Postby Wushuer » Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:38 pm

There are conflicting tales of whether Wu Chien Chuan, Chuan Yau's son, ever took instruction from the Yang family.
It depends on who you ask, but all concerned say that he was primarily his fathers student.
He did, however, open a school with Masters Xi-Yiu Seng, Yang Shou Hou and Yang Cheng Fu, where they all taught together for a number of years. This was the precursor of the Beijing Institute of Physical Education, which it became known as after it was recognized by the Ministry of Education due to the excellence of it's instruction, and expanded.
Clearly, at this point in time there was no division among the Masters. I find that holds true today. The Masters don't seem to have any problems between the styles, it is their students who have created the "styles" by insisting thier preferred "style" of TCC is superior.
I am doing my best to escape that trap by "crossing over". I would like to say that it was altruistic on my part, but it was purely necessity that drove me. I had no other options to continue training TCC after I moved to my present location and was in no shape due to a physical injury to continue training on my own.
Now that I am back in fighting trim, I have come to have a genuine respect and love for Yang Cheng Fu style TCC beyond the original purpose of getting myself healed from the injury.
The deep, wide, expansive jing I have discovered in YCF style is so different from the narrower, more concentrated jing found in Wu style. I don't believe one is better than the other, but I do recognise their differences.
At WTCCA there is still a bit of the "no pain, no gain" attitude learned from Yang Ban Hou and passed on by Chuan Yau to his son. In fact, when learning meridians in Wu style I was often told that the only way to learn these meridians was to injure them repeatedly, so there could be no doubt as to their location. The pain leads you to become familiar with them, very quickly, and you are unlikely to forget them.
However in learning the same meridians in my YCF classes a simple push of gentle jing through the meridian leaves you in no doubt as to it's location. It's not as fast of a method, certainly, nor does the lingering pain remind you constantly of the location, but it also doesn't leave you limping and wishing for pain killers after class.
The "no pain, no gain" method of training does have merit, but after seventeen years of "no pain, no gain" it's been sort of nice to learn a bit more kindly and gently.
The "no pain, no gain" method of teaching fighting applications does teach them quickly, as you learn the proper method to avoid the pain in jig time, but showing someone the method gently and slowly a few more times seems to sink it in just as well without all the ice packs and aspirin.
Still, I do miss the "no pain, no gain" method for it's directness and it's familiarity.
Funny what you learn to enjoy? Isn't it?
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Postby Polaris » Thu Dec 25, 2003 12:05 am

Wu Chien-ch'uan was good friends with the Yang brothers, Yang Shao-hou and Yang Ch'eng-fu. In particular, he was asked to train with Yang Ch'eng-fu as YCF only started seriously training under his older brother after his father's death. Later, in Hsu Yu-sheng's school they all taught the public under the same roof. So, while there was no formal instruction between them, they certainly spent a lot of time, decades, working together. The stories of WCC and YCF vigorously pushing hands together for demonstrations in Beijing and later Shanghai are legendary.

Wu Chien-ch'uan's sons, Wu Kung-i and Wu Kung-tsao, are a different story. The custom in the martial art families of old was that the kids would train with the grandfather and only later with the father. Since Wu Kung-i's and Wu Kung-tsao's grandfather passed away when Wu Kung-i was an infant, this was impossible. Yang Shao-hou, however, was a generation senior to Wu Chien-ch'uan and glady agreed to teach the youngsters. It is said that he differences that people have noticed between Wu Kung-i's forms and those of his father are at least partly attributable to Yang Shao-hou's teaching.
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Postby waterway » Mon Dec 29, 2003 2:36 pm

If I had known what I was downloading, I would never have wasted my time on that 40MB piece of rubbish!

If he is a teacher, then call me master or sifu (which I am far far from)

Thats enough to put people off Tai Chi!!!
Funny though.... the guy jumping around! Jumps even when he is being pulled down!
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Dec 30, 2003 4:48 pm

It has been a long time since we heard from you.
Thank you for the history. I had no idea of these things.
I don't know if I ever asked Sifu for the history of Wu Chien Chuan. I know I asked him for the history of Chuan Yua, several times, and he seemed very happy to relate it.
In fact, he gave me the above text on a handout at a seminar once. I think Patricia Leong had just translated it.
I had hungered for Chuan Yua's story, I was and still am fascinated by it and had asked him to retell it every time I thought he would.
For some reason, I never asked about Wu Chien Chuan. Go figure.
Thank you for relating that to us. I, personally, find that bit of history to be very fascinating.
I have always wondered why Wu Kung Yi's forms were so different from his fathers. More upright, less "sitting".
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Postby Audi » Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:54 am

Greetings all,

Wow, this is really a tough crowd! I am glad I have never posted videos of my paltry excuse for push hands. I sincerely doubt any of my skills are superior to what I see portrayed by either of the demonstrators in the nytaichi video clip.

I have no connection to the school represented, but I think I know a little about them and feel I have to provide a little counterpoint to some of the previous posts. I am not sure that I could fairly judge someone’s skill level based on this video. Certainly, there are aspects that are not completely “real” about it, but isn’t that true of every demonstration? Even “no-holds-barred” fighting necessarily involves rules that skew the universal “validity” of what it portrays. For instance, I do not recall every seeing a video or a video clip that portrayed someone actively trying to fight back in a push hands demonstration or to frustrate a teacher’s technique.

I would also say that it is hard to be a good “victim.” If you are aware of what skill or skills are to be demonstrated, it is not too hard to deny the opponent the necessary energy and frustrate the technique. On the other hand, if one too readily supplies the needed energy, one portrays choreography rather than something approaching a real exchange of energy.

I am also not familiar with the terms associated with the video. What exactly is “striking hand/ta sau” (I think this would be “da3 shou3 in Mandarin.)? Similarly, I am familiar with the term “Sticky Hands” (“chi sau”?) in Wing Chun, but have not heard of this in Taijiquan. Is anyone familiar with how these terms differ from basic Push Hands in general?

Without knowing what the parameters of this demo are and what precisely the demo is attempting to show, I am not sure I can judge what should or should not have been included. If I were a Karateka, I would criticize it for not showing any finishing strikes. If I were a Judoka, I would criticize it for never taking the opponent to the floor. But, would such criticisms be fair, if such skills are not intended to be part of the exercise?

I have never engaged in the particular drill I see portrayed; but nonetheless I do see certain skills and techniques demonstrated and am glad they were willing to share this on the Net. Why other skills and techniques were omitted or why they failed to exploit other possibilities, I cannot say and cannot judge based on what I see at least.

Take care,
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Postby bamboo leaf » Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:09 pm

Greetings to all

A really nice site and interesting discussion I hope to learn and perhaps add a little to it. My name is Dalton; I post on other sites as bamboo leaf.

One thing I haven’t heard mentioned is the use of Yi or mind in pushing it might account for some of things noted in the video.

This site explains a little of what I refer to.

bamboo leaf
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Postby rvc_ve » Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:53 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by bamboo leaf:
[B]Greetings to all

One thing I haven’t heard mentioned is the use of Yi or mind in pushing it might account for some of things noted in the video.

So do you think There IS a good use of yi or LACK of it in this particular video demonstration? it looks really fake and non-spontaneous to me but I could be wrong. Is there something we're missing?

oh, and thank you for the link. Cool site!
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Postby DavidJ » Thu Jan 08, 2004 6:52 pm

Hi Guys,

I once saw a chi gung demonstration where the "master" put on demonstrations which, apparently unknown to him, employed deceptive tricks that are well-known at circuses and carnivals in the USA.

Concerning the pushes on videos at www.searchcentertaichi.com

In slow motion in http://www.searchcentertaichi.com/video2.html you can see the person who is pushed transfer all of his weight to his left leg and do a controlled fall.

In slow motion in http://www.searchcentertaichi.com/video1.html you can see the person who is pushed bend his legs and jump backwards.

Whether this stuff is deliberate or not I cannot say, but it doesn't come off well.


David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 01-08-2004).]

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 01-08-2004).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Jan 09, 2004 12:55 am

If you read the artical you will understand that looking for mechanical effects of this type of pushing can be misleading. True his leg dose start to go down but notice that his center moves before any other action. This type of pushing and idea are very different IMO until you have actually experienced it there will be a lot of skepticism.

The effect of strong intent has the ability to move your center you must follow it. Many people looking at taiji pushing and watching some one hoping back many yards mistaking think that its by the force of the push, actually people are chasing their centers trying not to fall over, it has the effect of making one hop.


both of these sites including the one you mention all speak of the same thing
bamboo leaf
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Postby Audi » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:10 am

Greetings Dalton,

I am puzzled by the video clip at http://www.searchcentertaichi.com/video2.html. What is the purpose of demonstrating a push while seated? Is this to show that the practitioner's posture and physical structure is more or less irrelevant to his ability to topple the oncoming person and that little or no "physical strength" is involved? If so, has this been your experience in learning and practicing Taijiquan?

Take care,
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:58 am

Yes this has been my experience, there is no "physical strength" involved

Reading the thread there seems to be much confusion about push hands demos and what exactly is happening..

Yes the practitioner's posture and physical structure is more or less irrelevant to his ability to topple the oncoming person.

There’s a little more if you carry it out to the logical conclusion. Its not really relevant to this topic but explains a lot of things that people laugh at.

In my experience with some people that I have met when pushed there is simply nothing to push against. When the player uses what some might call fa-jing there is no sense of body movement or force the closest thing that I could describe it would be being carried by a wave in the ocean.

Looking at the clips you can see the center moving first this is being acted upon.

just offering another way of looking at things based on my experiences.

[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 01-09-2004).]
bamboo leaf
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