Why So Many Yang Styles?

Yang Luchan  1799 - 1872

Yang Lu Chan

1799 - 1872

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.

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.

So we have Yang Lu Chan + Disciples + two surviving children, Yang Ban Hou (who presented 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.

More People. More Styles 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.

It's 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. There is non of Yang Luchan any of his Disciples, his sons and followers, or even of Yang Cheng Fu (1883–1936). Most point to Fu Zhongwen (1903–1994) as an example of how Yang Cheng Fu would have practised. There is film of him available, but as with Chinese whispers, there was probably never a definitive presentation of any of the Yang family, who throughout their own lives would have changed it anyway.

Which Yang style is right for you?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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. At Ripley Tai Chi Club, we show you a form based on Yang Zhenduo/Jun and that's the version we try to perform, but in the club we have altered one of the kicks to an older variation and occasionally offer alternatives to allow people with hip and knee problems to still do a traditional Tai Chi form. The whole point of a named (the exact linage version being followed) 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, performance 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. However we use the modern suggestions generally used today in most schools following the 103.

Here are some video clips including variations from Yang Zhenduo, Yang Sau Chung and Yang Zhenji also sons of Yang Cheng Fu and great Grandsons of Yang Lu Chan doing sections from the form. The names are spelt differently everywhere you look, but it's the same people.

Neil Bradley 29/09/2010

Review: All Copyrights are acknowledged.

List of people who practice/d a version of Yang Tai Chi from 1820 onwards.


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) also studied with Sun Lu Tan (1881-1958)

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 Chen Zhii Yuan ( “1875-1928).

Cheng Man Ching. He is more widely known as a student of Yang Cheng Fu than many (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

Baeli, Thomas (Tom ) student of Cheng Man-Ching) teaching in Ft. Myers,

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 (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, UK)

Fok, Alex

Foo, Chris (Australia)

Frantzis, B. K.

Gilligan, Peter

Goh Ewe Hock

Hallander, Jane (1944-2002)

Halstead, Rick

Helstrip, David (Peterborough, UK)

Hennessey, Mark

Harrad, Graham (Stowmarket, Suffolk UK)

Horwood, Graham (UK)

Hu Wei-yue

Huan Zhang

Jampa Mackenzie Stewart, Rochester T'ai Chi Ch'uan Center

Jennings, Nigel (Peterborough, UK)

Jing, Quan Shun (Monterey Park, CA)

Kelly, Pat

Kelly, Patrick

Kennedy, Ellen

Kennedy, Len

King, K

Knecht, Ted W.

Lam Kam

Land, Peter (Plymouth, 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)

Polonitza, Barry L. (student of Tom Baeli, teaching in Naples,Fl)

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 (Fenstanton, Cambs 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