Greetings CFTC and everone,
I would also like to thank you for your explanation, which was quite clear and informative.
Would you mind contrasting what you describe as the short penetrating energy of Ji and the energy of Lie/Lieh? Some of what you said are things I might have said of Lie and am curious again as to how you view the differences.
Since you also mentioned that you think of Ji in English as "put," I thought I would share my "translation" ideas surrounding the eight gates. I actually use the conventional terms in normal use, but mentally use a different set of terms when I am thinking about the energies. My terms seem to change from week to week, but here are the ones currently in my head:
Peng: Ward Off, Lift, Shelter, Rebound
Lu: Roll Back, Side Rotate, interlocking treading
These two terms seem to have no ordinary meaning in Chinese. The English images I have are partly based on my physical understanding and partly based on guesses using character etymology.
Ji: Crowd into, jam into, squeeze into
I do not like the term "Press," because of the failure to distinguish this meaning from what applies to An, which to me is a closer equivalent of the English word "press."
An: Press on or against
I do not like "Push" because of the failure to distinguish it from the push of "Push Hands" and the failure to suggest any directional element at all. To me, both "press" and "An" can have a slight connotation of downward and so work well in understanding why seating the wrists can be an important element for this energy.
I prefer to avoid "pull down" because there is no "down" in the Chinese term and because there are so many places in the form where Pluck seems to be done to the side. I also think that pull implies an even energy, whereas "Pluck" should be shorter and more abrupt. Another advantage of these words in English and Chinese is that they do not mean "pulling along," but rather imply extracting something from one physical state to another by careful use of the hands.
Lie: Crack into, rip into
This is a guess, based on character etymology and my understanding of the role of the energy. I do not like the term "Split," since this is also used for the sword energy "Pi." Also, as I understand it, Lie energy does not mean to separate into two pieces, which is what "split" implies. "Rend" is nice, because it could suggest rotation; however it implies a double grip used to tear something apart and so is too specific. I also question whether "rend" focus too much on the effect on the opponent and not enough on how the energy is deployed.
Kao: Abut, Come Against
I do not like "Shoulder Stroke," because the Chinese word includes nothing about "shoulder." I also wonder if "stroke" is too limiting an idea. My understanding of the core meaning of Chinese word is that it means that something comes horizontally right up to another object. Sometimes pressure is applied, sometimes not. My dictionaries have "lean" as a frequent meaning of "Kao," but I suspect the Chinese word never emphasizes "tilting," but rather closeness and/or the pressure that leaning on something causes or the effects that leaning or relying on something else produces.