Zhang Sanfeng

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zhang.
张三丰
Zhang Sanfeng
武当山太极张三丰.JPG
Statue of Zhang Sanfeng at Wudang Mountain
Born Zhang Junbao (張君寶)
12th century
Style Neijia
Zhang Sanfeng
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Zhang Junbao
Chinese

Zhang Sanfeng was a legendary Chinese Taoist priest who is believed by some to have achieved immortality, said variously to date from either the late Song Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty or Ming Dynasty. His name is said to have been Zhang Junbao before he became a Taoist.

Zhang's legend is that of indifference to fame and wealth. After declining official position and dispatching his property to his clan, he traveled around China to live the life of an ascetic. Zhang spent several years at Hua Mountain before settling in the Wudang Mountains.[1]

Legacy[edit]

A legendary culture hero, Zhang Sanfeng is credited by modern practitioners as having originated the concepts of neijia (內家); soft, internal martial arts, specifically T'ai chi ch'uan, as a result of a Neo-Confucian syncretism of Chán Buddhist Shaolin martial arts with his mastery of Taoist Tao Yin (neigong) principles. It is said that on one occasion Zhang Sanfeng observed a bird attacking a snake on Wudang Mountain and was greatly inspired by the snake's defensive tactics. It remained still and alert in face of the bird's onslaught until it made a lunge and fatally bit its attacker. This battle inspired him to create a 72-movement T'ai chi ch'uan “set.”[2] He is also associated in legend with the Taoist monasteries at Wudang Mountains in Hubei province.

Huang Zongxi's Epitaph for Wang Zhengnan (1669) gives him credit for the development of a Taoist "internal martial arts" style, as opposed to the "external" style of the Buddhist martial arts tradition of Shaolin. Stanley Henning's article, "Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan" is critical of the myth that Zhang Sanfeng created taijiquan, and asserts that it is very likely that Zhang never existed.[3]

Zhang Sanfeng is also said to have been versed in Shaolinquan, an expert in the white crane and snake styles of Chinese martial arts, as well as in the use of the Chinese straight sword or jian.[citation needed] According to relatively late (19th century) documents preserved within the Yang and Wu family's archives,[citation needed] the name of Zhang Sanfeng's master was Xu Xuanping (許宣平), said to be a Tang dynasty hermit poet and Taoist Tao Yin expert.

The Tai Chi Chuan families who ascribe the foundation of their art to Zhang traditionally celebrate his birthdate as the 9th day of the 3rd Chinese lunar month.

Traditional folktales[edit]

Much of the written material about him is mythical, contradictory, or otherwise suspect. For instance, he is reported by different people to have been born either in 960, 1247, or in 1279. He has at times been described as being seven-feet tall, with the bones of a crane and the posture of a pine tree, having whiskers shaped like a spear, and being able to cover 1000 li in a day (roughly 580 km or 350 miles). He is reputed to have worn a straw hat, and is usually depicted with one slung on his back, but two villages are reported in the 19th century Wu-yang Gazeteer (Wu-yang hsien-chih) to have believed that his hat was actually a cymbal, which only residents of the villages (famous for manufacturing cymbals) had permission to sound upon meeting him.

Some sources record two Chinese emperors sending missions to Zhang Sanfeng to ask for his advice, although neither mission is reported to have found him.

Owing to his legendary status, his name frequently appears in Chinese novels and Wuxia films of swordsmen as a spiritual teacher and master of martial arts. One of the films is Tai Chi Master starring Jet Li and portrayed by him, another is Kung Fu Cult Master from the famous Wuxia novel The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber by Louis Cha where Zhang is portrayed by Sammo Hung.

Today, Chinese readers and general public are most acquainted with Jin Yong's version of Zhang Sanfeng, thanks to the popularity of his Wuxia novels. Zhang's popularity also attributes to his personal characters. He has a personality mixed with Confucianism and Taoism that make him very endearing to most of the Chinese people.[4] In Jin Yong's book The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber, Zhang Sanfeng was a former Shaolin disciple in the late Song Dynasty, and born on April 9, 1247 at midnight (Day 9 of month 3 in Chinese calendar). He later left Shaolin Temple and established the Taoist monasteries in Wudang Mountains. In the book he had seven disciples, and was alive at least until the late Yuan Dynasty. According to many regional gazettes, Zhang Sanfeng was seen at the end year of Tianshun reign (1457–1464), having lived for more than 200 years.

