Single Whip

Postby Audi » Sun Sep 22, 2002 7:03 pm

Hi David and Eulalio,

David, thanks for the clarifications.

Eulalio, I think your statements work well for how we aspire to use Taijiquan, but I have trouble seeing how one would go about improving one’s Taijiquan by simply “feeling qi flow” or “following the dao,” other than in a religious sense.

Two phrases come to mind in reading your post. First is "Matching inner with outer" and the other is "Using the body to train the 'yi' rather than using the 'yi' to train the body."

The first phrase is, of course, one of Yang Cheng Fu's Ten Essentials. To me this means that in Yang Style Taijiquan, I cannot isolate the inner from the outer. As a practical matter, I think most people know that the inner is correct only because of how it manifests itself through the outer.

On another thread Peter used the phrase: "Using the body to train the 'yi' rather than using the 'yi' to train the body." I take this as a brilliant statement of a fundamental Taiji method. Although one uses the “yi” to lead the “qi” and the body’s movements, one learns to do this through physical exercise linked with the mind, not through mental or physical exercises alone. Can one learn to swim without getting wet? Can one learn to swim without the feedback provided by the water? Is it very useful to try to learn movement patterns on dry land?

I know that some people advocate meditative approaches to Taijiquan. I personally have not found this worth the effort, but then again, I have not meditated enough to say for certain where such a path would lead. As you seem to allude to, many others see Taijiquan as a branch of qi gong. Although I do not have extensive experience with qi gong, I find it to be a different activity. Is not qi gong about working with one’s qi? Isn’t Taijiquan about working with one’s “yi” or “shen,” and not about concentrating on qi flow? I lump qi gong together with stretching, weight lifting, dance, aerobic exercise, and other pursuits that can improve ones Taiji skills, but which are concerned primarily with other goals.

Why dissect all the minute possibilities of Single Whip? My motivation is not to learn applications to drill, but to figure out whether my "yi" matches my body movements and whether I really understand the principles behind those movements. Of course, another issue is figuring out where one’s “yi” should be directed. Even if I can clearly feel “qi flow,” whatever meaning this has, it does not mean that I know where to direct my “yi.”

By “movement principles,” I am not really talking about “theory.” I am trying to describe the intuitive knowledge of the function of each joint in the body during each phase of a posture and how they integrate to form a whole. Let me use another swimming analogy. A swimmer treading water (i.e., swimming in place) makes constant adjustments to the movement of each of his or her joints, even fingers. He or she is not trying to imitate with exactness a learned movement pattern. On the other hand, I would think it unlikely that a non-swimmer or even a swimmer would spontaneously produce the breaststroke or the Australian crawl by “going with the flow” and without being taught the specifics of the movement.

When someone can show the same understanding of his or her Taiji movements as a swimmer has of his or hers, I would think that merely “following the dao” begins to be more and more practical.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Eulalio Silva » Mon Sep 23, 2002 4:38 am

Thank you for your response AUDI,

I agree with you but you have misinterpreted my main point. You are stating that we should have the I or YI or mind's desire or intention, if you will, inorder to lead the CHI. Very objective. Very True.

But I am simply irating and responding much to the hoopla and confusion regarding "what is the right way of interpreting the SINGLE WHIP". Every master have their own way of interpreting this move and definitely, every "style" have their own way of issuing this. While I am not defending one style, I am simply going back to the roots of tai chi: which is the Wu Chi. Without the Wu Chi, Tai Chi will not exist. In so, practicing the "stillness" would make our "movements" even better, since we are not caught up with the technique itself.

The whole tai chi movement are simply running down all the gamut of techniques but without the WU CHI and the interpretation of this "stillness within movement" then it is not tai chi. And most importantly, on a real world application of a chaotic fight, the master simply submit to the "TAO" and let it flow from there. His "Single Whip" simply becomes second nature without the premeditaded move.

To be objective, is to limit oneself within the bounds of a system while to submit to the TAO meant that we "move" as if it were meant to be, therefore, the "stillness" becomes superior to the "movement" because one did not commit but remaining centered.

