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Why Are There So Many Yang Styles?

Pre Yang Lu Chan, there was no Yang style.
Everybody claiming to practice Yang Tai Chi will say they can trace their teachings back to the founder of the style, Yang Lu Chan. Nobody disputes Yang Lu Chan created it. Yang Lu Chan received instruction from his peers including Cheng De Hu & Chen Chang Xing (Chen Style).


Yang Lu Chan. Old Frame.
1 man. 1 style.
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In later life Yang Lu Chan created a name for himself as a fighter of extraordinary ability and then taught his style to other people. It was his wish it be carried on in the family name by his children as a family business (not without complaint or dispute). Yang Lu Chan also taught non-family members who spent their lives learning the style and also achieved very high status and respect as carriers of the Yang style.
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So we have Yang Lu Chan + Disciples + two surviving children, Yang Ban Hou ( did a version called Small Frame) & Yang Jian Hou (Medium Frame). These people also taught non-family members who spent their lives learning the style and teaching. You get the plot. Everyone went on to teach everyone else all claiming a direct link to the founder Yang Lu Chan.
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More People. More Styles and so it went on. From generation to generation. Six generations of Yang family, plus all the associated teachers, Disciples and off-shoot styles. In addition the idea of Yang Tai Chi for health also materialised distancing itself from the idea of Tai Chi as a fighting art. I long just once to read in the Tai Chi Union magazine, Beginners Tai Chi Seminar: The unheathy sort.
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It's also only recently that video film of any Yang style has been widely available to even begin to be able to judge how styles within Yang differ. Prior to that, like Chinese whispers there was probably never a definitive presentation.
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Which Yang style is right for you?
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When it comes to seeking out higher instruction, it seems sensible to follow the family line. But, if one of the family members or followers of a Disciple of Yang Lu Chan or Cheng Fu had been teaching down the road I would have followed them and been proud to do so. And like most people, by down the road, I really mean down my road, not a twice weekly forty-minute car journey.
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I also didn't buy into the idea that a couple of months or even couple of years training in China is a very credible way of learning, let alone a two week holiday or weekend seminar. If you haven't got constant access, it all gets forgotten or changed. It is however a credible way of progressing once you've reached a certain level of experience. So the main point for most is to progress as well as you can locally with a named presentation and hopefully hook up with somebody else who is prepared to devote their lives to the subject and cadge information from them.
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Our club initially followed Yang Lu Chan, his son Yang Jian Hou, his grandson, Yang Cheng Fu*1, his Great Grandson, Yang Zhen Duo and finally Grandson of Yang Zeng Duo. Yang Jun. But you could just as easily claim you follow a direct line to Yang Lu Chan from the Yang Ban Hou family tree or from some of the following list which also contains named Disciples and non family members.
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Another point to bear in mind. In previous times you really had to be able to physically do it. To fight all comers and win, to apply the theories in practical terms. If this test was to be applied today I suspect the list of modern Tai Chi instructors would thin out considerably.
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This list is disputed as to its accuracy, particularly towards the fifth generation onwards, but it makes a nice point and answers comprehensively why there are so many different Yang styles. This also brings me to a final point, just because it's written down doesn't mean it's true and just because you shout the loudest, doesn't mean you're right, but it does mean you tend to be the one that gets heard.
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So if you find yourself being drawn to a point of view of which style is right or wrong because you've heard of the style (or the Instructor), don't rule out they may be just good at shouting. Also if you find two Instructors teaching an apparently different version of Yang Family tai chi, don't assume one is wrong. Which family line they are following could explain the differences.
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At Ripley Tai Chi Club, we show you a form based on Yang Zhenduo/Jun and that's the version we try to preform, but in the club we have altered a few of the kicks and occasionally offer variations to allow people with hip and knee problems to still do a traditional Tai Chi form. The whole point of a family version is you cannot change anything. So we practise The Yang Traditional Hand Form based on the 103 version. Most people coming will not notice any difference outside of Turn Body and Heel Kick. In terms of speed, preformance of kicks and martial techniques, there is no definitive version as the following clips clearly demonstrate. It is what you end up doing that is the only thing of any consequence.
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*1 Here are some video clips including variations from Yang Zhenduo, Yang Sau Chung and Yang Zhenji also sons of Yang Chend Fu and great Grandsons of Yang Lu Chan doing sections from the form.
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The names are spelt differently everywhere you look, but it's the same people.

Review: All Copyrights are acknowledged


 

I know the quality is really poor but this is an historic unedited definitve version of the full form. You will notice the speed is faster and the kicks are flicked out.

