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Nota Founder : Wu Yi-hui

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Contacts, exchanges, and influences : verified lineage creations.

Essay from Li Dao-Lee who followed Wu for more than 25 years :
Msr Lee accurately tells the true history of teachers and successorship.

History of LiuHe BaFa 六合八法拳, Wu Yi-hui 吳翼翬 by Li Dao-li 李道立

我和吳翼翬先師相處二十五年的回憶 (李道立)

先師吳 翼翬字一非,別號逸叟,遼寧省鐵嶺人,寄居北京,書香門第,官家後裔,崇師尊道,精書工畫,身懷絕技,不為人知,亦不求人知,其為人之高風,實堪敬佩。 彈指先師逝世已逾二十五年,每懷薰陶之教,備與春風之思。爰將先師事蹟,略述一二,以誌紀念。

鐵嶺吳翼翬太夫子 

  先師在1895年(光緒二十一年)隨父宦游汴梁,次年冬開始練習拳術“韋馱功”、“三盤十二勢”、“心意六合八法拳”及劍、刀、槍、棍等。師祖陳光 第,閻國興,陳鶴侶,此三位俱為華嶽希夷門心意法之弟子。 1905年先師從原讀學堂考入保定北洋武備學堂,畢業後,曾在1915年12月15日滇桂軍閥時代總督岺春煊部下,擔任軍事參謀之職。

1924-1932年先師先後在上海復旦中學、徐匯中學擔任國文和體育教師。

1933年上海八仙橋基督教青年會國術組教授八卦形意拳的老師趙道新因父病逝世,回天津奔喪,推薦他的老師,即先師來接替,擔任“心意六合八法拳”總 指導,當時我和周斯豪同志為義務指導,協助教課,場地在青年會九樓,學員大都是青年會會員,國術組組長是畢子陛先生。此時我與先師相處,時得教益。

1936年中央國術館館長張之江慕先師之名,邀請先師去南京中央國術館擔任教務處處長兼編教委員會主任。當時館中有二位優秀學員,一名張文廣,一名蔣浩泉,皆受先師教導,現俱名揚武林,成為武術名家,體育院教授。

1937年8月13日中日戰事爆發,南京國術館奉命撤離,遷往昆明,先師則寄居桂林水東門水東街55號,又兼任資源委員會中央機器廠專員之職,在當地 仍傳授心意六合八法拳,培養後進為樂事。為顯揚拳法淵源,先師親筆書寫陳搏祖師事蹟並雇石匠刻石碑,豎立在桂林山上,以留紀念。現當地政府很重視此碑,作 為寶貴文物,重點保護。

1945年抗戰勝利日本投降,先師由桂林返回上海,為重振拳事與我商談後,仍沒忘六合八法拳術班,當時,梁子鵬先生由我引見並邀請他擔任組長,借揚子飯店舞廳為練拳場地,當時學員多數是廣東籍。

梁子鵬先生精螳螂拳和鷹爪拳,抗戰期間我倆1939年相識在南京路大陸商場樓上精武體育會。會址和我辦公處離得很近,公餘之暇即往場地鍛練六合八法拳 風,雨無阻,當時梁君一見之下,頗感興趣,向我提出要求學習六合八法拳全部套路,因此成為摯友,勝利後又得先師訓導和深造,頗得其中奧妙。

1946年7月梁子鵬先生因香港東方紗廠駐滬辦事處以工作需要調他往香港工作。他公餘之暇仍廣泛傳授六合八琺拳,深得港地人士信服,聲譽顯著。嗣聞他於1947年已歸道山。他的亡故,對六合八法拳是莫大損失,我亦損失一位良友,至今追懷,猶感痛惜。

1947年先師接到中央機器廠領導通知,於二月十九日重回天津復職,業餘時仍熱情傳授六合八法拳,學員眾多頗得好譽。

1949年上海解放,先師再來上海,由我介紹到上海電力公司工會俱樂部教授六合八法拳。陳文良師兄亦介紹先師到江寧區俱樂部教長拳,他因此就安居在滬。

解放初期另有一批舊同學要求先師組織了私人學習班,其中有一位粵籍學員名陳楚帆 (CYY First Name)在上海虯江路開設酒店,極仰慕先師,托姜容樵,張之江兩位老前輩引薦拜師為弟子。他勤學苦練,不負先師之訓教,深得六合八法之奧秘。

