The Pacific Northwest has had several amazing t'ai-chi masters. In the 1960's and 70's there were two notable masters who were the top t'ai-chi teachers. They were Tchoung Ta-tchen and Raymond Chung. Both were well respected and had large followings in Canada and the United States.
Most CTCCA & NWTCCA students know that Grand Master Tchoung Ta-tchen is the one responsible for the Old Yang Style curriculum and for promoting the art widely around the world. There was another teacher by the name of Raymond Chung who also taught several of the NWTCCA teachers and is held in highest esteem by them. For example, two were Dave Harris and Harvey Kurland. Both were Tchoung's advanced students who also studied with Grand Master Raymond Chung. Dave Harris also studied Yang style with Master Fuk Yueng and Harvey Kurland also studied Yang style with Masters KY Tung and TT Liang prior to working with R. Chung. After studying with Chung they both studied with Tchoung Ta-tchen.
Raymond Chung taught the Yang Cheng-fu form that he learned form Yang Sau Chung. This form and system was a little different from what TT Liang or TY Tung taught both in terms of movements and pushing hands drills. (See the History article) Yang Sau-chung was the eldest son of Yang Cheng-fu and one of the top teachers of the system. Yang Sau Chung moved to Hong Kong in 1940 and started his own school. He was considered the highest authority on his father's system. Yang Say Chung died in 1985.
Raymond Tchoung taught the Yang Cheng-fu (1883-1936) (Yang Zhao Qing) long form, several specific pushing hands drills as well as walking pushing hands and a San Shou form. The San Shou form that Chung taught was slightly different than the one taught by Tchoung Ta-tchen and different from the one taught by TT Liang. This is interesting because Chung allegedly learned the form from Yang Sau Chung (Yang Zhen Ming), but other traditional Yang Family stylists claim the san shou form is not part of that system at all (See 2nd San Shou article). TT Liang and TT Tchung learned the san shou from Hsiung Yang-ho who was one of only a handful of students of Yang Shao-hou (1862-1930) (Yang Zhao Xiong). Yang Shao-hou was Yang Sau Chung's Uncle. (A description of the form is made by Chang in the 1st San Shou article).
Grand Master Raymond Chung was born in 1913 and studied the Orthodox Yang style since 1935. He primarily taught the Yang Sau Chung (1910-1985) (also spelled Yang Shao Zhoung) version of the system. He also knew several other styles including Sun style. He immigrated to Canada and started a school of T'ai-Chi Ch'uan in Vancouver in 1963 teaching in Victoria, Bellingham and Seattle. Chung was one of the main t'ai-chi ch'uan teachers at that time in the PNW. In Seattle, Chung taught at David Harris's North Seattle School of Karate near Greenlake from 1969 until 1972 and in Chinatown at the Seattle Tai Chi Association. Harris also studied with him in Vancouver.
When Grandmaster Tchoung moved to Vancouver in early 1970's several of Raymond Chung's senior students moved to the Tchoung camp. Then when Raymond Chung stopped teaching in Seattle, Tchoung Ta-tchen was asked to take over the Seattle Tai Chi Association in Seattle's Chinatown. Later the group was more interested in Wushu forms and competing in tournaments so Tchoung moved to Chinese Cultural Center near the University of Washington. Tchoung inherited several of Chung's advanced students including NTCCA teachers Dave Harris and Harvey Kurland and others. This was a long transition for them as Tchoung form was over twice as long and very different from the Standard Yang style form that Chung taught. Tchoung Pushing Hands drills and San Shou form was different as well. This lead to a unique relearning experience for them. They benefited from training in the two methods.
Other of Chung's most advanced Seattle students such as Richard Skinner chose not to continue with Grandmaster Tchoung and traveled to Vancouver to train with Raymond Chung. Others continued to practice on their own. They had learned the long form and his pushing hands and san shou so had a good & complete system to practice. Chung's schools continue to flourish in Canada.
Raymond Chung recently retired and his students continue teaching in Canada. In April 2002, Master Chung celebrated his ninetieth birthday.
For more information go to :
For Seattle Tai Chi History: http://www.wuji.com/taijihistoryseattle.htm
For Yang Family Lineage Chart (only family members are on this): http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/info/images/familytree.jpg
This is based upon information believed to be true and we apologize for any errors. Please contact us for additions and corrections.