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Thread: The White Ape Series

  1. #1

    The White Ape Series

    Can anyone shed light / provide background on the series of sets referring to white ape in their title?I've checked the archive and found know detailed discussion of this.

    More familliar are the White Ape Steals Peach and Exits cave but there are some others in the series ( not referring to second roads of these sets)

    I'm wondering if these refer to groups of techniques from the Tong Bei system or if they are titled "white Ape" for some other reason.Iif anyone knows or wants to offer a hypothesis it would be appreciated.

    Also how many or which mantis White Ape sets are played in the mainland seven star mantis?



    Thanks

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    The White Ape series is a set of 7 individual forms, which represent the different chapters of the famous story by the name of "Bai Yuan Tou Tao" (white ape steals preach) that is included in a martial novel and became an opera play also. The white ape story is a popular myth set during the Warring States period (475-221 BCE) of China. It has become the archetypical model of martial virtues. This is THE story that inspired the legend of Wang Lang IMHO. As for why 7 forms? It is possible that they commemorate the 7 states that eventually amalgamated or rather six states conquered by the Qin state into one (or if you prefer "united") China; hence began the dynastic rules. Also it represents the 7 martial virtues or precepts (Wu De) of the martial arts community. In seven stars tradition, I believe it is 6 forms that named after the white ape plus one form that is called "Xian Ren Zhi Lu" (immortal points the way) or simply "Zhi Lu".

    Mantis108
    Last edited by mantis108; 12-12-2008 at 12:56 PM.
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    Nice one Robert.

    The main sets are: bai yuan chu dong (exits cave/nest); tou tao (steals peach); xian tao (xian guo in Qingdao) - presents peach; then: xiao mu (worships or shows filial piety to mother); xian shu (presents book); dong zhi/pan zhi (moves or gathers or parts branches); ru dong (enters cave/nest). In Dalian and elsewhere there is also zhi lu (points way).

    There is a lot of dispute about these forms in China. In Yantai there are generally only the first three (which are most likely the oldest), the rest mainly exist in Qingdao and Liaoning. There are also later creations including: white ape sit's on/watches from the hill; bows to the north star etc. The bai yuan series are generally regarded as Qixing in origin but also exist in Taijimeihua, particularly in Qingdao. A large number of variations exist amongst students of Hao Bin and were probably created by him.

    BT

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    cool history...good topic KCC.



    ok...so, how old is old when talking about these sets?

    is a specific creater cited? branch?

    are these sets 'pure' mantis or borrowed?

    (edit: oops, missed your second paragraph, B., just got done w/ a 12 hour day...)
    anything else?



    I learned 'steal the peach' from Jake along with the rest of the Peng Lai Nashville group back in '04 I think...I like the set a lot and Jake did a great job teaching it.

    one of the things for me (for those of you who remember me from back in the day's of Cottrell's list server) is that I came from a school in the hills here in NC that claimed mantis but with nothing to back up the story once I started looking elsewhere and had something to compare it too...'steal the peach' held several moves that were very close to some of the stuff that was taught at that school.

    I've given up trying to correlate what was taught there but it is still nice to run across something that is close to what was taught there...makes me feel like it wasn't such a complete waste of time.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  5. #5
    Mantis 108

    Thank you for the information.

    So no relationship to Tong Bei. Is this myth related to the monkey king?

    Is it your understanding that thee sets are recent ( 20th century forward) additions or are they older? If older do you have a sense for when introduced and by who? Also I get the sense that you are saying they are common to styles of mantis other than seven star, am I correct?

    Thank you again for sharing.

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    White Ape is usually associated with Tongbeiquan!
    Based on the descripion, it appears to be North China (Mandarin) than South China (Cantonese).

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    Hi KCC and All,

    You are most welcome, my friend.

