As many of you may know, there are many in this business who say that Erle Montaigue made up his whole system!! I always tell them that I am flattered to think that they think that I am a bloody genius! The following is about yet another pompous ass Tai Chi "person" .. in a little fancy suit!!, written to me by one of our students in the WTBA Steve Morris. As I age, I am even beginning to feel sorry for such people as they will never experience the joys of REAL taijiquan at an advanced level. They will always stay with the big open moves, mostly all slow and never know what it's all about. But then I always say that "everyone finds the teacher they DESERVE".
Recently I attended a charity Tai Chi event. All local instructors and their students would perform Tai Chi and link up with thousands of other instructors throughout the world at the certain time and perform Tai Chi. I went alone and performed the Yang Cheng Fu form as did perhaps 75% of the people at the same venue. One instructor came up to me after and said that he thought my form was very good but I made a fundamental mistake. My mistake was I should always bring the weight back to my rear leg before turning the front leg out 45 degrees. So for example, Brush Knee Twist Step, sit back first, toe out the front foot then proceed forward. I told him that my teacher had taught me martial value was lost when sitting back and the way I performed it was correct. He of course asked who my teacher was and I said “Erle Montaigue” however my T-Shirt, with your picture on it should have given it away to him. He then replied that you had made that change yourself and it was not correct.
Although tempted to smash him in the face, I just laughed and said that I trust my teacher and have no interest in changing my method. He said that he had trained with Yang Zhendou and he even moves his weight back, as did Cheng Man Ching. I told him that Yang Zhendou, was a very healthy eighty year old man but his Tai Chi was watered down. As for Cheng, he never reached the heights of Cheng Fu and his Tai Chi was watered down even more. We agreed to differ.
Last night, whilst reading a book by Fu Zongwen, he writes that although the long form is taught in recent times with weight moving backwards before toeing out the lead foot, traditional Yang Taijiquan, and they way Cheng Fu taught him, was that the foot toes out without any weight shifting. In other words, they way YOU bloody teach the thing. So there you have it mate. Although a bit long winded, I thought I’d just show you an example of yet another Erle Montaigue “made up” detail which is clearly proven to be correct. Fu Zongwen trained with Cheng Fu for over twenty years so he should bloody well know....