Learn Tai Chi in China

DaPoets

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Learn Tai Chi in China
Apr 17, 08 | 10:23 am



Maybe you have never heard about Hunyaun Tai Chi, or only having heard little about it, or only ever saw little about it. Here we offer you a opportunity to upgrade your Tai Chi career, if you are a Tai Chi instructor, or you are very fond of Tai Chi. Though as a quintessence of Chinese traditional culture Hunyuan Tai Chi don't aim to replace other styles at all, but with its strong suit Hunyuan Tai Chi has spread abroad favourably and friendly. It is historical event in Tai Chi global development, many practitioners on this career have naturally turned themselves to Hunyuan Tai Chi.



Hunyuan Tai Chi was established by Mr. Feng Zhiqiang in 90s last century. As matter of face it came from his sifu GM Chen Fake and GM Hun Yaozhen, and was finally perfected by Mr. Feng. He is the person having been regarded as the top master in Chinese Tai Chi circles, not only for that he is the last inheritor of Chen-style in 10th generation and with 9th Dan, the highest rank of Chinese martial arts, but also for that he have contributed to Tai Chi development a great many during past half century.

The Hunyuan Tai Chi Seminar in China (HTS) is the unique training occasion for foreigners, who want to get the normal training of Hunyuan Tai Chi. It is supervised directly by Beijing Hunyuan Tai Chi Center (BJHYC). Mr. Zhang Jiping, one of the top disciples of GM Feng Zhiqiang and with 7th Dan of Chinese martial arts, takes on the coach of the seminar.

The seminar features itself by fruitful workshop in a week: Hunyuan Tai chi 24 Forms or 38 Cannon, Hunyuan Tai Chi Sword or Hunyuan Tai Chi Saber, and the Hunyuan Nei Gong (Internal Work). The remarkable point is that Two-phrase Teaching method works for the seminar. That means that every participator should begin learning the lessons before the seminar. And then during the seminar they could get deeper instructions and they could effectively master much more knowledge and skills by only once time. So it could be the most fruitful workshop in the world.

Another shining point of the seminar is that it is a good chance to get Mr. Zhang Jiping as sifu and therefore become an official inheritor of Tai Chi Lineage. That is to be an official inheritor of 12th generation of Chen-style and third generation of Hunyuan-style. The title surely is very important for some people, who are instructors of Tai Chi and take Tai Chi as a serious career. After the seminar the disciples will be introduced to GM Feng Zhqiang who lived in Beijing, and get photos with him.

So Hunyuan Tai Chi Seminar in China should be a historical event for any kinds of instructors of Tai Chi, who want to upgrade themselves in this occupation, and also for the beginners who want to learn this art in correct way just at the very beginning.

http://www.01248.cn/tss/enroll4.asp
 

Xue Sheng

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I have the greatest respect for Feng Zhiqiang and his skill but I believe some things need to be cleared up in your post and there are some problems with it as well

First since Chen Fake was 17th generation Chen style so I do not think Feng Zhiqiang is 10th, he is 18th generation.

Feng Zhiqiang was a student of Chen Fake and a very good one but Chen Fake also had 2 or 3 sons that he also trained and his grandson Chen Yu is currently teaching in Beijing as well. As a matter of fact a student of Chen Yu has a school in the Boston Area. And he goes to China to train with Chen Yu.

Dan ranks are from the Chinese Government and the Wushu association and not from the Chen family and therefore, IMO, mean little.

Also Feng Zhiqiang is now retired and no longer takes new students and I have heard that he turned the whole thing over to his daughter and last I knew she was taking students... in China

There is also a student of a student of Feng Zhiqiang on MT

IMO Feng Zhiqiang is a top master of Taiji but you also have to understand the Taiji he currently teaches is VERY different from what he learned form Chan Fake and very different from what the Chen family now teaches. The fact that Feng Zhiqiang is still allowed to call his style Chen by the Chen family goes to the respect the Chen family has for him but the two versions (if you will) are very different.

Also there are other options for training Chen in China you can go to Chen Village and train or you can go to any of the schools run by Chen Zhenglei and train as well. And there are other options to.
 

Myrmidon

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Hunyuan Tai Chi was established by Mr. Feng Zhiqiang in 90s last century. As matter of face it came from his sifu GM Chen Fake and GM Hun Yaozhen, and was finally perfected by Mr. Feng. He is the person having been regarded as the top master in Chinese Tai Chi circles, not only for that he is the last inheritor of Chen-style in 10th generation and with 9th Dan, the highest rank of Chinese martial arts, but also for that he have contributed to Tai Chi development a great many during past half century.

