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Thread: 18 Styles information ; Tongbei Quan

  1. #1
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    18 Styles information ; Tongbei Quan

    Tongbei Quan or back-through boxing, also called Tongbi Quan or arm-through boxing, is one of the popular schools in north China.Due to it's long history, it boasts a variety of names in different places, such as the Wuxing (5 elements), six combinations, five-monkey, axe-hitch and the Shaolin. Although there are different names, the different styles of Tongbei Quan are all based on the same boxing theory and have the same origin. the major schools and styles of Tongbei Quan are as follows:
    1.In 1937 Wu Tianxu wrote in his book Tongbei Quanshu that this school of boxing had been called the back-through which was changed to the white ape school and long-armed ape school.Qing Dynasty practitioners called it traveling, traveling boxing or Chang Quan.
    2.Some say that Tongbei Quan was created in the 5 Dynasties (907-960)or in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).One theory is that it was created by Han Tong,recorded in some boxing literature as one of the 18 boxing masters of ancient times. Another proposition says that it was created by Chen Tuan in the early Song Dynasty and in the middle of the Qing Dynasty Lu Yunqing taught it to Qi Taichang. In his book Wushu Theory, Xu Yusheng wrote that Chen Tuan, also called Chen Tu'nan, lived in seclusion in Mount Hua during the 5 Dynasties.
    He could sleep for 100 days without getting up. Emperor Taizong of the Song Dynasty conferred a designation of Dr Xiyi on him. Chen was said to have created 12 sitting exercises.
    3.Huang Zongxi, a well-known scholar of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), wrote in his Essay of Southern
    Thunderbolts, that Tongbei Quan was the best among all boxing schools. Later, Huang Baijia in his biography of Dr Wang Zhengnan said that Tongbei Quan is Chang Quan or long-range boxing.The arm-through boxing can thus be said to have been popular in the Ming Dynasty.
    4.According to the boxing chronicles by Xiu Jianchi (1931), Qi Xin of Zhejiang went to teach the back-through boxing at Gu'an in Hebei Province in the middle and latter half of the of the Qing Dynasty. His style was then called Qi-style boxing which was later named as Tongbei or back-through boxing. Qi's son, Qi Taichang improved and developed the boxing techniques. People then divided Tongbei Quan into an old style( the father) and a new one (the son ).
    The old style emphasizes simplicity and power whereas the new style concentrates on exquisitenesss and suppleness.
    Originally Tongbei did not refer to a school of boxing but a way of excercise. "Tong" (through) means to pass through and reach, "Bei" (back) means
    the human back.When the excercises are done, power is generated from the back to pass through the shoulders and then reach the arms. In this way, heavy blows can be delivered at the arm's length to control the opponent. Tongbei Quan emphasizes the combination of inner core and outward application. Back-through boxing takes the 5 elements of traditional Chinese philosophy as its basic theory.

    Source: Essentials of Chinese Wushu by
    Wu Bin,Li Xingdong & Yu Gongbao
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    Last edited by seung ga faat; 04-29-2011 at 01:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Good post.

  3. #3
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    SGF,
    How do you relate PM to Tongbei?

    BTW,
    Shanhsi Tongbei looks similar to 7* while someother style, like in Beijing and tienjing don't.

    I have been looking for solid proof of the traditional tongbei manuscript which matches almost exactly an old Chne family Taiji manuscript.

  4. #4
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    Tong Bei

    seung ga faat,

    Great post and good information for us all. I had the privilege of studying Tong Bei this past summer with one of Master Liang Yi Quan's senior students near Shaolin. It was a great experience and changed my mind about several things as well as teaching me a lot about power generation.

    Shifu Tunks has spoken in the past of studying other arts such as Tong Bei for cross training purposes. I had not considered doing so myself until invited to do so by Master Liang. Afterwards I must admit that it gave me a greater understanding of our style and I found it quite helpful in my own training.

    I appreciate your scholarship.


