Bùi Xuân Quang exposed
Discussions with a few close students
Let’s start with a few words about your school and your method. We see on youtube: “Huang Sheng Shyan Tai Chi Chuan Paris Parma”, so is this the method, the teaching of Master Huang Sheng Shyan?
I did not meet Master Huang. Patrick Kelly passed on his technique, most likely only a part of it. I am thankful to both. Everything we learn doesn’t just come out of thin air.
But the correct name of the school is BAO I TAI CHI CHUAN.
BAO means “to embrace the one”, from the Tao Te King, the book of virtue of Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism.
Of course, like all practitioners of the Huang Sheng Shyan school we follow the principle transmitted by the great master of Yang Chen Fun’s lineage - Cheng Man Ching: Yield - Neutralise - Emit but our method comes from a long experience through practice. I must first thank Master Tetsuji Murakami, first Karatedo professor to come to Europe. He taught karate to me, but also introduced me to this Japanese culture of duty, responsibility and resilience in front of difficulties (which allowed me to face realities outside of karate). I would also like to thank Pierre Lapébie (who learned Aikido with Master Noro), a generous man who has created Aikijundo an art of movement and union with the partner.
A method first and foremost comes from a certain understanding of life, a teaching cannot only be passed through basic principles. Each teacher is responsible for their own teaching, and if the teaching is right, each practitioner, at some point, becomes his or her own master.
I have learned a lot from the people that I have met in my life, not necessarily from masters, teachers, but also from friends, pupils, people met through pure luck and who have wonders to offer you.
William Lionetti, a former pupil, who was Kempo world champion and a top fighter in Brasilian Jujitsu is an invaluable source of information about fighting at the highest level. He still considers me as his master, but I don’t really know what I’ve actually taught him.
And what about the traditional system as we know it through stories, legends and “traditional” courses?
I will not judge. Everything is possible. I speak of what I have experienced, and choices I have made.
A rigid system leads to the creation of power games and deceitful thoughts. These prevent the harmonious development of a person, as promised and hoped at the beginning. The beginner seeks a practice that frees them from the social system but they will often find themselves inside a system that functions like a sect.
Whatever the period or the place, whatever the skills of the pupil, Tai Chi Chuan teachings should have as an objective the development of the practitioner’s potential, and allow them to freely choose how to live and practice.
What is BAO I TAI CHI CHUAN?
In the 60s and 70s of the last century, I was passionate about Taoism. Not about its great theories taught at the Sorbonne or at the College de France, just the Tao Te King, the Book Of Virtue, from Lao Tzu. An attraction that I now find strange. I gave my "school" of Karate the name of BAO I DAO because in chapter 22 of this famous book one can read: “the Saint embraces the ONE” (Bao I means Embrace the ONE). It was picked by pure intuition. My two passions in my youth were completely distinct. For me, Taoism and martial arts have no connection, really. It is very recently that I discovered the ultimate effectiveness of the practice of Tai Chi Chuan: FOLLOWING NATURE. It took me a bit of time, but we got there in the end. It is at first a mysterious but enchanting bridge that unites the two worlds. Then this bridge disappears, the two worlds unite, the art of combat melts into nature ands open up to life.
So this leads to your method?
Yes, it's a bit like that. My method is to FOLLOW NATURE.
Do not stray from the path because of the temptation of philosophical discourse and flowery language: Tai Chi Chuan is a fighting art, you are facing one or more opponents. At this precise moment, everything you have thought, practiced, said, lived, should help you to react well, to find an honorable way out.
But we do not have the need to consider extreme situations, combat situations, life or death situations. Let’s open the practice of Tai Chi Chuan to all those who wish to develop their human potential through the practice of the art of combat that is Tai Chi Chuan.
What about practising Tai Chi Chuan as a way to improve your well being?
Often, we use Tai Chi Chuan movements as health exercises. I will say, why not, we can be a Tai Chi Chuan master and a therapist.
When you’ve lived you want to delay death while the younger generations want to move forward in life. Seniors are happy when people assume they are younger. Young people want to appear older. All of us upon reaching our fifties or sixties, are familiar with this threshold between the two attitudes to age. Tai Chi Chuan as a fighting art makes it possible to push this threshold. Sooner or later, health takes precedence over everything else, but as long as the brain works, the art of combat progresses steadily.
It is important not to mistake students for patients. In the initiation of an art, a pupil could meet difficulties of any kind. A master worthy of this name would then try to help them overcome these difficulties, by all the means within their power.
I do not know any master of martial arts who accepts to treat patients like a doctor. There may be some?
This privilege must be left to medical practitioners. In this practice called music therapy for example, which is very trendy these days, honest doctors should have some musical background. It is not enough to love Mozart to practice Mozart therapy, to love art to practice art therapy. I mean, this is what I think, it's a very personal opinion. It is better to be a Mozartian, or artist, before putting these rather complicated methods into practice. But what I say could be completely wrong in some cases. In several areas the placebo effect, which is inexplicable at the moment, can also play a part.
It is for this reason that with a few beautifully executed movements, a couple of phrases picked up here or there, you can influence or help others, more or less. And at the same time earn a few cents.
By the way, I’ve heard that cows are being massaged in Kobe, Japan, and that they are being made to listen to music, but the main purpose is to make their meat taste better. This kind of therapy, any butcher's apprentice could practice it. Wouldn’t you agree?
Let's be serious, in our school Bao I Tai Chi Chuan, Tiziana Castelluccio is a teacher of Tai Chi Chuan and therapist. She deals with people with Parkinson's disease with great effectiveness. Don’t be fooled. These are two different fights. Tiziana has Tai Chi Chuan students when she practices Tai Chi Chuan, and patients with Parkinson's disease when she is a therapist. Of course, I admire and encourage this "humanitarian" commitment. But beware, mixing up the two is very easy and tempting.
I really like the atmosphere of the Bao I Tai Chi Chuan practice in Parma. Fédéric Noharet has also opened a "school", and with longtime friends, like Gian Luca, they practice together in a friendly atmosphere that we only see very rarely elsewhere. If there is a bit of competition, it is how it should be: normal, discreet and natural.
Hence the name chosen, Bao I Tai Chi Chuan Paris Parma.
What about Paris?
I do not mention any names except that of Michel Hsu who helped me a lot with his experiences and his "martial" aspirations. He introduced me to Systema.
Tell us about Systema.
Perhaps Systema is the true martial art of our time since it speaks of war, physical suffering, torture, death. I respect the Systema method without hesitation, because Systema respects human nature, the power of softness. Mikhail Ryabko is more Taoist than he thinks.
What do you think of Adam Mizner?
Adam Mizner honors Master Huang Sheng Shyan’s Tai Chi Chuan. In 2012, during a trip to Thailand, I tried to contact his students in Chiang Mai, no address, it was impossible. He had a training center in Phuket but I did not go there.
In 2016, he held some workshops in Paris but I had already chosen my path, which is different from his. My students went to his two Parisian courses. He made a big impression on them and they learned a lot from him.
What do you see for the future of Tai Chi Chuan?
Some seek to return to the sources, show that Tai Chi Chuan is effective. Like Wang Li Kun whose level of combat is very good and, above all, he is very sincere. I think his presence in Paris is a benefit to French practitioners of Tai Chi Chuan. Adam Mizner is looking for his own way beyond Master Huang's footsteps. It is quite honorable. Practitioners from the Chen School in China are real fighters, champions. Many people in Germany and elsewhere, remain in folklore, “yin-yang”, looking for a rather superficial “harmony”, new age and guitar. We went through that in the sixties, so why despise “vintage” Tai Chi Chuan? Now, on the Internet, we see a lot of things, heartwarming performances in all areas, in all styles. The world champion Tai Chi Chuan deserves to be involved in Cirque du Soleil. Delphine Tran, the champion of France 2016 is admirable ... Never has a fighting art offered its practitioners such variety and exciting options.
The attitude and work of Ms. Bian Zhiqin deserve our admiration. As far as I’m concerned, I value the path of the Lama Donrup Dorje who is very far ahead of us.
The Saint Embraces the ONE. We must not exclude anyone. Except perhaps, and still to be discussed, murderers and predators who do not respect humanity or life.
Bui Xuan Quang Paris August 20, 2017
PS. All these answers were collected during the classes in Paris and Parma.