Qianzai temple sources?

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

Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:48 pm

Does someone know any kind of source on the Qianzai temple that is not Tai Chi related? It can be in English or in Chinese. I find none in either language that is not Tai Chi related. Everything is about the "Li family documents".
..Looks almost like it never even existed outside the Tai Chi world.... :-\
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Yeung on Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:43 am

You mean 千载寺 Qian Zai Temple that was built in AD 68?
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:03 am

Yeung wrote:You mean 千载寺 Qian Zai Temple that was built in AD 68?


The 千载寺 that is supposed to be the birthplace of Tai Chi according to the Li family documents "discovered" in 2002 or 2003.

I have read many western and Chinese articles and found not even one source on this temple that is not from this Chen Wangting/Li family perspective. So this is what I am looking for, any kind of proof that it actually has existed. My own conclusion so far from what I have found out is that the temple never have existed.
Last edited by Bao on Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby salcanzonieri on Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:30 pm

Did you look here, from years ago?
https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=17587&p=295193&hilit=Qianzai+temple&sid=e590e9897818ad0c8c538694eabe1245#p295193

Someone posted there some videos that talk about the temple. And names of professors from Beijing that can be asked about the temple really existing.
I was told that it was destroyed in the Cultural Revolution.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby yeniseri on Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:36 pm

1. Both Chen family and Li family migrated from Shaanxi province to Henan Province, whree through other influences, these 2 families came up with a training curriculum for the art of Chen family.. Date given is 1374
2. There was a Qianzai Monastery in Henan Province that apparently was additional in inspiration and proiferation of the art. At some point thereafter (unknown) Li and Chen family fell apart. The books says that MIng/Qing villages squabble and government inequalities of the day "spurred the distancing". QIanzai appears more symbolic than actual influence since it was a local 'symbol of presence" and affiliation with what may be seen as status!
3. It says that the father of the Li brothers 'acquired some knowledge form the senior monks but the extent is unknown. Source: Tai Chi magazine, Vol 37. #2, Summer 2013
3. Sal Conzonieri has documented the origin of what we call taijiquan today. Link: http://www.bgtent.com/naturalcma/CMAarticle30.htm
Sal has been an inspiration to me and presents the obvious truth for all to see. Postures were "borrowed" from certain martial systems of the day and reconfigured per the Chen/Li founders ;D BUt again, isn't that what Yang, Wu2, Wu3 and Sun style are i.e. reconfigurations to match their founders. Just sayin'

NOTES; If it states Chen Wangting ((陳王廷; 陈王庭; 1580–1660) is 9th generation, then my assumption based on data is the reason for the the age of Chen family art is at leat 500 years old!
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby salcanzonieri on Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:07 pm

yeniseri wrote:1. Both Chen family and Li family migrated from Shaanxi province to Henan Province, whree through other influences, these 2 families came up with a training curriculum for the art of Chen family.. Date given is 1374
2. There was a Qianzai Monastery in Henan Province that apparently was additional in inspiration and proiferation of the art. At some point thereafter (unknown) Li and Chen family fell apart. The books says that MIng/Qing villages squabble and government inequalities of the day "spurred the distancing". QIanzai appears more symbolic than actual influence since it was a local 'symbol of presence" and affiliation with what may be seen as status!
3. It says that the father of the Li brothers 'acquired some knowledge form the senior monks but the extent is unknown. Source: Tai Chi magazine, Vol 37. #2, Summer 2013
3. Sal Conzonieri has documented the origin of what we call taijiquan today. Link: http://www.bgtent.com/naturalcma/CMAarticle30.htm
Sal has been an inspiration to me and presents the obvious truth for all to see. Postures were "borrowed" from certain martial systems of the day and reconfigured per the Chen/Li founders ;D BUt again, isn't that what Yang, Wu2, Wu3 and Sun style are i.e. reconfigurations to match their founders. Just sayin'

NOTES; If it states Chen Wangting ((陳王廷; 陈王庭; 1580–1660) is 9th generation, then my assumption based on data is the reason for the the age of Chen family art is at leat 500 years old!


