Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Steve James on Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:44 pm

The only official designations of the heads of the major tjq families came from the PRC. There are several lineages of tjq coming down directly from Yang Luchan. "Yang" style tjq isn't one thing, and the different branches have their own leaders. But, skill is not genetic --and each of the branches have different skill sets. That's been true from the beginning. Panhou's tjq was his own --and no one surpassed his skill. The Shouchung people practice "dynamic" push hands and emphasize different things.

The two things that connect all Yang styles family or not is their acknowledged descent from YLC, and their general adherence to YCF's organization/choreography of the form. That's not to say he invented it, but he "popularized" it --as it's commonly said. And that's primarily why YCF's tjq became so prominent. Most of the people who practiced tjq in the US (on the East coast) had pictures of YCF in their schools, even CMC schools. There were two exceptions I knew of; one taught Wu/Hao style, and the other taught Yang Shouchong's tjq (in Boston).

Afa actual bloodlines, it's interesting that Ma Yuehliang was recognized as the head of the Wu Jianquan branch, but when the PRC published its official book the pictures used were of his wife (Wu Yinghua) because she was the blood relation of Wu Jianquan. Although, imo, she had the most beautiful form I'd seen. Anyway, that branch is Shanghai Wu. Hong Kong Wu/Ng had completely different family leaders. Those leaders are "officially" recognized by the family or its association, regardless of their skill level. But there are always senior students; often called gatekeepers who'd take challenges in place of the family head. That's normal, no?

Afa Yang Jun's form, I'm in no position to judge. I don't know how to take the idea that he learned from Sam Masich --not that I know him. I do know that YJ was with Zhenduo since the 90s, at least. I've never studied with him, but I have also heard that he focuses mostly on the form --though he also knows applications. If someone wanted to focus on fighting skills, it'd take more than seminars. But, even the legendary skills of tjq would require someone have lots of experience using them --against non-tjq people, specifically.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby wayne hansen on Tue Aug 31, 2021 8:08 pm

Lineage is only important to those in the lineage
If you have good lineage it means everything
However a lot of lineage is just advertising
The reasons YCF is in CMC schools is because he matters
There is a lot of crap out there no matter who’s name it is
If you have good lineage there is no need to ask questions ,you feel it
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby GrahamB on Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:26 am

oragami_itto wrote:
GrahamB wrote:China has never had a free press. When considering the reason why things appear, or don't appear, in books you should have that in mind at all times.



Fair enough, I guess its a possibility that he was omitted to prevent the government from knowing he was a student.

Why?


I have no idea, but I think you're asking the wrong question. Whatever was published under a nationalist government would have to have told a narrative that they found acceptable. It's not why one person was left out, it's why the others were put in.


"Hey Graham, tjq was part of the nationalist effort before WW2, no? "

Indeed - Communist/Nationalist - it's all the same when it comes to controlling the press.
I could be wrong.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Bao on Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:53 am

Steve James wrote:Afa actual bloodlines, it's interesting that Ma Yuehliang was recognized as the head of the Wu Jianquan branch, but when the PRC published its official book the pictures used were of his wife (Wu Yinghua) because she was the blood relation of Wu Jianquan. Although, imo, she had the most beautiful form I'd seen. Anyway, that branch is Shanghai Wu.
Hong Kong Wu/Ng had completely different family leaders.


The is what Eddie Wu Kwong in HK said:

This is family history and you can quote me on it. Ma Jing Bao’s father, Ma Yeuh Liang, who was my grand-uncle, married Wu Chien Chuan’s daughter, Wu Yin Hua. Ma Yeuh Liang learned a hard style before he met his wife. He then studied for a number of years with my grandfather, Wu Chien Chuan, who then passed away. From this point Ma Yeuh Liang had nobody to upgrade with. Wu Yin Hua did exactly what her father did but, as was the tradition in China, men came first. So she walked behind her husband and followed what he did. So then, as time passed, Ma Yeuh Liang merged his semi-hard style and Wu style forms together, which is the system that is now practised by Ma Jing Bao and his students. Now everybody has his or her areas of expertise but this is not the same system as the Wu family system. We have brought the direct lineage from my great-grandfather, grandfather and father to myself.


https://taiji-forum.com/tai-chi-taiji/t ... -eddie-wu/


Afa Yang Jun's form, I'm in no position to judge. I don't know how to take the idea that he learned from Sam Masich --not that I know him.
...but I have also heard that he focuses mostly on the form --though he also knows applications.


