Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Progression of Fu Style Internal Martial Arts

Below is an excerpt from a post that appeared at Slanted Flying, which describes the evolution and development of Fu Style Internal Martial Arts. The full article may be read here.

The Progressive Forms of Fu Style Tai Chi – Grasp Bird’s Tail
By Tommy Kirchhoff
Translation by Gordon Yung

Most experts believe there are only five major styles of Tai Chi Chuan, which are derived from five families: Chen (陳), Yang (楊), Sun (孫), Wu (吳) and Wu/Hao (武/郝). These critics proudly purport that all the rest are just lesser sub-sets of the big five.

It is much less known but still a fact that around 1928 the Chinese Central Government named Fu Zhen Song (傅振嵩) as the chief instructor of BaGuaZhang (八卦掌) for the entire nation of China. Fu originally learned Chen Style (陳式) Tai Chi from Chen YenShi (陳延熙), the lineage holder of that epoch and the father of Chen FaKe (陳發科); Fu learned BaGuaZhang from most of the inside students of Dong HaiChuan (董海川). Fu traveled the country and exchanged martial information with many of the best practitioners, and eventually became very close friends with both Yang ChengFu (楊澄甫) and Sun LuTang (孫祿堂).

Fu Zhen Song and Sun LuTang were both grandmasters of the Wudang Fists (武當拳): Tai Chi, BaGuaZhang, Hsing-I Chuan (形意拳), and Wudang Sword (武當劍). Both were great innovators of these arts, as well as superb teachers. Fu and Sun each combined elements from BaGua and Hsing-I into their respective Tai Chi styles, and they enjoyed collaborating ideas, techniques and methodologies with one another. Even now in 2019 many Sun Style (孫式) practitioners teach Fu Style (傅式), and vice-versa.

It is said that the name “internal martial arts” has several meanings, but Neijia (internal arts, 內家) comes first from inside families. Fu ZhenSong’s martial heir was his first-born son, Fu WingFay (傅永輝). Although Fu ZhenSong was one of the greatest innovators of the Wudang arts, his son Fu WingFay grew up learning from many of the greatest grandmasters in addition to studying under his father for 40 years. Fu WingFay was also an innovator and a great teacher. Fu ZhenSong did not appreciate many of the changes Fu WingFay made to the Fu Style Wudang Fist system; but Fu WingFay earned the inheritance of the Fu Style system, so it became his to modify.

Fu WingFay’s first major change to the system was developing “Waist Skills.” He integrated bending forward, backward and sideways to step, move, slip and to control one’s self and his or her opponent. He also made the system much softer by eliminating iron body training, and also by developing a recoiling fajin (power emission, fājìn, 發勁). He worked for many years to develop a system of teaching with clear levels for beginner, intermediate and advanced study. He changed some of the postures so they made more sense for applications, and smoothed out many details and fine skills. He also omitted some of the old forms, such as the myriad of Fu Style BaGua spear forms.

To get an idea of the excellence of Fu WingFay’s tutelage look no further than his student Grandmaster Bow Sim Mark (麥寶嬋) and her illustriously famous movie-star son, Donnie Yen (甄子丹).


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