Form Names in Chinese

Postby JerryKarin » Sun Mar 28, 2004 4:58 pm

Fan shen is the same as zhuan shen - turn the body. You may remember the term became famous during the 1949 revolution and was the title of a book in English, taking an extended meaning of 'turning oneself around'. I'm not entirely clear on how the 'diagonal' works but whether it is the pie across the torso which I described above or the progress of the fist from left to right side out in front of the body, it's still a diagonal from left to right.
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby JerryKarin » Sun Mar 28, 2004 5:56 pm

There are other types of brush strokes, but pie is the only one which has made it into common parlance. It is used frequently to describe arcs and diagonals in everyday life. To say na shen chui or use one of the other strokes similarly would just leave people scratching their heads; these are not common enough words in this meaning. Pie, though it has a very specific meaning in calligraphy, has come in common parlance -i.e. idiommatically - to mean all sorts of diagonals, regardless of direction. This sort of thing is hard to find in dictionaries; you just have to know the language.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 03-28-2004).]
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby JerryKarin » Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:07 pm

The use of the phrase pie chu lai and similar locutions to describe the action of the fist in this move is highly idiomatic, a bit similar to the way we might say 'flip out the fist'. We actually don't mean flipping the fist over as it moves but rather that the fist was flipped over from the beginning. No doubt this sort of idiom also drives Chinese crazy. There is no way to understand it by looking in a dictionary.
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Audi » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:31 am

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for the further precision. You confirm things that I suspected by pouring over the grammatical structures. "Pie1 ji1" may cover slightly different territory than "pie shen," or else the name would have been "zhuan shen pie chui." (or could it be an issue of rhythm and cadence?)

It is amazing how all languages have difficulty expressing precision about movement and instead rely on context and daily experience for clarification.

By the way, I find the English for this posture to be highly misleading, imprecise, or even inaccurate. For me, a "chop" cannot describe a "back fist," but rather strongly implies an open hand slice, as if with a butcher's cleaver (e.g., a Karate chop). I also would not describe the movement as a "punch," since, for me, a "punch" describes something that thrusts and often attempts to go through, not something that smashes or pounds. For me, punches can be described by pounding only when they are repeated in the manner of a pestle pounding in a mortar.

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

Postby LarryC » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:31 am

Thanks to all for the help with pie shen chui.

Not to change the subject too abruptly (I hope), but could someone also comment on the move "ban1 lan2 chui2"? The English 'strike, parry and punch' does not seem to fit very well.

Online dictionaries lead me to think an English equivalent might better be "moving block(parry?)punch" or even "tranferring block punch".

Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:01 am
Location: California

Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:55 pm

Greetings Larry,

I prefer to translate banlanchui as a sequential list: "deflect, parry, and punch." The deflect/ban is the action of the right backfist, parry/lan is the forward thrust of the left palm, punch/chui is the straight punch of the right fist. There was some discussion of banlanchui a while back in this thread:

Take care,
Louis Swaim
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA


Return to Tai Chi Chuan - Barehand Form

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest