Ho Chi Min – the great revolutionary leader of Vietnam – was a well known practitioner of Yang Style Taijiquan. In fact there is video footage of him teaching young people in a village how to prevail over an opponent using ‘giving way’ and ’rounded’ movements. This is exactly the strategy Ho Chi Minh and his generals used to defeat the Imperial Japanese during WWII, the colonial French in 1954, and the invading US troops throughout the 1960’s. The point was that as a developing country with few modern resources, Vietnam would also be at a disadvantage in a straight toe to toe fight – and so Ho Chi Minh devised a modern military application of Taijiquan whereby his Communist Forces would always hit the strong enemy wherever they were weak, or whenever they least expected an attack.
The efficacy of this policy is seen in the fact that humble Vietnam and its beautiful people, inflicted a material, emotional and psychological defeat on the US Military Forces, and those people in the United States who supported racism and militarism. Millions of Vietnamese people died as a result of the weapons of mass destruction deployed by the USA, and millions more were wounded or suffered genetic defects after the War due to the Chemical and Biological Weapons deployed by the Americans, as part of their genocidal plan to eradicate the Vietnamese people. The point is that no matter how much peace is preferred, as long as their are entities like the capitalist USA, no country is safe from its bombs and missiles. No one in Vietnam wanted to die – but America’s actions left them no choice. However Sunzi’s Art of War, and China’s ancient internal art of Taijiquan provided a means for an impoverished people to apply the Scientific Socialism of Marxist-Leninism.
Ho Chi Minh learned Chinese Boxing in Shanghai during 1930. This was the year that he first came into contact with Taijiquan when he saw and old man with a long white beard, practising in the Hongkou District. In 1945, Ho Chi Minh studied Shaolin Temple Boxing, which he learned from a captain of his guards. Years later, in 1957, he received instruction in the Yang Style of Taijiquan (probably of the Yang Chengfu lineage) from the official Chinese government representative named Gu Liuxin. There is film footage of Ho Chi Minh practising Taijiquan and teaching children in a Vietnamese village how to avoid direct conflict and prevail through giving way.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2016.