modern invention.


Well, most Chen small frame practitioners today first study middle or large frame. So if they haven't shown any large frae similar power generation it might say more about their personal interest. Why should Hong's or Feng's personal expression be considered standard? -shrug-

Wu Yuxiang's Wu style was derived dierectly from small frame. So I don't understand why you believe it's modern. Both Chen small frame and the Old Wu style are older and more original than Chen Fake's modified large frame. And besides, the frame in small frame and Wu/Hao, is a standard IMA frame. The idea of large frame is to develop Changjin, long energy. The idea of small frame is stability. In most of small frame (with exception of Sun) the main idea is to find the natural alignment where the angles and structure is as naturally strong as possible. This idea and many postures from small frame can be found in much other and older IMA, so in fact, a more reasonable conclusion is that the small frame could be considered the original Tai Chi frame. As you said no one "around that time mentioned two separate lineages of Chen style." So why are the Yang style and Wu Yuxiang so different? Wu didn't mention that what CQP taught him was different from Yang Luchan's style. So maybe Yang Luchan taught Wu Yuxiang small frame as well? Maybe both of the Medium and Small frame was contained together in the same original school and lineage? :o
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby pacman161 on Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:18 pm

Bao wrote:
pacman161 wrote: As far as small frame goes, from what I understand, neither Yang Luchan, Li Yiyu, Chen Fake, or anyone around that time mentioned two separate lineages of Chen style. In fact, Wu Tunan said that Chen Xin was not even a practitioner of Chen style.


Wu Tunan didn't believe Chen style was Tai Chi, so by saying that Chen Xin didn't do Chen style, he might have meant that Chen Xin's art Tai Chi. -shrug-

And if you read Chen Xin's book, some stuff he talks about doesn't really makes sense, and deviates quite a bit from what was taught by Chen Fake and his students and grand students, as well as what is commonly understood among all internal styles.


Chen Xin's book was published posthumously. He died 1929 but the book was first published 1933. Some things points to that things was added that was not Chen Xin's material. Also there is a foreword he would not agree with. Obviously some things must be different from what Chen Fake taught. The small frame had not been changed to teach in public to big groups.

What do you mean is different to things commonly understood in all interna styles? This is something you need to explain better.

And thus far, I have not come across a single practitioner of small frame that has the kind of power generation and ability that Chen Fake, his students Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang, and their students like Chen Zhonghua, have. This should cast some doubt as to whether or not small frame was ever really a thing or just another modern invention.


Well, most Chen small frame practitioners today first study middle or large frame. So if they haven't shown any large frae similar power generation it might say more about their personal interest. Why should Hong's or Feng's personal expression be considered standard? -shrug-

Wu Yuxiang's Wu style was derived dierectly from small frame. So I don't understand why you believe it's modern. Both Chen small frame and the Old Wu style are older and more original than Chen Fake's modified large frame. And besides, the frame in small frame and Wu/Hao, is a standard IMA frame. The idea of large frame is to develop Changjin, long energy. The idea of small frame is stability. In most of small frame (with exception of Sun) the main idea is to find the natural alignment where the angles and structure is as naturally strong as possible. This idea and many postures from small frame can be found in much other and older IMA, so in fact, a more reasonable conclusion is that the small frame could be considered the original Tai Chi frame. As you said no one "around that time mentioned two separate lineages of Chen style." So why are the Yang style and Wu Yuxiang so different? Wu didn't mention that what CQP taught him was different from Yang Luchan's style. So maybe Yang Luchan taught Wu Yuxiang small frame as well? Maybe both of the Medium and Small frame was contained together in the same original school and lineage? :o



Wu Tunan said that what Chen Fake practiced wasn't taichi, but acknowledged him as a practitioner of his style. He just didn't think it should be called "taichi." He said Chen Xin wasn't a practitioner of Chen style, there is a difference. And Li Yiyu wrote significantly about taichi and had access to Wu Yuxiang, Yang Luchan, and by proxy Chen Changxing, and he never mentioned it which is pretty strange to say the least.

There is no evidence to suggest there is a large frame either. Chen Fake did make some changes to the style after coming to Beijing and called it "New Frame", but not "large frame". And even if they practice new frame movements, if they don’t have a legit lineage, then they will not develop anything internally and thus will not have the power that the legit new frame guys have due to their lack of understanding of the internal principles/practices.

