Тайдзицюан Център Ба Лин
Материалът е по източници от Интернет
Taijiquan Center Ba Lin
The document is from Internet sources
carrying the burden of taiji legacy
Some twenty years later, Chen Xiaowang, by now quite accomplished, was still intrigued by his father's hidden jin that threw someone bigger in size over ten feet up. He was not satisfied with the witnesses' accounts of how the jin worked. So in 1977 he went to see Chen Lizi, the person who had suffered the throw, to find out first-hand about the incident.
The Prank on the "Little Ninth Uncle"
Now, accomplishments in taijiquan skills are things that the Village folks talk about, just as you would talk about great sports plays. Chen Xiaowang's father's taiji skill was already well known at that time. But only a few had actually seen his skills, since he did not take any students. Chen Lizi, himself a taiji practitioner, was piqued by this mysterious reputation. As Chen Zhaoxu was greeting one of the guests, Lizi, close behind, could not resist his penchant for mischief. He furtively closed in, unceremoniously grabbed hold of Zhaoxu's right arm, locked the wrist and upper arm, and then teased, "Little ninth uncle, if someone came from behind and held you, what w-?" Before he could finish, he was thrown three meters up. As Lizi's head came crashing down, Zhaoxu extended his arm in time and caught his shoulders, saving him from injury. "Are you looking to kill yourself?" Zhaoxu chided.
The visitors were visibly shaken by the commotion. The local guests, also taken aback, were nonetheless delighted by such a treat of martial feat. The seasoned observers did not see Chen Zhaoxu betray any martial maneuver. They were amazed. The nephew was larger and of stronger build. They did not expect that such a throw could be executed in the tightness of the hold. So the feat of the hidden jin was instantly broadcast to the entire Village. It is now said in Chenjiagou, "If not for the prank that Chen Lizi played on his little ninth uncle, Chen Zhaoxu's skill might not have been revealed."
Anatomy of the Throw
Chen Xiaowang confirmed his own analysis of the throw's anatomy when he spoke to two other persons who also experienced his father's jin power. Li Junshen and Wang Changtai, both about eighteen then, went to see Chen Zhaoxu about the incident that the Village was talking about incessantly. They were most curious and wanted to feel his "jin." Chen Zhaoxu asked them to hold his outstretched arms as strongly as they could, one on each side. When they signaled that they were satisfied with the hold, he gave out a short burst of fajin, sending both of them up into the air. With the left hand, he caught hold of Li by the front shirt, and seated him on top of the fire hearth by the side, and Wang on the other hand, seating him on the table. Chen Zhaoxu had used a short fajin with his upper arms on the students. It was this same upper-arm fajin that got Chen Lizi.
The ability to react naturally to ward off an attack and at the same time counter-attack in a real-life unpredictable situation is a highly developed martial skill. It comes from cultivating the "gong" of the art, and not just from practicing the techniques. To learn techniques and even be proficient at them without absorbing-- bodyand mind -- the principle of the art is not full mastery. Chen Xiaowang had heard often the admonition, "Lian quan bu lian gong, dao lao yi chang kong" (To train in boxing techniques but not train the "gong" of the art, till old the gongfu may still be hollow).
Chen Taiji enters the World Stage
In dramatic footage of the preserved tape, four Japanese practitioners were seen hand-locking the arms of Chen Xiaowang, two on each side. It seemed that you would need Houdini's magic tricks to escape the human chain on his arms. But with a short burst of force, which appeared like an easy jerk, Chen Xiaowang was free and all the handlers were seen falling off from him. This performance, which included other martial feats, effectively ended the debate on whether taijiquan was still a form of martial arts. Fame attracts attention of sorts.
Qinna Test in Singapore
An Intrusion boosts the Tour
Chen Xiaowang had responded with his natural reaction upon feeling a sharp force tugging to lift him. The sinking of his dantien energy and "kua" broke the attacker's lifting force and at the same time unsettled the attacker's center. Then he issued a fajin with the back of his shoulder, which struck the attacker close behind, sending him reeling to the floor. The adverse publicity would have doomed the tour had the local judo person succeeded in throwing the master. The organizers were thus doubly grateful to Chen Xiaowang for saving the tour and for generating even more media stories. The attacker, Mr. Lim (Lin Jinping in Pinyin), apologized for the unmannerly interruption, but was nevertheless thankful to have experienced the efficacy and power of taijiquan.
Speaking with fists
The basis of Taiji's Martial Skills
Let us look at another application of this concept. A taiji master of sufficiently high level has well-developed "peng jin." When you push at the body of such a master, it is like pushing against a pressurized ball, which is changeable. You will find your force dissipating, and unable to do anything. The master's "peng jin" does two things to your line of force. First, it weakens the power of your thrust at the point of contact and, second, redirects your force to the ground. Eight people, one behind another and pushing, only looks dramatic; but the effect is the same as the front person's work on the body. Chen Xiaowang can be so cool that -- standing and keeping balance on one leg -- he takes a drink of water with a free hand while a hefty guy pushes at him with all his brawny might, as performed live on TV several times.
"Peng jin" in a taiji body offers a lot more. The peng jin in the master's arm glues onto an opponent's, binding it like a rubber band, on contact. It measures the opponent's intent. This "listening" creates a dynamic liveliness relative to the opponent's actions. With this the master can adjust his or her own body to impair the opponent's structure. Once the opponent's structure is compromised, the taiji master can call on his or her arsenal of taiji techniques to attack the opponent effectively.
The cultivation of "peng jin" in a taiji body is the "soft training" of internal martial arts or "neijia quan." The deliberately slow movements in taiji training are but a means to temper the body, and the slowness is by no means an end in the training. The slow motion allows the practitioner to discern tenseness and so to avoid it. This gradually rids the body of "jiang jin" or tense energy when executing movements. The body and mind tempered by this soft training can deliver force unimpeded through the joints. In the process, a player will also come to understand "qi" by experiencing it.
Taiji training endows a practitioner with a calm body and mind - a quietness that can spring to crisp action in an instant: "Action is born of stillness, and in the action resides stillness." The trained action of a martial artist with this calmness has a focused quality, as opposed to being scattered. This calmness is also the source of the practitioner's sensitivity, which responds to the slightest tug. Chinese kungfu movies showing a bird unable take flight from the palm of a taiji master depict this sensitivity.
Because many of the skills of an internal martial artist are invisible to an untrained eye, and also because their applications are unexpected, it is easy to ascribe mysterious hidden power to them. There is also a tendency to exaggerate these skills when they seem unfathomable. However, the mystery peels away when you undertake a journey in the training and practice of the art.
The basic exercises of chansi gong are beguilingly easy to do. The practice is nothing like the physically demanding moves of wushu or gymnastics. Anyone, young and old, can follow the exercises and cultivate chansi jin. However, its mastery is more elusive, requiring time, effort and patience. The guidance of an accomplished master is also essential.
Of mastery, Chen Xiaowang, who studied under his uncles Chen Zhaopi and Chen Zhaokui, said that it was only in his early thirties that he allowed himself attainment of the level, albeit in a crude form. Earlier his teacher Chen Zhaopi had told him that to progress further in the art he would need his uncle, Chen Zhaokui, to check his "quan" (meaning boxing skill in this context although its transliteration is fist). Then in 1966 the Cultural Revolution came and turned the whole nation upside down, during which anything of yesteryears' culture was denigrated. The remote little Village was not spared its ravages. In that period, Chenjiagou seemed to have lost its soul as taiji practice ceased. It was only in 1973, after the death of Chen Zhaopi, and after the misguided fervor of the Red Guards subsided, that he was able to learn from his uncle, Chen Zhaokui.
Of his generation, Chen Xiaowang was considered preeminent in the art within the local taiji circle. He had no opportunities to exchange his skills with the outside. In 1977 he was sent to participate in the National Wushu Competition in Xi'an. Hungry to test his own skills against others, he engaged in several informal but serious plays with his contemporaries of other martial systems. Although satisfied with his own effectiveness, he remained uncertain how comprehensive his own understanding was. He was pushing at the edge of his own frontier. He felt an overpowering urge to seek what was beyond, where his father and grandfather had been.
Lonely Quest and Insight
For the next three years he applied himself single-mindedly to refine his own comprehension of the essence of the art. He searched for some irreducible concept, a principle that would form the basis of the art, "to which all the ten thousand techniques would return as one" (wan fa gui yi). When the realization of the principle dawned on him, he found it was nothing spectacular or new. Remarkably, it had always been there. He examined and analyzed all the techniques and skills he knew and found that, without exception, their efficacy flowed from that single principle. He had experienced its insight. He remembers clearly this momentous awakening. He had run wildly through the factory where he worked, looking for his cousin Chen Zhenglei to share his breakthrough.
To practitioners who have been around, the phrases are nothing new. You have heard of them or their variants many times before. Like the beguilingly simple ideas of meditation, their deep meanings sink in only after you have experienced the insight.
The phrases in the "Yundong Guilu" convey a state of the body to be maintained during a practitioner's motion. If this state is compromised, it exposes a weakness in the body that can be exploited. The training in terms of time and effort (gongfu) to cultivate the essence of an art is to develop its "gong." The power of this "gong" is referred to as "gongli." If the level of the "gong" achieved is high enough, it is said that you have gongfu (the skills you have trained so hard for).
To illustrate some of the implications of "gongli," witness Chen Xiaowang handling the students at the workshops. He is so at ease in felling or throwing the students about, like playthings. There is a huge difference in the "gongli" between him and his students. To see this point, think of yourself handling a young child. You do not consider yourself challenged in any way by the child, so your guard is always intact. You can dispose of whatever the little kid throws at you. In this sense, your "gongli," limited as it is, is superior to that of the child's. Chen Xiaowang's gongli far exceeds that of the students. When students test his skills, his dantien balance is not perturbed, his "Yundong guilu" not violated. So he could literally play with a student like a little kid.
It is easy to see a breach of this Principle and its ramification. When struck by a sudden fear, your breath would rise and be arrested in your chest. This condition, caused by the fear, would be a violation of the Principle. Take a simpler example. Let someone twist and bend your index finger at the joint. What happens when it hurts? The pain causes your inside to hollow as your body rises. You lose your root or your guard. You know how vulnerable you have become in this off-balance situation. The body state is in violation of the "Yundong Guilu."
Why is it that Chen Xiaowang could easily free himself from the qinna locks even by kungfu masters proficient in the qinna art? You might say he did not let someone twist his index finger. Master Chen Xiaowang, Kam Lee (a kungfu master from Jacksonville), and the author were discussing "Yundong Guilu" at lunch, and Kam asked if the Principle also applied in the case of qinna. In answer, Master Chen let Kam qinna his index finger. Kam bent and twisted the finger at the joint in multiple directions, trying his best to hurt him. Chen Xiaowang was not the least affected as his finger yielded to Kam's efforts like a rubber stub. Then, after a while, he did a counter-qinna on Kam, forcing him to the ground in pain. Chen Xiaowang's "Yundong Guilu" remained intact throughout, allowing him to respond accordingly.
"Goujia Gaoji Jiaolian"
The political turbulence and the poverty of the 1950s were not very conducive to the propagation of Taijiquan. The tradition of the art, however, was not entirely lost, as there were always some master-practitioners in the Village. It was not until 1958 that Chen Zhaopi, Chen Xiaowang's distant fifth uncle, returned to the Village and sparked a taiji renaissance. Chen Zhaopi had been away for some thirty years, teaching in Nanjing and elsewhere. After Chen Zhaopi died in December 30, 1972, Chen Zhaokui, the third son of Chen Fa-ke, came to the Village to further raise the level of skill among the burgeoning young masters in the Village. Most of the currently-known Chen Taiji masters were trained by one or both of these two Chen 18th generation patriarchs. They include the now renowned "Four Great Jingangs (Diamonds)," Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Wang Xi'an and Zhu Tiancai.
In the late 1970s, the reform policies of Deng Xiaoping improved dramatically the livelihood in China. The Chenjiagou taiji practitioners shared in the better conditions. The revived wushu sports, which include Taijiquan, became better organized at the local, state and national levels. Wushu practitioners also began to be recognized as professionals under the employ of the government as coaches, judges and administrators of the sport. In 1989, in an effort to streamline the teaching professions in the arts and sciences, three main categories were instituted. The highest level was "Guojia Gaoji Jiaolian" (National High-Scale Coach). This official title accords instant recognition of achievement for the holder in his or her field of endeavor and a professional status. In the first year of its establishment, the awards were limited to two for each province. Henan Province, the most populous province with over 90 million, was allocated two such positions in Wushu; one was given to a Shaolin master in Luoyang, and the other to Chen Xiaowang.
Take yourself back to that year, when taiji practice was almost all Yang school and the Chen style was relatively unknown. In the highlight Masters' Demonstrations, Chen Xiaowang's beginning slow movements appeared solid and expected. The first suggestion of things to come was the foot-stomp of the "Warrior Pounding Mortar" movement that resounded on the basketball court. Although the movements were mainly done with the familiar slowness, the postures were decidedly more martial in character. Then he let fly a punch with a fearsome grunt. It rang out like the crack of a whip, his silk uniform snapping on his body. The audience gasped as if struck by this "fajin." The power was self-evident. By this time, everyone was mesmerized, hanging on his every move. Quickened paces and a few more "fajin" interspersed with the slow movements. Coming to the end, he launched into a succession of explosive movements. Sparks seemed to be flying out. Finally he spun half-around to face the audience as he had started, the rubber sole of the sweeping leg giving a sharp squeal. Thus he concluded the demonstration to thunderous applause. This debut opened the floodgates of enthusiasm for the art that continues to reverberate to this day.
Taiji in USA
There is only one surviving 10th generation master, and that is Feng Zhiqiang, who still resides in Beijing, China. He was a disciple of Chen Fa-ke. He last visited the U.S. in 2001. Here are some of the notable 11th generation masters who have come to the U.S. to promote the art: Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenglei, Zhu Tiancai, Wang Xi'an, Chen Quanzhong, Chen Qingzhou, Zhang Zhijun and Ma Hong. No doubt more will come in the future.
Chen Style instructors are still in short supply, even in the large cities. Here are some who are actively teaching (this list is not intended to be exhaustive): Ren Guangyi (student of Chen Xiaowang) in New York, Cheng Jincai (student of Wang Xi'an) in Houston, TX, Yang Yang (student of Feng Zhiqiang) in Champaign, IL, Chen Zhonghua (student of Hong Junsheng and Feng Zhiqiang) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Kam Lee (student of Zhu Tiancai) in Jacksonville, Yan Gaofei (student of Chen Quanzhong) in Miami, FL, Jin Taiyang or Kris Brenner (student of Chen Qingzhou and Wang Xi'an), Li Shudong (student of Wang Xi'an) in San Francisco, and the author (student of Chen Zhenglei) in Potomac, MD.
Chen Xiaowang now travels around the world promoting the art through the Chen Xiaowang World Taijiquan Association. The author organizes his workshop annually in late July in the Washington DC area, as well as the workshops for Chen Zhenglei, Zhu Tiancai and Zhang Zhijun. To learn more about the workshop schedules, check www.ChenWangting.com.