STYLES

STYLES

Tsong Quo Chuen or “Central Fist of China” is an old style of Chinese martial arts and is the primary style we study.
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Pyong Hwa Do or “peaceful system way” is the name given to the introductory curriculum of Tsong Quo Chuen . It can also be defined as its subset, as it consists mainly of the Okinawa curriculum known as Ahnan Tomari-te.
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Yang style Tai Chi Chuan   or “Grand ultimate style” is a soft internal art that comes from the Yang family.
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Wu style Tai Chi Chuan or “Grand ultimate style” is a soft internal art that comes from the Wu family.
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TSONG QUO CHUEN

Tsong Quo Chuen or “Central Fist of China” is an old style of Chinese martial arts and is the primary style we study.

The origins of this style are very ancient and can be traced back to the 6th century BC. It was a “family art”, which means that it was primarily passed down from father to son, although there were exceptions to this. In more recent times (19th – 20th centuries), it was also referred to as a “wanderer art”. This meant that the practitioners often moved around a lot and that there were no large public schools that openly taught the art. In fact, most practitioners were not professional martial arts teachers. They worked in a variety of fields, but many of them were known to provide bodyguard services either to royalty or to traveling merchants. There was also no “official name” for the art, so individual practitioners referred to it by different names at different times.

Tsong Quo Chuen is based almost entirely on Taoist philosophies and ideas. Unlike many other Chinese arts, it has no connections to the Shaolin Temple, and is not considered to be a Shaolin-derived art. The past practitioners of the art had a tendency to acquire portions of other martial arts and to then incorporate them into their own style. Because of this, the art has been described by some as “eclectic”. In modern terms, some have also referred to it as a “mixed martial art”, but this isn’t entirely correct. The key difference is that the mixture happened slowly over a long period of time, and not by a single person. Each acquired portion was evaluated and, if necessary, modified, to fit into the existing curriculum and structure of the art. Because of the slow evolution and careful planning, the art maintained the cohesiveness and consistency found in other more “pure” styles. In addition to this, masters in the art also created their own original forms to fit within the framework of the style.

 

The current head of the style, A.F. Walker, was trained by a Chinese/Okinawan man named Kushubi, who in turn was taught by Lao Leong, who is remembered by Gichin Funakoshi as the “shipwreck from Ahnan” and others like Channan and Chinto. The whole art of Tsong Quo Chuen has come to us thanks to these people and their continued commitment is our total gratitude.


PYONG HWA DO (Tomari-te)

Pyong Hwa Do or “peaceful system way” is the name given to the introductory curriculum of Tsong Quo Chuen . It can also be defined as its subset, as it consists mainly of the Okinawa curriculum known as Ahnan Tomari-te

Before the current karate name (“Empty Hand”) became common on Okinawa Island – officially introduced in 1936 –  Tode (“Chinese Hand”) was used since the late 1700’s. Historically, Tode was born in the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom but in the early years of the Meiji empire (1868-1912), this small vassal state of China was absorbed by the Japanese empire and then transformed into the Okinawa prefecture. It was in Naha’s capital that in 1927, during an important martial arts demonstration, three new terms were coined: Shuri-te, Tomari-te and Naha-te. The choice to add the name of three Okinawan places such as Shuri, Tomari and Naha to term Te (“hand”, understood as “technique”) was born from the need to assign a different origin to various fighting traditions that until then identified China as the origin of these practices. It must be understood that this occurred in the period between the two great wars, a time when the Japanese political climate was characterized by strong nationalism and anti-Chinese sentiment.

Regarding the formation of Tomari-te, even though the first Chinese fighting techniques came to the harbor village of Tomari in the second half of the 18th century by the noble Yara Lidao of Chatan (Chatan Yara) and Kanga Teruya of Shuri (Tode Sakugawa), and then continued in the early 1800’s by Gigo Uku and Kishin Teruya, both of Tomari, the true evolution of this tradition is due to the legacy left by a man from Ahnan to Kosaku Machimora (Matsumora) and his other friends. This took place in the middle of the 19th century mainly in the Tomari area. It should be noted that Ahnan was a suburb of Fuzhou, the capital of China’s Fujian province, and that from a historical and geographic point of view, Fuzhou was the only Chinese harbor open to merchant engagement with all foreign populations and hence very important for Okinawa since the end of the 14th century.

The specific history of Pyong Hwa Do begins with the arrival of Lao Leong, the man of Ahnan who came to Okinawa in the middle of the 19th century. Though Gichin Funakoshi simply remembered this Chinese as the “shipwreck of Ahnan” and others as a sailor or pirate, he was indeed a Taoist monk. This identification problem is due to the discretion used by Lao Leong during his pilgrimage, for this reason he is often referred to as Ahnan, Ahn, Channan or Chinto.

The introductory martial curriculum of Tsong Quo Chuen taught by Lao Leong in Tomari village, Okinawa and called by us Pyong Hwa Do has come to us thanks to his student Kushubi and finally to the current head of the style, A.F. Walker. We are grateful to all of them and to the overwhelming effort to preserve this fighting style.

Lineage

Lignaggio
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Pyong Hwa Do curriculum

This is a high-level overview of the concepts that are covered in the Pyong Hwa Do curriculum. A more detailed curriculum is available to students, and is usually posted at individual schools.

Pyong Hwa Do (Peaceful System Way)

  1. Chong U (Chinese Forms)
  2. Tomari (Okinawan Forms)
  3. Waza (self-defense techniques)
  4. Hapkido (joint isolations)
  5. Kumite (sparring)
  6. Qi Gong (specific trainings for martial arts)
    – Iron shirt
    – Iron fist
    – Vibrating palm
    – Vibrating fist
    – Dim mak

 


YANG style TAI CHI CHUAN

Yang style Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) or “Grand ultimate style” is an internal martial art and our version comes from the Yang family.

The style was codified by Master Yang Fukui (1799-1872), better known by his public name Yang Luchan. Born from a Hebei peasant family, young Yang Luchan became a servant of a wealthy Chenjiagou family in Henan. Here, for his martial arts skills, Yang Luchan was trained first by Master Chen Changxing and then by Zhian Fa, a Taoist monk of Wudang, depositary of the original system created by Zhang San Feng (born in the 13th century). By blending the Tai Chi Chuan principles of the Chen family with Wudang’s original system, Yang Luchan developed his own style and his fame became such as to bring him to Beijing’s capital, where he became a well-known teacher.

Yang Luchan passed the teaching to his three sons: Yang Yi even said Yang Fenghou, dead young, Yang  Yu, said Ban Hou (1837-1892) and Yang Jian, said Yang Jianhou (1839-1917). The original form of Yang Luchan has come whole to the present day through Yang Shaohou, son of Yang Jian. His brother Yang Chen Fu (1833-1936), however, received a more “softened” form since he was very weak. When he grew up, Yang Chenfu left Beijing to teach his art in Nanjing, Shanghai, Hankou, Hangzhou and Canton. In Nanjing he became Head Coach of the Central Academy of Martial Arts and here he developed a form that simplified in three different moments.

The Yang style Tai Chi Chuan was taught at Massimo Braglia in the 90s by Master Paolo Bolaffio, in turn student of the Grandmaster Ho Xuxiao (1901-2004) and Gu Meisheng (1926-2003). Gu Meisheng learned from his teacher of literature and philosophy Yue Huan Zhi, who had learned in turn from Tung Ying-chieh (1898-1961), a disciple of Yang Chenfu.

 

 

 

 


WU style TAI CHI CHUAN

Wu style Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan) or “Grand ultimate style” is a soft internal art and our version comes from the Wu family.

The style was created by a Manchurian named Quan Yu (1834-1902). He later took on the Chinese family name of “Wu” to downplay his origins, as Manchurians weren’t too popular in China during the Qing dynasty. Therefore, he is also known as Wu Quan Yu. Quan Yu created the Wu style of Tai Chi Chuan by combining the Yang style he had learned from Yang Lu Chan with concepts from other arts he practiced. Quan Yu worked as a bodyguard in the Imperial palace, so as a result he learned several other styles. Most notably, he was well known as a “wrestler”.

The Wu style Tai Chi Chuan was taught to A.F. Walker in the 1960’s and 1970’s by one of his teacher’s friends. This man went by the name of Wu Chen Ik, but he didn’t reveal too much about his past. What we do know from what he said is that his grandfather was Quan Yu, and that he had a sister that also taught Tai Chi in California. He wasn’t even clear whether his father was Wu Jianquan (1870-1942), or if he was a descendant of a different child of Quan Yu’s.

Wu Chen Ik taught 3 different forms to A.F. Walker, one of which armed, affirming that the curriculum was complete. Although there are other weapon forms present in the Wu Jianquan lineage, it is likely that these came about later and were not created by Quan Yu himself.

 

Wu Taijiquan curriculum

Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan)
                Wu Taijiquan 189 Postures (long form)
                Wu Taijiquan 36 Postures (short form)
                Wu Taijiquan jiang (sword form)

Qi Gong
                Qi Gong marziale (seated, standing, moving)
                Qi Gong per la salute (seated, standing, moving)