It isn't about so called "large frame power generation", all internal styles, whether it is Xinyi, bagua, xingyi, Yiquan, taichi, chen style, or whatever, have certain universal truths and underlying fundamental principles that are shared. These principles are part of what make internal styles internal. For example, force is not generated from the muscles in the same way that external styles like boxing generate force. There is something that is gained through either stance or a repeated motion for a long time while maintaining structure, relaxation, and proper movement/quality of motion. This thing that is the foundation of internal power generation I have not seen among any small frame guys, and if they were to cross hands with say Chen Zhonghua, proved he was not his usual nice self and willing to go all out, they would go flying into a wall. They do not have essential internal understanding that is required in order to fight with Chen style or any internal style as it was meant to be. There is a reason CZH can make fully resisting people fly around the room with hardly any movement even though these people are twice his size, and it has nothing to do with his amount of muscle as that wouldn't be possible doing what he does in some of his videos. Plus, he even said in a video that a powerful taichi practitioner can actually be very weak physically, and unable to lift heavy objects for example, despite being able to generate enough force to send people flying, and suggested the power generation is something independent from that.

Not sure what you are talking about when you say that the Wu/Hao style uses the Chen small frame but this is incorrect. Wu Yuxiang learned almost entirely from Yang Luchan, and then went to Zhaobao village after he suspected Yang Luchan wasn't telling him something. He found what was missing from Chen Qingping while there, however, his style is pretty much the same as what Yang Luchan taught him. And the Zhaobao guys didn't have the "small frame" that these small frame Chen Xin guys talk about, but was the same frame that Chen Changxing and later Chen Fake had.

The original Yang style and the Wu Yuxiang style were not that different. Same goes for the original Yang style and the Wu Yuxiang style. It is pretty well known that Yang Chengfu made significant changes to the form, and that most of what is now practiced as far as Yang goes comes from him. Some people say this was as a result of him not taking the training seriously when his father was alive, and as a result of not being able to fight, tried to make the form larger and rebrand it as a health exercise. This doesn't really make any sense though, because taichi done in the original smaller frame does not differ as far as the health benefits go. Taichi is actually a lot less about the frame itself, or even the movements, and a lot more about the underlying principles and internal understanding. The main reason he changed it was probably because he ended up being big and changed it to fit his body.
That guy I linked is currently in the Wang Yongquan lineage, which has always had a very skilled group of taichi practitioners, and is unique because Wang Yongquan was the son of a student of Yang Jianhou. A prince paid a lot of money to Wang Jianhou to teach him but he needed a training partner, and Wang Yongquan's father, who was the steward of the prince, was given this task. Wang Yongquan also knew Yang Jianhou (as well as his sons) and may have gotten some tips from him before he died, and he learned from his father some as well, but it is generally excepted in the lineage that his taichi came from Yang Shaohou, although it is not unreasonable to think that he may have gotten something that predates Yang Shaohou, but his main teacher was not Yang Jianhou as Wei Shuren, the last student of Wang Yongquan, claims. Wang was listed as a disciple of Yang Chengfu as that was the will Yang Jianhou, however there is a dislike for Cheng fu within the lineage, and as you might have guessed, their frame is not large like Yang Chengfu's, but is much smaller. They also have a curriculum where they can show what taichi was like before Chengfu changed it. That guy in the video (Guan Nan Wang) also trains in taichi tongbei from the Zhang Ce lineage, which is publicly known as Wuxing tongbei. Zhang Ce was the youngest student of the founder of Old Qi style tongbei, and his tongbei brother who was much older than him, was friends with both Yang Banhou and Yang Jianhou. He introduced Zhang Ce to them and he became a student of them as well. He eventually fused both Old Qi tongbei and his taichi together to create what he named Wuxing tongbei, instead of taichi tongbei as to avoid competition between the Yang family, however, within the lineage it is called taichi tongbei, and they have a taichi set that comes from Yang Luchan's sons. And it also has a smaller frame then the big Chengfu frame you typically see that now makes up 99% of Yang style, and it is very similar to the Wong Yongquan frame. (All of this is covered in his subsequent vids if you would like to watch them and get more info).

As far as the Wu Quanyou lineage goes, most practitioners trace their lineage back to his son Wu Jianquan. Wu Jianquan became friends with Yang Chengfu and they influenced each other a bit, and then Jianquan left Beijing and the style moved to Shanghai and underwent changes, and then the style traveled again to Hong Kong and underwent even more changes. However, Wu Quanyou's top disciple was not his son Wu Jianquan, but a guy named Wang Maozhai, and when Wu Quanyou died, Wang Maozhai taught Wu Jianquan in his father's stead for a time. Wang Maozhai did not move and stayed in Beijing, taichi's home, and taught several people, his most famous student being a guy named Yang Yuting. However, Yang Yuting had reputation for being really nice, and he wasn't really into fighting, and got bullied by the Yiquan crowd (mainly Wang Xiangzhai and his top student Yao Zhongxun) for this. Yang Yuting's top student was someone named Wang Peisheng, who got his start in bagua under Ma Gui, and then became really good under Yang Yuting, really fast (he was helping Yang Yuting lead classes as a teenager), and then his grandmaster Wang Maozhai decided to train him directly in addition to what Yang Yuting was doing, according to the story, so that the fighting aspect of Wu style would not die with Yang Yuting and would be passed on to the next generation. There are tons of videos of Wang Peisheng, and a few of Yang Yuting, and you can see that their frame is also fairly small like this original Yang frame.

As far as the Wu Yuxiang lineage goes, I would need to know who you are talking about. Their frame is still I would say similar to these other frames, and that lineage is very scarce as there were hardly any 2nd and 3rd generation practitioners of the style.


I say all of this to show you this, while there will be differences as styles are passed down from generation to generation due to different habits, body structures, and sometimes the opinions/methodology of the practitioners, taichi is taichi, what Wu Quan You, Wu Yuxiang, and Yang Luchan practiced was most liked the exact same system, and frame is not as important as principle, and what you are developing internally inside your body.

And also of course, none of these have anything to do with Chen Xin or the long frame he supposedly did.

As far as Chen Xin's book goes, he tries to talk about certain aspects of training such as opening the shoulder, which is something that every single internal style in existence does, however he is completely wrong about what it means to open the shoulder as he thinks you stretch the ball and socket joint until a "hole" opens in it, which is not shared by any other lineage (including Chen). Opening the shoulder has to do with the shoulder blades becoming easier to move as the back and torso relaxes and becomes more flexible so the shoulder blades can extend. He also talked a lot about stuff that had nothing to do with Chen style, like traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy, which was not taught by anyone else, and even though Chen Fake was said to be the top hand in the Chen village during his time, he did not have a formal education, and did not teach this sort of stuff, which makes it doubtful that it ever was part of the system at all. (Yang Luchan also did not teach these things). And Chen Xin doesn't spend a small portion of the book talking about these things, but takes up a lot of it writing about this unrelated material. This again is all covered in Guan Nan's subsequent videos, he actually pissed of a few small frame guys for saying this, but if you want to know more I would really encourage you to watch his vids that come after the ones I've linked, as he knows much more about this than I do, and he is very deep in the Chinese scene to the point where I am doubtful there is anyone that has as many legit connections as he does, and he is willing to share more than any youtuber I know of. Go check him out, you will probably hear about some things that virtually no one in the west has knowledge about.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Bao on Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:44 am

pacman161 wrote: Li Yiyu wrote significantly about taichi and had access to Wu Yuxiang, Yang Luchan, and by proxy Chen Changxing, and he never mentioned it which is pretty strange to say the least.


He didn't mention any small frame. Yes. This terminology is probably new.

For example, force is not generated from the muscles in the same way that external styles like boxing generate force. There is something that is gained through either stance or a repeated motion for a long time while maintaining structure, relaxation, and proper movement/quality of motion. This thing that is the foundation of internal power generation I have not seen among any small frame guys ... They do not have essential internal understanding that is required in order to fight with Chen style or any internal style as it was meant to be.


Then you haven't been around much and not met any good small frame practitioner. So? I haven't met any powerful Chen style practitioner from the more common lineages practicing the common "frames". They are all hard, stiff and use external power. They have very little understanding of anything "internal." The small frame practitioners I have met, both Chen and Wu, they understand internal principle much, much better and are far more powerful and have far better martial skills. This is my personal experience. But I wouldn't generalise it and say that large frame in general must be bad just because I personally haven't met any good Chen practitioner amongst the common schools. That would be pretty childish, don't you think? ;)

Interesting that you bring up CZH as an ideal. His method is certainly not the standard Chen.

Not sure what you are talking about when you say that the Wu/Hao style uses the Chen small frame but this is incorrect.


No, sorry but you are wrong. It certainly does. The whole sequence of the Wu (Yuxiang) form follows the small frame set. It doesn't follow the standard Yang YCF or Chen Laojia Yilu. So if the Small frame is modern, then you suggest that both of the small frame Chen and Zhaobao forms were compiled later following Wu Yuxiangs form sequence. This is something I believe every Chen, Yang and general MA scholars would consider as absurd and dismiss laughing. It doesn't make sense. The sequence of small frame and Wu Yuxiang is different from the other forms and these two are virtually identical.

Wu Yuxiang learned almost entirely from Yang Luchan, and then went to Zhaobao village after he suspected Yang Luchan wasn't telling him something. He found what was missing from Chen Qingping while there,


Exactly. Li Yiyu wrote that Wu merely spent one month with CQP. Something here doesn't make sense. Why would Wu design his form after the small frame sequence and not YLC's if he only spent one month with CQP? This doesn't make sense. Something in his history is certainly missing. (in the original video in the OP he says that Wu spent three months there in Zhaobao, but still, that would still not make much difference.)

As far as Chen Xin's book goes,...


Again, it was released after his death. How much he himself wrote and what was added should be discussed in a separate thread.

This again is all covered in Guan Nan's subsequent videos, he actually pissed of a few small frame guys for saying this, but if you want to know more I would really encourage you to watch his vids that come after the ones I've linked, as he knows much more about this than I do, and he is very deep in the Chinese scene to the point where I am doubtful there is anyone that has as many legit connections as he does, and he is willing to share more than any youtuber I know of. Go check him out, you will probably hear about some things that virtually no one in the west has knowledge about.


Yes, I have watched all of his videos. I know what he says. Some things I just can't agree about. Guan Nan makes, IMO, very strange conclusions that are sometimes completely off, especially about small frame probably just because he doesn't like small frame. :-\ Anyway, he certainly doesn't understand the small frame principles, the reason for or the focus of this practice. If he explained in detail what was wrong and managed to compare a little it would be ok. But now as he just gives general remarks without showing any kind of practical understanding, everything he says about it is just plain ignorance.

In general, small frame in Chen style is something you learn after the larger frame sets. Mostly, even to be taught, you would have needed to first develop the "long energy", spiral silk reeling energy and large frame power generation. Most Chen teachers believe that only then when you understand the principles and power generation of the large frame, the small frame practice and the small frame set would be useful. So most Chen stylist today who learn the small frame already know the more standard forms and understand their power generation. So if anyone would be pissed off by Guan Nan, it should be any teacher of the more common frames and sets rather than the small frame practitioner. Because by dismissing every small frame practitioner, he basically says that any common Chen style stinks, period.

Even the older, traditional Wu (YX) schools practice a rather big, or medium frame, first and then gradually makes the actual frame tighter. So the development is still from bigger to smaller. The Chen small frame is often called "the real martial frame." In real fighting, everything becomes small, and tight. You need to understand a much smaller kind of leverage and application in a smaller space than what you usually focus on in the practice of the standard frames. People who have done a lot of sparring and general fightings practice will understand this. Even applications practice in most Tai Chi lineages often becomes a bit artificial, too large, and hard to apply in real situations. Therefore traditional small frames schools provide with a bridge to real fighting. In both of Chen small frame and Old Wu (less in modern Hao) you can find special fighting practice that is very much non existent in the more common Taiji lineages. About these things, Guan Nan seems to know nothing about.

He doesn't piss me off, not the least. But sometimes I do have a hard time to take him seriously. I find his dismissal of small frame and Tai Chi as a martial art a bit juvenile. I don't know him so I try to not judge too much... But in general, this kind of attitude would probably suggest to me that this person had more theoretical knowledge than actual skill and experience. -shrug- Because in general, the more real experience people have, the more humble they seem to become. And the more real confidence they have, the less they need to boast about their own skill or knowledge. Sharing is one thing... Again, just general remarks. I don't know this guy and I don't wish to attack anyone. I have enjoyed his videos. And I have even shared them and his YT channel on my blog, which is something I never do. So I do acknowledge that there are many good and interesting things to learn from him, though I don't always agree with his facts. If you dismiss something, you need to be willing to provide arguments with actual substance. Maybe that's all I am missing. -shrug-
Last edited by Bao on Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:50 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Trick on Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:20 am

The method of internal is how to apply intent to the form/move(s) of the solo practice. Whether the postures is large or small only matter how much physical exercise one want to get out from the form, the amount of “internal” should not be any different if intent is rightly applied, large frame or small frame..
Some times YLC may have shown/practiced large moves, sometimes small, all after his mood at the occasion, people/students that watched but did not know of the “secrets”of the correct intent to apply just saw and copied the shell of the form, some students ended up with a small shell, some ended up with larger shells.
But those who knew didn’t divide it into small and big frames..??

Side story : About Beijing(northern) Wu taijiquan and YiQuan. I was told by Li Binci in Beijing when he learned that I originally had come to Beijing to learn/practice YiQuan,....that the place where we practiced Taiji was the very same place his teacher Yang yuting had been teaching, and just next to them was Wang Xiangzhai’s groups practice area, Yang Yuting let some of his students also learn from Wang.)
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby pacman161 on Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:15 pm

@Bao

It is not just that he didn't mention a small frame, he did not mention any other separate lineage or type of chen style being practiced at all.

If you would have some videos of some small frame guys who have real internal then I would be happy to take a look, but the fact that no one knew about this other variation of Chen until fairly recently is very strange, the fact that it was not mentioned by anyone before is even stranger, and the fact that Chen Xin's understanding seems way off from all other internal styles and Chen lineages alone is enough to make me skeptical. And you can say that the book was written after his death and changed, but if small frame guys are using that book as a reference for their stuff, then their understanding is flawed now as well. Other Chen guys not being able to fight or have internal power is not enough by itself to cast doubt, but it does add to my doubt on top of everything else, and even though most practitioners today of internal do not have internal ability, all of the other lineages have people who have quite a bit of documentation of their ability, public fights, etc. to where it is common knowledge that they did really practice and did really have internal ability (like Chen Fake, Yang Luchan, etc.) Small frame does not have this, and small frame guys will say that it was secret and he only taught one or two people at the end of his life, which is why no one knows about it, but that in itself should be a reason for a red flag. People in the chinese martial arts scene have done things like this time and time again where they try to claim a secret lineage as a marketing scheme, and it is common knowledge that this is a serious problem within the community. Does that mean Chen Xin for certain wasn't a practitioner? No. Do all of these many things prove that Chen Xin wasn't a practitioner? No. Is it justified to cause skepticism or to cast some doubt (which is what I said in my initial post)? Yes I think it is.Practitioners need to be able to prove themselves, and ability at the end of the day is what is really important. Whether it is due to Chen XIn not being a practitioner or being secretive, or whatever, Chen Xin guys have not had this. It would be really cool if there was a secretive smaller frame, but I just have not seen any sound evidence to suggest this.

I did not say that all small frame practitioners are bad as you are suggesting, I said that all of the ones I have seen are. I did say that if they went against CZH they would fly into a wall, which I do believe true, however that was harsh and I should have worded it better, but this was still about the guys I have seen. I said that Chen Xin in his book lacked understanding, which, if he wrote that, would suggest that lineage as always had an incorrect understanding of internal. And again, "large frame" as you call it, has already proved itself, which is a big problem for small frame. If Chen Xin had public challenges and matches, and his student did the same, we wouldn't even be having this conversation right now about whether he practiced Chen or not.

Out of all of Chen Fake's disciples only Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang were known for their high level of skill. HJS was his longest training disciple, and FZQ was his closing door disciple who took up challengers for Chen Fake during the later stage of his life (HJS had already moved out of Beijing at this point). Chen Zhonghua is one of the best disciples of Hong, who in turn was the best disciple of Chen Fake, and CZH trained with Hong until his death. After his death, instead of just doing his own thing and deciding he didn't need to do more training given his already high level, he decided to train under Chen Fake's other top student Feng Zhiqiang, and became one of the top students of Feng. He is probably the best living example of what Chen Fake's style looked like.