    I concur with Brendan and I believe he has pointed out something significant regarding the geographic and lineage distributions of the White Ape series. It points to the fact that the WAS (at least 3 of them) was in fact taught in the armed escort agencies all over Shandong port cities such as Yantai and Qingdao. Hao family (TJMHTL) ran a well known escort agency in Yantai. Wang Yongsheng, the progenitor of the Seven Stars line was a armed escort also. Liang Xue Xiang and his son also worked in the trade. Armed escort agencies in Shandong were often affiliated with those in the Hebei Province (ie Beijing and near by areas) . In Hebei, there was a "Shaolin Temple" that was build under the supervision of Fu Yue, this is where the legend of the Shaolin Temple and Fu Ju came from. It would seem that the armed escort agencies near that temple were teaching/practicing 2 systems of Kung Fu - one is Tong Bei and the other is Lian Quan (General Yue's family fist). This is how and why the Luohan Xinggong Duanda is written. It is first written partly as a training manual and partly to legitimize the product of the 2 systems. Later it came into the hands of Shengxiao Daoren and he rewrote some parts "out of memory".

    Tong Bei (through the back) is likely a branch of Tongbi (through the arms). Tongbi is more like a general term of pugilism, which is similar to what we call fighting systems as Kung Fu today, since Song dynasty. This is more of a popular usage for the Northwestern part of China. So Tong Bei and the WAS could have some connections. We could only surmise that the WAS was created during Qing dynasty.

    The white ape myth (one of the oldest Chinese myths) has no relation whatsoever with the monkey king, which is a Chinese Buddhist story influenced also by Hinduism and is relatively new (Ming dynasty) really.

    Hope this helps

    Mantis108
    Contraria Sunt Complementa

    對敵交手歌訣

    凡立勢不可站定。凡交手須是要走。千着萬着﹐走為上着﹐進為高着﹐閃賺騰挪為
    妙着。


    CCK TCPM in Yellowknife

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  8. #8
    Thanks to all, this is very much appreciated.

    To summarize some points:
    - Seven or eight sets the original sets each cooresponding to a Wude virtue, the eighth having been added later
    - Practiced to some extent across TJMH and Seven star lines.
    - Geographically associated with Yantai for the first three and Qingdao and Liaoning where there are at least 7, with others having been added later.


    Slightly off topic:

    The set the line of seven star I am associated with (CCM/CL) refers refers to as WASP, (as in the WHF line) is different than that done elsewhere as I understand it (with our PMSP being more consistent with what is known elsewhere as WASP).

    I know this ground has been covered before but don't recall hearing/reading if the set some refer to as WASP is known by another name in some lines.

    Those familiar withthe WHF book with this title will know the set I am referring to.

    Thanks again to all who are taking the time to respond (and breathe some more life back into the PM section of the forum!).

  9. #9
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    KCC,

    - Seven or eight sets the original sets each cooresponding to a Wude virtue, the eighth having been added later

    It is generally considered that Tou Tao and Chu Dong are the oldest. Xian tao if not as old, only slightly younger. In Dalian and Qingdao (QXTLQ) they consider all to have been created at the same generation. However, they are slightly different in both places and a couple of the sets exist exclusively in each place. It is hard to say where and when these other sets came about but as LGY did not teach them they may have emerged after he left Shandong or were created elsewhere. Dalian is a likely source.

    - Practiced to some extent across TJMH and Seven star lines.

    From a QXTLQ point of view, they are originally Qixing taolu and apart from individual TJMH masters are generally found in only one family of TJMH. Hao family TJMH people may have a different view. Who knows really? What is known is that at least tou tao and chu dong are found earliest in QXTLQ and that pre TJMH, there were no bai yuan forms in TJ/MH tanglang.

    -The set the line of seven star I am associated with (CCM/CL) refers refers to as WASP, (as in the WHF line) is different than that done elsewhere as I understand it (with our PMSP being more consistent with what is known elsewhere as WASP).

    Tanglang Tou Tao is basically the same as Bai Yuan Tou Tao. It may have once been called Qixing Tanglang Bai Yuan Tou Tao and been shortened in both schools. It is also widely known simply as tou tao.

    Matt,

    Pure mantis? Well, I'd say they are (as far as anything can be called pure) as they are born out of other earlier tanglang forms as opposed to anything else. Tou tao is considered the acme of QXTLQ.

    Mawali,

    I agree with 108. Although TLQ is most likely related to tongbei/bi, in this case the name comes from the old legend as opposed to the style. They may have taken their inspiration from the same source.

    BT

  10. #10
    Thank you once again Mr. Tunks and Mr. Hui.

    Brendan,

    I'm intrigued by your reference to the white ape series as the "acme" of qixing. Although the statement is self expanatory, would you elaborate? I only ask as I have never heard special significance given to these sets and you apparently are well versed on the subject, a rare opportunity for some detail. More often I have read of the route summaries / zhiao yao referred to in this way.

    Also regarding your reference to LGY not teaching the white ape series, how have you reached this conclusion? These sets are in the WHF and CCM curriculum and I believe most presume he was the source.

    Regards

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Tunks View Post
    Matt,

    Pure mantis? Well, I'd say they are (as far as anything can be called pure) as they are born out of other earlier tanglang forms as opposed to anything else. Tou tao is considered the acme of QXTLQ.

    BT
    Thanks. I pretty much assume the 'as far as anything can be called pure' with all mantis and was wondering if they existed in some form somewhere else before being included as mantis sets.


    It would be cool to see a chart like representation of all the sets across all the lines correlated to date and creator.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any easier...at least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  12. #12
    Brendan

    I misread your post to say that Bai Yuan was the acme of TangLang when clearly you wrote that Steals the Peach is the acme of TangLang which might explain its fame etc. Sorry for the error.

    Steve

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    white ape decoy thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KwaiChangCaine View Post
    Brendan

    I misread your post to say that Bai Yuan was the acme of TangLang when clearly you wrote that Steals the Peach is the acme of TangLang which might explain its fame etc. Sorry for the error.

    Steve
    S,

    No worries. Yes I was referring to tou tao (it was even one of LGY's favourite) but now that you mention it, in Shandong and Liaoning the whole bai yuan series are pretty much considered that as well.

    I meant that chu dong and tou tao are in LGY's curriculum, but that most of the others I mentioned weren't.

    Matt,

    These sets don't exist anywhere else apart from TLQ and we can pretty safely say they were not adopted. The names are definitely found elsewhere though. In fact quite common.

    BT

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    out of memory

    Quote Originally Posted by mantis108 View Post
    Later it came into the hands of Shengxiao Daoren and he rewrote some parts "out of memory".
    Hi Robert,
    It just so happens that I am working on this portion of 'the book' right now.

    Your above quote I think comes from the Wang Yifu manuscript below.

    As a student in Sheng Jing I kept this manuscript with me and yet researched it without gain.
    Therefore I simulated with my own imagination and reedited it.
    Using my own opinion I put something in between references to supplement what it didnít have.
    What I didnít comprehend I left as non-existent and kept that of profound quality.


    I thought the "from memory' quote was written by Wang Yifu himself. Yet according to what you have written above the quote should be attributed to Sheng Shao Dao Ren.

    Is this your intended meaning?
    If so how do you come to this conclusion?

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    Hi Kevin,

    At first I have the same understanding that it was Wang Yifu's experience. After re-reading the article a few times and also compare that to info. concerning Sheng Xiao Dao Ren's book from other internet resources. It is apparently a poor editorial work on the part of the publisher of Wang Yifu's article that caused the confusion. They didn't made it clear that Wang Yifu was quoting directly from the preface of SXDR's book in which he said that he resided properly teaching as well in Sheng Jing (modern day Shen Yang area in Liaoning Province). One of SXDR's students borrowed the copy of Shi Ba Luohan Duanda Tupu owned by SXDR. So he "had to" rewrite the book out of memory. I don't think that Wang Yifu, who lived in Tian Jian, Hebei Province, ever traveled to Shen Yang let a lone teaching Kung Fu there. So....

    Warmest regards

    Robert
    Contraria Sunt Complementa

    對敵交手歌訣

    凡立勢不可站定。凡交手須是要走。千着萬着﹐走為上着﹐進為高着﹐閃賺騰挪為
    妙着。


    CCK TCPM in Yellowknife

    TJPM Forum

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