Empty and Full

Postby Anderzander » Sun Jul 06, 2003 6:18 pm

Hi Audi

Thanks for the interest in my post. I’ll see if I can clarify what I am describing.

It is difficult to describe things. For instance in my class if a student requires an explanation – I can see what they need and tell them whatever is necessary to achieve it. What is a coherent framework of understanding at one level can be completely unfounded when you attain a deeper insight. Truth is not an absolute - it seems only to be the basis for a framework of knowledge.

Also things that are experienced as very straightforward can require inordinate amounts of explanation to put across in writing.

That said – lets have a go!

The injunction to have opposite polarities of solid and empty between the hand and foot on the same side of the body, applies only to peng and sinking – it is moving energy and with turning it is silk reeling. You can’t strike with peng. (I say sinking – in this instance I am referring to the opposite of peng – downwards and inwards – the direction of relaxtion and the foundation of peng.)

If you look at the natural way in which a cat walks there is this connectivity of left and right. If you lie a person on their stomach and get them to relax – and then push their heel – the opposite shoulder moves. When you walk the left leg goes forward as the right arm does. This is being strung together – it is how you move.

Lets try and use an example:

With your feet parallel, as in the opening posture, turn to the left and sink into the right foot. So release the small of your back (particularly on the right side) then the right hip(letting it drop in) – let the kua open and the pressure to increase in the right foot. Then release the upper body onto the stance. (the left arm maybe falling behind your back)

Press through the foot, turning to the left, and allow the movement to rise up through the whole body. Upwards and outwards. There is a connection between the right foot and left arm.

That’s a beginners version of sinking and peng and, if you are centred when turning, will produce the cross substantiality. The whole form can be practiced this way – its soft and is rising and falling.

(hopefully that now constitutes a concrete behaviour)

With the feet parallel again, release the small of your back (particularly on the right side) then the right hip(letting it drop in) – but this time whilst turning to the right. Close the Kua off. Get the feeling of the pressure increasing in the foot – and when you have the connection to the ground – then screw your self down, torque your self down. This is a kind of contrived rolling. You are storing through the curve. Drop the right elbow and have the feeling of it connecting to the foot, then turn back to the left and express the energy stored through a right punch.

You can of course sink into a closed leg, like in my second example, and not store through the curve. Likewise you can sink into an open leg as in my first example and also generate jing through the curve. It is just that the ‘open leg’ lends it self more easily to rising and falling – moving energy. Whilst the ‘closed leg’ lends itself more easily to storing through the curve and compressing – storing energy.

The thing to notice is that they are different feelings. And, that you can practice moving energy in the absence of striking energy. In fact most taiji is practiced this way it seems?

The next thing is that when you punched – the left arm came back – this is moving energy working whilst you roll and release. (Incidentally if you continued to express the unwinding of the force from the right leg you would be stepping backwards – thus the left arm coming back.)

It is also worth noting that whilst one leg is open the other is closed – so whilst the act of rising from and falling into any leg will always produce dexterity, there are numerous permutations for expressing the striking energy stored through the use of the curve. I.e. the right open leg powering the right arm (eg from the parallel stance – a ward off) or the left arm (eg a palm) – or the left closed leg powering the same. And visa versa.

I am sure my description is not without areas that aren’t clear but I hope there is enough to run with – rather than to stumble over!.

I’m going to describe my other points re. sinking to one side in the next post to aid clarity.


[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 07-06-2003).]
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Anderzander » Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:04 pm

The sequel…

I’ll start with this Audi,

You said - “What about Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg (Jin Ji Du Li)? According to your view, does this posture have a central equilibrium release while being on one leg? How do you fit kicks within your statement of theory? Does your form have no postures or transitions where there is a release at a time where there is weight only in one leg?”

Ok, I’ll start with summarising part of my statement. “with 100% of your weight on one leg it is almost impossible to have central equilibrium”

If you have 100% of your weight on one leg – you are 99% certain to have your centre of gravity directly over that leg.

When you are kicking, part of your weight is in the leg. That is your weight behind the technique, and to stop it being unbalanced your centre of gravity is moving around the axis of your supporting leg. (This is the secret to stepping too, in my opinion)

The movement is part of the balance. I.e. you could not balance if you were not moving.

The other thing is that you kick from a position of equilibrium –and maintain it through the kick because your weight is in some way balanced.

If you have all of your weight on one leg and then try and launch a technique – not only will your body not be balanced but it will be hard to generate force.

Imagine the waist is a wheel and the leg is providing force to its movement. If the force is applied at the axle (100% weight) – the force is much less than if it is applied at the rim (any other percentage!)

There are other changes over normal movement I feel when kicking or moving onto one leg that I can’t formulate. All I could say is that you change the feeling from the rest of the form.

How am I doing so far? J

The issue of sinking weight to one side, I’m not sure a more thorough explanation of this doesn’t belong in the push hands section?

I will have a go at defining the points you asked for though……

1). “neutralizing the opponent.” – this is simply redirecting his force either into the ground or into empty space

2) “sinking,” - going down and inwards – releasing (I have a bit of a description on my web site I think)

3) “neutralizing oneself,” – taking the other persons force inside your body, missing your centre, and channelling it down into the back leg and into the ground. (see the above two)

4) “sinking to one side,” – this is the technique of doing number 3. It is the foundation of borrowing energy.

Hope that helps.

Please everyone – feel free to question it!

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

Postby Wushuer » Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:44 pm

I only have a minute but since you asked:
"Could you explain what some of the “specific reasons” are? Also, can you explain why 100/0 physical separation is not advocated for transitions? In other words, what is special about the last instant of a posture that requires 100/0 physical separation at that moment, but at no others? Lastly, what about intermediate techniques? Where a posture contains more than one technique, how does 100/0 physical separation apply to them?"

I have listed the forms in the Wu form that are 50/50 weight distributed before, but for sake of clarity I'll list them again:
Beginning of T'ai Chi Ch'uan
Single Whip
White Crane Spreads Wings
Cross Hands
Conclusion of T'ai Chi Ch'uan

I think that's all of them...
I may have missed one but I can't think of it right now.

I'll have to get back to the specific reasons why all of these postures are not 100/0 like the rest at another time. I don't have the time right now to go into the detail that would require.
One reason, in the case of Single Whip, is as you state, it has multiple applications simultaneously, requiring the even distribution of weight.
100/0 is not advocated for "transitional" moves because it's not physically possible, is it? You start with 100%, there has to be a "transitional" stage where you're moving that back to the other side. No matter what, there is going to be "transitional" movement of energy, a point in time when you're less than 100% in either pole as that weight, or energy, transitions (or is transitioned if you're doing this correclty and using your opponents energy against him) to it's new location.
One reason for that 100/0 moment is simple, it allows you to move at that point. You have accepted and redirected incoming energy, your opponent has gone past you or you have issued against him, now you move. You are in the optimum position to be able to move freely, you can now step to meet another opponent, turn to follow the energy of your original opponent, whatever. It frees you up to move. There are other reasons, of course, just as there are thousands of reasons for anything we do in TCC.
I must apologize for my absences, I am in another busy time for work and so have very little time for my hobby right now.
Be back when I can.
Maybe Polaris could explain these ideas with more clarity? I would appreciate it if he took a stab at it for us. He says things much more clearly than I do anyway.
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:01 am

Postby DavidJ » Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:42 pm

Hi Stevie,

You wrote, > The injunction to have opposite polarities of solid and empty between the hand and foot on the same side of the body, [snip] If you look at the natural way in which a cat walks there is this connectivity of left and right. If you lie a person on their stomach and get them to relax ? and then push their heel ? the opposite shoulder moves. When you walk the left leg goes forward as the right arm does. This is being strung together ? it is how you move.<

I agree. If you read my two posts dated 2/21/2001 and 2/27/2001 http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000002-2.html you might see that this is so.

Yet you also wrote, > with 100% of your weight on one leg it is almost impossible to have central equilibrium <

I disagree. Rooting on one leg is not only possible, if you truly understand it's nearly unavoidable.

I think you show by your second quote that though you understand the principle in your first quote intellectually, you don't understand it kinesthetically, yet.


David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 07-07-2003).]
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Anderzander » Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:14 pm

Hiya David

I think we have a miscommunication about the central equilibrium during stepping.

Perhaps if I point out this?...

I am talking from the perspective of both feet being on the ground - in a stance that you would use for fixed step, when describing the equilibrium and weight split over the stance.

Not for stepping.

The state I cannot see working (either in receiving or releasing) is when 100% of the weight - and thus the centre of gravity is directly over the one leg in a fixed stance.

The stepping was mentioned to quantify to Audi what I meant by being strung together - thus I didn't make a detailed description of the mechanics of stepping.

If you read my description of kicking and being on one leg it explaions how I feel central equilibrium works when stepping.

Rooting - by which I presume you mean sinking of the weight to the leg is indeed unavoidable!

.......but is not what I was referring to.

Have another go at reading my post perhaps? and come from the perspective that I hint at stepping in terms of equilibrium through my description of kicking - and that we means the same thing but are using different words? Image

Stevie 'tierd from driving a long way today and just got in' Moore

ps It is something I have kinesthetically - but struggle with intellectually!

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 07-07-2003).]
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Michael » Tue Jul 08, 2003 5:17 am


I asked about this earlier---I am glad to hear about your 100/0 finality of a form. This weight distribution is AFTER the completion of the technique as I had guessed. In Yang style the end of the posture is the end of the technique. I think this is the difference. 100/0 and (approx) 70/30--or whatever--are different ponts in time....are they not?

I am off for a couple days of fishing--enjoy yourselves! I know I will.
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby Wushuer » Tue Jul 08, 2003 5:56 pm

The answer is yes, and no. It's not as simple as saying "100 percent after completion of application". Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Single Whip is 100/0 to start, you perform a portion of the application fully on your right leg (right hand makes a hook hand strike, open your hip to the left) then you take half a step back with your left foot and seperate your arms still 100% on the right, these movements are an "application" as well so still "applying" at fully 100/0 on the right leg at this point, then you make your left arm sweep with your palm turned to face you as you shift your weight to the left (this is an accepting and redirecting of incoming energy, therefor and "application") to an even distribution of weight so this "applicaton" is during the shift of energy or weight, but at the end, when your evenly distributed you finish the move by turning your palm to face away from you, also an "application" done at the 50/50 point.
So yes, and no.
It's just not as cut and dried as that I'm afraid. You will perform applications wherever they need to be performed, not at any set value.
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:01 am

Postby Wushuer » Tue Jul 08, 2003 6:07 pm

Equilibrium (hope I spelled that right) on one leg is not only possible, I can assure you it is done every day by those who know how. I am one of them.
Why do you think I have such a hard time giving it up? It works, as simple as that.
I'm not the least adverse, obviously, to what a lesser weight distribution will teach me about TCC, I have learned the idea of movement from the waist in an entirely different light, one that ties in beautifully with the idea of 100/0 seperation, it in no way opposes it. Instead they compliment each other as I have found through experimenting while doing forms and especially in push hands practice.
I feel, and my push hands practice bears out, that I have improved my TCC skills immensly by integrating this skill into my repetoire.
As I practice Yang style, I keep to the principals of Yang style as far as I know them and do not practice at 100/0 weight splits as that is not their way. When I practice Wu style I practice according to their principals and so practice at 100/0. It is when I combine the two methods during push hands or free style sparring (only done this once with a Wu family disciple to see if it would work, it did) that I find the most benefit.
Put these two skill sets together and I improve my overall skill immensly. I am very happy to have learned this, have a LOT more to go.
I'm getting more comfortable with keeping these styles seperate during practice but using everything I have when I need it.
Again, very pressed for time, popped in at lunch.
More as I can.
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:01 am

Postby DavidJ » Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:29 pm

Hi Stevie,

To a certain extent it is just the limitations of words. I can see having the kinesthetic sense of something and not being able to express it in words. Image

I see what you mean, however I observe, as Louis does, that if the "empty" foot is touching the ground you are *not* 100/0 in your weight split percentages. I would say "nearly 100/0".

Also, I still disagree about the particulars. Generally speaking, at any point in the long form you should be able to stop with no loss of balance and retain the inherent dynamic, and/or move in any direction.

Specifically, for that "nearly 100/0" split, the weighted leg is yin because of its supporting, receptive role, and the "nearly unweighted" leg should be, and is, yang. This means that it doesn't just lay there: it is in active mode, it is functioning.

Just so you know: when both of my feet are on the ground in a stance like the final posture of 'White Crane Fans Its Wings' then the weight distribution is about 90/10.


David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 07-09-2003).]

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 07-09-2003).]
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Audi » Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:28 am

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the attempt at explaining your statements to me. I fear I am still unclear about a number of things and perhaps should wait for others to comment further. I feel I am now in Wushuer’s shoes, struggling with an unfamiliar framework that seems inconsistent with most of what I have internalized.

I have had only a limited time practicing in the way you seem to describe and so can follow your descriptions only to a limited extent. While following the Yangs’ instructions, I do not practice in this way and so cannot really bring this experience to bear.

I think I understand the argument behind having a feeling of “cross-bracing” between the arms and legs and how some physical positions might contribute to this. I realize that this feeling is somewhat affected by what leg one has forward. I remain mystified, however, as to what a practitioner is supposed to do to accomplish this “cross-bracing” beyond simply mimicking the gross movements of the form with the general internal content applicable throughout Taijiquan.

My basic assumption about Yang Chengfu’s Ten Essentials is that they are meant to address specific cases of more general principles that the practitioner may fail to observe without concrete admonitions. As such, I have or seek to have fairly specific feelings associated with each one of the ten. I try to be able to demonstrate moves both with the specific feeling and without in order to make sure that I understand them as best I can. In the case of “cross substantiality,” I am still puzzled as to what the practitioner is supposed concretely to do in order to observe this principle.

You have kindly explained two different ways to do form, but I do not understand how this distinction relates to my question. If I understand your view correctly, you are saying that “cross substantiality” applies to doing form only with “Peng” and with “sinking,” and not to doing form with “rolling” and “releasing.” If this is the case, let me restrict my inquiry only to “Peng” and “sinking.” In other words, while doing form with “Peng” and “sinking,” what should one do to ensure that the right hand and right leg maintain opposite states of full and empty?

The clearest case I can think of to illustrate my confusion appears in the Saber Form. I realize that you do not do this form, but I think you will be able to follow my description in any case.

At the beginning of the Saber Form, one does a sequence that is more or less identical to Step Up to Seven Stars in the Yangs’ hand form. Let’s assume for the sake of illustration that the applications applicable to Step Up to Seven Stars in the Saber Form are identical to the ones in the Hand Form (the Saber is held cradled on the left forearm and so does not really change the dynamics of the posture). At the end of the Saber Form, one again assumes a posture that is identical to Step Up to Seven Stars, except that in this case, the left leg ends up forward. One merely switches from heel to toe to assume the “posture,” rather than stepping forward with the right leg as in the version at the beginning of the form. The two postures come out of slightly different positions and have different follow-ups. To my untrained mind, however, the final position and applications should be identical.

With different legs forward, how does the theory of “cross substantiality” apply? Should not the difference in the position of the legs somehow be reflected in the feeling of the hands and arms? If so, what is the difference? If the change is somehow “automatic” and “natural,” then why bother with the injunction to maintain “cross substantiality”?

Another clear case I can think of is in the basic push hands drills. In all the styles of Push Hands I have seen, there is a “four-hand” exercise where mirror-image arm patterns can be interchanged independently of the arrangement of the feet. Does “cross substantiality” apply here; and if so, how? Is this independent of what the opponent does? If “cross substantiality” does not apply to Push Hands, why bother with it in the form?

By the way, the Yangs do limit the single-arm patterns that are permissible for training in horizontal circling, but this has been explained to me in terms of the tactical placement of the opponent’s feet and the limited techniques applicable to horizontal circling, rather than as an issue of full and empty.

All in all, I have not gotten any hint that the Yangs teach anything like “cross substantiality,” but I certainly have not learned all their art and am not sure of their position on many issues. In any case, this theory seems very common, and I remain interested in understanding what it signifies and whether or not it has any application to what I should focus on in my practice.

Take care,
Posts: 1205
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Wushuer » Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:48 pm

Heres an example of how I've combined the elements from my two styles forms into one posture, in case anyone's interested.
I bring it up here because it relates heavily to the "full and empty" concept, I feel.
I've mentioned that I've done this with some postures and have found a vast improvement in actual functionality by doing so. Alone this posture in either the Yang form or the Wu form works wonderfully, by combining elements of both forms into one movement I have found I get some better, for me personally, results when applying the movements to sparring.
This is STRICTLY my personal observation, I would not recommend this as either a training tool or something I would teach to others. I only mention it to hopefully gain some insight from others on the movements of emtpy and full as they pertain to what I'm doing. A critique, if you will.
In other words, only try this at home if you take the responsibility for it yourself. Don't blame me if it's not "right" or "accurate".
This is how I have melded these two styles together into one posture they both share, it's not a "real" TCC movement from either style.
Now that I have the disclaimers out of the way.....
I have combined elements from the Yang form Brush Knee and Step, with elements from the Wu form Brush Knee and Push. The two are very similar in many ways but diffent in others. I began to do this melding unconsciously, by running the two styles together when I was first learning YCF style. I found though that doing so really makes the single posture you perform effective in ways that neither form covers alone.
I know this may be sacrilidge to many people, that's why I said what I did above. I don't practice this way when doing either form seperately, just when I'm working on free style sparring techniques, so please don't send me any hate mail about it. That's why it's called "free style"...
I set up for Wu style BK&P by being in my NEARLY 100/0 stance on right leg, left leg forward with toe up, left arm extended, right fingers touching left wrist, both palms verticle (do I need to get into bent knees, hip tucked in...? didn't think so).
At this point in the Wu form, you open your hip to the right, seperate your arms, leave your left hand where it is and bring your right hand back with you to about your shoulder, lean back just a touch... I use this breakdown but with an added bit from the Yang BK&S, which is, instead of opening my hip so much I turn my "waist" as in the YCF form, use that turn to seperate my arms and only open my "hip" slightly, you have to in order to accomodate being at NEARLY 100/0, and I only "lean back a touch" about half as much as you do in the Wu form to accomodate "turning from my waist" as opposed to "opening my hip".
I then perform the actual brush knee and the push like both forms do almost identically at that point.

