Empty and Full

Postby Polaris » Fri Aug 08, 2003 9:28 pm

Psalchemist & DavidJ,

Good advice! I would be very reluctant to try this kind of stuff without a qualified instructor. If you are young and have a background in gymnastic type pursuits it will be a little safer, however. The main two points are to tuck in your chin, hard, and keep it tucked while "flying" and landing, and to not hold your breath, even slightly.

As for foot sweeps, there are many variables. If I want to get away from the guy, I will jump as the sweep comes in and tumble away in a direction of my choosing, depending on the environment. If I don't want to move, I will root and literally hit his leg with mine on contact as he tries the sweep. There is very little apparent movement on my part, but the Fa Ching the guy gets right back (I use his own sweep momentum to hit him) up his leg stings like hell. I've never had to do it, fortunately, but theoretically you could break the sweeper's leg this way. If I don't want him touching me with his leg, I will aggressively intercept the sweep-kick with a strike or a kick of my own before he makes contact. The timing has to be perfect, of course, and the intent has to be very aggressive, "like a tiger," as my Sifu says. If I can trap his leg, I can even turn his sweep-kick into my throwing him. Previous interception like this is generally my preferred method, as it yields the fastest results in a self-defense situation.

Regards,
P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 08-08-2003).]
Polaris
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Sat Aug 09, 2003 2:54 pm

Greetings all,

DavidJ, usually I have to read movement descriptions several times to obtain the gist of the scene, but your explanation was so clear that I understood it the first time. Nice depiction of how to roll backwards. Image

I am familiar with this particular type of technique. I attempted it a few years ago, when I was studying gymnastics movements from a book I had found. In my trials, however, knowing that it was quite dangerous to practice these types of acrobatics without qualified supervision( as you have wisely advised), I have never been able to acheive a full hand-stand. It always ended up being more of a roll, with too much strain on the back during the completion stage. I also experienced a few scary moments, when I had gathered insufficient momentum to go beyond the hand-stand(my squat-stand), and not having my chin tucked properly, I came close to breaking my neck.

It would undoubtedly require much supervised practice to execute this movement under the duress of an opponents pressure. I have never imagined the possibility of MY applying this method efficiently and/or safely in an interactive confrontation...maybe one day.


Polaris and Jeff, have mentionned falls(occuring from sweeps and throws) in which recovery is impossible, borne out of sheer speed of acceleration and pure disorientation; the more agressive sweeps.

I am guessing that the degree of turning power of the throw in question would be a major factor affecting the landing point. To explain what I mean: If the lower back makes contact with the ground initially, then a trained practitioner could utilize a roll backwards effectively to escape his opponent and deflect the 'smashing' effect by using the created momentum to roll parallel along the floor(to avoid grounding into the floor).
However, as has been stated there are many different types of sweeps to contend with. If I were swept with more force, and landed on my upper back instead, I don' believe I could gather enough momentum to complete this rolling process without injury to my neck or back.


Breathing out on impact seems to be universally embraced by practitioners, as paramount to the success of falling unharmed.
Wushuer has suggested laughing. Bruce Lee made his point very dramatically and (loudly) vehemently in a slightly different manner when he said...Waaaaaaapaaaaataaaaoooweeeaa! I have heard that there are different sounds representative of different releases and absorptions of energies. What is the expression for this method? Is this used in Taijiquan practice?

So, to roll or not to roll.... from what I have gathered through these last few postings; The appropriate reaction to a sweep or throw would depend upon the point of impact and degree of accelleration and disorientation involved in the situation. Image
If one lands in a good position one could take advantage of the roll backwards technique.
If it is 'impossible' to react due to the accelleration and disorientation of a powerful sweep/throw, then I suppose one must accept the inevitable, without hesitation, and attempt to absorb the fall using the methods of proper relaxation and breathing.

Polaris makes an excellent point about intercepting. One should place most effort foremost on becoming skillful at avoiding the sweeps and throws in the first place.

I enjoyed reading some of the different possibilities of intercepting such attacks. I am especially interested in your mention of using FaChin as an intercepting defensive-attack. Defending with simultaneous retaliation sounds very efficient to me.. Have you any other comments on this attacking while defending method?

Have we basically gathered all the primary 'corners' here on this matter of handling falls correctly?

Quite the crash course,
Now I stand corrected, or perhaps fall corrected

Thanks to all,
Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-09-2003).]

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-09-2003).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Anderzander » Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:05 am

Just to hark back a bit on this thread, I thought someone may be interested to read an article by Huang Sheng Shyan, Cheng Man Ching's student:


The muscles, the skeleton, and the nerves are parts of the body system. When practicing movements, the use of consciousness to sink and relax the body is most important. The center of gravity is moved while preserving the uprightness of the central axis of the body. It is important to focus on steadiness, tranquillity, relaxation, and rootedness. The internal movements propel the external movements in a continuous or uninterrupted fashion. Internal force is generated with turning movements. After a long time, the whole body is in balance. When left and right is distinguished, one is substantial and the other insubstantial along the pattern of "cross alignment." For example, together with the distinction between top and bottom parts of the body, when the left upper part of the body is substantial, the left lower part is insubstantial and similarly when the right upper part of the body is substantial, the right lower part is insubstantial.

This pattern of cross alignment is used in shifts of the center of gravity from one leg to the other. This is similar to the "cross-roads" of the nervous system. When moving chi, therefore, one must separate substantial from insubstantial, move the step without moving the body or moving the body and not the hand. If in moving a step, the body also moves, then it is not separating substantial from insubstantial. If in moving the body, the hand also moves, then the shoulder and the hands are not relaxed. It is important to follow the principles of using consciousness to propel movement. The top and bottom, left and right portions of the body must be coordinated. A rounded grinding stone may move but the center is not moving. All the parts of the body become one system characterized by lightness and agility, roundness and smoothness, even respiration, alternate opening and closing like that of the sea where with movement from one part of the sea, all parts are also moved. The movements are guided by consciousness and are properly regulated like the regular movements of the waves in the sea.

I think the key thing for me here is that the separation of substantial and insubstantial is to do with being able to turn around your centre - if you rise from your leg and your whole torso moves...... double weighted.

In my practice - sinking to one side means that my centre rotates and not that my whole torso ends up above that leg. As an example of neutralising someone's force into the ground (back foot)- it feels to me like a triangle... you have their push/centre (point one) going into your back foot and the ground (point two) with your centre ready to push at will feeling like you are off to the side (point three).

Double weighting would be if all the points were in a line. If you had rolled the force back into yourself. This fits with a couple of things I read somewhere – push from the side (which is of course a basic martial premise) – and push when they feel light. When their force is into my back foot and my centre is free to turn and is next to theirs, then their body feels hard (full of force) but very light, I can throw them with ease with my palms up as I would a beach ball.

Cheng Man Ching said cross substantiality was called 'strung together' in his commentary on the classics. (13 treatises p 210) It being the method of mobilising the hands and feet at the same time.

One other quote from the 13 treatises book, which seems slightly pertinent, is a question:

Q: "in motion it separates; in stillness they fuse" what is the difference between separating and fusing, bending and extending, and opening and closing?

A: With regards to Taiji, in stillness it fuses and in motion it separates. However opening an closing refer to the body and the chi. When the body opens, the chi closes, and visa versa. Bending and extending is the same as opening and closing.

.......say that taiji is yin/yang, substantial/insubstantial. This is why I feel that balance is a product of movement, balance being energy strung together physically.

So if you stopped moving what would happen? – of course taiji doesn’t stop moving – no great river does!. You wouldn’t lose balance because you can change direction by folding and interchanging the energies.

So when the river does stop, and the energies merge, how would you describe the state physically?

Stephen
Anderzander
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Polaris » Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:25 am

Greetings All,

Stephen's post got me thinking, and I remembered some pertinent passages of Wu Kung-tsao's "Gold Book" that address some of the issues he brought up. Here are several bits of it, the translator was Doug Woolidge, I believe:

When the mind moves ch'i and ch'i sends the body, the person functions effectively. If there are no obstructions at all, as the acquired strength is already exhausted, inner constitutional energy will naturally increase. With practice this becomes second nature. Then the person can regulate all body functions. "There is innate power in the mind's proper application if intention; what is gained involves no wasted effort." It is also written "Through silent memorization and study gradually the point is reached where one's wishes are met."
...

and


Fundamentals:

a) Rootedness Through the Feet

b) Issued Through the Legs

c) Dictated Through the Waist

d) Formed Through the Fingers

From the feet through the legs, the waist, and the hands, upper and lower body should follow each other in a state of complete and integrated ch'i. All places in the body are permeated by this ch'i. "Moving energy is like pulling strands of silk from a cocoon, or like the tread of a moving cat." In moving forward and backward, one is able to go with each opportunity, and this is intention, not strength. After completing a circuit there is a return to the beginning with movement happening in endless cycles like the continuous surging of the Long River. Therefore, T'ai Chi Ch'uan is also called Chang (as in Long) Ch'uan. If there is any place in the body without this continuity, then a break in the energy will occur. Then, as acquired strength is already exhausted, there is no opportunity to generate new strength. This is when it is easiest to be taken advantage of by an opponent. "Let there be no protrusions or indentations, let no place have breaks in continuity." When a place is not in motion, energy necessarily scatters. When the hand is moved without moving the waist, for instance, then as the hand's strength increases, the body's energy becomes more scattered. All transformations of fullness and emptiness are based in rotating the waist. "The origin of one's fate is located in the waist area." Beginners should learn to fully extend so that all parts of the body move consciously with the waist and legs. "Inside and outside are in accordance, above and below are enmeshed together." It is also said "In movement there is nothing not moving; in stillness there is nothing not still." In this way, no part of the body is over-weighted.
...

and

"When the opponent tends toward sinking, follow; when he becomes double weighted, cause his energy to become obstructed." This is the essence of the skills. When the senses have become extraordinarily acute, then the slightest touch will indicate the opponent's state and movements will acquire great subtlety. "One feather cannot be added, one fly may not alight." Only when the waist has no more room to move must a step be taken.
When sticking energy and moving energy are combined together this is called "transforming energy." Retreating is ruled by moving energy and advancing is ruled by sticking energy. When advancing and retreating complement each other and are not disconnected, this is called "understanding the energy." Applying moving energy causes the opponent to lose his entire centre of weight and become unstable. Using sticking energy prevents the opponent from being able to return to a stable position. In not resisting, one can control the relative stability of the other and sense his weaknesses. All movements must be guided by clarity, as one carefully follows the opponent's movements. "If the opponent does not move, I do not move. If he moves slightly, I have already moved." This is using the method of submitting to force, drawing the opponent through circles into a state of disorder, then controlling him. When the opponent contracts, I extend; when he extends, I contract. Emptiness and fullness confront the opponent in a precise way. Movements are not hidden, yet aren't apparent, and one's changes and transformations become unfathomable.
Energy moves in circles. The range of each circle is suffused with moving and sticking energy so that one can immediately change to deal with each new situation. This completely depends on the sense of feel. And this is rooted in the character "shun" (to follow the flow). I follow the flow of the opponent's spine, then even though he has one thousand pounds of force, it is useless. And so the saying: "Four ounces can move a thousand pounds." Hard energy opposes the flow. Without flow, moving energy cannot be applied. Without moving energy there can be no transformation. Without transformation there is no stickiness. If one is not sticky, how can the opponent's movements be sensed? Those doing Pushing Hands must use this principle. Pushing Hands uses the positions p'eng, lu, chi, an, ts'ai, lieh, tsou and k'ao to practise the circularness of the body. Following contraction, one approaches extension, submitting to the incoming force and responding with the same flow. The countless changes are based on the principle of One. In understanding the One, the adept masters the myriad variations.


Cheers,
P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 08-12-2003).]
Polaris
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:22 pm

Greetings Stephen,

You seem to be 'on a roll' lately, what a store-house of information! Excellent presentations! Image

-In movement they separate, in stillness they fuse-

I too sense an important key residing within that statement.

You said
<So if you stopped moving what would happen? of course taiji doesn't stop moving- no great river does! You wouldn't lose balance, because you can change direction by folding and interchanging the energies. So when the river does stop, and the energies merge, How would you describe the state physically?>Stephen

My first impression of this quote initially had me considering meditation in stillness-Yoga vs. meditation in movement-Taijiquan.

Your statement obviously carries a delicate thought, and this intrigues me...could you perhaps expand upon your idea above, I am interested to know what you are implying, but I keep smacking my forehead on the doorjamb! Image

Thank-you,
Nice Day! Image
Psalchemist.
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Polaris » Tue Aug 12, 2003 5:35 pm

Psalchemist,

The Yoga vs. T'ai Chi issue is a subject TCC teachers are asked about all of the time. Just as there are a few different styles of TCC, there are many, many different styles of Yoga. The "styles" of TCC are less differentiated than the varieties of Yoga are. Perhaps this has to do with TCC's relatively much more recent diffusion. Generally, TCC and Yoga have dfferent goals, even if there is some overlap in technique. I do not subscribe to the school that believes in an Indian origin for Chinese meditation practices. I'm sure that there has been some cross-cultural influence since the introduction of Buddhism, but textual evidence seems to point to Tao Yin style training in China for at least a thousand years before that.

I believe (and this is admittedly purely opinion on my part) that the potential of the human body and soul is the same worldwide; so thoughtful, careful research will reveal the same effects thousands of miles apart.

There are four states of meditation in TCC that I have been taught:

1. Stillness inside, stillness outside (Horse stance and other post standing training, for example).

2. Stillness inside, movement outside (Forms training, Push Hands and other standing Kung routines).


3. Movement inside, stillness outside (Little sky, big sky breathing orbits in different static postures).

4. Movement inside, movement outside (Silk reeling training).

These categories may be specific to my school, and even there most have only been shown very recently, in the last ten years or so, to students outside of the family's discipleship.

Cheers,
P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 08-12-2003).]
Polaris
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:31 am

Greetings all,

You, Polaris, are very well organized! If you are not a teacher already, perhaps you should consider it. Image

I appreciate these types of nifty l'il summaries which reduce complicated matter into simpler formulaic terms. Personally, I find it assists tremendously in the storing and retrieving of the information. It is always easier to remember something through understanding rather than trying to memorize.

You explained:
1.<Stillness inside,stillness outside. (Horse stance and other post standing training for example.)>
Q: Is 'Mapo'(I don't know if that is written correctly, or if it is a part of your Taijiquan Family Style)a similar example?

2. <Stillness inside,movement outside(Forms training,Push Hands, and other standing Kung routines). >
Q: What would 'other standing Kung routines' refer to specifically?

3. <Movement inside,stillness outside(Little sky,Big sky breathing orbits in different static postures). >
Q: Is this Chi Kung, or a different aspect of Taijiquan which includes breathing?

4.<Movement inside,movement outside(silk reeling training). >
Thank you for supplying the definition of silk reeling, Do you have much experience in 'silk reeling'? Could you go into further detail on the subject?...Yang-Yang, Full-Full, now that sounds uplifting, literally and seriously.

One last question : (might as well bombard thoroughly, since I'm at it) Do you consider #2(movement outside-full/form) and #3(movement inside-full/Breathing) to create the composition of silk reeling, or again, is it a completely different entity?

Thanks for your help,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-12-2003).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Polaris » Wed Aug 13, 2003 4:37 am

Psalchemist,

Don't mention it. Actually, I am a full time TCC teacher, a disciple of Sifu (Eddie) Wu Kwong-yu.

This message board is run well, so I don't mind coming here and thinking out loud. Louis and Jerry and the others are pretty much always competent and interesting. You have to figure that the Yang family would have a quality forum after all! The level of civility and intelligence here (esp. compared to other martial art message boards) is quite high.

Now, as for your questions:

I'm glad that you enjoy the mnemonics. They are handed down through my teacher's family just because they remind us of the correct order of the trainings. That way we aren't as likely to forget something!

1. Horse stance is Ma1 Pu4, or in Pinyin, Ma1 Bu4. It is a fundamental training for all Chinese martial arts, and represents central equilibrium for TCC.

2. Standing Kung. This is a little harder to explain. Horse Stances are an example of this, but what I meant for stillness inside/movement outside purposes is a little more complicated. I do not know if the other styles have this, but there are a series of moving "power generation" trainings that I was referring to. They are motions abstracted from the Ch'uan, often (but not always) with footwork based on the Horse Stance with names like "Shoulder Rolls," "Loose Hands," "Kidney Stretch," "Palm Strike," etc. They usually conform to in breaths and out breaths for yin and yang aspects of the movements. Someone watching them would describe them as Ch'i Kung, but that is a recent term, only about 60 years old, and these trainings are older than that coinage. The old term, when one was used at all, was T'ai Chi Kung.

3. Little Sky is sometimes translated as "Microcosmic," or "Small Heaven." it is a breathing pattern which follows the primary meridian in the human body. In this sense, it is Ch'i Kung with a capital Ch'i! Big Sky is a yet more complicated pattern which is only trained at the most advanced levels. These trainings must be supervised by an experienced instructor, done improperly they can lead over time to unbalanced mental and physical health.

4. Silk reeling in my school is yet another high level training, only safely shown to people with a thorough grounding in the civil and martial aspects of Wu style T'ai Chi Ch'uan. It combines inside breathing patterns with outside movements (as in example 2 above), for very specific purposes. Again, if it is done even slightly incorrectly it can lead to serious health problems, so it must only be practiced under the supervision of a qualified teacher.

Cheers,
P.
Polaris
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 6:01 am

Postby psalchemist » Wed Aug 13, 2003 4:35 pm

Greetings All,

A few pieces of information I have gathered here lately, have all merged together all of a sudden. I now think I better understand some of the comments Audi made earlier ...

Audi said something like-I focus/concentrate on what I must, and the rest takes care of itself-I did not understand how I could apply that in physical terms.

When I combine the 'threading' order and the 'rules' of cross-alignment to the mixture, however, this leads me to a personal discovery of how to concentrate, and what I should focus on.

I was having a terrible time trying to concentrate on emptying and filling 'cross substantially' simultaneously. My brain does not accomplish this easily,apparently. So to make the task easier one must focus(as a new student, at least)on one diagonal or the other;
The yin/grounding/supporting 'cross-alignment'seems to be Controlled by or Following the torso/body/waist movements. The lower always leading the upper, of course(threading?). So if the yin is being lead by the waist/torso/body(axis/banner/commander).
Then what does the yang follow? It doesn't(I just realized)follow anything really... The yang/active 'cross-alignment'seems to Lead(with the intention)independantly. So if I concentrate on filling, and allow the emptying to happen with minimal interference, this would maybe be appropriate. Audi, is that what you were trying to convey?
Or have I 'missed the boat' completely?

Also I must add that, being Taijiquan there must be a completely contrary sense to what I have just said. I am sure there must be a way to concentrate on yin too and allow yang to follow. From what I have heard also, the yin/grounding must precede the yang action.
It really does seem to turn in circles.
Is it really possible to say which comes first? The poem of the 13 postures seems, for me, to have some interesting thoughts on the matter. Well, anyways, all this discussion has brought me much insight into the subject of Taijiquan, and for that I am very grateful, even if I get lost or am lost at times, what I've discovered has been very valuable to me in my studies.

Corrections and comments always welcome.

Thanks All,
Psalchemist. Image
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Anderzander » Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:13 pm

Hi Psalchemist

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

My first impression of this quote initially had me considering meditation in stillness-Yoga vs. meditation in movement-Taijiquan.

Your statement obviously carries a delicate thought, and this intrigues me...could you perhaps expand upon your idea above, I am interested to know what you are implying.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can understand the form in terms of yin/yang. Where one becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes many.....

the first posture is 'becomes two' - the body splits into a substantial stance and an insubstantial upper body. Yi and ting.

then when you start to move and rotate the body becomes four; strung together, cross substantiality etc....

I don't know! - just curious about what the one was experientially!


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

I believe (and this is admittedly purely opinion on my part) that the potential of the human body and soul is the same worldwide; so thoughtful, careful research will reveal the same effects thousands of miles apart.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is certainly accepted as true. Have you read Joseph Campbell? he studied religions and mythologies the world over - and proved startling similarities on cultures beliefs and imagery that had no contact (being separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years). His research went a long way towards integrating Jung's ideas of a collective unconscious with the ideas of parallel evolution.


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

There are four states of meditation in TCC that I have been taught:

1. Stillness inside, stillness outside (Horse stance and other post standing training, for example).

2. Stillness inside, movement outside (Forms training, Push Hands and other standing Kung routines).

3. Movement inside, stillness outside (Little sky, big sky breathing orbits in different static postures).

4. Movement inside, movement outside (Silk reeling training).
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If I may offer another take on it?

Stillness inside, movement outside to me is the method of practising chi kung. Using external movements to stimulate the movement of internal energy.

Stillness outside, movement inside to me is the practise of nei kung. Using the attention to move energy with no external movement.

Of course the movement inside, when the inner and outer are coordinated, leads to movement outside.......

I'd say doing the form and push hands is beyond either chi kung or nei kung. We are dealing with different types of attention - different mind types if you like.

If we go through the sequence of development:

First you move the body. When movement is apparent, you concentrate on releasing and aligning. When releasing and aligning appears you concentrate on the forces. Once the forces appear you concentrate on the mind.

Initially the mind is used to change the movements, later the mind leads the body. I'd say that is the transition of chi kung to nei kung.

In the external movement of the mind it is just moving (up and down the body etc). I'd say that is the use of nei kung. It progresses to opening and closing.

Internal mind is the mind changing its state - that's beyond any nei kung I've known of.

comments welcome and clarifications happily given too!

Stephen
Anderzander
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Anderzander » Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:27 pm

Polaris

I'm interupting the thread a bit....apologies for that, but I just followed the link to the page listed in your profile...

Are you based in Hong Kong?

I'm interested because I will probably be going to HK once a year from this year. First to meet the in-laws and then to visit.

It'd be fantastic to visit a class with substance rather than perhaps hit and miss in the parks?

Stephen
Anderzander
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby psalchemist » Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:40 pm

Hi Stephen, Polaris, All

ONE
<I can understand the form in terms of yin/yang. Where one becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes many...>-Stephen

<Taijiquan practice must be conducted internally and externally, yin and yang must melt(fuse) together into one...Under any circumstances they must not be separated>-Wei Shuren

Relevant? One permeates the whole form?

TWO or FOUR?

<In the first posture it becomes two- the body splits into a substantial stance, and an insubstantial upper body. Yi and Ting.
When you start to move and rotate, the body becomes four; strung together, cross-substantiality etc...>-Stephen

<In the commencing form, before the hands raise and the movement is born from utmost stillness, intention has already started to control the whole body so that all it's parts one by one have been adjusted according to the internal skills principles>-Wei Shuren

'One' precedes the raising of the hands(from stillness?), or even the step to the side?

My personal, unqualified interpretation of this quotation leads me to believe that the cross-alignment (as well as the 10 essential principles) begins during the commencement, even as we are stepping out to the side with the left foot( I have been practicing this way for a couple weeks now). If this were so then, during raising arms, the split would already be four. What do you think of this?

Found 'one', lost 'two'? What would split into two then be?

Regards,
Psalchemist.

P.S. Executing cross-alignment from the beginning posture, I have found, is almost a definition for avoidance of double weighting.When applying cross-alignment techniques, due to the weight equality between the feet has, for me , transformed this posture into one of the most difficult movements of the whole form...when it used to be one of the easiest. Filling and emptying while raising and lowering the arms...hmmm?

P.P.S Upper Yin moves with body/Upper Yang moves with mind...?


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-16-2003).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Audi » Sun Aug 17, 2003 11:23 pm

Greetings Jeff, Louis, Psalchemist, and all,

Jeff,

Thanks for the great material on opening and closing. I have been away for some time and so have not had a chance to respond to your 8/3 post.

Your post leaves two questions for me that I would appreciate your comment on. First, let me say that all you presented seems quite accurate and reasonable, and I will assume for the moment that this is how I should understand my own practice. Despite this, I have heard other descriptions of opening and closing which seem different from what you presented and for which I cannot satisfactorily account within this framework. Let me give more detail.

I recall at one seminar that Yang Jun took great care to break down Lifting Hands and Step Forward into a two-part arm movement. He described the first part as opening and the second part as closing. He emphasized that one should not merely bring the hands together in one movement. If I recall correctly, he was teaching in English, and so I cannot be certain that he was referring to kai/he; nevertheless, he did make a quick reference to the fact that in order to close, one first had to open. I have read in other authorities, perhaps in Yang Jwing-Ming and/or Kuo Lien-Ying, that the movement described by Yang Jun corresponded to He Jin (i.e., closing energy).

