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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 3:19 pm
by psalchemist
To All,
I just wanted to add a small comment for all the new students,(like me) concerning this movement 'wild horse parts mane'(and all movements in the long form).
The importance of maintaining a 'respect' for ones personal WIDTH of stance(not allowing it to be too wide) has been pointed out to me recently. I mention this here because I have experienced this problem, and found it can lead to many other errors as well. Hoping to avoid the same for others and add more information on this movement.


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-24-2003).]

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 6:49 pm
by Audi
Hi all,

Psalchemist, in an earlier post, you seemed to be talking about Pluck (“Cai”) in Fair Lady Threads the Shuttles, but I am not really sure what you were referring to. When I mentioned Pluck, I was referring to the action of the rear hand in Parting Wild Horse’s Mane, when the orientation of the Tiger’s Mouth (“space between the thumb and index finger”) is emphasized. The applications I have been shown for Fair Lady do not really involve Pluck.

I also am not sure that the mere presence of rotation means that Split is being used; however, I think that Kuo Lien-Ying described Split as covering any instance where a rotating parry is paired with a strike. This would seem to match the final position of Fair Lady.

Some practitioners also say that all the basic “energies”/”dispositions” are present in each posture to varying degrees. From this perspective, one might say that the ¾ turns in Fair Lady can be seen as instances of where Split is trained. Again, all this is somewhat beyond my level of experience to say with any certainty.

One thing I can say is this: My understanding is that what is relevant is the relative motion between you and your opponent, rather than the motion of your body by itself. As a result, I think it is important to examine the prominence of the effect your body’s motion has on your opponent.

By the way, anyone talking about “Split” in the context of Taijiquan should be talking about this energy technique or configuration and not a particular application per se. Note, however, that there is an energy technique in the Sword and Saber repertoire that is also translated as “Split.” This represents a different word in Chinese (“Pi,” as opposed to “Lie”) and describes more or less the type of energy used to split firewood with a long powerful stroke.

As for the trigrams, we have been indeed touching on a very complicated subject. The discussion may have gone beyond this, but let me add a few thoughts in case you are still interested.

As far as Taijiquan is concerned, I believe the eight trigrams (or Bagua) are mostly used to classify the Eight Gates. Each of the trigrams is supposed to have its own characteristics, which presumably can be attributed to the Eight Gates. I believe that some authorities have described a particular one-to-one correspondence between the two, but I believe that I have seen other correspondences as well. In my casual examination of the classics, it is not completely clear to me what correspondence is being suggested and what the significance is.

The trigrams, as you know, originate from the examination of Yin/Yang duality and, I believe, are meant to understand the nature of change. You can think of the unitary concept of the Taiji as being 2 (i.e., Yin and Yang) to the power zero (2°=1); the dual concept of Yin and Yang as being 2 to the first power; strong Yang, weak Yang, strong Yin, and weak Yin as being 2 to the second power (2x2=4); the Bagua (Eight Divination Symbols or trigrams) as being 2 to the third power (2x2x2=8); and the 64 hexagrams as being 2 to the 6th power (2x2x2x2x2x2=64). Jou Tsung Hwa’s book has a good discussion of this.

The idea is to look at a “temporary” phenomenon and understand its relationship to a whole. You do this by dividing the “whole” into one of these sets of categories and figuring out what category the phenomenon you are considering best matches up to.

The nature of the set of 8 trigrams (2 to the 3rd power, or 2x2x2) can be seen as explaining the interation of such things as heaven, humanity, and earth, or front, inside, and back, or beginning, middle, and end. I have heard, for instance, that the three levels of hand positions in Baguazhang (high, medium, and low), each with Yin and Yang orientations, correspond to the three lines of the individual trigrams. Each of these trios would be thought of as having eight different manifestations.

For example, in Taijiquan, we have the Eight Gates, or eight basic energy configurations. One can think of Press/Squeeze as being the equivalent of the trigram Kan, which has broken lines at the top and bottom and a solid line in the middle. Kan is associated with “water,” which can be thought of as soft on the outside, but hard in the middle. Press might be thought of, therefore, as an energy technique that squeezes soft energies together to produce a hard inner force.

Some authorities associate Push with the Trigram Li, which has solid lines at the top and bottom and a broken line in the middle. Li is associated with “fire,” which can be thought of as hard on the outside, but soft and empty in the middle. Perhaps this represents the hardness in the two hands with emptiness between them. “Li” also has the attribute of “clinginess,” and so one can think of Push as requiring the two palms to cling closely to the opponent’s energy. All of the Eight Gates can be analyzed in this way, but I am not sure that everyone agrees on the details or even if such agreement is important.

One thing to keep in mind about all this is that this type of analysis views everything in terms of process and change. The eight trigrams do not so much divide separate things into groups of eight, but rather describe eight aspects of individual things or processes. In the case of Taijiquan, I think that this analysis is used with respect to the “hand” techniques as a whole, because these are viewed as continually changing from one into the other in endless variety. All one does is stick to or follow one’s opponent, but one does so in a continuously changing fashion.

In my opinion, this type of change analysis is slightly different from what the philosophy of the Taiji is most concerned with. Whereas the Bagua focus on the importance of change, I think that the concept of the Taiji stresses the importance of relativity and the essential equality and interchangeability of Yin and Yang. If you can be hard enough, you can win; but you can also win if you can be soft enough. I can beat my opponent if I can be fast enough, but also if I can be still enough.

In the overall philosophy of Taijiquan, I think that the principle of the Taiji is much more important than the principle of the Bagua, at least in discussing traditional Yang Style. If one examines Yang Chengfu’s Ten Essential Principles, one can see that many of them make explicit reference to duality; and in my opinion, all of them really do refer to understanding Yin/Yang duality: internal and external, upper and lower, left and right, movement and stillness, body and mind, and up and down. The key is in understanding in mind and body how these qualities should relate to each other in any given context and why.

I do not want to hold myself out as any kind of expert, but nonetheless I think that there is much misunderstanding about what Yin/Yang duality really means and what the Taiji really refers to. For example, many see the Taiji merely as a theory of opposites, like male and female. I do not believe this to be correct. On another thread, Louis carefully refers to correlative pairs, rather than simply to corresponding opposites.

To continue with a theme I mentioned in an earlier post of mine, I can propose considering the cardinal directions on a globe. North and south do not usually have the same relationship to each other as east and west do, even though both pairs can be considered “opposites.” One can endlessly orbit the earth while going eastward, but one cannot endlessly orbit the earth while going northward. The minute you commit yourself to a “northerly” orbit that will go through the North Pole, you will also be headed directly along the only orbit at that point that leads to the South Pole. In this limited context (but not in others), north and south are in a Taiji relationship, but east and west are not. It is this type of Taiji relationship that I believe to be the key to understanding such concepts as full and empty, internal and external, and mind and body, when discussing the principles and strategies of traditional Yang Style.

By the way, I restricted my statement above to the limited context of orbits, because east and west can certainly be viewed as having a Taiji relationship in other contexts. Everything can be viewed as relative. In my opinion, understanding the true context of a phenomenon is very important to understanding the principles of Taijiquan. If one has the wrong context, one may well get the wrong answers.

I apologize for going to some lengths in talking about all this theory, and I want to make clear that I have no objection to using the I Ching or the Bagua trigrams to analyze Taijiquan. These frameworks are certainly used by almost everyone in certain parts of Taijiquan’s theory. I do believe, however, that the idea of the Taiji is generally more illuminating when talking about the underpinnings of most Taijiquan principles, strategies, and movements.

Take care,

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 3:39 am
by psalchemist
Greetings Audi,
If there was any confusion in our communication earlier it was most probably due to my lack of general knowledge, experience and terminology in TCC. Thanks for being so patient.
Please allow me to confirm your clarification to impede any further disrupt. When demonstrating the movement 'wild horse parts mane' one is applying the ward-off(peng) and pluck(cai/tsai) energy(ies?), and the rotational aspect present within is merely a by-product,or necessity, of little significance. I now understand the first part, and agree with the latter.

This mix-up occurred when I incorporated 'fair lady threads the shuttle' posture into the conversation. To address the portion of this movement which simutaneously raises one arm(as in a lifting action), pulls backward with the other (I thought was pluck)and 'sneaks' in with the foot. Is this simply the 'filling' section of the whole 'press/push' energy? If 'press/push' is the 'out' energy(fajin?) is there a name for the 'in' energy, or can that possibly exist?
As for the rotational aspects concerned in the 'FLTS'(corners 2&4), the 'lead' into press/push does seem to me(just my two bits) that it is significant to the overall motion. Could it be adding a little momentum?

Speaking of trigrams, I don't think I've gone 'beyond' anything and am certainly open to all types of information on the topic. Your efforts at explaining the Taiji, eight gates and relevant energies are much appreciated.

Concerning 'Pi' and 'Li' energies... Do all weapons movements possess different energies than the hand forms, or just different names of energies implying the same essences?

Kan energy, "Water, soft on the outside hard on the inside... press might be thought of therefore as an energy technique that squeezes soft energies together to produce hard inner force"-Audi
Is 'play the lute'(ti shou shang shih)a 'press' energy?

Li energy, "Fire, Some authorities associate push with the trigram Li which has solid lines at the top and bottom and a broken line in the middle. Li is associated with fire, which can be thought of as hard on the outside, but soft and empty in the middle...Li also has the attribute of 'clinginess...requiring the two palms to cling closely to the opponents energy."-Audi

I was observing a bird, perched precariously upon my clothes line this morning. It was swaying consistently back and forth,quite vigorously, to retain it's purchase. It maintained it's body seemingly motionless while it's head and feet rocked to and fro simultaneously.
Could this type of movement be viewed as alternating between 'emptying'and 'filling'?
Could it be a 'clinging' Li type of energy(2 solid lines sandwiching one broken line), as in upper and lower body in action, middle body in stillness?
Could it be a 'water' energy (2 broken line sandwiching a solid line) as in middle body grounded, upper and lower body shifting?
Could it be water and fire energies alternating back and forth?
Any comments, ideas welcome and useful.

I will keep in mind, however that the primary idea behind the trigrams(8 gates) are arm configurations. I also take note the greater relevance of the taiji to TCC, as opposed to the hexagrams or the trigrams, but I have found that the occasional detour can sometimes reap rewards. Success is nice, but failure is educational.
East/west vs. north/south, that analogy works nicely there, I will try not to confound the two on my explorations.

Thanks again,
Best regards,

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-30-2003).]

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 9:35 pm
by DavidJ
Hi Audi,

In the Tung long form the transitions from the 1st to the 2nd, and from the 3rd to the 4th shuttles contain the largest clearest examples of pluck in the whole set.


David J

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:19 pm
by Audi
Greetings Psalchemist and David:

David, thanks for the information. You remind me that all forms are not the same and that I need to keep making that clear in stating any opinions about what energy techniques are being practiced in what postures.

Psalchemist, without knowing what form you are learning I should make clear that what I say may not match up to the movements you perform. I should also repeat that my knowledge of how postures should match up to energy techniques is also quite limited.

I just got back from a Yang Family seminar and need to revise what I said in my earlier post about Fair Lady threads the shuttles. It seems that right after the first and third pause points, the right hand manifests Pluck as the arm opens up to the right and the left foot does its pivot. David, I guess this is what you were referring to in your post. It is not clear to me how this technique would link up with what follows or whether any link is intended. I would appreciate any ideas on this point.

From talking with friends at the seminar, I also get the impression that the pause points in Fair Lady could also be instances where Split (Lie/Lieh) is trained. This is contrary to what I said or implied in my earlier post. When I first saw a demonstration of the “meaning” of this posture, the energy I saw manifested was more like what I would call “An,” or Pushing/Pressing. It was basically used to push the opponent away.

If the same motion were done more “abruptly” and perhaps with more intent in the left arm to open up the opponent’s body and with more intent in the right palm to make the energy penetrate, I think this might be better described as Split.

