Solo Push Hands?

Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:28 am

Audi wrote:Greetings all,

I think I should clarify how I use and understand some of these terms.

Li 力 is the strength we all have from birth. Jin 勁 is trained forced. Waijin 外勁 is trained force that makes use of very apparent and visible methods, e.g., great muscular exertion and high speed. Neijin 内勁 is trained force that makes use of less apparent and less visible methods, e.g., storing energy in curves and releasing it like an arrow.

As I understand it, the core of our Tai Chi study is jin and, more particularly neijin. According to my understanding, although we focus on neijin, it cannot be separated from waijin. The two are yin and yang aspects of one taiji. This focus of study is what we call “Taiji Energy.”

I personally think that "identify energies" is not the correct translation here. I think it is simply "understand energy." That is how I have been taught. The project is not being able to name different types of energy, but rather understanding how it works: where it comes from, how it moves, and what it can do. You need to understand the joint energy developed by you and your opponent. Then you have pure insight into what you can do. If you don't work with your energy, you cannot develop and understanding of energy.

Take care,
Audi


Hi Audi...
I would like to share my point of view regarding to Li 力 and Jin 勁. It is true that Li 力 is the strength we all have from birth. Li is also weaken when the body deteriorates. The level of Li can be maintained by exercise. Yes, Jin 勁 is trained force. However, it seems to me that it was almost used by the Tai Ji practitioners only. It was best to distinguish Jin from Li.
By the term Jin 勁, alone, it was given and understood it is internal. Jin has to be acquired by Tai Ji practice diligently. There is no other way to acquiring Jin but Tai Ji. I don't know there is a distinction between nijin(内勁) and waijin(外勁). Indeed, I do know that there is a distinction between neigong(內功)and waigong(外功).

I do agree with your comment about 懂勁 being "understand jin". However, I would stick with the term Jin instead calling it something else like energy, power or force for consistency.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby DPasek » Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:30 pm

ChiDragon wrote:I thought this was all understood.

ChiDragon,

I mentioned early that I was having difficulty understanding your posts, and I still do, so please don’t assume that something is understood by people who do not share your specific training or word usage.

To me, it seems like you are describing catching a ball by only talking about the first contact, and then thinking that we will understand how you view everything else about catching the ball, without having it explained.

To me, catching a ball involves everything from prior to contacting the ball, through to actually ending with the caught ball in the hand. If you are talking about catching a ball but limit your discussion only to the act of first touching the ball, then that can lead to confusion by people like me who have a broader view of catching a ball.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:35 pm

DPasek...
Sorry about that! I was assuming that people who had push-hands experience would have some basic fundamental knowledge about it. Apparently, someone hasn't been experienced the true nature of push-hands by intuition yet. No offense! From now on, I will try my best to explain in small details if possible.

Okay, let me distinguish the difference between fa li (發力) and fa jin(發勁). 

Fa li (發力) is one's hands are staying in contact with the object, at all times, while pushing.

Fa jin (發勁) is one's hands are only in contact with the pushing object for a short time. After fA jin, the object will move away from the hands of the practitioner.

How can you tell that a person has been fa jin or not? Well, if you observe that the hands of the practitioner will move back a little, then go forward. At this very instance, you will see the hands of the practitioner thrusted forward with a little jolt; and then you'll see the subject was being moved away. For example, let say you are going to open the heavy glass door in a department store. Being knowing your own strength of jin, you should be able to control the magnitude of the jin. What that mean is if you want to have the door to swing half way or all the way, you will issue the appropriate amount of jin to do so respectively. Of course, you need the test the weight of the door with a little push first.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:18 pm

Fchai,
"Unconscious, unconscious"...
I like that better than what my wife calls my lack of thought, so I'll take it! :lol:
Seriously though, my practical use of my "empty mind" goes back to, once again, my time learning from Si Kung Eddie Wu.
I was lucky enough to learn from him when he would come to Detroit to teach seminars but I can't say I was a good student, wish I could but that would be a lie. I was at best a mediocre student at the time who now wishes I knew better what I had available to me but didn't take full advantage of.
Alas, I was young, dumb, and full of... something, and I didn't take full advantage of being able to learn from him. I spent more time in the presence of his teaching disciples, obviously, but did have some opportunities to learn directly from him and a few to learn from his late uncle, Si Kung Wu Tai Sin.
One of the things that Si Kung Eddie taught me directly was to not think so much about what I was doing, just to do it.
I used to joke all the time how easy that should be for me as I did most things without thinking. Si Kung was kind enough to laugh along with me, though I'm sure he'd heard that a million times before.
But I digress...
"Don't think about it, do it" was something he said to me many times and is one of the few things I can honestly say he was able to teach me directly. His disciples set the stage for it as they tried to get me to do that, many times, however it was while working directly with Si Kung and listening to his advice that I finally managed to pull it off for the first time.
After that I was able to continue those lessons with his disciples, most of whom were excellent teachers in their own right, until I could at least pull it off more often than not.
Since then I've done my best to keep that skill, with a mixed bag of results.
When I'm teaching others is when I simply cannot do that. That confused me at first and caused me no end of worry.
Until I finally understood that while I am teaching being "mindless" isn't possible. At least not for me, I'm sure others do it quite easily.
However when I'm teaching I have to keep my entire focus on one thing; teaching.
That sort of precludes keeping an "empty mind" when doing something like teaching someone pushing hands.
I have to concentrate on what they're doing and what I'm doing, with a fine focus on each end of that equation.
This keeps me from allowing my body to simply accept and redirect in the manner is sees/feels/senses/understands without my mind getting in the way.
Because me mind is most definitely in the way, processing endless amounts of information on my student, myself, and everything that is going on around us (I'm often lucky enough to have more than one student in my classes, so I have to keep at least the eyes in the back of my head on them too).
Fortunately that isn't as big of an issue as it sounds because, obviously, my skill level is higher than theirs.
I don't have to be perfect, I just have to be "good enough" in order to teach them.
The flip side to that is when I am then doing pushing hands with someone I'm not actually teaching, because I do a LOT more teaching of pushing hands than I actually do pushing hands with someone that I'm not teaching.
So it always takes me a minute or so to turn off my "teacher mind" and allow myself to get into that happy place inside my own head that allows me to be mindless.
No matter what my wife says! :lol:
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:31 pm

I like the new focus on this discussion, we're all taking a bit of time and defining our terms clearly to one another. We're already cutting through some of the misunderstandings and moving forward.
Excellent.
That said... we come to the next part of the problem.
The issue of trying to use Chinese to English translations of the terms we're using.
It's messy, at best, and when it comes to TCC terminology (at least) it's downright maddening. We all know it.
I don't have a solution for it, unfortunately, as sometimes English just doesn't have a word that will convey the meaning we need very clearly.
English is a very unclear language right up front, to paraphrase a famous comedian, "We park in a driveway and drive on a parkway", which isn't confusing at all... :?
Now try to throw in translations from Chinese (Mandarin?) of terms that mean one thing in everyday usage but something else entirely when applied to TCC theory.
Frustrating at best.
Jin = energy... well except when it means something else.
Qi = vitality... well except when it means something else.
Ting jin = listening energy... well sort of, except you don't actually listen with your ears and it's not really an energy.

Anyone else have a brain that's feeling like a fried egg?
Better yet, anyone have any ideas on how to make that easier on those of us who can barely speak English and are totally hopeless in Chinese?

Bu Hao (and how) Bob
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:42 pm

DPasek wrote:
ChiDragon wrote:I thought this was all understood.

ChiDragon,
To me, it seems like you are describing catching a ball by only talking about the first contact, and then thinking that we will understand how you view everything else about catching the ball, without having it explained.

To me, catching a ball involves everything from prior to contacting the ball, through to actually ending with the caught ball in the hand. If you are talking about catching a ball but limit your discussion only to the act of first touching the ball, then that can lead to confusion by people like me who have a broader view of catching a ball.


