"What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:00 am

Greeting! Louis

Let's say I am ESL(English as second language) and you are CSL(Chinese as second language.... :D



Let nature take its course,
Wu Wei
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:20 am

Louis Swaim wrote:CD,

Your re-translation of the line doesn't make sense. In the line, 重, 指身體的某一部分落實, “雙重” 指雙足, 雙手 不分虛實, 陰陽不明, the 實 does stand alone, and doesn't mean "solid." It is part of a compound, 落實, which here means "to deploy," "to implement," to put into effect."

Louis

Greeting! Louis
重, 指身體的某一部分落實

落實 in the statement is very abstract. Even a native speaker is having trouble for the interpretation. Sometimes, Chinese are not very straight forward with the meaning as in English. Lots of them require a logical interpretation. Hence, is the weight here. In order to relate weight to the parts of the body, the body parts have to be become solid to bear weight. Besides, is a noun and 落實(to deploy) is a verb which make it very ambiguous in the logic. Would that have made you to change your mind? :)

落實 maybe interpreted as to deploy or become solid. I think it is more appropriate to translate as:
Weight indicates any part of the body becomes solid or deployed.

Louis, please let me think about this. It seems to work both ways.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:09 pm

Louis Swaim wrote:CD,

Your re-translation of the line doesn't make sense. In the line, 重, 指身體的某一部分落實, “雙重” 指雙足, 雙手 不分虛實, 陰陽不明, the 實 does not stand alone, and doesn't mean "solid." It is part of a compound, 落實, which here means "to deploy," "to implement," to put into effect."

Louis


Louis,
Thank you for your participation in the discussion. I had given this a second thought. Let's start all over. The jargons in Tai Ji Chuan are esoteric. They cannot be interpreted by using ordinary language. It will not make any sense if we do that. In the case of the compound term 雙重, in the daily common language means anything that is double; dual; twofold. Thus it make no sense to use these definitions to interpret Tai Ji term.

Let's look at the ordinary translation of the characters individually.
: double; dual; twofold, pair
: weight; repetition; important, main point

雙重 has no significant meaning in the daily language. It is because there is nothing which has "double weight" by itself. It is an esoteric term for the Tai Ji practitioners. Mainly, it was derived from a posture when two legs have equal weight and the body was deadlocked in an awkward position. Hereinafter, the esoteric term was used, anytime, when the body was disabilitated, regardless if there is any equal weight or not.

in 雙重, in this esoteric case, has to be interpreted alone as "weight". Thus in the same manner for the phrase 重, 指身體的某一部分落實. If 落實 was translated as to deploy; to implement, to put into effect, then one might ask is a body part was really "to put into effect"(under the 雙重 condition) or to implement what? or to deploy for what? IMO all these do not add up!

What do you think!?
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:47 am

ChiDragon wrote:Let's look at the ordinary translation of the characters individually.
: double; dual; twofold, pair
: weight; repetition; important, main point

雙重(double weight) has no significant meaning in the daily language. It is because there is nothing which has "double weight" by itself. It is an esoteric term for the Tai Ji practitioners. Mainly, it was derived from a posture when two legs have equal weight and the body was deadlocked in an awkward position. Hereinafter, the esoteric term was used, anytime, when the body was disabilitated, regardless if there is any equal weight or not.

in 雙重, in this esoteric case, has to be interpreted alone as "weight". Thus in the same manner for the phrase 重, 指身體的某一部分落實. If 落實 was translated as to deploy; to implement, to put into effect, then one might ask is a body part was really "to put into effect"(under the 雙重 condition) or to implement what? or to deploy for what? IMO all these do not add up!

What do you think!?

From a linguistic point of view, the compound term 落實 has the meanings as to deploy; to implement; to put into effect. It seems to me it is not feasible for correlate these meaning into 落實. However, it would be appropriate to separate the two characters and have the following pertinent definitions:
: to fall; to drop; to land(said for a bird)
: solid; firm; real

If both feet were flat on the ground, then, both feet are said to be 落實(set solid on the ground). By saying that, the terms and 雙重 in the two phrases 重, 指身體的某一部分落實, “雙重” 指雙足, 雙手 不分虛實, 陰陽不明 would have an identical meaning in relationship with "weight". My reason may be validated by the interpretation of the last phrase:
“雙重” 指雙足, 雙手 不分虛實, 陰陽不明
Translation:
“shuangzhong” indicates that in the two feet or the two hands there is not a differentiation of hollow and solid—yin and yang are not distinguishable.)

Interpretation:
If both feet were said to be having no differentiation of solid(實) or hollow(虛) condition, then, we must draw to a conclusion that both feet are solid, on the ground, with equal weight. In the worse scenario, it would be very difficult to stand on hollow feet. Hollow feet means either both feet with heels or toes were lifted up at the same time.


Editor's note:
The terms solid and hollow feet may not be heard in the west at all. They were introduced in the west known as full and empty. For those who really wants to study the Tai Ji terminologies, it would be recommended to go across the border to be familiarized with the ancient meanings of the classic terms.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:20 pm

ChiDragon,

I wouldn't even dream of trying to dip my toes into the current discussion about the meaning of characters in a language other than English. I have zero expertise in that area so will leave those discussions to y'all who do have some knowledge about that kind thing.
While it's interesting to me to see the back and forth on that...
It doesn't have much actual bearing on anything.
So I will stick with replying to:
"However, from a scholarly point of view, "double pressure and double weight" are the same."
Well...
Yes and no.

Weight and pressure can be synonymous but can also have two entirely different meanings. It depends on the context.

Weight is usually only considered to measure how much affect gravity has on an object, ie; "How much do you weigh?" is understood to mean "how much does gravity affect you as measured in pounds (or kilograms, or whatever scale of measure is being used)?"
Pressure is used to measure the amount of force that is being exerted on the surface of something regardless of what is exerting the force or what type of force is being used.
So weight can be described as the amount pressure that gravity is pulling you towards the earth with but is still specific in meaning to just the force of gravity.
While pressure is used as a word to mean any kind of force being exerted against any object and in any direction.
In English, which is the only language I even pretend to know more than enough to get my face slapped when using, the term "Double weighted" could mean something that has even weight on two sides (ie; a person standing in Preparation Form holding an equal amount of weight in both legs) or something that is "double the weight" of a normal item of its kind. It actually shows up as an expression in English in a few areas; "double weighted sales" and "double weighted chess pieces", for example.
The term "double pressure" isn't as widely used as a technical or descriptive term but would be used to mean something along the lines of "the same amount of pressure at two points" or "double the amount of pressure at a single point".
But...
The terms "double weighted" and "double pressure" as used in TCC are used to describe things specific to TCC and so knowing the meaning of just the words themselves isn't going to help anyone very much to understand their use in this art.

As has been mentioned, and numerous times by numerous people, the terms as they are being discussed here are fairly specific in their meaning only in Tai Chi Chuan terminology. Outside of that context they have entirely different meanings.
So bald translations of them, and again while very interesting, don't really help your average first year, or fifth year, or tenth year, English speaking student to understand very much of what is trying to be conveyed with them.
Instead it's much more helpful to know what these terms means inside of the art of Tai Chi Chuan, which is what we're trying to learn here.
Bob Ashmore
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:45 pm

Bob Ashmore wrote:ChiDragon,
As has been mentioned, and numerous times by numerous people, the terms as they are being discussed here are fairly specific in their meaning only in Tai Chi Chuan terminology. Outside of that context they have entirely different meanings.
So bald translations of them, and again while very interesting, don't really help your average first year, or fifth year, or tenth year, English speaking student to understand very much of what is trying to be conveyed with them.
Instead it's much more helpful to know what these terms means inside of the art of Tai Chi Chuan, which is what we're trying to learn here.


Hi, Bob:
It was interest to hear you say what is highlighted in red. It leads to a question how shall one to learn without any translation? I believed my translations are not bald because they were followed with interpretations. Besides, we have people from different educational backgrounds. Perhaps they would like to explain things in another way to have a better understanding. I do admit that the choice of words may cause more confusion due to a language barrier. One should have an open mind in viewing the comments of others with discretion. It isn't wise to have a hasty rejection is because it was not written the way to fit one's personal preference or taste.

Let's bear in mind that modern Tai Chi masters had leant from the ancient master which were not scientifically oriented. Their terminologies were passed down from generation to generation which are esoteric and unfathomable for an ordinary person to comprehend.

IMO The word "pressure" shouldn't even to be used in any explanation for Tai Ji Chuan. If it was used, then it should be treated and understood as "weight". My rationale is that pressure is weight per area. In Tai Ji, who would care what area was the force(weight) applied to.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:59 pm

I have very little time so to the heart of the matter...

"How shall one learn without any translation?"
In the Wu school, WAY back when I attended it, there was a great saying that we used for just that question.
I will try to keep it as close to how I heard it as possible:
"What do you care what it's called in Chinese? Do you know Chinese? I didn't think so. So don't worry about what it's called in Chinese, learn what we're calling it in English and then... Put your money where your mouth is and learn how to actually do it!"

Have to run.
More as I can.

Bob
Bob Ashmore
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby fchai » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:19 am

Greetings,

How did we get here from GVI's original post? I am not a Chinese classical scholar or a scholar of any description. I have a great deal of respect for Louis Swaim who's translated books on Taiji are recommended texts for those who study Taiji with/from me. I have even changed parts of my form to be compliant with the text, so as not to confuse my students too much. Though I have retained the advancing grasping bird's tail posture at the end of Part 3 out of respect for my Taiji (Tung/Dong) lineage and my teacher.
Anyway, the reason I have decided to butt in and offer my tuppence worth, is because I have a view that second guessing the ancients is fraught with dubious outcomes. However, I always value different perspectives which make me think a little more deeply about what I do in my form. DPasek posted an interesting video about ''double weighting'' in the 'Xiang Kairan'' thread which I found interesting and made me think of ''double weighting'' as yin-yin or yang-yang, and the absence of yin-yang harmony. Now this is just a thought and not something I would foist as a theory on anyone. I agree with Bob that trying to make sense of it to my students would just make them very confused.
I have often found that over time as one gains experience and one's insight matures, certain previously obscure matters become less so. Taiji is very much a personal journey for me and enlightenment comes with diligent practice and an expanding awareness and the interesting discussions on this forum. Hallelujah! Or is it, Amitaba? :lol:
Take care,
Frank
fchai
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 6:11 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:55 pm

Greetings!
How did we get here from GVI's original post?
IMMHO Actually, we didn't go very far at all. From a glance to review the above posts, we were only discussing our personal goals and experiences. I don't think we have really discussed what do we want from Tai Chi Chuan(TCC) at all. The reason was that how the questions were addressed by GVI which leads us to this point.

Tai Chi Chuan is the cultivation of the mind and body. Some people may think that Tai Chi is a physical thing for the good health of the body and it's a martial art. Besides it's a martial art, but it has a lot to do with the mind too. In Tai Chi Chuan, the are a martial side and a scholarly side. The scholarly side is to learn and find out as much as one can about TCC with an open mind. It is important to isolate the facts from the fallacies; and to correct the misstakes and errors as we are learning along. There is no end for acquiring knowledge to enhance our wisdom. How far does one wants to go? How much does one want to know? Where does one to stop? It's all depend on each individual.

The is no reason for someone to stop learning from what one didn't know. We all learn from someone who knows a little more than us. Of course, we need to learn it from the truth and retain the good and discard the bad!


Let nature take its course,
Wi Wei
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby DPasek » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:33 pm

fchai wrote:DPasek posted an interesting video about ''double weighting'' in the 'Xiang Kairan'' thread which I found interesting and made me think of ''double weighting'' as yin-yin or yang-yang, and the absence of yin-yang harmony. Now this is just a thought and not something I would foist as a theory on anyone.

For those who are interested in the Xiang Kairan thread, it is here:
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4194

The following is Xiang’s relevant commentary with Brennan’s translation. It can be seen that as far back as the 1920’s there was the same differences in interpretation that have been discussed recently in various threads on this forum.
第一是虛實得分別淸楚。王宗岳太極拳經曰。偏重則隨。雙重則滯。每見數年純功不能運化 者。率皆己為人制。雙重之病未悟耳。所謂雙重。便是虛實未曾分淸楚。我看普通練太極拳的人。解釋雙重的道理。多以為兩脚同時着地。卽謂之雙重。一脚虛一脚 實。便不是雙重。兩手同時打出為雙重。一手虛一手實卽非雙重。若祇如此。則雙重之病有何難悟。豈有數載純功尚不能領會這一點兒道理。以我經驗所得。豈僅兩 手兩足有雙重。卽一指之微。尚應將虛實分別淸楚。如以一指着人。不會分別虛實。卽犯雙重之病。練架式的時候。四肢百骸。從頂至踵。循環虛實。一手之中。其 虛實之互為變換。愈密愈妙。自起手以至終結。處處成圓。處處隨虛隨實。假使有一寸大的地方。未曾注意。這一寸大地方便不免有雙重之病。是這般練習如何能 快。是這般練一趟。比隨便練十趟二十趟有進步。
1. Clearly distinguishing between emptiness and fullness:
It says in Wang Zongyue’s Taiji Boxing Classic: “If you drop one side, you can move, but if you have equal pressure on both sides, you will be stuck. We often see one who has practiced hard for many years yet is unable to perform any neutralizations and is generally under the opponent’s control, and the issue here is that this error of double pressure has not yet been understood.”
By “double pressure” is meant that one is not clearly distinguishing between emptiness and fullness. I have noticed that typical practitioners of Taiji Boxing usually interpret the principle of double pressure as both feet pressing against the ground in unison, making an equal pressure, whereas with one foot empty and one foot full, there is no doubling of the pressure. Both hands attacking in unison may also make an equal pressure, whereas with one hand empty and one hand full, there is again no doubling of the pressure. If that is all there is to it, then why should the double pressure error be hard to grasp? Why after many years of ardent practice would one still be incapable of comprehending such a small idea?
I know from my own experience that double pressure cannot be only an issue of two hands or two feet. Even down to a single finger, you still have to distinguish clearly between emptiness and fullness. If you use a single finger to connect with an opponent without knowing how to distinguish between emptiness and fullness, you will make the double pressure error. While practicing the solo set, throughout the limbs and entire body, from head to heel, emptiness and fullness circulate. Even in a single hand, emptiness and fullness alternate with each other. The scale gets ever more compact and subtle.
From beginning to end, everywhere there is a roundness, and everywhere there is a corresponding emptiness and fullness. If there is an area as much as an inch that has not been given attention, this tiny area will inevitably possess the error of double pressure. How then could practicing in this manner be done quickly? Practicing the set just once in this way is more effective than rushing through it ten or twenty times.
DPasek
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Pittsboro, NC USA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby DPasek » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:22 pm

As my above post points out, the differences in interpretation of double weighting/pressure have been around since at least the 1920s in Chinese literature, so it is completely unfair for CD to try to diminish Louis Swaim’s opinion by stating:
ChiDragon wrote:Greeting! Louis

Let's say I am ESL(English as second language) and you are CSL(Chinese as second language.... :D

Let nature take its course,
Wu Wei

Personally, I would trust the insights of a Western scholar of Chinese literature over a modern native Chinese speaker who has not studied imperial language usage. Too much has changed from then till now, and I know that many native speakers today cannot really read or interpret old texts very well.

Frank,

I sometimes tell my students that we train for something other than the fight-or-flight response (the response to aggression that most people instinctively have). In this context fight would be yang+yang, and flight would be yin+yin. To train Taiji, we try for yin+yang, which allows us to stick and adhere, connect and follow (zhan nian lian sui 粘黏連隨). We, therefore, do not resist (yang+yang) nor run away/collapse (yin+yin).
DPasek
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Pittsboro, NC USA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby ChiDragon » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:33 pm

DPasek wrote:Personally, I would trust the insights of a Western scholar of Chinese literature over a modern native Chinese speaker who has not studied imperial language usage. Too much has changed from then till now, and I know that many native speakers today cannot really read or interpret old texts very well.



I'm very sorry to hear that you had made such statement. Of course, that was only your honest opinion!

Once a knowledgeable person had said, the ancients had given us the basic unfathomable concepts; it was left for us modern people to find explanations with the latest knowledge.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: "What do you want from Tai Chi Chuan?"

Postby DPasek » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:10 pm

Yes, it is probably wrong to generalize too broadly.

There is a desire to have every generation be better than the previous. But that does not automatically mean that every generation is necessarily better.

Many Westerners, as well as Chinese, are not as physically fit as Chinese from the time when the Taijiquan Classics and other books were written, and our current physical differences probably color our understandings of Taijiquan.

Modern society influences our understanding of Taijiquan. Imperial Chinese had certain common written sources that all scholars (and aspirants) shared, that are no longer commonly studied. As well as usages that remain common today, there appear to be many sayings that non-scholars today would miss without careful study and analysis.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I do not think that Chinese academic scholars dismiss the knowledge and research of modern Western scholars of Chinese, simply due to the Westerners not being Chinese. The quote of yours, that I cited previously, seems to have been dismissing knowledge, and what appears to be very thorough and careful research, simply because it is coming from a non-Chinese. If you were as thoughtful, unbiased, and thorough in what you present, then I would perhaps value your comments more.

But we all have different backgrounds, and all of us are trying our best to understand our chosen art. Thanks for sharing your understanding, even when it differs from my own.
DPasek
 
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:01 am
Location: Pittsboro, NC USA

Previous

Return to Miscellaneous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests