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Thread: General Han Tong the White Ape 韓通就是白猿

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    General Han Tong the White Ape 韓通就是白猿

    The form nicknamed Tou tao 偷桃, is Bai Yuan Tou Tao 白猿偷桃 White Ape Steals the Peach which can be traced back to Seven Star Mantis style。It comes from the technique Qi Shen Bai Yuan Tou Tao 起身白猿偷桃。which can be translated simply as raise the body white ape steals the peach.
    The technique name can be found in the forms of most families version of Zhao Yao 摘要一段 (seven star, Taiji, Meihua).
    The technique itself is a version of gou Lou cai 勾摟採 done on the neck of the opponent. It is also recorded in old hand written manuals of which I have already written several articles on.
    Peaches means the head. It does not mean the groin.

    But, what is truly interesting is the identity of white ape. General Han Tong. Source of Beng Bu and Luanjie. That's where the fun begins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    The form nicknamed Tou tao 偷桃, is Bai Yuan Tou Tao 白猿偷桃 White Ape Steals the Peach which can be traced back to Seven Star Mantis style。It comes from the technique Qi Shen Bai Yuan Tou Tao 起身白猿偷桃。which can be translated simply as raise the body white ape steals the peach.
    The technique name can be found in the forms of most families version of Zhao Yao 摘要一段 (seven star, Taiji, Meihua).
    The technique itself is a version of gou Lou cai 勾摟採 done on the neck of the opponent. It is also recorded in old hand written manuals of which I have already written several articles on.
    Peaches means the head. It does not mean the groin.

    But, what is truly interesting is the identity of white ape. General Han Tong. Source of Beng Bu and Luanjie. That's where the fun begins.
    Hi KB

    As far as I know he's a character from a story set in the Warring States period. Will be good to hear what you've found. Good luck convincing me about Han Tong being the origin of Beng Bu and Luanjie though

    Also, the action you describe is incomplete without the knee. Tou being the peach is definitely correct though.

    BT

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    Visiting Friends

    Thanks BT,
    Just having fun here and trying to raise the dead (not calling you a zombie)!
    OK, here are some clues. Let's see what we can prove by looking at the musty old manuscripts trying to separate the true from the false.

    I think you know about Visiting Friends
    This sonnet connects Han Tong to the Gibbon.

    Record of Taizu's Visiting Friends
    Taizu's longfist is exceedingly commendable.
    He enquired about and visited masters all over the world.
    Taking the essence of all he became more skillful.
    At that time Han Tong had made a great name for himself.
    But for the strong there is always the stronger.
    What is the use of exaggerating your own strength?
    Zhen watched from the side and saw the problem,
    Though the Tong Bi Gibbon 通臂猿猴 style is not bad yet,
    The unobstructed punches can be defeated by wrapping and sealing strikes.
    Praising others instead of yourself is something martial artists often fail to understand.
    This insight is as deep as the Eastern sea and complicated as hempen nets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    Thanks BT,
    Just having fun here and trying to raise the dead (not calling you a zombie)!
    OK, here are some clues. Let's see what we can prove by looking at the musty old manuscripts trying to separate the true from the false.

    I think you know about Visiting Friends
    This sonnet connects Han Tong to the Gibbon.

    Record of Taizu's Visiting Friends
    Taizu's longfist is exceedingly commendable.
    He enquired about and visited masters all over the world.
    Taking the essence of all he became more skillful.
    At that time Han Tong had made a great name for himself.
    But for the strong there is always the stronger.
    What is the use of exaggerating your own strength?
    Zhen watched from the side and saw the problem,
    Though the Tong Bi Gibbon 通臂猿猴 style is not bad yet,
    The unobstructed punches can be defeated by wrapping and sealing strikes.
    Praising others instead of yourself is something martial artists often fail to understand.
    This insight is as deep as the Eastern sea and complicated as hempen nets.
    Nothing wrong with zombies!

    Pretty interesting assessment of Tongbi by the author. I can see where this is going, as these (tongbi/tongbei, wrapping and sealing) are both pretty much components of the foundation of TL. But was it a case of art imitating life, or vice versa?

    Side note - although TL is riddled with Bai Yuan techniques that pre-date the creation of the Bai Yuan series of forms, the Bai Yuan character in the TL folklore didn't became prominent until the time of Wang Yunsheng of QXTL, who is almost certainly the creator of those forms.

    BT

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    Nice.

    Placing Zheng En in context. He is third on the family tree of 18 masters. 鄭恩的纏封尤妙 , Zheng En's wrapping and sealing is marvelous.

    During the mid 1760's the publication of what became a famous novel contains,

    「他的名字,孩兒不曾曉得,祇聽見人說叫甚麼通臂猿。」
    匡胤對鄭恩說道:「三弟,莫非就是韓通這廝不成?」
    Lu Brother said, "I've never known his name, I have only heard people call him "Arm-Striking Ape."
    Zhao Kuang-Yin turned to Zheng En and said, "Third Brother, mustn't this be Han Tong?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    Nice.

    Placing Zheng En in context. He is third on the family tree of 18 masters. 鄭恩的纏封尤妙 , Zheng En's wrapping and sealing is marvelous.