Okay! So much on the initial condition at the point of contact. I thought it was better off to get the first hurdle over with initially.

Let's elaborate some more about the ball being tossed in the air vertically. What go up must come down. When the ball reaches the peak, the velocity is zero. So, it stops in midair and nothing is pushing the ball. Then, falls down.

In the case of push-hands, assuming in the standing position, both hands of the partners are in contact constantly with minimum force. I might say that their forces are approaching zero. Both hands are moving in one direction, one is pushing while the other is pulling. Please note that experienced partners will never have their hands fully extended. When both hands have reach the end point, the direction has to be reversed. In order to return to the opposite direction, both hands have to come to a pause. Then, immediately, one becomes pull and the other becomes push.. The crucial point is at the point of return, the pushing partner has to ting jin from the pulling partner. A soon, the pulling partner pulls away, immediately, the pushing partner follows. However, if the pusher moves before the puller, then the puller will sense the jin of the pusher. The puller's countermeasure was to take action by pulling the hand of the pusher and send him/her aways.

Here is the concept of the scenario:
There are two forces against the pusher. When the pusher pushes forward, one is the own pushing force of the pusher which tend to leaning forward; while the other is the pulling force of the puller. The resultant of both forces will cause the pusher to go forward and loose balance. The puller will issue jin to cause to pusher to flight way in the direction of the resultant force.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby Audi » Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:08 am

Hi Everyone,

ChiDragon wrote:By the term Jin 勁, alone, it was given and understood it is internal. Jin has to be acquired by Tai Ji practice diligently. There is no other way to acquiring Jin but Tai Ji. I don't know there is a distinction between nijin(内勁) and waijin(外勁).


ChiDragon,

Consider the following section from METHODS OF APPLYING TAIJI BOXING (TAIJI QUAN SHIYONG FA), translation by Paul Brennan:

王宗岳原序解明
EXPLANATIONS TO WANG’S TEXT

以心行氣務令沈着乃能收歛入骨
Use the mind to move energy. You must get your posture to settle. The energy is then able to collect in the bones.
平時用功,練十三勢用心使氣緩緩流行於骨外肉內之間,意為嚮導氣隨行,至於練拳姿勢要沈舒,心意要貴靜,心不靜不沈着,不能沈着則氣不收入骨矣,即是外勁也,練太極拳能收歛入骨此眞正太極勁也。
In your daily training of practicing the Thirteen Dynamics solo set, use your mind to get the energy to slowly spread between the bones and muscles. The intent is the guide and the energy follows it. When practicing the solo set, the postures should be settled and comfortable. The mind should have a strong sense of calmness, for if the mind is not calm, there will be no settling. If you cannot have settling, the energy will not collect in the bones, and you will have merely an external strength. When practicing Taiji Boxing, if the energy can collect in the bones, this will be a genuine Taiji strength.


Master Yang Jun has used both the terms "internal energy" and "Tai Chi energy." He has also taught that energy, as he teaches it, should be a considered a Taiji of both internal and external components. For instance, from an external perspective, we would say that energy begins in the root in the foot. From an internal perspective, we would say that energy begins in the dantian.

Okay, let me distinguish the difference between fa li (發力) and fa jin(發勁). 

Fa li (發力) is one's hands are staying in contact with the object, at all times, while pushing.

Fa jin (發勁) is one's hands are only in contact with the pushing object for a short time. After fA jin, the object will move away from the hands of the practitioner.