At least on the surface, I cannot reconcile the above description of closing with what Wang Yongquan says. Wang Yongquan implies that Fajin results from opening, whereas the other descriptions seem describe that Fajin will take place during closing. Can you or anyone else explain the discrepancy?

At the moment, I have one principal hypothesis, which is that two different phenomena are being described. I notice that one phenomenon seems to be described more as “opening and closing” and the other more as “opening energy” and “closing energy” (These latter two term are usually describes as two separate techniques.) Another possibility may derive from what somewhat posted earlier about Cheng Man-Ch’ing, saying that when the body closes, the Qi opens, and vice versa. Any views on this?

A second question I have concerns a chart in Jou Tsung Hwa’s book The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan, p.71. He shows four illustrations of Hao Shaoru (transliterated as Hay Shao-Ju) that show the four “states” of Wu/Hao Style postures: starting, connecting, opening, and closing. He says that opening “describes initiating attack or retreat” and that closing “describes the action of attacking or retreating.” This statement implies that Fajin occurs at closing, which again seems at variance with what Wang states. Interestingly, the illustrations indicated that one should exhale (hu1) during the first two states and inhale (xi1) during the last two. Jou states that the whole concept is “very complicated and much harder than their short descriptions might indicate. (See Chapter Four).”

In Chapter Four of Jou’s book, on page 196, he goes further in describing opening and closing and says the following:

“How then is the Chi activated from the spine? It is pushed downward from the shoulders to the spine; this process is called ‘closing’. When the Chi is made to move from the spine to the shoulders and on to the fingers, the process is known as ‘opening’ (See Figure 4-4a).

[Figure 4-4a is depicted here, with arrows showing the movement of Chi/Qi.]

“The process called ‘closing’ is involved in the storing of energy, while ‘opening’ indicates the use of energy. The understanding of Yin and Yang is related to comprehending ‘closing’ and ‘opening’; when this stage is reached one’s skill will improve quickly.”

This description, along with the accompanying illustration, seems very much in accord with Wang’s statement, but not so easy to reconcile with the short descriptions of the four states of Wu/Hao Style postures that Jou repeated earlier in his book. For instance, the illustrations call for an exhale during both opening and closing. Can anyone reconcile these apparent discrepancies?

Louis, as I study the four illustrations of Hao Shaoru (described as the grandson of Hao Weizhen/Hay Way-Jen 1849-1920), I notice several terms that peak my interest and would appreciate your comment on. Anyone else is welcome to chime in as well.

The illustrations are hard to read, since the characters in my book are extremely small and somewhat faded. There is some chance that I am misreading them, but I think I can make out enough of them to be pretty confident in my reading.

One of my questions, concerns our old friend “teng2 nuo2.” In all four illustrations, there are arrows indicating that the forearms (?) should be “tengnuo” (springy?). In each of the illustrations, the empty foot (i.e., the foot that is either actively stepping forward or about to step forward) is also designated as “tengnuo.” The solid foot, on the other handJ, is listed as “jing1 shen2 guan4 zhu4” (with the energy/vitality concentrated?). I find the specificity of these designations surprising. Do you or does anyone else have any comment about this?

Another feature of these illustrations that I find interesting is that in the last three states, both palms are linked to the phrase “Yi4 xiang4 shang4 sheng1” (“The mind intent rises upward or towards the top”?). Does anybody know what this refers to?

Psalchemist, you asked again about “cross alignment.” I have to defer to Stephen on this question, because this is not a concept that I focus on in my practice. When I was talking about focusing on one thing and letting everything else take care of itself, I was trying to say that focusing on simplicity is sometimes better than focusing on complexity. If you truly figure out where to direct your mind, everything else can follow fairly easily. If you divide your attention during practice among many things, it may be impossible for the whole to knit back together. On the other hand, a good reason to focus on many complex things is to test your understanding of a few simple things, but this is probably not something to do during actual practice.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby psalchemist » Mon Aug 18, 2003 3:47 pm

Audi,

I find an affinity to Master Yang Jun's decription of order of movement which you mentioned. I have one question I must clarify before preceding, though. What is Kai/he ? I am unfamiliar with this term and would greatly appreciate any information you could provide on the translation. Are these directly translated as open and closed?

Regards,
Psalchemist.


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 08-18-2003).]
psalchemist
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am

Postby Anderzander » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:35 pm

Hi Audi

What a tricky topic!

I hope it’s ok that I have responded before Jeff.


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

Wang Yongquan implies that Fajin results from opening, whereas the other descriptions seem describe that Fajin will take place during closing. Can you or anyone else explain the discrepancy?

At the moment, I have one principal hypothesis, which is that two different phenomena are being described. I notice that one phenomenon seems to be described more as “opening and closing” and the other more as “opening energy” and “closing energy” (These latter two term are usually describes as two separate techniques.)

Another possibility may derive from what somewhat posted earlier about Cheng Man-Ch’ing, saying that when the body closes, the Qi opens, and vice versa. Any views on this?

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I actually do Cheng Man Chings form and so cant figure out the example you gave from Wang Jun ….

I am doubtful of your separation of “opening and closing” and the other more as “opening energy” and “closing energy”.

Perhaps this will help though.. when you first get propelled movement, ie your energy follows the movement of your attention and your body follows……..

It is probably in the arms, eventually it spreads through the whole body. Then by opening your attention – expanding it outwards in all directions your body will open outwards.

Drawing your attention inwards, in towards the bone, closes the body off.

That then is the basic level of opening and closing, the awareness isn’t necessarily seated right etc – but that’s another story.

So, at this stage when the mind opens out - the body opens. When the mind closes in – the body closes.

At a later point it changes, and what Cheng Man Ching describes comes to pass.

Wee Kin Jin phrases it very well;

‘Once the opening and closing are clear, their timing recombines until simultaneous. Then “when there is opening there is closing, and in closing there is opening”. So that at a moment of closure you also experience being open.’

One point I may add is that the above change coincides with a natural shift to reverse breathing.

I hope that helps.

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

A second question I have concerns a chart in Jou Tsung Hwa’s book The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan, p.71. He shows four illustrations of Hao Shaoru (transliterated as Hay Shao-Ju) that show the four “states” of Wu/Hao Style postures: starting, connecting, opening, and closing. He says that opening “describes initiating attack or retreat” and that closing “describes the action of attacking or retreating.” This statement implies that Fajin occurs at closing, which again seems at variance with what Wang states. Interestingly, the illustrations indicated that one should exhale (hu1) during the first two states and inhale (xi1) during the last two. Jou states that the whole concept is “very complicated and much harder than their short descriptions might indicate. (See Chapter Four).”

In Chapter Four of Jou’s book, on page 196, he goes further in describing opening and closing and says the following:

“How then is the Chi activated from the spine? It is pushed downward from the shoulders to the spine; this process is called ‘closing’. When the Chi is made to move from the spine to the shoulders and on to the fingers, the process is known as ‘opening’ (See Figure 4-4a).

[Figure 4-4a is depicted here, with arrows showing the movement of Chi/Qi.]

“The process called ‘closing’ is involved in the storing of energy, while ‘opening’ indicates the use of energy. The understanding of Yin and Yang is related to comprehending ‘closing’ and ‘opening’; when this stage is reached one’s skill will improve quickly.”

This description, along with the accompanying illustration, seems very much in accord with Wang’s statement, but not so easy to reconcile with the short descriptions of the four states of Wu/Hao Style postures that Jou repeated earlier in his book. For instance, the illustrations call for an exhale during both opening and closing. Can anyone reconcile these apparent discrepancies?

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, I can’t explain why it would say to exhale for opening and closing, the order of the four things in that first part of your text seems muddled ?

The opening and closing they describe would seem to be a description of the body though. (The body closing whilst the energy opens in fa jing)

To help with the stages;

Wee Kee Jin cites that the opening and closing need to be synchronised with the relaxation, sinking, grounding and issuing of the relaxed force.

Hung Sheng Shyan stated that many people get opening and closing (really! – Stephen.) but few get the whole cycle of rolling and releasing.

He teaches five stages:

Rise, float, sink, compress and then release. The terms vary depending on whether the description is of the mind, energy or posture.

I must also say I have the cycle – but I find it hard to articulate. But in order to help with this post I would describe it thus;

Open, float, sink, close – release

I’ll go and mull over your other points now Audi
I hope this has helped, feel free to ask for more detail.

Stephen
Anderzander
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

PreviousNext

Return to Tai Chi Theory and Principles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron