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The Research for the Characteristic of Tai ji Quan(part 1) PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007
The Research for the Characteristic of Tai ji Quan(part 1)
    From the current materials about Kung-fu, Qi Jiguang is an outstanding person for sorting out and researching folk Kung-fu. He sorted out all kinds of Chinese boxing method. Through the practice, he discarded the dross and selected the essence and founded thirty-two patterns of Quan Scripture. Qi Jiguang not only had his own researching achievement, but also learned from the other constantly. He learned the stick skill from Yu Dayou, and the spear skill from Tang Shunzhi. His aggressive way of study, the spirit of not simply copying the ancestor' s achievement, and the brave reform make an important effect for us to inherit, research and sort out the attacking technology and patterns.
    According to a large sum of materials I have analyzed and researched, following Qi Jiguang, another Quan scripture's author is Chen Wangting [ 1600---1680] of the ninth generation of the Chen family in Chenjiagou  Village, Wenxian County, Henan Province, who researched and sorted out all kinds of Kung-fu. Chen Wangting his another name is Zouting. The Chen family chart says" famous in Shandong Province... mopped up thousands of robbers----the founder of Chen' s Kung-fu about the boxing, sword and spear skill."
    In the poetry written by Chen Wangting, it says, "Admiring and
praising the past ,Sword in hand and Armour in body, I mopped up thousands of robbers, at risk of life; it' s in vein to be awarded by the emperor. By now, old and sick, only a book of Huang Ting with me. Practice boxing when bored; plough the field when busy; teach some students and sons in leisure; succeed if they work hard." According to Chen's Quan and sword chart, the Quan skill which Chen Wangting founded, includes Tai Ji Quan(another name is Thirteen Patterns ),five patterns of beating ,one hundred and eight sets of Changquan and big gun thumping (one set ). Among them twenty-nine sets are from thirty-two patterns of Qi Jiguang's Quan scripture. The songs and poem theory are all adopted.
    Chen Wangting was an outstanding person after Qi Jiguang for sorting out folk Kung-fu. Qi Jiguang and Chen all came from the army; he could get in touch with many boxing coaches. It was convenient to unite all the advantages of Kung-fu to inherit and reform. Apparently, Chen Wangting had been influenced by Qi Jiguang in sorting out the attacking technique of Kung-fu. The thirty-two patterns of Qi Jiguang's Quan scripture is the overall of sixteen kinds of ancient Quan skills. He discarded the dross and selected the essence, designsed carefully and chose thirty-two patterns to Quan skill, as "the source of Kung-fu" for soldiers to improve their skills. Cheng Wangting absorbed more than twenty-nine patterns from it, and edited the twenty-nine patterns to Tai Ji Quan serial of skills and tricks. Chen Wangting founded seven kinds of boxing serials. We can-not know where and how many he absorbed from the other boxing serials except absorbing from Qi Jiguang's thirty-two serials of Quan scripture. From so many names of the seven boxing serials, we can see he absorbed quite a lot from the ancient boxing skill. According to Chen' s Quan and Spear Chart, Wenxiu Hall Quan Chart and Liangyitang Chart etc,there are records of Sanshou's "Hong Quan   breaking the wall" and "gun-beating against wind" of "Short-Beating" and the "eighteen Grasping Techniques of Jing Gang ", specially focusing on the practice of grasping and bones' dismantling and "Zhanyi eighteen tumbling" for tumbling method. From the above we know at that time Tai Ji Quan's serials of skill and trick is quite comprehensive. Especially, that Hong Quan's being passed round and practiced from Shao Lin Temple, has also been read in the chart. The chart says, if you want to know the source of the Quan, it came from Nan Tang Dynasty by Taizu emperor; another song of Panluo stick says, "The old temple Shao Lin
    Temple, Kung-fu practiced by five hundred monks in the hall. The skill of Hong Quan for breaking the wall is greater... If you want to know where the stick skill comes from. Panluo passes round in Shao Ling.(Shao Ling is the misspelling of Shao Lin). The thirty-two serials of Tai Ji Quan often begins with "Lanzhayi" (" Roll the clothes lazily". The people in Ming Dynasty wore long gowns and belt in the waist. If they practice boxing, they must roll the gown to the belt, so that it is convenient to move their legs and hands. Qi' s Quan Scripture begins with"Lanzhayi". The left hand rolls the gown to the back of the belt, the right fist stretches to the back and the eyes look at the front. That was called "Lanzhayi". It means, when the person faces the enemy, he calmly rolls the gown to the back of his belt, being superb in Kung-fu skill.) Chen Wangting's Quan serials also begin with "Lanzhayi". Chen Wangting's Quan chart (i.e. the name of Quan) and The total formulas of Quan Scripture also adopted from Qi Jiguang' s Quan Scripture. So we can say Tai Ji Quan' s founding is on the basis of thirty-two serials Quan Scripture.
