What does it take to become a successor of Classical
Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan?
This is my opinion on who is the most qualified. There are conditions
which should be met in order to be qualified...be ready to be rattled.
To me, I don't care who you are, because if any individual cannot meet
these qualifications, then that individual ought to bow out of
contention...plain and simple.
For anyone to be a candidate for a successor of Classical Yang Family
Tai Chi Chuan, that individual must possess the entire curriculum of the
system, including the Tai Chi halberd, Tai Chi dim mak, Yang Lu-Chan
Chigong, etc. When I talk about the entire system, I'm also referring to
the most profound understanding of the knowledge and the skill, of which
system offers. Tell me, does a particular individual understand the
relationship between Tai Chi Chuan (form) and the power push hand? Does
that person understand how the internal power is begotten? When the
internal power (by the way, it is immeasurable) is attained, how does
the form continuously pertain the power? What are the stages of the
development of the internal power? What are the relationship between
these levels and how they are all connected? Who understands the entire spectrum of the internal power and is able to manifest this power?
Who can offer to individuals a glimpse of this vast knowledge? Does
anyone understand the curriculum like my chosen candidate?
As far as I know, my teacher was the only chosen person, among the
students of Yang Sau-Chung SIGONG, to teach abroad. What I know is that
Yang SIONG's other students were not really interested in teaching;
thus, the absent of a particular Tai Chi Chuan school in Hong Kong after
Yang SIGONG's passing. My teacher was the first person ever to come to the
USA, in 1969, with Yang SIGONG's blessings, to represent & teach
Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan in North America. My teacher has
taught more than a thousand people in the course of 40+ years, all over
the world...no small feat, mind you. In turn, his students have done/are
continue doing where he has left off. What the 40+ years have done for
him is that he has attained a certain wisdom on how he envisions the
prosperity of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. He understands the
protocols of the past, the present, and the future. It is through the
experience of teaching and understanding of the skill that the wisdom
and the protocol is gained. If an individual lacks the experience,
he/she will lack the understanding of the protocols.
Unless one has felt my teacher's power, one will not perceive what the
effortless internal power truly is. On many occasion, I have tried to be
softer than my teacher when exchanging push hand/chi sau/sticking hand.
As soft as I was, I was continuously slammed by his energy that felt
like a brick wall, and yet, he was unimaginable soft. No matter how soft
I tried, his energy was always softer than mine. To be able to keep his
energy unimaginably soft and yet, hit me like a brick wall is
incomprehensible. When struck by his energy, I would momentarily lose
all my senses, and it took all my effort to regain my control. No one I
know has that kind of energy. His soft energy - peng kieng - is the
epitome of the understanding of the Tai Chi Chuan skill. Show me this
skill like that of my teacher, you then shall have my support; if not,
don't even bother.
Among all of Yang SIGONG's students, who has an heirloom, a something
that once belonged to Yang SINGONG? A robe, a garment, a suit, or a
film? Some might find such a piece of material triteful or
insignificant...perhaps, but why does one think it is meaningless? It's
because they don't have any. If any of these people had some kind of
heirloom or a material, they would cherish it like there was no
At least, meet these four conditions, then you can qualify to be a
candidate for the gatekeeper of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. By
demanding these conditions, I do not think that I'm being unreasonable.
My major concern is to maintain the honor and the integrity of our
system. Before an individual wishes to claim the title of gatekeeper,
that individual needs to put forth the interest of our system first
before his/her ego. Any selfishness, especially if that individual is
lacking the quality of the knowledge and the skill, is detrimental to
the system. Is it that hard to understand? We must guard the honor and
the integrity of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. The honor and the
integrity of Tai Chi Chuan of the past Yang masters have suffered
terribly due to the barrage of the distortions of the modern, imitation
tai chi chuan. We must not let degradation continue. If the
would-be-successor lacks the true knowledge and the supreme skill, then
that individual is also guilty of the crime of against Tai Chi Chuan. We
cannot let this happen. Therefore, we must recognize and honor that
person who has, not only the knowledge and the skill that can provide
for the future Tai Chi Chuan practitioners, but also the correct expertise
of the curriculum and the wisdom of his experience, as well.