    During the mid 1760's the publication of what became a famous novel contains,

    「他的名字,孩兒不曾曉得,祇聽見人說叫甚麼通臂猿。」
    匡胤對鄭恩說道:「三弟,莫非就是韓通這廝不成?」
    Lu Brother said, "I've never known his name, I have only heard people call him "Arm-Striking Ape."
    Zhao Kuang-Yin turned to Zheng En and said, "Third Brother, mustn't this be Han Tong?"
    Cool. Hence my rhetorical question about art imitating life, or vice versa. It's clear that there was a fair amount of life imitating art going on. These novels and the related plays/operas definitely had a big impact on the folklore and literature of arts such as Tanglang. They were pretty much 'pop culture' of the day.

    BT

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    There are several stories surrounding the Interaction between the first three masters of the 18 Family Tree (Taizu, Han Tong and Zheng En). The above quote tying them together comes from a very popular novel published in 1768, perfect timing to influence our Praying Mantis legendary source material.

    But our mantis family sonnet says there was a fight between Taizu (Kuangyin) and Han Tong as Zheng En watched from the side.

    To find that story we have to leave the world of books and go to stage performances from the Ming Dynasty, hundreds of years earlier, to find the story of Zheng En watching Han Tong fight Taizu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    There are several stories surrounding the Interaction between the first three masters of the 18 Family Tree (Taizu, Han Tong and Zheng En). The above quote tying them together comes from a very popular novel published in 1768, perfect timing to influence our Praying Mantis legendary source material.

    But our mantis family sonnet says there was a fight between Taizu (Kuangyin) and Han Tong as Zheng En watched from the side.

    To find that story we have to leave the world of books and go to stage performances from the Ming Dynasty, hundreds of years earlier, to find the story of Zheng En watching Han Tong fight Taizu
    Yep, the timing is certainly right.

    BT

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    But how does a story prove anything about praying mantis?
    The story, just literary fiction based on imagined conversations really.

    The performance of Han Tong and Zhao Kuangyin meeting is a humorous story that included a skit where Zheng En watched as Han Tong and Kuangyin fought in an inn. As per the custom of those days The lead actor, Kuangyin, sang a song of how he was "beating Han Tong" as both Han Tong and Zheng En interjected between the lyrics of the lead.

    The praying mantis sonnet of Taizu is kind enough to mention the techniques used

    And, funny thing about Zheng En, he is part of the conversation in the first Chinese erotic novel Jin Pin Mei.
    Described by his dark skin and one eye large and one eye small.
    And he sits on the sacred alter of several traditional mantis schools!
    How does this story weave its way into Beng Bu?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    So, to look again at a specific quite from
    Record of Taizu's Visiting Friends
    ...
    At that time Han Tong had made a great name for himself.
    But for the strong there is always the stronger.
    What is the use of exaggerating your own strength?......
    As early as the Ming dynasty (pre 1644) Han Tong would walk on stage and brag as follows;
    My fists have beat all of Shandong
    My flying feet and leaping punches are without peer
    Feared by heroes everywhere
    My name's fame spans a generation

    The moral of the play was about being both humble and the bonds of friendship. The "visiting friends" in the title of the sonnet refers to the heroes of Shandong's Deng Prefect as we can see in the subtitle of the play

    - A Meeting of Heroes at Deng Prefect-

    The title of the play matches the military title taught at that time. Both the play and the military title describe Han Tong as the man from Muling Pass. The military method ended with the "Six Roads of palms and fists"

    The Eighteen family Sonnet of Praying Mantis tells us that Han Tong's Tong Bei is the Mother. Meaning that the Mother of our style comes from Han Tong.

    I think the next question would be, what were Han Tong's techniques?

    Or, what is Han Tong's connection to Muling Pass?

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    To recap; The soldiers watched a play at least by late Ming (1368-1644 ) about Han Tong 韓通 and Song Taizu 宋太祖. I have the play and translated it. Several old Mantis manuals also refer to the the fight in the play in their Sonnet Of Visiting Friends, above.

    During the Ming the soldiers learned an empty hand method attributed to Han Tong. The method shared the same name as the play with the additional "six roads of palms and fists"
    Within Praying Mantis is a sequence of six fist and Palm techniques called Seven Long which informs students how to move like Han Tong.

    So, is the connection between old Mantis and Ming era military training clear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainan Mantis View Post
    To recap; The soldiers watched a play at least by late Ming (1368-1644 ) about Han Tong 韓通 and Song Taizu 宋太祖. I have the play and translated it. Several old Mantis manuals also refer to the the fight in the play in their Sonnet Of Visiting Friends, above.

    During the Ming the soldiers learned an empty hand method attributed to Han Tong. The method shared the same name as the play with the additional "six roads of palms and fists"
    Within Praying Mantis is a sequence of six fist and Palm techniques called Seven Long which informs students how to move like Han Tong.

    So, is the connection between old Mantis and Ming era military training clear?
    Hi KB,

    The link between old Mantis and Ming popular culture/literature is clearer. The difficult part will be linking 7 Long to Beng Bu. Although most of 7 Long techniques appear in Beng Bu, they appear elsewhere as well. Also there's the issue of which version of Beng Bu you're referring to. But I'll wait until I hear the rest of your theory first

    BT

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    Absolutely agree.
    So, what I am saying is that the army of the Ming were recorded to have been taught the same Han Tong techniques alluded to in multiple instances of our family of mantis. Which is to say that the source of seven long is Ming army, at least in some cases.

    Mantis old manuscript mentons Muling Pass three times

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    Interesting hypothesis! There's no doubt of Han Tong's prominent place in the 7 Long. We should revisit the 7 Long. Which version are you referring to? There are a few versions (mainly differences in 1, 3 and 5), though most end exactly the same way, with no variation in the reference to Han Tong.

    BT

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