Applications of Tai Chi Fighting

Postby Michael » Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:06 am

hmmm, actually I was thought I was being "literal". And what I posted was not exactly "my" interpretation. Just my words.
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Postby psalchemist » Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:29 pm

Greetings Michael,

Sorry again if I misinterpreted your words...I obviously don't quite understand what is trying to be conveyed.

The statement above, for me, literally states that working harder, working more, is not as productive as working less...But since I don't find this very logical, I must assume that your view of the 'literal' meaning must be the correct one.


powermind,
I don't understand the meaning of the quote you supplied in comparison with what I posted...

But as I said it must be my deficiency in comprehending the example you provided.

What I was trying to convey in my previous posting, was simply that the different areas of Taijiquan activity are superimposed, something like mathematics.

First one learns 'barehand solo' form to learn internal,self.
Then one progresses to push hands with an opponent to learn to work with external input,and opponent(s).
Then one can move along to extending the reach of the body with a weapon, solo,internally,
Then on to working externally, with a weapon and opponent(s).

Work ethic or quantity did not really cross my mind there, I am only really speaking of the order of instruction,order of learning.

The student in the example, given as such, refers to working more often, working harder,(to me this refers to practicing) not necessarily that he is impatient to learn more techniques, weapons etc. and so find the difficulty in comparison within.

I am at a loss to compare the two subjects...but as I said it is probably that I have taken the example too literally, and there are perhaps other implications...

I would really appreciate your perspective in more detail,
You were saying something about the mind or body 'catching up'...?

What I understand is that one can only APPLY a limited amount of new mental education, theory to practice in the physical sense...and then one must practice these theories until the body has become accustomed to the concept. A process which requires time and application.

Surely it is safe, however, to accumulate theoretical knowledge even if it can not be put into action effectively at the time of absorption.
I see no real danger in overloading the mind...but I can see that actually applying what is being accumulated mentally would then require years of hard work and diligent practice.

Every student is different though, perhaps there is the danger for some of becoming discouraged at seeing the amount of work ahead...Personally I find it encouraging to see that I will NOT run out of things to learn and accomplish in Taijiquan.

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
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Postby powermind » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:07 pm

First I would like to say thanks for the warm welcome Psalchemist and I do appreciate the level of integrity this board and members ahve to offer. Nice to be here.

From my personal experience, I have learned, well first heard, but never understood, but only in words that your mind is tougher to train that your body and two have to be in sink to be able to achieve a true form of any Martial Art. I will present one task for example and how I have been able to achieve a true mind control that would not be possible for example 3 or 4 years ago. A few years back I had to break a brick to advance to my next level as part of the test. The idea was torturing me and I was very inconsistant depending on how I stood, how I felt and how I hit the surface.

I tried various ways of making my arm and body position over the brick, but the result was never the same. Since then I have been doing various meditations, reading and practicing projections of my mind consiously going into the state of empty, but not unaware and various mind control techniques. Well, today, stuck of bricks makes no difference to me how I stand and how I feel. I see only one brick in front of me and break whatever it is below. So, my moral to this and many stories that I have, is that no matter how strong I am or how fast I get, my mind needed to be able to control my body and therefore I needed to time for that.

I hope that somehow explains what I meant in my previous post. I know students that I teach or study with, who are great and talented, but worry about their physical development and eventually hit a brick wall in their studies. They can study for 10 years with that state of mind that they need to get to the gym and hit the back twice as much, but the outcome will be the same, they need to let their mind control the body and that takes time, not shortcuts. Once they get their, I have seen miracles.

Thanks for letting me express myself and I hope this little story with some examples does convey what I said prior to this.

My best, PowerMind.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by psalchemist:
<B>Greetings powermind,

Welcome to the board!

You have just presented an example I have been puzzling over for quite some time now...I heard that saying about a year ago, and would be very interested in pursuing this line of thought. I didn't understand it then and am still at a loss for enlightenment.

You said:

<The main one (lesson) that I personally learned is that your mind has to catch up with your body, which you can not rush.>

I was wondering if you cared to elaborate on your personal insight...

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby powermind » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:12 pm

I understand and agree with what Michael said, the goal is to improve yourself mentally and physically. One does work without the other. It is not working less, but actually patience that is the key. You see if you try to rush something, you will most probably be doing it more, but neglecting the other more important aspects. As they say Martial Arts without the mind control is just a street brawl. We are trying to achieve a higher form and thinking simply that hard training is going to get us there is missing the point of the true Martial way. Time is important, but student's mindset has to be in the form of patience, not instant reward.

Jake.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by psalchemist:
<B>Greetings Michael,

Sorry again if I misinterpreted your words...I obviously don't quite understand what is trying to be conveyed.

The statement above, for me, literally states that working harder, working more, is not as productive as working less...But since I don't find this very logical, I must assume that your view of the 'literal' meaning must be the correct one.


powermind,
I don't understand the meaning of the quote you supplied in comparison with what I posted...

But as I said it must be my deficiency in comprehending the example you provided.

What I was trying to convey in my previous posting, was simply that the different areas of Taijiquan activity are superimposed, something like mathematics.

First one learns 'barehand solo' form to learn internal,self.
Then one progresses to push hands with an opponent to learn to work with external input,and opponent(s).
Then one can move along to extending the reach of the body with a weapon, solo,internally,
Then on to working externally, with a weapon and opponent(s).

Work ethic or quantity did not really cross my mind there, I am only really speaking of the order of instruction,order of learning.

The student in the example, given as such, refers to working more often, working harder,(to me this refers to practicing) not necessarily that he is impatient to learn more techniques, weapons etc. and so find the difficulty in comparison within.

I am at a loss to compare the two subjects...but as I said it is probably that I have taken the example too literally, and there are perhaps other implications...

I would really appreciate your perspective in more detail,
You were saying something about the mind or body 'catching up'...?

What I understand is that one can only APPLY a limited amount of new mental education, theory to practice in the physical sense...and then one must practice these theories until the body has become accustomed to the concept. A process which requires time and application.

Surely it is safe, however, to accumulate theoretical knowledge even if it can not be put into action effectively at the time of absorption.
I see no real danger in overloading the mind...but I can see that actually applying what is being accumulated mentally would then require years of hard work and diligent practice.

Every student is different though, perhaps there is the danger for some of becoming discouraged at seeing the amount of work ahead...Personally I find it encouraging to see that I will NOT run out of things to learn and accomplish in Taijiquan.

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
powermind
 
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:54 pm

Greetings powermind,

Thanks for the reply.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:08 pm

Sifu Eddie (Wu Kwong Yu) did an interview with one of his students for a Wu family article. In that article, which I have not read for about six years so I'm paraphrasing here, Eddie talks about a student who had the financial ability to not have to work. He came to WTCCA and studied with Eddie every single day, seven days a week, any time the studio was open. Eddie implored him to relax and do other things, not to spend so much time on TCC alone.
The student dropped out of the school after only a couple of years, totally burned out on TCC. He had not made any real progress in months and was up against a wall of his own making.
The student returned a couple of years later and this time he did not throw himself body and soul into training, he reduced his training down to only a couple of hours a day and took some days off.
His progress after that was remarkable. He became a disciple of the Wu family not too long after that and is still a training disciple to this day.
He liked to repeat that story at seminars I attended over the years as well.
The moral to this story is the same as the one given above, that you need to be as well balanced in life as you are in martial stances to achieve any progress. Too much of anything, even practice, is not good for you.
This is one instance where no one is telling you to stop practicing, only to practice enough and then do other things.
How do you know when that is? Because you will stop making progress of any kind, you will become frustrated and actually will lose more ground than you gain if you continue to push it.
TCC is a transcendental art, you must transcend not doing it, then you must also transcend doing it too much.

Hope that helps.
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Postby Michael » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:57 am

Wushuer and all,

"Sifu Eddie"'s story is good example. It probably doesn't matter if the student described in the story practiced such an inordinate amount or not. His failing was that of "desire". He wanted it too much, he obsessed, became too focused on attainment, the "prize". When one's obsession or desire is so strong one grasps too hard. The result is that which one strives for so hard, slips from one's grasp. In this case the Mind, not the body, forces the issue, "He" doesn't let it happen.

I have known three individuals in the Martial arts (one in taiji) that showed this type of obsession. They each practiced up to six hours a day and had little life outside of practice and class. Two reached a certain level but could never quite get past it. They each displayed this self imposed "need"/desire to "excell". To prove themselves. They were good, but as Wushuer says, they were fustrated. The last one practiced the same amount (a Karate guy) but never looked past what he was doing. Never had any expectations, never sought anything but the moment. By doing so, he achieved as I have never seen anyone achieve. And get this, he became "soft". No one taught him this, he figured it out himself. Sensei***** did not like his discovery, or the fact that his student became much faster and more powerful than he was. He approached practice without selfish "goals". He approached his practice and learning like one should approach push hands.

This whole business is like trying to remember something. You know it, but you can't pull it out. You try and try and nothing. Then you let go of it. After awhile it comes all on it's own. The more you "want" (forcing) something, the less chance you have of getting it. You may get a piece of it, but the rest slips away or remains out of reach.

I don't know if there is any truth in this, it is just stuff I have read, my thoughts and experience.

The Need to Win

When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or he sees two targets-
He is out of his mind!

His skill has not changed.
But the prize divides him.
He cares.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting-
And the need to win
Drains him of power.

Chuanzi
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:08 pm

Greetings all,

Thanks for all the thorough explanations on the subject of that particular demonstration.

I understand and appreciate all the feedback provided.

I was indeed assimilating that lesson in a far too literal sense.

It seems to me to be another prime example of the objective to "seek the 'curved' (abstract) within the 'straight' (literal)".

Once again, thanks for clarifying.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 11-05-2003).]
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Postby DavidJ » Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:46 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm glad that the discussion settled onto things relating to balance. The I Ching is big on this. There is only one hexagram where a favorable judgement is given to all of its changing lines. This is hexagram 15, Modesty.

It is not up to a teacher to determine how much time a student spends on a particular thing. A person needs to pay attention to their own bodies, indeed their own lives, to determine that. A teacher complaining that someone isn't devoted enough may well be missing the point.

Not only thinking on terms of time spent on practice, but applying modesty to individual movements can be interesting. Try asking questions in pairs:

Is what I'm doing too hard, is what I'm doing too soft?

Am I flexible enough, and I stiff enough?

Am I slow enough, am I fast enough?

Often people try too hard in one direction.

Anyway, interesting posts.

Thanks,

David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 11-05-2003).]
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Postby DavidJ » Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:54 am

Hi Again,

There's an American Indian story:

A man walking down a trail comes upon another man who is just sitting by the side of the trail, apparently doing nothing. After standing quietly for a while the first asks the second, "What are you doing?"

The second replies, "I'm waiting for my spirit to catch up with my body."

Regards,

David J
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