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Thread: Zhang San Feng

  1. #1
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    Zhang San Feng

    Hi

    Shaolinquan is generally regarded as an external or "hard" martial art. Zhang San Feng, the founder of Wudan taijiquan, left the Shaolin monastery because he felt that the fighting techniques developed there had become too harsh and brute strength oriented. On Wudang Mountain, he developed a softer martial art.
    If the Shaolin arts have advanced qigong exercises such as Yi Jin Jing and 18 Lohan Hands, why would Zhang San Feng consider the Shaolin arts too external? According to what Sifu has said, Shaolin kungfu at an advanced level becomes internal.

  2. #2
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    Zhang San Feng, the founder of Wudan taijiquan, left the Shaolin monastery because he felt that the fighting techniques developed there had become too harsh and brute strength oriented.
    This is inaccurate. Most evidence suggests that Zhang San Feng graduated from the Shaolin Temple. I could be wrong, but I don't think there is any evidence that suggests that he left the temple in disgust.

    It is also inaccurate to say that the techniques of Shaolinquan are, or ever were, "harsh and brute strength oriented." These have never been characteristics of Shaolinquan.

    Furthermore, it is unlikely that Zhan San Feng called his art Taijiquan or even Wudang Taijiquan. He probably called it Wudangquan, or in modern terms, Wudang Kungfu.

    If the Shaolin arts have advanced qigong exercises such as Yi Jin Jing and 18 Lohan Hands, why would Zhang San Feng consider the Shaolin arts too external?
    The concept of internal/external didn't come until much later. I don't know of any evidence to support that Zhang San Feng thought Shaolinquan was "too external."

    The fact that Zhang San Feng was able to create an art based heavily on internal principles is a testimony to the internal training he received at Shaolin. If he had not been exposed to high-level internal training, he could not have created an art as profound as Taijiquan.

    Also, remember that inventing "new" styles was not an unusual thing at the time. Many masters did this, some more successfully than others. Bai Yi Feng (Wuzuquan) and Yu Fei (Xingyiquan) are examples of other Kungfu geniuses who invented "new" styles.

    Of course, these styles were not actually "new" in the sense that they were created from scratch. Taijiquan, Wuzuquan, and Xingyiquan evolved from Shaolinquan, which in turn evolved over centuries inside the Temple.

    According to what Sifu has said, Shaolin kungfu at an advanced level becomes internal.
    Even at the beginner levels, it is internal. At the advanced levels, Shaolinquan may become "softer." Do not confuse internal with soft. They are not the same.
    Last edited by Antonius; 31st March 2003 at 09:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Antonius.

    Stephen

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