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Chinese martial history should be parallel to Chinese history, yet it is as equally unreliable and misleading...by purpose.

   The history of Chinese martial arts exercise is too often spoiled by the artifacts of myth...and the subtifuge of claiming to be 'first' originator for an archaic, little known exercise [right of claim] or for blending diverse, but related in principle exercises to claim a 'first' creation.
Inputs :
Tongbei boxing  通背拳 a version being Taizu Tongbei quan 太祖 通背拳
Shao lin boxing  少林拳 : LiuHe- 六合拳 : BaFa- 八法拳
Non-Shao lin  非少林拳 :  非少林六合拳 :  非少林八法拳
Song Taizu Chang boxing  太祖長拳 or Long Boxing
[Chang Quan 長拳 or Long Boxing is a reference to the flowing power of the
Yangtze River 揚子江,  also known as the Chang Jiang 長江 or Long River.]
[Note: their is both a Song Dynasty Taizu and a Ming Dynasty Taizu sources.]
         華嶽 希夷  + 心意 六合八法 拳
   further addended with  三盤十二勢 San Pan Shi Er Shi,
   Three Levels of practice and Twelve Animation 'tendencies'.
Together, a preliminary 'mapping' could result in the following:
  Non-Shao-lin methods: Liu-he- and Ba-fa- Boxing
[ 非少林]  心意 六合 拳 ----\
[ 非少林]  心意 八法 拳 ----\ 心意 六合八法 拳

 Geological pinnacle center and Ideological source-locaton
華山 Mt. Hua  ----\
華嶽 門  Sect  ----\ 華嶽 希夷
 Notable person and symbolic head master
陳博 Chen of Bo=Chen Tuan  陳摶  ----\
希夷 Xi-Yi- Master 先生 ---------------------\
希夷 門 [Chen] Xi-Yi Sect -------------------\
  Chen Family martial exercise [Chen jia guo chuan] has been well researched 
as a composite of sources: Tong Bei- and Shao-lin-related boxing.
  LHBF similarly, as seen with its extended name, 華嶽希夷門心意六合八法拳,
also contains aspects of both Tong Bei- and Shao-lin related boxing.
   Hua Yue-[Chen] XiYi-Sect cojoined with central-Ideas of LiuHe-and-BaFa-boxing
can also be shown to utilize the same and similar martial principles...and a shared history.
  Both the Tai Zu-'long'-boxing and Tong Bei-boxing and 'LiuHe BaFa' make claim of Song Dynasty philosopher Chen Tuan as their founder; this I believe is due to simple confusion between Emperor Tai Zu's -martial creation and the esoteric, multiple namings of  Chen Tuan. Chen has no bonefide martial exercise in fact and is also not registered in the Song Dynastys' history.
   The so-called [Chen] XiYi-Sect of Taoism [founded in honor of Chen Tuan] also has no known martial exercises.
Note: Chen Tuan XiYi- is not a part of the later [Chen] XiYi-Sect of taoism.
   The concept that LHBF is 'water' style would be correct in principle. It seems however that very, very few teachers practice 'LHBF' according to these principes.
The majority of LHBF teacher fall back upon their tai-chi-like and xing-yi-like martial arts to interpret LHBF which is an inaccurate interpretation.
Many teachers do adhere to the 'through the back' spinal flexing associated with the Tong Bei boxing which is recorded in the five-word verses document. However, it could be questioned as to the need of it.
   Comparison of earlier 'taosit' philosophical concepts with water has tended to make for a taoist-water flowing dialectic which is misleading and usually steers off in a quasi-taoist alchemy-religion direction. Another error.
  The usual statement that LHBF is the 'fourth' internal martial arts exercises [after Tai-chi-, xinyi-, or bagua-] is inaccurate. The IMA3 core exercises now used are principle standards [and quite varied in forms] the LHBF exercise includes them all. But, it seems older in being derived from a non-Shaolin version of Taizu-chang-and Tong-Bei-. Thus, the numerical ordering of 1, 2, 3. ..becomes meaningless. Chen jia gou boxing [now called Chen tai-chi-] also is derived from Tong-Bei- and Shaolin-boxing sets and principles. As some people are fond of refering to LHBF as the 'oldest' of IMA's, they may or if they wish, refer to it as number zero, occuring, before most others, but this would be unprovable. Furthermore, it would require better definitive characteristics for the basic 3-IMA's as each is a matrix of prior martial forms and principles; also many 'external' martial exercises can be adjusted to better suit innate structual dynamics rendering them 'internal'.
   The collective 'tai chi-' exercise-principles is now diversified into numerous stylings..which if not named 'tai chi' would already be disassociated. There is also the little known aspect..that the now called 'ba gua' circling palms is not unique as introduced by Dong Hai-chuan. Msr Yin Fu, 尹福  (1842-1911). a student of Dong noted that circling practices can also be found to be a part of advanced Wudang 'tai-chi-boxing'..a fact recorded  Msr. Yin Fu in his document on the
Si Xian Boxing, 一原 四象拳 'One Source Four Images'.

A Rocking Discovery: 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.  Teacher Wu Yi-hui most politely accepted  the two names [representing two lineages] of his three teachers gave:
        華嶽希夷門 +  心意六合八法 拳
being a place-myth cojoined to a XiYi- neoTaoist Sect and the theoretical-martial verses formed from two school styles: LiuHe- and BaFa-boxing.  Tong Bei- and LiuHe Zi-ran-men 'natural style' boxing 六合自然門功夫 both have verse similarlity.
  The liuhe- and the bafa-boxing have similarity but not equivalency to LHBF and it is likely that upon being viewed, ideas of LiuHe-xingyi- and BaFa-boxing may come to mind.  The pinyin corrected to traditional characters with separated concept-phrases becomes [for clafity] :

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     

The exercise formulated by Wu Yi-hui, the Nanjing-66 form series, includes aspects of LuHong BaShi 呂紅八勢 for which Wu was the lineage holder; this added aspect also contributes to differentiated the Nanjing-66 styling from the 96- and 104-form series practiced elsewhere. The Northern Shandong Style : 96-form,  九十六  and the Southern Henan Style : 104-form, 一百零四.


>The Rosetta Stone of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts
by Salvatore Canzonieri
   "The movements of each set match not only in sequence of movements but by their functional mechanics as well. Each column, from left to right, goes further back in time. All Chen and post Chen TJQ sets are from after the 1600s AD. The Shaolin sets are said to go further back to the Ming Dynasty at the latest and to the Song, Tang, Sui, and Liang Dynasty times at the earliest and were used by both their martial and religious monks for health and self defense. The Tong Bei material has origins much further back to the Warring States time period, but was mostly used during the Sung, Tang, Sui, and Liang Dynasty eras by the military in the Shanxi and Henan province areas, where Shaolin and TJQ was later developed.  Clearly these TJQ sets are derived from Shaolin sets, which in turn are derived from Tong Bei material."
>Chen village taichi boxing by Salvatore Canzonieri
Hidden Tai Tzu Chang Quan Roots of Chen Taiji Quan
The Hidden Song Taizu Chang Quan Roots of Chen Taiji
>Brief Analysis of Chen Family Boxing Manuals by Jarek Szymanski
   "After examining the Chen clan writings and comparing them with "Qi Jiguang's Boxing Canon" and "Taizu Xia Nan Tang", Tang Hao found out that twenty nine postures of "Long-range Boxing" can be found in "Qi Jiguang's Boxing Canon" and eleven in "Taizu Xia Nan Tang"; for "Cannon Boxing" and five sets of "Thirteen Postures", twenty can be found in "Qi Jiguang's Boxing Canon" and nine in "Taizu Xia Nan Tang".
   Hence Tang Hao suspected that "Taizu Xia Nan Tang" was, together with "Qi Jiguang's Boxing Canon", the basis for Chen clan empty hand martial art. In Tang's opinion all other techniques were created by Chen Wangting, excluding spear and staff (which, according to "Wenxiu Version", were not original Chen techniques)." 
   "Tai Zu is another name for Zhao Kuangyin (927-976), first emperor of Song Dynasty, traditionally considered to be the creator of Taizu Long-range Boxing. Qi Jiguang in his "New Book of Effective Techniques" mentions "Song dynasty Taizu had Long-range Boxing in Thirty Two Postures"; He Liangchen in "Records on Tactics" (Zhen Ji) includes similar note, but mentions thirty six postures instead of thirty two; Tang Shunzhi in his "Book on Martial Arts" (Wu Pian) says "Zhao Taizu Long-range boxing uses many kicks".
> Rocking the boat on LHBF : ..A variant of Tai-zu principles
   In the martial forum: http://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 Tongbeiquan  (The Taizu is not the same as the Songtaizu - it is a local term referring to this kind of Tongbei ) martial arts family.

"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
[ Serial translation via www.mdbg.net : [manually cut/ paste characters]
Literally: LHBF is a blend of LiuHe- and BaFa-boxing ...truely]
   "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."
   "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).

 A history listing for reference :
Earliest 'documented' proto-'tai-chi'-like exercises :
  Claimant martial exercises,with characteristics of rou 軟 'soft' or ruan 软 flexible
[best being together]; or as a metaphor, mian 绵 'cotton' which can also imply 'incessant'. This leads to a 'unbroken' 'linked' boxing series. 联/连 lian,  to join, repeatedly in succession one after another.
  Other symbols: 朴 pú ( n. ) uncarved wood, symbolic of original nature of man (Taoist); flowing water 水 shui, flowing continuum, self renewing, innate intelligence.
  Older formulations for martial exercise were more often called shih 勢 rather than
chuan [quan] 拳 'fist' or palming.
  Early observations of 'patterns' as paradigms of heaven, philosophically linked to
'best' earthly mimicry.   The Tai-Chi- 太極圖 patterns/ polarities and their
three-fold relations as the ba-gua [pa-kua] triplet 八卦圖 patterns.  The opposites relations of wu-chi was linked to the Tai-Chi-.  There application as principles to  martial applications is very recent, 1800-1900s, and is misleading; resulting
in a backward-naming all prior exercises without discrimination to their actual development.  The earliest expression 'Tai Chi'  is part of creation theory and cosmological patterning appeared in China during the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC) 周朝. The earliest known usage of Tai chi applied to boxing came during the 1800's when the Yang family demonstrated it in the Manchu court.
Wu Tunan (1885-1989), a famous Tai Chi master and a college professor, in his book -- 'The Study of Taijiquan: Taijiquan Introduction', described the following:

References : 
Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan, By Stanley Henning
Journal of the Chen Style Taijiquan Research Association Of Hawaii,
Vol. 2, No. 3, Autumn/Winter 1994, 1-7

>Southen Dynasty ( CE 420-589 ) :
  The earliest record indicates that a Prefect, at the present time Chinese Anhui Province during Southen dynasty (420-589), by the name of Cheng Lingxi 程靈洗, {514-568), practiced an exercise and taught the art to soldiers in the army under his supervision. This exercise was trasmitted within Cheng's family.
> "Five hundred years later in Sun dynasty, one of his descendents, Cheng Bi 程必 still practised the art and had written about it. He enhanced the art with multiple elbow techniques and called it "Little Nine Heaven" 少九拳 and stated that his ancester did not invent Tai Chi Chuan and was taught by a master called Han Gongyue (韩拱月). Unfortunately, no historic record was found about Han Gongyue."  http://kyma9805.blogspot.com/
> Little Nine Heaven  少九拳   Shao Jiu Tian [Hsiao Chiu Tien],
>Liang Dynasty ( CE 502-557 ) :
  Han Gongyue   韓拱月
  Cheng Lingxi    程靈洗

>Sui Dynasty ( CE 581-618 ) :
Shaolin Temple,  少林寺
Shaolin Rou Chuan, 少林軟拳 'soft boxing'
Shaolin xinyi-ba, 少林心意把  

>Tang Dynasty ( CE 618-907 ) : said, 'taoist of note'...
  Xu Xuanping    許宣平 aka.. Hsu Hsuan-p'ing,  linked forms together as the
"37 " ( 三十七式 ) styles.[式]
  Li Dao-zi   李道子 or Li Tao-Tse, linked to a Xian Tian Quan ( 先天拳 ) or before heaven "innate" boxing; which some view as similar to the '37' style patterns.

