Emperor’s Long Fist
Emperor’s Long Fist Training:
My second form of martial arts I learned was Emperor’s Long Fist, which was taught under the instruction of Tuhon Rick Ward at the Blue Ridge Kung-fu Arnis Academy in Boone, N.C., while also training in Sil-lum Kung-fu. My highest sash I achieved was the orange sash. If I had not chosen to move, I would still be there to this day and probably have a 2nd degree black sash in ELF by now.
Chao Kuang-yin, who was the founder and ruler of the Sung Dynasty from 960 – 976 AD, is credited to be the first one in Chinese history to comprehensively collect and document all available manuscripts on the subject of martial arts, especially those from the Shao Lin Temple. He kept the documents hidden in a library in a tower behind the Temple, until the tower was later destroyed and the records scattered.
Briefly afterwards, Emperor Sun Tai-tzu created his own system of martial arts called tai tzu chang chuan,which means ancestor’s long fist, which includes all aspects of tai chi, hsing yi, and ba kua (bagua). Tai tzu chang chuan was perfected in 960 and published in journals in 984.
The Chao family inherited this system, for they were the only ones who had access to this art, because they possessed the basic requirements of good moral character, sincere spirit of inquiry, and the status of being next in line to inherit the legacy.
Contrary to popular belief Chang San Feng is not the founder of Tai Chi, as historical documents record the birth of Chao Kuang-yin during 927 and the recorded birth of Chang San Feng is 1247. In 1618 General Chen Wang Ting studied tai tzu chang chuan, but he abandoned the form because of its length but kept the essence, therefore calling this new art chen tai chi chuan. In 1799 Yang Lew Shen created the yang style of tai chi and passed it on to Yang Cheng Fu in 1833, whose forms became known as tai chi. Grandmaster and inheritor Chao Yuh Feng is the 35th generation descendant and the keeper of the books on tai tzu chang chuan. He is the last direct descendant of the founder and first Emperor of the Sung Dynasty, Chao Kuang-yin.
* (NOTE: this brief history comes from my martial art handbook on Emperor’s Long Fist, provided by Tuhon Rick Ward in 2002).
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