Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Tom on Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:28 pm

Bao wrote:
Tom wrote:The name “taijiquan” was not used before Yang Luchan made his appearance at the Zhang pickle family’s banquet in Beijing in the 1850s.


Court examiner Weng Tonghe (1830–1904) wrote a poem dedicated To YLC: “Hands holding T’ai chi shakes the whole world, a chest containing ultimate skill defeats a gathering of heroes.” If he was the one who invented or coined the name, or if someone had used it earlier, is unclear. But this is the earliest source we know about.

The source of that name was not the Chen family nor the Li family documents of Tang village.


You know that the Li family documents are fake, right?


It’s my understanding that Weng wrote that piece after seeing Yang demonstrate his skills at a banquet hosted by the aforementioned Zhang family in Beijing.

Yes I’m aware the “Li family documents” associated with Tang village have serious credibility problems. That’s why I said that they are not the real source for the moniker of “Taijiquan.”
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Finny on Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:53 pm

yeniseri wrote:
1. What we know about taijiquan today comes from the Yang variant (Luchan) ONLY because he reached the Northern capital first before Chenjiagou family (Chen style)
2. Chen Family art was the original. In the 1950s and before many people had no idea of what we called taiji, was because it was a village folk heirloom. Ynag changed that on all levels.
3. Through Yang Luchan's Beijing journey, his version became the norm and therefore more popular and because of that, Chen Family art was seen as the usurper!
4. Zhaobao style/variation is actaully a Chen template so called because of Zhaobao town is close to Chen village where a Chen family married into the village and that art merged with a similar folk system hence the changes reflecting that level and degree of synthesis.
5 Yang LuChan was taught by a Chen family member. We will never know why Yang chenged the external points of Chen art at that time! Sal Cannizaro! a sometime contributor to this forum, has shown that Chen style borrowed elements/postures from Taizuchangquan (along with a stated Li Family ??? ) so why not Yang Luchan integrating elements from Hongquan to solidify his 'skill' at that period of history!

The information is out there and we just have to separate the wheat from the chaff! One lucky thing I learned from my teacher was the distinction between 'styles' and that is an excellent objective part of instruction in the assessment criteria for ascertain the veracity of a point of view. Anyone looking at Zhaobao will see a Chen style overlay with some very interesting postural characteristics (e.g. as if the whole routine was done on a "Dragon on Ground" motif (hugging the ground seen in the duration of the form) keeping in mind that an early part of Yang training involved similar posture under a low table and exiting and raising oneslef without falling over!


Thanks Yeniseri - what you describe basically outlines my understanding of the accepted history. I find it really interesting to examine, and I guess what intrigues me about TJQ and also BGZ history is that for such recent events, we still have such sparse information. Damon and Graham's theory is also very interesting - I'll have to listen to all those heretical podcasts now G, damn you.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby robert on Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:28 pm

Finny wrote:I find it really interesting to examine, and I guess what intrigues me about TJQ and also BGZ history is that for such recent events, we still have such sparse information.

If you're not familiar with the history of Chen village here's some information.

http://chinafrominside.com/ma/taiji/TJQorigins.html

One thing that's interesting is that Chen Bu, CWT's ancestor, brings a martial art from Shanxi. Chen taijiquan has a top ten list attributed to Chen Changxing that is very similar to a top ten list that xingyi people attribute Yue Fei. FWIW.

CHEN CHANGXING’S TEN ESSENTIALS OF TAIJI BOXING
https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2019/09/01/an-introduction-to-chen-style-taiji/

THE ESSENTIALS OF YUE FEI’S XINGYI BOXING ART
https://brennantranslation.wordpress.co ... i-jianqiu/
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:27 pm

It's not just similar - it's the same document (Yue Fei's 10 Thesis), with "Taijiquan" and "Chen Chanxing" inserted into it. No offense to the Chens, but it's obviously some sort of attenpt to claim legitimatcy for an older ancestor by rebranding an old document. This wasn't published until well into the commercial period of Taijiquan (1930 and 1935). Marketing has a lot to answer for.

