Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby yslim » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:50 am

Louis Swaim wrote:Greetings Folks,


精神能提得起, 則無遲重之虞.
黏依能跟得靈, 方見落空之妙.

For me, these are the most challenging lines in the document to translate. They are evidently written as parallel expressions, but the parallel is not quite neat. The compound 精神 “vital spirit” is recognizable, but 黏依 “sticking/yielding” is not. I can’t quite agree, Audi, that it’s a yin/yang pair; I think it’s just two desirable taiji skills. Sticking is a familiar taiji concept, but yī 依 is not so familiar. It could mean “yield” or perhaps “comply” or “go with,” but I can’t settle on a firm rendering. The 得 is serving as a co-verb in both lines. That gēn 跟, however, is odd. My guess is that it’s being used reflexively to describe the interaction of “sticking and yielding.” So, here’s what I come up with:

If the vital spirit can be raised, then there will be no apprehension of dullness or heaviness.

If sticking and yielding can follow each other nimbly, then you will see the marvel of landing on emptiness.

Fun stuff!

Take care,
Louis



HI MR. SWAIN

I DON'T THINK 黏依能跟得靈, BY WU IS MEANS TO BE AS YOU SAID " If sticking and yielding can follow each other nimbly,".THIS TWO WERE NOT FOLLOW EACH OTHER. BUT AT ITS FACE VALUE AS YOU STATED I AM NOT GETTING A CLEAR PICTURE WHAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY DOING. FOR ME THIS 黏/STICKING HAVE A LIFTING/SUCKING-UP FLAVOR TO IT WHILE I AM STICKING TO MY OPPONENT.THIS CAN BE USE AS A WIILD CARD TO ENTICE MY OPPONENT TO TAKE MY BAIT IF S/HE IS DECIDED 'NOT MOVE FIRST' BUT I CAN, AND HE WON'T ARRIVE BEFORE ME EITHER (WHO LIKE TO WAIT?). 機由己發 NEED TO APPLY HERE.IF I KNOW HOW TO "LIFT" HER UP THEN I SHOULD LEARN KNOW HOW TO MAKE HIM "FALLS/落".力從人借 IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO ECONOMICALLY IF YOU ARE STINGY ON YOUR OWN ENERGY. SO THE 黏 IS STICKING TO THE OPPONENT TO HANG-OUT WITH HIM/ADHERE/粘 UNTIL I SENSE THE TIME IS RIGHT TO PICK THE FRUIT. MEANWHILE LET THEM CONTINUE DOING WHATEVER THEY WISH WITHOUT ANY INTERFERING FROM MY PEANUT GALLERY. BUT TO "FOLLOW" AND KEEP AN EYE/LISTENING ON HIM WHAT HE IS UP TO. THIS IS MY IDEA OF 依. IF I COULD MANAGE MY "NOT RESISTING" AND "NOT DISCONNECTING" TO THE POINT THAT I DO NOT "JUDGE",JUST TAILGATING HIM RIGHT AT HIS HEEL BY BECOMING HER SHADOW. THE SHADOW HAVE NO PHYSICAL PART THAT ONE CAN TOUCH AND FEEL, SO IT IS "EMPTY"/空,靈 EITHER WAY AS YOU LIKE IT. THEN I MIGHT ABLE TO GET THIS SENSATION 能跟得靈. WITH THIS I AM SENSING AND CREATING MY OPPORTUNITY FOR THE POTENTIAL FORCE THAT PUT ME IN THE POSITION OF "ARRIVE FIRST/TO BE THERE" TO PICK THAT RIPE APPLE. THEN I HAVE MY WISH "HERE AND NOW" TO SHAKE THE TREE AND 'SEE' THE APPLE 'FALLS' INTO MY 'EMPTY' BASKET I SO HAPPEN TO CARRY ALONG.THAT I THINK, IS WHAT THE 依 MEANS AND CAN DO FOR ME..TO GET THE APPLE WITHOUT "OVER REACHING OF MY PHYSICAL LIMITATION" (THAT MEANS MY "CENTER GRAVITY" ALWAYS TRYING TO MAINTAIN IN ITS POCKET. IT'S NOT EASY BUT CAN BE DONE) TO PLUCK IT."方見落空之妙.then you will see the marvel of landing on emptiness." . SO IT SEEM WITH EFFORTLESS I PICK THIS APPLE TO BRING TO MY LOVEY NAME EVE. LADY FIRST, SO SHE CAN HAVE THE FIRST BITE. THUS THE MAC GOT ITS TRADEMARK.

