Masters of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Post 1

Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan has a worldwide appeal that continues to grow in popularity. The standard of this wonderful art was established by the great masters of the past and is maintained by its present masters.

Yang Lu Chan, Yang Cheng Fu, Yang Sau Chung and Chu Gin Soon represent the standard of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan.

Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872)

Yang Lu Chan left his home in Yong Nian to learn from a famous Chinese boxing master named Chen Chang Xing. At first, Master Chen would not divulge the family secrets to an outsider. As the story goes, Yang learned the movements by secretly observing the master teach his students in a courtyard at night. Yang Lu Chan would practice what he saw and then go back to observe more. When Yang challenged and defeated all of Chen Chang Xing students, Chen agreed to teach Yang everything he knew.

After many years, Yang returned to Yong Nian and modified what he learned. His reputation for winning all challenges spread and he became known as “Yang the Invincible.” His boxing style was known as “Hua Chu’an” (Neutralizing Fist) or “Mien Chu’an” (Cotton Fist), and there were many who went to learn it from him. Later, he was recruited as an officer in the Imperial Court, in charge of all martial arts.

Yang Lu Chan’s boxing style later became known as Yang Style Tai Chi Chu’an when the scholar Ong Tong observed him during a challenge match. Ong was impressed by the way Yang’s movements and technique mirrored the Tai Chi (Yin/Yang) philosophy. He wrote this verse regarding Yang Lu Cha:

Hands holding Tai Chi shakes the whole world
A chest containing ultimate skill defeats a gathering of heroes.
From then on, Yang Lu Chan’s art and the related styles that sprang from it became known as Tai Chi Chuan.

Yang Ban Hou (1837-1892) and Yang Jian Hou (1842-1917)

Yang Lu Chan had three sons. The eldest, Yang Ch’i died at an early age. The second son, Yang Pan Hou, began his training at a very early age. He was forced to train for hours without rest. Any defiance would result in a whipping. The training became so severe that Ban Hou attempted to run away from home. He eventually reached a very high level of skill and was unbeatable. But he had an irritable disposition and as a result few students went to him.