Erle Montaigue has been teaching Tai Chi since 1975 and has been learning since 1967. He has had the fortune to have had the very best of direct lineage Chinese teachers and in 1985 was the first Westerner to be given the degree of Master directly from China.
Erle is often a controversial figure, only teaching the original long forms that were invented hundreds of years ago and never succumbing to the more modern and mainly American shortened versions of the art. His some 20 books and 271 video titles now published worldwide have helped thousands to gain the great healing benefits of this great healing art.
Erle is the head of the World Taiji Boxing Association which boasts schools in some 35 countries.
Ben and Eli Montaigue have been learning with their Father since they were 6 years old and are now accredited teachers with the WTBA and are Erle’s personal representatives in his system of Tai Chi ch’uan.
Tai Chi ch’uan or Taijiquan, to use the Pinyin way of spelling, means Supreme Ultimate Fist or Boxing which gives a lead as to the origins of Tai Chi as one of the world’s most deadly fighting systems. However, it is also one of the greatest movement therapies working not only upon the skeletal and muscular system but also upon the internal energy system of the body. Tai Chi brings the body back to a more balanced state thus helping the practitioner to either lose weight or gain in, whatever they need to do.
Every organ in the body is bathed in live giving energy or ‘Qi (ch’i)’ as the Chinese call it, via the 12 main energy channels which pass through every major organ in the body.
The type of Tai Chi that you will be learning is the Yang Style as invented by Yang Cheng-fu back in the early 1900’s, the grandson of Yang Lu-ch’an, the man who invented the Yang Style of Tai Chi. This form is the all slow moving form without the very explosive and fast movements of the Old Yang style. So it is good for anyone wishing to gain better health. In fact, the reason that yang Cheng-fu invented this art was so that older, ailing and any people could gain the great benefits of the art without losing the original essence of the art.
All you have to do is a few slow movements with steps at each lesson and slowly we will build it up until you are eventually able to perform the whole long form, gaining the great benefits to your health.
Later, we will begin teaching you the Old Style of Yang or the 'Yang Lu-ch'an' form. This form was the original and ONLY original Yang style Tai Chi and was invented by Yang Lu-ch'an who was the great grandfather of Yang Cheng-fu and Yang Shou-hou. Our particular style comes from Yang Shou-hou the brother of Cheng-fu and Shou-hou never changed his Grandfather's system.
A Complete System:
There is a Tai Chi Classic Saying: Tai Chi must have the 3 areas. Those three areas are: 'To Gather the Qi and Nurture it': 'To Balance the Qi and Turn it into Jing': And 'To Learn How to Express the Qi/Jing or to Release it':
In order for a Tai Chi system to be whole and completely balanced the form must have all three areas or it must be combined with other areas and training methods in order to make it whole. To Gather the Qi we use the slow and flowing movements: ToBalance the Qi we use the faster types of movements: To Release the Qi we use Fa-Jing or explosive energy movements. The Old style has all three areas built into the basic foundation form. However, the Yang Cheng-fu form and all other 'all slow moving forms' do not. So with these forms we must add to them the faster, more explosive forms of Pauchui and San-Sau and Push Hands.
We do add all of these areas to the Old Style as well as it just makes for an even more balanced and whole system and teaches us how to use the Qi/Jing for fighting or for healing.
The Twelve Yang Family Secret Rings (or houses)
People often wonder how it is that they will ever be able to use Tai Chi for self defence using what their teacher has taught them. Other systems even go so far as to prop their styles with hard style techniques such as western boxing or even kick boxing etc. The reason is they have never stayed long enough to learn the secret 'houses' of Tai Chi which will take the student into the real fighting and healing areas, the advanced areas. These 12 'Rings' were only ever taught to the inside group or family members. And it's interesting that those who either never learnt them or who gave them up or forgot them, died very sickly deaths!
The first 'Ring' involves learning the Form at its higher levels, which I have alluded to in my own teachings and DVD videos. However, even I have held back on some areas such as 'Rolling Thunder' Form! This form is taught to students in the 2nd House. The 3rd House/Ring we learn about REAL push hands and not the version that was put out to simply keep outsiders off the real track! Here we learn how to fight adhering to all of the internal classics and not having to rely upon our physical strength to win. Why is it that when you see people doing push hands, it looks like a wrestling match? this is because they are still doing the low wide stances taught by the Yangs in error to put outsiders off the scent!
In REAL push hands, there is very little body movement, just the same as in fighting, we stick to the principle of 4 Oz moves 4000 lbs. And you cannot do that using 'normal push hands' methods.
I will be slowly but surely putting all 12 of the Secret Rings down onto DVD so that all will be able to gain the great benefits of training in teh secret house of Yang.
Photo No. 1 shows the 'Normal Way' of Push hands, notice how far each practitioner is away from each other, and how far each leads each other into each other before re-attacking thus giving the attacker a huge amount of time to figure out what is happening and then to re-attack!
Photos No. 2a and 2b shows the very small stance and minute movements of REAL push hands. As soon as the opponent's weight is felt, it is diverted and then a devastating re-attack is launched thus giving the attacker no time to retaliate. the arms do not move any more than an inch!