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The Succession of YangĄ¯s Tai Ji Quan in Yongnian during the Period of the Republic of China PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 04 June 2007
The Succession of Yang’s Tai Ji Quan in Yongnian during the Period of the Republic of China
    The Yang's Tai Ji Quan was originated by Yang Luchan. He spent his most time imparting it to his disciples outside his hometown. There was no record stating that any person from Yang's hometown formally acknowledging him as a teacher to learn the Quan. Most of the successors of Yang's Tai Ji from Yongnian were disciples of Yang Jianhou and Yang Banhou. From the yea of 1911 to 1937 when Yongnian, Guangfu was occupied by Japanese troops, Tai Ji Quan had got a very flourishing development in Yongnian, mostly since that Sun Yatsen (the founder of Kuomintang and the Republic of China) had encouraged Chinese people developing their martial and warrior citizen spirit so as to make themselves and the country strong. Within that period, there were no any specific schools of Tai Ji Quan yet in Yongnian, the various schools of Chinese traditional Quan went round over there were all named Tai Ji Quan usually called "Nian Quan" (sticky boxing) or "Mian Quan" (soft boxing) by those local people in simultaneity. Though the successors of the members of Yang's family and the Wu's were belonging to different social classes, they respected and promoted each other with Tai Ji development also in the communication of Quan techniques. They had a very good relationship with each other then.
   However, there were still two potential developing trends inside and outside the city. Inside the city, most of the upper class-the rich people practiced Wu Jia (Wu's style) Quan. They stressed that both the study and the summing up of the Tai Ji theory as well as its practice had been emphasized so their Tai Ji Kung-fu was leaning to be more systematic and academic. Therefore, when the Yongnian Domestic Wushu School was founded in 1929, the Tai Ji Quan imparted to the learners was of Wu's school characteristic called "Xiao Jia" (small frame), "Li Jia" (Li's style frame) and "Hao Jia"(Hao's style frame). Outside the city there lived the ordinary people. Most of the successors of Yang's Tai Ji Quan had stayed there (many of them were in Nanguan). They imparted Tai Ji Kung-fu to their disciples by verbal words, unwritten memory and demonstration. They emphasized practice mainly. There was hardly any record discussing their Tai Ji theory or its practices. The Yang's was usually called "Da Jia Zi" (big frame), "Yang Jia" (Yang's style frame) and so on.
    Within the period of the Republic of China, most of those practicing Yang's Tai Ji Quan were the successors of Yang Banhou. Banhou was rather grumpy teaching Kung-fu usually in a hot temper so hurting some of his disciples on occasion when he hit them, thus there were not so many people learning the Quan from him, but whoever learned Tai Ji from him would be very accomplished. His disciples wereChen Xiufeng, Zhang Xinyi, Li Lianfang, Zhang Yintang, Jiao Liantang and Li Wancheng.
    Chen Xiufeng was from Heying village. At the beginning he practiced Meihua Quan (plum blossom boxing), from then on he learned Tai Ji Quan from Banhou. He was very skillful at playing Tai Ji falchion. He ever went to Beijing to impart the Quan following Banhou. After the death of Banhou, he acknowledged Hao Weizhen as his teacher to learn Wu's Tai Ji. He once went to Tianjin on behalf of Master Hao to teach Yuan Shikai's nephews Tai Ji Quan. When the Yongnian Domestic Wushu School was founded, he served as a coach in it.
Zhang Xinyi was from Caoshi Street, Guangfu. He learned Tai Ji Kung-fu from Banhou when he was ten. He was very accomplished in it. He was a very famous head constable in Guangpingfu within the last period of Qing Dynasty. He had done his best to uphold justice and earned lots of admiration from many people. His successors were Liu Jiangao, Long Ju, Yi Furu, Zhang Anguo and so on.
    Li Lianfang was from the Lianhuakou village, a mile away from Nanguan. He was very good in practicing Da Gan (a big pole). He had taught Kung-fu in Linfen region, Shanxi province for ages.
    Zhang Yintang was from South Street, Guangfu. He had been the shopkeeper of Gaosheng Store often appearing in Shandong and getting to know people in comparing notes about Tai Ji Kung-fu. He made friends with more than a dozen Shandong people, and got a nickname of "Guangfu Zhang" in Shandong.
Jiao Liantang, one of the cousin brothers of Banho, learned Tai Ji Quan from Banhou.
    Due to some reasons, the successors of the above five martial artists could not be found out nowadays. Only Li Wancheng had the most successors. Li Wancheng was from Lianhuakou village. His mother was a maid of Yang's family, thus Wancheng had the chance to be with Banhou day and night. As Banhou returned home from the capital, Wancheng stayed with Banhou for an age. When Banhou went hunting, Wancheng caught Yang's gun and picked up the preys for him. Banhou had a very hot temper, but he was very kind to Wancheng and seldom lost his temper to him. Wancheng had a very good understanding in Kung-fu, he was very accomplished all in Dajia (big frame), Zhongjia (middle frame), Xiaojia (small frame), Paochui (cannon punch), combat old frame, Dashou and weapons. He seldom went out of his place but ran a tea house named "Yang Family Teahouse" in front of Yang's family place in Nanguan. Therefore, his successors were all local people, such as Lin Jinsheng, Jia Zhixiang, Hao Tongwen, Guan Zijing, Han Huiming, Zhou Shide, Guo Runqing, Zhang Tiansuo, Zhang Qi, Mu Zhengjing, Bai Yanru and so on. Lin Jinsheng passed his Kung--fu down on Jia Anshu, Chen Jianguo, Guo Jianzeng, Su Yongzhi, Zhang Xiangkui and others. Hao Tongwen's successors were Hao Jinxiang, Fan Baolin, Liu Yongping, Tao Jinxiang, Lu Yan'an and so on.


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