    And there' s so many names of the seven Quan skill that we can imagine there is quite a lot of the adopted kinds of Quan Skills. There is not any record in Yu Dayou, Qi Jiguang, Tang Shunzhi, Cheng Guandou, He Liangchen and Mao Yuanyi's Kung-fu works about Tui Shou(pushing hands) and double persons' sticking sword and sticking spear. There is not any record at that time in any works about practicing methods. It solved the problem when there is no shield, the sports method that can still practice and increased the skill of sword fencing and spear hitting. It is a creative achievement in Kung-fu history of our country. In Chen Wangting's The Total Formula of Quan Scripture (Chen's Liangyi Hall Quan Chart and Chen's Tai Ji Quan and Spear Chart in Chenjiagou Village,Wenxian county, Henan Province), the first two sentences are, "put down vertically an stretch bend, don't let the others know, the several touching parts wind me and I follow them all" (The "touching part" means the touching part when they have a contest, in which they use the technique of carrying, stroking, transversing, picking, drawing, straining, compeling, pulling out to stick without separating, to introduce and make it empty to be the basic technical practice principle, elaborate the strategy and tactics of "people don't know me, but I know people only"). This book explains the seven serials of Tai Ji Quan's characteristics and method in broad outline. For practicing method of Tai Ji Quan hitting skill, Chen Wanting was obviously inspired by Qi's Quan scripture  the main point part. From the words "if you learn the skill, you must try to fight the enemy. Don't be sorry or curious about the winning and losing. You should consider how to win it and how to let them lose. Keep on trying it. If you are afraid of the enemy or if you are superficial in skill, try it several times and then your skill will be improved. The ancient people said,' Boldness of execution stems from superb skill'. That is the truth."
     Chen Wanging' s The Total Formula of Quan Scripture has seven words in each sentence, and thirty-two chapters. It's the early ancient Quan theory of Taijiwuan. It is the summery of Quan theory for Qi's Quan Scripure to elaborate the ancient attack and hitting skill. It sets fourth the attack and defending strategy and tactics of Tai Ji Quan. So It is the briefly Quan theory of seven serials of Tai Ji Quan. We may compare the words of The Total Formula of Quan Scripture' s seven serials of illustration and formula of Tai Ji and and Qi' s Quan Scripture ' s thirty-two serials of illustration and formula. For example, the total formula of Quan Scripture says," Put down vertically, and stretch bend, and don't let the other one knows. The touching parts wind me and I follow them all, to make progress by cutting, hitting, pushing, and pressing". But Quan Scripture----the main part says, "The one who cannot peep at, can be called miracle. The serials can be low down and change. The cutting and hitting, pushing and pressing must be followed ". So it is not difficult to see how Chen Wangting absorbed from Qi's Quan Scripture and summarized the cream. But Chen Wangting is not satisfied with Qi' s Quan Scripture and the other Quan theories and skills. On the contrary, he constantly make further understanding and researching on the basis of achieving mastery through a comprehensive study and make serials of creative elaboration.
     Chen Wangting's self-creative achievement for Quan theory and skill mainly shows at the first two sentences of The total formula of Quan Scripture:" Put down vertically and stretch bend, don't let the other one knows .The several touching wind me and I followed them all. ""Several touching part" means not only the two people's hands and arms touching but also the bodies' touching .He uses the hand-beating skill to get use of sticking with pasting to practice the skill of "Dong Jin" and "Fang Jin". Through the strict strategy and tactics and correct training; practice again and again, and improve the skill level continuously, to get to the superior stage of Tai Ji Quan hitting skill of "Boldness o f execution stems from superb skill" and "People don't know me and I know people only".

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