Taiji aplications

Postby Polaris » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:28 pm

Ah yes, I'm not surprised. Those things are taught and trained a lot more in the Asian schools. Westerners tend to come to T'ai Chi when they are relatively >ahem< advanced in years, you could say. Sifu Eddie has taught the complete wrestling program to a few of his people in Canada who started young, but not many. Historically, IME, not very many Westerners have even been interested!
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:15 pm

The Detroit Academy Sifu must have been one of those who started "relatively young" and learned the system in Canada. He teaches these things vigorously. He has a great deal of skill at close quarters fighting.
He taught me to fall correctly, even from a great height, with no harm. He taught me to roll and tumble after being thrown so that I could not only get back on my feet, but I would be in an advantageous postition to my opponent when I did. I learned to accept powerful blows to my body, anywhere, with no harm to myself.
I'd most likely get knocked on my kiester if I tried that today. I'm severely out of practice. I don't have a steady partner for that kind of training.
I never really knew how much gold Sifu was actually pushing into my pockets.
I simply assumed that ALL schools of TCC taught these things.
Glad I learned as much of the Wu style techniques as I did while I had the chance! I miss that kind of training, it certainly helped me to understand what I was doing in form training equated to a real technique that was effective in reality.
Learning those techniques also shaped my forms in a way that no amount of form practice ever could. They gave me that "sense of opponent" in my form that you can only get from experience with an actual opponent.
I will see how many of those techniques I can apply to the Yang forms as soon as I get the chance. I'm sure most it will come over very well if I just think it through.
I'm waiting and hoping that some people in my area will reach the point where they are ready for free style sparring. I guess I will have more to teach some of them than I realized.
Wrestling, tumbling, throws, flips, falls, ground fighting, these are a natural part of TCC for me. I never knew it wasn't universaly practiced.



[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 02-17-2004).]
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:52 pm

Polaris,
I've been patient, I think.
You intriqued us with the statement:
"Wu Ch'uan-yu (…ÇÈ«ÓÓ) and other Manchu Bannermen learned originally from Yang Lu-ch'an, starting in 1850. Wu Ch'uan-yu was only 16 in 1850, so he started training T'ai Chi at a young age (more on this later). In 1870, Wu Ch'uan-yu became a disciple of Yang's son, Yang Pan-hou."

I, at least, have been patiently waiting for "later" to arrive, but now I will ask for the "more", please?
Pretty please?
I have read as much on Master Wu Chuan Yau as I can find lately, but there's just not too much out there. As I've mentioned before I often implored Sife Eddie for tales of Wu Chien Chuan, which he seemed happy to relate to us. Sometimes we even got Wu Tai Sin to relate a story of Wu Chien Chuan to us, translated by Eddie. I simply loved the stories of his life and accomplishments.
However, for some strange reason I never asked about Master Wu Chuan Yau.
Anything you can relate to us about the Master would be greatly appreciated for it's historical value.
At least by me, who studied under his ancestors and have a great love of his family, it's art and history.
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Postby Polaris » Wed Feb 18, 2004 9:19 pm

The "more later" was the bit about what students were taken through at first when they started young. Younger students, esp. younger military students such as Sifu Eddie's great-great Grandfather, were taken through a daily routine that was almost brutally intense. The tradition in the Wu family is that Yang Lu-ch'an had the cadets train their long form 10,000 times in the first three years after they'd learned it. Only after those three years were they shown pushing hands. That works out to between 9-10 forms a day, every day. As well, they were 40 minute forms, and as the three years went by they were lower and lower in the knees. the instructors would carry a staff, they would place a string across the courtyard, and if any heads bobbed over the string at the wrong time during the forms they were thumped, hard, by the instructor's staff. As time went on the string got lower and lower. You have to remember that these were all teenagers, and future officers of the Imperial Palace Battalion, so Yang made sure they knew exactly what they were doing before he would show them the next thing.

That was pretty much the traditional teaching method until 1914 or so, when Yang Shao-hou, Yang Ch'eng-fu and Wu Chien-ch'uan started teaching the general public at the Beijing Physical Education Research Institute. That is when they had to smooth out the forms and take it a bit more easy on the older, relatively more out-of-shape students that they started to get after that. Curiously, it is said that when the Yangs and Wu Chien-ch'uan smoothed the tempo of the forms they were teaching beginners, they found some energetic benefits in the smoothing process. The story is told that it became apparent to them that students didn't disperse the inner energy that they were cultivating in a smooth, even form as much as they did in the explosive "fa ching" forms taught to the military students. The benefit was considered so remarkable, and saved so much time thereby, that the smooth forms were subsequently made the Yang and Wu family standard for all beginners. In the Wu family schools (and one assumes in the Yang family as well, although I don't know for sure, it is said YCF in his later years only taught the smooth form), the fa ching forms were still taught at advanced levels, especially in the weapons forms, after the students already had plenty of inner energy.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Feb 18, 2004 9:26 pm

Greetings Polaris,

You wrote:

"The tradition in the Wu family is that Yang Lu-ch'an had the cadets train their long form 10,000 times in the first three years after they'd learned it."