    Sincerely,
    Steve Cottrell

  5. #5
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    Sifu C. & Sifu Tainan

    Sifu C. Thanx,
    I'm just sharing what little I know with my peers.

    Tainan, Sifu,
    In our 18 style poem, Tong Bei is discribed as back-through punch. This type of energy generation is seen and felt throughout the style. It is also present in our practice of Lohan Gung.
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    Last edited by seung ga faat; 04-29-2011 at 01:26 AM.

  6. #6

    check out these tongbei video clips


  7. #7
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    Tong Bi/ Bong Bei Origins

    seung ga faat et al,

    I have an alternative history on Tong Bei, that it was created on Sichuan Emei Mountain by a priest Bai Yuan Dao Ren (White Ape Daoist) during the Spring-Autumn and Warring States Period, (770-221 BC). It has postures such as White Apes Presents the Fruit and has, during its long history been known, among it's many names, as White Ape Boxing.

    Anyway, I thought it an interesting historical note considering how many "White Ape" ideas are present in Tanglang. Apparently it is a popular image.

    Steve Cottrell
    Last edited by MantisifuFW; 05-11-2003 at 11:51 AM.

  8. #8
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    cool clips carly, thanks for sharing

  9. #9
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    Find out more in our FALL 2019 issue

    Chopping the Mountain
    The Pi Shan of Five Element Tongbeiquan
    By Huan Zhang


    FALL 2019
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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    Wang Liutai

    Chinese “iron crotch” kung fu masters fight to preserve a painful-looking tradition
    By Martin Quin Pollard 1 day ago

    By Martin Quin Pollard

    Reuters/MARTIN POLLARD Wang Liutai demonstrates "Iron Crotch Kungfu" at his martial arts academy in Luoyang
    JUNTUN, China (Reuters) - Wang Liutai is no ordinary kung fu master. The 65-year-old from a village in central China practises a unique and excruciating-looking strand of martial arts coined "iron crotch kung fu".

    Its most famous technique involves a steel-plate capped log, 2 metres (6.5 feet) in length and weighing 40 kilograms (88 pounds) that swings through the air and smashes into a man's crotch.

    Reuters/MARTIN POLLARD Wang Liutai demonstrates "Iron Crotch Kungfu" at his martial arts academy in Luoyang
    "When you practise iron crotch kung fu, as long as you push yourself, you will feel great," said Wang, head of the Juntun Martial Arts Academy.

    Wang, who has been practising the technique for around half a century and has two children, insists that with the correct methods and sufficient practice, it does not hurt and has no effect on fertility.

    The iron crotch, mastery of which is gained by taking hits to the body's weakest points while using qigong breathing techniques to inure oneself, is just one element of the branch of Tongbeiquan kung fu that has been practised in Wang's village for the past 300 years. The style encompasses scores of attack techniques as well as resisting pressure, pain or hits to other sensitive areas.

    Reuters/MARTIN POLLARD Wang Liutai demonstrates "Iron Crotch Kungfu" at his martial arts academy in Luoyang
    "We also have iron throat, iron head, iron chest, and iron back as well," said fellow master 53-year-old Tang Xiaocheng.

    The style of kung fu practised by those in Juntun village on the outskirts of the ancient capital of Luoyang was historically a fiercely guarded secret, but concern has grown that fewer and fewer people were taking it up and it might not survive.

    There were once around 200 people regularly practising in the village, said Tang, but now there are just over 20. The number that can practise the iron crotch technique has dropped from around 80 to just five.

    That's why Wang and his fellow masters started to actively promote their style of kung fu, adopting the swinging log device in 2016 to demonstrate the iron crotch technique where previously villagers had kicked, punched or used bricks or sticks.

    Their efforts have helped them gain several new students in cities across the country who learn using social media or custom-made videos posted online.

    "If there are more students carry it forward and spread it to the whole country and the world, if they can carry this form of kung fu forward, then my dream will come true," said Wang.

    (Reporting by Martin Quin Pollard; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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