My Thoughts On The Next Successor (Gatekeeper)


What does it take to become a successor of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan?

This is my opinion on who is the most qualified. There are conditions which should be met in order to be qualified...be ready to be rattled. To me, I don't care who you are, because if any individual cannot meet these qualifications, then that individual ought to bow out of contention...plain and simple.

For anyone to be a candidate for a successor of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, that individual must possess the entire curriculum of the system, including the Tai Chi halberd, Tai Chi dim mak, Yang Lu-Chan Chigong, etc. When I talk about the entire system, I'm also referring to the most profound understanding of the knowledge and the skill, of which system offers. Tell me, does a particular individual understand the relationship between Tai Chi Chuan (form) and the power push hand? Does that person understand how the internal power is begotten? When the internal power (by the way, it is immeasurable) is attained, how does the form continuously pertain the power? What are the stages of the development of the internal power? What are the relationship between these levels and how they are all connected? Who understands the entire spectrum of the internal power and is able to manifest this power? Who can offer to individuals a glimpse of this vast knowledge? Does anyone understand the curriculum like my chosen candidate?

As far as I know, my teacher was the only chosen person, among the students of Yang Sau-Chung SIGONG, to teach abroad. What I know is that Yang SIONG's other students were not really interested in teaching; thus, the absent of a particular Tai Chi Chuan school in Hong Kong after Yang SIGONG's passing. My teacher was the first person ever to come to the USA, in 1969, with Yang SIGONG's blessings, to represent & teach Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan in North America. My teacher has taught more than a thousand people in the course of 40+ years, all over the world...no small feat, mind you. In turn, his students have done/are continue doing where he has left off. What the 40+ years have done for him is that he has attained a certain wisdom on how he envisions the prosperity of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. He understands the protocols of the past, the present, and the future. It is through the experience of teaching and understanding of the skill that the wisdom and the protocol is gained. If an individual lacks the experience, he/she will lack the understanding of the protocols.

Unless one has felt my teacher's power, one will not perceive what the effortless internal power truly is. On many occasion, I have tried to be softer than my teacher when exchanging push hand/chi sau/sticking hand. As soft as I was, I was continuously slammed by his energy that felt like a brick wall, and yet, he was unimaginable soft. No matter how soft I tried, his energy was always softer than mine. To be able to keep his energy unimaginably soft and yet, hit me like a brick wall is incomprehensible. When struck by his energy, I would momentarily lose all my senses, and it took all my effort to regain my control. No one I know has that kind of energy. His soft energy - peng kieng - is the epitome of the understanding of the Tai Chi Chuan skill. Show me this skill like that of my teacher, you then shall have my support; if not, don't even bother.

Among all of Yang SIGONG's students, who has an heirloom, a something that once belonged to Yang SINGONG? A robe, a garment, a suit, or a film? Some might find such a piece of material triteful or insignificant...perhaps, but why does one think it is meaningless? It's because they don't have any. If any of these people had some kind of heirloom or a material, they would cherish it like there was no tomorrow.

At least, meet these four conditions, then you can qualify to be a candidate for the gatekeeper of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. By demanding these conditions, I do not think that I'm being unreasonable. My major concern is to maintain the honor and the integrity of our system. Before an individual wishes to claim the title of gatekeeper, that individual needs to put forth the interest of our system first before his/her ego. Any selfishness, especially if that individual is lacking the quality of the knowledge and the skill, is detrimental to the system. Is it that hard to understand? We must guard the honor and the integrity of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. The honor and the integrity of Tai Chi Chuan of the past Yang masters have suffered terribly due to the barrage of the distortions of the modern, imitation tai chi chuan. We must not let degradation continue. If the would-be-successor lacks the true knowledge and the supreme skill, then that individual is also guilty of the crime of against Tai Chi Chuan. We cannot let this happen. Therefore, we must recognize and honor that person who has, not only the knowledge and the skill that can provide for the future Tai Chi Chuan practitioners, but also the correct expertise of the curriculum and the wisdom of his experience, as well.