Yang lineage and other translations

Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:43 pm

Greetings Cheefatt,

Thank you for confirming the meaning of sishou.

I wish I could get my hands on a copy of Yang Shouzhong’s book. I understand it’s long been out of print. Does he make specific reference to sishou in his writings?

By the way, I understand there is a saying along the lines, “Four hands will always defeat three fists.” That’s sort of like ‘Two heads are better than one.’ Both sayings ring true.

Thanks,
Louis
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Postby tccstudent » Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:29 pm

Hi Louis,

Word around the grapevine is that there will be a re-printing of the YSC book in the next year.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Nov 11, 2005 10:59 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by tccstudent:
<B>Hi Louis,

Word around the grapevine is that there will be a re-printing of the YSC book in the next year.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings tccstudent,

Will that be the English or the Chinese version? I'm most interested in the Chinese book.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby mls_72 » Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:50 pm

When i said this i was trying to be funny-

"The way I have seen recently how competition 'wushu' taijiquan in china has gotten 'out of control' with difficult movements,360 jumpings, splits, one legged balances, mixing even baguazhang and xingyiquan elements ......I wouldnt be suprised if someone from a Sports Institute there in china will dig up, revive, create a 'changquan taiji' form for competition based on whatever information is still available in the mainland.

I mean.... just mentioning something like could happen might make Jiang Jian-ye create a new video series on it next month in tai chi magazine."

I open up the new tai chi magazine and Jiang Jian-ye DOES have a yang tai chi long fist form video in it. good grief!! no shame in the game i say.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:42 pm

Greetings,

On the issue of a Yang Changquan form, I wonder if there isn’t something analogous to Sanshou. Sanshou, by very definition, is random, unpatterned, free sparring. Originally sanshou was not a “form,” but later Chen Yanlin documented something in his book that he called “Sanshou duida yanshi,” or “random-hand sparring performance form.” It is, essentially, a codification of sanshou techniques into a performance or demonstration set of 88 sequences for paired practice. It is a neat form, and has value for training, but the Sanshou form should not be mistaken for what sanshou originally meant. I think it is quite possible that so-called Changquan forms represent a similar phenomenon, that is the taking of some very complex training practices, and routinizing them into a patterned, demonstratable, repeatable form. Isn’t that how all martial art forms come about?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Nov 12, 2005 7:11 pm

Greetings All,

Still more. . .

This morning I remembered that Yang Jwing-ming has also translated the “Yang Forty” text, “Ba-wu shisanshi changquan jie” in his book, _Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style_, so I consulted it (pp. 72-74). His rendering reinforces my contention about the phrase “wanbude you yiding jiazi.” He translates this “(You) must not have definite postures. . . .” That agrees with my “By no means should it have fixed postures.” Throughout this book, however, the translations of the original texts are fraught with grammatical problems and awkward, if not impenetrable English. On the other hand, Yang Jwing-ming’s commentaries are often quite good, and the one for this text is an example. He also confirms that sishou does indeed refer to peng, lu, ji, and an.

Another thing I discovered this morning is another reference to “changquan” in the Yang Forty Chapters. This is text #10, “Taiji jin tui buyi gong” (taiji’s never ceasing skill of advance and retreat). This is certainly a koujue (rhymed formula, meant for oral recitation), having a typical seven-character per line structure. The “changquan” line goes, “The thirteen posture set goes on forever without end, therefore on this basis it is named Changquan.” (c.f., Wile, pp. 68-69; Yang J.M., pp. 57-58.) This text also uses the “sishou” phrase, and in this context it is clear that it refers to the “side” techniques of peng, lu, ji, an. This text states that the four “corner” techniques of cai, lie, zhou, and kao “evolve” from the sishou.

Take care,
Louis




[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 11-12-2005).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:06 pm

Greetings,

Actually this phrase (“wanbude you yiding jiazi.”) doesn't leave my mind since I read the text and Louis's helpful translation. Apparently its meaning is turbid, I suppose, even for native Chinese speakers. I would like to figure out its various possible meanings.

Am I correct that its literal rendering is

"Ten thousand cannot/shouldn't have one fixed frame" ?

If I am correct with the above assumption, then I would treat the phrase in these two ways

1) cannot

"Ten thousand cannot have one fixed frame" – that could mean "you should not have these ten thousand (of various forms) [if you wish] to keep on the practice of one frame".

2) should not

"Ten thousand should not have one fixed frame" – namely "go ahead with reasonable variations"

The two opposite meanings. Are they both possible from point of view of literal rendering and language grammar?

Sorry for this uneasy question.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Nov 12, 2005 8:28 pm

Hi Yuri,

I don’t think it’s that turbid. Even in modern Mandarin, “bude” means “do not, must not” and “budebu” is a double-negative that means “must,” or “cannot avoid. The “wan” here is just an intensifier; in this case it does not mean “ten thousand.” If you want to get really emphatic about something you use “qianwan,” which does not mean 10,000,000; it just means that you really mean it: Absolutely!

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 11-14-2005).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sun Nov 13, 2005 3:44 am

Louis,
thank you for helping me with this.
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Postby tccstudent » Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:23 am

I believe it will be only English, but I'm not 100% sure on that for now.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:53 am

Here is a very interesting explanation of " Unraveling the eight [gates]-five [steps] and thirteen postures of Long Boxing" (including some words about what different kinds of sishou are) –

http://syzx.lzedu.cn/lztj/tj/quanyoujiaoliu/zj3.htm (item 16)

Maybe Louis will translate it some day .


[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-13-2005).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:57 pm

Hi Yuri,

The commentary you linked is pretty good. It mostly paraphrases the original, but does amplify a few points. Did you notice the use of "qianwan" in the commentary? He uses it a couple of times.

ǧÍò²»ÄÜÐγÉÒ»¶¨µÄ¼Ü×Ó

ǧÍò²»ÄÜʧȥ×ÔÉíµÄÃàÈí

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:26 pm

Hi Louis,

Of course I noticed that Image and due to your help I could understand that. This taiji manual actually is quite unique. I cannot recall another taiji manual that would discuss the question of "finalizing-fixing the frame". In spite of the fact that the words in this quanpu have been composed with thoughtful accuracy, its meaning concerning "slippery" of the form (hua) is somewhat vague to me. At the moment I would characterize this "slippery" as "freezing" ¨C kind of fault when student tries to copy the teacher's form without ¡­ hm .. pervasion of its meaning, so to speak. (At first ÊÆ, then ʽ). But I feel that there is something else¡­

[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-14-2005).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:06 pm

Greetings Yuri,

Perhaps Jerry or Jeff has some thoughts on this. My sense of the usage of “hua2” in this document is that it refers to a slick and shining appearance that lacks real substance. That’s why I translated it “slick and facile.” The word hua2 frequently has a disparaging meaning, as when it is used to describe someone who speaks with a “glib” tone. Interestingly, the English word “glib” also has connotations of “slippery, smooth.” Someone who speaks in a glib manner has an overconfident tone, but underneath this superficial fluency, there is no real truth or substance.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:47 pm

Thanks for your help, Louis! Now I understood why you chose those words. Very interesting!
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