On 23rd February, 1996, Master Hong Junsheng, known as "giant of Tai Ji Quan", passed away and left his pursuit of Tai Ji Quan in his lifetime.
There are ten years till now. His name always reminds us of Tai Ji Quan, which has been highly praised and deeply loved by people and been spread over all the world. The contribution that he made for Tai Ji Quan undertaking and his name Hong Junsheng has been recorded in Chinese Tai Ji Quan history.
Master Hong had been one of the disciples of Tai Ji Master Chen Fa-ke since 1930. He had devoted himself to the theory and practice of Chen style Tai Ji Quan for more than sixty years. He learned the boxing skills from his Master and sought further progress by all kinds of martial arts. He didn't adhere to the fixed law, but rather he always concerned the facts and sought the truth. He is the second people who made a new contribution on explaining the theory and the law of Tai Ji Quan. In the light of the Chan Fa (twisting ?) theory of Master Chen Xin and practical boxing skills taught by his Master, he further elaborated Chen style Tai Ji Quan by combining the law of the unity of opposites and mechanics principle with studying and teaching practices.
He pointed out the hand's rotation and revolution for the first time, rotating and revolving accordingly and conversely, and the specific requirements of Chan technique of feet. What's more, he further explained what kind of angle should be acquired to coordinate the rotation and revolution of each movement. That had solved the problem left by the book Chen style Tai Ji Quan
Chen style Tai Ji Quan is famous for its attacking skills in the world. Master Hong paid high attention to its attacking techniques and usage. He also made a comprehensive and deep study on its core- Chan Si Jin (a kind of force as silk twisted up and up). He made a creative exposition on the relationship between rotation and revolution of eyes', body's, steps' and arms' spiral movements. He emphasized that the direction and the angle of one's eyes, body, steps, and arms should be made in close coordination. By this, the skilled and magical craftsmanship can be embodied in the boxing.
In his later years, Master Hong strictly followed the principle of Chen style Tai Ji Quan Chan skills on the movement. It was quite different from others, for it is agile and steady and has grand vigor.
Master Hong had a thorough master of Chen style Tai Ji Quan and made a comprehensive study on all kinds of martial schools. Therefore, after testing the theory made by our predecessors, he could make contributions and have new explanations as well as correct some of the misunderstandings by his own teaching and study practices. Agreed by Master Chen Fa-ke, he combined his own experience with movements and skills of Master Chen, and made use of them in his original Tao Lu (a series of skills and tricks in playing Chinese Kung-fu) because he wanted to find a much better way for more learners to master the Chen style Tai Ji Quan. As a result, he passed on this set of boxing skills to disciples in Jinan. It got a good effect in practices and well-known all over the world. He also wrote Chen style Tai Ji Quan learners. This book is the precious treasure in china.
Many other masters often visited Master Hong because of his super boxing skills. He was always modest to communicate the boxing skills by meeting friends.
There is one of the examples. In spring of 1963, when Master began to recover his cold, Master Sang (the daughter of Master Sang Yunxiang), together with Xing Yi Quan Master Qiao Mingde, came to visit him. When Master Qiao heard that Master Hong had got a cold, he said "It is a pity that we cannot experience your Tai Ji Quan Kung-fu!" Master Hong said "it doesn't matter. I can do it as usual." He stood up slowly. At that' very moment, Master Qiao stretched his right fist and attacked Master Hong's chest at a very high speed by using Beng Quan (one of the boxing skills of Xing Yi Quan ). Everyone was surprised then. Master Hong quickly lifted Master Qiao's hand waist by his right hand and raised his middle finger slightly. Immediately, Master Qiao was lifted up in the air and thrown three meters far away! Master Qiao stood up and said "Excellent!"
Master Hong was not only modest but also broadminded. He constantly strived for perfection on the theory and skills of Tai Ji Quan and held that we should discuss it on the basis of facts and science. He often gave his straightforward views on somebody's works or even some wrong points. He also pointed out that any academic study should base on the facts rather than the people and the aim of argument was to make clear what is right and wrong as well as to make progress.
In1964, he submitted his writings for publication to sports column of China Sports. He had a fierce debate with Wu style Tai Ji Quan Master Xu Zhi on the question of "Chan Si Jin and Chou Si Jin in Tai Ji Quan", which had great influential in Tai Jin circle at that time. The book Chen style Tai Ji Quan written by Master Gu and Master Shen is the most standard and earliest book talking about Tai Ji Quan. However, Master Hong had different opinions on this book. Although he had friendly relationship with Master Gu, he dared question the validity of the book. He wrote Commons on the Eight Features of 'Chen style Tai Ji Quan and sought discussion with Master Gu.
Master Hong was indifferent to fame and wealth in his lifetime and was neither supercilious nor arrogant-cordial but independent. He often said: "You She Zi Lai Xiang, Bu Yong Da Feng Yang", which means that if you have got such quality, people will know and it is useless to boast much more. The famous calligrapher Master Qi Gong praised his good quality, morals and writings. Master Chen Fa-ke commended him as "clever, honest and broad-minded, successfully carrying forward Chen style boxing skills".
Master Hong had ever been the committee of Athletic Association in Shangdong Province, the chairman of Athletic Association in Jinan city, and the adviser of both Chen Style Tai Ji Quan Research Association and Shangdong University Wu Shu Club as well as Wu Shu association of Hua Lin school in America. However, he seldom took part in the public activities and never took the initiative in associating with officials. When some officials visited him, he always gave them a very simple treatment because he considered that association in men of noble character was simple. But when his old friends came to visit, he warmly received them because he thought it was a great pleasure to meet his friends.
The most valuable quality of Master Hong is that he could gain pleasure in adverse circumstances and be steady in favorable ones. He had experienced the frustration of life as well as the ups and downs of social changes in his lifetime. Although he had passed away, he still had many sons and grandsons as well as many of his disciples. So there is no regret in his life.
Master Hong was good at handwriting, poetry and tonality. He gained the true essence of Tai Ji Quan from aesthetic perspective. He wrote thirteen pieces of writings about "Quan Pin" of Tai Ji Quan by using the poem form and poem language to describe Tai Ji boxing skills and its aesthetics. He creatively commented on athletic idea in poem language that the level of Wu Shu skills should depend on one's quality. No ancients in the past have said or done this like him and his great contribution inspires people. Master Hong's spirit and his Tai Ji Quan don't fall into a certain people or nation or school category, but rather, they belong to the whole society and human beings.
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