The number 10,000 (wan) in Chinese is conventionally used to mean "a lot," or "myriad." So I'm not sure if the number is to be taken stricktly literally.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 02-18-2004).]
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Postby Polaris » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:19 am

Greetings Louis,

Ah yes, you are correct, I'd never thought of that. My teachers did go into the subsequent detail of 10 times a day for 1, 095 days and all of that, but who knows how much has been embellished by 100 years or storytelling? It does remind me of the old syndrome, of "Let's tell the new guys some brutal stories to get them to think how easy we are on them, har har!"

Cheers,
P.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:17 am

Hi Polaris,

I'll have to confess that in my pre-edited post, I arrived at the wrong product, and it looked like the number-crunching had been done by someone in Washington D.C. Nine to ten forms per day may indeed have been the standard for Yang Luchan's students. Still, it is true that "ten-thousand" is conventionally used for large non-specified sums.

It also happens to be my Chinese name!

Take care,
Wan Luyi
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:09 pm

Thanks, Polaris.
I think I did hear that story during a couple of the seminars, but I always enjoy relearning something.
I have done the math, I almost invariably do form practice three times a day, sometimes four but sometimes only once or twice. Then we have to take days I'm sick or working too many hours to practice at all.
So I have decided to use twice a day on average, in the long run I think that's fairly accurate.
That's six days a week, I take off Sundays unless there's a seminar.
I've been doing TCC for 17 years exactly next month (I started my training in March, 1986).
That means that between the original, what was called "traditional" Yang family form, I first learned, the Wu forms I then learned and the YCF froms I'm learning now...
I have done one form or another approx. 10608 times.
Guess I'm ready to start learning push hands now!
Oh. Whoops.
Been doing that for fifteen years allready.
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:31 pm

Greetings Luyi,

You mentioned that your name is "ten-thousand"...Wan Luyi...In Chinese.

I am curious...
Can all names be translated into Chinese?
Do all Chinese names carry significant meanings?

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:10 pm

Hi Psalchemist,

Western names can be represented in Chinese, but rarely are they “translated.” That is to say, the practice is usually to try to approximate the phonemes of Western names with Chinese characters. For example, Washington is: Hua Sheng Dun, Clinton is Ke Ling Dun, Reagan is Li Gen or Lei Gen. Sometimes they appear as nonsense words or rarely used characters, but conventionally the practice is to use characters with positive connotation. As for my name, it was given to me by my first Mandarin teacher years ago, and stuck. Ten Thousand (Wan) just happens to be a Chinese surname. Lu is a sort of grass hut; yi means “happy”. Maybe my teacher was trying to be ironic.

You can learn more about such things on Zhongwen.com. Look for the link “How are foreign names written.”

http://www.zhongwen.com/noads.htm

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:22 pm

Chinese surnames are a subset of the full lexicon (though they are still ordinary words like 'money', 'ten thousand'; a few are like western surnames: exclusively or nearly exclusively used for surnames), but given names can be any syllables in the language, though obviously certain words with bad connotations aren't going to turn up much in names.
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:54 pm

Greetings Louis,

Thanks for the link...Multi-faceted.

I explored a little...found the "foriegn name" section...Well explained and understandable.

Also used the name translator...which varies the terms often (as they forewarn, and as is corroborated in the foriegn names explanation).

There was much repetition...I'm something like...Xing Ping Ming or Song Ping Meng...Quite amusing.

Happy Grass Hut...How charming...I do wonder, also, what your teacher was thinking. Image

Thanks ten thousand for that site and the explanations.

Best Regards,
Psalchemist.




[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 02-19-2004).]
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:12 am

Greetings Jerry,

Thanks for providing your knowledge of Chinese names and their translation qualities.

All seems to be in accordant and harmonious agreement...

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Audi » Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:47 pm

Hi Wushuer and Polaris,

Thanks for your clarifications and expansions on the issue of grappling. One thing I should clarify about Yang Style is that flips and throws are indeed viable applications of some of the postures. I know this from personal experience. I have not, however, been shown such things as a separate discipline or as a set of techniques distinct from other types of applications. For instance, I have seen the classic Roll Back used as a “push,” an arm break, a Qin Na technique used to pin, a “pull,” a takedown, and, of course, as a flip or throw.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Yang Shen » Fri Mar 19, 2004 5:39 pm

I have had some experience with grapplers in friendly matches I do not believe they were aware that Tai Chi Chuan trains many grappling and chin na methods.
Rolling with the punches, offering no resistance to place force on the ground fighters did spend a lot of time on the ground. I enjoy Tai Chi boxing methods
Most sport fighting and media based applications do not have the amount of depth as internal boxing does. In the worst case if the destructive strikes are needed I find the use much more effective to end things quickly.

Many times no matter what discipline one may be trained in we are faced with natural ability, that being the fast and strong man wins. This can be an outcome of not being trained to reverse the process of movement, yielding to the hard and attacking when that hard force empties with explosive energy as in internal methods of striking (not legal in sport application and hopefully not needed at all). Many live with out awareness of natural law, our connection to it and how movement and stillness are regulated.

To myself Tai Chi Chuan, Yin and Yang understanding are the building blocks of all martial arts at the deepest levels. When we ignore the roots and trim the trees in the case of techniques we may favor we may lose the essential protection that is with us all the time that being the one unified primal energy regulated by natural law.

In my opinion ego fighting and external show in the UFC and the like is not a proper application of martial arts (private matches to test skill or in the proper place is different then competing for money, fame and the like) but that is just my own view on the subject. Peace
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