Ancient

Xue Sheng

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OK a mini rant

This morning I was reading the paper and I saw an add for a Yang style Tai Chi Chuan Long Form class. My first thought was; hmmm I wonder who is teaching this. I then read further and saw this

“Ancient long form of slow movement and exercise” :rolleyes:

OK it is likely taiji-light and I can live with that, I have gotten much better at dealing with such things….. But… I have a real problem with “Ancient”

Yang Luchan is the founder of Yang Style born in 1799 and died in 1872. Ok old but not ancient. And since this person is not a student of my Sifu, or at least better not be, that leaves only to possibilities of the persons lineage that is teaching this, that is if they are not outside of the area (and based on the organization it is associated with I doubt they are) One source is my first CMA Sifu who learned the long form via a video tape. But even then we are talking the Long form as it comes form Yang Chengfu who was born in 1883 and died in 1936 ok again old but not ancient. The other source is from Cheng Manching via TT Liang or William CC Chen. Neither are Yang style Long form and again Cheng Manching born in 1902 and died in 1975… also not Ancient...not bad.... but still not ancient.

So either the instructor is ABSOLUTLY CLUELESS as to the history of what he/she is teaching and therefore likely EQUALLY as clueless as to what REAL taijiquan is OR they are just throwing out a sales pitch and calling it ancient to garner more interest. Frankly I am currently leaning towards THEY ARE CLUELESS.

Thank You
I feel better now

Oh the same place is also teaching Tai Chi Chih... Oh I am just SOOOOO Happy :mad:
 

Drac

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So either the instructor is ABSOLUTLY CLUELESS as to the history of what he/she is teaching and therefore likely EQUALLY as clueless as to what REAL taijiquan is OR they are just throwing out a sales pitch and calling it ancient to garner more interest. Frankly I am currently leaning towards THEY ARE CLUELESS.

Thank You
I feel better now

Oh the same place is also teaching Tai Chi Chih... Oh I am just SOOOOO Happy :mad:

Yep, they are out there Xue...Mores the pity...And the unsuspecting public just buys into it...
 

oxy

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So either the instructor is ABSOLUTLY CLUELESS as to the history of what he/she is teaching and therefore likely EQUALLY as clueless as to what REAL taijiquan is OR they are just throwing out a sales pitch and calling it ancient to garner more interest. Frankly I am currently leaning towards THEY ARE CLUELESS.

I promise you I won't even mention the logical fallacy: false choice. I won't. ...

From what you've given us, it appears to me that the writer of the advertisement was referring to Taiji (the umbrella term) as the "ancient" martial art, not Yang Taiji specifically. It's not uncommon to find people talking in different contexts while appearing to talk in the same context. In this case, the advertiser was introducing themselves as Yang Taiji specialists and then talking about Taiji in general when introducing Taiji.

I've seen the exact same mistake (with different subject matters of course) many times. Don't make something like this more than it is. Many people write while changing contexts in their head and forget to write it down. But then, you also have to take into account advertising space costs money and removal of words from the draft could have contributed to context changes.

Or it could be exactly what you're saying it is.

Oh the same place is also teaching Tai Chi Chih... Oh I am just SOOOOO Happy :mad:

Could be a clever ploy to attract people of the kind "more combinations of words = more knowledge = [better bang for buck]/[secret knowledge revealed only today]". Or could be what you are assuming.
 
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Xue Sheng

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IFrom what you've given us, it appears to me that the writer of the advertisement was referring to Taiji (the umbrella term) as the "ancient" martial art, not Yang Taiji specifically. .

Full add

Yang style Tai Chi Chuan Long Form
Ancient long form of slow movement and exercise

Maybe you are right but it sounds like they are talking about Yang style to me. But for a moment lets assume they are not.

The only historically documented source of Taijiquan is Chen Wangting born 1600 died 1680, again old but not what I would consider ancient.

Mythologically speaking it is from a Taoist (maybe) named Zhang Sanfeng (maybe) who is said to have lived the Sung Dynasty (969-1126) or the Southern Sung Dynasty (1127-1279) or Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) or the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and he has been called a Taoist, a Shaolin Master, a Warrior and a Confucian. And he first appears in Chinese history in 1650 (also not ancient) in the “Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan” and he is not associated with Taiji.

OK if this is true I will let Ancient go, although I still do not agree that Ming is ancient but that is just me. But since Zhang Sanfeng is a bit of a debate I would let that go....

But somehow I still feel they are CLUELESS
 

oxy

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Full add

Yang style Tai Chi Chuan Long Form
Ancient long form of slow movement and exercise

This is a very short ad. So it's not unreasonable to assume that the language used was trying to gain maximum attention-getting effect for the least amount of qualification.

Maybe you are right but it sounds like they are talking about Yang style to me. But for a moment lets assume they are not.

The only historically documented source of Taijiquan is Chen Wangting born 1600 died 1680, again old but not what I would consider ancient.

Mythologically speaking it is from a Taoist (maybe) named Zhang Sanfeng (maybe) who is said to have lived the Sung Dynasty (969-1126) or the Southern Sung Dynasty (1127-1279) or Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) or the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and he has been called a Taoist, a Shaolin Master, a Warrior and a Confucian. And he first appears in Chinese history in 1650 (also not ancient) in the “Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan” and he is not associated with Taiji.

OK if this is true I will let Ancient go, although I still do not agree that Ming is ancient but that is just me. But since Zhang Sanfeng is a bit of a debate I would let that go....

As you imply, I also highly doubt that all this was in mind when the advert was being written. I'm sure you've met many people who says something suspiciously truth-bending and, when called upon, they say "well, TECHnically...". The thing is this kind of behaviour (in which people leave escape exits) many people can do in their sleep without being sinister or blithering idiots.

It seems equally like that if you were to contact this person and call them up on the use of the word "ancient", they would probably say "well, TECHnically, 400 years IS ancient..."

The point is this kind of subconscious leanings are very natural to a lot of people. People who aren't clueless can still say things wrong all the time and leave a wrong impression. I recently worked with a colleague on a software project where he would explain something to the client during requirements/gathering progress meetings and say something completely unintended. In one case, it almost painted him as an excuse maker in the eyes of the client.

But somehow I still feel they are CLUELESS

They may well be. Or they may actually know enough without being masters of the art but know more about advertising technique. And when I say "know about advertising technique", most attention-grabbing language are really no-brainers on the verge of automatic reaction.

I'm pretty sure there are people who aren't clueless that would use the word "ancient" to describe their art.
 
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Xue Sheng

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I'm pretty sure there are people who aren't clueless that would use the word "ancient" to describe their art.

Since you are not in my area, do not know the source of most of the Taiji taught here, and do not do taiji I will agree with your conclusion as it comes from your point of view.

From my point of view they are at best uneducated about the art they are teaching. If it is what I suspect they are also not very well trained in taiji and hammering YET another nail in the coffin of Taijiquan the martial art.
 

oxy

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Since you are not in my area, do not know the source of most of the Taiji taught here, and do not do taiji I will agree with your conclusion as it comes from your point of view.

I don't see why knowledge of Taiji or geographical factors have anything to do with the understanding of the fact that many people talk/write in that "promotional" way that may or may not point to anything in particular.

From my point of view they are at best uneducated about the art they are teaching. If it is what I suspect they are also not very well trained in taiji and hammering YET another nail in the coffin of Taijiquan the martial art.

There was a time when, had I come across a similar advertisment, I would also be talking of the doom and gloom future of LHBF. Now, I just don't care. The bigger problem that I see is that there is a growing tendency for otherwise intelligent people to make an emotional judgement not based on rational thought (eg, political extremists). It is this kind of behaviour (which is self-propagating especially in arena like the internet) which makes people more prone to accepting statements like "ancient". If you get to them first with "the use of the word ancient is worrying", they'll swing wildly the other way and reject anything on the grounds of emotional response. They no longer make a decision based on rational thought (eg judging someone based on actual ability than wordsmithing) but based on who got to them first and have the stronger opinion. And it is this kind of unintentional mindset which digs Taiji's grave (let alone nailing a coffin). For example, there are many people who, when upon reading the word "internal" automatically reject the art. They reject it because (not from intent but from reinforced behaviour) they have probably read somewhere where someone makes a distinction between "realistic" and "the other kind" where the use of the word "internal" puts arts like Taiji and Xingyi in "the other kind" category.

Basically, if you teach people rational behaviour and rational thinking, they'll be able to analyse a situation more correctly. Then they themselves will pick up on things like "ancient" and to know to be wary of it without being told to. Otherwise you'd just be telling them what to think (and rewarding them for it for thinking what they're told) and open them up to others who are much better at telling people what to think (who probably will not tell them to think the rationally, logically, technically correct thing).
 
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Xue Sheng

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I don't see why knowledge of Taiji or geographical factors have anything to do with the understanding of the fact that many people talk/write in that "promotional" way that may or may not point to anything in particular.



There was a time when, had I come across a similar advertisment, I would also be talking of the doom and gloom future of LHBF. Now, I just don't care. The bigger problem that I see is that there is a growing tendency for otherwise intelligent people to make an emotional judgement not based on rational thought (eg, political extremists). It is this kind of behaviour (which is self-propagating especially in arena like the internet) which makes people more prone to accepting statements like "ancient". If you get to them first with "the use of the word ancient is worrying", they'll swing wildly the other way and reject anything on the grounds of emotional response. They no longer make a decision based on rational thought (eg judging someone based on actual ability than wordsmithing) but based on who got to them first and have the stronger opinion. And it is this kind of unintentional mindset which digs Taiji's grave (let alone nailing a coffin). For example, there are many people who, when upon reading the word "internal" automatically reject the art. They reject it because (not from intent but from reinforced behaviour) they have probably read somewhere where someone makes a distinction between "realistic" and "the other kind" where the use of the word "internal" puts arts like Taiji and Xingyi in "the other kind" category.

Basically, if you teach people rational behaviour and rational thinking, they'll be able to analyse a situation more correctly. Then they themselves will pick up on things like "ancient" and to know to be wary of it without being told to. Otherwise you'd just be telling them what to think (and rewarding them for it for thinking what they're told) and open them up to others who are much better at telling people what to think (who probably will not tell them to think the rationally, logically, technically correct thing).

Best possible answer at this point is "du穫 ni繳 t獺n q穩n"

Later.

 

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Advertising is 9/10 of the technique in many cases.

"I made this up yesterday based on indigestion from a bad sausage" doesnt attact as many prospective students.

Regards,

Rob
 
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Xue Sheng

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Is it a good thing that I don't know a word of mandarin?

Sorry, I forgot you know Cantonese not Mandarin.

It translates to playing lute to a cow.

It is a Northern Chinese story/metaphor that I first heard when my sister-in-law applied it to a conversation we were trying to have, she spoke no English and I spoke very little Mandarin.

The story is basically that a man who was an incredibly talented Lute player so impressed everyone he ever played to he began to believe that his lute music would be appreciated by all that heard it. He decided to prove this one day by walking into a middle of a field were a cow was standing. He sat down next to the cow and began to play but got no reaction form the cow. The man became very upset at the insult the cow had given him and went off not even realizing that the cow had no idea why he was there what a lute was nor did it care about any of it.

I will happily be the cow in this scenario but what I am saying is that basically there will be no agreement on this topic between you and me and I have no idea why you are attempting to prove your point to me and you have no idea what my point is either so why bother with further discussion. I think back ground and experience in taiji and location in this post is of great importance and you do not understand why I think that, You do not think it matters at all and I do not understand why you think that.

There for it is like playing a lute to a cow which is a waste of time

 

kaizasosei

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taiji philosophy is much older than taichichuan. the taichi philosophy that comes from teachings like the ijing, is said by some to be the oldest book in the world. martial artists attached these philosophical terms to the names of their martial arts to emphasize the importance. no animal name or wild style could ever encompass the entirety of the concept of taiji. in essence everything in the world is taiji or a product thereof. taiji meaning is something universal force or god. -the total extreme- the fat extreme- the complete polarity. just some more stabs at the dark...i find it hard to even put my own conceptions of taiji into words.. but most books on the ijing talk about it in great detail.

ive seen this lecture posted in one place already and i also posted it in another place but ill add it here again


j
 
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Xue Sheng

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taiji philosophy is much older than taichichuan. the taichi philosophy that comes from teachings like the ijing, is said by some to be the oldest book in the world. martial artists attached these philosophical terms to the names of their martial arts to emphasize the importance. no animal name or wild style could ever encompass the entirety of the concept of taiji. in essence everything in the world is taiji or a product thereof. taiji meaning is something universal force or god. -the total extreme- the fat extreme- the complete polarity. just some more stabs at the dark...i find it hard to even put my own conceptions of taiji into words.. but most books on the ijing talk about it in great detail.

ive seen this lecture posted in one place already and i also posted it in another place but ill add it here again


j

Taosit taiji philosphy is not Taijiquan.

But per the Chen family Chen Wangting did come up with Chen style taijiquan after studying the I Ching Also Yang Luchan also claimed to have studied the I Ching in changing Chen to Yang. But I do not think the add was trying to reference Taoist philosopy

And thank you for the link to the lecture but I saw it live many years ago at YMAA in Boston.
 
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