Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby nicos » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:59 pm

I first read this old magazine article mentioned earlier in the forum in a book whose author's name i cant remember. I think the book was a compilation of various articles in various kung fu magazines plus the author's own research. according to the author: zhang san feng was a very common monastic name & also, Taoist in these monasteries believed and probably still do believe that hey were visited by immortal spirits sometimes in the bodies of others. the author mentioned this to give us an idea of the many possibilities while not committing to any. in another article there was this:
"Emperor Yung Ler used searching for Chang as an excuse to send Yan Wang Chu in 1403 to scoure the country in search of his rival, the Emperor Jian Wen. Chang San Feng was widely regarded as a Taoist saint and Emperor Yung Ler knew that he had already died and so came up with the ruse. Historians who have tried to reconcile the misinformation of the Emperor Yung Le with the earlier records have either regarded Chang as a mid Ming Dynasty personage, possibly a different person from the Chang San Feng of recorded as living in the Yuan Dynasty or that Chang had lived for a very long time, beyond normal human life expectancy.
another article i.e. an interview with a wudang priest grandmaster Zhong yun long says this:
"It's very hard to say how many lineages there are at Wudang today. Through the centuries so many masters have created their own styles. When each master breaks through, when they attain a higher level, they become their own style. When they become their own style, they create another branch of the lineage. Most of the lineages are out in the community among the folk people of the country. Today, there might be thirty or fifty of them, but the Wudang Zhang San Feng branch is the main stream. Now we still call it Wudang San Feng Pai (Pai means "school.") All of the others came out of the San Feng Pai - they were created and branched out. Under Wudang San Feng Pai are eight men (gates): Taiji, Xingyi (form mind), Bagua (eight trigrams), Baji (eight extremes), Baxian (eight immortals), Xuangong (mystic work), Liuhe (six harmonies) and Jiugong (nine directions). I still focus mainly on Taiji. Wudang Taiji consists of 15 forms. Then from that it also branches out into 18 weapons."
I'm no historian either, however i believe everyman can listen to facts and opinions and form his own clouds.that's how we learn. looking at all this information I think that T is right. Someone back in the day did start a martial arts system based on the I Ching however i do not think it is as recent as the Chen family. wayyy earlier so early that the origin has become legend.just like T said Chinese (and people of old civilizations in general) love legends, we have martial arts much younger than tai chi chuan such as wing chun and pak mei whose origins are all wrapped up in legend. Therefore zhang san feng (even though the wudang still maintains a colorful oral history about him) will be argued about forever.
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby Bob Ashmore » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:54 pm

Would knowing, for certain 100% sure, that Zhang San Feng invented Tai Chi Chuan change how you practice the art as you know it now?
Or how about if it was proven, again beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Tai Chi Chuan sprang whole from the mind of a boxing Master with a name no one has ever heard before? Would that change how you practice the art as you currently know it?

Just curious as to the motive for all of this speculation on the "origins" of Tai Chi Chuan.
Because even if we had a lineage chart laid out with the name of every single person who ever had any influence over the art as we know it today, with iron clad verification as to the accuracy of said chart...
How would that affect the art as we practice it now?

Bob
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby T » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:50 pm

One could also ask: Would knowing, for certain 100% sure, that Zhang Sanfeng did not invented Tai Chi Chuan change how you practice the art as you know it now?

But to answer your questions

Would knowing, for certain 100% sure, that Zhang San Feng invented Tai Chi Chuan change how you practice the art as you know it now?


No

Or how about if it was proven, again beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Tai Chi Chuan sprang whole from the mind of a boxing Master with a name no one has ever heard before? Would that change how you practice the art as you currently know it?


No

Just curious as to the motive for all of this speculation on the "origins" of Tai Chi Chuan.


I find historical research of the arts I practice fascinating and I also feel the truth is important

However I could also ask; Why you are you not curious?

But to answer your final question

How would that affect the art as we practice it now?


It wouldn’t.

However Lineages are important at times if for no other reason than to expose those who claim lineages they do not have for monetary gain, for example Yang Fukui…. The one in NYC not the one that was also known as Yang Luchan
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:48 pm

T,
I am always curious about and interested in history. Why? Because we can learn a lot from the past when we know with a good degree of certainty what actually happened.
However I feel we're debating the wrong question with this entire discussion. Let me explain:

Yang Lu Chan did not learn a martial art known as "Tai Chi Chuan", he learned Chen Family martial art.
So if we're asking the question: "What is the history of the origin of Chen Family martial art?".
The answer to that question is: No one knows for sure. We can speculate all day long, however we'll never know.
Now the question of the origin of the art of Tai Chi Chuan as we know and practice it today is pretty simple to answer:
It came from Yang Lu Chan.

Speculate away on unknowable history if you so desire, however the history of the art I study is fairly well know.
What came about before that to create that art probably never will be know.
To me it seems a bit non-productive to endlessly debate something that can't be known, so I don't.

Bob
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby T » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:44 pm

Bob Ashmore wrote:T,
I am always curious about and interested in history. Why? Because we can learn a lot from the past when we know with a good degree of certainty what actually happened.
However I feel we're debating the wrong question with this entire discussion. Let me explain:

Yang Lu Chan did not learn a martial art known as "Tai Chi Chuan", he learned Chen Family martial art.
So if we're asking the question: "What is the history of the origin of Chen Family martial art?".
The answer to that question is: No one knows for sure. We can speculate all day long, however we'll never know.
Now the question of the origin of the art of Tai Chi Chuan as we know and practice it today is pretty simple to answer:
It came from Yang Lu Chan.

Speculate away on unknowable history if you so desire, however the history of the art I study is fairly well know.
What came about before that to create that art probably never will be know.
To me it seems a bit non-productive to endlessly debate something that can't be known, so I don't.

Bob


Actually it is highly possible that Yang Luchan learned only part of the Chen family martial at most likely Loajia Yilu, that is if you believe the Chen family.

And speculating on "unknowable" history (although I am not convinced it is unknowable) is or was going on at a couple universities in China a while back who were trying to figure out where Taiji came form but they were also researching that I cannot do. And I do not think I would say "it never will be known". I will say it may never be known. And I am of the belief that if you decide that it is unknowable and/or say things "Can't be known" well then learning stops, questioning stops, reasons for study stop since there is no desire to learn beyond what you have convinced yourself to be true, be it true or not. Remember, Galileo was wrong because so many knew that the earth was the center of the universe and also Alfred Wegener was wrong because so many scientists knew the earth's crust was solid, they all felt there was nothing left to be known so why bother. But I am going off the topic here, sorry about that

As for Taijiquan coming from Yang Luchan; Well the style we do today that we call Yangshi taijiquan originated with Yang Luchan but he never taught taijiquan, or at least not originally, he may have later, that I do not know for sure. The term Taijiquan comes from Wu Yuxiang who was a student of Chen Qingping and Yang Luchan and Wu Yuxiang is where Wu (Hao) style Taijiquan comes from

As for debating, whose debating, I just posted what I found out because ancient Taoists were being thrown into the mix that cannot be proven to have existed. You or anyone else wants to believe or not believe in Zhang Shenfeng that is alright by me. I will not argue for or against, heck there was a time, after I already knew what I originally posted, that doing the forms was much easier if I just went with Zhang Shenfeng started it all. Now I look at it as what I do started with Yang Luchan, got changed by Yang Chengfu and got to me by way of Tung Ying Chieh (who is my Shigong)


NOTE: as late as Chen Fake 陳發科 (1887–1957) he was quoted as saying he only knew it as Chen Family marital art. Calling it taijiquan did not matter to him.
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby Bob Ashmore » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:53 am

T,
I agree, debating was the wrong word to use.
As for "unknowable", that was also perhaps a bad choice. "Unknown by me" would have been more appropriate.
As to what Yang Lu Chan learned from the Chen family I honestly do not know beyond what has been published on his life history and even most of that is suspect.

Bob
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Re: Old Magazine article- Yang Orgins

Postby nicos » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:22 pm

well you c the origin of the discussion was what people thought of an old magazine article stating that Yang luchan did not learn his internal boxing methods entirely from Chen family. I do not believe this is useless discussion or speculation. I like the Galileo analogy. There is a lot of information going around in the world today and if one is interested in exchanging and learning then i see no wrong in such a discussion even if at the end of the day the information turns out to be total BS. Make no mistake you can learn something from such discussion i.e. the opinions of other practitioners and enthusiast like yourself. which CAN have a bearing on the way you think thus what you do.I'm not saying that knowing whether Zhang San Feng existed or not would change the way Yang Tai chi is done (it might give you a whole different outlook as to what Tai chi means to you though) but for people who love the topic its a darn fun thing to discuss that's what forums are for.
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