I covered this in my review of Chen Chanxing's book.

https://thetaichinotebook.com/2020/08/1 ... mark-chen/
Last edited by GrahamB on Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby robert on Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:10 am

GrahamB wrote:It's not just similar - it's the same document (Yue Fei's 10 Thesis), with "Taijiquan" and "Chen Chanxing" inserted into it. No offense to the Chens, but it's obviously some sort of attenpt to claim legitimatcy for an older ancestor by rebranding an old document. This wasn't published until well into the commercial period of Taijiquan (1930 and 1935). Marketing has a lot to answer for.

When is Yue Fei's document published? The reference I gave is 1919.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:51 am

1919 might be the earliest publication in book form. I don't know. It was in wide circulation before that though and usually attributed to Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty, which is of course not proveable.

From the 1919 edition it talks of the manual as pre-existing:

"In the summer of 1915, I returned south, and as I passed my hometown, people praised me as a prominent expert for making a study of the contents of Yue Fei’s boxing manual. Within it are nine chapters of essential principles and one chapter on fighting. Although the content of the writing is not without its flaws, the style of the writing is marvelous, powerful, and smooth, and as suits the work of Yue Fei, the theory is refined and thorough. It is certainly not the case that Yue Fei was unable to communicate. I say that equipped with this old Xingyi manual, you too will obtain such a level of clarity.
The Xingyi martial art has over time become much more prominent, and it is urgent for us to now make records of it and take them to Beijing so that connoisseurs and ordinary practitioners alike, as well as ordinary people, can admire Yue Fei. It we protect this material and do not let it slip away, we can help later students to the source.
– written respectfully by Zheng Lianpu"
Last edited by GrahamB on Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bhassler on Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:06 am

GrahamB wrote:Marketing has a lot to answer for.


Certainly at least as much in the current array of narratives as in any of the historical ones.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby robert on Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:33 am

GrahamB wrote:1919 might be the earliest publication in book form. I don't know. It was in wide circulation before that though and usually attributed to Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty, which is of course not proveable.

Historically, to my knowledge, xinyi was developed by Ji Longfeng AKA Ji Jike (1602 - 1680). It's rebranded as xingyi by Li Luoneng (1808 - 1890). If you prefer myths that's fine.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:52 am

You seem pissed off. I don't know why.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby robert on Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:58 am

GrahamB wrote:You seem pissed off. I don't know why.

Really? I'm not.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bhassler on Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:03 pm

robert wrote:
GrahamB wrote:You seem pissed off. I don't know why.

Really? I'm not.


Obviously not. Anyone who is pissed off writes in all caps. Heven't you people ever internetted, before?
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby robert on Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:14 pm

Bhassler wrote:Anyone who is pissed off writes in all caps. Heven't you people ever internetted, before?

Not even an exclamation mark! Ooops.

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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby shawnsegler on Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:51 am

As an aside, the GuangPing Yang style I used to practice has a sequence in their form that's EXACTLY the same in one of the ZhaoBao forms.

FWIW.

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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby MiaoZhen on Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:32 am

So, if you haven't, you should read Prof. Wile's books on Taijiquan. His is probably some of the best real (i.e., researched and referenced) history on the topic. There is actually some good solid historical research on Taijiquan history, although of course not without its limitations.

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Tai-chi-Cla ... 171&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/TAi-Chis-Ancesto ... 171&sr=8-7

There's also this really interesting read by Prof. Wile from the Martial Arts Studies Journal:

https://orca.cf.ac.uk/103201/1/729-1835-1-SM.pdf

Again, the history is not completely settled. But we all should be aware of what serious historians are actually saying. It's better than us all being ultracrepidarians!
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bao on Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:19 am

MiaoZhen wrote:. But we all should be aware of what serious historians are actually saying.


Yes of course. But still, if what they say doesn’t follow the common “Chen is the original Tai Chi” narrative, no one listens. ;)
Last edited by Bao on Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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