>Song (Sung) Dynasty ( CE 960-1276 )
Emperor Tai-Zu, a capable military general, is credited with
Chang chuan 長拳 'Long Boxing' as the full reach of the arms is used, and metaphorically [ Chang Quan 長拳 or Long Boxing is a reference to the flowing power of the Yangtze River 揚子江, which is also known as the Chang Jiang 長江 or Long River ] ...and also
Tong Bei Boxing [there are numerous variations, usually delimited as non-white monkey or non-Shao Lin styles.]
 Chen Tuan 陳摶 , postumously Master Xi-yi 希夷先生
   numerous links are alleged  -
> 24 form sitting Tao-yin by seasons  [two per month]
   二十四 氣導引 坐功 圖 勢  er4-shi2-si4 chi4 tao4-yin3 zuo4 gong1 tu2 shi4
>Tai-chi 'Ruler'  太極尺 'chi' standard [尺子 chǐ zi] ruler
>Eight Pieces of Brocade ( Baduanjin ),  八段錦
>LiuHe BaFa Boxing
[ most of these links are story making, Chen Xi-yi was a mythic icon only ]
Intermediary Fragments of Note :  Cheng San-feng (CE 1247-??)
>Thirteen power-tendencies of influence, 十三勢 shi2 san1 shi4 = ten+three=13,勢  power-tendency-influence; an important paradigm of 5 actions and 8 forms. This amalgam of principles is often [in error] linked to Chang San-feng, 張三豐
a recurrent myth of note. Prior to Chang San-feng legend, there is a claim that a 'student' of Chen [Bo] Tuan, 'fire dragon' 火 龍  aka  Jia De-sheng 賈德晟 taught Msr Chang [Note: the time lines are unacceptable].
Ming Dynasty ( CE 1368-1644 )
  Chen Bu 陳卜 and much later, Chen Wangting  陳王庭,  
> Chen jia gou chuan, 陳家溝拳 Chen Family Ditch boxing,  
> 32-move Qi Jiguang style of Chuan,  32 運動 風格的戚繼光傳
(long-style Chuan) @Chen Village  陳家溝
@Chenjia Valley, Wenxian County in Henan Province; similar to Taizu-chang
   Chen-style is characterized by Silk 'reeling' (chan si jin; 纏絲勁) or spiraling and
alternating fast/ slow motion with bursts of power (fa jin; 發勁).
  Identities usually given: 陳家、陳氏 or 陳式  chen style, chen family, chen school, and chen village.
Wang Tsung Yueh (1736-1795)  王宗岳 [Wang Zong-yue] Salt Shop Manual 鹽店譜 containing the T'ai Chi Ch'uan Treatise (T'ai Chi Ch'uan Lun 太極拳論) attributed to Wang. The text was said to have been found 'stored in the back room of a Beijing salt shop' by Wu Yu-hsiang's brother Wu Ch'eng-ch'ing 武澄清.

Jiang Fa (1716-1795) Jiang Fa 將發  蒋法 the first generation of Zhaobao Ta-chi-quan.

Public Transmission: Beijing
  When top Chen Family student, Yang Lu Chan first taught in Yung Nien, his art was referred to as
Mien Quan 棉拳 (Cotton Fist) or
Hua Quan 变化拳 (Neutralising Fist);
it was not yet monikered 'tai chi' boxing. 

   "While teaching at the Imperial Court, Yang met many challenges, some friendly, some not. But he invariably won and in so convincingly using his soft techniques that he gained a great reputation. Many who frequented the imperial households would come to view his matches. At one such gathering in which Yang had won against several reputable opponents, the scholar Ong Tong He
was present. Inspired by the way Yang moved and executed his techniques,
Ong felt that Yang's movements and techniques expressed the physical manifestation of the principles of Tai chi 太極, ...the philosophy.
   Ong wrote for him a matching verse:
    “Hands holding Tai Chi- shakes the whole world"
     "a chest containing ultimate skill defeats a gathering of heroes."
”Thereafter, his art was referred to as Taijiquan and the styles that sprang from his teaching and by association with him was linked to 'Chang san feng'  轉為繁體網頁."
   From here, there has been the misaction to rename prior similar exercises as being tai chi boxing [which previously they were not and may not have been.]

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