peng-jin?

Postby Kalamondin » Wed Aug 31, 2005 6:34 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B> These two fragments refer to a fascinating concept of concentric regions surrounding the body, the inner one 'rounded' and the outer one 'squared' or 'angular'. There is quite a bit about this concept in the Chinese literature but I can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in English.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ooh, Jerry--I'm really looking forward to you translating that one! That reminds me--years back MYJ indicated that the dan tien is not just a single point but encompasses a larger area. He drew a circle with both hands in the air around his body at dantien level, somewhat removed from his body. I was never sure how to interpret it--guess I'll have to ask!

I know that TCM indicates some kind of secondary meridian (not one of the organ ones) that goes around the dan tien area so I wondered if he was referring to that or something outside the body. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture.

Kal
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:32 am

Re: “I know that TCM indicates some kind of secondary meridian (not one of the organ ones) that goes around the dan tien area so I wondered if he was referring to that or something outside the body. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture.”

Greetings Kal,

Yes, that would be what is called the “belt meridian” (daimai or daimo), one of the “odd” meridians that interact with the cardinal organ meridians. Its channel surrounds the waist like a belt. My old _Outline of Chinese Accupuncture_ states that “this channel is considered as a belt binding up the Yin and Yang Channels,” and Porkert writes that it “insures the equalization of energies in the middle of the trunk.” It is said to be important in the health and mobility of the lumbar region. Tang Hao and Gu Liuxin’s _Taijiquan Yanjiu_ (Research into Taijiquan) states, “Longtime practitioners of taijiquan have very substantial circulation at the daimai meridian points on the waistline.”

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sat Sep 03, 2005 9:49 am

Well, I have been thinking a while about the "elongation" and came to an idea that "elongation/elongating" could be a reference to what in some books is called "drawing silk out" (chou si jin).

Is it just me or that piece of YZD's wisdom is really a kind of parable-conundrum? I found a kind of contrary ideas:

quote
In martial arts, we often hear the analogy made between 'steel' and 'energy' (jing). Likewise, 'coarse strength' (juo li) can be likened to 'iron', because 'steel' comes from 'iron' and the source of 'energy' is also naturally from 'coarse strength'.

Thus, as I understand the process of high temperature forging, iron is a source and substance for steel. But from the other side we try to not use coarse strength (at all) in tuishou.

going further, we have:

"correspondingly for coarse strength we use the method of relaxation (fang song) to remove the stiffness of coarse strength"

and

" The water used to temper steel - like the removal of the stiffness in coarse strength..."

Do you see that it's actually not the same? What phrase is more accurate? What is actually zhuo li (Ù—Í) for GM ? Is it muscular strength?


Thank you for any comments.



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 09-03-2005).]
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Postby Audi » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:28 pm

Hi Yuri and everyone,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Well, I have been thinking a while about the "elongation" and came to an idea that "elongation/elongating" could be a reference to what in some books is called "drawing silk out" (chou si jin).</font>


This is an interesting idea; however, I think of them as related, but not the same. For me “elongation” and “[I]fang song[\i]” (“loosening out” or “relaxing”) are essentially the same thing. One of the ways I concentrate on doing this is to think of leaving my hands and limbs “behind” during certain transitions and letting my torso force the movement. This often smoothes out my movements and gives a feeling of “pulling taffy” or “drawing out silk threads.”

As for “course strength,” I understand it be an ingredient of “energy” (“jin(g)4”); however, maximizing “course strength is, of course, not the Taiji method for maximizing “energy.”

Think of a spring made from concrete or wrought iron. Because the material is stiff, the “spring” will have no resilience.

Think of a spring made of steel. Because the steel is [I]rou2[\i] (“soft,” or “elastic”), each point in the spring can transmit energy smoothly to every other point and the spring has resilience.

Think of a “spring” made from coils of rope. Because the rope has no strength ([I]li[\i]), the points on the spring are not unified and the “spring” will have no resilience.

The secret to creating energy, according to my understanding, is to remove some of the “stiffness” by which “course strength” is characterized. What is left behind is “energy.” If you start from the other end, with the limpness of a rope, then you have to put some strength in. Energy is a perfect blending of stiff and flexible, hard and soft

In reality, the standard Taiji training regimens concentrate on eliminating stiffness, but do so in a way that will naturally build up physical strength where needed, particularly in the legs. I also find that the idea of “elongation” is a way of avoiding the limpness of rope and making sure that the limbs feel full of energy. Elongating the limbs encourages a feeling of the tradeoffs between stiffness and flexibility.

