8/20/2010 11:59am, #41
While I prepare the last part of this section, I would like to draw your attention to three significant factors evident in these records.
1. The further the publishing date of each record from the actual event, the more details seem to be added.
2. We must acknowlege the motives behind the first record (Ren Ziyuan's) are questionable, considering the political as well as other factors (see Section 2) surrounding it's publication.
3. The other two records (Definitely that of the Ming-shih) are based on the first (that of Ren Ziyuan.) The vast majority of lineages and histories which have recently "come to light," rely on these 3 records (and that of Huang Tsung-hsi) for validation.
What may have happened here, is a historical record laundering of sorts (Matt Morton Kodokan Cert. as perfect analogy.)
8/21/2010 11:57pm, #42
PART 3.4: Huang Tsung-Hsi (黃宗羲)
PART 3.4: Huang Tsung-Hsi/Huang Li-Chou
(Huang Zongxi, 黃宗羲, 1610-1695)
The Anti-Qing Rebel Scholar
Huang Tsung-hsi, arguably the first and most influential contributor to the mythos of Taiji Quan as well as the notion of a separate “internal” method of martial arts, was born into a family of distinguished Confucian scholars, (Liao, 274,) and is to this day, considered one of the three greatest Confucian philosophers of his time. (Taylor, Fung Choy, 282) He was given the style name (biaozi, (表)字,courtesy name, traditionally given at the age of 20) of Huang Li Chou. He was also known to have been referred to as Huang Nan-lei, and Master Li Chou. (Taylor, Fung Choy, 282)
He was a staunch follower of the Wang Yan-ming (王陽明) school of Confucian thought. However, his education included both Taoist and Buddhist topics. (Taylor, Fung Choy, 282) At the age of 17, (1626,) Huang witnessed the imprisonment and death of his father for standing up to the rampant eunuch Wei Tsung-hsien (Wei Zhongxian, 魏忠賢,) who later committed suicide to avoid trial. (Liao, 274)
Huang embarked to the Capital to present his case to the Emperor I Tsung on behalf of his wronged father, and seek reprisal. Following this event, he became fiercely loyal to the Emperor so much so, that in 1644, when he heard of the fall of the Capital to the Manchu, he immediately recruited a large militia to resist the newly established Qing, pushing the invaders southward, towards the sea. He became deeply involved in recruiting rebels to his cause, going as far as to lead an underground organization in his struggle against the “foreign invaders.” (Taylor, Fung Choy, 282) Huang felt it his obligation to protect and restore the Ming, raising hundreds of followers by 1645. (Liao, 274)
In 1649, he embarked on a voyage to Japan, begging the Tokugawa Shogunate for military assistance. He was declined by Iyemitsu Tokugawa, who feared a Qing retaliation on Japan. Huang returned to China in defeat, deciding to spend the rest of his days instructing students, forming his own shu-yuan (書院 书院, a school of classical learning, to be set apart from a standard national or district school)academy in 1667. (Taylor, Fung Choy, 282)
When offered a position with the Qing government on two occasions, he declined. This sentiment was shared by a large number of Ming-educated scholars and thinkers who rather than serve the enemy they could not openly oppose, chose to manifest their collective knowledge in the form of literary and historical criticism. (Liao. 275) Critiques of Ming-era literature, policy, art, and philosophy, became a common trend among the more and more reclusive literati.
From this point on, Huang turned to political and legal matters from the historical perspective. He published numerous works on both previous and current histories, Confucian philosophy, critiques of legal matters, as well as numerous revolutionary works. His “Perspective Inquiries Into The Ruins of Ming” as well as his systematic development of Meng-Tzu’s (孟子) Doctrine of Democracy and Anti-Monarchism were widely hailed by the anti-Manchu resistance leaders. Thousands of copies were distributed among the public. (Liao, 276) Huang’s revolutionary writings, in many ways, cleared the path for Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925) to ascend to power in later history.
As we can clearly see, Huang Tsung-hsi’s writings had a strong political undercurrent, and served in a very tangible way an anti-Manchu agenda. It is this historical perspective that allows us to see the reasoning behind Professor Douglas Wile’s examination of Huang Tsung-hsi’s now famous Epitaph of Wang Cheng-nan. Professor Wile was under the distinct impression that Huang’s wording had a very specific double meaning in terms of facing off the Qing usurpers “external” and keeping to traditional Chinese (Ming) values “internal.” To fight the oppressors using stillness and passiveness (exemplified by his refusal to accept an office with the Qing,) Huang Tsung-hsi’s writing is very much a political allegory.
It is crucial to note that Huang Pai-chia, the son of Huang Tsung-hsi, was a redactor for the Ningbo Perfectural Gazette (which published the epitaph,) and worked along with Wu Yu-hsiang (Ancestors, Wile, 47) who is one of the founders of the Hao style Taiji Quan, and is suspected to be one of the authors of the Taiji Classics.
