Yang style tai chi chuan

in the Yang style's version of the form known as "Single Whip" 單鞭"'] Yang family style (楊氏) tai chi chuan in its many variations is the most popular and widely practised style in the world today and the second in terms of seniority among the primary five family styles of tai chi chuan.


The Yang family first became involved in the study of tai chi chüan in the early 1800s. The founder of the Yang style was Yang Lu-ch'an (楊露禪), aka Yang Fu-k'ui (楊福魁, 1799-1872), who studied under Ch'en Chang-hsing starting in 1820. Yang's subsequent expression of tai chi chuan as a teacher in his own right became known as the Yang style, and directly led to the development of the other three major styles of tai chi chuan (see below). Yang Lu-ch'an (and some would say the art of tai chi chuan in general) came to prominence as a result of his being hired by the Chinese Imperial family to teach tai chi chuan to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards in 1850, a position he held until his death.

Yang Lu-ch'an passed his art to:
*his second son but oldest son to live to maturity, Yang Pan-hou (楊班侯, 1837-1890), who was also retained as a martial arts instructor by the Chinese Imperial family. Yang Pan-hou became the formal teacher of Wu Ch'uan-yü (Wu Quanyou), a Manchu Banner cavalry officer of the Palace Battalion, even though Yang Lu-ch'an was Wu Ch'uan-yü's first tai chi chuan teacher. Wu Ch'uan-yü became Yang Pan-hou's first disciple. Wu Ch'uan-yü's son, Wu Chien-ch'üan (Wu Jianquan), also a Banner officer, became known as the co-founder (along with his father) of the Wu style.
*his third son Yang Chien-hou (Jianhou) (1839-1917), who passed it to his sons, Yang Shao-hou (楊少侯, 1862-1930) and Yang Ch'eng-fu (楊澄甫, 1883-1936).
*Wu Yu-hsiang (Wu Yuxiang, 武禹襄, 1813-1880) who also developed his own Wu style, which eventually, after three generations, led to the development of Sun style tai chi chuan.

Yang Ch'eng-fu removed the vigorous "Fa-jing" (發勁 release of power), energetic jumping, stamping, and other abrupt movements to emphasise "Ta Chia" (大架 "large frame style"). This style has slow, steady, expansive and soft movements suitable for general practitioners. Thus, Yang Ch'eng-fu is largely responsible for standardizing and popularizing the Yang style tai chi chüan widely practised today. Yang Ch'eng-fu moved to Shanghai in the 1920s, teaching there until the end of his life. His descendants are still teaching in schools associated with their family internationally.

Tung Ying-chieh (Dong Yingjie, 董英杰, 1898-1961), Ch'en Wei-ming (Chen Weiming), Fu Zhongwen (Fu Chung-wen, 1903-1994), Li Yaxuan (李雅轩, 1894-1976) and Cheng Man-ch'ing were famous students of Yang Ch'eng-fu. Each of them taught extensively, founding groups teaching T'ai Chi to this day. Cheng Man-ch'ing, perhaps the most famous outside of China, significantly shortened and simplified the traditional forms Yang taught him.

Yang Family Tree

Zhang Sanfeng* circa 12th century NEI CHIA
Wang Zongyue* TAI CHI CHUAN
Chen Wangting 1600-1680 9th generation Chen CHEN STYLE

Chen Changxing Chen Youben 1771-1853 14th generation Chen circa 1800s 14th generation Chen Chen Old Frame Chen New Frame

Yang Lu-ch'an Chen Qingping 1799-1872 1795-1868 YANG STYLE Chen Small Frame, Zhao Bao Frame

| |
Yang Pan-hou Yang Chien-hou Wu Yu-hsiang 1837-1892 1839-1917 1812-1880 Yang Small Frame | WU /HaoSTYLE
| |
Wu Ch'uan-yü Yang Shao-hou Yang Ch'eng-fu Li I-yü 1834-1902 1862-1930 1883-1936 1832-1892
Yang Small Frame Yang Big Frame
Wu Chien-ch'üan | Hao Wei-chen 1870-1942 Yang Shou-chung 1849-1920 WU STYLE 1910-1985
108 Form
Sun Lu-t'ang Wu Kung-i 1861-1932 1900-1970 SUN STYLE

Wu Ta-k'uei Sun Hsing-i 1923-1972 1891-1929 MODERN FORMS from Yang Ch`eng-fu

| Cheng Man-ch'ing | 1901-1975 | Short (37) Form |
Chinese Sports Commission 1956 Beijing 24 Form . . 1989 42 Competition Form (Wushu competition form combined from Sun, Wu, Chen, and Yang styles)

Notes to Family tree table

Names denoted by an asterisk are legendary or semilegendary figures in the lineage, which means their involvement in the lineage, while accepted by most of the major schools, isn't independently verifiable from known historical records.

The Cheng Man-ch'ing and Chinese Sports Commission short forms are said to be derived from Yang family forms, but neither are recognized as Yang family tai chi chuan by current Yang family teachers. The Chen, Yang and Wu families are now promoting their own shortened demonstration forms for competitive purposes.

Yang Shou-chung

Yang Shou-chung (aka Yeung Sau Chung, Yang Zhen-Ming, 1910-1985) was the oldest son of Yang Ch'eng-fu by his first marriage, and started learning his family style when he was 8 years old under the strict supervision of his father.

In 1949, he escaped from the Chinese communists to Hong Kong. There he taught many students privately at his home until his death in 1985.

He had three daughters, Tai Yee, Ma Lee and Yee Li, all continue teaching in Hong Kong. Over the years he had taught many people but he accepted only three people as his disciples. These Yang family tai chi chuan practitioners are
*Master Ip Tai Tak (Yip Tai Tak, 1929-2004) in Hong Kong, who unfortunately died during the spring 2004. Ip Tai Tak had 2 disciples, 1st - John Ding, 2nd Robert Boyd (see link below). Other students that continue teaching and practice in Hong Kong include:Hui Kuk Chan, Shui Hung Lam, and Kok Kuen Lau.
*Master Chu Gin Soon in Boston, USA. With the permission of his master he founded the Gin Soon Tai Chi Club in 1969 to propagate Yang-Style Tai Chi Chuan in North America.
*Master Chu King Hung (*1945) in United Kingdom. Chu is head of the International Tai Chi Chuan Association (ITCCA) which was founded by him and Yang Shou-chung in 1971 and at present has branches all over Europe. He already has accepted several disciples.

Yang Zhenduo

Master Yang Zhenduo is the 4th Generation of the Yang family. He was born in Beijing in 1926 and is the son of Yang Ch'eng-fu. He started studying with his father when very young and continued studying with his elder brother after his father died. In 1960 Yang Zhenduo moved to Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. Since then, Yang style tai chi chuan has gradually spread within Taiyuan and to other cities, provinces, and countries.

Since 1980 he has served as Vice-President of the Shanxi Wushu Association. In 1982 Yang Zhenduo founded the Shanxi Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan Association, and has served as President since. The Association has now grown to over 30,000 members throughout the Province and is the largest martial arts organization of its kind in China. In October 1998 Yang Zhenduo founded the International Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan Association, serving as Chairman of the Board. Under his leadership, in just one year the International Association has grown to 18 centers in 9 countries with over 350 members. The Chinese Wushu Academy recognized Master Yang Zhenduo in 1996 as one of the top 100 Wushu Masters in China. He has also been honored by proclamations from the Mayors of San Antonio, Texas and Troy, Michigan.

ee also

* 24 (Simplified Form) Tai Chi Chuan
* 42 (Competition Form) Tai Chi Chuan
* 103 form Yang family T'ai Chi Ch'uan


*Wile, Douglas "Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the late Ch'ing Dynasty" State University of New York Press, Albany, 1996. ISBN 0-7914-2653-X
*Rodell, Scott M. (1991) [http://sevenstarstrading.com/booksvideos/notebook/ "Taiji Notebook for Martial Artists"] . Seven Stars Books and Video. ISBN 0-9743999-3-0
*Traditional Chinese Cultural Academy, International Governing Board for Traditional Yang Tai Chi Chuan. [http://taichicertification.org/articles.aspx "Death of the Sifu", An Investigation of Rank and Lineage Claims"] . American Health Source Publications (2008).

External links

* [http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ Yang Zhenduo's Yang family website]
* [http://www.fushengyuan-taichi.com.au/ Yang Style Fu Zhongwen family Taichi]
* [http://www.itcca.org/ Chu King-hung's International Tai Chi Chuan Association]
* [http://www.gstaichi.org/ Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation]
* [http://www.iptaichi.org/ Ip Tai Chi Homepage]
* [http://www.jdiatcc.com/ John Ding International Academy of Tai Chi Chuan]
* [http://www.internalwushu.co.uk/AboutUs_7.htm Tai Chi Philosophy]
* [http://www.taichicertification.org/default.aspx Traditional Chinese Cultural Academy]

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