I would have said something similar a few years ago, but I have heard more than one experienced practitioner, teaching in Chinese, use the term fali 發力 to describe issuing power explosively in the normal Tai Chi way. From the tone and context, they did not seem to be defining a special term, but seemed to be using ordinary martial terminology. In other words, they were using the term in exactly the same way I would have said fajin in speaking English.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby DPasek » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:09 pm

ChiDragon wrote:In the case of push-hands, assuming in the standing position, both hands of the partners are in contact constantly with minimum force. I might say that their forces are approaching zero. Both hands are moving in one direction, one is pushing while the other is pulling. Please note that experienced partners will never have their hands fully extended. When both hands have reach the end point, the direction has to be reversed. In order to return to the opposite direction, both hands have to come to a pause. Then, immediately, one becomes pull and the other becomes push.. The crucial point is at the point of return, the pushing partner has to ting jin from the pulling partner. A soon, the pulling partner pulls away, immediately, the pushing partner follows. However, if the pusher moves before the puller, then the puller will sense the jin of the pusher. The puller's countermeasure was to take action by pulling the hand of the pusher and send him/her aways.

I view what you describe as being an important training step, but to me it is done this way for specific training purposes, and it is not the end goal for usage (i.e., it is a step in the training process, but it does not define “push-hands”). I would not send my training partner away when practicing this, since it is only for training.

We want to train to recognize (understand – dongjin 懂勁) changes in pressure, speed, direction, etc. What you described is the basic level of this training.

At lighter levels of pressure/force, one can feel/sense (“listening” – tingjin 聽勁) smaller changes than at higher levels of pressure/force. However, the net force is equal at the point of contact with the partner, regardless of the actual level of pressure/force (Newton’s Law).

The advantage is in training. It does not have any effect on who is more sensitive since both feel identical pressure/force at all practice levels of pressure/force. The person who is more sensitive at a low level of pressure/force will maintain that advantage at all levels of pressure/force.

If two people are practicing at a light level of pressure/force, and then double the amount of pressure/force, then the degree of change needed to be able to detect any changes would be twice as large – for BOTH practitioners – as it was at the lighter level. The person moving away DOES NOT feel less pressure/force at the point of contact than the person moving forward. The person pushing forward and the person pulling away would have the identical level of net force at the point of contact (Newton’s Law). At twice the pressure/force, both participants are still using tingjin and dongjin, neither stop working at higher levels of pressure/force. My understanding is that you can use tingjin at all levels of pressure/force. It is not limited to only working when the level of pressure/force is minimal.

Let me repeat: the person moving away (pulling away) DOES NOT feel less pressure/force at the point of contact than the person moving forward (pushing forward). I think that this is the reality of nature, which Newton’s Law describes, that you may not understand.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:22 pm

Audi wrote:
Okay, let me distinguish the difference between fa li (發力) and fa jin(發勁). 

Fa li (發力) is one's hands are staying in contact with the object, at all times, while pushing.

Fa jin (發勁) is one's hands are only in contact with the pushing object for a short time. After fA jin, the object will move away from the hands of the practitioner.


I would have said something similar a few years ago, but I have heard more than one experienced practitioner, teaching in Chinese, use the term fali 發力 to describe issuing power explosively in the normal Tai Chi way. From the tone and context, they did not seem to be defining a special term, but seemed to be using ordinary martial terminology. In other words, they were using the term in exactly the same way I would have said fajin in speaking English.

Take care,
Audi


Hi Audi,

As long you know the difference between the two forces, then you can distinguish them. However, if one didn't know the difference, then he/she will be misled by the instructor who was using the bogus terminology to obfuscate the actual nomenclature. BTW The instructors use the incorrect terms doesn't mean that they are correct. To me, a good teacher should put all matters in their proper perspective and try not to mislead the students. Unfortunately, most student do respect their teacher and take the teacher's words as gospel.

There is a new modern term for jin(). People are using the term 爆炸力(explosive force) for jin. In your case, the instructor could have used the li() in fa li (發力) as short for 爆炸力. I am just speculating.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:33 pm

DPasek wrote:Let me repeat: the person moving away (pulling away) DOES NOT feel less pressure/force at the point of contact than the person moving forward (pushing forward). I think that this is the reality of nature, which Newton’s Law describes, that you may not understand.


DPasek,

I am not arguing about the magnitude of the pressure. I am only concern with the ability to sense any slight change in the movement at the point of contact. However, You may know Newton's Law quite well. I guess you have not experienced the true nature of push-hands based on your descriptions of comprehension. You have to experience it in order to know what I was talking about. I don't think it was your fault. Perhaps you just weren't taught properly. No offense!


Let nature take its course
Wu Wei
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:02 pm

Audi wrote:Hi Everyone,
METHODS OF APPLYING TAIJI BOXING (TAIJI QUAN SHIYONG FA), translation by Paul Brennan:

王宗岳原序解明
EXPLANATIONS TO WANG’S TEXT

以心行氣務令沈着乃能收歛入骨
Use the mind to move energy. You must get your posture to settle. The energy is then able to collect in the bones.
平時用功,練十三勢用心使氣緩緩流行於骨外肉內之間,意為嚮導氣隨行,至於練拳姿勢要沈舒,心意要貴靜,心不靜不沈着,不能沈着則氣不收入骨矣,即是外勁也,練太極拳能收歛入骨此眞正太極勁也。
In your daily training of practicing the Thirteen Dynamics solo set, use your mind to get the energy to slowly spread between the bones and muscles. The intent is the guide and the energy follows it. When practicing the solo set, the postures should be settled and comfortable. The mind should have a strong sense of calmness, for if the mind is not calm, there will be no settling. If you cannot have settling, the energy will not collect in the bones, and you will have merely an external strength. When practicing Taiji Boxing, if the energy can collect in the bones, this will be a genuine Taiji strength.


Audi


Greetings! Everyone,
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the above quote to isolate the fact from the fallacies of one's opinion. In addition, I would like to make myself clear that I am only attacking the issue but not the honorable masters.

"以心行氣務令沈着乃能收歛入骨
Use the mind to move energy. You must get your posture to settle. The energy is then able to collect in the bones."

Let's look at the translation of the former of the sentence:
以心行氣務令沈着.
Use the mind to move energy.

It's easily said than done. How do I move my energy? Is there any given specific instructions to do sot? I haven't seen any! Has anyone?

Again, it is a biggest mistake to translate '' as 'energy'. The should be translated as "breath". Remember there is a famous phrase "氣沈丹田"(sink chi to the dantian).

I would translate the former of the sentence as follows:
Use the mind to regulate the breath and let it sinken deep into the datian. It correlates with "sink chi to the dantian" quite well. IMO The translator should have had aware of the correlation of the phrase.

The translation of the whole sentence:
"以心行氣務令沈着乃能收歛入骨
Use the mind to regulate the breath and let it sinken deep into the datian. So, it can be collected into the bones.

**************************************************
In regard to the terms internal and external components. My concept still holds as it stands.
ChiDragon wrote:By the term Jin 勁, alone, it was given and understood it is internal. Jin has to be acquired by Tai Ji practice diligently. There is no other way to acquiring Jin but Tai Ji. I don't know there is a distinction between nijin(内勁) and waijin(外勁).


Let's see is there a fallacy here?
......from an external perspective, we would say that energy begins in the root in the foot. From an internal perspective, we would say that energy begins in the dantian


BTW It has been known that all internal energy in the body begins in the dantian. The foot is part of the body, therefore, it's energy has to be internal. I cannot justify that it is external. Can anyone of you?
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby DPasek » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:13 pm

ChiDragon wrote:BTW It has been known that all internal energy in the body begins in the dantian. The foot is part of the body, therefore, it's energy has to be internal. I cannot justify that it is external. Can anyone of you?

The floor/ground that your foot pushes against IS external. When you mentioned earlier that in arm wrestling the table is not involved, like here where you are not considering the floor/ground, indicates that you do not understand force.

The body pushes against the floor/ground in order to push the opponent away. It is why sprinters use blocks at the start of a race. It is why astronauts in space push off against something in order to move about.

The foot against the ground generates an equal and opposite force that is transmitted through the body structure and into the opponent to move them away (equal and opposite net force at the point of contact with the opponent). The place where the force is different, between one person and their push-hands partner, is the force from the feet into the ground.

Image

http://resource-bank.nzip.org.nz/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Action-reactiononwheels.m4v

If ones structure is not correct, then less force is transmitted to the floor/ground, and from the floor/ground through the structure and into the opponent.

As a further note (for those who do have some understanding of force), a larger person (with greater mass) generates more force for the same movement (F=ma). Faster movements also generate more force. So fajin does generate more force than a slower action. Using fajin to move an opponent is simply relying on speed (F=ma) to increase the amount of force.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby DPasek » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:40 pm

ChiDragon wrote:I guess you have not experienced the true nature of push-hands based on your descriptions of comprehension.

Practicing softly and slowly can help both participants feel changes sooner. This is valuable for training since it is not easy to understand what those changes mean in the context of interactions. I use sensitivity at low levels of force to gain understanding as to when, and why, I am at an advantage or disadvantage relative to my partner, and to understand where there are excesses and deficiencies in me and in my practice partner.

However, against another person (whether a training partner, or an opponent in a fight), the level of force used does not change who is more sensitive, or whose understanding is better. Whichever participant is more sensitive at low levels of force will also be the more sensitive at higher levels of force (Weber’s Law). Since both participants feel the same amount of force at the point of contact (Newton’s Law) one participant will not gain an advantage in sensitivity over the other by working softer. Both are more sensitive when playing softer, and the ratio constant remains the same for each, and thus relative to each other; relative sensitivity is the same at essentially all levels of force.

If your “true nature of push-hands” does not follow the laws of nature, then I agree that I do not understand.

I have pushed with numerous individuals, including teachers from the US, China and Taiwan, who advocate the “no force” doctrine. I have not encountered anything that convinces me that this should be the approach taken in applying Taijiquan. Since I also study Chen style, and have not encountered a similar “no force” doctrine as advocated in many Yang style traditions, I also do not think that this can be used to define Taijiquan.

I think that Taijiquan can be used at a very low level of force, but it is not limited to only using very low levels of force.

Those who practice very softly, and then use fajin to suddenly push someone away, are simply going from using very little (near minimal) force to using a very large (near maximal) force [no longer using “no force”]. This is relying on speed (or more accurately, a large change in speed, i.e. acceleration, to generate a large force since F=ma). Is this the advantage that practitioners of the “no force” doctrine are relying on in their push-hands and application of Taijiquan? If not, then what is the advantage? It seems to me that relying on speed is essentially relying on surprise, i.e., giving the opponent less time to adapt to (to neutralize) the large force coming towards them.

I personally prefer training to understand excesses and deficiencies, not relying on surprise. If I can control an opponent without needing to change speed, then I consider this to be a better indication of understanding than just relying on being faster than the opponent.

For fighting, definitely use speed. But I prefer practicing, in training, to gain control without needing to speed up. If I can unbalance an opponent even without needing to speed up, then I know that I understand the opponent’s weaknesses and how to take advantage of them.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:04 pm

DPasek wrote:As a further note (for those who do have some understanding of force), a larger person (with greater mass) generates more force for the same movement (F=ma). Faster movements also generate more force. So fajin does generate more force than a slower action. Using fajin to move an opponent is simply relying on speed (F=ma) to increase the amount of force.


You understand force but how about jin.
Please explain this! There are two men with different size pushing against each other with no speed involved. It is strictly rely on internal force(勁, jin).

Ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAIDi5Nip64
Last edited by ChiDragon on Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Solo Push Hands?

Postby ChiDragon » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:13 pm

DPasek wrote:
ChiDragon wrote:BTW It has been known that all internal energy in the body begins in the dantian. The foot is part of the body, therefore, it's energy has to be internal. I cannot justify that it is external. Can anyone of you?

The floor/ground that your foot pushes against IS external.

Image


The diagram shown are the action and reaction of two forces. The active force is the internal energy of the leg. The external force is the reaction force from the ground. No matter what, the initial force was from the human body which is internal. Indeed, the external force, as you called, does not push the leg by itself.
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ChiDragon
 
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

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