Thursday, March 09, 2006

Master of All Masters - Chang San Feng

Tai Chi Chuan was originated by the Taoist immortal Chang San Feng in about 1270AD, toward the end of the Sung Dynasty.

What we know of Chang San Feng is that he lived in a simple straw hut on the holy Wu Tan mountain in Jupeth province, China. He dressed in a simple style, wearing only a light vest even in icy weather, and was often observed to go without food for days, weeks or even months.

Famous as a Taoist master he was sought out by the emperor T'ai Tzu for help with military strategy, and was instrumental in helping to defeat bandit gangs in the Wu Tan mountains. He was honoured by the emperor and a temple erected in recognition of his achievements still stands today. In later years Chang San Feng was canonised as a saint by the emperor Ying Tsung.

The Master was also famous for his healing abilities and his deep understanding of Taoist medicine.


Blogger John Vesia said...

It's interesting how Taoism and Zen are linked to Tai Chi Chuan and Shaolin. It seems there's no separating philosophy from most Asian combat systems. Unfortunetely, healing skills (and for that matter, philosophy) are rarely taught in modern martial arts.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Unfortunately, this legend is just that. There is already enough research on the subject to discard this. Tang Hao is one of the most important CMA historians who published about this. More recently Professor Ma Ming Da, Stanley Henning to mention a few have publish on this and other issues in CMA.

7:27 AM  

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