Lol! Seems absurd as well as insulting. I know people who studied with Yang Jun. From what they have said about what Yang Jun has told, is that he started practicing Taiji at about 6 or 7 years old. He lived in an environment where many people practiced martial arts daily. And from what he recalls, people did fast forms, practiced low basin "under the table" (don't remember if that was meant literary, I think so), and many traditional, classical old style exercises. So even if he doesn't practice that stuff himself, at least he was exposed to it and understand what it is. I myself doubt that he has much practical experience or fighting knowledge. But I would suspect that he has been tossed around by several very skilled hands.

His own skill is something I have no clue about and I've heard nothing that points to something special, but still, he has a pretty good background. But what they sell in his organisation is simplified and standardised in a way that so many people as possible should be able to do what they sell. Maybe I should not be so cynical to call their forms "the Big Mac of Tai Chi". But still, it's something easy to chew, easy to swallow and the taste is so plain that most people could eat it. Their business model has very little to do with the practice and skills of the old times. His brand "Yang Family Tai Chi" has very little to do with lineage, and is mostly and to its core, still just a business model.
Last edited by Bao on Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:56 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Bao on Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:04 am

wayne hansen wrote:If you have good lineage there is no need to ask questions ,you feel it


I liked that way of putting it.

The idea of "lineage", or at least "pure lineage" is still a fantasy construction. If you see how everybody practiced together in the old days without any sense of any style or school boundaries, before the lineages were branded to "Chen, "yang", "Wu" etc. you will understand that everything is pretty mixed up. And this mix of different ideas have just continued to mix between the styles. Tai Chi is just Tai Chi. There is no pure style and no pure, or orthodox lineage. Tai Chi is still Tai Chi. Calling something "Yang" or "Chen" doesn't even make sense from a historical point of view. Every school and lineage is the same mix. The differences are all on the surface, and mostly just illusions. But there is skill and lack of skill.

So real "lineage" might just be "skill" passed onwards, from one hand to another.
Last edited by Bao on Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Steve James on Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:48 am

The is what Eddie Wu Kwong in HK said:


Eddie Wu taught in Canada for many years, and recently became "gatekeeper" of his branch of the Wu line. It's true that his Wu style and Ma's have big differences, specifically in terms of teaching. But, which is more authentic to Wu Jianquan's ... is a family matter :). There's also Cheng Tin Hung's "Wu," but afa "lineage" they all come down from the same source.

Afa Ma, his father (or grandfather) was an officer (general) at one of the old "Peking" gates, and as member of a military family learned several martial arts. However, he learned directly, hands-on, from Wu Jianquan --and that means hands-on transmission. He would be able to tell you what WJQ's tjq was supposed to "feel" like. Besides being considered WJQ's senior disciple, that touching is a irreplaceable form of lineage, imo.

Yeah, lineage doesn't mean anything, but many people want to claim it anyway. Yep, they look down on others and other styles, all the time.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Bhassler on Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:54 am

Bao wrote:The idea of "lineage", or at least "pure lineage" is still a fantasy construction. If you see how everybody practiced together in the old days without any sense of any style or school boundaries, before the lineages were branded to "Chen, "yang", "Wu" etc. you will understand that everything is pretty mixed up. And this mix of different ideas have just continued to mix between the styles. Tai Chi is just Tai Chi. There is no pure style and no pure, or orthodox lineage. Tai Chi is still Tai Chi. Calling something "Yang" or "Chen" doesn't even make sense from a historical point of view. Every school and lineage is the same mix. The differences are all on the surface, and mostly just illusions. But there is skill and lack of skill.

So real "lineage" might just be "skill" passed onwards, from one hand to another.


I would say it's almost exactly the opposite of that. The different styles are not lineages, they are styles, and I agree that the distinction is largely meaningless. Lineage refers to a particular line of teaching, including their specific jibengong, partner practices, detailed understandings of movements and applications, etc. In that sense, lineage refers to "how and what you practice" and is actually the *only* thing that matters. If you have a good lineage in an art that functions as a coherent system with clarity of teaching, you have a good chance of success. A student's odds for success decrease proportionately to any lack in the above.

Anyone who says "it's all the same" is actually saying that they themselves are the same, regardless of what they practice. If all the arts someone comes across are sufficiently lacking in methodical practice detail that they are subject to that level of individual interpretation, then it's probably safe to say that none of those arts have a "lineage" in any meaningful sense of the word.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Steve James on Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:45 am

Lineage refers to a particular line of teaching, including their specific jibengong, partner practices, detailed understandings of movements and applications, etc. In that sense, lineage refers to "how and what you practice" and is actually the *only* thing that matters.


Yes. Maybe it'd be better to say "system" in this sense, rather than style, but "lineage" does mean learning the system. They are not the same among the different branches of Yang style. A true "lineage holder" knows and can teach the entire system. Some systems are much bigger than others. That doesn't mean they're more complete. Though, people who learn a "square" and "round" form, or who practice "nine palace stepping", or the 13 push hands patterns may often say that other systems are incomplete.

For most people, practicing is enough. Discipleship and carrying on a tradition isn't the goal, unless one decides to teach.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Bao on Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:44 am

Bhassler wrote: I would say it's almost exactly the opposite of that. ... Lineage refers to a particular line of teaching, including their specific jibengong, partner practices, detailed understandings of movements and applications, etc. In that sense, lineage refers to "how and what you practice" and is actually the *only* thing that matters.


I don't know if I totally agree. The boxes, how you organise things, are a bit overrated. Not every road lead to Rome, but many do.

The different systems were created by people that were skilled, not unskilled people. Take Yiquan as example, the creator of this style did not study Yiquan to reach his skill. He studied and tried many different things and mainly come to focus on Xingyi. Yiquan is very different in training methods and expression that Xingyi. To reach his level, should you learn Yiquan which is the way he expressed and organised his knowledge? Or should you try do same roads and make the same mistakes and discoveries as he did on his journey?

... And also ... Take a guy as mentioned, Yang Jun. He has the perfect lineage and background to really carry on the Yang style torch. What does he do? Does he teach the curriculum and exercises of the old days or teach the form the same way? ...nuf' said... :-X So what is lineage worth if you don't want your students to gain any skills? :-\


If all the arts someone comes across are sufficiently lacking in methodical practice detail that they are subject to that level of individual interpretation, then it's probably safe to say that none of those arts have a "lineage" in any meaningful sense of the word.


Lacking detail and methodical practice is certainly lack of lineage, I can agree about that. But I don't really believe that there's an ultimate standard of different curriculums. Diversity and individual interpretation is necessary and nothing you can really escape. There's a reason why there's a Chinese saying that you need at least 3 different teachers to understand an art. All teachers are different, they have all different "taste" and focus on different things.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:43 pm

In Penang all styles and arts mixed freely
Hard and soft
There it was all about what worked
Most had a background in the hard but found the soft dominated in application
Look at CTH 24 noi gung some parts can be found in external systems
CMC and Yichuan cut the arts to there bare minium
Yet those who did it trained complete systems
Unless you know why something is there it is best not to throw it away
My teacher won’t teach san shou as a two man form because most people can’t stay on track for 44 moves
Yet he teaches how to apply every move
I myself teach it in 3 move chains but only to those who get it
Even though CMC removed a lot of moves to create the 37 most of his direct followers put them back
Wu square and circular forms were mentioned but how many even have seen CTH circular continuous form
Less is more but it just might be more that leads you to less
I look at those who claim to be the gatekeepers but don’t often wish I could train with them
The three teacher thing mentioned before makes great sense to me
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Steve James on Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:05 pm

Once upon a time, people bragged about being a disciple because they received the "full transmission." For that, though, people usually stayed with one teacher and carried on their system.

Afa three teachers, I have to agree that it can be good. But, that's for one's personal development. Mixing systems means developing/expressing one's own "style." Even if one learns several systems, it's the student who has to put them together usefully.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:02 pm

Three teachers does not have to mean three systems
My own teacher had 8 teachers under the same grand master
He would always tell me where he got different things
Eg.the stepping came from chan
My Wu style came from 4 teachers who all came down from Chen wing Kwong
The 24 noi gung were quite different from each teacher
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby Steve James on Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:43 pm

Well, if we go far enough back, all tjq teachers are part of a single line. Three different tjq teachers means just that, unless they're all teaching the same thing. I think one learns different things from different teachers, and that's the value of learning from them.

Anyway, Ma's system is not the same as Eddie Wu's. Dong family system is different from YCF's. I don't think it hurts to study from all of them.
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:16 pm

My mistake by systems I thought you meant other arts
Having said that I don’t see all that much difference between Wu/Ma ,dong /yang or even yang /wu
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Re: Fu Zhongwen's 4 disciples

Postby yeniseri on Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:22 pm

I do not know about the gatekeeper status of Fu Zhongwen but he was one of the main disciples of Yang Chengfu who spread taijiquan to the masses when few knew about tai chi.
1. He married Zou Kuei Cheng, great granddaughter of Yang Chien Hou
2. He founded the Yongnian Taijiquan Association in 1944
3, He was the assistant of Yang Chengfu for many years ???
4. Fu Zhongwen was to go to taijiquan person until Yang Zhenji was PRC approved
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