Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

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Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby John the Monkey mind » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:28 am

Mysterious Palms of Ba Gua Zhang- Chinese Documentary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66MyiFzTsIU

The family say Dong Haichuan did not learn from monks but mad that up as he had learn kung fu from anti-Qing rebel commanders when he joined an anti Qing group. They say he made the story up about Taoist monks and mountains to avoid trouble. They also say he created the style out of a combination of other styles he had learnt.
An interesting story.
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Re: Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby Monsoon » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:24 pm

Every time something like this pops up the cynical part of me immediately switches on and asks if this is just another pitch of an angle to gain exclusivity and product marketability.

Considering the massive amount of guff surrounding the Shaolin temple (for example) perhaps my cynicsim is not so surprising.
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Re: Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby yeniseri » Tue May 07, 2013 9:37 am

Perhaps but if I take Chen style as an example, many people who studied Chen style ALWAYS point to Zhang Sanfeng as being the originator despite Chen family (and the Li family?) being the ones who started what we know today as Chen shi taijiquan.

I do believe that Baguaquan started as a village art but as time evolved, individuals added the "Daoist/Buddhist" terminology and methodology as a marketing or promotion vehicle to make the art more out there in the MA world. Every other art didi the same thing so why would baquazhang be any different!
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Re: Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby Monsoon » Tue May 07, 2013 3:37 pm

I know, but ultimately the vast majority of arguments that are offered concerning 'origins' are nothing more than thinly veiled dick swinging attempts.

Although the history of our hobbies is interesting in some ways, a lot of the time it has little real conncetion to what we do today. Things change, sometimes improve and sometimes get lost. I get the impression that many of the 'originists' actually want to live in the past.

The history of tai chi is pretty darned murky. Even the connection with the Chen family is disputed from some quarters - inasmuch as they say Chen family style is not really tai chi but some other art: whcih kind of begs the question of how to define precisely what tai chi is.

Similarly you get all the rubbish around the Shaolin/bodhidharma connection which is now known to be a fairly recent invention.

Promotion is one thing, fraudulent promotion is another. It is a shame though that some things have had to rely on the latter to even survive to the modern age - good for us, but leaves a sour taste.
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Re: Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby yeniseri » Tue May 07, 2013 11:21 pm

Monsoon,
I am sure we all agree that what is called Chen family style (external representation)was 'borrowed" from the surrounding styles of the day but still its packaging is strictly of the Chen family from Chenjiagou! All, or most of the non Chen (variations on a theme) studied in Chen village and I have no knowledge of anyone study with anyone outside of Chen village who taught what we call taijiquan back then.

SInce I like to be open minded, if you can send me a name of that non Chen person, who people studied with not associated with Chenjiagou, I would be delighted to do some research.
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Re: Oragin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby Monsoon » Wed May 08, 2013 1:23 am

You should probably ask Josh if you want references.

Please don't misunderstand me though. I was talking in generalities. I understand that most of what we see today is (likely) derived from Chen family style - although I have seen people say that Yang style is sufficiently different as to cast doubt on its own origin. I have also seen discussions where Chen family style is not referred to as 'tai chi' and from the little I recall this was the case back in the day too.

The origins of these styles of fighting are almost certainly dated pre-Chen... unless you want to believe that the Chen family made it all up in a vacuum (I know you haven't said this :) )

Remember, I am not talking about how far we can trace back through existing records, but where the art originated, and that's pretty obscure at the moment.

Regarding the fraudulent promotion though, I was referring to the temples not the Chen family.
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Re: Origin of Bagua not Taoist?

Postby yeniseri » Thu May 30, 2013 10:52 am

No problem, ma' fren!
Here is a rather easy template for originating one's style of martial art/system. This is what I see!
1. Yang Luchan was cool! He was astute and he saw something in Chen style so he diligently applied himself. He was as close to being on top of the fighting chain but he could never inherit or be called an inheritor of Chen.
2. He did his time through perseverance, diligence, etc and went to Beijing and he was the first to show what is called taijiquan. Even Chen style (the original) was not known there.
3. Yang then developed his own 'style' following the Chen template. Even when Chen people went to Beijing, it was Yang Luchan's version (of some sort) that they saw and for a while, people thought Chen style was the copycat MA.
4. Fast forward to Yang Luchan, as he got older, Wang Lanting was his best student but again Wang Lanting (per the records of the era) could not inherit Yang style but he did teach someone who formed Li style.
5. The Sun style was based on Wu style and the list is endless........................

Just saying that CMA had its own entrepreneurial elite so they could mix, match and call it George CMA! Of course, elegance is a key!
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