Monday, September 22, 2008

Wudang tai chi chuan

Wudang Tai Chi Chuan 武當太極拳 is the name of a system of Tai Chi Chuan that was developed by a Hong Kong 香港 based Tai Chi Chuan master known as Cheng Tinhung 鄭天熊. While Cheng Tinhung never claimed to be teaching any particular school of Tai Chi Chuan, his uncle was a disciple of the 吳 school of Tai Chi Chuan, which may or may not have had some influence on his own approach to the art.

The Wudang Tai Chi Chuan system is now being taught in Europe by two of Cheng Tinhung’s disciples, Dan Docherty and Ian Cameron, both based in the United Kingdom. The system also continues to be taught in Hong Kong, and the current head of that school is Cheng Tinhung’s son Cheng Kamyan 鄭鑒恩, whose school is called the ''Hong Kong Tai Chi Association'' 香港太極總會.

Zhang Sanfeng 張三豐, a highly mythologised figure said to be the founder of Tai Chi Chuan, lived in the Wudang Mountains 武當山 and the name "Wudang" used for this Tai Chi Chuan system was used in order to acknowledge Zhang Sanfeng's status as the founder of Tai Chi Chuan. There are other schools of Tai Chi Chuan that also use this name.

The Wudang Tai Chi Chuan system is also known as “Practical Tai Chi Chuan”. This name comes from that given to Cheng Tinhung's style by various Chinese martial arts journalists in Hong Kong during Cheng Tinhung’s heyday, and from the school's assertion that its tai chi is eminently useful as a form of self-defense.

The Wudang Tai Chi Chuan system teachers publish that they have links to famous Tai Chi Chuan masters , including 陽班侯 , 吳全佑, Wu Jianquan 吳鑒泉, Cheng Wingkwong 鄭榮光, Chen Gengyun 陳耕雲, and Wang Lanting 王蘭亭.

Qi Minxuan


It is thought that Qi Minxuan 齊敏軒 came from from Wen County, Hebei Dao in Henan Province. He was a teacher of Tai Chi Chuan and neigong. After losing his family during the Japanese Occupation and Second World War, Qi Minxuan became an itinerant martial arts instructor teaching Tai Chi Chuan to those that would give him board and lodgings. His father Qi Gechen 齊閣臣 was a disciple of the famed Tai Chi Chuan master Wu Quanyou. Qi Minxuan also learnt from a Buddhist monk known as Jing Yi 静一 , who learnt Tai Chi Chuan from Wang Lanting 王蘭亭. Qi Minxuan’s Buddhist name was Zhi Meng 智孟 and was an enthusiastic student of Chan Buddhism. The fate of Qi Minxuan is unknown.

Cheng Tinhung


Cheng Tinhung 鄭天熊 . As a young boy he studied Southern Boxing 南拳 from his father Cheng Minchueng 鄭綿彰, which was a family style, learnt from his father Cheng Lin 鄭麟 who was a professional martial artist. As Cheng Tinhung grew older his uncle Cheng Wingkwong 鄭榮光 took an interest in teaching him Wu style Tai Chi Chuan. Cheng Wingkwong was a formal disciple of Wu Jianquan, who eventually held the rank of Shifu 師父 in the Wu family's Hong Kong school. At that ranking he had their encouragement to take on disciples of his own and open his own school. Cheng Wingkwong knew of an itinerant martial artist known as Qi Minxuan whose father was a disciple of the founder of the Wu 吳 School, Wu Quanyou. Cheng Wingkwong arranged for his nephew to train with Master Qi from the summer of 1946 to the winter of 1948. Qi Minxuan advised his new disciple Cheng Tinhung, that in order to gain a good reputation as a master of Tai Chi Chuan he must be both sound in mind and body and also be able to defend himself, thus being able to represent the art in its true form. Cheng Tinhung later took the nickname of the "Tai Chi Bodyguard" for his enthusiastic defence of Tai Chi Chuan as a martial art. By all accounts, Cheng was a hellraiser--he liked to drink, eat, and fight as well as train and teach. His predilections may have contributed to the ill health that plagued him in his later years.

Dan Docherty


Dan Docherty was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1954. He graduated with an LLB in 1974 and soon after moved to Hong Kong where he served as an inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force until 1984 .

Soon after he arrived in Hong Kong in 1975 he started training Tai Chi Chuan under Cheng Tinhung and within a few years was elected to represent Hong Kong in Full-contact Fighting competitions. In 1980 he won the Open Weight Division at the 5th South East Asian Chinese Pugilistic Championships in Malaysia .

In 1985 he was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Chinese from Ealing College, London.

He is now based in London and travels extensively teaching and writing about Tai Chi Chuan.

Ian Cameron


Ian Cameron was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1944.

He first came under the tutelage of Cheng Tinhung in 1971 whilst serving in the armed forces in Hong Kong. On his return to Edinburgh he set up his class which was to evolve into the Five Winds School Of Tai Chi Chuan.

Ian Cameron teaches in Edinburgh. He also supervises other classes in Scotland and England.

Wudang Tai Chi Chuan Lineage

1 comment:

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