TAI CHI CHUAN
Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient Chinese form of classical exercise for health and self-defense. Tai Chi means "grand ultimate" and refers to the yin-yang concept, chuan mean "fist", "boxing" or "style".
Chang San Feng of the Sung dynasty (13th century A.D.) is generally credited with creating Tai Chi Chuan. Purportedly , basing it on the fighting techniques of the snake and crane combined with the cultivation of internal power. Tai chi is very beneficial to health. Regular practice of Tai Chi Chuan will: increase flexibility, develop muscular strength, coordination, improve circulation, physical posture, promote relacation and overall good health, in addition to being an effective method of self-defense. Tui -shou (push hands) drill are two person exercises of Tai Chi Chuan. These drill develop the marital aspect of Tai Chi Chuan utilizing balance, sensitivity, leverage, and technique to neutralize aggressive attacks as opposed to excessive muscular strength.
YANG STYLE TAI CHI CHUAN
Until the 19th century Tai Chi Chuan was a closely guarded secret of the Chen family. At the time Yang Lu Chan (1780-1873) a native of Hobei learned Tai Chi Chuan from Grand Master Chen Chang Xin. Yang went to Peking and became famous as a martial artist and passed the system on to his family, who opened this style to the public. A grandson of Yang, Yang Cheng Fu (1883-1935) formed the distinctive characteristics of what is now known as the Yang style of rhythmic movements, but are preformed very sloiwly and gracefully to promote circulation, increase sensitivity and train proper technique.
CHINESE TAI CHI CHUAN CLUB
Many famous martial artists were among the refugees and members of the nationalist government that retreated to Taiwan ahead of advancing communist forces in 1949. In order to preserve their martial arts traditions, a martial arts association was formed, a founding member was Grand Master Chiao Chang Hung. Initiated by National assembly member Chen Pan Ling (A famous martial artist who was the chief instructor at the government established Central Martial Arts Institute in Nanking on the mainland.) two of the members of the martial arts association, old friends and Tai chi chuan brothers Grand Master Chiao Chang Hung and Master Wang Yen Nien , decided to form a tai chi club. The club was formally established on March, 27 1960 as the Chinese Tai Chi Chuan Club. Chen Pan Ling himself served as the club’s chief commissioner, Grand Master Chiao Chang Hung as director and Wang Yen Nien as head coach. Regular members included such greats as Cheng Men Ching, Kuo Lien Yin, Hsiung Yang Ho and many others. As the club grew and became more organized, 1n 1963 it became the Tai Chi Chuan Academic Research Committee. In 1966 the committee decided to become independent of the Martial art Federation and on nov. 5th 1966 it became the Chinese Tai Chi Chuan Academic Research Society. Grand Master Chiao served as a director until 1975 when the society was incorporated into the ROC Sports Association and changed it’s name to the ROC Tai Chi Chuan Association, and later to the ROC Tai Chi Chuan Federation which it remains today as the governing body of Tai Chi Chuan in the Republic of China. Members of these groups, especially the early incarnations were instrumental in spreading Tai Chi Chuan around the globe and principally in the United States. Grand Master Chiao Chang Hung was one of the giants of that generation and a founding father of Tai Chi Chuan in Taiwan,ROC.
The Central Guoshu Institute (simplified Chinese: 中央国术馆; traditional Chinese: 中央國術館; pinyin: zhōng yāng guó shù guǎn; literally "Central Martial Arts Academy"); was established in Nanjing by the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China in 1928 for the propagation of Chinese martial arts, and was an important center of martial arts during the Nanjing decade. Guoshu (also spelled Kuoshu) 國術 "national art" was the term for martial arts adopted by the Republic of China at the time. The institute was headed by five selected masters, including Fu Chen Sung, Wan Lai Sheng, Gu RuZhang, Li Lie Jun 李烈鈞 (1882–1946), Li Jinglin (李景林, 1884–1931), and Chang Chih Chiang (Zhang Zhi Jiang 张之江, 1882–1966).
Along with the Jing Wu Athletic Association (established in 1910), the academy played a crucial role in the transmission of traditional Chinese martial arts into the 20th century.
