NEW There is much to be learned from the writings and pictures of past masters. Until recently those of us who did not read Chinese were ignorant of much of this material. Now, thanks to Paul Brennan, you can see the books and read English translations. If you are a student of the history of Taijiquan I think you will find the following site to be a wealth of knowledge. Happy reading!
The Legend of Zhang Sanfeng - Click here for a link to an interesting article by Major Stanley Henning on the legend of Zhang Sanfeng (Chang San Feng). Major Henning is a well respected martial artist and martial arts researcher. I met him in Hawaii and trust his research.
Mak Ying Po - Excerpt from an article about him by Ray Switzer. Mak Ying Po was a long time student of Tung Ying Chieh (Tung Ying Kit). This article contains some historical information about both men. Courtesy of Andy Wong.
Here are the names of the moves of the traditional Yang style slow set in Chinese from Tung Ying Chieh's book
Names and sequence of the traditional Yang Style Slow Set -
From a handout from Tung Hu Ling's class in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Alex Dong has published an English language translation of Tung Ying Chieh's "Big Red Book". If you are a student of the Dong family, and can't read the Chinese version, this is a must have!!! It contains the thinking and advice of the first Master of the Dong family concerning methods of practice, energy, Taijiquan theory, push hands and more. Born in 1898, Dong Ying Chieh was one of the top disciples of Yang Chen Fu, and a person famous for his Taijiquan skills throughout China and South East Asia. To find out more or to order the book click here to get to Alex's website. An excerpt from his work is listed below.
Tung Ying Chieh's 1948 "Red Book" Pictures Rearranged with Commentary by David Parker Note that this file is 6.2 meg in size so it will take a while to download.
Rules To Be
Forgotten by T. Y. Pang Excerpt from his publication On Tai Chi
Chuan, Academy of Chinese Wushu, Honolulu, Hawaii 1974
Taiji Double Edged Sword
(Jien) - Names of the moves in Chinese and English
Chinese Knots - Step by step instructions on how to make the fancy Chinese Knot that is commonly found as part of the tassel hanging from the butt of the double edged sword (jien). If you practice much the cord of the tassel, where it attaches to the sword, will fray and break. You can either buy another tassel - hard to find - or make one yourself. Here are instructions on how to make one. Note - make the top loop longer as this is the part that connects to the sword. Have fun!
Here are references to a variety of published materials relating to Taijiquan:
Taiji Comix: Here is a copy of a draft "comic" book about Taijiquan. It is in Chinese, with great drawings! If you are an experienced Taiji player who only speaks English, I think you will still find it enjoyable as you identify the various Taijiquan principles that are shown. The file is about 9 Meg in size, so make sure you have a high speed Internet connection before you click on the Link to see the PDF file. Here are a few sample pages:
See the following link for an excellent listing of references to Yang Style Lineage Books
Plumb Publications in Santa Cruz, California offers a high quality reprint of Yang Cheng Fu's 1934 book. I just got a copy and highly recommend it to you. Click here to go to their website to order the book.
Even before I began my martial arts studies I loved to go to the "kung fu" movies. Once I was actively studying I found them to be both an inspiration and a chance to examine techniques. Even movie techniques can teach you something!
If you have a favorite Taiji movie please let me know.
But over the years I have found just a few movies that claimed to show you the art of Taijiquan. Below are links to several. (Note that I get nothing from these links except the satisfaction of sharing them with you.)
The Tai Chi Master - with Jacky Wu Jing and others. This is the best kung fu movie featuring Taijiquan that I have seen. It is a dramatization of the story of Yang Lu Chan, the founder of the Yang style, with many examples of the art. Of note, there are numerous fight scenes with Dong Hai Chuan, the founder of Baguazhang, so you get to see some excellent techniques from this art as well. I highly recommend this movie. Click here to get to a site that sells it.
The Tai Chi Master - with Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, among others. There's no doubting Jet Li's skill as a martial artist. But this movie is a fantastic kung fu flick with just a bit to do with the art of Taijiquan. Still, it's worth adding to your collection. Click here for a link to a site that sells it.
Actors: Jet Li
, Michelle Yeoh , Chin
Siu-Ho , Yuen Kit Ying ,
Fennie Yuen , Yuen Cheung Yan
, Lau Shun