Classic Ideas in Modern Formats
Dale Napier, Writer
Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan (YMT) is the Yang Family Hidden Tradition -- one
of the earliest,
and most obscure, systems created by the originator of the first Yang Family
Yang Luchan. Luchan developed YMT in its early stages. He passed it
only to his younger son,
Yang Jianhou, but it is believed that Jianhou's older brother,
contributed to YMT's development along with Jianhou. Jianhou in turn passed
YMT not to his son
Yang Cheng-fu, but to a student of Cheng-fu's: Zhang Qinlin.
Zhang had taken a challenge that ingratiated him to the Yang family, hence
Jianhou's decision to pass the secret teachings to him.
He went on to
become a national martial arts champion.
Zhang taught the entire YMT system to two students,
Su Qigeng and Wang Yen-nien. Su was killed in a Japanese
air raid. Another of
Zhang's students was the later-famous taiji master Cheng Man-Ching.
trained Cheng for only three months, but did not teach him the entire YMT
system; instead he taught him how to apply the essence of YMT techniques to
tuishou (pushing hands). Cheng later gained a reputation of invincibility in
pushing hands, but Zhang was able to control him without difficulty.
Grandmater Zhang encouraged
Wang to teach YMT, which Master Wang began in Taiwan in 1950.
Zhang, born in 1889, is believed to have died in 1967, a victim of the Cultural
Revolution of Mao Zedong.
Wang Yen-nien was born in 1914. He fought in the Sino-Japanese War (what
Americans think of as World War II), rising to the rank of colonel in the army of
northern Chinese warlord Yan Xishan, a rival of Chang Kai-shek. Master Wang was a
trusted adviser of Yan's later in Taiwan as well as in China before the Communist
Master Wang was taught the Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan system by Zhang Qinlin from 1945
until April 24, 1949, when he fled to Taiwan. He began teaching YMT at that time, and in
time has passed it, personally and through his students, to hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of people around the world -- in Japan, France, America, and many other places. Master Wang,
known affectionately as Laoshr, passed away May 4, 2008.
Copyright © 2000 Yen-nien Daoguan
Sifu Napier's primary teacher was born Hu Ling in China in 1942, but his family moved to Taiwan at the end
of the war in 1945. He studied with Master Wang from 1962 to 1969, when he moved
to the United States, taking the name George Ling Hu. Today
Master Hu lives and teaches in Houston, and in other places
around the United States.