T'ai chi ch'uan lineage tree[edit]

Note:

  • This lineage tree is not comprehensive, but depicts those considered the 'gate-keepers' & most recognised individuals in each generation of the respective styles.
  • Although many styles were passed down to respective descendants of the same family, the lineage focused on is that of the martial art & its main styles, not necessarily that of the families.
  • Each (coloured) style depicted below, has a lineage tree on its respective article page that is focused on that specific style, showing a greater insight into the highly significant individuals in its lineage.
  • Names denoted by an asterisk are legendary or semi-legendary figures in the lineage; while their involvement in the lineage is accepted by most of the major schools, it is not independently verifiable from known historical records.


Key:
Solid lines Direct teacher-student.
(张三丰)
Zhang Sanfeng*
c. 12th century
NEIJIA
Dash lines Individual(s) omitted.
Various Daoists
Legendary figures
Dot lines Partial influence
/taught informally
/limited time.
(王宗岳)
Wang Zongyue*
TAIJIQUAN
Dash cross Branch continues.
(陈王庭)
Chen Wangting
1580–1660
CHEN-STYLE
(蒋法)
Jiang Fa
Zhaobao-style
(陈汝信)
Chen Ruxin
2nd gen. Chen
(陈所乐)
Chen Suole
2nd gen. Chen
(邢喜怀)
Xing Xihuai
2nd gen. Zhaobao
(陈大鹍)
Chen Dakun
3rd gen. Chen
(陈大鹏)
Chen Dapeng
3rd gen. Chen
(陈光印)
Chen Guangyin
3rd gen. Chen
(陈申如)
Chen Shenru
3rd gen. Chen
(陈恂如)
Chen Xunru
3rd gen. Chen
(陈正如)
Chen Zhengru
3rd gen. Chen
(张楚臣)
Zhang Chuchen
3rd gen. Zhaobao
(陈善通)
Chen Shantong
4th gen. Chen
(陈善志)
Chen Shanzhi
4th gen. Chen
(陈继夏)
Chen Jixia
4th gen. Chen
(陈节)
Chen Jie
4th gen. Chen
(陈敬伯)
Chen Jingbo
4th gen. Chen
4th gen. Zhaobao
(陈秉奇)
Chen Bingqi
5th gen. Chen
(陈秉壬)
Chen Bingren
5th gen. Chen
(陈秉旺)
Chen Bingwang
1748–?
5th gen. Chen
(陈公兆)
Chen Gongzhao
1715– after1795
5th gen. Chen
(张宗禹)
Zhang Zongyu
5th gen. Zhaobao
(陈长兴)
Chen Changxing
1771–1853
6th gen. Chen
Chen Old Frame
(陈有本)
Chen Youben
c. 19th century
6th gen. Chen
Chen Small Frame
(张彦)
Zhang Yan
6th gen. Zhaobao
(陈耕耘)
Chen Gengyun
7th gen. Chen
(杨露禅)
Yang Luchan
1799–1872
YANG-STYLE
Guang Ping Yang
Yangjia Michuan
(陈清萍)
Chen Qingping
1795–1868
7th gen. Chen
7th gen. Zhaobao
(陈延熙)
Chen Yanxi
8th gen. Chen
(王兰亭)
Wang Lanting
1840–?
2nd gen. Yang
(杨健侯)
Yang Jianhou
1839–1917
2nd gen. Yang
2nd gen. Yangjia Michuan
(杨班侯)
Yang Banhou
1837–1892
2nd gen. Yang
2nd gen.
Guang Ping Yang
Yang Small Frame
(武禹襄)
Wu Yuxiang
1812–1880
WU (HAO)-STYLE
(他招远)
He Zhaoyuan
1810–1890
8th gen. Zhaobao
Zhaobao He-style
(陈发科)
Chen Fake
1887–1957
9th gen. Chen
Chen New Frame
(李瑞东)
Li Ruidong
1851–1917
Li-style
(杨澄甫)
Yang Chengfu
1883–1936
3rd gen. Yang
Yang Big Frame
(杨少侯)
Yang Shaohou
1862–1930
3rd gen. Yang
Yang Small Frame
(吴全佑)
Wu Quanyou
1834–1902
1st gen. Wu
(王矯宇)
Wang Jiaoyu
1836–1939
3rd gen.
Guang Ping Yang
(李亦畬)
Li Yiyu
1832–1892
2nd gen. Wu (Hao)
(和庆喜)
He Qingxi
1857–1936
9th gen. Zhaobao
(陈照丕)
Chen Zhaopi
1893–1972
10th gen. Chen
focused on
Chen Old Frame
(陈照奎)
Chen Zhaokui
1928–1981
10th gen. Chen
focused on
Chen New Frame
(張欽霖)
Zhang Qinlin
1888–1967
3rd gen. Yangjia Michuan
(杨振铎)
Yang Zhenduo
b. 1926
4th gen. Yang
(傅仲文)
Fu Zhongwen
1903–1994
4th gen. Yang
Beijing (24) form
(郑曼青)
Zheng Manqing
1902–1975
4th gen. Yang
Short (37) Form
(吴鉴泉)
Wu Jianquan
1870–1942
2nd gen. Wu
WU-STYLE
108 Form
Kuo Lien Ying
1895–1984
4th gen.
Guang Ping Yang
(郝為真)
Hao Weizhen
1849–1920
3rd gen. Wu (Hao)
(郑悟清)
Zheng Wuqing
1895–1984
10th gen. Zhaobao
(吴公儀)
Wu Gongyi
1900–1970
3rd gen. Wu
(孙禄堂)
Sun Lutang
1861–1932
SUN-STYLE
(郝月如)
Hao Yueru
1877–1935
4th gen. Wu (Hao)
(王延年)
Wang Yannian
1914–2008
5th gen. Yang
4th gen. Yangjia Michuan
(鄭天熊)
Zheng Tianxiong
1930–2005
Wudang-style
(吴雁霞)
Wu Yanxia
1930–2001
4th gen. Wu
(孙剑云)
Sun Jianyun
1913–2003
2nd gen. Sun
(郝少如)
Hao Shaoru
1908–1983
5th gen. Wu (Hao)
(陈小旺)
Chen Xiaowang
b. 1945
11th gen. Chen
(陈小星)
Chen Xiaoxing
b. 1952
11th gen. Chen
(杨军)
Yang Jun
b. 1968
5th gen. Yang
(吴光宇)
Wu Guangyu
b. 1946
5th gen. Wu
(孙永田)
Sun Yongtian
b. ?
3rd gen. Sun
(刘积顺)
Liu Jishun
b. 1930
6th gen. Wu (Hao)
CHEN-STYLE
YANG-STYLE
WU-STYLE
SUN-STYLE
WU (HAO)-STYLE

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Albert Liu, Nei Jia Quan: Internal Martial Arts, North Atlantic Books, 2004
  2. ^ Mount Wudang -- Abode of Immortals and a Martial Monk, by staff reporter HUO JIANYING (front page)
  3. ^ Henning, Stanley (Autumn–Winter 1994). "Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan" (PDF). Journal of the Chenstyle Taijiquan Research Association of Hawaii 2 (3): 1–7. 
  4. ^ Zhang Sanfeng

References[edit]

  • Wile, Douglas Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the late Ch'ing Dynasty (1996) State University of New York Press, Albany. ISBN 0-7914-2653-X
  • Albert Liu, Nei Jia Quan: Internal Martial Arts, North Atlantic Books, 2004
  • Journal of Asian Martial Arts Volume 16, No. 4, 2007. Via Media Publishing, Santa Fe, New Mexico USA. ISSN 1057-8358

External links[edit]