Interesting to me is the Wu TJQ (not Wu/Hao) style is essentially Shuai Jiao version of Yang Ban Hou's version of Yang TJQ.
Which obscures the Shaolin, etc input, but it is there, you only can infer it from knowing Chen style and the non-Yang Ban Hou version.

The Yang Jian Hou derived forms, including TCF version, more clearly shows the Shaolin influence in the form, and looks a lot more like Chen TJQ than Wu style.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:03 pm

Thanks for links. But personally, I am right now not really interested in discussing pre-Chen Tai Chi, Shaolin influences or if Chen Wangting had something to do with the birth of Taijiquan. First, I have already concluded that the stone stele rubbing with the Wangting story is a forgery and this has been discussed earlier. This still doesn’t say anything about if Wangting could have been the founder of Tai Chi or not.

Now I am trying to find out what this temple really was and how much of what has been written about it since 2002 is true. The first problem is that the temple isn’t mentioned in any local gazetteer or any kind of official document. There was no knowledge about this temple at all before 2002. The name itself, Qianzai, doesn’t exist outside of the Li documents. And there is no proof whatsoever that this temple has ever existed. Some historical evidence of old buildings that was destroyed does exist. However, the only existing evidence of a temple, or similar, (as far as what I have figured out so far) is that there are four stone tablets. Only one of these has been proven genuine. but only one fragment of it has been preserved. There should be some inscriptions on it that matches a Stele rubbing or similar. But it gives no valuable information about a temple. So everything we know about this place comes from the forged Li family documents as well as from different historical puzzle pieces that have been put together and interpreted by the same people who wanted to prove the authenticity of the Li documents and in the story that was told in the stone stele rubbing found from the Li family.

If neither the steele or the temple existed, this doesn’t minimize the works of Sal Cansonieri and others, or discredit their conclusions. It just means that some things happened in another way than what the Qianzai temple story suggests.
Last edited by Bao on Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby salcanzonieri on Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:20 pm

Wait, no one has ever said that the Li documents are fake, ONLY the stele rubbing.
Every person that reviewed all the existing stuff that is out there has said the Li documents are authentic.
I have never seen anyone, even here on this forum, say that, certainly not in China.

But people from the forum have seen the actual rubbing and it is considered a fake.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:28 pm

salcanzonieri wrote:Wait, no one has ever said that the Li documents are fake, ONLY the stele rubbing.
Every person that reviewed all the existing stuff that is out there has said the Li documents are authentic.
I have never seen anyone, even here on this forum, say that, certainly not in China.

But people from the forum have seen the actual rubbing and it is considered a fake.


I only meant the stele rubbing, should be more clear about that. The genealogy should be true.

I thought that the temple that was mentioned and people writes about should be a real place. I had some doubts about some descriptions as some things doesn't match up historically speaking. Didn't suspect that the whole temple was fake as well.
Last edited by Bao on Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby salcanzonieri on Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:49 am

hmm, there was so many destruction of temples, especially the small ones, in that region.
Just because it is not there now doesn't mean it was fake.
There are a lot of temples that practiced martial arts in the Luoyang area that were written about and they had been destroyed 100s of years ago.
But no one disputes their existence because they were mentioned various times in writings, etc.

The book Politics and Identity in the Chinese Martial Arts (now in English and in paperback) gives a good and through description along with sources for all the temple destructions.
So, does the same authors history book on Shaolin, it details all the waves of temple destruction.

The professors from Beijing University said the Li documents were authentic, not just the genealogy which was part of the documents.
They said the temple was in Tang village, where this Li family was from: Qianzai Temple of Tang Village 唐村 in Boai County 博愛縣 (Boai country villages have various "taiji" forms that are much like Chen (keeping in mind that neither Chen nor village arts were called taiji quan until modern times)
I think it was said that just broken stones are there now (people took the bricks for their own use).

The rubbing was not part of the Li documents. It came from another source, and people say it looks fake.
Especially since the temple was destroyed before the rubbing could have been made.
Last edited by salcanzonieri on Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:05 am

salcanzonieri wrote:There are a lot of temples that practiced martial arts in the Luoyang area that were written about and they had been destroyed 100s of years ago.
But no one disputes their existence because they were mentioned various times in writings, etc.


I wonder if you read what I already wrote... This was my main point. There is NOTHING written about this temple. There are no historical proofs whatsoever. It doesn’t exist in any Chinese source, in no official documents, no local gazetteer, and not in any biography or biographical note concerning any of those people mentioned in the ‘stele rubbing’.

There are old buildings that have been destroyed in the area, but exactly what kind of buildings nobody knows because there are no historical documents that supports a temple or anything else. So no, I don’t believe that the temple in the fake rubbing has ever existed.

The professors from Beijing University said the Li documents were authentic, not just the genealogy which was part of the documents.


They also claimed the authenticity of the rubbing. Which means that you cannot really trust their judgment.

The problem with the documents is about how many times has it been copied and what has been changed through the years. The documents are probably real, but the content and the versions can certainly be discussed.
Last edited by Bao on Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby salcanzonieri on Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:07 pm

The rubbing is the rubbing, no one cares about it.

But, like I said before, it is the Li documents that mention the temple (regardless of the rubbing).
maybe you should contact the professors from Bejing University, maybe they can tell you if there is any historical proof other than the Li documents from the Ming dynasty that they wrote about.
I would like to know that for myself as well.

I would think that some kind of mention of it must have been in Tang village or Baoi county, since it claimed to be there. It would require contact with learned people from that area.
There are lots of things not on the internet. The internet should not be the sole source of proof of existence.
I think Jarek went to that area, ask him. You can ask Ken Fish as well if he can dig up a non internet source.

regardless if it is real or not, whatever "martial art" and qigong that was created there was said to be lost within a generation, due to all the rebellions in the area and constant change.
So whatever they made, it mostly likely doesn't have influence on what is called Chen martial arts today or any TJQ.
Last edited by salcanzonieri on Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:33 pm

salcanzonieri wrote:The rubbing is the rubbing, no one cares about it.

But, like I said before, it is the Li documents that mention the temple (regardless of the rubbing).
maybe you should contact the professors from Bejing University, maybe they can tell you if there is any historical proof other than the Li documents from the Ming dynasty that they wrote about.


From what I have gathered so far is that the only historical evidence that is left of a temple or similar should be a fraction of a stone that I mentioned it earlier. The rest is all speculation.

I would think that some kind of mention of it must have been in Tang village or Baoi county, since it claimed to be there. It would require contact with learned people from that area.

There are lots of things not on the internet. The internet should not be the sole source of proof of existence.


I do agree. But as a researcher or historian, you want to give as much weight as possible to your arguments. That no sources whatsoever are mentioned in those long texts (in Chinese). The absence itself, is something that speak louder than words, IMHO. Of course you should be able to trace sources if they existed. Sure, I could have missed something, but still, you can get a pretty good picture of how things are reading between the lines.

I think Jarek went to that area, ask him. You can ask Ken Fish as well if he can dig up a non internet source.


Good suggestions, I might do so. Maybe just to make a point as I don’t believe that there’s anything to discover.
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Re: Qianzai temple sources?

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:32 pm

salcanzonieri wrote: ... if there is any historical proof other than the Li documents from the Ming dynasty that they wrote about.
I would like to know that for myself as well.


As you asked about it, you could read: Chen Style Taijiquan Collected Masterworks: The History of a Martial Art
https://www.amazon.com/Chen-Style-Taiji ... 1623173930

Here the problem is summed up pretty well, maybe better than in any other of the texts I’ve read. It explains how the name of the Qianzai temple in the Li manuscripts probably comes from a mistake, a misreading from an inscription from the preserved stone tablet (what is left of it is not much, but the inscription as a whole has been copied and preserved in a local gazetteer.)
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