<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">While I am doing the form and in a posture that calls for a bow stance, I do however occasionally feel for whether the Jin from each foot can go straight into the corresponding shoulder and/or arm. I think of the Preparation Posture as establishing a stable norm, with the shoulders, torso, hips, legs, and feet as outlining a stable rectangle. I feel for this norm in many spots throughout the form. This is what I mean by "reference" point. In a way, I am probably simply rediscovering what people seem to refer to as the "six correspondences" (liu he); however, I did not realize that these were things that could be felt for.
Hi Audi. Liuhe - 六合 is indeed one of the main principle of YCF style and one of the oldest trademarks of neijia (inner family) - namely the body methods that were unique for daoists martial arts. Just compare the way people try to move in neijia with some of shaolin styles, where sometimes there are much less restrictions for "limbs feints" and you'll see the difference and the meaning of this principle more clearly.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I think that some people see things like Qi, Jin, Shen, and Yi as concepts that can be added to martial techniques to enhance them and make them more in line with Tai Chi principles. I personally do not find this point of view helpful, because I believe that everybody uses these things in all martial arts, though usually not consciously and not skillfully. For me, the question is not whether to use Yi (intent), but how to use it. My question about "reference points" is motivated by the search for ways of determining whether my Yi is actually correct at any given moment.</font>
I think you are right here. And that's why the different branches of Yang style exist - the form is an expression of attitude.
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Let me give an example. Once I was demonstrating Brush Knee for one of my teachers. He said that the appearance of my form was very standard; however, he felt that my strike did not really use my back and so wasn't really using internal energy.
At first, I was a little surprised at what seemed like a suggestion to think about my back, rather than my hand, but then I recalled that the classics talk about "sticking Qi to the spine." Since receiving this correction, I usually try to check if I can indeed feel that Qi is available in spine. For me, using Yi means that I can feel the important role my back will play in the hand strike, rather than positioning my palm and elbow based merely on memory and habit.
I think probably some additional explanations of the inner work in YCF style particularly and in neijia generally from your teacher would be helpful - in neijia before one " really uses internal energy" as you mentioned above one needs to get something inside - that's one of the reasons it's called neijia. The spine may play certain role but if one has nothing inside then it would be more like a boat without wind IMHO.
[This message has been edited by Yuri_Snisarenko (edited November 12, 2009).]