 



 

Neil Bradley 29/09/2010

List of people who practice/d a version of Yang Tai Chi from 1820 onwards.
Founder
Yang Fu Kui , Lu Chan, (1799-1872)

Second Generation
Chen Xiu –Feng
Fu Zhou
Gong Tian Ren
Hsu Yu Sheng
Ling Shan, of Manchu nationality
Quan You ( 1834-1902) Manchu nationality
Wan Chun, of Han nationality
Wang Jiao-Yu (1836-1939), Wong Shao Yu
Wang Lan Ting , a court official. His student Li Rui Dong founded the
Li Style Tai chi
Wu Ch’eng-ch’ing (1800 styles: Ch’I-yu and Ch’iu-ying)
Wu Juch’ing (1802)
Wu Yu Xiang ,1812-1880, founder of Wu (Hao) Style)
Yang Jian Hou, Chien Hou, 1839-1917) third son
Yang Qi , Feng Hou, , died young) eldest son
Yang Yu (Ban Hou , 1837-1892) second son

Third Generation
Chang Ching Ling , Zhang Qin Ling) also a student of Yang Cheng Fu
Chen Hsiu Feng
Chen Xia Feng
Chi De, Chi Te
Gong Rongtian
Guan Bai-yi
Hou De Shan
Hsiung Yan-Hou
Hu Xingzhai
Kuo Lien Ying (1891-1984) continued as Guang Ping style Tai Chi Chuan
Li Chin Lin ( 1860-1920) (also known as the "Sword Saint")
Li Lian Fang
Li Rui –Dong ( 1851 - 1917) continued as Li Style taiji
Li Yi Yu (, 1832 -1892)
Ling Shan () also a student of Yang Lu Chan
Liu De Kuan)
Liu Sheng Kui
Lu Dian Chen (, 1886 - 1948) also a student of Yang Cheng Fu
Niu Lian Yuan ()
Pu Lun Bei Zi (a Ming prince)
Quan You (1834-1902) also
a student of Yang Lu Chan
Shou Yu Sheng ()
Si Xingsan
Tian Zhao-lin (Tian Shaolin, Tian Shao Xian,, 1890 - ) . He also studied with Yang Shao Hao and Yang Cheng Fu.
Wang Chonglu ()
Wang Jiao-Yu (1836-1939) also a student of Yang Lu Chan
Wang Ji-chen
Wang Maozhai (
Wang Xiao Yun ), Wang Long Yi
Wang Xing –wu
Wang Yongquan (1904-1987)
Wu Jianquan (, 1870-1942) son continued as Wu style Tai Chi Chuan
Wu Meng Xia
Wu Yu Xiang (,1812-1880) also a student of Yang Lu Chan.
Xu Dai Chuai ( )
Xu Yu -Shen (, 1879 –1945)
Yang Sao Lin () son trained with Yang Ban Hou ?
Yang Shou Hou (nephew) trained with his father Yang Chien Hou
Yang Zhang Qing , (Sau Chin, ,Yang Cheng Fu, , 1883-1936), third son
Yang Zhao Pen ( Ling Xiao, , 1872-1930) son
Yang Zhao Xiong (Yang Shao Hou, , 1862-1930)
Yang Zou Yuan (1875-1938) , Yang
Zou Pun, second son
Zhang Qin Lin ( )
Zhang Xin Yi
Zhang Ying Tang
Zhang Yu

Fourth Generation
Cao Lian Fang
Chang Hung-k'uei
Chang Yiu Chun (1899-1987, trained from 1911 – 1929) cousin ?
Chen Pan-lin (), 1900-1967) also trained with Wu Chien Chuan, Hsu Yu Sheng, Chi Te
Chen Wei-Ming (a student of Yang Cheng Fu)
Chen Wei-Ming, ( , 1881-1958) also studied with Sun Lu Tan
Chen Yen-ling ()
Chen Yen-ling (, Yearning K. Chen, Chen Kung (?) , 1906 - ??) also studied with Tian Zhao-Lin
Chen Yet Fu ()
Chen You Long (, 1875-1928)
Chen Yue-Bo also known as “1875-1928).
Chen Zhii Yuan ()
Cheng Man Ching. He is more known as a student of Yang Cheng Fu
Cheng Man-ching (Zheng Manqing)
Cheng Man-Ching , 1900 - 1975)
Chiang Yun-chun also a student of Kuo Lien Ying
Chiang Yun-chun also a student of Wang Ji-chen
Cho Siu Wai also a student of Ip Tai Mut
Chou Ping
Choy Heng Peng (1886 - 1957)
Chu Yu hoi ()
Continued as Wu Hao style tai chi chuan
Cui Yi Shi
Cui Yi Shi (1890-1970)
Dong Lin Chei
Dong Run Fan ( )
Dong Runfang
Dong Ying Jie (Tung Ying Chieh, , 1888-1961)
Fu Chen Sung (1881-1953, not really a student, a contempary)
Fu Zhongwen (, 1907-1994). Also a student of Yang Zou Yuan.
Gu Lisheng
Guo Ruizhou (a noted Fanzi master)
Hao He, also named Wei Zhen (,1849 - 1920).
Ho Chikwang (1905 - ,taught in Evanston, Il)
Hsiung Yang Ho (1886-1984)
Hsu Yu Sen
Hu Yaozhen
Hu Yuen Chou (1906-1997) also a Choy Li Fut expert, studied first with Chen Wei Ming
Ji Tun Leing
Jiang Yan Jie ()
Jiang Yu Kun (Jiang Ting Yuan, , Jiang Yu-k'un, , 1913-1980)
Jiang Yu Kun also studied with Yang Cheng Fu
Lai Hok Sun
Li Derun
Li Di Fan ()
Li Dian Chen
Li Fuyuan
Li Hun Do ()
Li Jian-Hua
Li Shou Ch’ien () Li Shouqian (Taiwan)
Li Shou De ()
Li Ya Qian (, Li Chun Nian , Li Ya Xuan, 1894 - 1976)
Li Ya Xuan
Li Ying Xuan (, 1906-1995)
Li Ying Xue ()
Li Yue (in Kwangtung)
Li Yulong (Hebei)
Lin Du-Ying
Liu Dong Han ()
Liu Jianhua
Liu Pao Chun or Liu Jian Chuan
Liu Xi Zhan (Liu Xizhe)
Liu Yaozhen
Liu Zhiliang
Lu Dian Chen (, 1886 - 1991) also a student of Yang Chien Hou
Lu Zi Ling
Ma Run Zhi ()
Ma Runzhi
Ma Tak Yun ()
Miao Lian
Nen Tsung Min
Niu Chun-Ming (, 1881-1961)
Niu Jing Kan ()
Peter Kwok
Pu Bing-Ru (1908 - ) also a student of Ye Da Mi.
Pu Yu (Bingru)
Qin Zhong Bao
Shen Jiazhen
Shi Cheng Zhi ()
Shi Dao Mei
Su Qi )
Su Qigeng
Sun Jian Ying ()
Tian Yinjia
Tian Zhaolin (, 1891-1959).
Tian Zuo Lin)
Tseng Ju Pai ( ,1900-1995), Tseng Chiu-Yien, Tseng Chao-Jen
Tue Ei Sher
Wang Peisheng
Wang Shanzhi
Wang Xu Dong ()
Wang Yan Nian () from Shan his
Wang Yen Nien ( )
Wang Yen-nien also a student of Zhang Qin-Ling
Wang Yongquan () son.
Wang Zi He () Also a student of Li Shou Ch'ien.
Wei Shuren
Wu Hui chuan (), Wu Jiang-Chuan, Wu Zhen Hai () ( ? - 1937)
Wu Kong Yi
Wu Meng Xia () also train in Bagua and a student of Cui Yi Shi (1890-1970)
Wu Tu Nan ()
Wu Wan Lin ()
Wu Wei huan
Xian Yue Chuan ( )
Xiong Yanghe (Taiwan)
Xu Yu shan ()
Yan Zhong-Kui, Yan Yue Chuan ()
Yang Cong (Kuei Cheng, 1908-1976) Daughter
Yang Kai Ru () grandson.He is also a student of Tian Zhao-lin
Yang Ling-Xiao
Yang Shou Zoung (Yang Zhen Ming1911-1986), eldest son (See Video)
Yang Zen Duo (, Yang Zhenduo, 1926 - ), third son
Yang Zhao Pen ( Ling Xiao, , 1872-1930) son of Yang Ban Hao
Yang Zhen Sheng (Chen-sheng, ) son of Yang Shao Hao
Yang Zhen Guo (Chung Kwok, 1928 - ) fourth son (No video)
Yang Zhen Ji (1921- ), second son (See Video)
Ye Da Mi (), Ip Tai Mut also a student of Yang Cheng Fu
Ye Da Mi (), Ip Tai Mut also studied with Tian Zhao-lin
You Zhi Xue ()
Yuanxiu (Wang Bo) studied with many teachers
Yue Huanzhi
Yuen Yua Chuan
Zang Zhao-ran
Zhang Bao Feng ()
Zhang Qiang )
Zhang Qin Ling (, , Chang Ching Ling).
Zhang Yu
Zhang Zhao Ping also a student of Tian Zhao-Lin
Zhang Zhirou
Zhao Bin (1906 - 1999)
Zhao Ling
Zhen Sheng
Zheng Zuo Ping also a student of Yang Cheng Fu
Zhu Gui-Ting

Fifth Generation
Bai Hua (Peh Hua)
Cao Shu Wei ( 1934 - )
Chan Ning )
Chang Dsu Yao (also a student of Liu Pao hun and Chang Ching Po)
Chen Jun Yan
Chen Lung Xiang
Chen Yun Qing () son
Chen Zhuo Zhen
Chen, William C.C. (1935 - ?? )
Cheng Lu (started Tao Chuan Tao)
Chi Chiang Tao (1920-1994)
Chia Siew Pang
Cho Siu-Wai
Choy Kam Man (1924-1994) son
Choy, Howard (US)
Chu Gin Soon (1932 - )
Chu King-hung (1939- ,Europe)
Chu, Mary
Chung Yan-Man, Raymond Y. M. (1913 - ,Vancouver, Canada)
continue as Fu style tai chi
continued as Wu (Hao) Style Tai Chi Chuan
Cooper, Raymond
Cui Zhong Sang ) 1948-
Doc-Fai Wong
Dong Fu Ling (Tung Fu Ling, 1918-1982)
Dzou Tsung Fu
Faigao, Bataan
Faigao, Jane
Fang Ning
Fong Ha (1937 - , SF, US) also a student of Dong Yienjie
Fu Qing Quan, James (, 1971 - ) grandson
Fu Shen Yuan (1931 - ) also a student of Yang Chen Fu
Fu Sheng Yuan (, 1931 - ) son. Now in Australia.
Fu Zheng-Rong (1978-)
Gao Guo
Gibbs, Tam
Gilman, Michael
Gong Zhong Xiang
Gu Liu Xing ()
He Wei Qi
Hsu Fun Yuen (lives in Chicago, IL.)
Hsu Yee-Chung
Hu Yuen Chou (also studied with Yang Cheng Fu)
Hu, George
Huang Shan-wen Also a student of Chen Wei Ming
Huang Sheng Shyan (, 1910-1992)
Huang Wei Lun (Florida) -
student - Jaime Cobb (New Mexico)
Ip Tai-Tak (1929- )
Israel, Stanley (1942-1999)
Kai Sung
Klein, Bob
Kliensmith, Lou
Lai Hok Soon
Langlois, Richard
Lee Xiu-Pak (Lee Siu-Pak, Li Shui-Pak, Lee Chew-Ng, (1910-1982))
Leonard, Ken
Li Min Di (daughter)
Li Shu Dong
Liang Zheng-Yu
Liang, Tung Tsai (1900-2002, Boston)
Lin, Mogen
Liu Kin Hoi
Liu Se-heng (Liu Hsi Heng)
Liu Tong Lu (
Liu, Abraham
Lo, Ben
Lowenthal, Wolf
Lu Gui Rong
MacVane, Myles
Mak Ying Po
Mei Yei Sheng also train with Zhao Bin
Mei Ying Sheng
Montaigue, Erle (Teaching in the UK)
Newman, Maggie
Ong Zi Chuan
Phillips, Bill
Ping Siang Tao
Pu Bing-Ru (1908 - ) Female, also a student of Yang Chen Fu
Shi Tiao Mei ()
Shou Ren (William) Chen train with Yue in 1941. Died when he was 81 (2003) NY
Smith, Robert
son (1950 - )
Staples, Tuey (St. Louis, MO)
Sun Lu Tang ()
Tan Ching Ngee also a student of Ong Zi Chuan
Tang Wei
Tchoung Ta Tchen also a student of Cheng Man Ching
Tchoung, T.T. also a student of Shi Dao Mei
Therese Teo Mei Mei Deciple of Yang Zhen Duo
Wang Je He
Wang Shu Jin (also a Hsing yi, Bagua master)
Wang Tian Lai
Wang Tsing
Wang Tze-Her
Wang Yong Da
Wang Zi He (). Also a student of Lu Dian Chen.
Wang, Daniel Y. (CA)
Watson, Patrick (1935-1992)
Wu Xiao Ping, Grace
Wui Gui Qing (nephew )
Xie Bing Chan
Xu Tingsen
Y. W. Chang Yuan Weil (1916-2002)
Yamasaki, Carol
Yan Fu Ting ()
Yang Ching Feng
Yang De Fang (1952 - ) son
Yang Duo-fong (1947 - ) son
Yang Hong Fang (1969 - ), daughter
Yang Juan Fang (1968 - ), daughter
Yang Jung Fin (1956 - ), daughter
Yang Ma Lee (Di Er, 1952 - ) Daughter in HK
Yang Tai Yee (Mei Lan, 1950- ) Daughter in HK
Yang Xiao Jo (died early) son
Yang Yee Li (Ma Li, 1958 - ) Daughter in HK
Yang Yong Fang (1953 - ) son
Yang Zhi Fang (1959 - ) son
Yap Siew Teng (1918 - 1978)
Yiu Kwong ( ? ?
Young, Ed
Yu Wen Mei
Zhang Lu-Ping (1945-1998)
Zhang Mingyu
Zhang Xiang Kai
Zhang Yi Zhong (1921 - )
Zhang Yu
Zhang Zhuoxing (Guizhou) also a student of Gu Lisheng
Zhang Zhuoxing (Guizhou) also a student of You Zhixue
Zhong Guang Tian (
Zhou Yaun Long (* 1927-1998 ) )
Zong Mao San ()
Zong Zi Jian

Sixth Generation
Babin, Michel (Ottawa)
Barnes, Terence (Teaching in Ireland)
Bradley, Neil (Teaching in the UK)
Cameron, Ian
Cartmell, Tim (Garden Grove, CA)
Caruthers, Ann
Chen Chung
Choy, Frank
Chu, Vincent
Chung, Andrew
continued as Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan
Cressford, Marc
Ding Teah Chean, John Ding (Teaching in the UK)
Docherty, Dan (Teaching in the UK)
Dong Zen Chen
Dunn, Terry
Emerick, Danny
Fayers, Martin (Teaching in the UK)
Fok, Alex
Foo, Chris (Australia)
Frantzis, B. K.
Gilligan, Peter
Goh Ewe Hock
Hallander, Jane (1944-2002)
Halstead, Rick
Hennessey, Mark
Horwood, Graham (Teaching in the UK)
Hu Wei-yue
Huan Zhang
Jampa Mackenzie Stewart, Rochester T'ai Chi Ch'uan Center
Jing, Quan Shun (Monterey Park, CA)
Kelly, Pat
Kelly, Patrick
Kennedy, Ellen
Kennedy, Len
King, K
Knecht, Ted W.
Lam Kam
Land, Peter (Teaching in the UK)
Lau Tui
Lau Yiu-Lam, David
Lau, James
Law Lun-Yeung (Bill Law), Australia
Lee Wah Yook
Lee, Arnold
Lee, Daniel (trained in JKD with Bruce Lee)
Leporati, James
Levi, Steve
Li, Terry
Liang He Ching
Loh Thong Poh (1911 - 1983)
Lord, Mark
Lum, Andrew (student of Tung Fu Ling, Hawaii)
Student: William Y.K. Lee
Luth, Chris
Moran, Mike
Napoli, Mario
Ooi Kean Seng (Malaysia)

Robertson, Kayo
Rose, Steve
Schnapp, Michael
Schneiderman, Linda
Schneier, Avi
St. Louis TCC Association.(Tom Krapu et. al.)
Stenson, Mike
Stephen Frankel
Stuart Alve Olson (1950 - )
Suen Tid
Tam, Tom
Tan, Dr H. H.
Taylor, Mike (Teaching in the UK)
Teo, Therese (Mei Mei)
Thomas, Helen
Tong Yau-Sun (N.S., Canada)
Tucker, Aarvo (Teaching in the UK)
Tung Kai Ying
Wang Bo (He trained with many others)
Wang, Henry(Vancouver, BC)
Wee Kee-jin
Williams, Lenzie
Wong Ping Kwong
Wong, Andy (Edmonton, Alberta)
Wong, Jason J.
Wong,J.K. (Dallas)
Yang Bing (1972 - ), son
Yang Jun (1968 - ), son
Yang Xue Qin (1979 - ), daughter
Yang Yong (1978 - ), son
Yapp Khiong
Yek Sing Ong (Malaysia)
Yiu Guang
Zhang Ji Pei (, Australia)
Zhang Lu-Ping (1945-1998)
Zhang Yi Zhong

Seventh Generation
Anthony Megaro
Bill Bernsen
Bram, Mark Joseph
Cali, Wendy
Chan Wing. He also studied Wu Style in HK.
Cramb, Stephen D.
Feldman, Howard
Khoo Teng Hock
Lau Yiu-Lam, David
Lee, William R.
Rashid, Lorenzo
Schurman, Donald L.
Yang Ya Ning (1992 - ) daughter