My understanding is that, for Yang Zhenduo, [I]zhuo li[\i] does not literally equate to “muscular strength,” but rather to stiff and tight use of the muscles that causes them not to act in the unified way of the coils of a steel spring. In Pushing Hands, the idea would not be to avoid use of the muscles, but to use them in a particular and unified way. A secondary principle is that you generally do not want to expose yourself by emitting a great deal of energy that could be turned against you. The idea is either to use the opponent’s energy as much as possible or to emit energy only when the opponent is “double weighted” and thus helpless to adapt.

I have used the coils of a spring as my analogy here, but I think this image can also be limiting. I think similar points could be made using the points on a long bow, the links of a chain on a suspension bridge, a waterbed, or a beach ball.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:05 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Yuri Snisarenko:
<B>Well, I have been thinking a while about the "elongation" and came to an idea that "elongation/elongating" could be a reference to what in some books is called "drawing silk out" (chou si jin).

Is it just me or that piece of YZD's wisdom is really a kind of parable-conundrum? I found a kind of contrary ideas:

quote
In martial arts, we often hear the analogy made between 'steel' and 'energy' (jing). Likewise, 'coarse strength' (juo li) can be likened to 'iron', because 'steel' comes from 'iron' and the source of 'energy' is also naturally from 'coarse strength'.

Thus, as I understand the process of high temperature forging, iron is a source and substance</B> for steel. But from the other side we try to not use coarse strength (at all) in tuishou.

going further, we have:

"correspondingly for coarse strength we use the method of relaxation (fang song) to remove the [b]stiffness of coarse strength"


and

" The water used to temper steel - like the removal of the stiffness in coarse strength..."

Do you see that it's actually not the same? What phrase is more accurate? What is actually zhuo li (Ù—Í) for GM ? Is it muscular strength?


Thank you for any comments.

[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 09-03-2005).][/B]</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not sure that I entirely understand your question. First of all, he is using separate though related analogies to talk about (a) zhuo li / jin and (b) rou / ruan. The second, where he contrasts the water used for tempering steel (soft in nature) vs. ordinary water (limp) is actually a somewhat strained analogy and it took me some time to come up with wording in English that made sense out of it. Leaving that aside, zhuo li, which I have rendered 'coarse strength' is ordinary strength or force, the way we ordinarily think about muscular force in our lives. jing 'energy' is by contrast a different kind of force which must be 'refined' or cultivated by a learning process. fang song 'relaxation' or 'elongation' is the process of refinement by which this new kind of 'energy' is to be achieved.

So there is a difficult line we must tread here. We have to use some strength (coarse strength) just to stay upright and extend our arms and legs. However we must retrain ourselves not to use this coarse strength to attack our opponent, but rather develop a different kind of 'energy' through the practice of elongation, and this is the weapon taiji deploys against the opponent, whether real or imaginary.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:28 am

To develop Audi's analogy a little, coarse strength would be like small springs in the arms which we could compress and then release to deliver force with a single muscle. 'Energy' would be like a single coiled spring stretching from foot to leg to waist to torso to arm to hand. The force we can deliver by only a small compression and release of this whole-body spring would dwarf any local strength developed in the arm alone.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:30 am

Unless all parts of the body are extended or elongated, it is impossible to connect the various little springs into one big spring.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:06 am

Thanks for the comments! I think with Jerry's and Audi's help I've understood the idea of the elongation. However I think it's also obvious that this kind of developing jin doesn't stop at the achievement of muscles acting in the unified way. Though it's an important part of taiji foundation that we may not bypass.

The difference between "…remove the stiffness of coarse strength" and "…the removal of the stiffness in coarse strength" is that in the first case we remove stiffness with the removal of coarse strength itself. In the second case we remove stiffness in course strength but still work with that substance of strength. This difference may create two different approaches to the practice. However maybe it's just a play of words.

Take care,
Yuri
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:14 am

As Audi noted, the metaphor of a spring is somewhat limited. Actually the action of jing isn't precisely lining up more and more muscles behind a movement but more like a wave. It's hard to explain but definitely the key to connecting up the parts is this elongation, especially jutting the elbows down, which in turn pulls down the shoulders...
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