International Tai Chi Chuan Association (ITCCA™)

Chang San Feng (Zhang Sanfeng)

is the mythical founder of Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan). He was a master of external martial arts (Shaolin) before he retired at age 70. He met a taoist immortal named Huo Lung (fire dragon) who taught him taoist meditation.

Chang San Feng was curious how to incorporate the strong flows of chi he experienced in his meditations into his martial movements. But he got no answer from his master.

One day, in his garden, he witnessed the fight of a snake an a crane. Observing the movements and tactics of the two animals, he finally grasped the principles he had to apply to his movements.

He changed the postures and movements accordingly and was without peer for the rest of his very long life.

Wang Tsung Yueh (Wang Zongyue)

Little is known about the famous author of the Tai Chi Treatise, one of the texts of the "Tai Chi classics". He came from the lineage of Chang San Feng and was the master of Chiang Fa.

Chiang Fa (Jiang Fa)

was a tofu-maker from Xian (Shaanxi) who one day travelled through Chenjiagou. Seeing the local youths practicing their ancestral Pao Chui martial art, he could not restrain himself from laughing and thus was immediately challenged by one of the practinioners. Being an accomplished master in the art of Tai Chi Chuan which had been handed down to him by Wang Tsung Yueh, he defeated the challenger with such ease that the baffled loser begged him to stay and teach him his mysterious fighting art. Chiang Fa stayed for two years, teaching the young Chen Chang Hsing the secrets of his art.

Chen Chang Hsing

Chen Chang Hsing (Chen Changxing)

was the fighter who challenged Chiang Fa who had offended their ancestral martial art.

After becoming the pupil of an outsider, he was forbidden to teach the Chen-family Pao Chui any longer. The art of Tai Chi Chuan was then taught secretely at night to a few selected students, in the master's house.

Chen Chang Hsing was known to have an extremely erect composture, which earned him the nickname "Mr. ancestral tablet".

Yang Lu Chan

went to Chen Chia Gou to learn from the famous martial arts master Chen Chang Hsing, but as an outsider he had no prospects to become one of his regular students. So he introduced himself into the master's household as a deaf-dumb servant and spied upon the secret training that was held there every night.

Eventually, his cover blew up and he had to show what he had already learned. He turned out to be more talented than any of the other students and so was taken as disciple by Chen Chang Hsing.

Years later he challenged and defeated 18 famous kung fu masters after which he went straight to Peking to become appointed as the trainer of the imperial guards and the imperial family. Having won all of his fights with no more than two moves, he was nicknamed "Yang no fighting".

Yang Lu-Ch'an had two sons, Pan-hou and Chien-hou who in their turn became famous masters.

Yang Pan Hou (Yang Banhou)

Yang Pan Hou (Yang Banhou) was the eldest son of Yang Lu-ch'an. As a young man, he often fought challenge matches for his father and was called "Yang The Unmatchable".

He used to say: "If You cannot throw or overcome someone with T'ai Chi Ch'uan, it is simply because your skill has not matured. Don't say T'ai Chi Ch'uan is of no practical use. Don't be afraid even if someone is as strong as a bull - a 100 pounds weight is useless if it lands on nothing."

Yang Chien Hou (Yang Jianhou)

was the second son of Yang Lu-ch'an. When he was young, he was not at all endeared to practicing Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) as much as his father made him do, and even ran away twice to become a monk (futile attempts, of course). He grew up to be a much milder man than his older brother, and was prone to enjoy jokes and pranks. Nonetheless, he was a master. He defeated a famous sword master with only a painting brush as a weapon. Also, he could set a swallow on his hand and listen to its energy - when the swallow tried to take off and push down with his legs and wings, he would yield to this pressure, and the swallow would have no purchase to take off, and could not fly away. He was fond of birds and they would sometimes even try to nest in his outstretched hands when he practiced standing Chi Kung.

Yang Shou Hou

Master Yang Shou-hou was the eldest son of Chien Hou. In temperament he was more like his Uncle Pan-hou, from whom he learned fighting and push hands more than anything else. He started training at seven and was know to love to fight.

Yang Cheng Fu

In temperament more like his father, Yang Chien-hou, calm. He did not like to practice when young, but made it up later, training very hard, day and night. Big of body, he later liked to use expansive, big movements in contrast to his older brothers who used small ones. His body, even though on the fat side, felt more like steel covered with cotton than flesh. He taught mostly in Shanghai after arriving there in the 1920s.

Yang Shou Chung

was the eldest son of master Yang Cheng-fu. He begann the intensive training with his father and his uncle Shao Hou when he was 8. As his father would not having him repeat his own mistake, he made him practice the form 30 times avery day (which took approximatively 8 hours).

At age 14, Yang Shou Chung began assisting his father in his teaching. Five years later he had become so famous that he was hired by government officials as their private teacher.

During the big changes that shook his country, he moved to Hongkong where he settled down with his wife Yang Kwok Yee in 1947. Grandmaster Yang had three daughters Tai-Yee, Ma-Lee und Yee-Li.

In Hong Kong he taught many students but only three three disciples: Ip Tai Tak, Chu Gin Soon and Chu King Hung.

Master Chu King Hung

Chu King Hung

began his Tai Chi Chuan training at age nine with his neighbor, Mr. Lao. When his family moved to Hong Kong, he began his training with master Yang Shou Chung at age 12 and spent 26 years learning the complete curriculum of the Original Yang-Style from his master.

Master Chu King Hung founded the ITCCA together with master Yang in the 1970ies. He then moved to Europe where he teaches the Original Yang Style until now.