Again, Wu Yuxiang never learned chen small frame and I have never heard anyone try to claim that. And if he did, then Li Yiyu would have with 100% certainly talked about it, as that would be his lineage as the top student of Wu Yuxiang. Even if they did not call it small frame, he would have at least talked about this variation.
Zhabao is very similar to what the "large frame" guys practice, which just would further my point. Again, you need to cite who you are comparing small frame to from they Wu Yuxiang lineage, because that lineage is very rare and I am not even sure how much if it has been preserved in total, although I like to think there are some guys in the lineage who have real skill and have preserved it. But because of this, even some discrepencies between a handful of practitioners can be enough to throw off our understanding of the lineage because it is not like Yang, Wu, etc where we have had many highly skilled and well documented practitioners who have taught thousands of people and have common ground between all of them. It is much easier to see what these styles were like when you have more documentation and people.
Sequencing can change from person to person, it is not uncommon, but the similarities that you claim you see is not proof of a second lineage and could be added after the fact which is not unheard of at all, in fact you pretty much have already admitted in this thread that small frame guys have already done this with the normal Chen lineage, as you say that they practice the "large frame" before practicing the small frame. If there are two distinct styles, why do they now practice both of them? And again, no one in the Yang family had the large frame before Yang Chengfu. That wasn't what Yang style looked like. Yang Luchan made very significant changes to Chen styles before it became known as "taichi", and even if what Yang Luchan learned from Chen Changxing was a smaller frame then what was taught by Chen Fake, and that is an if, that could easily be explained by different body types and the gradual change from one person to another, which can happen over time, even if someone does not do what YCF did, as in completely replace the entire frame themselves. It does not mean there is a secret line of chen, or that Chen Xin was a practitioner, or that he understood the fundamentals of Chen, or even that the current scene can really trace their lineage back to him.

And again, my statement was that their is reason for doubt, not that his lineage is beyond 100% certainly false, but if you don't have any historical record referencing your style, you don't have any record of anyone from your lineage publicly proving their ability and understanding, and the only text we have that traces back to the lineage head has incorrect/improper practices with fundamental things like "opening the shoulder", then that is more than enough reason to doubt it. And these aren't the only red flags, as you can read above, there are a bunch of other, and Guan Nan has listed even more as he is far more knowledge about this than I am.

Wu Yuxiang was not looking to learn taichi, his taichi came from Yang Luchan, he just needed details about a couple things Yang was withholding from him. His taichi is what Yang taugh, and you should know that Wu Quanyou, and Wu Yuxiang did not call their styles "Wu" or "Wu(Hao)" they called it taichi. There was no sub styles of taichi until Chen Fake rolled up and people started to categorize what he, Wu Jianquan, Hao, and YCF were teaching. This also would suggest that they were pretty much the same at the time since no one, including themselves, thought to make a differentiation.


Again, if everyone is getting their understanding from his book, and his book is filled with misinformation, then even if he was a legit practitioner this will contaminate the lineage as people use it to guide their practice.

No Guan Nan has a very level of understanding of principles that are common across all internal styles, and would serve as the foundation of small frame chen if it is real. This should be pretty apparent by his body mechanics, structure, quality of motion, methods of power generation, and the abilities he showcases. A person who has these traits can look at a practitioner and see if they are using these mechanics within their own body, and can see what the other persons quality of motion is and where their force is coming from. It is like how a musician can listen to a song, and if a single note is off, he will notice even though most non-musicians will probably not. And not only that but Guan Nan also can look at someone who does, say Bagua movements for example, and tell if they are using the type of force that is unique to bagua, or just doing bagua movements with a taichi or Yiquan quality of motion. This would suggest that the person did not recieve internal ability through bagua, but through taichi or Yiquan, and then performed bagua based on his understanding of those arts rather than bagua itself (which althoug their are similarities in mechanics, the quality of motion is different). And if you also have these mechanics and internal ability, it should become pretty obvious to you that Guan Nan is one of the very few people who has this quality when you look at him demoing his styles and showing th different forces found in these style. CZH is another that has these qualities that are fundamental, however his quality of motion obviously is different than Guan Nan's as Guan Nan's force comes from Yang style taichi, however they both draw from the same non-muscular sources even though they are two different flavors of internal. None of the guys I have seen from small frame have this. Even many commonly believed to be authentic teachers do not have "it" and that at the end of the day is what determines if you are doing proper internal.

Guan Nan as provided more than enough reasons for his opinion in multiple videos n this topic and in various posts he has also made on social media. I do not know what you are expecting as he has cited tons of sources and has spent literally hours talking about this. He can hardly be called ignorant on this topic at all, as he has a vast amount of information on this topic and on the chinese scene in general that he has publicly discussed. And if you believe he is not addressing something or has faults in his claim, he is very responsive to msgs via email and facebook, as well as his comments on youtube, and you could definitely bring this to him. I don't really know of any content creator that responds to multiple comments on virtually every video they make.

Guan Nan has actually already stated that the movements become smaller in all internal styles as you progress. In fact, in his taichi lineage and his taici tongbei lineage there are 3 levels of training, jsut like how Xingyi has 3 levels of training. By the time you rech the second (which he has done in both lineages) you can generate force without any physical movement. In xingyi, this is called hidden force. Eventually the movements in the 3rd stage and later become so small that it comes and goes without a trace (including any trace of intent). One second there is nothing, the next it is there, and then is gone without a trace. High level practitioners like Sun Lutang and Wang Xiangzhai, as well as other people who crossed hands with them and described their force, described this.

If you could elaborate on what is missing that Old Wu has, I would be happy to listen, but I doubt it is something that he does not know of, then again I could be wrong, I will just have to see. If you have any examples of practitioners I would be happy to take a look, but what I have seen does not look good thus far.

I do not think his response is juvenile at all, far from it. He prefaces everything with saying there aren't a lot of records available and no way to prove that Chen Xin was not a practitioner, and states that it is just his personal opinion, based on everything he stated in his videos, that he likely was not. And he does say he is bias toward small frame, however, that he will just state the reasons for his belief objectively which is what he does. And his reason for not liking the small frame scene in particular isn't because of all of these signs that he believes point to it likely not have been a real style back in the day, but because of how small frame guys have bashed large frame, but when he gave a bunch of people from the scene a chance to demonstrate their ability and touch hands, they backed off, and were unable to back up these claims. Ironically this is what you are accusing him of, however, he has made every effort in his videos to explain the conclusion he came to and the reasons behind it, while being as open and honest as possible. His personal opinion is that, based on all of these factors, lack of historical evidence/record, the fact that people from the scene he has encountered lack understanding of internal principals, etc. that he believes it is not legit, but did not say that all small frame guys suck and even said that when he sees someone who does have ability then he will revise his opinion and has been open to people giving names or sending clips of practitioners. And you are more than welcome to linked stuff you like to him if you would like as people have doe in the past. I am interested to see what you are talking about as well as I would like to see a high level practitioner of this frame and see how it is different. Having doubt does not mean I am anti small Chen frame, it just means based on everything so far, there is a lot of reason for me to doubt, and I think that is probably what Guan Nan is saying as well.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby pacman161 on Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:51 pm

Trick wrote:The method of internal is how to apply intent to the form/move(s) of the solo practice. Whether the postures is large or small only matter how much physical exercise one want to get out from the form, the amount of “internal” should not be any different if intent is rightly applied, large frame or small frame..
Some times YLC may have shown/practiced large moves, sometimes small, all after his mood at the occasion, people/students that watched but did not know of the “secrets”of the correct intent to apply just saw and copied the shell of the form, some students ended up with a small shell, some ended up with larger shells.
But those who knew didn’t divide it into small and big frames..??

Side story : About Beijing(northern) Wu taijiquan and YiQuan. I was told by Li Binci in Beijing when he learned that I originally had come to Beijing to learn/practice YiQuan,....that the place where we practiced Taiji was the very same place his teacher Yang yuting had been teaching, and just next to them was Wang Xiangzhai’s groups practice area, Yang Yuting let some of his students also learn from Wang.)


I can't tell in the first part if you are asking a question or making a statement, but in short, intent is one piece of taichi, but it is not everything, and there are things that are developed via intent as well as other things that are different from each other. Internal is not just about putting intent into one place at on specific time, or about putting a lot of intent into your practice. While internal may do these things, there is way more to it then that and that doesn't even scratch the surface. Even if you were to put intent onto s specific spot, or were to put a lot of meaning into your movement, there is still no way to physically do some of the things that these high level internal guys can do. The mechanics themselves are entirely different in how they work, and unfortunately very few practitioners have even the foundation of internal mechanics. There is a reason for all of the bones/joints remaining aligned and in structure, just like there is a reason some internal styles like Chen and some xingyi lineages stomp the ground right before they strike, and there is a reason that you try to relax and achieve song, and it has nothing to do with using your muscles as an external practitioner would.