Presented next, is a transcription of the Epitaph which has spawned so much controversy among adherents of Chinese martial arts.
Individual and the Community: A Historical Analysis of the Motivating Factors of Social Conduct, Liao, Wen Kwei
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism, Vol 1, Taylor, Rodney Leon, Yuen Fung Choy, Howard
Daoism Handbook, Kohn, Livia
Black Belt Magazine, The Origin of T’ai-Chi Ch’uan, Hu, William C.C.
T’ai Chi’s Ancestors, Wile, Douglas
Lost T’ai-Chi Classics from the late Ch’ing Dynasty, Wile, Douglas
The Records of Ming Scholars, Tsung-hsi, Huang, Ching, Julia, Fang, Chaoying
8/22/2010 12:10am, #43
Epitaph of Wang Cheng Nan
T’ai Chi’s Ancestors, Wile, Douglas
P.53Epitaph of Wang Cheng-nan
“Shaolin is famous for it’s boxers. However, it’s techniques are chiefly offensive, which creates opportunities for an opponent to exploit. Now there is another school that is called “internal,” which overcomes movement with stillness. Attackers are effortlessly repulsed. Thus we distinguish Shaolin as “external.”
The Internal School was founded by Chang San-feng of the Sung dynasty. San-feng was a Taoist alchemist of the Wudang Mountains. He was summoned by the Emperor Hui-tsung of the Sung, but the road was impassible. That night he dreamt that the God of War transmitted the art of boxing to him and the following morning single-handedly killed over a hundred bandits.
A hundred years later, San-feng’s art spread to Shaanxi Province, where Wang Tsung was its most noteworthy exponent. Ch’en Chou-t’ung received the art from Wang Tsung and taught it to his fellow villagers. In this way it spread to Wen-chou.
During the Chia-ching period, Chang Sung-hsi was the leading practitioner of this art. Sung-his had several disciples, among Yeh Chi-mei (Chin-ch’uan) of Ssu-ming was the most noteworthy. In this way it spread to Ssu-ming. Among the Ssu-ming students who received the transmission of the Chin-ch’uan were Wu K’un-shan, Chou Yun-ch’uan, Tan Ssu-nan, Ch’en Chen-shih, and Sun Chi-cha. K’un-shan transmitted it to Li T’ien-mu and Hsu Tai. T’ien-mu transmitted it to Yu Po-chung, Wu Ch’I Lang, and Ch’en Mao-hung. Yun-ch’uan transmitted it to Lu Shao-ch’I; Chen-shih transmitted it to Ch’ai Yuan-ming, Yao Shih-men, Seng Erh, and Seng Wei. Ssu-nan’s student was Wang Cheng-nan.
Ssu-nan had served as a military officer under Kuan Pai. After retiring from the army and returning home, he was very secretive about the subtleties of his art. Practicing behind closed doors, even his students were unable to catch a glimpse. Cheng-nan spied on him through a hole in the floor boards and got the general idea. Ssu-nan’s sons were unworthy, and he lamented that after his passing there would be no one to carry on. When Cheng-nan heard this, he presented him with several silver goblets to be used for financing tea production. Ssu-nan was very moved by this gesture and gave him the whole transmission beginning to end.
Cheng-nan was a very cautious man, and after receiving the transmission, never betrayed the slightest hint of it. He only used his art in the most dire emergencies. One night there was an incident involving a spy, and Cheng-nan was detained by the guards. He was tied to a pillar, and more than a score of men stood guard with a great deal of drunken revelry. Cheng-nan picked up a piece of broken pottery and silently cut his bonds. Drawing a piece of silver from his bosom, he tossed it into the air, and all the men struggled to grab it. In this way he was able to escape. The men pursued him, but they stumbled about and fell to the ground, crawling on all fours and unable to stand. After covering a few miles, they lost him among the fields. The guards were still convinced that he was the criminal and surrounded him in great numbers. Wherever Cheng-nan struck, he left wounded.
Once during his later years Cheng-nan was traveling alone, when he encountered some soldiers who tried to coax him to carry a heavy load for them. He begged to be excused, but they insisted. Cheng-nan waited until he reached a bridge and then threw the load over. The soldiers drew their swords and pressed him. Defending himself with bare hands, several of the soldiers were sent sprawling and dropped their swords with a clank. He threw their swords into a well, and by the time the soldiers retrieved them, Cheng-nan was far away.
In striking opponents, Cheng-nan made use of acupuncture points-death points, mute points, and vertigo points- just as illustrated on the bronze models of the channels. He once bean an incorrigible fellow, who as a result was unable to urinate for several days. Only after personally calling upon Cheng0nan and apologizing was he restored to health. A herd boy secretly stole the secrets of his art and used it to attack one of his companions, who immediately died. When Cheng-nan saw the body, he said: “This is only a vertigo point, and before long, he will revive.” Sure enough, this provided to be true.
Cheng-nan was a knight-errant and would avenge wrongs only when moved by real injustice. Once an old friend offered him money to avenge a wrong committed by the man’s younger brother. Cheng-nan responded in no uncertain terms: “Do you take me for an animal?”
Cheng-nan’s given name was Lai-hsien, his surname Wang, and his style Cheng-nan. He moved from Feng-hua County in Zhejiang to Yin County. His grandfather’s name was Tsung-chou, his father’s name Tsai-yuan, and his mother’s maiden name Ch’en. For many generations they lived near East Bridge in the eastern part of the city. When Cheng-nan was born, they moved to T’ung-ao.
As a young man, Cheng-nan has an interview with Lu Hai-tao (Jo-t’eng.) Hao-tao tested his abilities and gave him a post. Cheng-nan single-handedly undertook the work of several people and reported directly to the provincial governor. He carried out his duties unstintingly and was named to fill the post of company commander in Lin-shan. Ch’ien Chung-chieh (Kung-chien) appointed him to a higher military post.
After the military disaster, Cheng-nan vowed that until defeat was avenged he would maintain a vegetarian diet to express his dedication to this goal. Those who knew him were deeply moved.
Cheng-nan gave up his post and retired to his home. Those who admired his skill thought that because he was poor he could easily be compromised. The high-ranking military officers all paid their respects, but he was completely unaffected and ignored them. He continued to dig in the fields and haul manure as if unaware that he possessed a skill that could gain him an easier living.
One day Cheng-nan met an old friend who happened to share living quarters with the garrison commander. Just then Drill Master Yen Sung-chiang was instructing his troops in the martial arts. The drill master, relaxing and strumming the three stringed lute, regarded Cheng-nan with his hemp headgear and coarse clothing as a non-entity. When his old friend mentioned that Cheng-nan was adept at boxing, the drill master, glancing sidelong at him said: “Is this true?” Cheng-nan modestly declined. The drill master, loosening his clothes and raising his eyebrows said: “How would you like to have a little match?” Cheng-nan once again declined. The drill master, taking him to be coward, pressed him more forcefully, and so Cheng-nan had no choice but to respond. The drill master was thrown once, and when he requested another round, was thrown again with such force that blood streamed down his face. Thereupon the drill master bowed low and presented him with two rolls of fine silk.
Cheng-nan had no formal education, but was refined and cheerful in conversing with the gentry, with ho hint of crudeness. Once I accompanied him to the T’ien-t’ung temple. One of the monks, Sha-yen, was renown for his strength, and four or five men could not pin his arm. As soon as Cheng-nan touched him, he jumped back in pain. Cheng-nan said: “Nowadays people feel that the internal arts lack dazzle, and so they adulterate it with external. For this reason the art is doomed to decline.” This is why he consented to record it’s origins.
Nine years have passed quickly since Cheng-nan died grieving for his son’s death. Kao Ch’en-ssu wrote a biographical sketch and asked me to compose an epitaph. He was born in a certain reign year 1617, on the fifth day of the third lunar month and died in a certain reign year, 1669, the ninth day of the second month. He was fifty three years old. His wife’s maiden name was Sun, and he had two sons. His oldest son Meng-te died a month before he did, and his second son’s name was Tsu-te. He was buried on a certain day on the south side of T’ung-ao.
The Inscription reads:
Possessing the highest level of skill,
Yet he never abused,
Or prostituted it.
His devotion will be sorely missed.
Water is shallow and mountains old;
Who will look after this lonely grave?
May those who read this inscription
Learn from his life.”
8/22/2010 12:13am, #44
8/23/2010 1:00am, #45
Just recently found this thread and have been catching up on it before posting. Wow, Interesting stuff! That last story about Cheng-nan reads like a Dos Equis commercial. Are you doing this as acacdemic research, or just as a hobby? In either case, keep it coming.
8/23/2010 8:20am, #46
Prof. Douglas Wile is of the impression that Huang Tsung-hsi's epitaph was meant to be a piece of political propaganda, meant to glorify Ming era morals and values, and call people to action to passively reject the Qing.
Judging based on what I have read about him so far, (including going through a translation of Huang Tsung-hsi's book, The Records of Ming Scholars,) I would be inclined to agree.
Are you doing this as acacdemic research, or just as a hobby?
Maybe Taiji magazine might be interested in an article...
8/23/2010 9:32am, #47
Then at some point, as people will plagiarize anything, when you get close to your conclusions write the article then finish the thread.
I'd hate to see your hard work get credited to someone else.
8/26/2010 10:43am, #48
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
- San Diego
- street paddleboarding
9/28/2010 11:33pm, #49
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
Tai chi or Taijiquan was created by Chen Wan Ting in the Chen Village...
9/28/2010 11:38pm, #50
Notice how the OP is citing sources? Please do the same.