Would anyone like access to Tang Hao's books?

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Michael
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
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Would anyone like access to Tang Hao's books?

Post by Michael » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:17 am

Do a little bit of scholarly research on the history of Chinese martial arts and you quickly discover that there's not much in the way of secondary source material. The English-language sources are mostly interested in either history or martial arts but rarely both, while the Chinese-language sources are often inaccessible to us in the West, and often fail to meet Western standards of scholarly rigor. One of the names that tends to stand out on the Chinese side of things is Tang Hao.

If you're not familiar with Tang Hao and you can't read Chinese, I might suggest reading some of Stanley Henning's work. He has written several short and useful articles on Chinese martial arts which are freely available on the internet. Tang Hao was both a historian and a martial arts practitioner - a rare combination - and wrote a number of short books on Chinese martial arts history during the first half of the 20th century. I have read some scholars complain that the state of Chinese martial arts history has progressed little since his time. For example, he debunked myths about Bodhidharma and Zhang Sanfeng in the origin stories of Taijiquan and Shaolinquan, despite the fact that this has been largely been ignored and the myths are still prevalent.

I haven't been able to find any of Tang Hao's works in the US, and although I'm aware of one scanned copy of one of his books online, it is in the original traditional Chinese characters. As far as I know, he has not yet been translated into English. If this is not the case, I'd love to know.

I'm in Beijing at the moment, and I discovered that Tang Hao's books are easily found in ordinary bookstores over here. What's more, the modern versions have been translated from traditional Chinese characters into simplified, often with the original side by side with the simplified version. I was toying with the idea of translating them, but my Chinese level is relatively low and it would take me many months to do a single short book. But I went ahead and purchased a number of them, because I don't know where to get them outside of China.

I'd like to make these resources available to more martial artists, especially Taiji practitioners because Tang Hao practiced Chen style Taiji himself, and wrote extensively about Taiji. So here are my questions for you guys:

1. Are there any particular books/sections/pieces of information by Tang Hao that anyone is looking to get a hold of? I can find my way to a scanner if necessary, and I can do my best to translate as well.

2. Does anyone have any more information about whether his works are available online and in any other languages? He seems to be fairly well known among a niche crowd.


Here is a list of some of his works and my initial attempts to translate the titles. I believe there are more.
太极拳研究 Taijiquan Research
戚继光拳经 General Qi Ji Guang's Boxing Classic
少林武当考 Study of Shaolin and Wudang
中国拳术图籍考 Study of Chinese Martial Arts Books
太极拳与内家拳 Taijiquan and Internal Martial Arts
内家拳 Internal Martial Arts
王五公太极连环刀法 Wang Wugong's Taiji Whip Knife Methods (?)
王宗岳太极拳经 Wang Zongyue's Taijiquan Classic
王宗岳阴符枪谱 Wang Zongyue's Secret Daoist Spear Manual (?)
中国古佚剑法 Chinese Ancient Lost Swordsmanship
行健斋随笔 Notes from Xingjian Studio (?)
清代射艺丛书 Qing Era Archery Books
中国民族体育图籍考 Study of Chinese Ethnic Physical Culture Books
中国武术图籍考 Study of Chinese Martial Arts Books
中国武术图籍考补篇 Supplement to Study of Chinese Martial Arts Books
少林拳术秘诀考证 Secret Research on Shaolin Martial Arts
中国体育史参考资料 Brief History of Chinese Sports
Antitheses: A blog for martial artists in search of a good conversation.

taiwandeutscher
Rank: Chang San feng
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Re: Would anyone like access to Tang Hao's books?

Post by taiwandeutscher » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:47 pm

Well, as a sinologist and ma practitioner of many years, I've known Tang Hao's and Xu Zhen's (a collegue of Tang) works for many years. Though they have been of great importance, times have progressed and nowadays, their works are only secondary sources, as both scholars have been proven to have followed their own agendas in their research. An it's hard not to when you practice a ma yourself.

It is really difficult to find scholarship of a western understanding in Chinese scholary circles, even today, and I know what I'm talking of, working at a state university in Taiwan, with many exchanges with the mainland.

What I try to do in my sparetime, is to locate and find older ma texts in the vast writings of China, often scattered in fragments in historical, philosophical or medical works, as ma was traditionally an art of more uneducated than educated people, having produced fewer independent works by themselfs. There is still a hugh amount of unchecked other writings, for example there are a few new sources on Zhang Sanfeng (published in the Journal of Chinese Martial Arts), but it's like a hugh puzzle, one finds bits and pieces here and there and tries to put them togehter.

But thank you for your effort and the bibliographical notes on Tang.
Happy New Year!
hongdaozi

Michael
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:21 pm
Location: In flux

Re: Would anyone like access to Tang Hao's books?

Post by Michael » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:47 am

taiwandeutscher wrote:Well, as a sinologist and ma practitioner of many years, I've known Tang Hao's and Xu Zhen's (a collegue of Tang) works for many years. Though they have been of great importance, times have progressed and nowadays, their works are only secondary sources, as both scholars have been proven to have followed their own agendas in their research. An it's hard not to when you practice a ma yourself.
Well it's a question of accessibility. It's not as if Tang Hao's research (and that of his contemporaries) isn't dated, but I think that it's a shame that more people aren't aware of the contributions that have already been made. First there's the language barrier, then there's the reluctance many of many martial artists to critically examine martial arts history. Performing new research is great, but for people like me that's not quite an option yet. Maybe one day. Until then I'm just trying to do what little I can.
Antitheses: A blog for martial artists in search of a good conversation.

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