Hi Audi and others,
I’m enjoying reading your discussions of the jins—I’m learning a lot. DP, I wrote most of this just before you posted your message about Lie, so some of it is similar.
Audi, you asked:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>… in Cloud Hands would you describe the rotation of the arms as Lu?
In trying to help friends through the movements of Cloud Hands, I had recently begun talking explicitly about doing Ward Off, followed by Rollback, followed by Pluck. I have since noticed that Yang Jun seems only to emphasize Ward Off and Pluck. </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I’ve never heard Lu described as part of Cloud Hands. I think the rotation you are talking about may be part of Ward Off. I have seen something similar to the hand rotation in Cloud Hands also described elsewhere as Ward Off. When training Ward Off, we learned a single arm version that seemed different-yet-related to Ward Off Left and Ward Off Right. As the opponent pushes in on your arm, you simultaneously lift and rotate it, such that their pushing arm is carried away and to the side. This can happen in any variation of up, down, to the side, or any diagonal—but as mentioned elsewhere, it has an expansive outward flavor. You can see it in the right arm of White Crane Spreads Wings, and also in Fan through the Back, which is similar to Cloud Hands in that the Ward Off transforms into Pluck. There’s a rotation, but it’s rotating away
(as I would characterize Roll Back).
As for Lu, I believe it requires two points of contact: one to stay relatively still, and one to rotate. In the standard form, the left hand holds the opponent’s wrist relatively still (slight rotation of the palm upwards) but the larger motion is made with the right arm, which makes a larger circle. There is a very small difference between Roll Back and Split and Roll Back can easily be turned into Split by adding force going in the opposite direction as the hand/arm doing Roll Back. So in the standard Roll Back, all one has to do is lift up sharply with the left hand as the right arm presses down (just a smidge after the rotation) for Roll Back to become Split.
Roll Back can be done with one arm, but one still needs two points of contact along the opponent’s arm. If one can trap the opponent’s hand against one’s body (say, by a wrist lock at the chest, or trapped in the crook of an elbow) one can then do a small version of Roll Back with the forearm or wrist because the requisite two points are controlled. These almost immediately become Split because the force required to maintain the lock is usually opposite the direction of the Roll Back. So, I guess what I’m saying is that Roll Back involves rotation around a (relatively) still point, and Split involves rotation in opposite directions. Roll Back can be relatively gentle but it can also change into the sudden snapping energy of Split.
Even smaller than these Roll Backs is the one in single-arm figure 8 push hands. There’s a transition from Ward Off to Lu: the hand rotates palm up and one uses the forearm to cover/deflect the opponent’s push downward and to the outside. Control depends on sticking with the forearm and the hand must not hook to use pulling energy. There’s still a rotation of one point around another, but it’s very small and done at the point of contact of one’s forearm with the opponent’s forearm. It has the characteristics CFTC mentioned of conserving and absorbing momentum. I’m not sure about Split from this one (not without changing the contact points), but if one’s adhering energy were good enough, the opponent could be pulled/tossed from this version of Roll Back.
More on Split:
Audi wrote: <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>Lie: Crack into, rip into
This is a guess, based on character etymology and my understanding of the role of the energy. I do not like the term "Split," since this is also used for the sword energy "Pi." Also, as I understand it, Lie energy does not mean to separate into two pieces, which is what "split" implies. "Rend" is nice, because it could suggest rotation; however it implies a double grip used to tear something apart and so is too specific. I also question whether "rend" focus too much on the effect on the opponent and not enough on how the energy is deployed.
Audi, I think “split” does mean to divide into two pieces. I don’t agree with the above; I think the word “split” does describe accurately how the energy is deployed and also what happens to the opponent. Let me lean on the OED (dictionary) for a couple definitions of the word “Split:”
“2. To divide longitudinally by a sharp stroke or blow; to cause to burst or give way along the grain or length; to cleave or rend.
11. To part, divide, or separate in some way.”
First, the energy deployment of split:
I think that the energy itself splits from one stream into two (longitudinally), and those two streams then rotate in opposite directions. For example, think of how a standard double-arm push (two things linked into one uni-directional flow) can be transformed into split (two hands separating, dividing into two things rotating in opposite directions). The energy bifurcates (from the core into the arms), then begins to spin. Another example of things “splitting” and spinning: that carnival ride where a ring of chairs hang from chains and as the vertical axis spins the chairs are forced to “split” away from the center and chairs opposite each other end up moving in different directions even though the center is a single spinning unit.
Second, the effect of split on the opponent:
It can be similar to an axe splitting wood, particularly when used on the joints. The action is different, but the result is similar: split used on a locked elbow joint sends force like a wedge through the joint and separates the joint in a way it wasn’t designed to sustain. The bones of the arm are then effectively separated, as they can no longer coordinate. The effect on bones is more obvious—they may not split lengthwise (entirely), but a broken bone is still effectively divided into two.
DP: I liked your list of possible meanings centered about a force-couple—a new word for me
. I don’t have anything to add about the dragonfly analogy—I’ve never seen a dragonfly skim across water.