Yang Style

YANG STYLE


Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872) was the founder of the Tai Ji Quan school that took his name over the centuries. He has also been one of the greatest fighters and masters of all time, so that he was called “Wu Ti”, literally meaning “the one without rivals”, and then “the invincible”. In fact the legend tells that, after having perfected his style, he faced innumerable opponents coming from all the China and he did never lose a fight, yet avoiding to kill or seriously hurt any of his challengers, thanks to his superior technique.

His master was Chen Chan Xin (a famous contemporary master of the Chen family) but, by the years, and thanks to his acquaintance of many martial arts experts, he perfected his own style, much softer and deeply different from the Chen one, while keeping the same sudden explosive movements (Fa Jin or Fa Li, literally “sending strength or power”,  clearly against a target).

Yang Lu Chan had three sons: the first one died very young, the second one was called Yang Yu (1837-1892) and the third one Yang Chian (1839-1917). They both became great experts of Tai Ji Quan, but Yang Yu had a very strong and aggressive character and loved fighting, not teaching.

His brother Yang Chain, who had a more peaceful character, had many pupils. He taught three styles: the great, the middle and the small one, according to the width and the height of  steps and positions. He had three sons in his turn: the second one died when young, the first one was called Chao Hsiung and the third one Chao Chin, better known as Chen Fu (the very famous Yang Chen Fu).

The latter, when little boy, did not appreciate the Tai Ji Juan, nor did really understand its secrets while his father was still alive. Only after his father’s death (1917) he began to practise hard. He had good grounds though, and he could learn by himself, but he made changes to his family style, making it simpler and suitable for the common people’s needs.

In fact he eliminated the explosive and more complicate movements, while he underlined the wider positions, aiming to create an art that could be excellent for the health and within everybody’s reach: young, old and sick people.Yet he was a great fighter and he showed in public many times the power and the effectiveness of his technique, that, with a few changes,  kept the basic principles of what the family style had been for more than a century.

The Tai Ji Yang, as it has been changed by Yang Chen Fu, is mainly based on wide circles of arms and legs, on extremely flowing and harmonious movements that are always made at the same speed and have to be executed with great lightness, opening the body as much as possible without contractures. For this reason this style is very useful to increase and maintain the physical, psychic and energetic health, and is also recommended for elder people.