If I am not mistaken, all stances and forms arose from still meditation just like "tai chi" which must first come from "Wu Chi"....first there is nothing, then there is movement...the Yin and the Yang becomes very finite...separated...ultimately to be one with the TAO again which bring us back to "WU CHI".

Techniques that are "physical" first and then internalizing it later becomes a SHAOLIN-like which is energizing their very physically oriented arts with Chi Kung and NEi Kung. Shaolin martial arts applied the "internal stuffs" later.

So again back to the SINGLE WHIP, It is an internal technique, which otherwise would be really faulty since nobody would literally use the identical stance and form on a given fight. The Single Whip can be applied to a lot of techniques if understood properly and internally. Imagine hitting somebody with the "wing" while the other hand is "hooked" and far away to do anything functionally to block, parry or grab the adversary's attack? and to make matters worse, the body is awkardly placed since we are stil arguing what is the best way...."to turn first" or to "step in and turn"?...in any given moment, the adversary will surprise us and so our "listening skills" would provide us the flexibility to read, adjust and finally deliver our counters.

But with all due respect, I remain humble and confined within the TAO. For I don't hit, because there is no enemy.

REspectfully,

Eulalio
Eulalio Silva
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Postby DavidJ » Mon Sep 23, 2002 8:33 pm

Hi Eulalio,

Much of what you say is true, like, > FORM rose from the CHI flow and feeling instead of FORM first and CHI following later. < however you seem to miss the context of those statements you criticize.

You wrote, > TRUE, but I think that the real masters who have mastered Nei Kung and Chi Kung would argue that any body posture regardless of bad or right, still boils down to the mind leading the CHI and that feeling would lead you to correct your own form. <

This statement *seems* to say that form is not important to masters. But then you say that you can't learn form first. Wouldn't these masters say it wouldn't matter?
The I Ching says that things that are thought of that do not get expressed in the world are of no consequence. You can have brilliant taichichuan in your mind but if you don't *do* it, it doesn't matter. Tai Chi Chuan has *both* form and "formlessness."

Tai Chi Chuan has three aspects - meditation, exercise and self defense.

Within a form, if it is constructed correctly, all the muscles and all the joints are used in appropriate amounts. When to turn, when to step, etc., are important in this regard.

I was taught from the very beginning that the approach to self defense was *global,* and as such, the individual techniques were not to be considered as fixed applications. "Tai Chi is not the movements, it is the principles applied to movement." This is Audi's and Steven James' approach, too, and, I think, of most of the people who post here.

I agree with Audi that the inner and outer should match. The closer that you can adhere to the principles the more chi is generated. The more chi, the closer that you can get to what *your* body needs.

You also wrote, > But I am simply irating and responding much to the hoopla and confusion regarding "what is the right way of interpreting the SINGLE WHIP". Every master have their own way of interpreting this move and definitely, every "style" have their own way of issuing this. <

If you look in the archives you may find mention of things related to this.

Differences in timing have been noted as existing within different schools. The priciples allow for variations. That is nothing new. What you see as confusion really isn't within the context of the discussions about forms (including 'Single Whip') which have been going on for nearly two years now.

Discussion of techniques can lead to a better understanding of what was in mind when such a technique was generated. The "spirit" of the thing, as it were.

I hope you don't mind if we continue to discuss techniques here.

Regards,

David J


[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 09-23-2002).]
DavidJ
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Eulalio Silva » Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:51 pm

Hello David J,

I am sorry if I have caused anything more than stirring a subject for it is not my intention to disrupt anything. I am sorry for my heavy-laden words that might have offended anyone.

Perhaps it is due to not explaining myself clearer but nevertheless, I am here not just to apologize but to continue and foster the goodwill and sharing of ideas in this public forum.

I agree with everything you say and AUDI's, I am again, simply trying to suggest that people here are all incredibly detail oriented in discussing the SINGLE WHIP technique so as to trivialize it and put more importance on FORMS rather than the CHI shaping the FORM. I am not anti-form, but it seemed that all the discussions here are too based on physiological part of tai chi....and lacking on the psychological or rather Internal part of it.

I am not refuting all your discussions on the accuracies and the instricacies. After all this is a public forum and I just wanted to ask whether anybody here is curious as I am on the internal part of the SINGLE WHIP. Isn't it the creed of all Tai Chi that we start on the internal aspect and end on the internal aspect?

So here is my two cents share, (if I am still welcome), that even if one masters the physiological and literal movement of any technique and for this matter, SINGLE WHIP, then do you think it is true to the teachings of Tai Chi masters?

I really believe on what my teacher is saying that one can even "do" SINGLE WHIP with a his finger or WARD off with it....so therefore, it is not so much the FORM but the like what AUDI said, the YI and the flavor and issuing of CHI forcing the flavor of the SINGLE WHIP.

Many masters from Yang Lu Chan, Yang Cheng Fu, Chan San Feng to the modern master Chen Mang Ching...can do SINGLE WHIP with any part of their body and it is still SINGLE WHIP....They can do it as well with WARD OFF. For it is not the FORM that define SINGLE WHIP but the CHI that makes it shape.

I am not departing from FORM as you were saying. FORM is the physical manifestation of that particular CHI being issued, but there are literally infinite ways to express the SINGLE WHIP just as many infinite ways of a technique from a CUBISTIC PAINTER to express a specific thought. So given that light, I am concluding my argument that SINGLE WHIP the way you express it is beautiful just as AUDI does...it is just unique.

Thank you and respectfully yours,
Eulalio
Fabie_s@hotmail.com
Eulalio Silva
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Postby tai1chi » Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:45 am

Hi Eulalio,

you wrote:

"FORM is the physical manifestation of that particular CHI being issued, but there are literally infinite ways to express the SINGLE WHIP. . ."

Does each Form have a particular CHI that is not there when there is no FORM? Anyway, I don't know that this board is overly dominated by the physiological, but there is often a great deal of detail. Well, I guess this boils down to the difference between "what" one form is expressing as opposed to "how" is can be expressed. Even if, imho, the "what" is one thing, there still seems to be loads of room for discussion of the infinite number of ways it can be expressed. Of course, though I migh not have much to contribute, I'm sure no one would mind a discussion on the types of CHI associated with the different FORMS.

Best,
Steve James
tai1chi
 
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 7:01 am
Location: NY

Postby JerryKarin » Tue Sep 24, 2002 4:33 am

If you learn to play the piano your teacher will first make you learn some standard techniques for placing the fingers and how to use the hands as you move rightward or leftward beyond where your hand started out on the keyboard. Later on, when you become more expert, you can depart from these standard fingering methods and use whatever method suits you - the notes will still sound good and you will still be able to play them smoothly. Why doesn't the teacher just let the beginning student play his scales any old way, since later he can do that?
JerryKarin
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Eulalio Silva » Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:59 pm

Hello Karin,

Thank you for that very fresh insight and going back to the "basics".

Tai Chi nowadays is defined by its movements and teachers readily teach the whole movements in the repertoire without first teaching the basics of internal cultivation.

Back in the days wherein Tai Chi is Tai Chi, masters don't teach their students until about a year or two...not only their loyalty and digilence being tested, but they start with the simplest and most important practice of all: The Wu Chi.

Without first being aware how to stand, we cannot walk. So this Standing-STill meditation is the centrification of CHI on our Dan Tien until it is second nature to us. Then converting this CHI into JING by breathing condensation through Chi KUng and finally through Nei KUng, the CHI and JING is hardwired through our stances, then only then when the students can practice and apply the stillness and Chi issuing through the movements of Tai Chi. Othwerwise, the students learns the movements firsts and thinking that he knows TAI CHI.

This was the main issue that got me into "trouble" when I mentioned standing still meditation to better their SINGLE WHIP.

Thank you,
Eulalio.

Form is not to take precedence in tai chi....form is the result of Good CHI manifested through the outward shape...that is why TAI CHI is an internal art.
Eulalio Silva
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Postby JerryKarin » Tue Sep 24, 2002 4:07 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Eulalio Silva:
<B>

Back in the days wherein Tai Chi is Tai Chi, masters don't teach their students until about a year or two...not only their loyalty and digilence being tested, but they start with the simplest and most important practice of all: The Wu Chi.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Eulalio, while I have no problems with the approach you are taking, I think you are wrong to say 'back when Tai Chi is Tai Chi' masters started with .... rather than form. This is not the way Yang Chengfu taught his own children and his Tai Chi was Tai Chi. Be aware that there are many roads to the same goal and your teacher's way is not the only one.
JerryKarin
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby DavidJ » Tue Sep 24, 2002 7:33 pm

Hi Eulalio

You wrote, > I agree with everything you say and AUDI's, I am again, simply trying to suggest that people here are all incredibly detail oriented in discussing the SINGLE WHIP technique so as to trivialize it and put more importance on FORMS rather than the CHI shaping the FORM. I am not anti-form, but it seemed that all the discussions here are too based on physiological part of tai chi....and lacking on the psychological or rather Internal part of it. <

Trivialize it? Not at all. You've used the wrong word here I believe. Actually, I think you're on the wrong floor. Your looking for Running shoes in the Dinnerware department. Image See below.

> I am not refuting all your discussions on the accuracies and the instricacies. After all this is a public forum and I just wanted to ask whether anybody here is curious as I am on the internal part of the SINGLE WHIP. Isn't it the creed of all Tai Chi that we start on the internal aspect and end on the internal aspect? <

The only problem I see here is that you are on the wrong forum. This forum is for discussing forms. Look at the Principles and Theories forum.

Try, for example: http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000014.html

As for expressing 'Single Whip' with one finger. Putting it to your lips and going "Shhhhh" may stop a room full of children from talking, but rarely does one use one finger *in this context* to deal with multiple assailants.

Regards,

David J
DavidJ
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Michael » Thu Sep 26, 2002 6:35 am

To all,

I have been gone for awhile and see "SIngle Whip" has taken an interesting turn.

I started this thread a long long time ago. First let me say I agree entirely with Audi and David (my approach is the same), and Jerry.

I often ask about techniques as there are so many different approaches. Technique does NOT, and should NOT be one dimensional, the outer vs the inner. It should be the same. One may appraoch it from either direction but one should not neglect the other. It often depends on the person on which way is shorter.

A master might very well be able to do nothing but Standing or whatever. To me a "Master" is one who embodies the principles. The principles are the "Master". There are no distinctions to be made between them whether moving, sitting, speaking,.... None of us here are "Masters". We each strive to find the best way to learn and to learn all we can. We ask questions of our taiji "brothers" and "sisters". We each have insights that all can benefit from.

To different techniques and different timings can be very useful. This involves the body, the mind, and if you will, the flow of chi. The study of technique allows for more understanding of the principles in movement. Maybe I am just a dolt but this is how it works for me. I didn't know that there was a difference between the inner and the outer? But I also know that the two are not always in harmony when I practice. And that is why I am not a "Master".

Often when I do a set the first time I do Single whip for instance, my intent is A, the second time it might be B or C. Each has a slightly different linkage and/or timing. We have spoken about this before. Why do we do that form so many times in the set? Slight variation, most of the time, cannot be seen by the untrained eye, but teaches us different things. Do I arbitrarily do things different? No, I have a specific intent and that involves/is technique.

Audi put it so well in the weapons thread. All this talk of techniques etc is not about actual combat so much as understanding movement, principle, and response. These techniques can be very effective, do not forget that. I do disagree slightly with one of his points (on the surface) though in reality we are in basic agreement. To really practice technique seperate from the form does not have to be detrimental if appraoched correctly. You still should keep your awareness on proper response. How must I do things differently when the opponent varies his actions, strength of grip, angles, height, foot placement, the shifting of weight,... This IS NOT merely just intellectual examination of the laws of physics. One should approach the study of individual technique in the same way as we approach push hands---with proper response the objective. The problem with practicing some static method is that nothing in reality ever happens as expected.

