The Chen Family style Tai Chi Chuan Long Pole 13 Movements set after Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei
Cheb Qing-Zhou, Chen Family stylec, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Chen Zhenglei, flail, Han YiLing, Hung Gar, Jack Yan, Lam Yan, Lin Xin, Liuhe, long pole, Ma Hong, saber, spear, tai chi chuan, Wu Dang Dragon Gate
From Plum Publications (www.plumpub.com). Note that there are three sections of the web site – one for DVDs, one for books and one for VCDs
In Master Jack Yan’s translations of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei’s books volume V has the Chen Family style 13 Movements Long Pole as well as two person drills for long pole versus long pole and long pole versus flail (two section staff)
Kung Fu Direct has the following videos:
butterfly knife, butterfly sabers, Chen style, Chen Zhenglei, Drunken Master, flail, Hung Gar, Jack Yan, Jackie Chan, lau gar, Lau Kar Leung, long pole, Shaw Brothers, spear, sword, tai chi chuan, tassel, waxwood
Chen style Tai Chi Chuan has a set called Long Pole 13 movements which features a tapered waxwood (Ligustrum lucidum, sometimes known as Glossy Privet, Chinese Privet or Broad-leaf Privet) staff about 3 meters long. The same staff is used in a set called Lau Gar in Hung Gar style [teaching DVD by Grandmaster Wing Lam http://www.wle.com/products/LauGarLongStaff.html] To confuse matters a bit, Lau Gar can also be a southeastern Chinese style from Guangxi province near Vietnam. In that case Lau Gar is written differently (but sounds the same) and means Lau Family fist. That Lau Gar is a lot more popular in Britain than here in the US. Even more confusing, there is an unarmed set in Hung Gar called Lau Gar [teaching DVD by Grandmaster Wing Lam at http://www.wle.com/products/VHG02.html]. I have not done it for years and years, but back in the 70s it was made popular by the famous master Lau Kar Leung, director and star of many great martial arts movies for Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong. There is a lot of Lau Kar Leung’s choreography (so the art is revved up a bit for the movies) in Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master films.
Chen style Long Pole 13 is a comparatively short set: as one might expect, only 13 movements. According to written tradition (one example is page 179 of volume V of Jack Yan’s translation of Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei’s books), one can add a spear point and a typical (for spears) red horsehair fringe or tassel around the point. As an opponent you are supposed to be distracted by the red color and dismayed that the fringe is red from being soaked in the blood of my enemies. That is, unless it is the student’s own blood from making mistakes.
There are two collections of Chen Family style schemes based on long pole: two persons, where both have long poles AND two persons where one has a long pole and one has a flail (two section staff). Quite by chance, I once saw two very capable Wing Chun students in Florida decades ago perform a set featuring double butterfly sabers versus single long pole. Grandmaster Wing Lam has a teaching DVD of the Hung Gar version of this set [http://www.wle.com/products/VHG33.html]. I have never seen or even heard rumors of long pole versus single sword or versus single sword with shield.
Individual homework for someone with mixed type cerebral palsy, level 2, no seizures but a painful arthritis-like condition in the arms and hands. Possible cause : HSPA4 gene (chromosome 5; region q31.1) copy number variation. He has been doing extra tai chi ruler exercises in the evening, and almost always sleeps holding the ruler. Concern was expressed by martial artists and doctors in China that tai chi ruler exercises are too yang and need some yin energy to balance. A light and brief workout was devised for the individual student. For the moment, it is to be done mornings and evenings in addition to regular class. The order is some Chen Family style warmups, selected exercises from Eight Brocades (Ba Duan Jin Qigong), tai chi ruler and silk reeling. Note: the double swords were a special request by the student, and are to be done mornings only.
The videos on YouTube in order are
https://youtu.be/nSel_9Bh90A – Chen Family warmups
https://youtu.be/hzYNQf5GNfA – Eight Brocades
https://youtu.be/87JU4kQNDRA – Tai Chi ruler
https://youtu.be/-OHSJknPUY4 – Silk Reeling
https://youtu.be/9AC5pBQNeUI – Silk Reeling with double swords
A survey of the defensive and counteroffensive possibilities for various weapons from the Single Whip pose. To be accurate, the Chen Family style batons set does NOT have a movement exactly like Single Whip – instead of being horizontal the left baton is vertical. On the other hand, so as to speak, a movement resembling Single Whip with the Kwan Dao in the right hand alone is done six times in the Kwan Dao set. We were looking for the ability to (1) defend against two enemy attacks – one downward from your left against your head and left shoulder and one inward from your right against the knee and (2) the ability to counterattack primarily with the weapon in your right hand.
Summary coming in the next blog entry
Photos and comments starting at http://www.silverwolfwushu.com/SingleWhip01.html
Any readers and (especially) martial arts teachers out there with advice, I’d appreciate it. This is serious stuff, so serious comments only, please.
I had an incident in class Saturday. It was a supplementary class – pretty much a normal Monday-Friday class in terms of material as opposed to a one-time seminar on some interesting Hung Gar weapon. One young man had come without an aide (from the adult day care he goes to M-F), but with his mother. We have computer displays at the back where normally aides can watch the telemetry grabbed from FitBits or whatever gizmos students are wearing. We’d like to cool someone off if they show signs of overheating, try to preempt (or at least lessen) seizures and that sort of thing. At the moment, the screens are turned away from me (they would likely be a distraction, and I could not read them at that distance anyway). About 45 minutes in the young man’s mother got a phone call and walked out of the room to take it. The young man started having PAT (paroxysmal atrial tachycardia – heart rate roars to 200, temp goes up, blood pressure is elevated). Once you’ve seen it, it is not easily forgotten. So I sent one of the two aides to get the mother (not a recommended practice as it leaves the aide’s students under-supervised).
I told everyone to sit down for a break (a desperate tactic by me) while I got the young man seated. He is 6’3″ and about 270 pounds, so that took some doing. As I understand it, during PAT people cannot hear or see, and can react violently to being approached or touched. I got him started drinking cool water and got a cool wrap (special cloth that cools by evaporation) on his head. Impertinent editorial footnote: I have to say he looked like he was wearing a hijab – had things not been so serious, I might have laughed. His mother returned. I figured I was in for a yelling about how tai chi was dangerous, I couldn’t teach … Instead, she knelt down next to her son and starting crying. That got the whole class (and me) staring. Well, Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg (from Single Sword, Lao Jia 1 and Xin Jia 1, as I am sure you know) has its points as a defense, but neither it nor any other tai chi chuan posture is of even limited use against tears. I have no idea what the best (or even a reasonable) response should be, but I had the class and the young man, who seemed okay, do a few quick warm-ups and we re-started back where we were. Take #2, as they say in the movies.
I did promise the mother to make and post a video – as soon as I have some consensus on whether what I did was right. We are playing for very high stakes where one mistake is two too many.
A photo of me in the rather odd combination of tennis shorts and a tai chi top. My trusty silver shoes are off exposing well-turned ankles alluringly hidden underneath very sheer and stylish anklets. I am holding a red graphite staff which is supposed to mark the mid- point of the Kidney 1 points line and provide reference so the knees are flexed slightly forward. Elegantly scotch-taped to my leg are a string of blue LEDs. They actually follow a meridian and the lights more or less show where the various acupuncture points are. Ironically, for a martial art focused on movement = dynamic and kinetic dancing, a key practice is standing meditation where one does not move at all.
One of the technical points is you want to connect a point called Pericardium 9,
which is at the tip of the middle finger, to another point named Gall Bladder 31,
which is about midway down the lateral (outside) surface of the thigh. So if you
knew little about all this stuff,would the lights help you understand the teacher
wants energy (chi) to flow down your leg.
As astute readers have already guessed, the real headache comes when we try to say how close two people are genetically. The distance function for San Carlos to Concord is pretty well understood at this time. There are actually two – as the crow flies and by road. How similar the DNA of two people is in terms of how they might be able to learn tai chi chuan or anything else – that’s a lot tougher.