The History of Chinese Martial Arts is both complex and not without controversy. The chart below is an illustration of my martial “family tree” this is known as a lineage, it is slightly abbreviated for clarity. The people named in the gold boxes are my direct lineage predecessors, because I am a lineage student of Dan Docherty. Being a lineage student indicates that I was accepted as what is known as an “Inside The Door Student”, which means I received direct, private instruction that is not available in public classes.
You can see in the chart that Cheng Wing Kwong was a student of several different schools, it his his influence, which in part explains how this branch of TaJiQuan differs from more mainstream TaiJi schools. He was responsible for establishing the importance of Nei Gong training and other supplementary training drills. He was famous for his ability to withstand full power strikes to his body.
Both my teacher Dan Docherty and his teacher Cheng Tin Hung took the decision to not use the “Wu” family name in their school names, something that they were entitled to do if they so chose. They both did this because they rejected the concept of family inheritance of schools as it can be damaging to a school if a person of low ability inherits a school because of ‘birth right’. I follow the same reasoning.
I use the prefix “Yuan Yi” (Original Intent), this has three meanings; firstly I focus my training on core essential skills and conditioning rather than accumulation of numerous forms, this how internal boxing was originally practised. The hundreds of forms that are now studied are modern creations, while entertaining and pleasant to watch, they add little to martial skill. The second meaning is a reference to the importance of “Yi” (Intent / Will) in training, this refers to having a highly focused frame of mind during all training and not doing drills automatically without thought. Finally the use of “YI” also references the inclusion of XingYi / YiQuan in the styles lineage and the influence that has on the approach to training.