Forward Sinking and Rooting

Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby Parkallen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:34 am

Sinking is typically considered a straight downwards energy, and the related concept of rooting is associated downwards but with some emphasis on the back leg. Basically my point is that sinking and rooting is typically applied to incoming force, but recently I have been applying it to pulling force (as applied to me). When your push hands partner pulls on you, we can sink into the front leg and dantian, making it very hard for your opponent to pull you forward. In the past, I avoided this kind of sinking because I associated it with resistance, but lately I've been more open to seeing what forward sinking can do as long as I am using a genuine sinking energy to do so.

I must say it is quite effective, and was wondering if others had experimented with this, and what their thoughts are on it.
Parkallen
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby fchai » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:09 am

Greetings,
In my humble opinion and practice, I do not just sink on the back foot. Depending on your action, you will often also sink on the forward foot. For example, in the posture sequence, "Brush knee and push" left. Initially, you sink onto your right rear foot, then you would step forward with your left foot and sink on this forward foot, as you brush knee with your left hand and push forward with your right hand. Another example might be, "Step Forward, Deflect, Parry and Punch". Here, you would first sink on your rear left foot in a defensive posture, then you step forward and sink on your right foot as you deflect then parry. Then you step forward with your left foot and sink on this, as your fist punches forward. Anyway, this happens to be how I interpret the application of sinking in the execution of the form. Hope this little contribution helps.
Take care.
Frank
fchai
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 6:11 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:43 pm

It is very difficult for the human body to sink "straight down". Even when we fall down we rarely, if ever, do so "straight down" unless we first jump into the air and then hold ourselves rigid along the entire length of our body until we hit the ground, at which point everything changes.
The way the hip sockets work in conjunction with the ligaments, joints, tendons, muscle, and fascia around them preclude a "straight down" motion like that.
Instead when we "sink" we do so by using a backward and downward direction of the torso created by pulling upward and forward with the legs with the upper body following the rotation of the hip sockets (if we do so by "sinking" with both legs at the same time ,think Preparation Posture, it's different when sinking onto one leg and standing up with the other ie; bow stance, empty stance, but that may be a bit beyond the scope of this discussion for now).

Think about how you sit down, how does that work? (Sitting down and sinking are fairly synonymous)
Do you "sit" straight down, pulling the hips sockets straight up, and somehow hold your torso ramrod straight?
Or do you sit in a rolling motion, pulling the hip sockets upwards and forwards while slightly inclining the torso forward?
Bob Ashmore
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby ChiDragon » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:50 pm

Parkallen wrote:Sinking is typically considered a straight downwards energy, and the related concept of rooting is associated downwards but with some emphasis on the back leg. Basically my point is that sinking and rooting is typically applied to incoming force, but recently I have been applying it to pulling force (as applied to me). When your push hands partner pulls on you, we can sink into the front leg and dantian, making it very hard for your opponent to pull you forward. In the past, I avoided this kind of sinking because I associated it with resistance, but lately I've been more open to seeing what forward sinking can do as long as I am using a genuine sinking energy to do so.

I must say it is quite effective, and was wondering if others had experimented with this, and what their thoughts are on it.


IMMHO Rooting is understood to sink the leg jin(energy) straight downward to keep one stayput on the ground. In push hands, the body weight shifts alternately back and forth on both legs. The body should react spontaneously in according with the instantaneous situation. Besides, there is no pulling in push hands. It is because the object of push hands is to push not pull. If the opponent pulls, that is the worse mistake one could have made in push hands. By ting jin(聽勁), one should have sensed the pulling force and is time to react by pushing the opponent away. The rooting should take place in the legs, simultaneously, without any hesitation. The purpose of rooting is to maintain stability of the body instead of resisting the pulling force. Indeed, if one tried to resist any encounter force, then, it was defeating the purpose of push hands.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:25 pm

I'm very happy to hear that there is "no pulling in push hands" now.
Who knew that the rules had been changed? Certainly not me!
In past attempts at pushing hands I've been pulled on, pushed against, pressed out, plucked down, warded off, bumped...
I had a guy try to split me once too.
I mean...
An entire myriad of techniques have been attempted against me during my previous push hands training sessions. It's been a bit of a mad house, to be honest, what with all the tugging and shoving and such going on all willy nilly with absolutely no regard to form or function.
I'm so relieved to hear that from here on opponents will not pull on me ever again during this exercise. Now I can forget about that nonsense and begin to concentrate on the reality of the situation.
Phew! I'm am SO relieved...
.........
.......
.....
Oh...
Wait...
When, exactly, did this rule get implemented?
And who is going to enforce it?
I must have missed the memo.
Bob Ashmore
 
Posts: 723
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:01 am
Location: Frankfort, KY, USA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby Parkallen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:23 pm

To carry on further, I'm wondering if anyone has actually applied forward sinking as a counter to heavy (and long) pulls? For instance, when your partner tries to heave you forward.

Since attacks often are based on forward pushing energy, the change to pulling (forwards) can really catch a person off guard. Ideally, we want to listen and preempt the pull, but that is often not possible if we are already shifted forward, and our partner adds an unexpected extra pull at the end of their reduction. (Yes a heaving pull might not be a great tai chi skill but it certainly does happen, especially with beginning students (which is why it is good to practice with beginners)). In response to such a situation when we are already forward placed, I find the quickest response to be front-leg sinking, at which point we can then follow up with some other technique.

Some practitioners train back-leg sinking by letting their partner push on them while the other sinks continuously, but I have not seen the overt training of front-leg sinking. It was nice to hear fchai's response that they are mindful of front-leg sinking in the form and therefore why not as a training exercise as well?
Parkallen
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby ChiDragon » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:15 pm

Bob Ashmore wrote:I'm very happy to hear that there is "no pulling in push hands" now.
..............
I'm so relieved to hear that from here on opponents will not pull on me ever again during this exercise. Now I can forget about that nonsense and begin to concentrate on the reality of the situation.
Phew! I'm am SO relieved...
.........
.......
.....
Oh...
Wait...
When, exactly, did this rule get implemented?
And who is going to enforce it?
I must have missed the memo.


There was no written rule. It was understood and self discipline. Just think of it this way grab and pull is wrestling not push hands. If one insist that pulling is push hands, then you might like to call it the modern version of push hands.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby BBTrip » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:13 am

ChiDragon wrote:There was no written rule. It was understood and self discipline. Just think of it this way grab and pull is wrestling not push hands. If one insist that pulling is push hands, then you might like to call it the modern version of push hands.


Actually, Pull is written about a lot.
It’s in the classics.
It’s even on this website.

http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/about/study/#history-02
2. What are the 13 Postures (original name of Tai Chi Chuan)?
The 13 Postures are comprised of 8 energies and 5 steps:
8 energies are:

ward off
roll back
press
push
pull
elbow strike
shoulder strike
split



Cheng Man Ch’ing writes about pull in several of his books.
Here's a quote from his 13 Chapters.
“Rollback left Elbow and right hand pulls opponents right wrist.”


In "Tai Chi Touchstones" pg 23, Douglas Wile quotes Cheng:
"If one approaches from a certain direction, say head-on for example, then with four ounces of energy I pull his hand, following his line of force..."


I could go on but I'll just end with one more.

Chen Xiaowang while demonstrating pull down says,
https://youtu.be/hhAoXmZj0ko?t=52s

"To Cai is like plucking something"


To pluck means
Pull or pull out sharply

as in "pluck the flowers off the bush"
remove by picking or pulling out or away.
Pull lightly but sharply with a plucking motion

Some of plucks synonyms are -
pull, draw, tug, snatch, pull off, remove, extract, pick
BBTrip
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby ChiDragon » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:47 am

BBTrip wrote:Chen Xiaowang while demonstrating pull down says,
https://youtu.be/hhAoXmZj0ko?t=52s

"To Cai is like plucking something"


Hi, BBTrip.

Let's look at the statements before your quote.
At 0:49
Cai is the same as "Lu", but directed downward. There will be times when you brings energy downward. Then follow him downward. Cai is like plucking something.

I got the impression that the statement in blue, the force is pushing downward rather than pulling downward. You can see the motion of Chen Xiaowang's hands are pushing downward. I don't know why he made that last statement which was misleading.

Here is the descriptions for Cai or Tsai from the Fajin thread I had posted recently.
採在十指
Tsai(Jin) is in the ten fingers

是以手抓住
It is using the hands to grab

对方手腕和肘部
the wrist and elbow of the opponent

向下向后下沉之力
to press downward and backward force

In other words, it is a force by using the hands to grab the opponent's wrist and elbow pressing downward and backward.


Please note that the eight ways of Fajin, in the Fajin thread, are always pushing but not pulling.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby ChiDragon » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:52 pm

Parkallen wrote:To carry on further, I'm wondering if anyone has actually applied forward sinking as a counter to heavy (and long) pulls? For instance, when your partner tries to heave you forward.

Since attacks often are based on forward pushing energy, the change to pulling (forwards) can really catch a person off guard. Ideally, we want to listen and preempt the pull, but that is often not possible if we are already shifted forward, and our partner adds an unexpected extra pull at the end of their reduction. (Yes a heaving pull might not be a great tai chi skill but it certainly does happen, especially with beginning students (which is why it is good to practice with beginners)). In response to such a situation when we are already forward placed, I find the quickest response to be front-leg sinking, at which point we can then follow up with some other technique.

Some practitioners train back-leg sinking by letting their partner push on them while the other sinks continuously, but I have not seen the overt training of front-leg sinking. It was nice to hear fchai's response that they are mindful of front-leg sinking in the form and therefore why not as a training exercise as well?


Hi, Parkallen
I don't mean to be sarcastic! :oops: How long have you been practicing Tai Chi and push hands?

Edited to add:
Have you heard of these phrases:
You don't move I don't move. If you move, I'll move first.
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby Parkallen » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:01 am

Many years. If you are implying what I think you're implying, you are way off base and I'm not falling for your trap.

I'm interested in discussion of the matter at hand, if you do not like the topic then find another topic.
Parkallen
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby ChiDragon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:05 am

Hi, Parkallen
Sorry, you had taken it the wrong way. There was no trap. I will gain nothing out of it. I was only thinking about the principal of push hands. Based on what I had read, it seems to me the principles were not quite followed closely to the way as I've understood. If I am not welcome due to the controversial comments on my part, I am glad to stay out of the discussion with no regret! Thanks!
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby BBTrip » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:53 am

ChiDragon wrote:
BBTrip wrote:Chen Xiaowang while demonstrating pull down says,
"To Cai is like plucking something"

Cai is the same as "Lu", but directed downward. There will be times when you brings energy downward. Then follow him downward. Cai is like plucking something.

I got the impression that the statement in blue, the force is pushing downward rather than pulling downward. You can see the motion of Chen Xiaowang's hands are pushing downward. I don't know why he made that last statement which was misleading.


Wow!!!
Oh, My my… :)
Not only do you not understand why Chen Xiaowang is talking about "Pluck",
But, you also completely missed the point of my post to you.

...

My point was and is that "Pull" & Pull Down, 1 of the 8 basics,
has been written about by many Masters of the past and the present.

ChiDragon wrote: There was no written rule. It was understood and self discipline. Just think of it this way grab and pull is wrestling not push hands. If one insist that pulling is push hands, then you might like to call it the modern version of push hands.


This is from The Illustrated Cannon of Chen Taiji pg. 189
Alternating the two forces of push-pull severs the opponents root, leading to his quick and certain defeat*


Here's a few (more) Masters of Taiji who wrote about the use of Pull in Taiji.

From a classic - the Playing Hands Song from Master Chen Weiming's 1925 Book on Taiji.
https://brennantranslation.wordpress.co ... -quan-shu/
[part 5] PLAYING HANDS SONG (note: playing hands means pushing hands)

Ward-off, rollback, press, and push must be taken seriously.
With coordination between above and below, the opponent will hardly find a way in.
I will let him attack me with as much power as he likes,
for I will tug with four ounces of force to move his of a thousand pounds.
Guiding him in to land on nothing, I then close on him and send him away.
I stick to him and go along with his movement instead of pulling away or crashing in.


Here's Tung Huling in 1956
https://brennantranslation.wordpress.co ... lications/
… for I will tug with four ounces of force to move his of a thousand pounds.

He attacks me using a thousand pounds of force, but I can deflect it away using four ounces of force. To be able to do this is not really a matter of four ounces of [oppositional] force, but of tugging force. When his thousand pounds of force attacks me, he is coming straight in, whereas I am going to the side, distinguishing between good and bad angles.


Here's Yang Chengfu from his book The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan 1934
With the left palm facing down, there is a hidden application of pull down (an shi cai jin).


The quotes from these Taiji Masters shows that Pull & Pull Down has long been written about in Taiji.
BBTrip
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby ChiDragon » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:43 am

ChiDragon wrote:Let's look at the statements before your quote.
At 0:49
Cai is the same as "Lu", but directed downward. There will be times when you brings energy downward. Then follow him downward.


Despite to all the English translations in using the word "pull." However, I don't see any pulling action in the above description.

Cai is like plucking something.

Chen Xiaowang made the above statement was trying to describe the character . It is like picking a fruit from a tree. Indeed, it was irrelevant to the description of the Cai jin method.  
A deep discussion requires explicit details for a good comprehension of a complex subject.
ChiDragon
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Forward Sinking and Rooting

Postby Audi » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:44 pm

Greetings all,

There may or not be some subtle linguistic thing going on here. The English word "pull" and its usual Chinese equivalent 拉 (la) are not identical in meaning; and yet I think Parkallen’s point does not rest on such distinctions, but was more directional. In our Tai Chi, we have many applications that result in the opponent ending up behind you.

If you consult this link, you will find many such applications. Of particular interest might be the demonstration starting around time index 2:56. After discussing the four Direct Energies and the Four Oblique Energies, Master Yang says: “Cai/Ts’ai (Pluck/Pull Down) is also one of the energies for engaging the opponent. After the opponent pushes like this, from there you, in a downward direction, pluck on through.” He does not use any word for “pull” or “behind,” yet in English you could clearly describe his action as pulling the opponent behind.

As for the OP’s original point, I think that we should absolutely have that aspect to our stances. You want to be rooted and balanced in all directions. As a tactical matter, however, we would generally not react to a pulling action by rooting against it. One counter to one type of Pluck is merely to step forward into kao while using the opponent's pulling energy. A counter to the type of Pluck Master Yang shows in the clip would be to shift weight forward, twist the torso, and extend the right arm, yielding completely to the pulling action. When the opponent reaches their limit, you can then release all the stored energy by plucking back as you reverse your twist and shift weight backward. There are other possibilities as well.

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

Next

Return to Push Hands

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest