Standing in yang Tai chi Chuan

Standing in yang Tai chi Chuan

Postby mls_72 » Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:24 pm

How much post standing is offically recongnized by Yang Family as an important part of practice?

Tai Chi magazine Vol. 20 Number 3 (June 1996). Has an article about Cai Song Fang who practices WU JI standing that is performed before the Tai chi Yang set. The article says that Yang chen Fu was told by his father before he died that if he wanted to excel in taiji he would have to practice more Wu Ji qigong. It would be the only way he would be able to surpass the already senior sudents of Yang Chien Hao.

matt

[This message has been edited by mls_72 (edited 06-29-2005).]
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Postby Kalamondin » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:29 am

Hi Matt,

I don't have an official answer for you and I don't know what it might be, but I can tell you what I’ve seen in Master Yang Jun’s school. I was in the first class he taught in Seattle and post standing was not introduced at that time. However, I attended a recent beginner’s class lecture by M YJ and he instructed them to begin post standing before they start studying the form the next week. He told them that in some traditional schools in China, a student is not taught anything until they can stand for the duration of one stick of incense burning (about one hour). And some train to two incense sticks (two hours).

I haven’t attended any other beginning class lectures so I don’t know if he’s introduced this before to other beginner’s classes; but he’s mentioned it before in the intermediate classes.

He demonstrated the opening posture, then standing with arms up in front (palms facing inward), then advocated Standing in the bow stance and empty stance. For the empty stance, the arms can be down, or they can be up in the end position of lift hands and step up, or the arms can be rounded in front (palms facing outward).

I’ve also heard other students ask him about it and, he says it’s a good addition to one’s practice. When I asked him for advice on staying calm in push hands, he recommended standing meditation so that I could more easily remember what it’s like to be still even when moving.

But then, I’ve also heard that tai chi chuan is sufficient gong even in and of itself, that it builds internal energy, gently clears chi blockages, and generally all the things nei gong can add. IMO, standing is a shortcut to internal understanding and development in the same way that scaling a sheer cliff face is a shortcut to a twisty mountain road. One eventually makes it to the top of the mountain, either through strenuous effort but shorter duration, or slowly and steadily on a longer path.

Best wishes,
Kal
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Postby cheefatt taichi » Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:53 am

Hi Matt & Kal,

I was told that Tung Yin Chieh did a lot of zhanzhuang (standing qigong) during his apprentice days with YCF. Speaking about myself, zhanzhuang helps a lot in getting the internal connection right and it does build neili (internal strength). However, form train us to mobilize this neili into neijin (internal power), both are important.

I feel to reap the benefits of zhanzhuang one must have some experience of `sung' and know what is relax. For beginners to jump straight into zhanzhuang may be too exhausting and boring a task. Some may get it but majority will lost interest in a short span of time. In the older days zhanzhuang was kept a secret because it allowed people to progress faster.
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Postby nanzer » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:37 am

i must preface my comments with the fact that i am not familiar with the exact lineage of my teacher and my teacher's teacher. i do know that my master's master learned the family style in china from a lineage holder that can be traced all the way back to yang lu chan. when you see the art being taught and manifested by some one who has actually learned it, names and titles become less important. after about an hour of practice in my first class with my current teacher, i knew without a doubt that i was learning the real thing. in class, we do standing meditation, zhan zhuang, for at least 10 minutes prior to forms. our teacher advises that we should be practicing zhan zhuang for at least an hour a day, but not all at one time. if you read any books by bk frantzis, he talks about doing it for hours at a time. i am very lucky to have an american teacher who is not caught up in his own ego. i do not mean to belittle any one of any other race or country, but in my class, there truly are no secrets, there is no mystique about anything we are doing. i have noticed this is not the case with a wide range of teachers both asian and american. again, i can only speak for myself and what i have experienced and learned through trial and error. in my opinion, zhan zhuang is vital not only to yang style, but to all forms of tai chi. zhan zhuang cultivates proper breathing, correct posture and teaches you how to relax your mind and body. through zhan zhuang, you develop a vast awareness and sensitivity to the inner workings of chi in your body. this is one of the truly internal aspects of tai chi, and i would relate this to the circle walking in ba gua or the san ti in hsing i.
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Postby nanzer » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:40 am

p.s., some good books on the subject:

the way of energy, by master lam kam chuen

the big book of tai chi, and, the power of internal martial arts, by bruce kumar frantzis

the essential movements of tai chi, by john kotsias
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Postby mls_72 » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:48 pm

I like the fact that you can experiment with the form. For example - you can practice standing for some time and then do first opening movement very slowly like 10 minutes of raising hands.

Or

In some taiji systems- Hold and Mold the postures. Do a 5 minute brush knee standing or any other posture you choose. better yet... get someone who knows what the postures look like and have them adjust/correct alignment you while your holding it.

matt
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:35 pm

Greetings to all players,

<<I like the fact that you can experiment with the form. For example - you can practice standing for some time and then do first opening movement very slowly like 10 minutes of raising hands.>>MLS

This bring up a question I have been mulling over since I watched the TaiChi Ball routine from another thread. In the opening posture the player raises his arms fully to above his head whilst raising, rather than to the Yang family instructions of shoulder height.

I have been informed that it is a form of escape from a two armed grab from behind....

Is the full arm raise simply flourish for esthetic reasons or a way of mental preparation for proceeding with the form which places less emphasis on application importance?

I note that Yang family TaiChi places much importance on practicality...so I would not be surprised if this move was focused more fully on practical application...but could this be a better way of preparing the mind to practice the form, aside from martial necessity?

Also what of health issues...would this affect the chi flow through meridian chanels in a positive way, or not? Or unimportant and superfluous...?

Any feedback on this would be helpful.

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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