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Yongnian

By YongnianTaijiUK | Styles

Jun 02

There are many types of Taijiquan (sometimes translated as “Tai Chi Chuan”, “T’ai Chi”, “Taiqi” etc.).

Basically, Taijiquan – which translates as “supreme, ultimate fist” or “primal chaos boxing” is China’s foremost martial art. It is also widely practiced as a general health exercise routine in China.

There are two main family styles in Taijiquan – Yang and Chen. They both claim to be the original/ true taiji. Within each style there are many variations depending upon the lineage of the teacher. To complicate matters, many western styles have completely corrupted the original forms.

 Following extensive research Yong Nian Taijiquan (UK) was formed to promote one particular route of Yang Shi Taijiquan (Yang Style Taiji).

The true origins of Taijiquan are lost in the mist of time and is often claimed to have been developed by daoist immortals many thousands of years ago.

 Yang Style Taijiquan was developed by Yang Lu Chan  (1799-1872) – often referred to as “Yang the Invincible” because of his impressive “wu shu” (martial) prowess.

 The Yang family lineage is well documented elsewhere. Suffice to say that the last major traditional exponent of this form of Taijiquan was Yang Cheng Fu (1883-1936) who passed away without teaching his sons.

Fortunately for us Yang Cheng Fu passed his art onto one of his main “tudi” (disciples), Fu Zhong Wen who himself married into the Yang family. It was Fu Zhong Wen who created the Yong Nian Yang Shi Taijiquan Association to ensure that his masters teachings were not changed or corrupted in any way.

Today, the legacy of Fu Zhongwen is carried on by the World Yong Nian Taijiquan Federation of which Yong Nian Taijiquan (UK) is a member.

Yang Cheng Fu with Fu Zhong Wen

Following the death of Yang Cheng Fu in 1936, Fu Zhong Wen continued to teach Authentic Yang Family Taijiquan and, to further his aims, he created the Yong Nian Taijiquan Association in Shanghai in 1944. During this period, the morale of the Chinese people was low because of the civil war and the Japanese occupation – Fu Zhong Wen hoped to strengthen the country by strengthening the individual.

The name “Yong Nian” derives from the county of his birth in Hebei province which is also the birthplace of three generations of Yang Family Taijiquan (“Tai Chi”) players.

Another reason for choosing the name “Yong Nian” is because it means “always developing/never stopping” , always strengthening your health and developing yourself through the practice of Taijiquan.

Grandmaster_Fu_Sheng_Yuan,_Yong_Nian

One of the better known Grandmasters of our time, Fu Sheng Yuan.

The final reason for choosing the name “Yong Nian” was that the Chinese characters for the name can also be read as “long life” and this is a testament to the life enhancing qualities of the exercices.

To further the aims of the Yong Nian Taijiquan Association, Fu Zhong Wen encapsulated his practice and philosophy in the following motto:

Qin, Heng, Li and Cheng – Diligence, Perserverence, Respect and Sincerity.

Diligence: Hard work and effort is a prerequisite for skilled development. Daily practice on a regular basis will ultimately be rewarded.

Perserverance: It is important that a long enduring sense of purpose should be cultivated – with daily practice that purpose will be achieved.

Respect: Respect for your master, teacher and fellow human being is paramount. Deal with others taking into consideration their backgrounds and in the light of their expectations. Mutual respect serves to enhance a sense of community and solidarity.

Sincerity: Sincerity in attitude or motivation is a prerequisite for learning Yang Shi Taijiquan. In order to achieve, a genuine resolve to pursue your goal must exist. Deal with others sincerely if you wish them to reciprocate. Maintain sincerity in the fore of your dealings with others  and you will achieve a smooth flow in relationships.