Archive through January 03, 2003

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Yang Family Hidden Form?: Archive through January 03, 2003
   By Igor on Sunday, December 29, 2002 - 07:32 pm: Edit Post

What do you think about Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan [Yang Family Hidden Taijiquan]?
Wang Yen Nien openly teach this style of "Yang" Taijiquan (he says that it was passed down to Zhan Qin Lin from Yang Jian Hou).
Do you know the postures of this form? What are the main differences between the traditional and the secret style? It is posible that such form exist? Are there any reasonable explanation of the existence of YMT? Is YMT really a secret or is a lie? Is possible that Zhan Qinlin or Wang Yennien invented the YMT?

   By Mike Taylor on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 01:15 pm: Edit Post


Martial-Arts History Makes My Head Hurt (& so does encounters with some martial artists); I've come across several "histories" on many specific arts, & Yang Tai-Ji Quan is not an exception. One of the several Yang TJQ "histories" I read claimed that a Yang was ordered to teach the hated Manchus (those who had taken over rule of China) so he watered down his martial art for teaching them, & passed along the good stuff to his male family members in secret.

True or not (partially true or not), I just don't know.

   By Bob #2 on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 03:44 pm: Edit Post

Well thanks for that valuable insight, Mike.

   By Mike Taylor on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 10:39 pm: Edit Post

That's what I'm here for, Bob #2. :)

So the questions remain:

Is there a secret Yang-style Tai-Ji Quan?

If yes, then do you (Tim, anyone?) know the form (or forms)?

If yes again, then what are the main differences between this secret style & the publicly known style (assuming one's not going to keep it all so secret anymore)?

Etc., etc.

I already gave a possible answer (aka. reasonable explaination) to there being a possibility of a "secret" style (or style kept from the public at large).

Anyone else?

   By stan on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 11:24 pm: Edit Post

when you cross hands with someone, the secret is from the one who is standing. anything else is fluff and people like fluff.

If it is so secret like a family heirloom, keep it in your house and don't tell anyone?
WOuld you tell a stranger you have jewels in your house and invite the riffraff?

   By Walter T. Joyce Sr. on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 10:02 am: Edit Post

It may be off the topic, but not completely. The "secret form" stuff, although a romantic and intriguing notion is for me the "silver bullet" approach.

While practicing the right things is essential, the secret is working intelligently, consistently and tenaciously towards skill. There are enough open and honest skills that one can work on to achieve ability, that I find those who seek out the "secret form" are avoiding the real issue, sweat and work.

No offense intended, just had to get that one out, its been percolating for some time.
Happy New Year Tim and everyone else on the board.

   By Tim on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 02:56 pm: Edit Post

Since Wang Yen Nian has been teaching his style to the public for decades, it's not secret anymore. So now perhaps we should say it is "different" from other Yang styles rather than "secret."

Happy New Year.

   By Mike Sigman on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 07:50 pm: Edit Post

Since the Yang family is now making a concerted effort to indicate that they are NOT "different" from the Chen style (i.e., according to the Yang family, only the "emphasis" is different) and that the basic principles of all valid Taiji's are the same... perhaps "different choreography" is a pertinent term, but that choreography should contain no "secrets" that are not in any other valid Taiji. In other words, a "form" is a practice method of certain principles; different forms are just different ways of practicing the same basic things.



   By Tim on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 01:55 pm: Edit Post

Mike said:
"a 'form' is a practice method of certain principles; different forms are just different ways of practicing the same basic things."

Excellent! I hope everyone is paying attention.

but wait a minute, if that's true, does that mean MY form isn't the only real/secret/special/hidden/imperial/original/taught by a mysterious Daoist one?

   By Mike Taylor on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 06:28 pm: Edit Post

Cool... now just what are these "basic things?"

What principles are similar in all aspects of close combat &/or hand-to-hand combat?

What additional principles ("basic things" as worded above) apply when: (1) striking; (2) knocking down; (3) throwing*; or (4) ground fighting?

And what are the feelings & images that are akin to understanding these basic things?

*This is covered in Tim's "Effortless Combat Throws" book -- but what about the other aspects & the first question?

   By Mike Taylor on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 06:36 pm: Edit Post


In otherwords, what are your real, secret, special, hidden, imperial (palace guard?), original principles (or basic things) taught only to you by a mysterious Daoist? :/

   By Tim on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 12:13 am: Edit Post

If I told you, they wouldn't be real/secret/special/hidden/imperial/original or taught to only me.

   By Miguel P. on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 10:28 am: Edit Post

It seems to me that if you practice the correct principles, these should apply to all aspects of your training. When you practice you Tai Chi, if you practice it correctly, it should improve your Hsing I, Ba gua, Wu Mei, Jujitsu, your dancing, anything. That's why it's called Kung Fu, (applied effort) it referst to everything, not only martial arts. If you practice you Kung Fu correctly, and your an actor, it should improve your acting, if your a painter, your painting. For example, relaxation, will make you better at whatever it is that you do.
You guys remember that scene in "Crouching Tiger..." when Michelle Yeoh recognizes the youg girl as an expert, by her calligraphy!
Sorry to butt in, but this is an excellet thread.

   By Mike Taylor on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 11:52 am: Edit Post


Indeed this is an excellent thread. And I agree that if I practice certain skills using appropriate principles in appropriate ways that I can develop those certain skills. But I ask, what are the principles for each skill genre? Until I understand these principles my practice will be less fruitful, or unfruitful, or even downright detrimental (as I'll be reinforcing bad habits).

Being an expert calligrapher doesn't make one an expert fighter & vice versa. Some people apply kung-fu to multiple areas of study. Some don't.

   By Miguel P. on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 12:56 pm: Edit Post

I absolutely agree that a master calligrapher does not make a master fighter by any stretch of the imagination. I also agree that in order to develope specific skills, you need to practice these skills. I also think that there are certan practices that apply to martial arts that can also work to improve other art forms. For example, take something like having a calm mind or a well developed sense of awarenes, these skills can easily translate to other disciplines. Now, I do agree that for example, being relaxed and aligned does not make you a good fighter, unles you practice fighting, or a good ball player unless yor practice those skills. But I think we both agree that it can help you with both.

Of course there are certain skills that are more specific to certain endeavors and the best way to develope these endeavors, if not the only way, would be to practice these skills.

   By Mike Sigman on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:55 pm: Edit Post

Mike Taylor wrote:
"Being an expert calligrapher doesn't make one an expert fighter & vice versa."

True. Good calligraphy is supposed to done with the middle manipulating the jin to the hand that controls the brush... the same basic idea in the internal arts and some of the so-called "external arts" as well.

In the internal arts the jin/qi control by the middle and the open-close of the body is paramount. That type of movement naturally resolves into six harmonies movement and the "store-release" of Bagua, Xingyi, Taiji. It is this use of jin and "hit with the dantien" that is the hallmark of the so-called "internal martial arts". Practicing movement that includes these things will be the focus of all forms in the "internal" martial arts, even though the specific techniques and some of the strategies may vary.



   By Mike Taylor on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 08:40 pm: Edit Post


We're on the same tract -- I understand & agree with you (good points).

Mike S.,

You lost me (remember, I'm not all that swift & I don't speak Chinese).

   By Miguel P. on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 11:27 am: Edit Post

Just picked up Jan Deepersloot's Warriors of Stillnes and read a couple of chapters. It seems to me that he's saying that you can develope actual combat ability by just standing. I happen to think that standing practice is essential for IMA training and for me it has been a great source of power and vitality, but something about Mr. Deepersloot's statements doesn't ring true. Am I misreading his teachings? Has anybody read the book? Any comments?

   By Mark Hatfield on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 05:22 pm: Edit Post

Miguel P.

You should ask sysop move this to another thread.

I have both of J. D. s books and they're OK, although the Yichaun positions he was taught are all just very slight variations of the basic position. I did find the other basic positions elsewhere.

I beleive it was Yichauns founder that speculated that ability might be developed by just standing, but that was still just the core of the practice. Try checking out the various Yichaun sites on the net.

   By Miguel P. on Friday, January 03, 2003 - 05:35 pm: Edit Post

Thank you Mark.