all tai chi enthusiasts welcome
Shifu explained that that's where the flip side of 'zhan' comes in: 'nian'. 'zhan' means you adhere to them lightly, like the way static cling makes a piece of cellophane stick to your hand. 'nian' means you get all entagled in it so you can't disengage.
By way of introduction, here's a video of my and Shifu pushing for the cameras:
The very first word you here is his telling me to 'zou'
I have two issues with this. One is that there is already a perfectly good term for yielding: 'rang'/让 Why not use that one?
Second, zhan, as I alluded to earlier, often requires advancing as well. It's not always yielding.
When a person withdraws their hand and you adhere to it, that is not yielding.
Heck, you could be using 'zhan' in order to apply 'an'(press).
Just for the record...
Line 3 says: 人刚我柔谓之走，我顺人背谓之粘 (When the opponent is hard and I am resilient, it is called "yielding". When I am in line and the opponent is out of sorts, it is called sticking). How would you translate "zou" in this line to capture the implication of using soft to meet hard? I agree with Louis that "yielding" seems to be a pretty good fit.
It also kind of bothers me that for such a long time I assumed that the line was not 背 but rather 被.
Perhaps because "rang" can also mean other things and because "zou" has a better classical pedigree?
I often think that "yielding" can be over-emphasized. I tell people to think of giving the opponent 90% of what he wants, while keeping the 10% that truly matters. While he chokes on the 90%, you use the 10% to great effect. This is not really a simple case of "conceding" everything to the opponent.
when the opponent is hard and I am soft, this is called "change
He said that 背, in the songs, actually does mean 被动, just a different way of saying it.
... I still wonder, however, why such a meaning would be paired in a seeming parallel couplet with the character 粘 (sticking), unless 粘 is supposed to emphasize the lack of movement.
When the opponent is hard and I am soft, this is called "eluding." When I go along and the opponent is in opposition (?), this is called "sticking."
I also note your translation of 柔 (rou) as "soft." This is of course quite correct; however, I have often found myself trying to explain that the difference between 柔 (rou) and 软 (ruan) is significant, even though both can be translated as "soft."
I think I understand this as a matter of teaching; however, I would love if someone could explain this linguistically or grammatically.
There is a term that so far as I can determine is idiomatic to taijiquan—走化. The word 化, of course, refers to change, transformation.
I think “yield” does a better job of accounting for the structural and strategic import of the passage. Again, I see this in the context of the shejicongren notion, which the lun declares to be the “foundation.” This way of dealing with an opponent is really grounded in early Chinese military strategy.
...It occurs to me that the usual contrast to 顺 is 逆, right? So I might be inclined to gloss “bei” with “ni.”
I consider it to be yielding. I emphasize that yielding here means yielding to the initiative of the other, and therefore not asserting one’s own initiative...
Adhering to the other isn’t just passively following, but actively engaging. ...
Isn’t it marvellous? The Xu/Shi chapter of the Sunzi is just full of amazing insights. I’ve long been convinced that taijiquan theory is strongly informed by and grounded in the Sunzi. It takes 兵形 and translates it to the somatic curriculum of interactive taijiquan movement.
I love the productive ambiguity of classical Chinese operating in the phrase 因敵變化. One could read it as “according with the transformations of the enemy,” or as “transforming in accordance with the enemy.” But you see, the transformation is going to take place in any case. What is important is this 因, this “according with.”
Louis Swaim wrote:I can’t say I’ve seen it rendered as “yielding into emptiness,”...
As for the quote from DDJ ch. 1, I think that punctuation is interesting, but not compelling. For one thing, the compound 無名 appears in several instances in the DDJ, all pretty unambiguously meaning “not named,” or “nameless.” The refined metaphysical concept of wu/you (non -being/beibg) was developed by the Han dynasty commentator, Wang Bi (226–249), who, some would argue, read the wu/you idea back into the DDJ. It’s quite arguably there, buy not as explicitly as Wang Bi held it to be. If you’re interested, you can read more about this in Livia Kohn & Michael LaFargue, eds., Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching (SUNY, pp. 127-128).
yslim wrote:THE FOLLOWING SONG IS IN CHINESE. SORRY I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO CHINESE IN COMPUTER. LOT OF THING I DON'T KNOW INCLUDING THIS SONG.....
"EMPTY EMPTY FULL FULL, FULL FULL EMPTY EMPTY
EMPTY IS NOT FULL, FULL IS NOT EMPTY
EMPTY ALSO IS FULL, FULL ALSO IS EMPTY
EMPTY YET NOT EMPTY, FULL YET NOT FULL
EMPTY YET NOT EMPTY IS CALLS YUAN/MYSTERY (FOR LACK OF WORDS)
YUAN MEAO'S KUNG NO CAN SAYS. (THE ARTS OF MYSTERY IS NO WORD FOR IT .IMO, IT MEAN I HAVE TO DO IT WITH FEELING ...WISDOM, INSTEAD OF THINKING...INTELLIGENT ) .
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