Reminiscences of Master Yao Zongxun – Final Part

“M Wang’s decision to adjust his students’ ‘frames’ in order to enter boxing tournaments is a prime example of M Wang’s willingess to break with tradition and his eagerness to innovate. If a martial art wishes to maintain its vigour, it has to move with the times. That’s the only way that we can compete fairly, and the only way we can get a chance to realistically test out our gongfu. Otherwise, if a martial art shuts its doors, makes excuses why it can’t compete, the result will be that that martial art will die. Of course, no matter how a martial art evolves, its essence, its internal techniques and culture melded into one, cannot be lost, that is the crucial point for Yiquan’s devlopment, as well as for other martial arts.” – Cui Ruibin

Masters of the IMA

A: Has M Yao’s Yiquan moved away from M Wang’s Yiquan in its appearance?

C: On top of the foundation laid down by M Wang, M Yao made his Yiquan clearer, more detailed. He used modern kinesiology to explain Yiquan. He also investigated the aspects of physiology, psychology, neurology and sports science that related to Yiquan. His training syllabus was continuous with that of M Wang. For example, ‘opposing force’ and reaction training, these two ideas are Yiquan’s roots, we can’t do without them. How do we develop these methods further? You can’t keep expressing the essence of the art in vague ways that leave people scratching their heads. That kind of thing will only lead to misunderstandings by Yiquan students. In this respect, M Yao made Yiquan clearer, more transparent. He changed some of the terms and explanations used during M Wang’s time for more modern, more easily understood…

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