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 Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:20 am

@pacman161, I have no idea why you defend him so strongly. Any person can that Taijiquan is useless as a fighting art as much as he wants. Who cares? It only means that he had a bad teacher or that he was a bad student, if that was what that person had been looking for. We are all in one way or another limited to our own personal experiences. But attitude is a choice. I have said what I have to say and I will just leave it as it is.

Trick wrote: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?


I've done a search and can't find my favourite clips on youku. I can upload them on my blog or a homepage so you can download them, would that be ok?
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Trick on Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:42 am

Bao wrote:
I've done a search and can't find my favourite clips on youku. I can upload them on my blog would that be ok?
that would probably work, thanks.......otherwise do you have the names of the performers, i can search for them on the chinese tubes ?
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby robert on Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:59 am

pacman161 wrote: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.

If you are talking about The Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan would you mind pointing out where he writes you stretch the ball and socket joint until a "hole" opens in it?
What I find are passages like the following.

Non-practitioners find it hard to reconcile delicate Taiji postures such as relaxed and dropped shoulders and sunk-down elbows, which suggest a maiden’s comportment, with the more aggressive tiger-like stances expected of a combatant.


keep your neck upright, hang your elbow loosely, drop and relax your shoulders, contain the chest, bend the knees, round-in and open the crotch.

There are many passages like the last one.
The method of practicing this boxing art is nothing more than opening and closing, passive and active. The subtlety of the art is based entirely upon their alternations. Chen Xin
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Bao on Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:27 am

BTW, Pacman said that "small frame" is something very new....

As I recall, the first time I heard people talking about xinjia in Chenjiagou 陳家溝 was around 1976.
...
During this time, I was in Chenjiagou visiting relatives. Chen Zhaokui was a guest living in the house of my uncle Chen Lizhou 陳立周, in which Chen Yu 陳瑜, the son of Chen Zhaokui, and I spent a lot of time together. As I said before, to the best of my knowledge, no one had spoken before this time about new or old frames in the village. However, the names of large and small frame were entirely familiar.


Good interview with Chen Peishan. https://www.die-pagode.de/l/chen-peishan/
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby charles on Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:27 am

pacman161 wrote:Out of all of Chen Fake's disciples only Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang were known for their high level of skill.


That just isn't true.

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.


I'm a big fan of CZH. However, I think it highly unlikely that he is the "best living example" of what CFK's style looked like, particularly since there is no video of CFK, just still photos. The video of other students of CFK have performances very different from Hong and Feng's later practice and very different from CZH's. As for the rest, I'm not going to get into personal details or private conversations I've had with CZH. I think your perspective is rather, uhm, skewed.

As for the small frame thing, do a little research. There is a long lineage of small frame in Chen Village. There is some evidence that suggests that it predated large frame. If you want to discuss it with a live person, contact Frank Shiery: http://phillytaichiteachers.homestead.c ... hiery.html

Small frame is not very popular and there aren't many teachers of it: it isn't very accessible to new Taijiquan students. That is one of the reasons that many students learn large frame. Some of those go on to discover there is a small frame and become interested in seeking out teachers who can teach it.

The whole, large, small, new, old thing is largely noise. They are all variations of the same core principles and practices. Learn and understand the core principles and practices and the apparent differences become stylistic and personalized.
Last edited by charles on Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby charles on Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:37 am

GrahamB wrote: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?


That isn't what Yang Hai stated. He stated that they are terms that were applied by students in Chen Village to distinguish between what two different teachers were teaching them. He stated that the "new" was a variation in the practice of "old". The "new" was a stylistic variation attributed to CFK and "finalized" by his son CZK who taught it to Villagers.

So, his performance aside, I think it's ok (ish?) for him to be presenting his theories using that form.


Assuming that you are referring to the CXW performances of new and old frames shown in Yang Hai's video, I don't disagree with his theories. However, he has chosen a performance of Xin Jia that isn't "typical". Yang's point was that they are variations of one on the other. The example he used is a non-typical performance where the differences are minimized so that his point is made more obvious. Had he chosen a more typical performance of Xin Jia, his point isn't as obvious, particularly if one looks beyond the first few moves to which he limited his comparison.

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


I wasn't there and can't shed any light on what YLC did or did not do. In the absence of concrete evidence, one can believe whatever one choses.
Last edited by charles on Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby GrahamB on Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:39 am

Hi Charles,

Really? Because that sounds an aweful like what he just said:

Image

Image

Image

Image

but the confusing world of Chen style forms is not really interesting to me, so I could be wrong.

Thanks,
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby charles on Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:35 pm

GrahamB wrote: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?


According to the screen captures you posted, Yang Hai said, "...one of my teachers, Ma Hong, said that the old form is the new form and the new form is the old form. Also, Chen Boxian, director of Chen Style Tai Chi school in Chen Village said the same."

I would interpret that statement to mean that the old and new forms are "the same". One could infer from that that they are of the same age since they are one and the same, though it then becomes a silly statement to say that something is the same age as its self.

There really isn't any mystery or controversy here. "New" is a stylistic variation of "old". The core is the same, the outward performance has more obvious coiling, additional small (qinna) circles and some of the applications are more overt. It is well accepted by those practicing it that CFK added some movements - movements, I was told, that were omitted from the earlier forms when yi lu and er lu were formulated - and emphasized more obvious coiling/silk reeling. His son, CZK, "finalized" the stylization that the people in Chen Village labelled "new" to distinguish it from what they learned previously. In that context, "new" is a more recent stylization than the "old" frame, but it is a label of limited value that serves mostly to identify the origin of the stylization.

Zhu Tiancai, one of the people who actually learned "old" frame from Chen Zhaopai and "new" frame from CZK, teaches two 13 movement forms, one based on old frame and one based on new frame. He uses those to highlight the differences in practice between the two. I spent a week with him doing that. He is very clear, as are other Chen practitioners, that one is a stylistic variation on the other.

Where did he sate that "some people think that the New Frame is actually the oldest"?
Last edited by charles on Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby GrahamB on Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:57 pm

"Where did he sate that "some people think that the New Frame is actually the oldest"?"

that was my interpretation of the text in the screenshots, but agree it's just my interpretation. I'm not attached to either outcome. I don't have an axe to grind either way. If the outcome is that they are equally old then that works just as well to my original point that Scott isn't using a "newer" frame in his demo. But also appreciate your point that his version is "non standard". But equally, I don't really care about the whole thing enough to even be in this small part of a conversation for any longer, so all's good.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby robert on Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:39 pm

charles wrote:According to the screen captures you posted, Yang Hai said, "...one of my teachers, Ma Hong, said that the old form is the new form and the new form is the old form. Also, Chen Boxian, director of Chen Style Tai Chi school in Chen Village said the same."

I would interpret that statement to mean that the old and new forms are "the same". One could infer from that that they are of the same age since they are one and the same, though it then becomes a silly statement to say that something is the same age as its self.

I agree.

charles wrote:There really isn't any mystery or controversy here. "New" is a stylistic variation of "old". The core is the same, the outward performance has more obvious coiling, additional small (qinna) circles and some of the applications are more overt. It is well accepted by those practicing it that CFK added some movements - movements, ...

For the most part I agree, but I can't say I'm taught style - I'm taught movements.

Here's an example from yilu - the first ward off left in the first jingang dao dui. In laojia yilu I'm taught that you shift the weight to the right a little and turn to the left. (Time doesn't work - starting at 21 seconds).



In xinjia yilu I'm taught that you make a circle with the hands, shift the weight to the right a little and turn to the left. (Time doesn't work - starting at 24 seconds).



In xinjia I'm taught that there are some added circles and in yun shou the right foot steps behind the left instead of next to it. I think it's much ado about nothing and largely academic.
Last edited by robert on Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Bhassler on Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:49 pm

What I heard-- from a Chinese person who learned before there was an internet-- was that when Xiaojia (small frame) broke off from the main lineage way back in the day, it was also called Xinjia (new frame). Laojia (big frame) started being called Laojia to differentiate it from Xiaojia. Then all the stuff that happened in the village happened, and after the Cultural Revolution, Chen Zhaopi came back to teach as an old man. He taught what he taught, then he died, and Chen Zhaokui came to teach his stuff, and it was different. Since it was different than what they already learned, they called in Xinjia. Some choose to believe that what Zhaopi taught was more representative of a continuous lineage. Others feel that he was old and busted, and not that physically capable or fighty, and what CZK taught later was actually not a modification, but a continuation of how it used to be taught. So if you think Zhaopi was the one with the goods, then Laojia is the old, original stuff, and Xinjia is, in fact, new. If you think CZK was the one with the goods, then Xinjia is actually the oldest/original and used to be called Laojia, Xiaojia is almost as old, and used to be called Xinjia, and Laojia is what got pieced together from a broken tradition.

I hope that helps everyone circulate their chi better.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby robert on Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:21 am

Bhassler wrote:What I heard-- from a Chinese person who learned before there was an internet-- was that when Xiaojia (small frame) broke off from the main lineage way back in the day, it was also called Xinjia (new frame). Laojia (big frame) started being called Laojia to differentiate it from Xiaojia.

Chen Ziming was a student of Chen Xin (a small frame guy) and in his manual he calls the form xinjia, new frame.

Chen Village Taiji divides into “old frame” and “new frame”. The new frame comes from inspired adjustments to the old frame, but both methods above all emphasize softness. This book presents the new frame. In the future, if I find any spare time, I ought to make another book about the old frame in order for students to understand what parts are old or new, and their points of similarity and difference. Then they will know how Taiji evolved.
  I hope to not only be able to bring some comfort to previous generations for all their hard work, but also do something to help carry out the work of promoting Taiji Boxing, and thus I write this preface.
  - written by Chen Ziming, Mar 3, 1932



Bhassler wrote:Then all the stuff that happened in the village happened, and after the Cultural Revolution, Chen Zhaopi came back to teach as an old man. He taught what he taught, then he died, and Chen Zhaokui came to teach his stuff, and it was different. Since it was different than what they already learned, they called in Xinjia. Some choose to believe that what Zhaopi taught was more representative of a continuous lineage. Others feel that he was old and busted, and not that physically capable or fighty, and what CZK taught later was actually not a modification, but a continuation of how it used to be taught. So if you think Zhaopi was the one with the goods, then Laojia is the old, original stuff, and Xinjia is, in fact, new. If you think CZK was the one with the goods, then Xinjia is actually the oldest/original and used to be called Laojia, Xiaojia is almost as old, and used to be called Xinjia, and Laojia is what got pieced together from a broken tradition.

I hope that helps everyone circulate their chi better.

There are any number of people training taijiquan in the village in the 40's and 50's, it is not just Chen Zhaopi returning. Wang Changjiang's grandfather was Wang Yan who studied with Chen Yanxi (Chen Fake's father). Chen Qingzhou studied with his father and after Chen Zhaopi returned to the village he also studied with him. Chen Zhaopi made him an indoor disciple and permitted him to teach after one year of study so his training was already pretty mature. Chen Maoshen is training during that time period. Chen Zhaoxu is teaching in the village in that time frame. I don't read or write Chinese so I'm sure there are quite a few more people that aren't known in the west.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby Bhassler on Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:50 pm

I make no claims to accuracy, I was only repeating what I had been told. I do strongly disagree with the notion that taiji as it exists today (even if just limited to Chen style) is all the same stuff expressed slightly differently. I think the different lineages have diverged enough that they are separate things that if practiced deeply do not lead to the same end result. And yes, I know that is not what the famous people say, but there's enough ego and dollars on the line that of course they are going to say certain things when asked certain questions.
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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby robert on Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am

Bhassler wrote:I make no claims to accuracy, I was only repeating what I had been told.

And I appreciate that, I like to hear what people have been told by their teachers and others. I'm just responding to what you wrote. FWIW Chen Quanzhong left Chenjiagou in the 40's and did not study with Chen Zhaopi as far as I know. He is not listed as one of his teachers so he is a different lineage.

Grandmaster Chen was born in 1925 in Chenjiagou Village in Henan Province. He began his training at the age of five with his father Chen Shigong. He is one of the few living Chen masters to have trained with 16th and 17th Generation family members. These include Chen Liangzhi (16th generation), Chen Guoying (17th generation) and Chen Shengsan (17th generation). His family moved to Xian in Shaanxi Province during World War II. In Xian he continued his training with Chen Jingping and Chen Jinao (both 18th generation). He also trained with Chen Shouli (17th generation, and a student of Chen Fake).

To my eye CQZ's laojia yilu is much closer to the laojia that comes through Chen Zhaopi than the xinjia that comes through Chen Zhaokui (that is, the four tigers). I would also point out that his silk reeling is pretty explicit in this video.

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Re: Origin of Taichi Explanation

Postby charles on Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:58 am

robert wrote:To my eye CQZ's laojia yilu is much closer to the laojia that comes through Chen Zhaopi than the xinjia that comes through Chen Zhaokui (that is, the four tigers).


His is an interesting performance. It seems to include stylistic elements usually found in Xin Jia and Xioa Jia.
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