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Tai Chi Staff

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:38 pm
by César
Hi everyone!

I was watching this video, It is a VincentChu's video, performing taichi staff and I wonder if this is the same taichi staff form that the Yang Family, i.e. YangJun, teach.
this is the link:



PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:38 pm
by shugdenla

If Vincent Chu is lineage, it is logical to infer what he is teaching is the real stuff!
Whether it is the same exact staff form as Yang Jun is the crux of the matter but is it important?

Here is an idea:
How many basic patterns are there? That should be a good start on determining if there were changes and why.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:28 pm
by Bob Ashmore
Don't know much about Yang staff forms, but....
This doesn't really look like an entire form to me. I've learned a few staff forms, they have a beginning, middle, end.
This looks more like either the very tag end of a form, or simply staff warm ups.
If this is an entire form, it's very short.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:17 am
by Kalamondin
Hi All,

The one I've learned from Yang Jun is just a short three movement sequence. Thrust forward (similar to the first move in the Vincent Chu video but with less scooping), pull back while shifting the weight somewhat back, then something like roll back (like the movement at the end of the video). These are done with more visibly explosive force than was shown in this clip. (I'm not disparaging Vincent Chu here at all, just pointing out a difference in the demonstration.)

The purpose is to build strength and train explosive force--the end of the pole should shake when done properly, but through relaxation, not brute strength.

That form in the clip looks really interesting, the implications for "push hands" type applications with the staff are clear. I haven't trained this sort of thing yet though.

Best wishes,

[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 12-14-2006).]

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:17 am
by tccstudent_usa
Here is a little more info about the staff if anyone is interested..

Form descriptions:

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:05 pm
by Bob Ashmore
Like I said, I don't know much about Yang staff form.
The only TCC staff form I've ever learned was quite a bit longer than that, but that's certainly no indication this one would have to be.
I am only puzzled by the lack of a beginning to the clip. It seems to start in the middle of a form. Since he closes out traditionally, I was just wondering if this is the entire form, or just the end of one.

This clip is quite interesting:

It is a fast form. Looks very Yang style.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:17 pm
by DPasek

The three move sequence that you were taught sounds like it is a basic issue/open/close drill. I have had teachers tell me that these moves are the most important for staff/spear, so it would be a good place to start learning staff/spear prior to or along with learning forms. I suspect that all styles probably use these three basic moves. I learned them for Yang style, Chen style (where they are practiced both individually and sequentially as “pole shaking” power training), and Fu style.

Note that while the form that Vincent Chu demonstrates uses a short staff, the grip is more spear like, i.e. held with one of the hands at the butt end of the shaft (as I understand it, and as I have been taught, staff would typically be held in thirds, with both forward and back ends extending about equally - although the attacking end is often allowed to extend farther than the rear portion, especially in thrusts, where the shaft often slides through the forward hand). I would consider Chu to be demonstrating a spear form using a staff. I understand that it is very common to use spear techniques and forms for staff forms.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:03 pm
by Bob Ashmore
I understand that the staff from being taught by the Yangs is called "shivering staff". I'm looking forward to learning it some day.
The staff form I have learned previously was pretty much as you describe it. It was pretty obviously a spear form done using a staff. There were a lot of thrusting and slashing moves with the tip and the hands were held near the butt of the staff.
The way I undertand the history of TCC staff forms, and that's not much, most were originally spear forms that for safeties sake the spear tips were removed from.
I may be wrong, heck I usually am, but that's the way it was explained to me.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:48 pm
by shugdenla

You're absolutely right. When it says someone has mastered 108 weapons, it does not mean that they learnt each single weapon.
They mastered the principles of staff and the crossover effect of spear, halberd, etc allows for learning doing the principle with the specific weapon.

If I took 1 year to learn for each 108 weapons, I would be over 100 years old and I would have had to start at birth!! To learn 2 weapons per year, I would be at best, 54 years old and I was doing nothing else. Keeping in mind teachers teach slowly, that would be highly impossible so therefore principle, concept and goal in training would allow one to see the crux of weapon use and adapt to the corresponding weapon.

Just thinking out loudly here!

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:57 pm
by Bob Ashmore
Yes, the basis for using a pole arm as a weapon is pretty much the same for the entire genre, as I understand it.
If you can use one type of pole-arm effectively, you can pretty easily adapt to any iteration of a pole-arm.
Some have slightly different techniques, due to the configuration of the head. Some will have long, thin blades, some short, fat blades...
All the different kinds of blades will require small changes in technique to use for maximum effect.
But overall the basics of their use will be similar enough that if you learn one well, the rest should not require a lengthy acclimation.
What you say makes pretty good sense.
Some day, after I get done playing with the short weapons, I'll get back on the long ones.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:41 pm
by Audi
Greetings everyone,

What Kal describes is also used for training Fajing generally. The stall used should be very long. I forget what the requirements are exactly, but perhaps something like 14 feet long or more is called for. What I use is somewhere around 10-12 feet, because this is apparently the longest length that UPS will ship.

For Kal's exercise, you definitely hold the staff near the extreme end, since the whole point is to learn how to send jin forcefully over a long distance. You can also use the exercise as a partner drill, where you have to learn to stick to the opponent's weapon without sliding.

One thing I find interesting about the drill is that it proves that traditional Taiji trains not only the inside, but also the outside. The drill is quite physically demanding.

Take care,

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:51 pm
by Kalamondin
Hi DP,

Thanks for your insights into the three move form. It's always struck me that there was a lot contained in that short sequence. There's nothing like a heavy pole to let you know whether you've got your body alignment correct or not. And the visual feedback at the end of the pole is useful too.

I look forward to observing people training staff or spear in the future, but I haven't had that chance yet.