My last comment reminds me that I should make clear that people use the term “application” ambiguously. Most of the time, people seem to use it to mean different patterns in which the parts of your body can interact with other parts of the opponent’s body. Another sense of “application” that can be more subtle is when people use it to refer to the same external match-up of body parts, but with an intent to refer to different interactions of movement energy.

The posture Roll Back from the form is a good example of the possibilities of this latter sense of “application.” As I understand it, the posture primarily trains Roll Back, but done with slightly different amounts and angles of twisting, pressure, or rotation in each of the arms, the same posture can be used to pull the opponent around you, lever him or her to the ground beside you, push him or her away from you, temporarily immobilize him or her, cause pain, injure his or her elbow, or even injure his or her shoulder. Within these different actions, one could argue that Roll Back, Elbow Stroke, Shoulder Stroke, Pluck, and Split, as well as other techniques, can have varying degrees of prominence.

Psalchemist, you posted the following:

<<To address the portion of this movement which simutaneously raises one arm(as in a lifting action), pulls backward with the other (I thought was pluck)and 'sneaks' in with the foot. Is this simply the 'filling' section of the whole 'press/push' energy?>>

I think I probably should not insist too strongly that the motion you describe as Pluck is not in fact Pluck. The word “Cai” in Chinese basically refers to the “plucking,” “picking,” or “gathering” action one can perform on fruit, flowers, or similar things. As such, the image is different from merely “grabbing” something, but nevertheless implies some closing of the fingers. In Taijiquan, I believe it generally refers to hand shapes that involve use of the Tiger’s Mouth; however, I can see how the opponent’s own grabbing action might serve the same purpose.

In Fair Lady, I understand the main reason for withdrawing the right arm to be an attempt to pull one’s hand out of the opponent’s grasp. The left arm could then be seen as using Ward Off primarily to help strip the opponent’s grip away. This is similar to “Apparent Closure” (Ru feng si bi). On the other hand, one can use the withdrawing action to “set up” the opponent’s arm and use one’s left arm primarily to immobilize the opponent’s shoulder or even to attempt to break the elbow with Split. These are actions that I associate more with the supporting action of Pluck. Of course, these techniques can also overlap somewhat during the same action.

<<If 'press/push' is the 'out' energy(fajin?) is there a name for the 'in' energy, or can that possibly exist?>>

Just to be clear, Push/press (“An”) is not the same as “Fajin.” As I understand it, “Fajin” refers to suddenly releasing or emitting a large amount of the movement energy stored in the body. Push/press need not be done in this way. I have on good authority that the opposite of “Fajin” can be viewed as “Huajin,” or “Neutralizing/Dissolving/Transforming Energy.” In other words, one is generally either neutralizing (dissolving or transforming) the energy being manifested by the opponent or else one is suddenly returning it back to him or her.

The characteristic direction of An is said to be downward, while the characteristic direction of Ji (Press/Squeeze) is said to be forward. Generalized Peng is described as expanding energy outward. In the specific sense, it is described as a lifting technique. Lü is described as moving energy inward towards one’s center. In a simplistic sense, these four techniques cover “downward,” “upward,” “forward,” and “inward.”

<<Concerning 'Pi' and 'Li' energies... Do all weapons movements possess different energies than the hand forms, or just different names of energies implying the same essences?>>

First, let me say that I am not altogether certain that “Pi” and “Lie” are best thought of as “energies” per se, rather than as “techniques” one does to “energy.” “Pi Jin” can be translated as “Splitting Energy,” but I believe that in both Chinese and English this expression could mean either “the energy that does ‘Pi’/Split” or “the action of performing ‘Pi’/Split to [the] energy (‘Jin’) [flowing from or to the opponent]”. The former implies that the expression “Splitting Energy” is made up of a participle modifying a head noun. The latter implies that “Splitting Energy” is made up of a gerund phrase that includes a verb and its object.

I have read enough texts in English to be sure that “Split” is referred to as an “energy” among the English speaking community and by some authorities who are fluent in Chinese. I have not, however, read enough texts in Chinese to confirm that this view is the most helpful one in studying or discussing the Chinese classics. The main reason I resist the easy path of talking about “various energies” is that it tends to encourage an aura of mystery that I am uncomfortable with and that can detract from the essential simplicity of what is being discussed. Phrases like “’Peng’ energy” suggest to me some sort of magic force field that manipulates the opponent’s body in some way. A phrase like “doing ’peng’ to the opponent’s energy” seems much more straightforward to me, while still suggesting the importance of the internal aspects of Taijiquan.

For purposes of my explanation, I will assume that Pi, Lie, etc. are techniques one uses to affect the disposition or configuration of movement energy jointly manifested by you and the opponent. With this preamble, it is natural to assume that the hand techniques and weapons techniques will be different. When one uses the palms to press on the energy of the opponent’s body, this is called “An.” When one uses a weapon to press down the energy manifested by the opponent’s weapon, this is called “Ya.” I think that “An” in Chinese implies use of the hand, while “Ya” is not limited in this way.

In the empty hand, a major objective is to interfere with the flow of Jin through the opponent’s body by causing him or her to lose root or to lose mobility in a critical joint. In weapons practice, a major objective seems to be to interfere with the opponent’s ability to use his or her weapon appropriately or to strike the opponent directly. You no longer bother so much with such things as trying to lock up the opponent’s shoulder or topple him or her over.

Pressing down on the opponent’s weapon will likely have different consequences than pressing down directly on the opponent’s body. The former action can be used to open up the opponent’s body for a subsequent attack with a weapon, while the latter action is more likely to be used directly to uproot the opponent, without the necessity for a follow-up attack.

Taijiquan (or Taiji Fist) is said to use thirteen principal “Shi” (postures or dispositions or configurations of movement energy) that include eight upper body ones (the eight gates) and five lower body ones (the Five Steps). Taijidao (or Taiji Saber) is also said to use thirteen “Shi,” but each of these are different from those of Taiji Fist. They basically involve different interactions of the saber with the opponent’s saber or body. Taijijian (or Taiji [Straight] Sword) also has thirteen “Shi” that overlap those of Taiji Saber. I believe Taiji Spear/Staff is similar.

I believe that the thirteen “Shi” of Taiji Fist (Taijiquan), Taiji Saber, Taiji Sword, and Taiji Staff/Spear are viewed as analogous to each other; however, in some ways, I think this can be taken too far. For instance, the Five Steps are only listed among the Thirteen “Shi” of Taiji Fist; however, I believe the Five Steps also apply to all the weapons practices. One can also say that Peng (Ward Off) in the general sense is something that is the basis of all Taiji techniques, including those for weapons.

I think the best way of thinking about all this is in terms of training progression. One begins by learning Taiji Fist and the significance of the Eight Gates and the Five Steps. After these are learned and somewhat internalized, this knowledge and these skills are used as the basis for learning thirteen new sword or saber skills.

As I believe I have stated before, it is unclear to me how much philosophical scrutiny this system can and should withstand. As I understand it, there are other martial systems besides Taijiquan that talk in terms of thirteen “Shi.” I think the reason for the prevalence of the number “thirteen” is to prove that such systems are based on the principles of nature and the Dao, rather than from arbitrary human decisions. These systems also provide a convenient unification of Yin/Yang theory with Five Element theory.

<<Is 'play the lute'(ti shou shang shih)a 'press' energy?>>

Play the Lute/Pipa is actually “Shou hui pipa,” while “Ti/T’i shou shang shi/shih” is Lift Hands and Step up. Both are probably best viewed as vehicles to train Split (Lie or Lieh) and to damage the opponent’s elbow. Done less “abruptly,” however, both postures could be used to push the opponent away by working on his or her elbow to lock up his or her shoulder and then destroy his or her root.

Instances of Press/Squeeze (“Ji”/”Chi”), at least in the form the Yangs teach, include the Press posture of Grasp Sparrow’s Tail and the transition into White Crane Spreads Wings. Since I am not certain in which sense you used the word “press,” let me give a little explanation of what I believe to be behind some of these words in Chinese.

“Ji” in Chinese means to press, squeeze, jam, or crowd into something. I think the connotation for Taijiquan is either that one is crowding one’s energy close into the opponent or that one is squeezing the energy in one’s hands and arms together. “An” (or Push/Press) is what one does to a computer key. It has a connotation of “downward,” but this is not absolutely required. For example, when can “An” a doorbell, which involves pushing/pressing a button horizontally. “Tui” means to “push” and is the word used for the expression translated as Push Hands (Tui shou). It is also used to describe the horizontal striking action of the palm in such postures as Brush Knee and Twist Step. It can also describe what one does to the saber (tui dao) when the back of the left arm helps to push out the saber in Fair Lady Works/Threads the Shuttles to the Eight Directions.

As for your bird motions, I do not think that they really involve alterations of filling and emptying. I think of filling and emptying as involving the control and use of momentum and mass. The motion of a bird perched on a clothesline does not really seem to reflect this much. I am also wary of looking at mere alternation as sufficient evidence of a Taiji relationship. In my opinion, the Yin and Yang of Taiji really involves interdependence more than alternation. The crest of a wave is caused by the trough, and vice versa.

However, your analysis of Li and Kan is somewhat intriguing. The only reservation I have is that to really make your analysis work, you would need to define the bird’s overall types of movement in terms of eight different aspects, rather than describe only one isolated motion. In other words, just because something is clingy does not make it correspond to the “Li” trigram. The trigrams are purely relational and not absolute descriptions of anything.

At the literal level you are proposing, stillness would correspond to the Yin broken line and movement would correspond to the Yang solid lines. Movement at the top and bottom and stillness in the middle would then correspond to the Kan trigram. This trigram has the attribute of the danger caused by rushing floodwaters. I am not sure, however, what insights one can draw from such a view of a bird swaying back and forth on a clothesline.

Take care,

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 1:38 pm
by psalchemist
Greetings Audi,

Nice, thorough posting as usual. Your comments have been very constructive, all noted, considered and appreciated. Soaking it all up!


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 07-06-2003).]

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 3:23 pm
by James Teo
Hi froggies,

I agree with Froggies that we should "let it go"! Use mind intention / effort of will, not external strength".

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 4:04 pm
by psalchemist
Greetings James Teo,

You suggest that 'we' should 'let it go'. Let go of what? Why? and How?


PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 8:07 pm
by James Teo
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by psalchemist:
<B>Greetings James Teo,

You suggest that 'we' should 'let it go'. Let go of what? Why? and How?


Greetings Psalchemist,

Let go of what?
Let go of these...
* cannot seem to generate any power from it.
* Where does the power come from?
* The LEGS? The hips?
* My pivoting action seems wrong somehow.

If generating power from TCC is your objective, it is no different from oridinary 'External Arts', which is easy to achieve.
And what is your purpose of learning Tai Ji Chuan?
And what does power proved?

Learn the 'Dao' or philosophy, achieve the 'Dao' then the principles...
And here is a question, how does earth rotate?

'Dao' is the basis, art is consequential...

Best Regards,
James Teo

[This message has been edited by James Teo (edited 07-06-2003).]

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 10:51 pm
by psalchemist
Greetings JamesTeo,

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate the response.

Now that I am aware of the problem, perhaps I can correct it.

Maybe I should explain first that I am relatively new to the art of Taijiquan, and not very familiar with all the terminology, sorry if there was a misunderstanding.

Power is not really what I meant. 'Energy' perhaps? Jin flow from a correct chi circulation? Threading the movement together properly to produce that 'powerful'flowing feeling. Maybe these are better phrased? If you can assist me in my struggles I would be grateful.

Please, could you explain the differences between external and internal arts?

"Learn the 'Dao' or philosophy, acheive the 'Dao', then the principles". I am afraid I am unclear about your explanation. Could you elaborate?

Lastly, you asked "how does the earth rotate?". Good question! I looked it up on the net and found this:From Popular Science,DiChristina, Mariette. "Seismologists Xiaodong Song and Paul G. Richards at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have discovered that Earth's solid iron core behaves like a gigantic electonic motor. Electric currents within the core interact with the planet's magnetic field, causing the innermost portion of the core to rotate like a motor.
The inner core spins faster than the rest of the planet by about two thirds of a second each day, or a full revolution every 400 Years".

Best regards,

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 6:09 am
by James Teo

I can see your enthusiasm in TCC and hope that somedays you attain the 'ultimate wisdom'...

Q. Power is not really what I meant.'Energy' perhaps?

A. Energy can be found in our body and without it we cannot move or do anything.

Q. Threading the movement together properly to produce that 'powerful'flowing feeling?

A. I doubt. Swimming or jogging produces a much 'powerful' flowing feeling. Without emptying one's thoughts from worldly desires,
one can't achieve much. Here are some points to adhere during praticising TCC:

1. Suspend your head from above and keep it straight.

2. Depress your chest and raise your back.

3. Loosen your waist.

4. Distinguish between solidness and emptiness.

5. Drop your shoulders and sink your elbows.

6. Apply your will and not your force.

7. Co-ordinate your upper and lower body movements.

8. Unify your internal and external movements.

9. There must be absolute continuity in the movement.

10. Seek serenity in activity.

Q. Please, could you explain the differences between external and internal arts?

External arts emphasize on strength, speed, external body conditioning, punches, kicks and etc...

Internal arts emphasize on relax, only the barest minimum of physical effort or strength should be used to perform a movement.
The ultimate objective is achieved where form becomes formless, limbs are no more important, brute force becomes non-existent and stiffness has given way to being fully relaxed. Character formation has advanced to the stage of "non-self" and of non-resistance so that the whole body is used and the hands are no more used as hands. Youthfulness and longevity are attained.

Q. "Learn the 'Dao' or philosophy, acheive the 'Dao', then the principles". I am afraid I am unclear about your explanation. Could you elaborate?

A. Dao is simply 'way of life', I would recommend 'Tao Te Ching' for your reading pleasure or Patrick Kelly's Tai Ji books.

Just like the earth, it can't rotate without internal evolution...

Use Mind intention than force...

Best Regards
James Teo

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 1:45 pm
by psalchemist
Greetings JamesTeo,

Thank-you for all the valuable information that you provided.

"Internal arts emphasize on relax, only the barest minimum of physical effort or strength should be used to perform the movement."JT
Yes. I am really trying to relax, but this is probably the most inconsistent aspect of my form. Sometimes I can relax, other times not. Alone or in the presence of company, makes no difference...Stress damage? From what I've heard, it's a matter of practice, practice, practice! Any other advice on this subject would be helpful.

"...Youthfulness and longevity are attained."JT
Any idea why and how this happens?

"Just like the earth, it can't rotate without internal revolution. Use mind intention rather than force."
I think that the answers to a few of my questions in the 'empty-full' thread concerning interdependance and speed of revolution have been answered. I am so glad that you posed that question:"how does the earth rotate". Also, if I understand correctly, the northern and southern portions of the earth spin more quickly than at the point of the me. Thought... If we were to think of ourselves as the 'core'(internal), and the magnetic force field as others(external force). Would the interaction between inner and outer forces cause the rotation/change/movement to speed up?
What do you think of this idea?

Thanks also for the literary references. I am sure I will learn alot from them, but somehow I seem to learn more precisely what I need to learn, when I need to learn it through the actions and words of the people and circumstances with which I interact. It's a nice complement to reading books, and much more efficient way to get clues then comes research in references. That's just my way.

As for 'Ultimate Wisdom', I doubt(my turn) I will ever attain THAT!. But I am enjoying and hopefully benefiting from the pursuit of IT.

Best regards,

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:59 pm
by James Teo

Learn from the strong points of others. And always remain modest, for complacency will get you nowhere.

Take care
James Teo

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:37 pm
by psalchemist
James Teo,

Thank you for your guidance and tutelage.

Best regards,

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:57 pm
by DavidJ
Hi Audi,

You wrote, > It seems that right after the first and third pause points, the right hand manifests Pluck as the arm opens up to the right and the left foot does its pivot. David, I guess this is what you were referring to in your post. <

That seems to be it precisely.