1952年陳楚帆經營的酒店 (Wine factory),受經濟約束,停止營業,申請遷往香港經商。居港之後,又將所學的六合八法拳,傳遍港、澳、新加坡南洋各地,備受好評,馳 譽海外之聲,可與梁子鵬並駕齊驅,同時將先師秘傳編著成書,筆名亦人,暢銷國外,為民族爭光,實為難得,可惜1982年噩耗傳來,他在港途中,不幸遭車 禍,重傷不治身亡,令人聞之婉惜不己。至此拳術界又失了一顆紅星,亦希夷門之不幸。

1953年先師因飲酒過量引起頭眩病,又遇醫者不慎針灸誤刺,致先師罹成癱瘓,不能坐立臥床達五年之久,影響了他的生活收入,此時先師的心情痛苦,匪言可喻。

1957年先師蒙黨的關懷,安排他加入文史館為館員,生活得到改善。

1958年先師終因長期臥床,病情悪化,不幸三月二十九日在長寧路寓所與世長辭,享年七十有三。對拳術界實屬不可彌外的損失。緬懷先師,無限悲惻。

  所喜師母今尚清健,遺一子三女,都已成家為國家優秀工作人員,這也可告慰先師於泉下。

  以上略述是我與先師相處廿五年(1933-1958年)之簡況,其中情節,因時隔多年難免遺漏,在1933年之前先師的身世情況已在香港出版的《六合八法拳》一書中詳細登載恕不贅述。

  自先師逝世迄今我對於拳法練習不曾間斷,我的目的主要是鍛練身體以娛晚年。其次以拳交友,追求先進,並幫助愛好此道者普遍提高,使後續有人。唯我練拳,五十九年貢獻未著,深覺光陰虛度,愧對知音,尚希愛我者多多指教不勝欣幸。

一九八五年八月一日  1985 August 1
李道立謹述  Li Dao-li 'wrote' the above

LHBF and Xi-Yi Sect meets LH8 : 
Wu Yi-hui is known to have learned a Shaolin related boxing style called variously
as Lu Hong Ba Shi 呂紅八勢拳 or simply as Lu Hong Boxing 呂紅拳 .
   In itself this is not a surprise and technically it would not matter which learning came first, the patterns of LHBF or those of LH8.  What is significant is that the 'final' product of Wu, the Nanjing-66 form series of two 33-form parts does show the imprinting of the Lu Hong patterns. Thus, even if a student where to only learn the 66-form series, they would also have learned the embedded LH8 patterns.
 
   Some of the possible chronolgies that could exit have been examined which would result in a detailed event history as follows : 

0>Fan Gu Guo     范固國, a match-maker, introducing Wu to teachers.
1>Yan Guo-xing ---   閻國興 -from Henan ===>> 華嶽希夷門 Chen-Xi-Yi sect
    Old Official Street (Laoguan Jie 老官街). Beijing
2>Chen Guang-di ---  陳光第 -from Hebei ===>> 華嶽希夷門 Chen-Xi-Yi sect
  [ Song Qing Wen 宋清文 -from Kaifeng taught >>> 呂紅八勢 Lu Hong Fist
3> Chen He-lu   ---    陳鶴侣 -from Beijing ===>>心意六合八法拳

Collective teachings  >>>>to Wu Yi -hui  吴翼翚 
Symbolically as :  [ 華嶽希夷門 +  心意六合八法 + 呂紅八勢 ]
華嶽 心意 六合八法   HuaYo=HwaYu 'central ideas' + LiuHe BaFa-boxing 
[ note that taoist XiYi  希夷 phonetically mimics the xinyi- 心意 principles ]
 
