Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Postby mls_72 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:08 pm

what is the chinese word for sinew/tendons and is it referenced in the Tai chi Classics?
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Re: Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi Matt,

The Chinese word for tendon is 筋, pronounced first tone "jin." I don't recall seeing it in any of the core taiji classics.
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Re: Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:05 pm

Matt,

The word 筋 for tendons or sinews does appear throughout the Yang Forty Chapters, for example, texts no. 13, 26, 27, 29, 31, 35, and 37 (as numbered in Wile, Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch'ing Dynasty, or 3.13, 3.26, 3.27, 3.29, 3.31, 3.35 and 3.37 (as numbered in Yang Jwing-Ming's Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style. It also appears in Yang Chengfu's Ten Essentials, #6.

By the way, why did you want to know?

Take care,
Louis
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Re: Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Postby mls_72 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:58 pm

Louis Swaim wrote:Matt,

The word 筋 for tendons or sinews does appear throughout the Yang Forty Chapters, for example, texts no. 13, 26, 27, 29, 31, 35, and 37 (as numbered in Wile, Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch'ing Dynasty, or 3.13, 3.26, 3.27, 3.29, 3.31, 3.35 and 3.37 (as numbered in Yang Jwing-Ming's Tai Chi Secrets of the Yang Style. It also appears in Yang Chengfu's Ten Essentials, #6.

By the way, why did you want to know?

Take care,
Louis


Thanks for the Reply. Just interested in my sinews in relation to my own practice and healing. Since I do other training like Crossfit and Boxing, my own arms started to get tendinitis in forearms and elbow. Taijiquan is supposed to help release qi, by releasing tension and lengthening of the tendon. Many of the acupressure and acupuncture points are located at some of the tendons. Image When I stopped training hard and went back to internal like Taijiquan and got some acupressure massages it went away.

While many martial arts and western disciples are concerned with "Li" strength, which is development of "bones and muscle", Taijiquan is often said to develop tendon and sinew strength which often associated with "Qi" and "Yi" mind. I am still working on relaxing and "snapping" a punch rather than external brute strength. Western boxing mention relaxing a lot and I am finding many passages and "old school" boxing coaches that did not want their Boxers to use weight training and heavy bag hitting, since it compromised speed.

The tendons are what hold the muscle to the bone, and so when the muscles contract, they are pulling on the tendons to make bones move at the joint. i can see that if you damage and stiffen these tendons, your going to ultimately not be able to move the limbs and thus muscles are rendered useless.

Can you share some of the classic writings on sinew and tendon in the 40 chapters you mentioned? 13, 29,31,35, and 37?

I found 40 Yang Chapters 26 and 27:

Chapters 26 and 27 of the Yang Family "Forty Chapters" describe "blood-qi" and "qi-blood." Blood-qi is the source of Li or unrefined strength. It develops from strengthening of the bones, muscles and skin. It travels through the Jing Luo, the blood circulatory system and the acupuncture meridians. Qi-blood is the source of Jin, or refined strength. It travels through the Jin Lu (this jin is a different character than the character for jin/refined strength), the "routes" created by the internal structure. As Chapter 27 says, "Contrast qi (blood) traveling through Tendons and Sinew (Jin Lu), and using Li in skin and bones, they are vastly different."

Yi Jin Jin- the Shaolin Muscle and Tendon Change Classic is well known for strengthening the tendons.Image

Yangs Essential point #6: Use the Mind and not Brute Force.
According to the Tai Chi Classics, you use the mind and not brute force. In practice, your whole body is relaxed; not even using an ounce of brute force. If you employ brute force, you restrict the flow of energy through your sinews, bones, and blood vessels. This will inhibit your freedom of movement, preventing you from achieving agility, sensitivity, aliveness, circularity, and naturalness.
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Re: Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Postby Audi » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:05 am

Greetings Ash and Louis everyone else,

If someone can explain the difference between blood-Qi and QI-blood, I would be much obliged.

Chapter 13 (as translated by Wiles) also says:

"Power (chin 勁 comes from the tendons, and strength (li 力) from the bones. Speaking strictly from a material point of iew, amn with great strength can lift several hundred pounds, but this is a superficial matter of bones and joints that produces brute strength. By contrast, the unified power of the whole body, though it appears unable to lift even a few pounds, represents the internal strength of the "ching and ch'i. In this way, after you have perfected your skill, you will manifest marvels far surpassing those of mere hard strength, for this is the way of true self-development through physical culture."

(Transposed in simplified characters that I can type quicker)
劲由于筋,力由于骨。如以持物论之,有力能執数百斤,是骨節皮毛之外操也,故有硬力。如以全体之有劲,似不能持几斤,是精气之内壮也。虽然,若是功成后,犹有妙出于硬力者,修身体育之道有然也。

I am still working on relaxing and "snapping" a punch rather than external brute strength. Western boxing mention relaxing a lot and I am finding many passages and "old school" boxing coaches that did not want their Boxers to use weight training and heavy bag hitting, since it compromised speed.

Many respected teachers talk about "snapping" and "relaxing," and yet I have doubts about whether the boxing method and the Tai Chi method are generally the same. To me it feels as if hard arts prefer to alternate between rigid and limp, whereas the Tai Chi I have been taught has more consistent springiness that is rarely either completely rigid or completely limp. The way I have been taught to practice Fajin involves a different technique from the way I was taught to throw a Karate punch. Both involve relaxation, but in a different way. The Karate method is closely tied with speed, momentum, and muscle power. The Tai Chi method has all these, but is not primarily dependent on any of the three of them. A whip needs a certain distance to be effective; whereas a spring does not. A whip has structure only where the energy is actively present; whereas a spring has structure even when the energy is not overtly manifest. One is a rope; the other is a bow. From what I understand, I do not want to use muscle to whip the "rope" in my limbs. Instead, I want to use my tendons to make my limbs have a bow-like energy. Loose, but not loose.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Taijiquan and sinew/tendons

Postby mls_72 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:38 pm

Audi wrote:Greetings Ash and Louis everyone else,

If someone can explain the difference between blood-Qi and QI-blood, I would be much obliged.

Chapter 13 (as translated by Wiles) also says:

"Power (chin 勁 comes from the tendons, and strength (li 力) from the bones. Speaking strictly from a material point of iew, amn with great strength can lift several hundred pounds, but this is a superficial matter of bones and joints that produces brute strength. By contrast, the unified power of the whole body, though it appears unable to lift even a few pounds, represents the internal strength of the "ching and ch'i. In this way, after you have perfected your skill, you will manifest marvels far surpassing those of mere hard strength, for this is the way of true self-development through physical culture."

(Transposed in simplified characters that I can type quicker)
劲由于筋,力由于骨。如以持物论之,有力能執数百斤,是骨節皮毛之外操也,故有硬力。如以全体之有劲,似不能持几斤,是精气之内壮也。虽然,若是功成后,犹有妙出于硬力者,修身体育之道有然也。

I am still working on relaxing and "snapping" a punch rather than external brute strength. Western boxing mention relaxing a lot and I am finding many passages and "old school" boxing coaches that did not want their Boxers to use weight training and heavy bag hitting, since it compromised speed.

Many respected teachers talk about "snapping" and "relaxing," and yet I have doubts about whether the boxing method and the Tai Chi method are generally the same. To me it feels as if hard arts prefer to alternate between rigid and limp, whereas the Tai Chi I have been taught has more consistent springiness that is rarely either completely rigid or completely limp. The way I have been taught to practice Fajin involves a different technique from the way I was taught to throw a Karate punch. Both involve relaxation, but in a different way. The Karate method is closely tied with speed, momentum, and muscle power. The Tai Chi method has all these, but is not primarily dependent on any of the three of them. A whip needs a certain distance to be effective; whereas a spring does not. A whip has structure only where the energy is actively present; whereas a spring has structure even when the energy is not overtly manifest. One is a rope; the other is a bow. From what I understand, I do not want to use muscle to whip the "rope" in my limbs. Instead, I want to use my tendons to make my limbs have a bow-like energy. Loose, but not loose.

Take care,
Audi



Happy Holidays Everyone:

My feeling on the Qi-blood and blood-Qi in regards to Chapter 26 and 27 is that there is a nourishing Qi-blood that maintains the body- muscles, bones, internal organs, and then there is a blood-Qi that presents itself as extra internal power more like a "Jin" that fills the body in a martial strength sense. This particular Blood-Qi takes over the 8 extraordinary channels in body and limbs;http://www.polariswushu.net/8extra.html while the qi-blood is more for internal organ jinglou http://www.polariswushu.net/jinglou.html that maintains basic health and homeostasis. That is just my own thoughts on the subject however.

In regards to snapping punches, relaxing, fajin, and the springiness of peng in Taijji boxing, I can't relate so much to your experience. My very first martial art was Tai Chi, so I didn't have any experience with any martial art like Karate, Taekwondo, or such. I did later take Longfist as I was told it would supplement by Tai Chi with flexibility, kicks, and use of traditional stances to develop cardio, and endurance. I was always told William CC Chen understood Tai Chi and using relaxed punches and did some San Shou seminars with him and his students. He felt a lot was similar (boxing and tai chi) since both took a ground path from foot-legs-and hip, through the waist, and extended out the fingers. I did like your whip, bow, and rope analogy.

Matt
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