Is the Imperial yang Taijiquan offically recognized by the Yang Family as a branch of Yang Taiji?
I did research on Imperial Yang many years ago around 2005. There are a few lineages out there and videos of their systems which have about 5 or 6 forms ranging from small frame, to middle frame, large frame, and fast frame sets.
1. (2) Lineages of Yang Lu Chan/Yang Pan Hao- Fu Jiechen to Xiao Gong-Zhou to Li Zheng and Xiao Tieseng. ""Imperial Yang Taijiquan".
2. Lineage or Yang Chien Hou/Yang Shou Hao to Wang Chonglu to Wang Yongquan to Wei Shuren. "middle frame" Yang Taijiquan.
3. Yang jia Michuan- Yang Jian Hou, to Zhang Qilin, to Wang Yen-nian.
Yang Jianhou to He Shouyan, Yang's disciple, often referred to as "Middle Frame" of Yang Style Taijiquan. Presented by Wang Dianchen from Beijing, who learnt from He Shouyan for over 25 years.
The rare Funei (Imperial) branch of Yang style Taijiquan from Fu Jiechen. This presented by Xiao Tieseng, son of Xiao Gongzhuo and current inheritor of the style;
it focuses on Imperial Yang style Taijiquan. According to practitioners of this style this was the original art that Yang Luchan taught just after he arrived to Beijing, and which included ten sets. The versions popular now were all modified by Yang Banhou (Yang Luchan's son), who was upset that his father taught the complete art openly, and decided to spread a trimmed version that had only one Large Frame set. While this story is hard to verify, this set presents a rare version of Yang style and introduces many methods not existing in its more popular branches:
1.Wudang Health Preserving Methods (Wudang Yangsheng Gongfa, set of exercises improving balance, flexibility and developing internal power; include Small Internal Method, Five Elements Methods, etc.);
2.Nine Small Heaven (Xiao Jiu Tian, a fast routine focusing on improving flexibility and balance, which includes many more difficult movements); (1 disc/1 box),
3.Post-heaven Method (Hou Tian Fa, set with movements that use hard power, developing internal strength and fighting skill); (1 disc/1 box),
4.Large Frame of Yang Style Taijiquan (Da Jia, designed to stretch muscles, tendons and joints, with large movements, uses mainly bow step);
5.Old Frame of Yang Style Taijiquan (Lao Jia, emphasizes internal strength, the movements are light, soft, power is hidden inside); (3 discs/2 boxes),
6.Small Frame of Yang Style Taijiquan (Xiao Jia, with compact stances, sudden changes of speed, fast footwork and hand techniques);
7.Yang Style Taijiquan Long Fist Boxing (Chang Quan, each part of the routine can be practiced separately on both sides as single drills; each of its movements is composed of four elements: Raising, Supporting, Turning, Closing);
8.Thirteen General Postures of Yang Style Taijiquan (Shi San Zong Shi, very rare routine based on movements of thirteen animals: lion, snake, magpie, monkey, tiger, crane, bear, toad, dragon, phoenix, chicken, cat, and horse; related to Taoist internal elixir methods, hence it is also known as the Method of Thirteen Elixirs);
9.Pushing Hands of Yang Style Taijiquan (Taiji Tui Shou; basics: standing methods, footwork, many various hand techniques used in Tui Shou, individual practice and practice with partner for each of 8 Taiji powers.
10.Thirty Combat Methods of Yang Style Taijiquan (San Shi San Shou; thirty techniques used in fighting; explanations of individual practice as well as with partner - methods of applying them)
11.Taiji Straight Sword (Taiji Jian; straight sword routine of Imperial Yang Style Taijiquan system)
Li Zheng is 5th generation inheritor of Yang style Taijiquan (through Zhao Bin) and 6th generation of Imperial Taijiquan, rare branch of Yang style taught only in imperial court of China:
1.Zhi Chui (Hammer of Wisdom) routine
2.Da Jia (Big Frame) routine
3.Lao Jia (Old Frame) routine
4.Taiji Ball routine
Good article here on Imperial Yang:
https://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/2009 ... -li-zheng/
one comment I received from someone who has lived and studied in Beijing:
As early as 1984 when when foreigners who lived and studied Taijiquan in China, there was no Imperial style around.
Xu Yu-Sheng, was the authority of all branches of taiji in Beijing because he had hired the top family member from each taiji branch to teach at his government sanctioned institute. Imperial style was not represented because it did not exist.
It was not until an increased number of westerners coming to Beijing in the 1990s for Taiji and martial arts training that the name Imperial style began to emerge. That group had a terrible name among the true lineages....and all students of the lineage sects were told to not be friends with any of those people. People who studied Xingyi and Chen/Yang taiji with teachers from unknown sources saw that they had a new opportunity to teach westerners. It is sad that westerners fall prey to such.
Fu Zhong-Wen mentioned the Imperial people sometimes.....always shaking his head. He said that Yang Lu-Chan had taught at the Palace, but it was not like people think. He taught some guards of various ranks and some eunuchs who attended to the court, but he did not teach the elite guards or court officials as many stories tell. Taiji or Yang family boxing was nearly unknown back then....and as Fu said....Yang only taught there because a student of his pulled strings so he could teach there and use this as a method of advertising his family art..... basically...if the Palace asked Master Yang to teach there...then his art is superior....and students in China would flock to study this new boxing art.