NOW HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLE?

CIAO,
slim
yslim
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Audi » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:05 pm

Greetings all,

My iPad keeps crashing under the weight of this discussion, and so I am going to try posting some comments separately.

I can’t quite agree, Audi, that it’s a yin/yang pair; I think it’s just two desirable taiji skills. Sticking is a familiar taiji concept, but yī 依 is not so familiar. It could mean “yield” or perhaps “comply” or “go with,” but I can’t settle on a firm rendering.

I don't know what to think about this. I can accept 依 as yield, but you're reading "stick" (粘) as the yang side of the pair?

I take yī 依 to be a loose synonym of zou3 走 and draw my inspiration from:

粘卽是走、走卽是粘

"Sticking is actually yielding, and yielding is actually sticking"

Do you not agree? Is this not the yin and yang aspects of control through contact?

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Audi » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:12 pm

Hello everyone,

Audi, regarding 方, I think in each of the three cases in this document, Wu is using it as an adverbial particle we could render as “then,” or “and then.” So, for 刻刻留意, 方有所得, I would translate it as “Attend carefully, moment by moment, and then you will attain it.” The 有所得 construction is prevalent in classical texts as something like “to have one’s goal.”

Thanks for this explanation, i want to upgrade my understanding of Classical Chinese. I am puzzled, however, by the entry here, which seems to point to:

11. 才,刚刚:~才。如梦~醒。

What am I missing?

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Audi » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:48 pm

Greetings all,

As to “trigger,” well, I have given a lot of thought to that over the years. The deji deshi 得機得勢 phrase in the Taijiquan Classic is quite idiomatic to taijiquan theory, but I think it’s demonstrably rooted in early military strategy, specifically the Sunzi, but other early texts as well. I shared some of my thinking on that in my notes to the classics in Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan, pp. 195-196. “Opportunity,” of course, is just a translation. The word 機 does indeed mean “opportunity” in some contexts, but already that term is metaphorically rooted in the mechanical device of a crossbow trigger. The very first entry in the Hanyu Da Cidian is 古代弩上發箭的裝置。 “Device for releasing an arrow on the ancient crossbow” As the term evolves to mean what we would call an “opportunity,” today, it is still rooted in that device-based analogy: 事物的關鍵;樞紐。--the “hinge” or “pivot” of a thing, and by extension, a “turning point.”

Louis, thank you for this detailed explanation. I had actually been wondering about the cluster of meanings of 機 over the last several months and had not known where to seek more information.

According to Sunzi ch. 5 you quoted above (which you also discuss in Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan--thanks for reminding me about that), it's not merely a matter of pulling the trigger, but of pulling the trigger at the right time: “His strategic advantage (shih) is like a drawn crossbow and his timing is like releasing the trigger.”

While scanning Brennan's translation of the Taiji Manual of Xu Yusheng, I noticed these lines:

他種拳術重力量。尚着法。而不求懂勁。故於機勢妙合、運用靈敏、以靜制動諸訣。槪不過問。
Other kinds of boxing arts emphasize strength and showing off. They do not seek to identify energies, and thus the ingenuity of merging timing and momentum, of applying sensitivity, and of using stillness to overcome movement of any speed, are things which are typically not looked into.

I like the use of "timing" here, even if "trigger" might be more appropriate to our phrase. I don't think "momentum," however, captures enough of the concept of 勢.

Thank you for the elucidation of 轉合. That's just kind of thing I would miss, being without much experience in Chinese literature. I can't say I'm happy with the rendering, since in a taiji context saying "Advancing and retreating must have transitions and conclusions" seems less than clear. But I can't think of a way to preserve the literary allusion while being appropriate to the context.

It's interesting that Wu, whatever he saw in the process of writing an eight-legged essay which illuminated taiji for him, later changed his mind about the line. The parallel line in the Mental Elucidation substitutes for the final character and changes the meaning. Rather than 轉合, we have: "Advancing and retreating must have changes" [轉換].

What does 轉合 actually mean in the context of the essays? I looked for enlightenment here and in the Chinese equivalent, but could not find the term. My vague recollection is that 轉 referred to applying the the theme to a second context, but am quite unsure.

