Does one need push hands?

Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:18 am

Greetings All,

A little debate here, many interesting posts. Thanks to everyone. I think this discussion is valuable first of all because of the attempt to understand the others' approaches to the practice Image

In my opinion which is based on what I read and have been taught taiji quan has three levels – Earth, Man, and Heaven. I am not speaking just about Yang style but in general. One thing comes to mind. Hao Weizhen wrote an excellent essay about the three stages of one's development/attainment in the form practice and corresponding feelings/mental associations relating to these levels – 1) moving in water, 2) ascending in water, and 3) walking on the thin ice surface where water is below (sorry for the rough and very simplified translation). This doesn't necessary suits to all taiji styles, but gives a very good example of how master views the different stages according to his personal experience and personal perception. That is my point.

I am not stating that lingkong jin is possible. I even don't know what it actually means. Yes, Shiming demonstrated some unusual skill, but from what I seen he did that either with a touch or almost with a touch and only with his students. One of his students occasionally gives seminars in Russia, probably I'll try to get some more explanations on the matter.


Take care,

Yuri



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 10-31-2005).]
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Postby Fred Hao » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:18 pm

Greetings Bamboo:

"if one understands the skin method then the other 2 are already understood. As with any of them the first method is that of sung,..."quoted from Bamboo Leaf.

It's true and taking place among my push-hand friends. The Kongfu indeed comes from "Song".
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Postby bamboo leaf » Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:42 pm

(I say this to emphasize that, ultimately, one has to choose whom to "believe")

I think its more of a case of trend or inner feeling of ones own training. Not really a question of belief. Ones inner feelings will tend to lead one on the path that allows them to find what they feel and chose.

Most or many taiji people seem to be looking for some type of power not really understanding how the idea of emptiness works. It’s a choice and inner inclination.

The skin method was supposed to be related to the teaching of the founder of the Wu style. Skin, tendon and bone are referred to as the outer skills while shen, qi and yi are referred to as the inner skills. Depending on master and teachings will determine what one feels is correct or not coupled with ones own inner feelings for the art.

I have seen people over many yrs try to lose the idea of force, and using force its pretty difficult but once achieved can yield some pretty amazing things.

I like this group and only add to the conversation as a point of interest for me and may be some others, not really to argue or convince. In a direct meeting with people much of what I talk about is pretty clear in my own work.

The point of the thread was weather push hands was needed in order to learn taiji skill sets, I would say yes. But I would call it push minds rather then push hands.

(and by means of seeing with their eyes and listening with their arms will be able to ascertain the directionality of the opponent’s movements; only then can they follow and yield to the other’s movements.” (Ibid.))

if one uses this its really to slow, that’s been my experience. The mind has already penetrated the other. If one can not feel the intent its to late. The eyes as we use them are really to express the shen and are used to hit the other with. It’s a little hard to explain in writing but that’s what I and those of the group I work with use them for.

Its all interesting and shows how great the art is to have many variations still retaining its essence.


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-31-2005).]
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Postby tccstudent » Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:57 pm

I guess we will never have a clear cut answer on this subject, but I can say that I see no-touch stuff from a few students at my school. From my understanding of it, there are some people who are more sensitive to it than others, and generally speaking, it only works with your own students. I believe a relationship has to be developed between master and student. This may mean that most of this work stems from the student's mind. If the student wants to believe it, and they are sensitive enough for it, then they will feel it. This is my take on it anyway..
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Postby tai1chi » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:17 pm

Hi bamboo leaf,

sorry, I was following the thread of the discussion, not the title of the thread. I wouldn't worry too much about trying to convince people. My questions were not about you, but about the history and literature within the art.

I disagree that there are no answers, but I agree that it won't be settled. I don't feel, however, that the "touch" people are trying to impose their values on the "no touch" people. The "touch" people have nothing to convince anyone of, since the achievement of skillful touch seems to be the dominant characteristic of the art.

Usually, it is the other way around. The "no touch" people aim to convince others that the skill is part of the TCC skill set (specifically), when the evidence (either written or spoken) does not come from the Yang family representatives, or from Chen, Sun, Wu, etc. None of this implies that the skills do not exist for some people who practice TCC, Yiquan, etc.

Besides, I was just asking some questions. I haven't tried to convince anyone, either.

regards,
Steve James
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Oct 31, 2005 6:15 pm

Okay, take this for what it's worth: one person's opinion. In the ancient Taoist work Kuanzi, Nei Ye chapter (Internal Enterprise) there are words to the effect that one should not run in place of the horse. The idea here is that the horse knows how to run, that's his specialty, and we up in the saddle should not interfere by telling him when to lift his feet, where to put them down, etc. There are a couple of similar examples. I am also reminded of the anecdote in Zhuangzi where a fellow tries to learn the way of walking they do in Handan, and ends up having to crawl all the way home because he didn't quite get the new way and forgot his old method of walking. My take on traditional Yang style and indeed all the 'classic' taiji literature (and so by extension, mainstream taijiquan, I suspect), is that it is a form of 'naturalism' wherein what might be called autonomic functions are allowed to proceed naturally, without interference from the conscious mind. In talking about breathing, for example, Yang Zhenduo points out that it doesn't make sense to breathe in under circumstances where the chest and torso are being compressed, such as Needle at sea bottom. But then he quickly adds that one should simply breathe naturally and that a pattern and rhythm will develop all by itself, without conscious effort. The same thing seems to be true of Qi and Shen. These are more or less autonomic functions which the consciousness, Yi, does not need to and should not try to dictate directly. By concentrating the Yi on the principles and intention appropriate to it, the Qi and Shen are collected and do their job properly.
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:27 pm

sorry, sb Guanzi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:17 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Fascinating post. I agree with your analysis. I don't recall this horse reference in the Neiye. Is it part of the original text, or is it commentary?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:24 pm

Oops, sorry, its Xin Shu (Mental Techniques), chapter 13. 毋代马走, etc.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 10-31-2005).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:26 pm

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Postby bamboo leaf » Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:32 am

http://www.pgw.com/catalog/catalog.asp?DBKey=206&CatalogKey=3595 82&Action=View&Index=Page&Book=346953&Order=72

(The tradition which “died out” here referred to the technique of “attracting a candle flame a foot away” and not the empty force as a whole. The empty force has followed an unbroken line from the alleged “thunder palms” to the “falling dragon palms” (which I shall discuss shortly); from Wang Xiangzhai’s empty force, which caused a sensation in Northern China in the 1920s (see p. 27), right up to the present when the empty force is so controversial in the U.S. It has existed continuously among the Chinese people and has never died out, although it appears that – for certain periods – there was a gap in the historical record of its demonstration by masters. I would speculate that the gap can be attributed to the difficulty of attaining the empty force, which requires two to four hours of practice every day, 365 days a year, without a break. This has to be kept up for at least three to five years before the results will be apparent. Of course, the strength of the power depends on the length of practice.)


(long ago Yang Luchan and his son were able to attract the flame of a candle
almost a ... At the move of a hand, the candle flame would gradually go out. .)

I have read accounts of the candle flame story can any add to it?


I just find it interesting on how there seems to be 2 camps on this subject, I have spoken with many masters while most can not do it they all either know of it or of people as I do who can do it.



[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-31-2005).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:05 am

Re: "requires two to four hours of practice every day, 365 days a year, without a break. This has to be kept up for at least three to five years before the results will be apparent."

Seems like a lot of trouble to go through just so you can attract candle flames. Best to wear fire-resistant clothing!

--Louis
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Postby bamboo leaf » Tue Nov 01, 2005 1:31 am

haha Image
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Postby Fred Hao » Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:12 am

Greetings All:

Speaking of absorbing and emptiness, if you've got the experience like that you're touching something hanging down and the connecting point is living,and then you feel the touching movement between the thing and the person is like a floating cotton. You can see the cotton and you can touch it but you can not land any power on the hanging cotton by pushing it. If you go ahead pushing the cotton without moving the step, you will lose balance. The one who pushes hands with you gives you this kind of feeling, and then you know what is the absorbing and emptiness while pushing hands.

The question how to achieve this emptiness is the matter of Tao. It's not learning but giving insight into oneself. Drop the strong power. Drop the awkward power. Drop the suddenly-emerged intention and mind. Continue dropping self until apporoaching the natural action like that of water, air and gravity.

Fred Hao
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Postby Simple » Tue Nov 01, 2005 5:34 am

If you look up ideomotor, I think you can have an explanation of "Chi feats" It still can be important and trainable though... I think its very possible this is what we train our sensitivity for.

Chris
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