A Question of Translation

Re: A Question of Translation

Postby UniTaichi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:59 am

Hi XJ,

Your quote ;

// It says very clearly that the way to Shenming 神明 (Brennan translated as “something miraculous”) is through Dong Jin 懂勁 (Brennan translated as “identify energy”)

It seems to have a Daoist orientation and like Louis said earlier it does not concern so much with what it is but how it works to achieve “clarity of the spirit” 神明. The breakthrough is done through hard work over a long period of time and the emphasis is on yielding and sticking 走與黏. //

The way to Shenming is returning to Emptiness/Void/Wuji (these 3 are the same) . Hard work yes but not through Dong Jin or emphasis on yielding and sticking per se.

// Now I wonder if there is anything in the classics relating to Lingkong Jin, which in here do not seem to tie up with the concept of Wuji, or Taiji for that matter. //
If you can include the words of Emptiness, void and stillness, you can have better result. Another reason is that not many or only a few have developed such skill, therefore not much is written on it.

Cheers,
UniTaichi
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby UniTaichi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:56 am

extrajoseph wrote:
Using shen, we can control the other from a comparatively distant position. This kind of transformation is to become one with nature. Therefore there is no need for shape or form; in the midst of shapelessness and formlessness you are already united as one body.


Here Wu Tunan made the classic mistake of thinking that shen is some sort of physical force that can control others from a distance. He is thinking in a western way, the Chinese sense of spirit require Ganying 感應 (feelings and response) between two parties, it is not a force it is an interaction requiring mutual co-operation to be effective.

XJ


Hi XJ,

1st. A ''physical force that can control others from a distance'' can be done and is real. One have to experienced it before one can make judgement, so for those who haven't, pls keep your options opened. Just to relate a real and very recent incident in another forum. Someone wrote that science have discover all that is know about the human function and anotomy etc over the years and that human cannot produce and emit electric liked energy. Meaning if it (the human) can produce electric energy, it would have found out long ago. About one month after, a science write-up said that scienctist just discovered that the iris or pupil have 6 layers iso of 5. LOL.

2nd. Ganying and interaction, yes but not mutual co-operation in real sense. I don't the person will co-operate with you when you want to beat him to a pulp.

3rd. It is a Force (Jin) . LKJ have also different level. What he wrote sound very much like the original video in the ''Is this even possible'' thread. :wink:

Cheers,
UniTaichi
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:37 pm

I am really interested in CXW mentioned of the fifth level skill esp. '' going from form to return to no trace of movement'' If any reader know or practice Chen style can let me know or better, ''show'' me how it is done, this ''form without trace'' I really hope I can see it.


Hi UniTaiChi,

“Form without trace” just mean the movements went from large circles to smaller and smaller circles, so small as though there are no visible movements at all, but internal the qi circulates vigorously to make feats like the one-inch punch or send someone flying as though no movement is involved, possible.

Another question is for those who know CXW or heard him mentioned it is ; Has he reached level 5th. ? I have not heard or read any mention of his generation reaching the 5th level. Those who I believed has are Hong Junsheng, Feng Zhi Qiang and Liu Cheng De.


The thinking used to describe the 5 levels is correlative; here you are making the western mistake of thinking the levels as being real and finite. What was written is a bit like the weather forecast each day when it says there will be 60% chance of precipitation, the 60% is meant to be a metaphor, correlated to 40% not going to rain, so we can compare and desire whether to bring an umbrella or not.

Whether CXW, HJS, FZQ or LCD have reached the highest level of not should not be your concern, what is more important is using these correlative levels between hard and soft, dead and alive, empty and full etc. as a guide to think about your own progress and how to improve your practice.

XJ, can you clarify if you have ''yet'' to meet any master who can perform LKJ OR you have met a few of these masters and they can't move you. thks.


I have encounters with quite a few masters both inside and outside of China who could not do LKJ on me or move me without touching me. Their explanation usually fall into two camps, one is I am not advanced enough to feel their LKJ and the other is that I do Taijiquan and Qigong myself and I put up an energy shield that they cannot penetrate through. Both cannot be right at the same time.

Having said that I did come across one wise old master in Beijing who can make me feel as though my forehead has been punched with a hot iron. He asked me to close my eyes when this happened but the witness around me said the old master did not do anything at all, he just sat there motionless. When I ask him for an explanation, he smiled and he said from what I have told him at the time (having done more than 25 years of Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong and saw all these miraculous feats around me, yet they have no effect on me, I must be doing something wrong and wasting my time and money. I wanted to believe badly), I am ready to receive what I want to believe will happen and he is just an instrument in the right place and at the right time. He said he did nothing to me I did it to myself.

He did say to feel it in the middle of my forehead is a bit unusual because when he was working with me with my eyes open, he was doing it to my forearm sending heat to them without touching me. I thought at that time it must have something to do with the third eye and the desire in me to have it open. The old man smiled again and said the third eye is a metaphor to get us to look for the “mystery within the mystery” 玄中之玄, there is no physical eye to open, but he said also, “See, I have now open your third eye!”. I can still hear his laughter ringing in my ears. I wish I could have given him a larger red-packet but that was all the cash I have in my pocket at the time.

No dis-respect, just what to know what is and what's not.


No dis-respect is taken, it gives me a chance to gather my thoughts together.

Cheers,
XJ
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:40 pm

Hi UniTaiChi,

The way to Shenming is returning to Emptiness/Void/Wuji (these 3 are the same) . Hard work yes but not through Dong Jin or emphasis on yielding and sticking per se.


This is what people who have experience and knowledge in the past wrote in the TJQ classics, but you have every right to disagree with them, it is your prerogative.

If you can include the words of Emptiness, void and stillness, you can have better result. Another reason is that not many or only a few have developed such skill, therefore not much is written on it.


Again you are taking on correlative concepts like emptiness, void and stillness as something literal and something on their own, when in fact they are Yin Yang correlations using contrast between empty and full, solid and void, movement and stillness to get us to think about what is happening in our practice.

Stop thinking like a westerner and try to think like a Chinese and you can see things in their proper light, but I would not expect you to be able to do this just now because the time is not ripe. So lets agree to disagree.

Cheers,
XJ
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:48 pm

1st. A ''physical force that can control others from a distance'' can be done and is real. One have to experienced it before one can make judgement, so for those who haven't, pls keep your options opened. Just to relate a real and very recent incident in another forum. Someone wrote that science have discover all that is know about the human function and anotomy etc over the years and that human cannot produce and emit electric liked energy. Meaning if it (the human) can produce electric energy, it would have found out long ago. About one month after, a science write-up said that scienctist just discovered that the iris or pupil have 6 layers iso of 5. LOL.


Hi UniTaiChi,

Who knows, in the future may be the scientists will invent a pair of glasses that we can just blink our eyes to release the potential electricity in us and throw our opponents off balance and beat them to a pulp, but until then it is years and years of repetitions and learn to Dong Jin to achieve anything resembles a small miracle!

2nd. Ganying and interaction, yes but not mutual co-operation in real sense. I don't the person will co-operate with you when you want to beat him to a pulp.


Mutual co-operation in the sense that one is aware and the other is not. Have you ever see a person being beaten to a pulp in a real fight with LKJ? What we saw on youtube all happened in staged demonstrations between a teacher and his or her disciples/students.

3rd. It is a Force (Jin) . LKJ have also different level. What he wrote sound very much like the original video in the ''Is this even possible'' thread. :wink:


Strictly speaking Jin is not a force, it means power and it can be physical or/or mental. In Sim Po Ho’s first two videos mentioned in the “Is this even possible” thread, he did both. In the first video he used physical power and they are not too impressive for me in the way his body moved to throw his students off balance, they were quite forceful and nothing “elegant” about them from a demonstration point of view, Master Huang Sheng-Shyan is much better at this sort of demonstration, IMO. In the second video, the power he used is mental, something akin to hypnotisms to activate the ideomotor (movements without a bio-feedback in the person, that is the person is not aware of what he is doing) and he can only do it to his disciples/students during an arranged demonstration. If he tries to use this in a real fight or against someone who don’t believe that he has this power, he will sure to lose.

I just like to finish by saying I don’t have a closed-mind about LKJ, I spent many years looking into this phenomena and my present conclusion is that it has to do with the mind. It can only be effective when the other person is not skilful enough and not aware enough of what is happening to his or her body and mind. Against an experienced and an accomplished practitioner, LKJ is a waste of time.

But at th end of the day it is only my experience and opinion, you have to walk your own walk and arrive may be at a different destination.

Cheers,
XJ
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby DPasek » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:17 pm

Here is another link to a (long) thread that discusses related matters. It starts out as a discussion of whether or not push-hands training in necessary, but later discusses affecting someone else without physical contact (starting at the end of page 2) as well as the tale about a bird standing on the palm of the hand not being able to take flight (starting near the end of page 4).

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=227

While it is mostly personal experiences and perspectives rather than translations and interpretations of Taijiquan texts, it may be of interest.

Dan
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:40 pm

Hi Dan,

Thank you for the link to an interesting old thread about the similar topic going on here. I think Louis just about sumed up the whole thing when he said:

On the issue on which I entered this discussion—whether Yang style taijquan advances some kind of “no-touch” abilities to overcome an opponent, I just see no evidence for it, and plenty of evidence against it. As for the story that was brought up about the bird in the hand, it seems to explicitly *support* the prerequisite for bodily contact and neural sensitivity, so it’s unclear to me why it was even brought up!

Take care,
Louis


XJ
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:04 pm

Hi Louis,

A question about translation again, if you are still reading this thread and have times to make a reply.

In Brennan’s translation of a passage from the 太極拳經, he translated: 人剛我柔謂之走。我順人背謂之黏 as
 “He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking.”

What do you think of translating “yielding” for the character 走 and “My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse” for 我順人背?

It seems to me it is not about yielding or being smooth, it is more about going with the opponent’s “flow”, sticking to him by following his every move without being too tight or too loose.

I would have translated the passage this way:

“While the other is hard I am soft it is called going-with. When I follow the other’s movement closely it is called sticking”

How would you do it?

Just a short answer will do, thanking you in advance.

XJ
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:13 pm

BTW Louis, do you know anyhting of Brennan's background? Is he a Taijiquan practitioner?
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:35 pm

Greetings XJ,

Regarding the term 走 zou, this came up here in a very long thread on the Taijiquan Lun a few years ago. It all depends on what one means by "yield," of course, but here's what I said at the time, and still like "yielding" for 走:

"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. It’s not a matter of merely retreating or giving ground. Where the other wants to go, that’s where I go, no matter the direction. In this way, the other’s intent is always known to me, but mine is unknown to him. I’m providing no intelligence to my opponent; I’m inscrutable. Adhering to the other isn’t just passively following, but actively engaging. This is precisely why 粘即是走,走即是粘 is such a crucial formula in the lun."

By the way, you asked above whether anyone has translated Chen Yanlin's passage about linkonkjin. Stuart Alve Olson did in his book, The Intrinsic Energies of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, which is basically a translation of the 論勁 section of Chen's book. It's long out-of-print, but I think you can occasionally find used copies on Amazon and elsewhere.

Take care,
Louis
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:02 am

Hi Louis,

Thank you for your explanations. Our understanding is similar but expressed with different words.

Take care,
XJ
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby UniTaichi » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:44 am

Hi XJ,

All is good. A good forum should let everyone air their view and not ''force'' out like in other forum where the minority view are discouraged.

//This is what people who have experience and knowledge in the past wrote in the TJQ classics, but you have every right to disagree with them, it is your prerogative.// Yes. It is just like you said // Here Wu Tunan made the classic mistake of thinking that shen is some sort of physical force that can control others from a distance. // :wink:

//Again you are taking on correlative concepts like emptiness, void and stillness as something literal and something on their own, when in fact they are Yin Yang correlations using contrast between empty and full, solid and void, movement and stillness to get us to think about what is happening in our practice. // Yes, I take it as literal because it can be done. Co-relation is when someone used Yin/Yang to instruct. The philosophy side is that Emptiness/Formless(Wu) is Dao's body (Ben Ti) or source and of it come Form(You) , Motion, whatever.

//Stop thinking like a westerner and try to think like a Chinese and you can see things in their proper light, but I would not expect you to be able to do this just now because the time is not ripe. So lets agree to disagree.// Yes, I have much to learn.

Cheers,
UniTaichi
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby UniTaichi » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:26 am

Hi XJ,

//Mutual co-operation in the sense that one is aware and the other is not. Have you ever see a person being beaten to a pulp in a real fight with LKJ? What we saw on youtube all happened in staged demonstrations between a teacher and his or her disciples/students.//
-- Co-operation means; doing something together or working togehter towards a shared aim. I take it to mean that both should be aware. No ?? It is about ''mutual co-operation'' just using LKJ beating someone to a pulp as an example to emphasize. I should have wrote, when two people are fighting (real) they don't used/have mutual co-operation. My bad.

3rd. It is a Force (Jin) . LKJ have also different level. What he wrote sound very much like the original video in the ''Is this even possible'' thread. :wink:


//Strictly speaking Jin is not a force, it means power and it can be physical or/or mental. In Sim Po Ho’s first two videos mentioned in the “Is this even possible” thread, he did both. In the first video he used physical power and they are not too impressive for me in the way his body moved to throw his students off balance, they were quite forceful and nothing “elegant” about them from a demonstration point of view, Master Huang Sheng-Shyan is much better at this sort of demonstration, IMO. In the second video, the power he used is mental, something akin to hypnotisms to activate the ideomotor (movements without a bio-feedback in the person, that is the person is not aware of what he is doing) and he can only do it to his disciples/students during an arranged demonstration. If he tries to use this in a real fight or against someone who don’t believe that he has this power, he will sure to lose. //
Like I posted, I am not a fan of Sim's LKJ. However, if I am the one fighting him, I be the one sure to lose. :)

//I just like to finish by saying I don’t have a closed-mind about LKJ, I spent many years looking into this phenomena and my present conclusion is that it has to do with the mind. It can only be effective when the other person is not skilful enough and not aware enough of what is happening to his or her body and mind. Against an experienced and an accomplished practitioner, LKJ is a waste of time.//
If you have spent years looking into it, then you are definitely an opened-minded person. Cheers to that. However, the experiences you had was disapppointing(for you) to said the least, which leads to your present conclusion. :(

But at th end of the day it is only my experience and opinion, you have to walk your own walk and arrive may be at a different destination. //
This is another way to look at each journey. I used to said, until now, that we each have our walk but arrived at same destination. But you are correct, most time we arrived at different destination, even wheen on the same path. 8)

Cheers,
UniTaichi
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby UniTaichi » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:36 am

Hi XJ,

/// I have encounters with quite a few masters both inside and outside of China who could not do LKJ on me or move me without touching me. Their explanation usually fall into two camps, one is I am not advanced enough to feel their LKJ and the other is that I do Taijiquan and Qigong myself and I put up an energy shield that they cannot penetrate through. Both cannot be right at the same time.

No dis-respect is taken, it gives me a chance to gather my thoughts together. ///

Thanks for the reply on your search for real kungfu. My own search started about 2 yrs ago after studying with a mid-level taiji master at a local community club. Seeing all these fajin and LKJ on youtube make me want to learn how it can be done. There was no question in my mind that it cannot be done. Because in our medical qigong, we can fa qi to heal others, either hands-on or non-touch and even distance healing. The only difference is one is for healing, the other for sef-defence. My experience with these masters whom I met over a short period of less than a year,( before that I don't even know they exist even), proved to be eye and mind opener. Before I forget, most masters do not call their skill LKJ. LKJ is just another(highest ?) level of Fajin. Like I mentioned before one master call it Fa Shen.

Those reasons, most call them silly, are what I have heard too. But I soon found out it is quite true. If you know what is ''point strike'' which is already very high level (7th) LKJ is even more difficult to execute in demo without injuring the person who is resisting. Let me go back to the classic ; those who are Kang, solid and stiff or resisting will be broken. I think most should understand what I am trying to get at. In both the camps/reasons, the person will be in their Kang state. And if you notice these ''co-operating'' students in these demo respond differently by back-paddled, some jumped back, some jumped up and some don't move at all , etc. Study the speed in which they jump, height of jump, etc. Why so many different response ? Well, it shows how advanced the students are in their kungfu. Yes, some of you is thinking it should be '' how advanced is their acting skill. '' lol.

Cheers,
UniTaichi
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Re: A Question of Translation

Postby extrajoseph » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:58 am

If you have spent years looking into it, then you are definitely an opened-minded person. Cheers to that. However, the experiences you had was disapppointing(for you) to said the least, which leads to your present conclusion.


Hi UniTaiChi,
It has not been disappointing to me, I have learned from my eperoience that the mind can construct but it can also deconstruct. It can help us to seek the truth but it can also distort the truth.The body cannot function properly without a sound mind but it will take time for us to cut through these mental illusions and I am still on my journey.
You take care and hope your path will take you to where you want to be.
XJ
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