Audi recently gave me a slightly new way to do a move (that I should have been aware of) and a new technique that made that specific posture "sing" so to speak. A whole new "understanding" that involved ALL aspects. So I say that the more different directions from which can you view a certain form or posture the greater depth you gain.
In time you pick and choose where to put your intent but you still are equally aware of the other possibilities and methods because you have worked with them, the "inner" and the "outer" aspects. Movement, timing, the linkage, change as you vary technique.

Why do we do form? To do a dance? The intent we put into the various positions teach us something. The more you put in the more you get out. It is true whether we are talking about time or varying our focus. To some I might often seem very technique oriented. What is on the surface is not often the whole story.

I have probably explained myself poorly (it is late) but I hope you know what I am driving at.

Eulalio, This is a good meeting. I'd be very interested in any methods that you would like to share. I look forward to your ideas on the theory thread. Let me also say that I do standing. I was not thrilled with it at first. It can be a painfully sloooow process. BUT there are great benefits to be gained.

Make it good! and my best,

Michael



[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 09-26-2002).]
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby Audi » Tue Oct 01, 2002 3:34 am

Hi Eulalio:

Thanks for your posts. I think I at least have a much better understanding of where you are coming from.

First, let me say that you should continue to post. I believe Erik stated a good-natured complaint a few months ago that at least part of the Board’s discussions were too preachy and theoretical for his taste. He then led some discussions of blow-by-blow applications. You seem to want to go to the other end of the continuum. If this forum does not welcome differing views, would it not be the poorer for it?

In all honesty, your views and approach to Taijiquan strike me as quite different from many of the regular posters on this board, even though I believe your views are well represented in the literature. Let me also say that I agree with those who have responded to you earlier and believe I share the same approach to Taijiquan as they. I will not address their excellent points, but if you do not mind “vigorous” dialogue, let me add a few additional perspectives.

You seem to set great store on the direct cultivation of “qi” and using the mind to direct it around the body. You apparently believe that such an ability can be directly useful in self-defense. Do you believe that merely by touch and without external movement it is possible to uproot an opponent, deliver a “blow,” neutralize an attack, or deliver movement energy to injure an opponent? Can you yourself do any of these things, or have you seen anyone else demonstrate these abilities? What do you make of statements in the literature that ignore “jin/jing” and that advise us to disregard “qi” and concentrate solely on “yi” or “shen”?

Although “qi” is obviously an important concept in Taijiquan, I must confess that I have grown wary of approaches that rely on mental manipulation of “qi” to any significant extent. Some people who do so espouse theories that violate my belief systems, which are firmly based in the Western scientific tradition. There is also such disagreement about the meaning of words such as “internal,” “nei gong,” “qi,” “jing” (“essence”), “bone marrow,” “shen,” and “jin(g)” (“power”) that I am uncomfortable with approaches that rely solely on fine distinctions between these terms or that divorce these concepts from physical and observable practices. How can I use my breath to condense “qi” around my bones and into my “marrow” if I am not sure what these words refer to and what their exact range of meaning is? If you are working closely enough with an accomplished teacher who takes this approach and can guide you down this path, that is terrific. I have my doubts that such an approach would work for me.

You also seem to put great importance on the concept of “Wuji” and seem to see it as a basis for understanding “Taiji.” I think I differ from you here as well. For me it is important that Taijiquan not be based on “Wuji,” the “Ba Gua,” or the Five Elements/Phases (“Wu Xing”), but on “Taiji.” These other concepts have their place, even in Taiji theory, but in my mind they do not represent the core of the art. If one views “Taiji” as subordinate to “Wuji,” why not put the “Dao” above all? On the other hand, if one views “Taiji” as more sophisticated or developed than “Wuji,” why not base one’s art on the “Ba Gua” or even the 64 “Yi Jing”/”I Ching” diagrams that build on the concept of “Taiji”?

On the theory forums of this board, I set forth some of my thoughts about why the concept of “Taiji” is significant to me and my current study of Taijiquan. I would be interested in your reaction to the thoughts I threw together there. From that perspective, I do not find that “Wuji” has a significant place in my current practice. I must confess that even in the Preparation Posture, “Taiji” has more meaning to me that “Wuji,” since I look for a feeling of movement in this posture. “Formlessness” is not something I practice or cultivate much.

