Zhang Sanfeng

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

Zhang Sanfeng was a legendary Chinese Taoist who is believed to have achieved immortality. According to various accounts, he was born in Shaowu, Nanping, Fujian during the Southern Song dynasty and lived for over 200 years until the mid-Ming dynasty. His given name was Tong (通) and his courtesy name was Junbao (君寶). He specialised in Confucian and Taoist studies, scholarly and literary arts. During the reign of Emperor Shizu in the Yuan dynasty, he was nominated as a candidate to join the civil service and held office as the Magistrate of Boling County (博陵縣; around present-day Dingzhou, Baoding, Hebei). While touring around the mountainous regions near present-day Baoji, Shaanxi, he saw the summits of three mountains and decided to give himself the Taoist name "Sanfengzi" (三丰子), hence he also became known as "Zhang Sanfeng".

Zhang Sanfeng's life is that of indifference to fame and wealth. After declining to serve the government and giving away his property to his clan, he travelled around China and lived as an ascetic. He spent several years on Mount Hua before settling in the Wudang Mountains.[1]

Legacy[edit]

Zhang Sanfeng is credited for creating the concept of neijia (內家) in Chinese martial arts, specifically taijiquan, a Neo-Confucian syncretism of Shaolin martial arts with his mastery of daoyin (or neigong) principles. On one occasion, he observed a bird attacking a snake and was greatly inspired by the snake's defensive tactics. It remained still and alert in the face of the bird's onslaught until it made a lunge and fatally bit its attacker. This incident inspired him to create a set of 72 taijiquan movements.[2] He is also associated with the Taoist monasteries in the Wudang Mountains.

Huang Zongxi's Epitaph for Wang Zhengnan (1669) gave Zhang Sanfeng credit for the development of a Taoist "internal martial arts" style, as opposed to the "external" style of the Shaolin martial arts tradition. Stanley Henning's article, Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan, criticised the myth that Zhang Sanfeng created taijiquan and cast doubt on whether Zhang really existed.[3]

Zhang Sanfeng was also an expert in the White Crane and Snake styles of Chinese martial arts, and in the use of the jian (double-edged Chinese sword).[citation needed] According to 19th century documents preserved in the archives of the Yang and Wu-styles taijiquan families,[citation needed] Zhang Sanfeng's master was Xu Xuanping, a Tang dynasty Taoist poet and daoyin expert. The taijiquan families who honour Zhang Sanfeng as the creator of taijiquan traditionally celebrate his birthday on the ninth day of the third month in the Chinese calendar.[citation needed]

Writings[edit]

Writings attributed to Zhang Sanfeng include the Da Dao Lun (大道論), Xuanji Zhi Jiang (玄機直講), Xuan Tan Quanji (玄譚全集), Xuan Yao Pian (玄要篇), Wu Gen Shu Ci (無根樹詞) and others. These were compiled into a collection known as The Complete Collection of Mr Zhang Sanfeng (張三丰先生全集), which is found in Dao Zang Ji Yao (道藏輯要), a series of Taoist texts compiled by Peng Dingqiu (彭定求) in the early Qing dynasty. It also contained introductory notes on Taoist martial arts and music.

In folktales, fiction and media[edit]

Much of the written material about Zhang Sanfeng is mythical, contradictory, or otherwise suspect. For instance, he is reported in various accounts[which?] to have been born in either 960, 1247 or 1279. He was described to be seven feet tall, with bones like a crane's, a posture like a pine tree, whiskers shaped like spear blades, and capable of travelling a thousand li (roughly 580 km or 350 miles) in a day. He was also depicted with a straw hat slung on his back. The 19th-century text Wu-yang County Gazetteer mentioned that his hat was actually a cymbal, which only residents in two villages famous for manufacturing cymbals had permission to sound upon meeting him. Some sources[which?] recorded two Chinese emperors sending emissaries to search for Zhang Sanfeng and consult him on governance, but they never found him.

Owing to his legendary status, Zhang Sanfeng's name appears in Chinese wuxia novels, films and television series as a spiritual teacher and martial arts master. Zhang Sanfeng's popularity among the Chinese is also attributed to his personality and association with Confucianism and Taoism.[4] The best known depiction of Zhang Sanfeng in fiction is probably in Jin Yong's wuxia novel The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber, which is primarily set in the final years of the Yuan dynasty. In the novel, Zhang Sanfeng is a former Shaolin monk who founded the Wudang Sect based in the Wudang Mountains. He has seven apprentices, the "Seven Heroes of Wudang", one of whom is the father of the novel's protagonist, Zhang Wuji. According to many regional gazettes, Zhang Sanfeng was still alive in the reign of the Tianshun Emperor (r. 1457–1464) in the Ming dynasty, having lived for more than 200 years.

Notable actors have portrayed Zhang Sanfeng in film and television. Jet Li starred as a young Zhang Sanfeng in the 1993 film Tai Chi Master (1993). Sammo Hung appeared as Zhang Sanfeng in Kung Fu Cult Master, a 1993 film loosely adapted from The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber and which starred Jet Li as Zhang Wuji. Yu Chenghui also portrayed Zhang Sanfeng in the 2009 television series adaptation of The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.

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. ^ Liu, Albert (2004). Nei Jia Quan: Internal Martial Arts. North Atlantic Books. 
  2. ^ [dead link] Mount Wudang -- Abode of Immortals and a Martial Monk, by staff reporter Huo Jianying (front page)
  3. ^ Henning, Stanley (1994). "Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan" (PDF). Journal of the Chen style Taijiquan Research Association of Hawaii 2 (3): 1–7. 
  4. ^ "Zhang Sanfeng". U China Visa. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 

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]