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Thread: Taijiquan

  1. #1

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    Chen Taijiquan, Hunyuan
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Taijiquan

    Bullshido has been around in the martial arts for a long time. Here's a story of a couple of anti-bullshido masters from the last century.

    Hong Junsheng had poor health since childhood as the classic story goes. He got married, and, I guess, he had to get out of the house. So he started walking a couple of miles every day. He happened upon a group doing Wu Style Taijiquan and later joined them. This is in 1929.

    The following year, the Taiji group had heard that Chen Fa-ke was in town (Beijing). They invited him to demo for their class and later to push hands with them. In short, the whole class ended up becoming his students, including the teacher, Liu Mu-san. Over the next several years Hong's health improved markedly.

    Hong Junsheng studied daily with Chen Fake for 15 years, 1930-1944. Employment circumstances forced him to move to Jinan, where he studied on his own until his wife died in 1955. In 1956, Hong returned to study with Chen Fa-ke.

    Every day Chen Fa-ke, Hong Junsheng and Hong's first disciple who was attending college in Beijing would go to a park. Chen reviewed with Hong all the applications of the form (kata to Japanese speakers) of both Chen style forms and taught him the counter movements.

    Here comes the Bullshido part. Hong noticed the body position in the form was different than the positions need to correctly perform the application. He asked Chen why the form was different from the application, a common question about forms. Chen said he didn't know. That was just the way he had learned it. Bullshido Alert!

    Hong then asked if he could practice his form so that it conformed with the applications. Chen Fa-ke said he could. Over the next six months, Chen and Hong went over applications and counters. Hong would then present the form in its applied version. Chen would give his feedback, suggestions and approval.

    Hong's daughter was getting married, so Hong had to return to Jinan. Hong and Chen planned to get together again to continue this this collaboration the following year, however, Chen Fa-ke died in 1957.

    Hong did continue the work that he had started with his Shifu, Chen Fa-ke. He sought a practical, useful and efficient way to teach Chen style Taijiquan. He broke the movements of the form into their essential components. Today, it is called the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method.

    Kudos to Liu Mu-san for having the integrity to give up his class and change paths when he met real skill; to Chen Fake for being open-minded enough to allow a departure from tradition; and to Hong Junsheng for having the courage to question bullshido when confronted with it, anti-Bullsidoists all.


    Richard Johnson

  2. #2

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Chen was notorious for teaching TWO versions of Chen Taiji, the real one for family and the "modified" one for strangers.

  3. #3

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    yep.

    not unheard of elsewhere either.

  4. #4

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    Family oreinted MA, guard their "secrets".

  5. #5

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You know I hate that.
    I find the biggest perpetuators of doing that is mainly from Chinese kung fu Grand Masters. Thats one of the reason for all those linage wars and why so many different versions of the "same" art. Alot of confusion. :mad:



    :)
    Ghost of Charles Dickens

  6. #6

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    this is a great concern of mine, in relation to ma.

    there are two basic ways. Evolutionary and De-evolutionary. especially in tma.

    guard the inner and the system deteriorates. it devolves. imo, this very fact is why Bullshido even exists. not this reason alone, but it is a contributing factor.

    I am an Evolutionary martial artist and instructor.

    I favor the saying, " The dye is darker than the plant"

    tis a shame many others do not.

    Peace.

  7. #7

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its not just the CMA, look at GJj and MJJ, while not to the extent of CMA, they are still very "conservative" in their teaching ( although its harder for them, GJJ and MJJ being dervied from Judo as opposed to wholly created systems like the TCMA).

    I think the Yang taiji guys are even worse than the Chen ones.

  8. #8

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Chen was notorious for teaching TWO versions of Chen Taiji, the real one for family and the "modified" one for strangers.
    We recently went to China and interviewed one of Hong Junsheng's students who Studied with Chen Fa-ke the last year and a half of Chen Fa-ke's life. He said that the form that Hong learned form 1930 to 1944 was identical to the form that Chen was teaching in 1955.

    The idea that there were two forms came from Hong's writings where Hong observed that the form Chen Fa-ke was teaching and the application were different. It apparently was mis-interpreted that Hong meant that current form was different from the early form he had learned. He actually meant that the application was different from the form he had learned.

    From Hong's writings, we knew that he was BS fighter since he had sought to rectify the discrepancy between the form and application. We did not know that Chen Fa-ke had any part in it other than to tell Hong that he could practice that way. We now know that Chen approved the project early on and was involved throughout the process. It is unfortunate that Chen died the following year.


    Richard Johnson

  9. #9

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    dont know much about either Chen or Yang styles, but i did read somewhere about the history of Yang style in which it is said that Yang Lu Chan was ordered to teach Taiji to the Mongol court. the story said that basically he taught a relatively useless form which concentrated on 'internal' aspects. It was said to be relatively non-functional and overly introspective.

    interesting story.

  10. #10

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Who can say what Yang really taught? Personal accounts are scanty. We can speculate about the times, people and circumstances, but in the end, it's all Bullshido.

    What counts is what has been passed down. It think it is fair to say that much of what is taught in Taijiquan regardless of style can be "said to be relatively non-functional and overly introspective."


    Richard Johnson

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