You mention several times that you see “stillness” as important to your practice. I see the essence of Taijiquan as being the perception, understanding, and control of dynamic opposites. Whereas it seems you emphasize the phrase “Use stillness to overcome motion,” I emphasize Yang Chengfu’s wording of the principle where this phrase is discussed: “In movement seek stillness.”

I do not view Taijiquan as being any “stiller” than other arts. I see it as paying more attention to the importance of stillness with respect to movement. “In movement seek stillness; in stillness seek movement.”

Concretely, I think most martial arts seek to overcome the opponent by moving quicker. They react to movement by trying to focus on moving even more quickly. I believe Taijiquan teaches that at any given moment both my opponent and I are in part still and moving at the same time and that by paying attention to all four variables of this interaction, I can achieve more than by seeing the interaction as a contest of movement against movement. If I can be still at the opponent’s “pivot point,” any movement on his or her part will leave me “behind his or her power.” I will be following without having to hurry or even move. For me, this is why the opponent can move first, but I arrive first without moving quicker. Once "there," I can make the opponent’s power stagnant and use movement to overcome this stagnation/stillness.

These are enough thoughts for the movement. Good luck with your practice.

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Eulalio Silva » Fri Oct 04, 2002 2:14 pm

Dear Michael and Audi,

Thank you very much for "opening" up a bit more and welcoming me in this site. I apologize for "jumping" into your little community of Tai Chi Chuan, which is very good while letting people know that Tai Chi is very much alive.

First and foremost, I would like to introduce my little self as well. I am an artist/painter who is not too "far" from the principles of Tai Chi. I believe that Tai Chi is the source of everything and therefore can transcend her realities into all phases of life wherein Tai Chi Chuan, the "chuan" is emphasized as an application of the TAO manifested on our minds and body to defend ourselves.

Having said that and being philosophical, we should understand that the TAO is very much a living and breathing philoshophy...not just for the books.

I have been studying Chi Kung and Nei Kung and seeing the value of the "neija" or sister arts, one can see the wholeness of the TAO manifested thru the martial arts. Due to my diabetes, I am able to sustain myself without medication using Chi Kung/ Nei Kung. I have studied Yang Temple Style Tai Chi Chuan here in Chicago but my limited time and funds prompted me to continue with other means as I gain more money to "master" it.

Yang temple sytle tai chi is one of the lesser known yang tai chi but preserved from the Wu Dang to now Tai Pei....the most noted of its lineage is Master Waysun Liao of Chicago who has printed his own book thru Shambhala publications called, Tai Chi Classics. He is a contemporary of the famed Chen Man Ching as well as a collegue of his.

Anyway, I am "crossed-trained" with other internal arts mostly with I-chuan derivatives that specialized in STILLNESS meditation. I recommend this book called THE WARRIORS OF STILLNESS by Diepersloot. A follower of Master Cai, who is a master of EMPTY FORCE.

What is EMPTY FORCE? it is the controversial power among the internal masters called LING KONG JING. Which is the internal power (CHIN, or JING)to heal or defend oneself using CHI without touching. This is a part of Tai Chi that has been "abandoned" or misunderstood since the proliferation of the modern Tai Chi is too much on FORMS.

On the book WARRIORS of STILLNESS, master Cai Fan Song, shows that all internal arts boils down to cultivation, absorption and issuing of CHI thru a finer energy called JING cultivated thru STANDING STILL MEDITATION. He can issue JING and move you without touching though he only mastered the basic original forms of TAI CHI, mainly the GRASPING THE BIRDS TAIL.....but his limited forms makeup for his enormous CHI. This direction of study is not separate from the mainstream of TAI CHI since it neither confront and go againts the principles, but in fact re-awakening that thru the WU JI, which means nothingness and stillness, we all acknowledge the TAO....which is the minute reality just before we move...which is TAI CHI...the separation of Yin and Yang. Mastering the WU JI TAI CHI enables one to see the value of standing meditation as a precursory and the most important part of TAI CHI oftentimes misunderstood: TO STAND. and the last part of the TAI CHI ROUTINE is also to STAND...in philosphy and reality, we all start from Wu JI and end in WU JI...

Another noted book to considere to supplement our studies is the MAGUS OF JAVA, a book written by a former scientist and engineer to sutdy under a master, a Chinese who is still living in JAVA holding a key information from DA MO and Chan Sang FEng....the writer's name is Kostas Danaos. Please read this. MAster Chang, the Chinese "magi" can move objects, levitate, heal using his JING. Again, the finer and more cultivated form of CHI stored on our DAN TIAN and our bones.

AT this point of my studies, I can vibrate my body using the Chi Kung/Nei Kung exercises and whenever I do the TAI CHI routines (which I havent even completed yet), I feel vibrations on my hands and arms as well as my feet. The generation of JING is starting....

anyway, thank you for letting me have my own litle input....

I would love to ultimately sharie and learn with you guys...

Respectfully,
Eulalio
Eulalio Silva
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Postby gene » Tue Oct 15, 2002 7:53 pm

Hi guys:

A question, related to stillness/movement. What do you think about when you play push hands? And do you generally do better when your mind is actively and consciously engaged in searching for the center, or an opportunity; or, do you do better when you disengage from conscious analysis and just let things happen? I think I asked you this question once, Audi, when we were pushing hands, and you said you try to think of "peng" - being like a beach ball on the water. But that was probably a year ago. Do you still feel that way?

Gene
gene
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Holmdel, NJ, USA

Postby Eulalio Silva » Wed Oct 16, 2002 8:43 pm

Hello Gene,

If I may interject my own opinion on PUSHING HANDS in relation to Stillness/movement….

Due to my own practice of STANDING STILL MEDITATION, one learns to intangibly feel the inner workings of our ever flowing CHI and how to absorb, issue and disseminate whether through health or martial applications. After a long while, this practice of STANDING calls for the Wu Ji or nothingness, which means that the CHI will be naturalized to our Tan Tien and balance itself throughout our whole physical being. With further practice of NEI KUNG, one call send JING (a more refined CHI stored in our bones and Tan Tien) to issue it…for example your fingertips…etc.

With this constant practice, only the YI or I (intention or desire) fuels the JING to expel itself automatically whether in movement or in stillness. So while practicing the PUSH HANDS, while being "SONG" or "SUNG" (relaxed and submitting to the WU JI or TAO), all the we need to do is use our YI or I.

Of course, due to constant practice of PUSHING HAND drill, the body becomes one with the mind. Therefore, one is like riding a bike and not think of our balance, hand positioning,…etc. as much anymore. We are just
"flowing" with the TAO, and using the "feel" and the Yi or I to be integrated.

Any martial techniques within the Nei Jia (sister internal arts) must be dissolved and not to be consciously called upon superficially. What I meant is that, it is a natural act of our body with the luxury of learning how to interact with the TAO. Our listening skills is one with the TAO and therefore we don't make any effort.

I think that as an artist (painter), the nearest analogy outside martial arts is that while painting or creating something, one is integrated with his mind and the TAO, the natural feeling.

So when you do PUSH HANDS, just flow….provided that you have the right training of Chi/Jing cultivation, forms and Yi. Eventually, it becomes like riding a bike, just thinking of where you want to go without sweating the details that is already been taken care off.

I conclude that Tai Chi, as an internal art, is cultivated internally and only manifested externally through forms and techniques. Having sound techniques will only get you so far but it is not Tai Chi. One must be integrated with the "Supreme Ultimate"…literally, Tai Chi.

I hope this would enlighten some…

Eli Silva
Eulalio Silva
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Chicago, IL USA

Postby Audi » Sat Oct 19, 2002 8:30 pm

Hi Gene,

It's good to see you back and active on the Board.

In connection with Push Hands, you asked:

<<Do you generally do better when your mind is actively and consciously engaged in searching for the center, or an opportunity; or, do you do better when you disengage from conscious analysis and just let things happen?>>

I must disclaim any great ability in Push Hands, but I think I stand by my earlier response. I would, however, like to add to it.

I think that in Push Hands one must be consciously setting up certain conditions in the body and mind. Once this is done, I think you must yield initiative to your partner and "follow." You neither consciously look for an opportunity, nor just let things happen. No analysis is involved.

By "yielding the initiative," I do not mean that you must wait for your partner to "do something" or to initiate "a technique." In my view, he or she is always "doing" something, whether or not a technique or overt movement is involved. The issue is how you respond to their arrangement or disposition of actual and potential movement energy. Ideally, you should feel as if by having no control over the development of the action, you retain complete control.

Here is another way of explaining what I meant by concentrating on general Peng energy. Most people describe Taijiquan in "Yin" terms. I believe that a flaw in these description is that Taijiquan involves the interaction between yin and yang, not just yin. Accordingly, to balance all the talk of "yielding," I think it can be beneficial to think in terms of attack. I believe the real truth to be in the interaction of the two, but I believe it can be beneficial to approach this interaction of yin and yang from both perspictives.

In approaching Pushing Hands from a "Yang" perspective, I believe one can think about constantly pushing the opponent. When I say constantly, I mean that one is literally and physically pushing or pulling against the opponent's body 100% of the time. Even as you shift weight to the rear, you are still pushing.

As one does this, there are some further requirements. First, one must have the intention of pushing with one's entire body, not just a part. It is not a local push. Your whole body feels as if it is expanding toward the opponent. To have this feeling, it will be necessary for some local parts of your body actually to contract. If I expand front and back, my sides must contract. If my sides expand outwardly, my front and back must contract. Secondly, one must be absolutely willing to allow the opponent to deflect your pushing wherever he or she can manifest power. You must not restrict the focus of your pushing in any way. Trying to push against effective opposition of your opponent is merely the equivalent of limiting your pushing intention.

The result of this is that the opponent will funnel your weak overall pushing and pulling into his or her weakness. You do not plan or predict the path of your force. It is simply inherent in the method you are using. It is like water crashing on a rocky cliff. The energy of the water is initially equally distributed along the cliff and has very little force. As the hardness of the cliff funnels the water into crevices, the power of the water is magnified and can surge through gaps.

Yet another way of thinking of this is that you must consciously allow your energy to be molded by the opponent. Although you conscously establish this condition, the exact form your energy takes is dictated by your opponent's use of energy, not by your own will. To the extent you attempt to mold your energy independently of the opponent, i.e., independently of the "cliff," you merely constrict your own power. You also delay your reaction time, because you are now required to make conscious decisions and choices. This is what I understand by "Forgetting oneself and following the opponent."

By the way, this view of mine also comes from two points about traditional Yang Style Taijiquan that I think are often not sufficiently discussed. From what I have read, Yang Style has a unique emphasis on "Peng" energy that does not exist in some other styles of Taijiquan. By this, I do not mean that the other styles do not use "Peng" energy, but rather that the emphasis is different. Also, Yang Style has a unique emphasis on "being there" for the opponent, but not giving him or her anything to work with. "You can always get to me, but you cannot get me." This is why I like the image of a beach ball floating on the water. It appears to push back against your hand, but in reality only returns the force you give it. You try to push it into the water, but can never seem to get the necessary leverage and end up pushing it away instead.

As for having a conscious or unconscious mindset, I find that this is not the most helpful polarity for me to analyze. When you swim with the best form, are you consciously or unconsciously choosing where to place your limbs? I find this hard to say. What I would say is that you are totally aware of how every limb of your body is interacting with the water. In Push Hands, I would say that one should be totally aware of how one's energy is molding to the opponent's, while having no intention of planning anything. Your Yi is totally on having moldable resilient expanding energy and not at all on reproducing any sequence of movements that other martial arts would see as techniques.

Does this address the question or have any resonance? I see that Eli comes from a different perspective. Does anyone else see this very differently?

Take care,
Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1130
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Tai Chi Chuan - Barehand Form

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest

cron