Wednesday 4 May 2011

The Establishment of Tang Shou Dao

            Of the three Hong brothers, Hong Yi Xiang did the most the promote the Yi Zong System. Hong Yi Xiang had a large physique, and was famous for his San Shou. In order to interest students to the school, he would try to get many of the students to enter competitions. Hong wouldn’t talk a lot, instead his school would focus on practical applications that could be used for competition. Hong would often say,”the so-called one-courage, two-strength, and three-skill, you can have strength and skill, but if you aren’t brave, it’s useless.” After students reached a proficient level in the Tang Shou Dao curriculum, Hong would return to teach students deeper theories from Xing Yi and Ba Gua.
            In his early days Hong had a lot of contact with foreign martial arts groups. Especially in terms of seeing the expansion of Japanese martial arts. This made Hung realize that the traditional method of teaching Chinese martial arts did not correspond to the trends of the times, Japanese martial arts was what his organization should be modeled after and he started to make changes. In the early days of Taiwan, Karate had been brought into the country, But it wasn’t until some time had passed before Hong realized the organization of Karate would be worthwhile using. It was then that Hong established Tang Shou Dao, in order to have an organizational system for traditional Chinese martial arts.
            Hong wanted in everyway to copy Japanese style teaching methods. Therefore he needed a style that could be taught on a large scale, he then combined his Shao Lin, Xing Yi, and Ba Gua to make his own style. Students were separated according to their skill level into, beginner, intermediate, or advanced groups. In the beginning, students would learn the newly organized sets to lay the foundation. Only in the advanced classes would he teach Xing Yi and Ba Gua. On the surface, in order to reach his objective, he would promote Tang Shou Dao. However, the heart of his system came from traditional Chinese martial arts.
(tanslated from Taiwan Wu Lin Magazine)