By the way, didn't Xu or his successor change 轉合 (transition and closing) to 开合 (opening and closing) to make the analogy work better for Tai Chi?

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:47 pm

Greetings Audi,

My understanding is that 起承轉合 is more of a generic formula for writing essays and poetry, not necessarily specific to eight legged essays, whose “legs” as described in your wiki link, have their own proprietary terminology.

Here’s a Baidu link (Baidu is sort of the Chinese equivalent of Wikipedia) with some info on Wu Yuxiang’s use of 起承轉合, and on Hao Weizhen’s subsequent development of that into the formula, 起承开合. http://tieba.baidu.com/p/310624805

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1344
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:29 pm

Here’s a quick & rough translation of the pertinent info from the Baidu page mentioned above:

~~~
[The formula] “qi, cheng, zhuan, he 起、承、转、合” is originally from the time of the imperial exam system [referring to] the requirements for scholar candidates writing poetry or composing eight legged essays. In former days, it was a technical term often used by Confucian scholars. The dictionary definition states: “In former times, [a term for] the style and sequence in writing essays. ‘Qi’ is beginning, ‘cheng’ is to continue and expound, ‘zhuan’ is to transition through contrasting positions, ‘he’ is the ending of the entire essay—to wrap up the issues raised at the beginning. It’s a general term for the method of writing essays. It is also a metaphor for a fixed or wooden formula.” In addition, [the art of] writing characters with the brush [i.e., calligraphy) strove for qi, cheng, zhuan, he. Using the brushing of the horizontal “一” [one] as an example, lowering the brush to paper is ‘qi,’ moving the brush is ‘cheng,’ the slight pause when you’re about to stop the brush is ‘zhuan,’ and shou bi cang feng 收笔藏锋 [a formula from calligraphy theory whose meaning eludes me – hide the tip as you collect/raise the brush?] is ‘he.’

Wu Yuxiang personally came from a literary family (lit., family status with a ‘fragrance of books’). Because of this, he took the formula “qi cheng zhuan he,” from writing and calligraphy, and applied it to his research into taijiquan’s creative organization and theory. One would have to call that a great contribution.

Following Wu Yuxiang’s use of “qi, cheng, zhuan, he,” third generation [taijiquan theorist] Hao Weizhen took this and developed it into “qi, cheng, kai, he.”
~~~

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1344
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby yslim » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:35 pm

Audi wrote:Greetings all,

My iPad keeps crashing under the weight of this discussion, and so I am going to try posting some comments separately.

1,
I can’t quite agree, Audi, that it’s a yin/yang pair; I think it’s just two desirable taiji skills. Sticking is a familiar taiji concept, but yī 依 is not so familiar. It could mean “yield” or perhaps “comply” or “go with,” but I can’t settle on a firm rendering.

2,
I don't know what to think about this. I can accept 依 as yield, but you're reading "stick" (粘) as the yang side of the pair?

I take yī 依 to be a loose synonym of zou3 走 and draw my inspiration from:
3,
粘卽是走、走卽是粘

"Sticking is actually yielding, and yielding is actually sticking"

Do you not agree? Is this not the yin and yang aspects of control through contact?

Take care,
Audi



1, THAT WORK,"yield","comply", "go with". BUT TO SETTLE ON A FIRM RENDERING, ONE NEED TO HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT CONDITION OF THE AFFAIR.

2, THIS WORK TOO. IF "you're reading "stick" (粘) as the yang side of the pair?" THEN 依/YIELD WOULD BE THE YIN?

3, THIS ONE IS THE BEST OF THE THREE. I WILL USE IT MYSELF FOR MARTIAL ART.

3,
粘卽是走、走卽是粘

"Sticking is actually yielding, and yielding is actually sticking"

ARE YOU SURE OF ALL THAT?" YOU STICK ON ME BUT MY EGO WON'T YIELD, OR YOU ARE STICKING TO SOMETHING BUT DIDN'T YIELDING YOURSELF. AFTER THE STICKING THERE IS STILL STICK, ONE NEED NOT TO MOVE/走. WITHOUT MOVING THERE IS ACTUALLY NO YIELDING. ( OF COURSE THE HIGH SKILL ONE CAN YIELD WITH THE YI...SO THESE LINE IS A 'SHORT HAND' RESERVED TO THOSE WHO HAVE A CLEAR PICTURE OF KNOW HOW TO REDER THEM. IT WAS SO WRITTEN TO SAFE GUARD FROM NOSEY-BODY VIRGO LIKE ME )

"Do you not agree?"

