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Yang travelled there and worked as a servant, earning his room and board and studied martial arts with Chen Chang Xin. As he was an outsider, Yang was not allowed to learn the Chen martial arts. As a servant he was instructed not to go into the back court yard for whatever reason. Yang felt that this was strange but thought nothing of it. One hot and humid night, Yang could not sleep. He got up and went for a walk to relieve the heat. As he walked about the house, he heard strange noises coming from the back court yard. Not able to go into the court yard, he went round the wall surrounding it and found a small hole in the wall, large enough for him to peer through and see what was happening.

He saw Chen Chang Xin instructing a group of students on martial arts and breathing techniques. Excited, Yang watched attentively and then proceeded to practice what he saw alone when he had the spare time. This went on for some time. As a servant Yang often mingled with the members of the Chen family and was treated as a part of the household. One day, some of Chen Chang Xin's students were practicing and they made some mistakes, Yang corrected them without knowing that Chen was nearby watching. Chen was surprised that Yang knew his art and asked him to explain how he learnt it. Being honest, Yang told Chen how he had come to learn the art. Chen then asked Yang to demonstrate all that he had learnt. After Yang's demonstration, he sighed that Yang, who did not receive formal instruction but learnt by watching, had learnt more than his students and agreed to accept Yang as a student.

After several years, Yang returned home where upon several local boxers wanted to test his skill since he had spent so much time studying at the Chen villiage. To Yang's disappointment, he was defeated. Not disheartened, he returned for a second time to the Chen villiage to seek instruction. Chen Chang Xin, seeing Yang's dedication, taught him more of the art. After several more years, Yang again returned to Yung Nien, again the local boxers wanted to test his skill. This time, though he was not defeated, he did not win easily either. Feeling that there was still room for improvement and that his skills still lacked perfection, Yang journeyed for the third time to the Chen villiage.

Chen Chang Xin was much impressed with Yang's perserverance and resolved to hold nothing back and teach Yang the whole art. But before doing so, he wanted to test Yang one more time. When Yang came to seek instruction, Chen appeared to be asleep, Yang sat waiting patiently till late in the day when Chen appeared to awake, Chen asked him to return on the morrow, saying that he was too tired to teach him. When Yang arrived the next day, Chen again appeared to be sleeping and again the same thing happened. This went on for several days, on the last day, Chen still appeared to be sleeping but this time his head lolled uncomfortably to one side. Yang used both hands to support his teacher's head so that he could sleep comfortably, and since Chen apparently slept the whole day, Yang held that tiring position until Chen awoke, Chen again asked Yang to return on the morrow. The next day when Yang arrived at the specified time, a wide awake Chen Chang Xin greeted him and begain teaching him the whole art. After 3 years, Chen told Yang that he had taught him all there was to learn and that he could return to his home town and that he no longer had any opponents who could defeat him.

Yang returned to Yung Nien where he taught martial arts for a living. So great was his skill that he was never defeated. His art was so soft and yielding that people called it `mien quan' (cotton boxing) or `hua quan' (neutralising boxing). In all his matches, he never hurt anyone. He also travelled widely, testing his skills and making friends with fellow boxers.

Years later, when Yang was in his middle age, he was recommended to teach in the Imperial Court by one of his students, Wu Yu Xiang (who later founded the Wu Yu Xiang form of Taiji Quan). In the Imperial Court he was tested many times but never defeated, earning the prestigeous title `Yang the Invincible'. He was the martial arts instructor for the Shen Ji Battalion and also taught in Royal Households. So sought after was he that he was also called `Ba Yeh' (Eight Lords) because eight princes studied under him.

Yang Lu Chan had three sons, the oldest died early. Yang Ban Hou and Yang Jian Hou both studied under their illustrous father who was a harsh taskmaster. So severe was the training that Yang Ban Hou attempted suicide and Yang Jian Hou ran away several times and attempted to become a monk. Yang Ban Hou was an exceptional martial artist, second in skill only to his father. He also earned the title `Yang the Invincible' for his great skill. Yang Jian Hou was not as gifted as his brother and did not attain as great a level of skill initially but later, through hard work, attained the highest levels of Taiji skill, blending hard and soft to a very high degree. Yang Lu Chan and his two sons all taught in the Imperial Court, their form was identical. Later on, there would be some changes in the form and these will be discussed later.


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