Thoughts On Yang Family Lineage
Who Is The Fourth Generation Gate-Keeper of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan?
The fourth generation gate-keeper of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan is Grandmaster Yang, Sau-Chung who was the eldest son of Great Grandmaster Yang, Cheng-Fu, and the eldest bother of Yang, Zhenduo.
Yang Zhenduo is NOT the fourth generation gate-keeper as he claims. There can only be one gate-keeper per generation, and that was Grandmaster Yang Sau-Chung. By claiming the fourth generation gate-keeper that was once held by his eldest brother (claimed after the latter's death), Yang Zhenduo is committing the greatest dishonor to his brother, the family legacy, and to other Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan practitioners.
Furthermore, it was Grandmaster Yang, Sau-Chung who taught the FAMILY version toYang, Zhenduo, at a very young age. Incidently, there is also a belief that Yang Zhenduo forgot the family version after the family got separated, and he had to relearn the tai chi chuan form, which was the PUBLIC version from Fu, Zhongwen.
Yang Jun may be the sixth generation Yang family member, as he is a grand-nephew of Grandmaster Yang, Sau-Chung, but he is NOT the fifth generation gate-keeper of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. If Yang Jun is not the fifth generation gate keeper (Zhang Men Ren - 掌門人), then, who is the rightful fifth generation gate-keeper, 五代掌門人?
The fifth generation gate-keeper would have to be selected from the students of Grandmaster Yang Sau-Chung, since he was the highest ranking, fourth generation Clasical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan practitioner. Bbecause of Grandmaster Yang Sau-Chung's ranking, his students thus become the highest ranking, fifth generation members. Hence, it is among the latters that the next gate-keeper should be selected from. This is the proper protocal. The conditions in which who is qualified to be the next generation gate-keeper would have to go through the severe scrutiny because the fifth generation successor is now a non Yang family bloodline. Again, I find it necessary to repeat...since Grandmaster did not have a son to carry on the family tradition and becasue women are considered non-candidate, the next successor has to be selected from one of his students.
As a footnote, speaking the truth or seeking for the truth about Yang family tai chi chuan is not unethical for anyone. It has nothing to do with "your teacher's" martial moral characters. It has nothing to do with "your" martial moral character. An individual tai chi chuan practitioner has every right to seek for answers and discard any misinformation. If anyone is unethical, it is those who have deliberately presented the misinformation or have adroitly evaded the pertinent questions.
If you are a disciple [of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan], then where is the 'Bai Shi' photo?
I have always wondered about this question, and I am strictly speaking only of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan [system], of course.
A 'Bai Shi' photo is indeed a proof that an individual has been become a lineage holder. But, it seems only one person has a 'Bai Shi' photo to prove the authencity of discipleship. A few have claimed that they are lineaged, but almost all of them cannot provide any evidence of 'Bai Shi' photo or any other credible documents, for one reason or other.
Allegedly, Great grandmaster Yeung Ching-Po (Yang Cheng-Fu) supposedly had five disciples, but not a single 'Bai Shi' photo exist among those five alleged disciples of the fourth generation practitioners.
Among the three disciples of Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung, only Master Chu Gin Soon has his 'Bai Shi' photo available to the public, plus there exist the private photos of the 'Bai Shi' ceremony dinner as well. The first alleged disciple claimed that his was burned as a funeral offering, thus no 'Bai Shi' photo. Whether there are private photos of 'Bai Shi' ceremony dinner exist or not, it is anyone's guess. Usually, these photos become heirlooms for his disciples, but neither of his two disciples have any of the photos. If they have them, they would already have shown them to the public. However, in Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung's book, 'Practical Use Of Tai Chi Chuan', Grandmaster Yeung confirms the first disciple's status. The third alleged disciple has ignored the requests all together even though many of his former students have been demanding the proof of his discipleship.
As for the sixth generation disciples, all of them have a plenty of 'Bai Shi' photos available for the public.
Thus, out of eight disciples of the previous generations, only one has managed to provide any solid photo proof of the discipleship.
I wonder...if those, who have claimed to be the disciples of the past Yeung masters, haven't managed to provide any solid proof(s) of their discipleships, then how are we to perceive the situation? Should we just blindly accept their claims? But, we know better than blindly accept certain claims as truth, don't we not? I would rather have those descendents of the alleged disciples to offer their solid evidence of the proof...the solution seems quite simple to me, as it stands. And, if they cannot offer any evidence...
Who was it that first spoke of so-and-so was one of Yeung Ching-Po's disciples, and when?
Once upon a time, Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan system was once dominated by all males.
Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung was the last true successor of its system, and now, it is without the true 5th generation successor. There are, of course, as it often happens, a several prospects, some well-qualified and some not, who want to fill the vacant position. A majority of them being without much qualifications.
If someone were to argue that the system's successor should be held by one of the Yang family bloodline male members, such as Yang Zhen-Duo and Yang Jun, since they are the surviving males, without any understanding of the knowledge and the skill, then they ought to be the next successors. But what happens when the criteria of the knowledge/skill of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan are the major deciding factors in the decision of the next successor?
Should we decide who the next successor is, based strictly on the bloodline or the understanding of the knowledge/skill of the system? Obviously, the Yang family members and the people who support them are in support of the bloodline being the criterion, whereas I supports the criteria of the knowledge and the skill.
What happens to the system when it is continued on its course with someone who doesn't have the understanding of the knowledge/skill? Of course, that someone can fabricate the illusion of his expertise, but it will not last, this illusion. As it often happens, in order to make the illusion last, the perpetrator insulates himself with as many like-mined falsifiers as possible. Such course, without the understanding of the knowledge/skill, is detrimental to its system, is it not? It is absolutely detrimental, and to think otherwise is foolish. In fact, this predicament can apply to all martial systems, does it not? Moreover, if the perpetrator is fully aware of the situation, then the perpetrator would further need to fabricate and continue this false image of expertise...thus an institutionalized propaganda becomes absolutely necessary.
From whom do you want to learn the authentic Tai Chi Chuan, the bloodline without any knowledge/skill or a non-bloodline that possesses the full understanding of the knowledge/skill?
Among the 5th generation Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan practitioners, who knows the full curriculum, including Tai Chi 'Halberd' form? I know of only one person.