YES I AGREED " TAIJI IS GOOD " .

CIAO,
YSLIM
yslim
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Audi » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:23 pm

Greetings Everyone,

Louis, thanks for the further clarification. I think I can better guess at Xu's meaning now, expecially with the calligraphic explanation. Your link did not work for me, and so I was floundering around on this link.

發勁須上下相隨,乃能一往無敵. 立身須中正不偏,方能八面支撐.
To issue energy you must mutually coordinate upper and lower, then you can issue in one direction without equal. The upright body must be centered and correct and not lean, only then can you support [force] from the eight directions.

--------------------------------------------

I have the uneasy feeling that I'm missing something in "then you can issue in one direction without equal" (乃能一往無敵), but that's the best I can do.


Dave, your rendering is probably better than what I would have come up with; however isn't 中正不偏 more like "unbiased in any direction"? My guess is that 中正 is a set phrase with a literal meaning that is something like "straight in the middle." One difficulty I have with "centered" is that in suggests a vertical center even when other "centers" are possible.

立身 seem surely to be "upright body," but I wonder if Xu's use of this implies that the "leaning body" might follow other rules, rather than that an "upright body" is the only option.

As for 乃能一往無敵, could this be: " than you can issue in one direction so as to be undefeated"?

ARE YOU SURE OF ALL THAT?" YOU STICK ON ME BUT MY EGO WON'T YIELD, OR YOU ARE STICKING TO SOMETHING BUT DIDN'T YIELDING YOURSELF. AFTER THE STICKING THERE IS STILL STICK, ONE NEED NOT TO MOVE/走. WITHOUT MOVING THERE IS ACTUALLY NO YIELDING. ( OF COURSE THE HIGH SKILL ONE CAN YIELD WITH THE YI...SO THESE LINE IS A 'SHORT HAND' RESERVED TO THOSE WHO HAVE A CLEAR PICTURE OF KNOW HOW TO REDER THEM. IT WAS SO WRITTEN TO SAFE GUARD FROM NOSEY-BODY VIRGO LIKE ME )

What I understand from my teachers is that sticking and yielding is about controlling without being controlled. This is from Sunzi. I am unsure how best to divide the Taiji of Zhan-Nian-Lian-Sui into Yin and Yang, but you could put Zhan and Lian under "control" and Nian and Sui under "avoiding being controlled." Zhan and Lian would be represented by Zhan (粘); and Nian and Sui by Yi (依) or Zou (走). Thus, I control the opponent with sticking and avoid control by yielding; however, I can control only by avoiding being controlled and can avoid being controlled only by having control. Thus, to stick, we must yield; and to yield, we must stick. Thus "Sticking is actually yielding, and yielding is actually sticking" (粘卽是走、走卽是粘). Yin requires the existence of Yang, and Yang requires the extistence of Yin. Or, at least, that is my understanding.

If you want to take in the viewpoint of the opponent and his energy, I think we must then discuss Ting-Dong-Hua-Fa. If the opponent will not yield, he cannot know me and my energy. Once I sense this and understand its implications, I can transform the opponent's energy, usually borrow it, and issue. To do Ting-Dong-Hua-Fa, I must do Zhan-Nian-Lian-Sui.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:02 pm

Audi,

Sorry about the Baidu link. Even though I saved the page as a bookmark and it works for me, it's evidently set up so you can't post a link on another web page. So if you go to Baidu.com and paste 【太极拳】武式太极拳的”起承转合” in the search field, the articles I referenced should be the first link listed. Here's the part that I translated:

“起、承、转、合”原是科举时代士子赋诗和做八股文的要求,是昔日儒生们常用的术语。词典中对“起、承、转、合”的解释是:“旧时写文章用的行文顺序。 ‘起’是开始,‘承’是承接上文,加以申述,‘转’是转折,从正面反面立论,‘合’是全文的结尾,拍合起始所提出的问题。泛指文章作法,也比喻固定呆板的公式。”另外,旧时写毛笔字也讲求“起、承、转、合”,以写笔画横“一”为例:落笔为“起”,运笔为“承”,将至收笔时略顿笔为“转”,收笔藏锋为 “合”。

武禹襄身出书香门第,因此,将写文章和毛笔字所用的“起、承、转、合”格式运用到太极拳的创编和太极拳理论的研究中,这不能不说是一大创举。

--Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1344
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Audi » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:21 pm

Louis,

Thanks. That procedure worked fine, even though I am still floundering among too many unfamiliar metaphors and amidst too much unfamiliar philosophy :) . Maybe that is why I am a Yang Stylist and not a Wuu Stylist, even though I find Xu's thinking and writings quite intriguing.

Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1131
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Phocion » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:06 am

Hi Audi,

Audi wrote:I take yī 依 to be a loose synonym of zou3 走 and draw my inspiration from:

粘卽是走、走卽是粘

"Sticking is actually yielding, and yielding is actually sticking"

Do you not agree? Is this not the yin and yang aspects of control through contact?


I think I must respectfully disagree. I read the line to mean pretty much what is says: Sticking and yielding are the same thing. In a later post you say:

sticking and yielding is about controlling without being controlled. ... I control the opponent with sticking and avoid control by yielding; however, I can control only by avoiding being controlled and can avoid being controlled only by having control. Thus, to stick, we must yield; and to yield, we must stick.


My understanding is different. By sticking to an opponent, I am not trying to control him; I am in fact yielding to him. I yield not only to his movement, but to his intention as well. I am letting him do whatever he wants; I am not imposing my intention on him. (Louis had a discussion with Omar a couple of years ago about this line. I liked Louis' explanation very much. The relevant post is here.)

If the opponent pushes me, I stick to him and go where he wants me to go; and by sticking to him I understand his push and am able (hopefully) to change and yield. If I push him, I merely stick and follow wherever he wants to go; and by doing so (hopefully) be comes to a point where he feels trapped, he stiffens up, and I am able to issue energy to put him out. This issuing is what I understand by the yang side of the sticking/yielding yin.

While scanning Brennan's translation of the Taiji Manual of Xu Yusheng, I noticed these lines:

他種拳術重力量。尚着法。而不求懂勁。故於機勢妙合、運用靈敏、以靜制動諸訣。槪不過問。
Other kinds of boxing arts emphasize strength and showing off. They do not seek to identify energies, and thus the ingenuity of merging timing and momentum, of applying sensitivity, and of using stillness to overcome movement of any speed, are things which are typically not looked into.


I like the use of "timing" here, even if "trigger" might be more appropriate to our phrase. I don't think "momentum," however, captures enough of the concept of 勢.


Nice find!

isn't 中正不偏 more like "unbiased in any direction"? My guess is that 中正 is a set phrase with a literal meaning that is something like "straight in the middle." One difficulty I have with "centered" is that in suggests a vertical center even when other "centers" are possible.

立身 seem surely to be "upright body," but I wonder if Xu's use of this implies that the "leaning body" might follow other rules, rather than that an "upright body" is the only option.


Both here and in the Mental Elucidation Wu is clearly talking about the physical body, and it seems to me that the "upright body" would naturally be described as "centered." But if Wu thought that leaning bodies followed other rules, I would expect that he would discuss those rules somewhere. I'm not particularly well read in the literature, so I don't know of any such discussion. Do you? It would be interesting to see what he said.

As for 乃能一往無敵, could this be: "then you can issue in one direction so as to be undefeated"?


I was reading 無敵 as it was used in the Lun, as being "without rival." But your rendering is certainly an improvement on mine.

Thanks!
Dave
Phocion
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Phocion » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:00 pm

Hello Everyone,

Next lines:

靜如山嶽,動若江河。邁步如臨淵,運勁如抽絲。蓄勁如張弓,發勁如放箭。
Be still as a mountain, move like a great river. Step as if on the edge of the abyss. Move energy as if pulling silk; store energy as if pulling a bow; release energy as if releasing an arrow.

------------

An interesting set of lines. Louis has already given us a post on the first page about the Zhuangzi story "stepping on the edge of the abyss" is alluding to. This line didn't make it into the Mental Elucidation, unless it became "step like a cat," which I think it did.

But the other lines all made it. "Be still as a tall mountain, move like a great river./Store energy as if pulling a bow; release energy as if releasing an arrow" are consecutive lines in the Mental Elucidation. And "Step like a cat./Move energy as if pulling silk" are also consecutive lines--but in another part of the work.

