Why is Baguazhang so strange? What does it have to do with Mongolia? In this episode we have a chat about this very unusual martial art, often considered a sister art to Xing Yi and Tai Chi.
In our last look at Tai Chi for a while, we examine the context of the times in which Chen Zhaopei and Chen Fake became prominent for their martial arts in Beijing, and then at a national level, joining the wave of commerciality that had been originally instigated by the legacy of Yang Luchan and the Wu brothers. In addition we explain why the forms are similar in general order between the Yang/Wu and Chen lineages.
In this episode we examine the Chen family’s relationship with General Yuan Shikai, the friction between modernising and conservative factions within China and the events of the Boxer Rebellion.
In this episode we look at the events surrounding Yang Luchan’s expulsion from the imperial service in 1861 in the context of the rise to power of Empress Dowager Cixi. We also examine how the involvement of the western powers in Chinese affairs directly led to the Self Strenghtening Movement and the establishment of the first public martial arts schools in North China.
In this episode we look at how the effects of the Taiping Northern Expedition and the Nian Rebellion of the mid-Nineteenth Century drew the Confucian Wu brothers and the fighters of Chen Village towards each other for the first time.
In this episode we examine the context in which the relationship between Yang Luchan, Wu Chengqing and Wu Yuxiang developed during the years of the Taiping Rebellion and the new regime of Emperor Xianfeng.
Did Tai Chi exist before 1850? In this episode we begin a new series of episodes on this subject by setting the scene and historical background to the mythmaking around the origins of Tai Chi that occurred starting from the middle of the Nineteenth Century in response to social turmoil and unrest exemplified by the Taiping Rebellion and Opium Wars.
We turn our attention to the Fall of the Song, and examine the posthumous influence of the military legacy of the three great generals, Yue, Han and Zhang, on drawing out the final demise of the Dynasty.
As a background to our upcoming discussion of late Song Dynasty armour and weapons, in this episode we give a brief overview of a few animal strategies applied on the battlefield at strategic and tactical levels, as well as in individual combat.