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Historical Series Notes



1. The Ten Important Points of Chen Chang Xin were first published by Chen Ji Pu also known as Chen Zhao Pi in his book in 1935. Chen Xin's book which was published earlier has no record of these ten discourses. These Ten Discourses are not present in the Yang writings or the commonly accepted classic writings. We are unable to ascertain the authenticity of these writings.

2. Chang San Feng was supposed to have studied at the Shaolin Temple and was proficient in Shaolin martial arts. Later, he became interested in Taoism and incorporated its principles and Dao Yin practices into his art, utilising very different principles from the Shaolin school. His art was very different and was not as demonstrative as the Shaolin school but could be effective against it. To differentiate this new art from the existing Shaolin school and other schools of martial arts that utilised similar principles, people started calling Chang San Feng's art Internal Boxing since it was based on non-aggressive, non-vigorous principles as opposed to the aggressive and vigorous forms of martial arts which were termed External Boxing.

3. Chen Xin did write a book on the art of Tai Ch'i Chuan called `Chen Shi Tai Ch'i Chuan' which does not mention this story but attributes the creation of the art to Chen Pu, the patriarch of the Chen family. We need to note, however, that the book was published four years after his death and that he had three collaborators. It was they that published the book and in the four years after Chen Xin's death, it is very possible that substantial editing took place. How much of the book is Chen Xin's work and how much of it was edited after his death is uncertain. So there may not be an actual contradiction in Wu Tu Nan's material and Chen Xin's book.

4. An examination of Old Yang Form reveals similar postures to Gan Feng Chi's boxing. Gan was a noted Internal Boxing expert. Postures like `Playing the Lute', `Cross Hands', `Double Fist To Ears' (including the characteristic head to knee smash) and `Carry Tiger Back To Mountain' are present in both forms. These postures are absent from the current Chen style of Tai Ch'i Chuan but some are present in the Zhao Bao form. Zhao Bao style Tai Ch'i Chuan also traces their art back to Jiang Fa.

5. This theory was first published by Fu Zhong Wen who did extensive research into it. It has since been accepted by the majority of Yang style exponents.

6. This is not to be confused with the Southern Shaolin Hung Gar Boxing which was created by Hung Xi Guan. Shaolin Hung Quan is an old form consisting of two routines, the small Hung Quan and the large Hung Quan. Shaolin Hung Quan is still taught and practiced at the Shaolin Temple to this day. Because of the similar phonetics, this should also not be confused with the Shaolin Red Fist which was one of the types of boxing practiced in the Chen Villiage and probably had some influence on the Chen style of Tai Ch'i Chuan.

7. The story goes that Yang was invited to the abode of a rich man in Beijing called Chang who had heard of Yang's great skills to demonstrate his art. Yang Lu Chan was small of build and did not look like a boxer, when Chang saw him, he thought little of his ability and so served him a very simple dinner. Yang Lu Chan was fully aware of his host's thoughts but continued to behave like an honoured guest. Chang later questioned if Yang's Tai Ch'i, being so soft, could defeat people. Given that he invited Yang on the basis of his reputation as a great fighter, this question was clearly a veiled insult. Yang replied that there were only three kinds of people he could not defeat: men of brass, men of iron and men of wood. Chang invited out his best bodyguard by the name of Liu to test Yang's skill. Liu entered aggressively and attacked Yang. Yang used only a simple yielding and threw Liu across the yard. Chang was very impressed and immediately ordered a sumptuous dinner to be prepared for Yang. He later asked Yang to work for him, offerring him a large sum of money. Yang, knowing the character of Chang, courteously refused the offer.

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