The realities of fighting styles and commerce

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

Re: The realities of fighting styles and commerce

Postby GrahamB on Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:06 pm

"If you lose, by custom you have to leave and cede the school to the challenger."

This sounds like it's right out of a comic book, to quote Jim Kelly.



Let's remember the idea of a martial arts school - somewhere where you could go and pay for a class and learn martial arts - didn't appear until 1836 in Guangzhou - and that was only one small area of China. From there they grew, in parallel with the western influence in China, which was all about trade. Martial arts schools and in fact, most of the big "styles" we know today all grew up hand-in-hand with commerce and the change to a modern world of going from working in fields to working in factories and a more urban existence. Almost all of the big styles appeared after this date - they were always a brand.
Last edited by GrahamB on Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.
I could be wrong.
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Re: The realities of fighting styles and commerce

Postby windwalker on Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:14 am

Yang Luchan and Yang Banhou both worked as instructors for Shen Ji Ying (神机营).

Literally “divine machinery garrison”, an elite force specializing in firearms (canons, rockets, mortar in the beginning, later on also rifles…) that had its origin in the previous Ming Dynasty, when firearms began to become practical battlefield weapons.

Up to 30,000 strong during Qing Dynasty, it was a royal garrison that guarded the Forbidden City and traveled with the emperor. So it was one of the three most elite, trusted military units of Qing Empire.


Later, when Dong moved out of Su Qin Wang’s palace after retirement, martial artists flocked to him as he was basically inaccessible to them before. Many of these disciples were accomplished masters already, and Dong modified the training method according to what each student knows already.

Dong also started to further systematize his art. Hence the first 64 Palm form later became known as Yin Style Baguazhang.


Dong and Yang were on very friendly terms, they were introduced to each other by Song Mailun, the head of the largest security company in the capitol, and great master of San Huang Paochui. Yang and Dong had one known encounter. It was at one of those huge garden restaurants popular in Beijing at the time.

A large group of people were present at the party. At some point they got up and went outside to the garden, closing the doors behind them. When they came back after a while, both praised each other’s skill. Within Taijiquan circles, legend had it Yang said afterwards Dong was able to neutralize all of his attacks.

Another great master who also taught at Shen Ji Ying was Liu Shijun (劉士俊). That was where he had the famous encounter with Yang Banhou: one day Yang Ban Hou came home, he was happy because he threw Xiong Xian Li (Li’s nickname, he came from Xiong County).

When Bauhou related the account to his father, Yang Luchan remarked, “don’t be too happy, it doesn’t look like a clean victory.” Banhou was puzzled.

Yang Luchan said “Look under your armpits.” Sure enough, there were holes under the armpits on Banhou’s robe. Liu Shijun, well-known master of eagle claw gongfu, could have caused him serious injury but obvious chose not to.

Later that evening, Yang Luchan felt uneasy thinking about this, and quickly made his way to Liu Shijun’s place.

Liu was already packing his belongings to leave the city, as per tradition.

Yang persuaded him to stay, saying this encounter was but a casual crossing of hands, all the while praising Liu’s skill and character. After much persuasion, Liu finally agreed to stay and came to admire Yang. One of Liu’s most prominent disciples was Liu Dekuan (劉德寬), who went on to achieve even greater famous after studying with Dong Haichuan.


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Last edited by windwalker on Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The realities of fighting styles and commerce

Postby yeniseri on Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:28 am

The Sword Battalions of the Chinese Army were parts of survival since 'modern weapons' could not be found, were unable to be found, etc so the trainign back then was life and death.
Many of the earlier warlords were a product of that era and maintained their power with use of x modern weapons while their foot soldiers (literally) used swords and spears.

There is a fellow out of Canada (I believe) who translated a few books on the sword methods of the Chinese Army. Most of the weapons skills were xingyi, Shaolin related because of the ease of transmission and ability to learn the skill in a short period of time. Today, there is alot of bs on the time needed to master skill but this is often exaggerated, realizing the 5000-10,000 ??? ;D ;D repetitions needed to be somewhat proficient. Additionally, some are able to do this faster than others.
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Re: The realities of fighting styles and commerce

Postby wayne hansen on Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:35 am

I have seen some good stuff from UTS Kung fu club on YouTube
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Re: The realities of fighting styles and commerce

Postby fuga on Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:36 pm

taiwandeutscher wrote:wave arms and move mouth


I love this phrase. ;D
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