A very minor change you may say. I must tell you, it is not.
It is a very major change in terms of energy and balance, full and empty.
For one thing, I have often heard an expression that references "pull energy like drawing the string of a bow" or something along those lines. If someone could supply me with the correct expression I would greatly appreciate it, but that's how I remember it. Now, I used to be an archer, I haven't shot a bow in fourteen years or so but I remember the feeling and THOUGHT I always acheived it when performing Wu style BK&P and felt it even more when doing YCF style BK&S...
But when I put these two techniques together and move as I have described above, I get the EXACT same feeling I used to get when I drew a bow. Exactly. In fact I pulled my old, dusty, trusty bow out of it's case, strung it and tried it last night, using just this movement, and it was perfect. BK&P is perfect for that as your arms move (in the Wu form anyway) just like you do when you draw a bow string, straight back to your shoulder (there's no sweep to the back in the Wu form), very nearly to where I used to pull a bowstring to my chin. All I did was set up for my combined version, held the bow in my arms and draw it as I seperated my arms as I described above.
I could not believe how perfectly that worked. I also could not believe that ancient bow of mine didn't shatter in a million pieces, but that's another story.
The energy I utilized for seperating my arms was the same energy used in pulling a bow.

All that said, I guess what I'm looking for is the "empty and full" of this. I am utilizing both empty and full on several planes when I do this, it seems to me. I am empty on my left side, full on my right through my lower body, empty on my right and full on my left through my waist and empty in my left arm (holding the bow steady) and full in my right arm (drawing the bow).
I think I have described this correclty enough for anyone to follow. If not, I'm sure no one will have a hard time letting me know!
Must trot. I've spent too much time playing here already.

[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 07-11-2003).]
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:01 am

Postby Anderzander » Sat Jul 12, 2003 1:13 am

Hi Audi,
“ I feel I am now in Wushuer’s shoes, struggling with an unfamiliar framework that seems inconsistent with most of what I have internalised”
Sorry Audi! I seem to be struggling to articulate things in a way that is understandable without seeing your reaction. As I am with the other topic running in this thread. If I may comment on your words…
“I have had only a limited time practicing in the way you seem to describe and so can follow your descriptions only to a limited extent”
Thanks for trying J Let me try to do better this time in my explanation… I know my framework is unfamiliar – and at this stage I am not privy to the felling that you can relate to the classics that form yours…I will try therefore to be more thorough.
To summarise: you are asking about a concrete way of realising cross substantiality in the form.
“If I understand your view correctly, you are saying that “cross substantiality” applies to doing form only with “Peng” and with “sinking,” and not to doing form with “rolling” and “releasing.””
No – cross substantiality is the way for peng to connect through the whole body and be in balance – when you turn it is moving energy. If you want energy (peng) to rise from the floor and be controlled by the waist and expressed through the fingers – you must first sink to the floor. Then when the body starts to reconnect and open, ie when the force starts to rise – then you turn to control it. When you have this you connect the right leg to the left arm and visa versa to be in balance. So the peng rises through the whole body and drains back down as you sink (different to Lu where the feeling is that the heel draws the hand back in)
The first energy to learn is peng – and the way to balance it is the diagonal. In order to obtain peng you first need to sink.
When you can rise and fall like this you are practicing peng – moving energy – silk reeling.
When you have learnt that – you can practice the others – such as Lu, where peng is reversed and drawn in and down. I am talking about practicing the thirteen postures.
– Once you have Peng and Lu, an and Chi then you can learn to roll and release – I don’t think you could roll and release without them.
So I was not describing the form practised with one or another.
From what you described before it sounded like you were thinking “cross substantiality doesn’t fit with expressing striking or releasing energy as it appears at various points in the form”. So I was having a go at saying yes – you are right!
Dexterity or cross substantiality is part of moving energy not striking energy. Different types of forces operate in different ways simultaneously in taiji movement.
So the concrete thing is - practice sinking and rising and turning. That is the foundation of peng as moving energy. Sink into the leg and allow the force to rise from it, turn the waist and express it through the opposite arm.
The symptom of sinking is the increase of pressure in the foot. Rising should occur on its own – until then push with your foot a bit – use the kidney area to turn the waist.
Let me also say cross substantiality is one of those things that clicks with your body. Once it can do it – it won’t go back to not doing so. I think some things are innate and are perhaps lost somehow - and once uncovered cannot be lost again. So once you have it - you will not have to concentrate to manifest it.
The next question you are raising - I’m not too clear on…?
I had a go at answering what I thought it was – but I believe it only clouded the issue! Perhaps what I have said above will help anyway?
I look forward to you very thoughtful responses Audi
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Anderzander » Sat Jul 12, 2003 1:26 am

Wushuer and David J
Thanks for the dialogue so far on weight distribution and equilibrium.
I have read back some of my posts and I think I have expressed my self too hastily and written things that read as a contradiction to what I experience
Sorry – I was focusing mainly on the topic of dexterity.
I have been thinking about what you have both said – and want to mull it over a bit longer if I may.
I will address this more fully in the morning guys - it’s past my bedtime now.

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 07-11-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 07-12-2003).]
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby Anderzander » Sat Jul 12, 2003 1:29 am

oops double post!

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 07-12-2003).]
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:01 am
Location: UK

Postby psalchemist » Sat Jul 12, 2003 2:48 pm

Greetings all,

Firstly, allow me to express my overall ignorance on the meaning of the word 'cross-substantiality' as used in Taijiquan. I am not versed as to the differences between cross-substiantiality, threading and silk reeling. Are these different phraseologies for the same ideologies? Definitions on these terms would be very helpful to my understanding of these subjects.

All definitions and terminologies aside, I find this conversation to be reminiscent of the previous discussion concerning the 'classic' method of order to movement.(grounding foot-stregnth legs-controlling the waist-expessing through the hands). Is this what is referred to as 'cross substantiality'?

Succeeding in the implementation of this 'classics' order has greatly and instantly improved my solo form execution.

Concentrating/focusing on sinking the foot prior to using the stregnth of the legs is essential to performing Taijiquan movement with 'real' meaning. Without grounding or sinking the foot, the movement feels ditinctly empty and meaningless.

It may have been mentioned before that the difference between a student and a practitioner would be actually acheiving these qualities of sinking/rising peng & rolling/releasing, constantly and consistently.

I agree that once the foot sinks effectively, that the energy of 'peng' rises easily and effortlessly. I feel great potential when arriving at the fruition of sinking/peng, however I am now experiencing much difficulty moving the 'flow' into the waist action. I find when transferring the movement from legs to waist, I become 'blocked'. I cannot connect properly with the waist and therefore cannot 'roll & release'. Any advice on how to 'get in touch' with my waist? I am able, with concentration to sink the foot and feel the rising of the peng energy, however all possibility is not only blocked, but dissipates completely when I try to move into the waist action. How does one connect the waist to the legs?

In closing, I beg to differ the statement that 'once you have it, you can't lose it'. I do agree that the key to the quality of Taijiquan movement would be produced by sinking/rising peng & rolling/releasing, but I think, that much practice and concentration are required to gain and maintain this elusive threding process. When I forget to sink my foot(I often forget about my feet) the rest of the movement following becomes empty, meaningless,...dare I say, powerless.

I would like to encourage new students by saying that although I have acheived some semblance of threading, it is elusive, and requires my full attention. Perhaps one day it will become as easy and effortless as riding a bike, but presently, personally I find that this ability waxes and wanes with the amount of concentration applied. Practice, I am sure will remedy this inconsistancy.Practice and concentration.

Please feel free to correct my understandings and assumptions on these Taijiquan principles.

Best regards,

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 07-12-2003).]
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 6:01 am


Return to Tai Chi Theory and Principles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest