Jeff, thanks for the links. I echo Psalchemist’s thoughts. There was a time I would have killed to see such things.
Wushuer, I think I know where you are coming from with your comments. However, I would be surprised if the demonstration was really meant to show competitive pushing, as opposed to giving a general idea of how techniques look in a reasonably live setting.
Wushuer, I do not understand your reference to leaning and weight distribution. Are you pro or con? I cannot speak for the Yangs, but just about everything I see on the clip is absolutely consistent with what I have been taught. In my opinion, the demonstration looks like it is or like it could be the “Traditional” Yang Style as taught by the Yangs.
Psalchemist, there are a several things that I find very illustrative in the clips that help show some things I have tried to explain in the past. First, I have tried recently to talk about how Taijiquan requires that you work on and with the opponent’s energy. Notice in the clips how the apparent instructor tends to push through the student’s arms. Sometimes he gets a better connection than in other cases and the varying effects are evident from the results of the push.
A good push in the clip results only when the instructor can make the student double weighted. If, for instance, at the moment the push is issued, the student could make his arms go limp (not necessarily a good technique in Taijiquan), all the power would be dissipated into his arms. His arms would fly, but his body would not move much. Some of this is clearer towards the end of the clip, where the student seems to become simultaneously less compliant and slightly more aggressive. These is a much greater variance between good connections and so-so connections through the student’s arms.
Also, notice that although the instructor works on the student’s arms, he is really trying to affect his whole body. The point of the art is not really to deflect the opponent's technique, but to affect his or her entire body.
Especially towards the beginning of the clip, you can see that the instructor tends to root through both legs at the instant he issues. The connection between his legs is visible, and you can see how this connects through his joints into his arms.
Wushuer, if you follow the hyperlink and look for “More Video,” you can see a portion of “fast form”. As far as I know, this is not taught by the Yangs’ in this way; nevertheless, the clip of Repulse Monkey and the subsequent leap illustrate things I have tried to describe in the past. Notice that the practitioner does not issue in Repulse Monkey until both feet have rooted. He even repeats this intent during the back fist that follows the leap. At all times, he tries to keep total control over his movement, or at least the intent of doing so.
Michael, if you also look at the “fast form” clip, especially at the final posture, you can see some of what I was trying to explain about leans. In this posture, the practitioner’s joints have a relative positioning that would take a pull and lead his center of gravity behind his front foot, rather than in front of it. I do not see any tendency for his back foot to become light. If he shortened his stance, these joint dynamics would change; but I am not sure that the theory of the method would change. Again, I accept that there are other theories and other training methods.
You can also see some of how the Jin moves naturally, by looking at how the practitioner reaches the culmination of postures. He does not appear to “stop” or catch himself, but rather the dynamics of how he is using his joints results in a natural stopping point that need not be “planned” or “drilled” into muscle memory. No matter how fast he would go, he would not risk blowing out his knee.