Thus, although currently, this martial exercise is simply called 'LHBF' its' content
is derived from the knowledge of prior teachers knowledge:
華嶽希夷門   [ Fan Gu-guo and Chen Guang-di ] combined with
心意六合八法拳 [ Chen He-lu ] and also aspects of
呂紅八勢 Lu Hong Ba Shi, Lu Hong's 8 innate potentials
[ Comment: Some students/ teachers insist that the verbose
     華嶽希夷門心意六合八法拳
is the 'only' 'school' name that should be 'correctly' used; which few use.  As a lengthy history name it does carry much information ]
 
Unfortunately, even with a longer name that gives two namings for two aspects of the exercise, this does not offer the inputs that went into them; this seems to be derivations of TaiZu's 'Chang Quan (太祖长拳, Long Boxing) of the Song Dynasty and possible aspects of non-Shaolin ...LiuHe 六合拳 and BaFa 八法拳. This aspect has received some attention by some notable martial scholars, who strongly noted the absorption of prior martial arts into the later Chen Village exercises.

A variant of Tai-zu principles 'rocks the boat' :
   In the martial forum: rumsoakedfist.org, Dr. Kenneth Fish unveils the discovery of a long surmised buried history [30 Aug 2011, Rocking the boat on LHBF]
 
" I was in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, Hebei, for a bit about a week ago. The town, called duliu, is about an hour and change from Tianjin. Its very well known for tough martial artists, and a very complete kind of Tongbei, called Duliu Taizu Tongbei-quan
(The Taizu is not the same as the Song-taizu - it is a local term referring to this kind of Tongbei ) martial arts family.
 
[ References:
 
" I was introduced to one of the top people in the area, and visited him and the teacher is my age, and there were a couple of his elder classmates too - they also demonstrated a bit, and were spry and powerful in their 70's."

"Things took a turn for the unexpected late in the day - we were watching some films that they had made of the system, and some footage of other systems was on the disc as well - Luhong Bashi, Bafa Quan, and Liuhe Quan, all native to the general area. "

"I was very interested in what I saw - the BaFa Quan and the LiuHe Quan (not the Shaolin Temple Liuhe)  [ Non-shaolin  非少林拳: 非少林六合拳 ,  非少林心意六合拳,   非少林八法拳 ] had several very long forms - and they bore a very strong resemblance to major sections of LHBF - with very similar mechanics, but with much more visible force and exertion, like old style Lohan or Weito Shaolin. (There was also some Erlang Quan, but thats another story).

"So I asked about the Bafa Quan and the Liuhe Quan - and this was what I was told (which, btw, is consistent with both Wu Yihui's writings and the historical research done on LHBF by the local government) -

"These are systems that have been practiced in this area for a long time - probably going back to late Ming or early Qing dynasty. They are well known here and throughout Hebei."

"That teacher (indicating a gent on the CD) is the grandson of one of Wu Yihui's teachers." [Comment: his son, Wu Yinghua 吴英华 ; VCD by Guangzhou Beauty.]

"Yes, we know about Wu Yihui and LHBF. LHBF was developed by Wu Yihui and his teachers. It was developed from these two systems, and other things that Wu Yihui learned " 

          六合八法 这个拳 是由 六合拳和八法拳 这两个拳法变化出来的

"We don't know where the whole Daoist myth came from - its a myth. This was developed here (meaning rural Hebei), and Wu Yihui was the person who developed and spread it."

"Which, as far as I am concerned, makes a hell of a lot more sense than the general LHBF mythology we are all familiar with - and it explains why the system seems to have changed over time while Wu Yihui was still alive and teaching - he was stll working on it and changing it throughout his life."

"Duliu Tongbei does not resemble what most people think of as Tongbei - it is not an "ape system". The Tongbei still refers to power transmitted through the back and into the limbs (which is part of what I was talking about in terms of mechanics).

"As for Wu having a teacher for each of the separate systems - Wu said as much in his writings. When I get back to the States I will translate and post what Wu had to say about Lu Hong Ba Shi and his various teachers.

"The LiuHe Quan had a very long form that, properly practiced, takes about an hour to run through. There were a lot of succesions of movements that looked like they had been taken from both parts of what you are calling the Zuji Quan.

"Wu also had a teacher who only taught San Pan Shi Er Shi. [ Comment: Wu only had one teacher (of his 3 Liuhebafa teachers) who taught San Pan Shi Er Shi. That was Yan Guo Xing  閻國興.]

"The koujue (5 character secrets and rhymes of the system) are very much like the ones of the Liu He and Ba Fa systems, and these are fairly common in type and content throughout northern systems."

"...on the Tongbei system - Duliu Tongbei and Hongdong Tongbei are not related to Baiyuan, Wuxing, Qi Jia, or Ruyi Tongbei - those are 'ape movement' based systems and are basically similar in many respects, and share a common origin. Duliu Tongbei is more like "old" Shaolin - training power from body and kua, involving the legs, transmitted and in part generated from the spine and deep core muscles. The people I saw let me touch their chests, back, and legs as they demonstrated some of the movements - and also demonstrated some things on me - I was very pleasantly surprised to feel precisely what I know from all of my previous training was there in terms of mechanics - both obvious and hidden. The same was true for the Liu He and Ba Fa techniques.

"As for the one hour long form - I asked "does anyone actually do that every day?" - "Nah, we practice it in sections- its broken up that way - sometimes we try to see how far we can go, but its gruelling. A couple of guys get through the whole thing a few times a week".

"For comparison, think Chen Taiji on steroids - all of these systems I saw in Duliu "grind out" the details of the movements as they practice - it was amazing to see one 72 year old do the forms with no less exertion than a 30 year old.

[ Comment: the township of  独流 Duliu in Hebei and its' developed variant of duliu taizu tongbei quan 独流太祖通背拳 with non-shaolin variants of BaFa Quan 八法拳 and LiuHe Quan 六合拳 is not entirely unexpected given the ambituity and mythology that is usually presented. ie. teacher Wu Yi-hui politely accepting the two names his teachers gave: 華嶽希夷門 +  心意六合八法 being place-myth cojoined to a theoretical-martial verse, HuaYue-XiYi-Sect + Core-Ideas LHBF. The liuhe- and the bafa-boxing have similarity but not equivalency to LHBF.  The corrected pinyin to traditional characters with separated concept-phrases becomes :
   六合八法  這個拳  是由  六合拳 和 八法拳  這兩個拳法  變化出來的

An adendum, on Tai-zu principles :
by Jarek Szymanski within 'rocking the boat'
"Mr Wu [Yinghua] is the main promoter of the system in Mainland China, head of the int'l LHBFQ research association with headquarters in Huainan in Anhui Province. He organizes regular meetings of LHBF pactitioners from all over the world in his hometown.
" Re Duliu Tongbei, it is a very respected system in Shanghai. Wu Maogui definitively has decent skill, and while his flavour reflects his Taiji experience under Chu Guiting, Wu's Tongbei comes from pure source - Mr Bao Guanyuan, by some considered the sole inheritor of the system. BTW Mr Qian Zhaohong, XYLHQ practitioner from Shanghai and known to some board members, is also Mr Bao's disciple.

"Mr Bao's main principle is that every practitioner should make the art his very own. One of the highest levels of the system is called -Dream Fighting" 梦打 - when one does not rely on thinking, just pure reflexes, when the art becomes deeply integrated into one's nervous system. On the road to that level personal character and preferences may influence the outside expression of the techniques, however the mechanics remains unchanged.

"BTW Duliu Tongbei is also know as Tongbei in 24 Postures (通背24势),
Integrated Tongbei (合一通背) or Lotus Leave Tongbei (荷叶通背).

References:
http://www.ChinaFromInside.com

Nanjing Academy Cross Overs :
Wu Yi-hui [Yik-fan],   吴翼翚  Dean of Studies, ( Liu Ho Ba Fa Founder )
Chiang Jung-ch'aio , 張之江  Director of Programs, ( Pa Kua, Hsing-I, Tai Chi ),
Ch'u Kuei-ting,  袺桂亭  ( Hsing-I, Pa Kua )
  The relationships and interactions among the martial teachers is significant as there will be a blending and mixing influence; sometimes beneficial and/ or not. It remains quite surprising that all other commentaries omit this topic.
   It is also known that Wu took an interest in a cluster of external boxing exercises [ believed to be of southern China ] and reworked to adapt them for use as a teaching aid. The exercises are NOT intrinsically part of nor necessary to the core of LHBF. Note that the emphasis of these exercises is upon swimming and coiling. Most teachers agree that aspects of these exercises are imbedded within the LHBF long form.
 
[ Comment:  the majority of 'LHBF' teachers may learn or do not teach these addended exercises due to their bulk of or their being considered as extraneous from the Nanjing Academy.]
龍虎戰   Long Hu Zhan - Dragon and Tiger Fighting
螫龍遊   Zhe Long You - Coiled Dragon Swimming
螫龍拳   Zhe Long Chuan - Coiled Dragon Fist
Note: each of these exercises are derived from prior external types that were reworked by Wu to render them a internal types. Their input is generally assumed to be from the Nanjing Academy period as they were not used by Wu before.

LHBF Founder.. meets Yi Chuan Founder : 
LHBF Founder Wu Yi-hui meets YQ founder Wang Xiang-zhai
at the Third All-China Wushu Game held in Hangzhou City, in 1928.
[ Note: both were military officers at the time, Republic of China]
 
Wu Yik Fai (1887-1958)  吳翼翬  <=> Wang Xiang-zhai Yik (1886-1963) 王薌齋
 
[ Note : Wu was 1yrs older and died 5yrs before Wang, the vital statistics do not show that Wu died earlier due to medical TCM malpractice.] 

  It is serendipity that these two teachers met, Wang already had a great reputation in the Beijing-Tianjin area as teacher, innovator, and referee.
[ Comment: There exists no evidence that they met earlier; both were in the military. Wang most likely saw a compatible exercise in the LHBF of Wu, respected Wu's knowledge, and was likely benevolent in promoting Wu's knowledge.]
 
   The Yi Quan of Wang offers a verifiable and simple foundation void of archaic theory;
   The 'flowing' or 'swimming' methodology of Wu brings a continuum which offered a 'dance' which in time was later developed into the Yi Quan. Wu's stepping and turning patterns were easily compatible with Wang's Yi Quan; Wang already had teacher friends in Tai Chi- [the Yang brothers Shaohou and Chengfu], but thought that it TaiChi- had become distorted by excess postures; Wang believed that xinyi-types of exercise should be done 'as Taichi-', and that the only usefullness of Chuang Zhang [Ba Gua-palms] was the Single and Double turnings.
 
References :
 

Student Exchange/ Enrichment : The Four Diamonds

The Four Top students of Yi Quan ( 意拳 ) founder Wang Xiang-Zhai 王薌 were called the Four Diamonds.  Perhaps out of respect or to enrich Wang's Yi-Quan creation they were sent to the Central Academy in Nanjing to study LHBF with Wu Yi-hui  吳翼翬 [Nanjing-66 LHBF]

1> Han Xing Qiao   韓星橋, [the older of the two Han Brothers]
2> Zhang Chang Xin  張長信,
3> Zhao Dao Xin   趙道新 [generally the best combat fighter]
4> Gao Zhen Dong   高振東. [more well-known for Gao style Ba Gua]

[ Note : teachers Liang Zhi-peng, Li Chung, and others also made the YQ-LHBF cross over and better integrations. Each of these teachers used the original Yiquan of Wang Xiang-zhai or his student Han Xing-yuan...not the YQ as formulated by the Yao Family. It also should be mentioned that Liang and Li Chung were both fully trained in three variations of LHBF which some have vindictively claimed were not...a 'school talk story' ]

Msr Sun Lu-Tang
sun_lu-tang-xingyi-.jpg

Teacher Exchanges : 
   Some may not be aware that teachers are also social and that during contacts do exchange ideas.  This is also true of teachers teaching together at the Nanjing Academy : Wu Yi-hui would socialize with celebrated teacher Sun Lu-tang 孫祿堂
[first named as Sun Fu-quan 孫福全, which he continued to use].
  Sun and Wu would meet almost daily for afternoon 'tea' and exchange ideas, each was academically oriented; many of the current classifications of Chinese martial arts derive from Sun.  Msr. Sun was open-minded and permitted Msr Wu to teach his knowledge of 'water' boxing to one of Sun's students; [my second teacher Msr Ho] the differences between Wu's various teachings become evident from this exchange.
[Comment: Msr Ho insisted that Wu only referred to the exercise as 'Shanghai water style boxing' and at no time did he say it was LiuHe BaFa or Nanjing boxing; Ho's own teacher, Msr. Sun more than likely knew of its' relation to the LHBF being taught by Wu but said nothing on this. The variation and modality differs greatly from the Nanjing-66 form series commonly seen.]
 
References:
Biography of Grandmaster Sun Lu Tang (1861-1933) Garofalo

Mr. Ho LingTze
ho-06.jpg
St.Marys' Park, San Francisco

 
Ho Ling-Tze~ Kuo Lien-Ying
While teaching in San Francisco, Mr. Ho was also a 'tea' friend of Msr Kuo. Khan Foxx was the student of both Msr. Ho 何星子 and Msr. Kuo Lien-ying 國鏈鄞, learning both adaptions of Yi Quan-Zhan Zhuang Qigong, Sun-style San-Ti-qigong, and Msr. Kuo's 'universal post' either his own or that from Wang Xiang-Zhai.  [Note: there are many other exercise cross-overs that have occured, ]http://waterspirit6x8.tripod.com/id45.html
 
[Comment : Msr. Kuo, after finishing his usual early morning class in Portsmouth Square would walk over to Msr.Ho's class in St.Mary's Park to view students and wonder about the variant of LiuHe BaFa that I would practice.]
 
   Msr Ho is reputed also to be the story source for the Deng Ming-Dao Wandering Taoist series: [also, of influence on StarWars themes; he was the closest in personality to a Master Yoda that I have met; thus the Starwars movie character was already well known to myself.]

Teacher animosity :
   Sun Lu-tang and Wang Xiang-zhai were the next-last and last students of GMsr.
Guo Yun-shen 郭雲深, Sun fully learning xinyi-boxing and Wang learning only the inner powers core which he futhered by study and combat with other teachers.
   Although it would seem that fellow classmates would be on social terms, a 'testing' exchange by one of Wang's students, Zhao Dao-Xin who was 40yrs Sun's junior...resulted in Sun losing the match, losing 'public esteem', and likely chilling his relationship with Wang. [ Comment: the possilility of Sun 'throwing' the match can also be considered.] The event brings a question about Wang's vanity and his motives for allowing this match or of Zhao doing it.
References :
[ Translated Andrzej Kaliscz ]
 

Late Changes : Lost Enrichments :
   Founder, Msr Wu Yi-hui, in the last 5 years of his life sought to addend his Nanjing-66 form styling with two changes :
 
> an 88 form series, was to have included additional forms
> a doubling of the existing 66-form Nanjing series to 132-forms to more fully exercise equally both right and left sides; the Nanjing-66 form tends to exercise the right side while attacking an opponents left and weaker side.
   Neither of these ambitions seems to have come together.

Choices : Lineages  
   It has been often speculated as to why founder Wu Yi-hui chose Chen Yik-yan as his lineage successor?  Although there were longer students with more knowledge and also those more capable in martial ability, the choice was Chen.
   An answer to this may have to do with China becoming 'red', communist, and their repression of traditions and martial exercises..and the imprisonment of teachers, ie Lui Gui-yao. Some teachers 'disappeared' from Red China's view, while others relocated to Hong Kong, which until recently was a 'free' colony of England. Both Liang Zhi-peng and Chen Yik-yan took refuge there. Liang was open to evolution of the style, Chen adhered to strict conservation. Thus, by this reasoning, Chen was chosen for his conservation of the style, and was free of red China while he remained in Hong Kong. Now that Chen is dead, the arguments continue for a school successor and there is also some pressure to direct this to themselves.  Some of the continuing argument eminate from Chen's attacks upon any 'break-away' teacher as being disloyal or as being only 'half learned' and unqualified to teach.


Note: there does exist a learning principle embedded here : Evolve or Perish..

References :
An alternative event chronology is listed at http://www.liuhebafachuan.com/history2.html
giving the input of styles and teachers that are significant.