GM Feng Zhiqiang is the last living disciple of GM Chen Fake. Here are some other links:

http://www.chentaiji.com/about/fengbio.html
http://www.silkreeler.com/drupal/
http://www.chinafrominside.com/ma/taiji/FZQinterview.html
http://www.wuji.com/Masters/feng.htm
http://chenfake.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=32
http://www.taijiquandao.com/03paginasingles/05masters/05fengzhiqiang.htm
 
OP
DaPoets

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It was a news post that I read, thought I would just copy / paste the news.
 

Myrmidon

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I have the greatest respect for Feng Zhiqiang and his skill but I believe some things need to be cleared up in your post and there are some problems with it as well

First since Chen Fake was 17th generation Chen style so I do not think Feng Zhiqiang is 10th, he is 18th generation.

That is correct, Feng Zhiqiang is 18th generation. He is in fact the only living 18th generation disciple of GM Chen Fake. Some Chen stylists count the generations differently, probably counting Chen Wanting as 1st generation.


Feng Zhiqiang was a student of Chen Fake and a very good one but Chen Fake also had 2 or 3 sons that he also trained and his grandson Chen Yu is currently teaching in Beijing as well. As a matter of fact a student of Chen Yu has a school in the Boston Area. And he goes to China to train with Chen Yu.
Chen Yu (19th generation) is the son of Chen Zhaokui (18th generation), who was one of Chen Fake's sons and kung fu brother of Feng Zhiqiang.

Chen Zhaokui:
Chen Yu:

Dan ranks are from the Chinese Government and the Wushu association and not from the Chen family and therefore, IMO, mean little.
You're right. Feng Zhiqiang probably received the above mentioned rank as recognition for his multiple contributions to Taijiquan and not as a recognition of his skills... He doesn't need that type of recognition for his skills... they speak for themselves...

Also Feng Zhiqiang is now retired and no longer takes new students and I have heard that he turned the whole thing over to his daughter and last I knew she was taking students... in China
Feng Zhiqiang is in his 80's, so it is to be expected that he should slow down his teaching activities. He has several excellent disciples who can teach new students.

There is also a student of a student of Feng Zhiqiang on MT

There are others in North America and Europe.


IMO Feng Zhiqiang is a top master of Taiji but you also have to understand the Taiji he currently teaches is VERY different from what he learned form Chan Fake and very different from what the Chen family now teaches.
Yes... and no... He developed his own interpretation of what he learned from Chen Fake... Just as other lineages of the Chen Style, including the Chen Village group, developed their own way of expressing their art... There is no single "correct" or "legitimate" way of doing the Chen Style taijiquan.

The fact that Feng Zhiqiang is still allowed to call his style Chen by the Chen family goes to the respect the Chen family has for him but the two versions (if you will) are very different.
Feng Zhiqiang doesn't need to be "allowed" to call his taijiquan Chen style. He earned the right to call his taijiquan that way.

Also there are other options for training Chen in China you can go to Chen Village and train or you can go to any of the schools run by Chen Zhenglei and train as well. And there are other options to.
Sure... there are other options... There's the Chen Village option... the Shandong option... and several Beijing options...
 
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Xue Sheng

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Yes... and no... He developed his own interpretation of what he learned from Chen Fake... Just as other lineages of the Chen Style, including the Chen Village group, developed their own way of expressing their art... There is no single "correct" or "legitimate" way of doing the Chen Style taijiquan.


Well since I no longer train Chen I really cannot argue this point but as far as I know all of the 19th generation and the 20th pretty much do the same forms Laojia yilu and erlu and xinjia yilu and erlu. Yes there are variations but Feng Zhiqiang is very different form what I see the current Chen family do. Nothing wrong with that I have great respect for Feng Zhiqiang it is just a very different interpretation if you will.

Feng Zhiqiang doesn't need to be "allowed" to call his taijiquan Chen style. He earned the right to call his taijiquan that way.

Not trying to take anything form Feng Zhiqiang he is a great taijiquan master but the family tends to control what is and what is not family taiji in China. But then it is very true that Feng Zhiqiang being a top student of Chen Fake would give him the right to call what he is doing Chen. However I am not sure they would consider anyone he taught as doing Chen style. I do not have that much knowledge of the Chen family there. I do know the Yang family would not but then I don't really want to get into Yang family politics in a post about Feng Zhiqiang.
 

Myrmidon

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[/color][/b]

Well since I no longer train Chen I really cannot argue this point but as far as I know all of the 19th generation and the 20th pretty much do the same forms Laojia yilu and erlu and xinjia yilu and erlu. Yes there are variations but Feng Zhiqiang is very different form what I see the current Chen family do. Nothing wrong with that I have great respect for Feng Zhiqiang it is just a very different interpretation if you will.

Well... there are differences... Feng Zhiqiang's taijiquan was mostly xinjia since he studied with Chen Fake from 1950 thru 1957. His yilu and erlu are similar to other interpretations of xinjia. From yilu he developed a 48 posture form (he removed the series of movements that got repeated in yilu). From erlu he developed a 32 posture form and later a 46 posture form. In this 46 posture form he included several movements from xinyi and tongbei, so we could agree that this last form is different.

Here are some examples of xinjia erlu from different lineages:


Vintage video of Feng Zhiqiang performing erlu:


Chen Bing:

Chen Yu:

Li Lairen:

And here are examples of laojia erlu:

Chen Bing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFxC2chsMbs&feature

Chen ?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSncrvodX4s&feature

Li Enjiu, disciple of Hong Junsheng (18th generation), who was a disciple of Chen fake:

As you can see... differences are pervasive in Chen Style...
 
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Myrmidon

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Not trying to take anything form Feng Zhiqiang he is a great taijiquan master but the family tends to control what is and what is not family taiji in China. But then it is very true that Feng Zhiqiang being a top student of Chen Fake would give him the right to call what he is doing Chen. However I am not sure they would consider anyone he taught as doing Chen style. I do not have that much knowledge of the Chen family there. I do know the Yang family would not but then I don't really want to get into Yang family politics in a post about Feng Zhiqiang.

I understand. Within the Chen Style, only those from the Chen family can call their art Chen Family Taijiquan. All others may call it Chen Style Taijiquan. Feng Zhiqiang calls his art Chen Style Xinyi Hunyuan Taijiquan and, as far as I know, nobody has challenged him about it.

Another interesting lineage is the Hong Junsheng lineage. Hong studied continuously under Chen Fake in Beijing from 1930 thru 1944, and continued to visit him after he moved to Jinan (Hong). Hong developed his own interpretation of laojia.
 

Xue Sheng

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I cannot watch these in my office YouTube takes up to much band width but I will look at them later this evening.

The last one is Chen Zhenglei also 19th generation

EDIT

And just to note I am talking about what Feng Zhiqiang teaches now or most recently not what he did prior to this.

Does he still teach or just prior to his retirement did he teach Xinjia yilu and erlu or did he teach his forms 32 posture form and 46 posture form exclusively by that time?
 

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There is also a student of a student of Feng Zhiqiang on MT

Here I am!
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What Master Feng teaches is definitely based on Chen, but he has clearly taken it in a different direction. He had a hand in training the current heads of Chen village.

This offer of study in China is actually kind of disturbing. It looks like a weird sales opportunity, spend a couple weeks with someone famous, and become a lineage inheritor. Get photo ops with some famous people, so you can frame them and put them on a wall and imply a stronger tie than you actually have.

It's weird, looks like an opportunity to mislead people. In my book, you need more than that to claim lineage inheritor, or even claim to be somebody's student. At best, you can claim to have taken some seminars with someone. But if that's it, you have not become that person's student...
 

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I cannot watch these in my office YouTube takes up to much band width but I will look at them later this eveneing.

The last one is Chen Zhenglei also 19th generation

I apologize... didn't remember the name. He is one of the main representatives of the Chen Family Taijiquan.

And just to note I am talking about what Feng Zhiqiang teaches now or most recently not what he did prior to this.

His style has certainly evolved into something very unique, but the roots of what he does are certainly Chen.

Does he still teach or just prior to his retirement did he teach Xinjia yilu and erlu or did he teach his forms 32 posture form and 46 posture form exclusively by that time?

Yilu and erlu are officially part of the curriculum, just as the other forms he developed at a later time. At this stage of his life he devotes more time to his shorter forms and to qigong. Actually, a lot of what you see in his forms is qigong integrated into his taiji.
 

Xue Sheng

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His style has certainly evolved into something very unique, but the roots of what he does are certainly Chen.



Yilu and erlu are officially part of the curriculum, just as the other forms he developed at a later time. At this stage of his life he devotes more time to his shorter forms and to qigong. Actually, a lot of what you see in his forms is qigong integrated into his taiji.

Then I was mistaken I was unaware that Xinjia yilu and erlu were still part of his curriculum, I thought he stopped teaching those before he retired and taught only his 32 and 46 posture forms.
 

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What Master Feng teaches is definitely based on Chen, but he has clearly taken it in a different direction. He had a hand in training the current heads of Chen village.

This offer of study in China is actually kind of disturbing. It looks like a weird sales opportunity, spend a couple weeks with someone famous, and become a lineage inheritor. Get photo ops with some famous people, so you can frame them and put them on a wall and imply a stronger tie than you actually have.

It's weird, looks like an opportunity to mislead people. In my book, you need more than that to claim lineage inheritor, or even claim to be somebody's student. At best, you can claim to have taken some seminars with someone. But if that's it, you have not become that person's student...

Well it ABOUT TIME :uhyeah: :D

I agree with your assessment on this, the whole thing sounds like sales to me but then I am very Jaded on the whole seminar thing these days even those given by legitimate sifus.
 

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Well it ABOUT TIME :uhyeah: :D

I agree with your assessment on this, the whole thing sounds like sales to me but then I am very Jaded on the whole seminar thing these days even those give by legitimate sifus.

I also agree that it looks like a sales pitch!
 

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Well it ABOUT TIME :uhyeah: :D

I agree with your assessment on this, the whole thing sounds like sales to me but then I am very Jaded on the whole seminar thing these days even those given by legitimate sifus.


yeah, i've never been a fan of the seminar thing. So somebody comes and teaches a form in a weekend, or a short week. OK, so you've learned it quickly, which probably means that you didn't learn it well. They he goes back to China and you never see him again. You never get a chance to get further corrections or develop the form under his ongoing guidance, and get to really understand it. And maybe once he is gone, you don't even remember it anymore, and nobody else does. So now you've lost it altogether, and you've just wasted your money and time. No thanks.

You need an ongoing relationship with a teacher, in order to learn this stuff.
 

Xue Sheng

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yeah, i've never been a fan of the seminar thing. So somebody comes and teaches a form in a weekend, or a short week. OK, so you've learned it quickly, which probably means that you didn't learn it well. They he goes back to China and you never see him again. You never get a chance to get further corrections or develop the form under his ongoing guidance, and get to really understand it. And maybe once he is gone, you don't even remember it anymore, and nobody else does. So now you've lost it altogether, and you've just wasted your money and time. No thanks.

You need an ongoing relationship with a teacher, in order to learn this stuff.

As my Taiji Sifu says "What can you learn in a weekend... nothing" meaning just what you said one weekend a year is not enough. And when you see how much they try and cram into that afternoon, day, weekend or week you are going to forget stuff and do things wrong.

I’m with you I need a teacher available to me on a regular basis to learn this stuff, particularly something like Chen style
 

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Then I was mistaken I was unaware that Xinjia yilu and erlu were still part of his curriculum, I thought he stopped teaching those before he retired and taught only his 32 and 46 posture forms.

The 32 and 46 posture forms are based on erlu. There is a 48 posture form based on yilu. Well, it's actually yilu minus the repetitions.

Here's an example of the 48 posture form performed in a way which is closer to the "standard" xinjia. It is probably an older version of the form:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXmod6TCxNA&feature

Here's an example of the 24 posture form performed like it is currently done by the students of Feng Zhiqiang. The 24 posture form is basically the first half of the 48 posture form, where there are no kicks nor any of the more difficult movements:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZBZweaqrIs&feature
 

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Just because the xinjia forms and other things are part of the "official curriculum" doesn't mean that they are taught. Things like the elbow form seem to have slipped through the cracks in recent years. And I doubt anyone has learned the xinjia forms in a very long time. Why would they want to? Feng has clearly put his knowldge into the later forms.

As has already been mentioned, there are many varieties and branches of Chen style in China. The village doesn't get to call all the shots. Thank goodness.

Looking at the ad that started the thread, this may be an opportunity for people to establish a relationship with a teacher in China. The only relationship that has been considered in the thread so far is the "photo op" but I know people that go back and forth every year to China or Taiwan to train with their teacher. They get a little more each time. Trainings like this is usually how things start. Not everyone has an inside track at first.

So these trainings are not always bogus photo ops. (This one may be however.)
 

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