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Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:34 pm
by Audi
Greeting all,

The different classes of palm have different focal points of energy (jindian). Clearly distinguishing the location of these focal points of energy can be beneficial in the process described as “where the intent reaches, the qi reaches; where the qi reaches, the jin reaches” (yi zhi qi zhi jin zhi). So for a seated-wrist standing palm, the focal point of energy is in the entire palm. In a lateral palm, it is on the small-finger side. For an inclined palm, it is at the center of the palm. In a face-down palm, it is in the tiger’s mouth, or on the small finger side, and so forth. Whether in solo form practice or in push hands, gaining command of the focal points of energy of the palms is very important.


Louis, thanks for the quote. This captures what I was trying to say much more succinctly.

I haven't checked it for accuracy, but here's a link to a page with an extended passage from Yang Zhenji's book, including his remarks on jin points 勁點:

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_91e7cb7b0102w2vw.html

There's some very useful material in that book!


Wonderful link. I find so much I have been taught before, but also some surprising differences in details. Most I consider not very consequential, but a few did prompt my curiosity.

B、不坐腕的立掌:不坐腕,有前立掌,手掌向前微俯。如倒撵猴式的前掌;有手心向左右的立掌;如肘麻捶式的上掌等。


What posture is 肘麻捶式? Is that perhaps a typo?

A、坐腕立掌:坐腕,手心向前。这种掌法运用较多,一般前推均用此掌,如按式的双掌;搂膝的推掌等。B、不坐腕的立掌:不坐腕,有前立掌,手掌向前微俯。如倒撵猴式的前掌;有手心向左右的立掌;如肘麻捶式的上掌等。C、坡掌:手背成坡形,手心斜向前下。如抱虎归山式左推掌。坡掌在拳式中运用是很多的。


Am I to understand that Yang Zhenji used three different types of forward thrusting palms in Brush Knee, Repulse Monkey, and Embrace Tiger? It's been many, many years since I have seen video of him doing form, but I do not recall the differences described here. I especially do not understand about the "inclined palm."

[quote比如坐腕立掌的劲点在全掌,横掌在小指一侧,坡掌在掌心,俯掌在虎口或小指一侧等等。[/quote]

So for a seated-wrist standing palm, the focal point of energy is in the entire palm. In a lateral palm, it is on the small-finger side. For an inclined palm, it is at the center of the palm. In a face-down palm, it is in the tiger’s mouth, or on the small finger side, and so forth.


Do you happen to know why there is a difference given between the jin points in the entire palm and in the center of the palm?

Take care,
Audi

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:05 pm
by ChiDragon
Audi wrote:Greeting all,

A、坐腕立掌:坐腕,手心向前。这种掌法运用较多,一般前推均用此掌,如按式的双掌;搂膝的推掌等。B、不坐腕的立掌:不坐腕,有前立掌,手掌向前微俯。如倒撵猴式的前掌;有手心向左右的立掌;如肘麻捶式的上掌等。C、坡掌:手背成坡形,手心斜向前下。如抱虎归山式左推掌。坡掌在拳式中运用是很多的。


..... I especially do not understand about the "inclined palm."

Audi

C、坡掌:手背成坡形,手心斜向前下。如抱虎归山式左推掌。坡掌在拳式中运用是很多的。


Hi Audi
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to look into this. Just by looking at the characters 坡掌, there is no doubt in my mind to translate it as "inclined palm." However, if I look into the descriptive phrase 手背成坡形,手心斜向前下 , then, I would not translate it as inclined palm. It is because of the 坡形 in the phrase. It was describing the shape of the back of the hand as a small hill. Its proper translation would read: "The back of the hand is shaped as a hill, the palm incline forward and downward. Thus it indicates that there is a curvature in the back of the hand.

比如坐腕立掌的劲点在全掌,横掌在小指一侧,坡掌在掌心,俯掌在虎口或小指一侧等等。


So for a seated-wrist standing palm, the focal point of energy is in the entire palm. In a lateral palm, it is on the small-finger side. For an inclined palm, it is at the center of the palm. In a face-down palm, it is in the tiger’s mouth, or on the small finger side, and so forth.


Do you happen to know why there is a difference given between the jin points in the entire palm and in the center of the palm?


Perhaps if you understand the definition of 坡掌, then you might have a better understanding why the jin point is in the center of the palm. In other words, for a seated-wrist standing palm(坐腕立掌), the focal point of energy is in the entire palm. It is because the palm was fully expanded. And the inclined palm(坡掌) is at the center of the palm. It is because that the palm was not fully expanded but curved.

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:58 pm
by Louis Swaim
Greetings Audi,

Regarding: What posture is 肘麻捶式? Is that perhaps a typo?

Yes. That should be 肘底捶式. It's correct in the printed book.

I'll try to address other questions later.

Take care,
Louis

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:16 pm
by ChiDragon
Hi, Louis
Sorry for jumping the gun ahead of you . :oops:

Here is a description of 坡形 in its native language.
http://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%9D%A1%E5%BD%A2/1732092

手背成坡形
Translation: The back of the hand is shaped like a hill.


Based on the above description of 坡形, I must conclude that the palm is in a concave position. I think the difinition of 凹形坡(concave slope)is a best fit for the translation. Hence, I would translate 坡掌 as concave palm.

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:48 pm
by Louis Swaim
Greetings CD,

That's interesting, but I suppose if Yang Zhenji's intended meaning had been 凹形坡, he would have used that term, but he didn't did he? I think he's just describing the plane of the back of the hand.

Take care,
Louis

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:30 pm
by ChiDragon
Greetings! Louis

It would be improper to have a description that way for the palm in classics. I'm sorry to say that classic was written in such an ambiguous way. Unfortunately, the problem is that one who reads it may or may not interpret it correctly. Of course, the error may be corrected some place along the line.


Take care.
CD

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:32 am
by Louis Swaim
Hi CD,

I'm not sure what you mean by "in classics." Yang Zhenji's book was published in 1993, and by and large he used quite modern language. In any case, it's pretty much a given that the shape of the palm in Yang taijiquan is usually somewhat concave. Fu Zhongwen, for example, said, "As to the use of the palm in practicing the form, the five fingers should unfold naturally, with no exertion in opening them. One must also avoid loose, curled fingers; the palm must present a slightly concave appearance (掌心要微呈凹形)."

Yang Zhenduo and Yang Zhenji classified the palm methods slightly differently from each other. For reference, here's a link from elsewhere on this site to Yang Zhenduo's classification and description of palm methods in Yang Style taijiquan: http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/about/a ... lm-methods

Louis

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:06 pm
by ChiDragon
HI, Louis
What I meant by "in classics" is anything that was written with ambiguity and requires interpretation by the reader. Even though the book was published in 1993, it still doesn't mean that the classic terms weren't used.

Let's go back to Audi's original question:
Audi wrote:..... I especially do not understand about the "inclined palm."

比如坐腕立掌的劲点在全掌,横掌在小指一侧,坡掌在掌心,俯掌在虎口或小指一侧等等。

坐腕立掌的劲点在全掌(The jin point of the seated wrist standing palm is in the whole palm),
横掌在小指一侧(Lateral palm is on one side of the little finger),
坡掌在心(Inclined palm is in the center of the palm),
俯掌在虎口或小指一侧等等(facing down palm is in the tiger's mouth or one side of the little finger, etc).

Excuse me, Audi, I am going to put words in your mouth. :D

Well, Audi had questioned that why the jin of the inclined palm was in the center. It was because the term "inclined palm" threw him. Without looking up the definition of "坡掌", the reader has no idea that the palm was concave.

And my original answer was:
CD wrote:Perhaps if you understand the definition of 坡掌, then you might have a better understanding why the jin point is in the center of the palm. In other words, for a seated-wrist standing palm(坐腕立掌), the focal point of energy is in the entire palm. It is because the palm was fully expanded. And the inclined palm(坡掌) is at the center of the palm. It is because that the palm was not fully expanded but curved.


To come to my conclusion, I had to research the definition for, "坡形", slope form.
There are few slope forms, such as straight line, concave, convex, and composite.

Here are the possible transtlations for the phrase: 坡掌劲点在在掌心,
1. The jin point of the inclined(straight line) palm is in the center of the palm,
2. The jin point of the concave palm is in the center of the palm.
The convex and composite slopes do not and cannot be applied to a palm.

Again, an inclined palm requires the palm to be fully expanded. Thus the jin is in the whole palm. While the palm was in a concave position, the jin is not in the whole palm but in the center. My argument was if the proper words were used in the English translation, then it would be much more clear to the reader.

Besides, there are many native ways to express the contextual meaning of 坡掌, such as 曲掌, 弧掌, 彎掌.
If the "inclined palm" was translate back to Chinese, it would read: 傾掌, 斜掌.

This the universal definition of 坡掌.
坡掌:手背成坡形,手心斜向前下

手背成坡形: The back of the hand is convex which implies that the palm has to be concave.
手心斜向前下: The palm(手心) incline toward the front and downward.

Re: Can anyone help me better understand "intent?"

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:32 pm
by Louis Swaim
Greetings CD,

You may be right, but I'm inclined not to agree with your interpretation. I don’t think it reads that way in the context of the whole presentation on palm forms. Po can refer to a slope as a line, as a somewhat abstract way of describing an orientation. I think that's how Yang Zhenji is using it in this passage. There is a very important reason to think that is the case. As I mentioned, in Yang family taijiquan, the heart of the palm is generally concave. Yang Zhenji mentions this at the outset of his discussion of the palm types. The subsequent descriptions are less about the shape of the palm, and more about subcategories of palm and their orientation in space. In this case, “the back of the hand forms a sloping shape, with the center of the hand [i.e., the palm side] inclined forward and slightly downward.” It’s a minor detail of translation, and either interpretation will work without changing the greater meaning.

Take care,
Louis