3rd October 2014
- Published on Friday, 03 October 2014 06:12
- Written by Roger Bastick
I had a call today from someone enquiring about tai chi classes and during the conversation they were surprised to hear that there were, in his words, "two types" of Yang style – the popular version and the authentic or classical version. So I drew his attention to the fact that there is a very good article on the topic at Wikipedia under Tai Chi Chuan - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%27ai_chi_ch%27uan - and recommended he read it. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know about the serious art.
But it is not just the Yang style that has this issue. The other styles like Chen, Wu, Wu/Hao and Sun styles do as well. Many Chinese have migrated to the West these days and teach simplified forms or forms based on Wu Shu (martial performing arts). They may claim to know a lot about qigong and martial arts and they may ormay not. Many naive Westerners just assume that because they have a Chinese face they are experts (which is a sort of racism in reverse) - nothing could be further from the truth. I know of one Chinese teacher who has one of the biggest schools in Australia who told me that he just went to China and learnt some forms. A Sydney-based doctor is another case in point - a prolific teacher of shortened and Wu Shu-based versions of various styles. These people, often with the best of intentions in relation to promoting the art as a health practice, help to foster an incorrect perception amongst a naive Australian public of what ‘real’ tai chi is all about.
A video of Yang Sau Chung, son of Yang Cheng Fu, doing the authentic form can be googled at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bze07WyY0C0&feature=youtube_gdata_player - this is the form we teach.