That's cool I am familiar with Li Bingci and have seen his stuff. Which students of Wang's learned Yiquan? I don't know about their relationship with Wang Peisheng, there is something I read about something Wang Xiangzhai said to Wang Peisheng that would suggest he had admiration and respect for him, but I do not have a way to confirm this. I do know though that Yang Yuting had a very well known reputation for being really nice and not fighting, and other practitioners, in particular the Yiquan guys, gave him a hard time for this. There is a pretty well documented incident where Yang Yuting and Yao Zongxun (the inheritor of Yiquan and Wang Xiangzhai's top disciple) were out training and Yao was giving Yang Yuting a hard time about this. Shan Xiangling, a famous mantis practitioner who was friends with Yang Yuting and was also there, went up and sucker punched him for doing this. That guy in that video, Guan Nan Wang, he used to do Yiquan under the godson of Yao Chengrong, and then under Yao Chengrong directly, who is the son of Yao Zongxun, heard about this and cross trained with the head of the Ma family of preying mantis. He then decided they couldn't go exist and were anithetical, so he dropped Yiquan for mantis because he did not realize that it was a sucker punch and thought he had defeated him fair in square. The Ma family guys told him it was a sucker punch though, and he eventually decided after training for a while that Yiquan is what he wanted to do so he went back to that.

You should also know that Wang Xiangzhai was a very skilled practitioner and one of the top guys in his generation later on in life, but he wasn't a very nice person, and the Yiquan scene to this day is known for this. It is actually called by a nickname which basically translate to "thug" or "thug style" or something like that.

Not sure if you are familiar with Byron's podcast on his channel "Mu Shin Martial Culture", but he interviewed Guan Nan not that long ago, as they have known each other since Guan Nan was a kid, and if I am correct Guan Nan's father was Byron's first Chinese martial arts teacher. A lot of this is discussed in that podcast. Here is the podcast https://youtu.be/2eo7LjCPEUQ Fun fact, his Guan Nan's father is actually very close friends with Li Bingci.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Trick on Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:35 am

Bao, do you have any link to any of the Chinese tubes showing the Chen style “Small frame” and an in your opinion good performance of the Wu/Hao form ?
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Trick on Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:43 am

. Even if you were to put intent onto s specific spot,
the specific intent of Taijiquan and similar form practice should be omnipresent
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Trick on Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:07 am

pacman161 wrote:That's cool I am familiar with Li Bingci and have seen his stuff. Which students of Wang's learned Yiquan? I don't know about their relationship with Wang Peisheng, there is something I read about something Wang Xiangzhai said to Wang Peisheng that would suggest he had admiration and respect for him, but I do not have a way to confirm this. I do know though that Yang Yuting had a very well known reputation for being really nice and not fighting, and other practitioners, in particular the Yiquan guys, gave him a hard time for this. There is a pretty well documented incident where Yang Yuting and Yao Zongxun (the inheritor of Yiquan and Wang Xiangzhai's top disciple) were out training and Yao was giving Yang Yuting a hard time about this. Shan Xiangling, a famous mantis practitioner who was friends with Yang Yuting and was also there, went up and sucker punched him for doing this. That guy in that video, Guan Nan Wang, he used to do Yiquan under the godson of Yao Chengrong, and then under Yao Chengrong directly, who is the son of Yao Zongxun, heard about this and cross trained with the head of the Ma family of preying mantis. He then decided they couldn't go exist and were anithetical, so he dropped Yiquan for mantis because he did not realize that it was a sucker punch and thought he had defeated him fair in square. The Ma family guys told him it was a sucker punch though, and he eventually decided after training for a while that Yiquan is what he wanted to do so he went back to that.

You should also know that Wang Xiangzhai was a very skilled practitioner and one of the top guys in his generation later on in life, but he wasn't a very nice person, and the Yiquan scene to this day is known for this. It is actually called by a nickname which basically translate to "thug" or "thug style" or something like that.

Not sure if you are familiar with Byron's podcast on his channel "Mu Shin Martial Culture", but he interviewed Guan Nan not that long ago, as they have known each other since Guan Nan was a kid, and if I am correct Guan Nan's father was Byron's first Chinese martial arts teacher. A lot of this is discussed in that podcast. Here is the podcast https://youtu.be/2eo7LjCPEUQ Fun fact, his Guan Nan's father is actually very close friends with Li Bingci.
As I mentioned according to Li Binci, YangYuting’s and Wang Xingzhai’s groups practice areas where just next to each other and Yang thought it an good idea for some of his students to get some instruction from Wang, Li was one of them perhaps Wang Peisheng too..... When Li Binci told me this, it was just as “by the way” telling me during one of the Taiji classes, I thought it interesting but didn’t pushed for further information. Also I didn’t study very long with Li Binci’s group since I was about to move to Liaoning

Yes I know the stories about Wang Xiangzhai and some of his students and some of their students. I began learning with YiQuan/Taikiken groups in Europe, then went on to study YiQuan in Beijing for two years.

But it’s cool with the interesting information you provide here, thanks..
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