Tai Chi Chuan (Glasgow)


Origins of Tai Chi Chuan & Five Winds School

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Legend attributes the origins of Tai Chi Chuan to a 13th Century Taoist monk, Chang San-feng (or Zhang Sanfeng). One account is that after watching a snake and crane in combat, and with a background in yin yang theory, he is attributed with developing a combat method which reflected the soft nature of the snake overcoming the stabbing bird, the soft overcoming the hard.
Whether a factual account is unsupported, but it at the very least reminds us of the influences of Chinese culture running through Tai Chi Chuan, particularly Taoism, and of the underlying theories guiding the art.
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The origins however are more likely rooted in a development of Chinese boxing arts, particularly through the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). It was toward the end of this period that Chen Wan-ting developed what became known as Chen style (family) Tai Chi Chuan, most notably borrowing from General Qi Jiguang circa 1580's. Tai Chi Chuan as we recognise it today is more attributed to origins in Yang family contributions however
(beginning with Yang Lu- chan) and their interactions with Wu Chuan-you, martial instructor to the Imperial Guard, and later trainer of the Republican President's bodyguards. Yang Cheng-fu & Wu Chien-chuan, contemporaries around the beginning of the 19th century, are attributed with the spread of Tai Chi throughout China.
While the early origins are somewhat disputed, the more recent 19th/ 20th century history can be traced through family styles to present day.
  • Chang San-feng
    • Chen Chang-hsing (1771 - 1853), CHEN STYLE
      • Chen Keng-yun
        • Wan Lan-ting , FIVE STAR STYLE
          • Ching Yat
            • **
              • Qi Min-xuan
                • Cheng Tin Hung
                  See below
      • Yang Lu-chan (1799-1872), YANG STYLE
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          Yang Pan-hou (1837 -1890)
          • ** Qi Ke-san
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            Wu Ch'uan-you (1834-1902)
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              Wu Chien-chuan (1870-1942)
              WU FAMILY STYLE
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                Cheng Wing-kwong (1903 - 1967)
                • Cheng Kamyan
                  Cheng Tin Hung (1930-2005)
                  Ian Cameron
        • Yang Chien-hou (1839-1917)
          • Yang Cheng-fu (1883-1936)
            • YANG STYLE
Cheng Tin Hung
Cheng Tin Hung is founder of Wu Cheng Tai Chi Chuan……

Cheng Tin Hung (1930 -2005)
Born Guanzhong Province

Cheng Tin Hung learned family line Southern Boxing from a young age, and then Wu style Tai Chi Chuan initially from his uncle, Cheng Wing-kwong. From ages 16 to 18 his uncle was then instrumental in arranging training with Qi Min-xuan, thus exposing Cheng Tin hung to tai chi with both early Wu family and Chan Buddhist influence.
In 1950, he stablished the Cheng Tin Hung Tai Chi Academy in Hong Kong. His reputation was enhanced in 1957 when he won the SE Asian Open Championship, held in Taiwan, defeating Shaolin master You Wen Tong. In the following years he trained many successful competition fighters.
In the 70's he was approached by the Hong Kong government to spread Tai Chi through free public lessons, and later established the Hong Kong Tai Chi Association (1972) which continues today under his son, Cheng Kam Yan.
He appears at the front end of the Shaw Bros movie, The Shadow Boxer, and was involved in the production (1975). (This movie and other film of Cheng Tin Hung can be found on YouTube).
Cheng visited the UK in the mid 80's giving seminars with his UK students, Ian Cameron (Five Winds) and Dan Docherty (Practical TCC), both of whom continue to promote Tai Chi Chuan in the UK as a useful fighting art. Grand Master Cheng essentially retired from public life in the 90's, establishing Tai Chi Heights, a home where he could continue his Tai Chi.
As well as being known as a tough fighter & teacher, was an accomplished Tai Chi theorist and historian. He has written several books, including Tai Chi Exercise, Wutan Tai Chi Chuan, Tai Chi Sabre Sword Spear, and Tai Chi Transcendent Art. He has written a number of articles (for example the source of the yin yang), and appeared in newspapers of the time.
He is reported as saying that the style he practiced was essentially Wu, while his school was Wudang Tai Chi Chuan (aka Wutan), a deferential nod to Wudang Mountain, the legendary source of Tai Chi Chuan. Since his death in 2005, the style is referred to also as Wu-Cheng.

Early video of Cheng Wing-kwong, uncle and teacher of Chen Tin-hung
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Cheng Wing kwong was uncle and teacher of Chen Tin Hung.
Amongst his many achievements he was a senior 'in the door student' of Wu Chen chuan, vice president of the Wu Chen chuan Tai Chi Academy in Hong Kong, and formed the Wing Kwong Tai Chi Academy in 1953, still active today in HK.
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Cheng Tin -hung in Edinburgh 1986
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Cheng Tin hung attending Ian Cameron's class Edinburgh, 1986
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Ian Cameron demonstrating Tiger Yawning
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Ian Cameron, Principle of Five Winds School of Tai Chi Chuan, with Stephen Douglas.
Tiger Yawning is often a 'warm up' exercise, but has practical application.
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Ian Cameron
Ian Cameron is founder of Five Winds School of Tai Chi Chuan …….
Ian Cameron was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1944.
He first came under the tutelage of Cheng Tin hung in 1971 whilst serving in the armed forces in Hong Kong. On his return to Edinburgh he set up his class which was to evolve into the Five Winds School.
He trained in Judo, Karate and Boxing in his youth, seeking out Cheng Tin Hung while serving in the armed forces in Hong Kong (1971-74).
On leaving the armed forces in 1976/77 he began classes in Edinburgh. He subsequently returned to Hong Kong in 1980 for a month, with the purpose of intensively training with Cheng. Cheng Tin Hung was then Mr Cameron's guest in Scotland the following year, and again in 1985 and 86, teaching seminars throughout the UK. Mr Cameron was a founder member of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, and sat originally as Technical Director of that body He has entered students in competition with good success. He remains a leading practitioner and teacher of Tai Chi Chuan in the UK and continues to fervently defend the traditional approach to Cheng's system of training.
Ian Cameron has published five books to date :
The Practice of Wudang Tai Chi Chuan,
The Practice of Tai Chi Chuan Weapons Forms,
The Practice of Wudang Spear,
Tai Chi Chuan Practice (free on iBooks),
TCC Life & the martial arts (free on iBooks),
Tai Chi Chuan by Ian Cameron (free on iBooks)

(Jan 2020 update - books now released on Amazon, video on pay hip - links in
news page).

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Early Wu style (1937) with Chu Min-yi
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Wu style Taijiquan video with Chu Min-yi (1884 - 1946), disciple of Wu Chien Chuan, recorded in 1937 in Shanghai.
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