For years now, in fact since 1983 I have been teaching a style of Taijiquan that was contrary to the normal slow moving form and more common form of Yang Cheng-fu. I do teach the Chen Wei-ming version of Yang Cheng-fu's form (Yang changed his style three times), however, my main style is the Old Yang style of Yang Lu-ch'an as taught by Yang Shou-hou, the brother of Yang Cheng-fu. Shou-hou did not change his Father's style as did Yang Cheng-fu. Hence the style of Yang Shou-hou remained the Original Yang Style. However, it was not proliferated as was the Yang Cheng-fu form as Yang Shou-hou only had around three main students, one of whom was my instructor, Chang Yiu-chun and one of whom was his classmate, Chen Pan-ling.
Yang Cheng-fu saw a need for all people regardless of age and health to be able to gain the great health benefits that Taijiquan had to offer so he set about changing what he was originally taught by his Father, Yang Kin-hou so that all of the original leaping and fa-jing (explosive energy) moves were left out. When he had finished, he had invented what we now know as Taijiquan, the all slow moving form that most people practice. It was said that time, that this form could not be changed any more as Cheng-fu changed it only enough leaving in the essential healing essence of Taijiquan. IN one of Yang Cheng-fu's books written by Chen Wei-ming, he actually states that to change this form any further would bring disaster! And of course this has happened with Taijiquan being derided my most other martial artists since the early 60's in the USA and Australia.
Others came along after Yang Cheng-fu and changed the form further leaving out all of the repeated and most important movements leaving only a shell of the original form with almost no healing or martial benefits! These are the so-called 'short forms'.
For years, people all over the world were mortified that some Australian would begin teaching the Old Yang Style of Yang Lu-ch'an! They even went so far as to say that I invented it! Even so-called masters from Hong Kong were saying this in order to hide the original form from anyone other than their own families, or that they simply did not want to admit that there was something else out there that they did not know.
Then, gradually small pieces of information began to surface which pointed to something other than the Yang Cheng-fu version of the Yang style, like in the Douglas Wile book, "Taiji Touchstones' where he makes comment of the fact that often people would see Cheng-fu performing a style other than his invented style which included fa-jing moves and leaps etc and was done much faster.
But still they kept saying that I invented my own system. Often I would even question myself and had to keep telling myself that I did indeed learn it and it was not all a dream!
Gradually snippets of information began to surface of a style of Taijiquan that had all of the ingredients of the Old yang Style that I had been taught, but these were few and far between and usually from China or Taiwan and difficult to purchase, .. until now!
Recently a book and wall chart has been published in the USA using pictures taken in 1953 of Mr. Chen Pan-ling, classmate of my teacher, Chang Yiu-chun. The Book is called: "Chen Pan-ling's Original Tai Chi Ch'uan Textbook" One of Mr. Chen's main students, 82 year old Mr. Chang has published these old photos of Chen performing what amounts to the closest you will find from any Old Chinese master performing the Old Yang Style. it is almost the same as what I was taught by Chang Yiu-chun! Because Chen Pan-ling had other teachers, he has added some other movements and left out others, but this form essentially remains the same as what I was taught.
So how could Erle Montaigue have invented this form when I was only 4 years old? The book is a very well printed and published hard cover book with an accompanying wall chart of several pieces and is available from plumpub.com Click Here