Monday, September 11, 2006

Cheng Man-ch'ing:1956, A Simplified Method of Calisthenics for Health and Self Defense

Beauson Tseng, circa 1953

Cheng Man-ch'ing turned to the noted scholar and translator, Beauson Tseng (1899-1967) 程天放,to translate Cheng's Chinese text into English. Mr. Tseng was an English professor at Taiwan Normal University, and in 1953 accepted the post of President of the newly constructed Tunghai University. He had an illustrious career in Taiwan, culiminaitng in his appointment as Minister for Education.
The text itself is rather shallow and the English translation rather urbane. The original Chinese text for the book has never been officially published, except in private copy.
Of particular note, however, is Cheng's description of, "How To Uproot Your Opponent." This section is altogether absent from the Chinese version, and it was not until the mid-eighties that some energetic practioners translated the English back into Chinese.
In addition to this section being omitted from the Chinese text, the English text published by North Atlantic omits what is certainly one of the most comical songs ever created, the musical number entitled, Song of Taichi. In order to correct this obvious oversight, and to provide the musically inclined a good laugh, I am including a copy of this song, for all the world to sing, in my next posting.


At 6:53 PM, Blogger Rick said...

I'm very happy to have found your blog. I have your translations of Prof Cheng's non-taiji writings, and I find it immensely interesting to get another perspective of the man.

At 1:24 AM, Blogger CARDINAL009 said...

Nice blog~


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