Empty and Full

Postby Gu Rou Chen » Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:29 pm

kai/he post

[This message has been edited by Gu Rou Chen (edited 08-03-2003).]
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Postby tai1chi » Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:13 pm

Hi Gene,

btw, does the volume that you mention contain drawings of a bell?

Best,
Steve James
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Aug 04, 2003 9:18 pm

Howdy all,
I'm back. I would like to say I missed the boards, but the reality is I was having too much fun to miss much of anything.
I did finally get to practice TCC in the sand. What a difference THAT makes. You learn an entirely new meaning of the words "balance" and "rooted" doing that. Wish I had a nice, deep sandbox in the backyard now. I do feel that it has helped me a bit with my form practice, at least.
People do look at you funny when you do forms on the beach, I can tell you now firsthand. I only had one person bug me this time though about what I was doing. They were polite, so I told them and they went away happy, I guess.
Only have a minute, so...

Polaris,
I have flown through the air and hit the floor repeatedly, so often that I am quite comfortable doing so. For some reason this has not changed over time. I can sail through the air with the greatest of ease and land that way, still.
Don't know why this skill has not left me when others have over time.
Practicing Wu style gave me a skill that has saved my life on several occasions, the ability to hit the ground with no harm. I have fallen down flights of icy steps, I have been thrown off of bicycles and once out the back of a pick up truck, I have tripped over my own two feet and fallen flat on my face, all with no harm coming to me of any kind other than the embarresment of the fall.
I have asked and have been told that as far as my instructor knows there is no correlary training in YCF style. I find this pretty hard to believe, as in my own humble opinion this is probably the most important part of training TCC.
If you can't relax when the ground is rushing up at you, how can you relax at all?
This is a vital point of training ANY martial art, the ability to fall or even be violently thrown to the ground without taking harm to yourself. Once I attained this skill, I found I could pretty easily relax at any other time during combat. Certainly the pressure of knowing you'll be hitting the ground from six feet up is greater than the pressure you feel from an opponent who's simply throwing a punch at you!
I have been jumping off of my back deck (a drop of about seven feet) onto my back, sides and front, for the last few months to make sure I still can do it (I tried it from lower first, I'm not totally stupid).
Just wanted to jump in with my two cents about learning how to fall.
That's all the time I have for now.
Great discussion here. I'll try to catch up more thoroughly as I can.
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Postby tai1chi » Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:26 am

Ooops,

mistake.

Best,
Steve James

[This message has been edited by tai1chi (edited 08-05-2003).]
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Postby Gu Rou Chen » Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:51 am

Wang Yongquan's Yang Style Taijiquan as well as Wei Shuren's more recent book and booklets (5), do contain diagrams of a bell imposed upon the Taiji practitioner; The diagram shows the top of the bell at the base of the neck and the mouth of the bell at the hips.


Jeff
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Postby Gu Rou Chen » Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:06 am

A comment on falling and being "thrown."

My Yang and Wu style training experience is that when "thrown" it is completely different from Judo. With most Judo players you know exactly where their strength and leverage are. They push against the ground and when being thrown you always know where the ground is, while in Taiji, when done well, you don't know where it is coming from. It is much like slipping on ice or stepping on a ball or marbles, but even more off-balancing so that you lose a sense of direction. The feeling of not knowing which way is up is called "luan4huan2," chaotic circles. When put in such a situation it is impossible to relax. Your entire body tenses up and you cannot move.
Unlike Judo, where you usually know where the ground is, it takes a lot more experience to be able to, as Polaris says, "effortlessly shrug off the impact of their entire body being slammed into the floor."

As for throwing in Yang style; as recounted in Wei Shuren's, A True Exposition on the Art of Yang Style Taijiquan, as a boy, Wang Yongquan had learned wrestling and knew how to fall. Yang Shaohou liked him because he could take a fall and would come back for more, while others would get injured and be afraid to push with him.

Jeff
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:33 pm

Polaris,

I enjoyed considering all the ups and downs of throwing and tumbling which you offered. Actually, luckily, I even tripped over my own two feet yesterday, which provided me with an opportunity to attempt implementing your suggestions.
I went stumbling forward, head first (superman style), but rather than fighting the propulsion as I would have normally done, I relaxed and tried to acheive that parallel effect you spoke of. That saved me from a nasty terrestrial collision. I allowed the momentum of the motion to carry me to it's final limits, rather than trying to ground myself immediately, and this worked wonderfully! I understand now what you meant about requiring time and space according to the intensity of the throw. If one were to try to cut this time short one would surely crash into, rather than coast along the ground.

Thanks again for the pointers, Image
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-06-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Aug 06, 2003 3:59 pm

Gu Rou Chen,

I am unfamiliar with these particular writings which you have described, however, I am intrigued by your mention of a bell...

Would this be a connotation for a bell in the literal sense of the word, is it a symbolic gesture, or is it Taijiquan technical terminology? I would like to read these texts, but am unable to locate anything on the net directly, if you know of any references on the web I would be very pleased!

Also, I appreciate the explanations concerning opening and closing. This is a new subject for me and I need all the info I can get...I was wondering how open and closed were applied to the hips specifically.

I can appreciate what you are saying about'luang huang'. When one finds that one has lost direction while airborne there is a lack of opportunity to implement the theories of tumbling correctly.
Nice addition to the discussion.

Thank-you,
Psalchemist. Image

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-06-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Aug 06, 2003 4:12 pm

Louis Swaim,

I too feel that your literary references and chinese translations are valuable contributions. I have read the condensed version of "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms", which you had mentionned a while back,and find it interesting and enjoyable. I am eager to obtain a full-legnth version of this text one day.

Thank-you,
Psalchemist. Image
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Postby Gu Rou Chen » Wed Aug 06, 2003 4:36 pm

Here is a link to a short on-line intro to Wei Shuren's book and a short translation.

http://www.chinafrominside.com/ma/taiji/weishuren1.html


Jeff
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:53 pm

Gu Rou Chen,

Thank-you for the website referral, it is full of interesting Taijiquan information! Image
I will have to be patient though, since the link to the Yang Jianhou 'secret' texts seems to be 'down' temporarily.

Polaris,

On the site above, in the section which contains Chen Fake pictures there is a photo of the 'Pei Hou Liang Chih'/'White Crane Spreads Wings' which IS slightly different from the Yang Family Style posture. In the final position the left hand is down and to the side as usual, but the right hand which is overhead in Yang style is depicted more out towards the right, alot more. I wonder if these movements are used for the same applications...? Any idea?
Just thought I'd mention this since I queried you about this previously.

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
P.S....Actually, upon further study of the photo on question, I think he has begun raising the left foot off the floor, and so this might be following the vertically raised hand portion. Which leads me to change my question...Where do you think the final position of 'PEI HOU LIANG CHIH' ends and TSO LO TSI AU PO BEGINS? The cross-substantial chart I'm working on also seems to agree that the right arm would be already extending to the rt-rear, but that is only my guess. What do you think?

Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-06-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:33 pm

Gu Rou Chen,
I can only disagree with your post on the premise of your one line "impossible to relax" when being thrown.
I have not found that to be true. I have been able to relax through the experience of being thrown using TCC techniques, I have taught others to do so as well.
In fact, I have found it much easier to relax during those times than when thrown by hard style friends whom I have sparred with. That moment when you realise you are being thrown and are no longer in control of your center is the trigger for me, and is what I have used to teach others, to relax. As soon as you realise that you are not in control of your own center, this is the perfect time to relax, whether you are being thrown or not. It is only if you tense up that you cannot regain your center, if you relax you have a much greater chance of salvaging the situaton BEFORE you get thrown, and if you don't then you are in a much better position to accept and redirect the force of meeting the ground when you are.
As stated, breathing out on impact is crucial. I was taught a seemingly strange way to do this, it is called "laughter".
Yes, laughter, that's what I said.
When I get thrown or offset I laugh out loud. It comes from being trained to laugh when offset during push hands at the Academy. Laughing when you've been offset has always helped me to maintain my composure, instead of getting angry about being offset I was taught to laugh it off. So that's what I did, all the time. It makes pushing hands a lot more fun, for one thing, releases the tension wonderfully, for another. The byproducts of this are a lot of hilarity at the Academy during push hands AND that as a group we tended to laugh rather than curse and overanalyze when being offset.
This carried over to my training on falling correctly. When I would feel my body leaving the ground, it always felt to me as the ultimate form of being offset (naturally) and since I had trained myself to laugh when being offset I just naturally laughed when being thrown. This laughter causes you to breath out (go ahead, try to laugh and breath in at the same time, I can wait), so you are automatically breathing out as you sail through the air and land on the ground, fulfilling quite nicely the requirement to breath out on impact.
Laughter is very relaxing, for the most part, helping to fulfill the requirement that you relax as you sail through the air with the greatest of ease.
Being thrown by hard stylists doesn't give me the same feeling as when being thrown by an internal artist, so I don't laugh as naturally, hence I'm more tense and I don't find it as easy to breath out.

No one ever told me if this laughter when offset was a tried and true Wu family training technique or if it was a technique thought up by my Sifu at the Academy I attended. I never thought to ask, to be honest.
Maybe Polaris can clarify if this is a widespread Wu stle technique for us?
I just know it works, very well, so I still use it to this day.
Ask my wife sometime about the day I slipped on ice and fell down a flight of stone steps flat on my back. I was laughing my head off every inch of the way down. She thought I lost my mind, and still does whenever I bring it up, but I was honestly amused at the situation and, true to my training, as soon as I felt my bodies center get away from my control I laughed and relaxed. I slid all the way down those stone steps and landed in an ungraceful heap at the bottom, laughing like a lunatic the whole time and completely unharmed by any of it.
If nothing else, we were a fun bunch to be around during push hands and sparring training.
Give this a try sometime when you're pushing hands, it really does work. You will be much more relaxed, no matter if your training is going well that day or not. When you laugh, you can't help but breath out and release tension.
Works for me anyway.
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:35 am

Wushuer,

It must be quite a challenge doing Taijiquan in the sand. I wouldn't even attempt it at my level of practice,( maybe in about ten years from now), considering my present woe's at grounding on a solid base with footware that grips. Slippery socks are my foe's. Image

Nice addition to the subject of tumbling, honestly, it never would have occurred to me to laugh when in peril, but it makes alot of sense, considering the breathe which must be released upon impact. I'll give it a try.

Do you have any knowledge on how one should handle a sweep to the feet which topples one backwards? In your experience, is there any way to recover from such a situation at all, or should one immediately just try to 'relax' in preparation for impact?

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby DavidJ » Fri Aug 08, 2003 7:01 pm

Hi Psalchemist,

You asked, > Do you have any knowledge on how one should handle a sweep to the feet which topples one backwards? In your experience, is there any way to recover from such a situation at all, or should one immediately just try to 'relax' in preparation for impact? <

There are lots of ways that you can be toppling backwards. There's a gymnastic technique that can be useful for some of them.

Round your back so you can roll. Bend your wrists and elbows back and raise your elbows next to your ears. During the backward roll, when your hands are flat on the ground, push straight up into a handstand. Don't fight the momentum and allow your feet to land and stand up straight.

I don't recommend trying this without an experienced coach.

Regards,

David J
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Postby Polaris » Fri Aug 08, 2003 9:11 pm

Greetings All,

I know about the disorientation while falling that Jeff (Gu Rou Chen) is speaking of. This is an effect of the acceleration energy (there are some other energies that can be applied preceding the throw towards that end as well) put into a T'ai Chi throw. Wu Kung-tsao characterized it as "Plucking a Flower from the Crest of a Wave." Very poetic. As Wushuer says, once acclimated, it is possible to relax during the process, but you still won't know where the ground is. You just won't care! LOL...

Curiously, both Wu Kung-yi and Wu Kung-tsao studied extensively under the tutelage of Yang Shao-hou (at the request of their father, Wu Chien-ch'uan) in their teens and early twenties.

Regards,
P.
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