I attended a lecture at which Ben Lo and Martin Inn were talking about their translation of the Classics. The way I got the story about the Mental Elucidation was that Wu Yuxiang, whenever he had an insight during practice, would jot it down on a slip of paper and pin it to a wall as a reminder to himself and his students. These insights were then collected, in no particular order, and published as the Mental Elucidation. So the work gives the appearance of random thoughts rather than a coherent work. Martin remarked that he suggested grouping lines about a particular subject together, and that's what Ben and Martin (et. al) did in the Essence of T'ai Ch'uan.

But if Louis is right that the Explanation is a precursor to the Mental Elucidation, then what we have is Wu himself (or an intervening editor) splitting up the lines to give the appearance of random thoughts.

Anyone know why Wu would do this?

Cheers!
Dave
Phocion
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby yslim » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:51 am

Audi wrote:Greetings Everyone,



ARE YOU SURE OF ALL THAT?" YOU STICK ON ME BUT MY EGO WON'T YIELD, OR YOU ARE STICKING TO SOMETHING BUT DIDN'T YIELDING YOURSELF. AFTER THE STICKING THERE IS STILL STICK, ONE NEED NOT TO MOVE/走. WITHOUT MOVING THERE IS ACTUALLY NO YIELDING. ( OF COURSE THE HIGH SKILL ONE CAN YIELD WITH THE YI...SO THESE LINE IS A 'SHORT HAND' RESERVED TO THOSE WHO HAVE A CLEAR PICTURE OF KNOW HOW TO REDER THEM. IT WAS SO WRITTEN TO SAFE GUARD FROM NOSEY-BODY VIRGO LIKE ME )

What I understand from my teachers is that sticking and yielding is about controlling without being controlled. This is from Sunzi. I am unsure how best to divide the Taiji of Zhan-Nian-Lian-Sui into Yin and Yang, but you could put Zhan and Lian under "control" and Nian and Sui under "avoiding being controlled." Zhan and Lian would be represented by Zhan (粘); and Nian and Sui by Yi (依) or Zou (走). Thus, I control the opponent with sticking and avoid control by yielding; however, I can control only by avoiding being controlled and can avoid being controlled only by having control. Thus, to stick, we must yield; and to yield, we must stick. Thus "Sticking is actually yielding, and yielding is actually sticking" (粘卽是走、走卽是粘). Yin requires the existence of Yang, and Yang requires the extistence of Yin. Or, at least, that is my understanding.

If you want to take in the viewpoint of the opponent and his energy, I think we must then discuss Ting-Dong-Hua-Fa. If the opponent will not yield, he cannot know me and my energy. Once I sense this and understand its implications, I can transform the opponent's energy, usually borrow it, and issue. To do Ting-Dong-Hua-Fa, I must do Zhan-Nian-Lian-Sui.

Take care,
Audi


HI AUDI

THANK YOU FOR YOUR EXPLANATION TO MY TAIJI PRINCIPLE QUEST ( I LIKE LARGE PRINT FOR MY EYE ,NOT THE SCREAMING.)

YOU ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE A GOOD TEACHER THAT TEACHES TAIJI WITH SUNZI'S WRITING. SINCE I AM AN ILLITERATE ABOUT SUNZI'S GREAT WORK. I LIMIT MYSELF JUST TO HANGOUT WITH THE TAIJI PRINCIPLE FOR NOW. THUS, I NEED TO PICK YOUR BRAIN. YOUR TEACHER SAID "STICKING AND YIELDING IS ABOUT CONTROLLING WITHOUT BEING CONTROL." DOESN'T IT SEEM TO BE TWO THINGS? IN TAIJI DOESN'T THIS CONSIDER YANG AND YIN? THE TAIJI WANT US TO CLEARLY TO DISTINGUISH THE YIN YANG. THE THINK TANK OF THE ANCIENT ONES HAVE LEFT US THEIR LEGACIES THAT JUST THE YIN YANG IS NOT ENOUGH TO BE TAIJI.TO BE TAIJI IN GOOD WORKING ORDER IT MUST HAVE THREE THINGS...YIN-MIDDLE(中)-YANG. THE YIN DOESN'T REQUIRED THE EXISTENCE OF YANG TO EXIST AND THE YANG DOESN'T REQUIRED THE EXISTENCE OF YIN TO BEING EXIST. THEY ARE TWO SEPARATED INDIVIDUAL WORKING AS A POLARITY PAIR, BUT EACH HAVE IT OWN NATURE. BUT THIS "MIDDLE" DOES NOT EXIST WITHOUT THE EXISTENCE THIS TWO, THE YIN YANG. THEY NEED THIS "MIDDLE" TO CONNECTING THEMSELVES. SO WHEN YOU TRANSLATED THE 'CONTROL" [YANG] 'IS ACTUALLY' THE "YIELD"[YIN]' . THIS DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A USER FRIENDLY BECAUSE IT A BIT CONFUSING TO THE 99.5% OF US. THAT WAS WHY I ASKED ,"ARE YOU SURE OF ALL THAT?" JUST TO COMPARE NOTES TO HEAR THE REST OF YOUR STORY.

HERE IS MY LEARNING STORY.. THIS YIN AND YANG THING IS TWO SEPARATE INDIVIDUAL HAVING A 'CRUSH' ON EACH OTHER,SO THEY WANT TO MEET UP,THIS IS CALL MEETING THE FORCE. NOT TOO MUCH/TOO YANG, NOT TOO LITTLE/TOO YIN AND JUST ENOUGH AS IF NOTHING HAVE HAPPENED. THIS IS A ZERO FORCE. WHEN THEY COME TOGETHER TOO CLOSE THAT CREATED AN INTIMATE SPACE BETWEEN THEM (THE ANCIENT ONES CALLS THIS "THE MIDDLE"/ 中) TO FORM AN INSEPARABLE POLARITY WORKING PAIR TO WORKOUT THEIR EQUAL SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE. THIS IS CALL "HARMONIZING THE YIN YANG.( TO BE IN 50-50,NOT 30-70 OR 40-60- WHAT IS MY IS MINE AND WHAT IS YOUR IS OUR DOESN'T WORK WELL HERE) DURING THEIR WORKING HOUR THEY ARE NOT ALLOW TO DISCONNECTING/(TOO YIN) FROM NOR BULLYING/(TOO YANG) TO EACH OTHER. AND NO COFFEE BREAK OR ANY OTHER BREAKS WHAT-SO-EVER! BECAUSE ALL TAIJI MOVEMENTS ONCE MOVING(YANG) SHOULD HAVE NO BREAK AND "VALUED" IT TO "BE DONE IN ONE BREATH" AND BE COOL(IN STILLNESS) ABOUT IT(YIN), SO THERE IS NO HAVEY BREATHING. BUT A QUICKIE SUCH AS FA-JIN TO RELEASE ONES ARROW AS SPEEDY IS FORGIVING, IF ONE CAREFULLY PREPARED. WITH THIS 'MIDDLE'/中 BETWEEN THEM, THE ONLY PLACE THE YIN YANG CAN DO THEIR CHANGE. THEY CAN ROLL IN THE HAY TO BECOME ONENESS OF " STEEL WRAPED IN COTTON/(HAY IS OK)'. THROUGH THIS HARMONIZATION SHALL COME FORTH SOMETHING THE TAIJI CALL THE COMPLEMENTARY FORCE. (STILL 50 YIN-50 YANG! BUT NOW IS A TOTAL OF 100 (FULL). THAT, I THINK IS THE TAIJI FORCE I HAVE LOST BUT NOW FOUND FROM TIME TO TIME DURING MY SOLO PRACTICE FOR HEALTH. ITS A ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO PENETRATE (THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE IN TAIJI). BECAUSE IT IS THE DEFEND-OFFEND ALL IN ONE PACKAGE FORCE. MAYBE THIS IS WHAT SOME PEOPLE TRANSLATED IT THE "ULTIMATE" FORCE. ONLY WITH THIS FORCE ONE CAN SAFELY LEAD (YANG)AND TO BE LED (YIN) WHEN PLAYING THE "ZHAN-LIAN-NIAN-SUI". BUT IN STILLNESS,(YIN)THEY RETURN TO NEUTRAL(SEEK MOVEMENT/YANG) WITH EACH OF THEIR OWN NATURE. THIS IS CALL HUAN/RETURN-YUAN/ORIGIN. LIKE A BOTTLE OF SALAD DRESSING OF OIL AND VINEGAR (OIL IS LIGHT/YIN GO TO THE TOP AND VINEGAR IS HEAVY/YANG SINK AT THE BOTTOM. THUS COME THE PHASE 'STAND LIKE MOUNTAIN" BECAUSE OF THIS NOT BECAUSE IS TALL. EVEN THE SHORT MOUNTAIN IS BOTTOM HEAVY LIGHT AT THE TOP. TO USE THEM ONE NEED TO KNOW THEIR NATURE.

AS TO " I can control only by avoiding being control and can avoid being controlled only by having control."

THIS IS ALL DEPEND ON WHO HAVE A BETTER FORCUS/YIN(THE MIND AIM INWARDLY TO A -POINT) ON A LARGER SCALE OF ATTENTION/YANG(THE MINDS BEING EXPAND OUTWARDLY), A LONGER SPANS OF FANG-SONG IN PHYSICAL(YIN) AS WELL AS MINDFULNESS(YANG). MORE IMPORTANTLY WHO CAN KEEP ONES CENTERED BODY/YIN TO MAINTIAN CENTERED IN THE GRAVITY CRADLE/YANG THE LONGEST. THIS IS TO SAY WHO HAVE THE BETTER KNOWING WITHOUT THINKING(YANG), TO FEEL(YIN) THE DISTINCTION OF THE YIN YANG WITH ITS CHANGING WITH A CHANGE IN THE NEUTRAL/TAIJI POINT, FROM ONE'S CENTER/中 THAT ALWAYS ATTACKING THE OPPONENT'S CENTER BALANCE. WHEN THE ' MISSION IMPOSSIBLE" IS DONE, IT SHOULD RETURN TO "WU CHI" TO BE GET SET-READY-AND GO, FOR ANOTHER ROUND WHO'S WHO IN CONTROL. IT IS SAFE TO SAY, NOT I. ME ONLY DO TAIJI FOR HEALTH.

CIAO,
yslim
yslim
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Phocion » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:18 pm

Moving right along:

行氣如九曲珠,無微不到;運勁如百煉鋼,何堅不摧?
形如搏兔之鶻,神似捕鼠之貓。曲中求直,蓄而後發。

Move the qi as through a nine-bends pearl; there is not the tiniest place it does not reach. Move the energy as if refining steel one hundred times; what solid can it not destroy?
The appearance is like a falcon about to seize a rabbit; the spirit is like a cat about to catch a mouse. Within the curved seek the straight; store up and then issue.

-----------------

All old friends from the Mental Elucidation. The only difference is that Wu inserted two sentences ("Be still as a tall mountain, move like a great river. Store jin like drawing a bow; issue jin like releasing an arrow.") between the last two sentences in these lines.

Cheers!
Dave
Phocion
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Explanation of Taijiquan/太極拳解

Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:06 pm

Greetings Dave,

Your translation of these lines is flawless, in my opinion! One thing I might change would be how to translate 形 xíng. Rather than “appearance,” I prefer “form.” In early Chinese, 形 often refers to the physical form, that is, “shape,” or actualized form of the body. (Think of how in modern parlance we strive to keep “in shape.” Mengzi, for one used the word 形 much in keeping with this sense of “actualized form,” or being “in shape.” It’s a fine distinction, I know, between “appearance,” and “form,” but in my thinking the objective here is more than emulating the appearance of a hawk, but its form. Does that make sense?

Another thing to note is that some versions of the Mental Elucidation uses variants of a couple of the phases shared with the Explanation.

So, instead of:

無微不到 wúwēibúdào, which is itself a variant of a standard phrase, 無微不至 wúwēibúzhì (meticulous, in every way), and which you translate impeccably as “there is not the tiniest place it does not reach,”

Some versions have:

無往不利 wúwǎngbúlì, which is a standard phrase meaning “to go smoothly everywhere,” or the like.

And instead of:

何堅不摧 héjiānbùcuī, “what stronghold can’t be broken,”

Some versions have,

無堅不摧 wújiānbùcuī, a standard phrase often used to mean, “overrun all fortifications,” “all conquering,” or the like, but which I like to translate more literally in the Mental Elucidation as “breaking through any stronghold.”

These variants don’t really change the meaning, but they represent the kind of weeds I like to get down into.

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1344
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

PreviousNext

Return to Tai Chi Theory and Principles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests