Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:20 pm

Yes, CD, I am aware of the requirements for the two stances.
But thanks.
What I was going for is WHY do we call the "empty stance" empty stance?
The above is my theory.
Again, it is only a theory.
Still, what is empty that causes us distinguish the stance as such?
Other than where the body weight is being held and distance between the feet side to side, the stance is done very much the same way.
So why do we call this stance "empty"?
When I heard "empty fullness stance", which by the way I went back to the DVD and found that in some places it is referred to as "emptiness fullness stance" as well, I said "Oh. Well, OK then, that makes sense."
Because to my way of thinking, that makes perfect sense.
What is normally "full" of weight and energy is now only being filled with energy.
So "emptiness fullness" or perhaps "emptiness/fullness" stance.
Empty of weight, full of energy...

Anyway...
That's where my mind went.
I like it and haven't found any compelling reason to change that idea yet.
I haven't written it in stone or anything, it's just my personal and not so humble opinion.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:24 pm

Bob Ashmore wrote:Yes, CD, I am aware of the requirements for the two stances.
But thanks.
What I was going for is WHY do we call the "empty stance" empty stance?


Hi, Bob these just definitions. We have to take them for granted. I have posted a thread on these definitions. I have to a teach a class now. Please go over the post below and discuss it later. Thank you!

Ref: The definition on stances.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4195
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:28 pm

Bob Ashmore wrote:Yes, CD, I am aware of the requirements for the two stances.
But thanks.
What I was going for is WHY do we call the "empty stance" empty stance?


Hi, Bob
These are just definitions. We have to take them for granted. I have posted a thread on these definitions. I have to go teach a class now. Please go over the post below and discuss it later. Thank you!

Ref: The definition on stances.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4195
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:56 am

Ok, Bob
What I was going for is WHY do we call the "empty stance" empty stance?

Back to your original question. These two terms don't make sense to you as well as to me. However, instead of rejecting them, let's find out why they were called as such.

The original Chinese philosophy on the stances were basically focused on the foot and how much it was in contact with the ground. For instance, a hollow foot is partially touching the ground. When some or none of the body weight was placed on one foot, then, it was considered to be a 虛步(hollow step) or 虛足(hollow foot). A solid foot is fully in contact with the ground. When most or all of the weight was placed on one foot, then, it was considered to be a 實步(solid step) or 實足(solid foot).

Somehow, when someone did the translation, the focus was on the stance instead of the foot. Since most people have this notion resided in their minds; and it's hard to reverse the process. Hence, as long as we know what they meant, we just have to bite our tongues and swallow them. Finally, just accept the way as is. :(
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Audi » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:55 am

Hi Bob,

I have another question about "grabbing with the toes." What do you do during the final pivot on the heel of the right foot during Repulse Monkey Left?

As for me, when me left foot lands flat, I then root in both feet and grab the ground with both sets of toes. I then initiate the fajin by thrusting back with my right leg, but unlock the toes my right foot after the initial impulse to allow the pivot on the heel. I finish by again grabbing with the toes of my right foot as the jin arrives in my right foot from my waist turn.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:51 pm

Audi,
I do my RML very close to how you describe it, as far as grabbing with the toes.
I do not "grab" with the toes in any heel down empty stances until I am sending the energy back into the empty weight foot.
Prior to that my toes are relaxed and ready, neither lifted upwards or curled downwards.
I'm not sure that I would refer to that as "unlocked' though, more because I wouldn't refer to the toes as being "locked" when I grab with them than because of the meaning of "unlocked" itself. The word "locked" gives a connotation, to me, of being rigid and inflexible. I wouldn't want to convey that meaning for the grabbing, as I do not use rigid or inflexible force to do that.
I extend gently but vigorously across the top of my foot, rather than curl with tense contraction from underneath with just my toes, when I "grab" with my toes. Reversing that, I extend across the bottom of my foot to release the grab.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:13 pm

Audi wrote:Hi Bob,

I have another question about "grabbing with the toes." What do you do during the final pivot on the heel of the right foot during Repulse Monkey Left?

As for me, when me left foot lands flat, I then root in both feet and grab the ground with both sets of toes. I then initiate the fajin by thrusting back with my right leg, but unlock the toes my right foot after the initial impulse to allow the pivot on the heel. I finish by again grabbing with the toes of my right foot as the jin arrives in my right foot from my waist turn.

Take care,
Audi

Hi, Audi
I was puzzled about the way you do the RML from your description. Since the question was addressed to Bob, with all respect, I gave him the chance to respond first.

What was really bothering me is when the left foot landed flat, 60% of the weight is on the left leg. If you root both feet and grab the ground which indicates that you must lean forward, in order, to do so. You are fajin already when both feet are grabbing the ground. This, also, you have putted yourself in a double-weighted position which is a taboo in Tai Chi. To pivot the right heel does not require the effort to fajin. The right leg should be relaxed and ready for the Repulse Monkey Right. In conclusion, it seems that too much energy was being wasted on the right leg by your description. Only the left leg requires to fajin is because it has taken most of the body weight at the moment. BTW Grabbing the ground with the toes should be done, only, when standing on one foot while doing the repulse monkey to keep the body in balance. What are your thoughts about this?
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Audi » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:25 am

Greetings all,

I do not "grab" with the toes in any heel down empty stances until I am sending the energy back into the empty weight foot.


I extend gently but vigorously across the top of my foot, rather than curl with tense contraction from underneath with just my toes, when I "grab" with my toes. Reversing that, I extend across the bottom of my foot to release the grab.


Bob,

I should clarify that during the slow movement of form practice, I do not send enough jin forward to really feel the need to grab with the right toes, but I definitely do when I practice the move with “explosive” energy.

What was really bothering me is when the left foot landed flat, 60% of the weight is on the left leg.


CD,

When I move weight to get my left foot flat, the foot temporarily supports about 20-30% of my body weight, not 60%. After I thrust with my right leg and turn my waist, my left leg ends up supporting about 70%.

To pivot the right heel does not require the effort to fajin.

I initiate the fajin by rooting with both feet and grabbing the floor with both sets of toes. Then I thrust with my right leg to produce most of the jin. I then turn my waist (or rather my lower back) counterclockwise to send the jin forward into my right arm and hand and to “pull” my left foot into its pivot. I do not pivot my foot independently or send any direct command to the muscles of my right leg to make them pivot. It is my waist energy that does this from the fajin.

This, also, you have putted yourself in a double-weighted position which is a taboo in Tai Chi

I am not sure of your meaning here. We use “double weighted" to describe situations when the energy cannot flow. When I root with both feet, I have no trouble sending the energy in any direction with no further changes in my body. I could throw an elbow strike forward or backward or neutralize forward or backward.

BTW Grabbing the ground with the toes should be done, only, when standing on one foot while doing the repulse monkey to keep the body in balance. What are your thoughts about this?


Master Yang has been quite explicit that he wants us to root in both legs during that part of Repulse Monkey. I do this by grabbing with the toes in both feet and feeling the jin relationship between the bubbling well points of both feet. That was actually my reason for contributing that description to this thread. Rooting in both feet is something we do throughout the form and not only to guard against a pull.

Take care,
Auid
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:04 pm

Audi,
I also do not use Fajin during regular, traditional form work. No explosions of energy occur in that portion of my practice.
I do however, from time to time, practice the Wu Chien Chuan Large Frame Fast Form. Fajin is part of that exercise.
I've seen videos of Fu Zhong Wen doing specific fajin exercises, so that type of training is in the Yang lineage as well. Since I have not learned the Yang exercises, I use what I know to keep myself in fajin trim.
I use "appear to stop, don't stop" for showing where fajin might be expressed in either of the traditional forms I practice, but without actually doing it. "Hint at it, don't actually do it" is how I view that.
When I say I am "sending energy" somewhere, that's not always going to be an expression of fajin. In fact it is rarely going to be fajin. Usually it's just plain old jin, without all that window dressing it takes to fa it along the way.
Why, because fajin is not usually necessary and if done too much, or incorrectly, is actually very bad for you.

We've covered this idea before, many times, but we always seem to keep coming back to Fajin.
Which is really quite silly.
Fajin is simply a manifestation of ANY jin done in an explosive manner.
That's it. It's nothing fancy. It's not really that terribly hard to do, yet it gets all the press in Tai Chi Chuan. I have no idea why.
If you don't use a jin explosively then there's no fa-ing, just plain old jin-ing. Which is what we do, we express energy, energy is Jin. We do it all the time, everywhere, without stopping, it's our schtick, what we're famous for.
So there should be no mystery about any of this, we should all be using energy all the time, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes even by exploding it, but mostly not.
It seems a bit silly to me that we keep coming back to ONLY fajin during these discussions.
There are simply a TON of other jins that are much more useful and that we use on the regular that would be much more advantageous to be discussing.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:13 pm

ChiDragon:

You did not just try to say that keeping weight in both feet is the same as being "double weighted".
Did you?
Because it sure looked like it.
I sure hope not, because that is clearly not what "double weighted" means.
If it did, then EVERY last branch of TCC has been teaching every last one of their students to break their own rules all along.
Due to the great privilege afforded to me to be able to attend both TCC Symposiums I've trained at least a little bit of all five major family styles of TCC. Every Grand Master at both Symposiums have taught me postures where I am standing with weight in both feet.
Keeping weight in both feet, at any ratio, is not and never can be considered "double weighted".
If it was, then every time you stand in Preparatory Posture in any of the forms...
You'd be doing TCC wrong.
So you're using the phrase... but I do not think it means what you think it means.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:13 pm

Bob Ashmore wrote:ChiDragon:

You did not just try to say that keeping weight in both feet is the same as being "double weighted".
Did you?
Because it sure looked like it.

Hi, Bob
No, no, no. We had a big discussion about what was being "double weighted". It simply means in a situation when the legs have equal weight which causing one cannot move at will for a split second. It was considered as a disease in Tai Chi Quan. For instance, in a bow stance or horse stance, if the legs are too far apart, then, one will put oneself in such situation. There is a good example where the legs are allowed to have equal weight is in Zhan Zhuang.

In any circumstance, if one stand with one leg in front and the other in the back, both feet should not be solid on the ground. For example, the "repulse monkey" is always done with in an empty stance. If both feet are rooted, then, it will be in a "double weighted" situation. Besides, the "repulse monkey" is not a good example to be used to express fajin. IMMHO.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:35 pm

Greetings CD,

I think you need to go beyond a superficial understanding of the taijiquan concept known as "double weighting." Here's a translation I did some years ago of a helpful passage by the famous writer and martial artist, Xiang Kairan.

~~~
What is called double weighting, then, is an inability to clearly differentiate empty and full. I observe that when ordinary taijiquan practitioners explain the theory of double weighting, they mostly hold the view that when both feet are simultaneously touching the ground, this is then called double weighting, and when one foot is empty and one is full, then that is not double weighting. Or the two hands simultaneously striking out is deemed a case of double weighting, while if one hand is empty and the other hand full, then that’s not double weighting.

If it were merely like this, then what would be so difficult about understanding the fault of double weighting? How could one have spent several years perfecting skill, yet still be unable to understand this little bit of theory?

From what I’ve gained in my own experience, it’s not only a matter of double weighting in the two hands and the two feet, but rather that one must still clearly differentiate empty and full even to the minutest level of one finger. If you touch a person with one finger, but you’re unable to differentiate empty and full, you’ve committed the error of double weighting.

When practicing the form, the entire body, from the crown of the head to the heels, is a circulating (xunhuan) of empty and full. Within one hand there is a mutual alternating of empty and full; increasingly dense and increasingly subtle. From Raise Hands to the conclusion [of the form] there is everywhere a productive cycle whereby empty and full follow in one another’s wake. Suppose there is a space an inch large to which one hasn’t paid attention. One will then unavoidably have the flaw of double weighting in this one inch of space. With this sort of [meticulous] practicing, how can one proceed hurriedly? With this sort of practicing, there can be greater progress in one round than in ten or twenty rounds of casual practice.
—Xiang Kairan, in Wu Zhiqing’s Taiji Zhengzong, pp. 247-248

You can also find a translation of this on Paul Brennan's cite, with the original Chinese: https://brennantranslation.wordpress.co ... xperience/


Take care,
Louis
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:07 pm

what was being "double weighted". It simply means in a situation when the legs have equal weight which causing one cannot move at will for a split second. It was considered as a disease in Tai Chi Quan.

The highlighted in red was what prompted the definition of "double weighted(雙重)."
You can try for yourself. Do a horse stance with your legs spread as far as you can; and see if you can lift any leg at will.



Edited to add:
What is called double weighting, then, is an inability to clearly differentiate empty and full.

Inability to clearly differentiate empty and full is only a matter of understanding in words. But in reality, it is a matter of inability to move freely by locking oneself in a disable position.


Wu Wei,
Let nature take its course.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby DPasek » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:03 pm

Yes, “double weighting” can be in the legs, as you point out, but it can be anywhere in the body as Xiang Kairan points out. The legs are one subset (one example) of the general principle; it does not define the principle.
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Re: Jin- starts in the feet YZD

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:31 pm

"Double weighted(DW)" was never considered as a principle of Tai Chi Quan but it was referred as a disease. As I was saying, the original idea of DW was derived from the legs being extended too far apart which disable the ability to move freely. Then, the idea of DW was applied in describing the other parts of the body when fallen into the same disable situation.
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