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Q & A's on Tai Chi with Master Ma Yueliang

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  • Q & A's on Tai Chi with Master Ma Yueliang

    Here's an interview that's hard to find that some of you Tai Chi people might appreciate.

    Interview by Patrick A Kelly

    Could you please tell us of the history of the evolution of Taijiquan as he you have witnessed it this century?
    "Before Yang Cheng-Fu and Wu Jianquan", he stated clearly, "the slow form did not exist. Yang Lu-Chan learnt the Fast Form from the Chen family and it was passed through Yang Cheng-Fu's father and uncle to Yang Cheng-Fu. It was passed through Wu Jianquan's father to Wu Jianquan. This is not the same as the present Chen Style form which is a mixture of Taiji and Chen family style Gongfu. Together Yang Cheng-Fu and Wu Jianquan created each their own Slow Form from their understanding of the Taiji principles.

    Please tell us about the origins of the Fast Form?
    The Fast form was unashamedly for fighting but the new slow forms had a greater emphasis on health and self cultivation". Master Ma said that he saw Yang Cheng-Fu come regularly to the house of his father-in-law Wu Jianquan - which was where Master Ma was also living - and saw these two old legendary masters practicing together. Many times he saw Yang Cheng-Fu practicing the Fast Form but to Master Ma's knowledge Yang taught it to nobody. "The Yang Fast Form died with Yang Cheng-Fu" he said. Yang Cheng-Fu's older brother taught only the Fast Form as he had received it from his father, but he took few pupils and the line did not survive. Wu Jianquan continued to teach both the Slow and the Fast Forms, though the Fast Form was generally reserved for `inside the door' disciples. Many branches of the Wu style have lost their Fast Form according to Master Ma.

    Who was Wu Chien Chuan's main teacher?
    Wu Chien Chuan learnt mainly from his father Wu Quanyou. Wu Quanyou was a student of Yang Luchan although he is sometimes said to be a student of Yang's son Yang Panhou (with the purpose of strengthening the Yang lineage).

    What is Peng Jin and is it better to maintain a little in the arms for example to prevent people from coming in?
    People misunderstand Peng. There is another word with the same sound and only one stroke different that means something like structure or framework and people often think this is what is meant by Peng. If you base your Taiji on this incorrect meaning of Peng then the whole of your Taiji will be incorrect. Peng Jin is over the whole body and it is used to measure the strength and direction of the partners force. But it is incorrect to offer any resistance. It should be so light that the weight of a feather will make it move. It can be described like water which will, with no intention of its own, support equally the weight of a floating leaf or the weight of a floating ship. Then he added in English: "Peng Jin is sensitivity".

    Should the movement come up from the ground like a wave or is it lead by the fingers with the whole body following as one? (I demonstrated both).

    The first is correct.

    Should the mind go out ahead of the body when practicing the Form?
    It is correct to go ahead of the body but practice of this should ultimately lead to the highest stage. The highest is when there is no intention but the correct thing just happens naturally by itself. When practising the Taiji Form these days my mind is completely empty as in meditation.

  • #2
    i don't know much about the history of taiji.
    but i know that nowaday, less practitioners train the fast form!


    • #3
      Originally posted by ggg214 View Post
      but i know that nowaday, less practitioners train the fast form!
      True, and it's a shame.
      Last edited by TTEscrima; 11-05-2008, 06:37 AM.