Monday, March 5, 2012

"The Dao of Taijiquan" and "The Tao of Martial Applications"

"Hello. My name is Bayne Lucero. I would so much be honoured to be able to study Tai Chi Chuan under Sifu Roach. I have a good friend that is a student of Chinese internal martial arts. When I called him about having an interest & advice, told him about Classical Tai Chi of Buffalo & Master Hwa, he became very excited. Saying the best book he ever read was "The Dao of Taijiquan". He also said that his teacher was a great fan of Master Hwa. Seems the endorsements are there for me. Hearing all this from my friend, his opinion I value very much, I am very, very, very excited. My phone # is. Thank you"

Hi Master Hwa,

"I am also bcc to my students about this message, which I find opens many opportunities for interesting glimpses into Tai Chi history as well as our own lineage.  It also provides opportunity to explain what we do albeit by comparison, nevertheless I found it interesting to write.  Perhaps this man will digest this and come to study after all."

Jim Roach

"Jim: I know the confusion. Actually, I regret not meeting him. He is one of the few tai chi practitioner who is truly searching for the truth. Sometime, he told his students " what I taught you last month, forget about it, it is not correct. lets do this way."

Stephen Hwa

Hi Bayne,

I'm under the impresssion from speaking to Master Stephen Hwa, that  Master (see this link as well as others which are in blue fontStephen Hwa gets the question "are you related to Jou Tsung Hwa" quite a bit. He patiently explains that his surname is Hwa and therefore no relation to Jou (surname Jou).  Actually, at a World Tai Chi Day event while watching a demo of "5 animal frolics", Master Stephen Hwa told me that his family surname Hwa  in original Chinese spelling is Hua.  He also tells me that the family is related to this link of a distant ancestor Hua Tuo who may be the first ancient Chinese surgeon.  

Stephen Hwa mentions the "Dao of Taijiquan" published 1989 in his own book "Uncovering the Treasure" published 2010 and speaks of a couple of Jou's statements.  In his book Hwa, (Stephen Hwa) makes reference to Jou, Tsung Hwa's statement that the "Torso Method" he mentions in "The Tao of Taijiquan, p. A31" is none other than the "Internal Discipline" explained in loving detail in "Uncovering the Treasure , p. 1 and 2,  that he teaches in Classical Taijiquan.

Although Jou also makes mention of Wu Jianquan style Tai Chi in his book, he states that he studied Yang and Chen styles for the most part as the following videos attest to.

 Here is a link to a video of "Jou" and here is a link to a video of "Hwa" and you can get a better idea of what we do vs. what Jou taught.  As a matter of fact, Master Hwa has taught Classical Tai Chi to participants at "Jou's" Tai Chi Farm on occasion.  He makes reference to that in "Uncovering the Treasure" where he describes a "Western Boxer's" unsuccessful and painful attempt to "take a punch" from Hwa (one inch punch popularized by Bruce Lee) without using a pad. Stephen "Hwa's" teacher at this link was Yang Wabu (Young Wabu) who later worked as a Dr. of Osteopathy after working in import/export in Hong Kong but who was highly proficient in numerous martial arts including Bagua Zhang.  He was a known master of Pekkwar Monkey Boxing when he met and learned Taiji from  this link of the renowned martial artist Wu Chien Chuan who along with his father had both worked as bodyguards to the emperor of China.  Early on, Wu had learned the Yang Style from the members of the Yang Family themselves but as described in Wikipedia, Wu later shortened the stances and altered the "frame" in other ways.  

Although I studied with Wu's great grandson Eddie Wu (see this link to picture of my discipleship ceremony on web page), pictures being "worth a thousand words",  for many years, even his frame is somewhat larger than the frame size we use in Classical Taiji.  In addition,(since I studied with both Wu and Hwa) I am the only student of Hwa's that can personally attest to the fact that Wu does not teach internal discipline, however we do. Briefly, the Wu form I learned from Eddie turns from the hips, the form I learned from Hwa turns from the waist, for another thing it is much much smaller.   As a former disciple of Wu, with great respect for the family, I can however attest to the fact that the "internal discipline" of Classical Taiji is really a return to the roots of Taiji before the styles began to change.  When Yang Wabu learned from Wu Chien Chuan, he was learning from the 2nd generation.  Yang Wabu used to teach classes for Wu Kung i (son of Wu Chien Chuan) when Wu was not there.  Yang Wabu's daughter Sonia tells me that she was in Wu Kung i's classes, (but her father was not Kung i's student since he studied with Kung i's father Chien Chuan, Yang was Wu's colleague and not his student) and she used to fight with the men.  She tells me that she was 11 years old and Eddie Wu was only 6 years old and she used to tell Eddie to stop pestering her as little boy's like to do.

Having learned from Chien Chuan himself, Yang's approach was very meticulous as was he himself.  My own opinion is that Gongyi (who says as much in the Qi magazine article) was very interested in attracting as many people as possible.  Therefore, for one thing,  Wu Kung i  did not teach the square form or tight circled round form of his father but instead taught a "rounded square form".  That is the form that I learned from his grandson Eddie Wu in Toronto.  It is quite different from the smaller frame, (in my opinion) highly articulated square form, and compact and tight compact form that I now teach in Classical Taiji.  However, Classical Taiji is still a "Wu's" style, just that as I is a return to the "roots".

You will just need to view my "contact us" page on my website once again and make a decision on which location you wish to study at.  All the information is there, just contact me if you have any further questions or if you wish to begin study and when. If you study at the "Y", you can give the check for $65 to me and I will forward it to the "Y", if you study at the Elmwood location, it is a different situation for the 8 weeks.  Remember, see these links,  I only teach "silk reeling" and "basic walking"  in the beginner classes at both locations. The intermediate/advanced classes are by invitation only.  Please be aware, you need to email me first, due to the small amount of room at the Elmwood location, I cannot accept "walk ins".

James Roach

Hi Bayne,
I am texting this to you for the following: Re. Tai chi. I sent an email to you but it was returned to me, perhaps it went to your spam folder?  I'd like to use your letter in a blog if you have no objections and I won't use your name if you wish.

Sifu Roach,

I have no objections to using anything, my name, whatever.  I am just very excited to start.  I have not been able to sleep.  My friend is so excited too. Please contact soon, I would like to sleep soon.

Hi Bayne,

I cannot call because I am painting the interior of the house. Come to the "Y" tomorrow night, tell the front desk you are visiting.

Sifu Roach,
Thank you so much for your quick response.  Looking forward to it.  When I told my friend you teach the silk reeling and walking, which I am unfamiliar, he said it sounds like the real deal.  I mentioned Master Hwa.  After telling of Master Hwa, he was about to lose it!.  Thanks again.

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