Louis, thanks for the characters and links to the Cantonese. For what it’s worth, given what you have provided over the hyperlinks, I think that Wu Baoxiang would be Ng Pou-Ts’eung. The “Ng” would be pronounced like a syllabic equivalent of the corresponding English [ng] sound or, for some speakers, like a syllabic “m”. The “p” would have the Wade-Giles value of [b]. The “ou” is like Mandarin. The “Ts” would be pronounced like Mandarin “ch” for most speakers.
Wushuer, despite numerous beatings, we seem unable to kill this horse. This may be both delightful and frustrating at the same time. At the risk of repeating my previous posts, let me try to build on Louis’s most recent one, since I think I share his viewpoint.
If you concede that the postures in NAWS have transitions that include having weight on both legs (e.g., White Crane Spreads Wings, according to your post), does this mean that you are constantly moving through moments when you are double weighted as you shift weight from one leg to the other? If not, how can weighting itself be determinative of this state?
As I understand Yang Style theory, it is never permissible to be double weighted for even a single instant, let alone every time one transfers weight from one leg to the other. Does NAWS judge whether one is double weighted at only certain points during postures? Why are you not double weighted during the Opening Posture, Single Whip, or during Cross Hands (assuming all these postures exist in the NAWS form), since all these postures have 50/50 weight distributions in Wu Style (according to my memory)?
I have the same confusion about the sweep test you describe. If you are talking about being nimble enough internally to avoid falling, then I see no real difference from Yang Style. If you are talking about being able to retain balance with no further shifting of the weight, how can this be accomplished during transitional moments when equal weight is in both legs? How do you do this at the end point of Single Whip or during the Opening Posture? It would seem that the test would have to be restricted to those moments in the postures when weight is only supposed to be distributed 100/0 between the legs. Here again, if this is the case, I see no real difference between NAWS theory and Yang Style theory.
I do see from your description how NAWS seems to place a premium on 100/0 moments during postures and that traditional Yang Style does not, but this still seems to me to be a separate issue from “Separating Full and Empty.”
Since this thread began, I have thought of one situation in ordinary life that duplicates the feeling of “separating full and empty” that I believe I train by doing Yang Zhenduo’s form. That situation is when I stand in a moving subway car without using my hands or arms to hold on to anything. When I do this, I have the sensation that the bumps and jerks of the subway car force me constantly to pass weight back and forth between my legs, to keep my “qi” sunk, and to keep my “Ming Men” (“lumbar region”) open and flexible. It never feels as if my legs are doing the same thing at the same time or that power is not flowing from one leg to the other. At the same time, my legs are absolutely interdependent and cannot operate on separate “wavelengths.” I have no sense that standing on one leg would increase my mobility or that “gripping” the ground with both feet simultaneously would give the slightest advantage. Full and empty change instantly from one to the other, and the weight percentages in my feet (other than 100/0 or 0/100) are really immaterial to the feeling.
There are moments during the Yang Style forms when the physics of a posture make this feeling quite tenuous, but for me, two things still save the theory. First, being in contact with an opponent, will change the external physics of a posture. Looking at the form as a solo activity can thus be misleading. Second, the intent can be used to smooth over small discontinuities, for instance, when one lengthens a bow stance during the Saber From slightly beyond what one is capable of doing at a slow pace. Physically, one goes through a small instant of being “double weighted” when the body is floating in the air between the feet and one is momentarily no longer in full control of the body weight. Mentally, one tries to connect the “before” and “after” in a seamless fashion that attempts to cover up the instant of vulnerability. As one’s ability improves, the intent becomes more and more important and the “physics” of the posture become less and less. In this way, one can stand even on one leg and change it back and forth between full and empty depending on how one uses one’s intent with respect to the leg.
In summary, I think I can go back to something Michael said, which is that one is double weighted when one can no longer respond to the opponent. If you can distinguish full and empty, you can direct the flow of Jin that is applied to you and make it dissipate harmlessly. If you cannot and are thus stuck, you will not be able to handle even a small amount of Jin. For Yang Style, “Distinguishing full and empty” is thus a question of intent and ability, not one of weight distribution.