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TANG HAO

(1897-1959), also known as Tang Fansheng, native of Wu County in Jiangsu Province, famous martial arts historian. Born in a poor family, Tang was fond of literature and martial arts since childhood. After coming to Shanghai he worked as principal of Shang'gong Primary School; in Shanghai Tang learnt Six Harmonies Boxing (Liuhequan) from Liu Zhen'nan. Later he also studied Xingyiquan and Taijiquan from Li Cunyi and Chen Fake.

 
In 1927, suspected of being a Communist Party member, Tang was arrested but then, thanks to Zhu Guofu's help, released.

The same year Tang went to Japan to study political science and law; in Japan he learnt Judo, Ken-jutsu and other arts. After returning to China Tang hold a post of editorial department director at Central Martial Arts Academy (Zhongyang Guoshu Guan); in 1930 he led a Central Martial Arts Academy representation (incl. Zhu Guofu, Yang Songshan and others) to Japan on a tour of investigation; in 1936 Tang was defending Gu Liuxin and others in court (Gu and others were suspected of being involved in "Seven Gentlemen" case). In 1941, since Tang was still active as a lawyer in spite of the Japanese invasion, he was caught by Japanese soldiers, whipped and chased away to Anhui Province.

Tang Hao (1897-1959)
 
After liberation in 1949 Tang Hao returned to Shanghai and was appointed to many posts in political and sports organizations; in 1955 Tang was appointed an advisor position with the China State Sports Committee. Tang Hao wrote many books and articles on the history of martial arts and is considered a pioneer of the history of Chinese Martial Arts and Chinese sport. Tang became especially famous for his research on the history of Taijiquan - after examining Taiji classics, Chen clan manuals, family chronicles and other text, Tang Hao draw a conclusion that Taijiquan was created/compiled by Chen Wangting of Chenjiagou Village in Henan Province. At the same time he rejected traditional view of Zhang Sanfeng as the creator of Taiji Boxing.

QI JIGUANG

(1528-1587), also known as Yuanjing or Nantang, outstanding strategist, Chinese national hero. Native of Penglai in Shandong Province, since childhood learnt martial arts from his father; in 1544 took his first military post, at the age of 28 took military examinations and was supposed to take part in central examinations in Beijing, but due to Mongol invasion the examinations were cancelled. After many succesful battles against Japanese pirates, Qi was nominated a chief commander and his army cleared Shandong province of pirates. From 1559 to 1561 Qi Jiguang wrote his most famous book called "New Book of Effective Techniques" (Ji Xiao Xin Shu). The book, considered a classic on strategy and martial arts, contains many chapters on both weapon and empty hand fighting. One of the most famous chapters is "Canon of Boxing" (Quan Jing), which describes a 32-Postures routine created by Qi on the basis of 16 martial arts.


TAI ZU

another name for Zhao Kuangyin (927-976), first emperor of Song Dynasty, traditionally considered to be the creator of Taizu Long-range Boxing. Qi Jiguang in his "New Book of Effective Techniques" mentions "Song dynasty Taizu had Long-range Boxing in Thirty Two Postures"; He Liangchen in "Records on Tactics" (Zhen Ji) includes similar note, but mentions thirty six postures instead of thirty two; Tang Shunzhi in his "Book on Martial Arts" (Wu Pian) says "Zhao Taizu Long-range boxing uses many kicks".


TANG SHUNZHI

(1507-1560), also known as Yingde, Yixiu or Jingchuan; renowned Mind dynasty general famous for fighting Japanese pirates; expert in martial arts, good at strategy and literary arts. In 1559 passed the central examinations as the first and was accepted to Imperial Academy (Han Lin). While holding a post of imperial inspector (Xunfu), taught and explained spear techniques to Qi Jiguang. Tang Shunzhi wrote several books of which the most famous are "Tang Jingchuan Literary Collection" (Tang Jingchuan Wenji) and "Book on Martial Arts" (Wu Pian). These works contain rich information on pre-Mind and Ming dynasty (1368-1644) martial arts, both empty hand boxing and weapons.


ZHANG YIDE

(?-221), also known as Zhang Fei, historical figure from East Han (25-220) and Three Kingdoms period (220-265); Zhang was famous for his courage and spear skills; he became a sworn brother of Liu Bei and Guang Yu (famous for his halberd). Today many styles (Xingyiquan, Chang Family Boxing) contain spear routines named after Zhang "Yide Spear".

 

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