In April 1928, The Institute held its first national martial arts competition in Beijing in the form of a highly competitive lei tai tournament. It was presided by General Zhang Zhi Jiang. This competition attracted 400 of the best martial artists in China.
In October 1928, the Central Guoshu Institute held another national examination in Nanjing. This event came to be regarded as one of the most significant historic gatherings of Chinese martial arts masters. The tournament was presided by generals Zhang Zhi Jiang, Li Lie Jun, and Li Jing Lin, who separated the 600 participants into two categories: Shaolin and Wudang. After the first several days of competition, the fighting competitions had to be halted because two masters were killed and many more seriously injured. The final 12 contestants were not permitted to continue for fear of losing traditional knowledge of martial arts by killing off the experts and the overall winner was voted on by a jury of his peers. Many of the "Top 15" finishers (some being Xingyi boxers) went on to teach at the institute.
Yang Chengfu was named the Institute's head instructor of T'ai Chi Chuan; Sun Lu-t'ang was named head instructor of XingYi Chuan; and Fu Chen Sung was named head instructor of BaGua Zhang.
In 1929, the governor of Guangdong Province invited some of the institutes's masters (including some of those that had competed in the 1928 lei tai) to come south to establish a "Southern Kuoshu Institute". General Li Jinglin chose five masters to represent northern China: BaguaZhang master, Fu Chen Sung; Shaolin Iron Palm master, Gu Ru Zhang; Six Harmony master Wan Lai Shen; Tam T'ui master, Li Shan Wu; and Cha Chuan master, Wang Shao Zhao. These men were known as the Wu hu xia jiangnan (五虎下江南 - "Five tigers heading south of Jiangnan"). In 1933, the institute again hosted the national competition. The rules said, "...if death occurs as a result of boxing injuries and fights, the coffin with a body of the deceased will be sent home."
The center relocated several times during World War II and returned to Nanjing in 1946. It closed in 1948 due to lack of funding.
Chen Pan Ling
Chen Pan Ling was born in 1892 and spent his entire life studying and teaching Chinese martial arts until his death in 1967. He was expert in external martial arts as well as the three major internal arts: Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, and Taijiquan. During the 1940's, he was involved in the Central Guoshu Institute as a vice president and chaired a committee charged with collating traditional martial arts and developing standardized forms and practices.
Chen Pan Ling's teachers included the following: he learned Xingyiquan from Li Tsun-Yi and Liu Tsai-Chen; Baguazhang from Tung Lien-Chi and Cheng Hai-Ting; and Taijiquan from Wu Jian-Quan, Yang Shao-Hou, Ji Zu-Xiu and Xu Yu-Sheng. He also spent a year (from 1927 to 1928) in the village of Chen Jia Guo to research Chen's Taiji Quan. He was even enlisted by Chen Xin to contribute a forward to his famous book, Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan.
One of the things that emerged from the Central Guoshu Committee was an integrated Taijiquan form, originally coined the Authentic Taijiquan of China, now referred to as Chen Pan Ling's 99 Forms.
Chen Pan Ling's form is a synthesis of Yang, Wu, and Chen style elements. Like Yang Cheng Fu's long form, it can be divided into 6 sections. Aside from that, there is relatively little similarity as Master Chen's Yang style instructor was Yang Shao Hou. The form is a medium frame and is generally practiced without overt display of fajin, like Yang and Wu styles. While the Yang and Wu influences are more obvious, the emphasis of waist and hip rotation, and spiraling energy are reflective of his study in Chen Jia Guo. In addition, there are some subtle influences of both Xingyiquan and Baguazhang in the form.
After the cultural revolution, Chen Pan Ling spent the remainder of his life in Taiwan where he was considered one of the preeminent masters of his generation. Robert Smith said of him: "Until his death at 77 in 1967, Chen Pan Ling was without doubt more knowledgeable on the principles, rationale, and practice of Chinese Boxing than anyone else in the world." In 1963, Chen Pan Ling's Original Tai Chi Chuan Textbook was published. It was translated and published in English in 1998. His book is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in his style or Taijiquan in general.
As a founding member and director of the “Chinese Tai Chi Club” which later became the “republic of china tai chi chuan federation”, Grand Master Chiao Chang Hung , assisted Grand Master Chen in developing and promoting this system of tai chi chuan.