adamfuray wrote:Maybe fifty years ago it was, but currently this subject isn't exactly ambiguous. (according to libraries at least). Unfortunately, most of the good texts are in Chinese
Yeah, cuz the farther away from the past things get, and the more reliable sources that die, the clearer everything gets!
Seriously though, if one looks at the Chen movement as a whole, we see one thing. If we look at the Yang style as a whole we see something else entirely. While it is accepted that Yang was in Chen village, there are other places where he got his art from.
Was Chang Sang Fen the originator of these? WHO KNOWS! Can any of us claim ACTUAL understanding of history dating back to 1200AD or before that (Josh, I know you think you can because of books, but history is NOT an exact art. It is merely a recording done by the victorious, so its actual value is really quite worthless in the overall picture of TRUTH!) I personally, have no idea. What I do know, is that what I have been shown, I have to accept as being the most accurate and correct "way things happened".
If I were to guess, the Chen form outlined some of the pattern of the Yang form, but the Yang form is not from Chen. There are too many things that dont jive for me, that have their roots in other places. From what I have come across, the most reliable source for modern understanding was Wu Tunan, who is reported to have traveled to Chen village and had their words for it. Whether he is truthful or not, who cares. For 99% of the people who practice taiji today, history will not change their practice nor their understanding. For the other 2%, even if you put the clearest history in the world for them.. if the spirit of chang sang fen came to them and said "Here is my lineage", it still wouldnt matter! That leaves ALL OF US left in ignorance of what is ACTUAL TRUTH!
Today, what we do know is, if your form has a number infront of it (beit, 13, 24, 48, 37, 88 etc) it has nothing to do with Taiji, and you should find another teacher who can teach you. Today, this will be hard as i have seen entire taiji curriculums full of numbered forms (108 isnt terrible.. we will leave it at that) So finding a taiji teacher is hard.