Old photos of Yiquan training

Just came across some photos of Yao Zongxun teaching Yiquan (from this site) in the 80s that I thought would be of interest to all the Yiquan guys out there:

Yao Zongxun teaching dan shou (single hand) shi li

Yao Zongxun teaching yao fa (shaking) shi li

Yao Cheng-guang (right) striking focus mitts - notice the makeshift chestguard

The context for these photos is that they were taken in 1982 in Beijing, only a couple of years after Yao and his sons had returned to Beijing from the countryside, where they were sent during the Cultural Revolution.  Shortly after returning to Beijing, Yao decided to pick a batch of dedicated and talented students to essentially train full-time in Yiquan, much as Wang Xiangzhai had done with Han Xingqiao, Bu Enfu etc in the 1930s. Soon after these pictures were taken, Yao Cheng-guang would enter China’s first Sanshou competition (in April 1982), knocking his opponent out in the first minute of his bout.

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About yosaku

Xingyiquan enthusiast
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3 Responses to Old photos of Yiquan training

  1. I wonder why Wang used western boxing punches instead of Hsing-I punches ? Anyone know why ?

  2. Rob says:

    Fantastic pictures I have never seen them before. BTW I am sure GM Wang used western boxing tecniques in the original concepts of Yiquan

    • yosaku says:

      Rob, glad you liked the pictures. Re: the whole issue of contact between western boxing and Yiquan, I have never read of Wang Xiangzhai learning or comparing training methods with boxers (although of course he fought and defeated several over the course of his martial arts career). My feeling is that if there are traces of boxing footwork / techniques in Yiquan, then they are more likely to come from the second generation of Yiquan masters. Many of the second generation were skilled boxers before studying Yiquan, including Yao Zongxun, Zhang Changxin, Zhao Daoxin and of course Bu Enfu, who was a boxing champion in his own right before coming to Wang Xiangzhai. Another way to look at this issue is to look at the Dachengquan of Wang Xuanjie and Chang Zhilang, who learnt from Wang Xiangzhai towards the end of his life – there is very little trace of western boxing in their techniques or footwork.

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