Yang Zhenji on Single-Hand Tuishou

Postby DPasek » Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:34 pm

Rich,

Thanks for the clarification. I agree with your excellent post.

DP

[This message has been edited by DPasek (edited 01-11-2006).]
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Postby Fred Hao » Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:12 am

My guess is that lu would involve a pull backwards (and then could get mixed up with cai!!)

Hi,Rich
If we do Lu as we pull the door backwards, we are doomed. Speaking of Lu, if we ourselves have an energy like a whirl.
Without human's mind, a whirl can display its own nature.
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Postby Rich » Sat Jan 14, 2006 1:53 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Fred Hao:
If we do Lu as we pull the door backwards, we are doomed. Speaking of Lu, if we ourselves have an energy like a whirl.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Fred,

Yes, I agree - lu does involve turning the waist, and if you try to just yank the opponent you can get into trouble if they follow your force. It's better to respond to their advance by leading them in and then turning and pulling at the last moment. Is this what you mean by the first part of your post?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Without human's mind, a whirl can display its own nature.</font>


I'm not sure what you mean by this second part of your post. Could you elaborate?

Regards,
Rich
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Postby Audi » Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:47 am

Greetings all,

Thanks, Louis, for the great and timely translation. The passage confirms some things for me, but also gives some surprises.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Couple-force can only cause an object to rotate, but cannot cause it to shift [position]</font>
.

If the above statement is an important part of the definition of "force couple," why would the following description apply?:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I see this as referring to two different ways of using this rotational force in application. If we think of the form Parting the Horse's Mane, one application is to pull the opponent's wrist (pluck, or cai)with the top hand and then when their body is pressed against the bottom forearm apply lie and let go of the wrist to launch the opponent away. This is the fisrt half of the poem. Another way to apply the form is to set up the technique as before but not to let go of the wrist, in which case the forward arm with the rotation of the waist forces the opponent over your leading leg and into a takedown. This is the second half of the poem, the sucking down of the fallen leaf.</font>


Doesn't the above description apply more to a case of "translation" (i.e., motion from point to point) than to rotation around a single point? If memory serves, Yang Zhenduo stresses that Parting Wild Horse's Mane trains Wardoff Energy and is thus different from Flying Diagonal, where Split Energy is trained.

Perhaps the centripetal force applies to cases where the primary rotation comes from "sucking" the opponent in (e.g., Play the Pipa), while centrifugal force applies to cases where the primary rotation comes from flinging the energy outward (e.g., Flying Diagonal).

In reading the posts, I decided to look up the character for lie/lieh one more time. I was surprised by two things that I had not recalled. My software dictionary (Wenlin)gave two pronunciations for the character, lie4 and wo1. "Wo1" would seem to be a homonym with a graphically unrelated character that means "whirlpool" or "eddy." I find the coincidence quite suspicious.

I also decided to search for the lie4 character on Google and came up with many Taijiquan sites that used what I guess is a simplified equivalent that means "to twist." It is used in the expressions guan1 lie4 zi ("axle" or "crux of a problem") and zhuan3 guan1 dian3 ("turning point"). I find this substitution also quite suspicious.

Putting together the material on the previous posts and these "dictionary" findings. I wonder if the original meaning of Taiji "lie4" was simply "to twist"? If I add in some of the viewpoints acquired through practice, perhaps simple English equivalents for current Taiji usage would be "whirl," "swirl," or maybe even "wrench." I actually think that "twist" itself might be misleading, because the English term tends to imply only a local motion.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Fred Hao » Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:23 am

Hi, Rich

Quote
_______________________________________
Yes, I agree - lu does involve turning the waist, and if you try to just yank the opponent you can get into trouble if they follow your force. It's better to respond to their advance by leading them in and then turning and pulling at the last moment. Is this what you mean by the first part of your post?


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Without human's mind, a whirl can display its own nature.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm not sure what you mean by this second part of your post. Could you elaborate?

_______________________________ Quote

Rich, your reponse "Lu" is almost correct to the opponent, but I have a different thought of pulling at the last minute. This action is useful only to one opponent. If at this pulling point, there are other opponents attacking you at this time. We're finished. The pulling means our mind is being used. Once our mind is being used, we can only handle one opponet. The natural whirl turn is being destoyed by strating pulling at the last minute. Actually, if you don't pull the opponent at the last minute. Two results will take place. One is that the opponet can't not stop himself and fall down. The other is that the opponent stops himself. That means he is using the opposite strength. At this stopping point,if you can feel in advance, you just turn the opposite way, your hand just follow the trend back. Then you can see what will happen to the opponent. By doing this way, without using the mind,namely,pulling, you are doing naturally.

Think, Try and Let it happen. If not, think more and try more, and someday it will happen naturally.
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Postby Rich » Sun Jan 15, 2006 10:50 pm

Hi Audi,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Doesn't the above description apply more to a case of "translation" (i.e., motion from point to point) than to rotation around a single point?</font>


Yes, in the case of the first example, but no in the case of the second. But also I'm not really equating this with the force-couple description in mind as I think this may be a red-herring. This is in relation to the poem about lie.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B> If memory serves, Yang Zhenduo stresses that Parting Wild Horse's Mane trains Wardoff Energy and is thus different from Flying Diagonal, where Split Energy is trained.

Perhaps the centripetal force applies to cases where the primary rotation comes from "sucking" the opponent in (e.g., Play the Pipa), while centrifugal force applies to cases where the primary rotation comes from flinging the energy outward (e.g., Flying Diagonal).</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The first example application of Horse's Mane that I gave (launching out) does indeed involve wardoff energy, and the second (taking down) uses the twist more as in Flying Diagonal. These two uses were to compare with the poem regarding lie. I see that Flying diagonal could be a better example of the flinging outwards.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>My software dictionary (Wenlin)gave two pronunciations for the character, lie4 and wo1. "Wo1" would seem to be a homonym with a graphically unrelated character that means "whirlpool" or "eddy."...

...Putting together the material on the previous posts and these "dictionary" findings. I wonder if the original meaning of Taiji "lie4" was simply "to twist"? If I add in some of the viewpoints acquired through practice, perhaps simple English equivalents for current Taiji usage would be "whirl," "swirl," or maybe even "wrench." I actually think that "twist" itself might be misleading, because the English term tends to imply only a local motion.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think this is very interesting - I'd like to point your attention to Fred Hao's use of the word 'whirl' in his posts on this subject as perhaps further evidence for this.

Fred,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Actually, if you don't pull the opponent at the last minute. Two results will take place. One is that the opponet can't not stop himself and fall down. The other is that the opponent stops himself. That means he is using the opposite strength. At this stopping point,if you can feel in advance, you just turn the opposite way, your hand just follow the trend back. Then you can see what will happen to the opponent. By doing this way, without using the mind,namely,pulling, you are doing naturally.</font>


Yes, good point. I've been taught to use this strategy in push hands but regarded it as a change from lu to another technique. (To all - This prompts me to wonder what I would classify techniques such as this (examples from the form might be Raise Hands Upwards)in terms of the 8 jins, but perhaps thats for another thread of its own. Maybe we should have a thread on each jin?)

I see what you mean now about mind - you're saying that by having a fixed idea of completed technique we fall into the trap of committing to attack and losing the Taiji principles. Once we do this, our opponent can take advantage of us. This is "giving up the near for the far" is it not? And breaks the rule of "giving up one's self and following others". Am I correct about what you mean? Thank you for that post, it gives a valuable insight and I shall watch out for attaching fixed ideas in future.

Regards,

Rich
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Postby Fred Hao » Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:39 am

Hi, Rich
quote________________
I see what you mean now about mind - you're saying that by having a fixed idea of completed technique we fall into the trap of committing to attack and losing the Taiji principles. Once we do this, our opponent can take advantage of us. This is "giving up the near for the far" is it not? And breaks the rule of "giving up one's self and following others". Am I correct about what you mean? Thank you for that post, it gives a valuable insight and I shall watch out for attaching fixed ideas in future.
Quote_______________________________

Good for you.
Once we get rid of the fixed ideas from self in fighting, then our curves and stretchs become free. The opponent knows nothing about us. Knowing nothing about us means that the opponent's power can land nowhere on us. If we have more experiences like this. our mind becomes clear and our body becomes easy and free.

It takes time and effort.
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Postby Audi » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:38 pm

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Why, in the drill described by Yang Zhenji, is what you call "Lie is rotating" not actually roll-back (as is usually given for either the one- or two-handed versions of this drill)? What do you feel differentiates liejin from lujin?</font>


Yang Zhenji’s attribution of Liejin puzzled me at first, since I had always thought about this technique as Lujin. In pondering this issue further, the tentative conclusion I have arrived at is that Lujin involves converting the opponent’s inside “connection of energy” into a lateral expression of energy. All the instances I can thing of at the moment seem to involve waist rotation.

One homonym of lu has the meaning of “stroking” or “smoothing out with the fingers,” like what a man can do to a beard. Perhaps one image of lu is meant to be what you do when the opponent has extended his arm and is pushing or punching towards your chest. You can react by “smoothing out” the point of pressure by laying your arm outside your opponent’s and applying lateral pressure. This causes the opponent’s focus of pressure not to terminate in your chest, but to spill out the side.

Another use of lu is to lift the opponent’s left elbow with the inside of your right forearm to “lock” or “attack” her left shoulder. You can use the “lock” to cause her torso to rotate vertically counterclockwise (like the face of a wallclock). This causes a lateral instability in her energy that can launch her to the side.

While Liejin also involves rotation, it seems that it does not involve the kind of rotation that happens in a pulley, when a strap unites the motion of two rotating wheels. Instead, it seems to involve a rotation in the middle of the connection between the two points. This might explain why Lujin is generally used to launch the opponent; whereas Liejin tends to cause injury. The recipient of Lujin may be able to dissipate its energy by skipping away in line with the application of energy, but the recipient of Liejin feels a twist in the energy that tends toward a snapping point. In other words, there is no easy way to surrender and go with it.

By the way, as I understand the Liejin of Flying Diagonal, there is only a little energy applied in directly uprooting the opponent. Most of the torque is simply involved in the strike.

Because of my descriptions above, I am beginning to doubt that Lujin is either a type of “pulling” or “sucking” the opponent in. These intentions do, however, seem to be good tactics that make Lujin possible. I am questioning the idea of “pulling,” because some of the applications I can think of involve circling the opponent’s elbow in, but then circling it up and out. The part of the movement that goes up and out is really the part that uproots the opponent.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I feel that the palm turning up could result in either lujin or liejin, depending on how it is expressed/applied.</font>


DP, I am not sure why the rotation of the palm is itself the defining action here. Could you explain? It seems that you are defining Lujin and Liejin by the motion of the opponent’s body. Why is the rotation of the palm a key aspect of this? If I would attribut any particular Jin to the palm turning over, I would attribute An.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I personally consider the hooking of the wrist backward to be unnecessary for effectively executing the technique, and I prefer to maintain the rounded shape of the arm such that the opponent would tend to "slip off" on a tangent whichever direction their force issues (toward the elbow or toward the fingers) without being able to obtain purchase (as the bent wrist could allow if not careful) for applying any techniques against me.</font>


In the way I was taught, it seemed that hooking the wrist was not just a matter of losing efficiency, but of destroying the effectiveness of the technique.

I understand the technique as involving some of your energy acting as a wratchet, but even more crucially some of the opponent's energy acting as a stick pushing on a ball. Hooking your right wrist seems like a way of improving the “wratchet” action; however, it merely introduces a “hollow” and “projection” that shifts or curves the flow of Jin towards the fingers. Although this strengthens the “wratchet” feel of the circle, it strengthens the opponent’s ability to “wratchet” against it even more.

I also think that much of Taijiquan has a subtle psychological aspect to it. Maintaining a rounded slippery shape encourages the opponent to commit energy and intention to sticking to it. The energy helps create Zhan, or Adhering Energy. In other words, the inherent property of your shape encourages the opponent to extend energy towards you in a predictable way that you can take advantage of.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The combination that I described in the earlier post of lowering the elbow and rotating the palm up has a "sealing" effect on the opponent's arm that puts your arm in a superior controlling position without telegraphing much to your opponent.</font>


When I was taught the drill, I was told that lowering the elbow is advantageous, but outside the parameters of the drill. I think our drill isolates a horizontal circle that is inconsistent with lowering the elbow. In other words, we do the drill as if the arms were sliding across the top of a table with the wrists and elbows trying to maintain constant contact with the top of the table.

There is a variation of the drill that trains a diagonal circle. This circle involves alternatively dropping and “raising” the elbow. Both variation involve a palm rotation, but to me they feel quite different.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:50 pm

Greetings All,

These are all interesting comments, and thought-provoking probing into the meaning of liejin in the context of single hand push-hands. It is something of a curiosity, but this may be more a case of our trying to put a square peg into a round hole, or trying too hard to solidify a definition of liejin. I think the significance of liejin will be different in an application scenario than what it will be in a cooperative drill as described by Yang Zhenji. In like manner, liejin will take on a different significance in solo form training than in more robust partner training. If we attempt to identify liejin too strongly with particular postures or applications, we are probably missing the mark. That is why I think it is better to think of the thirteen shi not as “postures,” but as root configurations. I don’t think that they were originally conceived as particular postures or movements, but more to an implied impetus and objective.

By the way, I also agree that throws can be an application of liejin. When I referred to taiji technique being used to disequilibrate an opponent, I didn’t mean to imply that that is the only way to bounce them out, but it is certainly a distinctive attribute of taiji technique. There are references in the classics to the opponent’s root “severing itself,” and Yang Chengfu and others talk of applications that result in the opponent’s falling away “of his own accord.” This is what happens when you struggle to regain equilibrium—it can result in your projecting yourself off at odd angles under your own power. All your partner has done is taken away your equilibrium.

I should clarify too that in Ma Yueliang’s section on force-couple in his push hands book, he did not specifically associate force-couple (ouli) with liejin. He simply made some remarks on the attributes of force-couple as they apply in taijiquan skills. In his section on liejin, he made no mention of force-couple. I certainly find attempts to explain traditional taijiquan terms in light of physics interesting, and often helpful, but it’s probably good to keep in mind that these associations are likely somewhat impressionistic. Still, I’m kind of attracted to the rendering of lie as “torque.”

Take care,
Louis
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Postby DPasek » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:28 pm

Audi,

The rotation of the palm is certainly not a defining action for the one-handed push hand drill. I was replying to the post by Rich that introduces the palm turning aspect.

Does it matter to you if a Taijiquan energy is illustrated by the generating force or its resulting effect on the opponent? I tend to use both, depending on the context, and which may be less confusing in a particular illustration. I am not really "defining Lujin and Liejin by the motion of the opponent's body" although the effect of your own body's actions will have a noticeable/demonstrable effect on theirs. In push hands and applications, force is both generated by one practitioner and felt by another. I just feel that often the effect of the force is easier to see in the opponent than the generation of it in the person applying it, and thus it is often easier to illustrate/define force by showing how it effects the opponent. Using liejin as an example, calling it a simultaneous push/pull or absorb/project illustrates the generation of the force, whereas rip/tear/snap/rend… illustrate its effect, and spin force could illustrate either. But something like "spin force" could be confusing depending on the context since a practitioner performing Lujin could interpret their waist turn and thus their spinning body to be "spin force" even if it is not used to impart a "spin force" on the opponent (which I consider necessary for it to be called liejin).

I essentially agree with the above (1/17) post by Louis, and I feel that the eight jin give variations on expressions of energy rather than describing postures. This ties in well with your perceptive reference to anjin for the palm turning up and "sealing" the opponent. It is just a matter of intent as to which energy is expressed. I tend to have perhaps a more liberal usage of "sealing" than other practitioners do as I consider it to be when the superior position is gained while "sealing" the opponent in an inferior position regardless if pressure is applied. If pressure is applied, it could be called anjin in this situation. Anjin, lujin, and liejin (and others) could be applied in what to the eye may seem like identical applications, with only slight variations in intent and thus energy expression and application. Actually, my interpretations of the eight jin allow one to consider an, lu, lie, and peng as all being able to be applied simultaneously in this example. The turning waist drawing the opponent's energy around you, combined with a spinning force applied at the point of contact, plus the downward controlling pressure on the opponent, plus the outward structural energy of the maintained body sphere, could be lu, lei, an and peng respectively. This would not work as well if peng, lu, ji and an energies were defined as upward, turning, forward, and downward respectively (as is sometimes commonly done). I feel that defining peng/lu/ji/an as upward/turning/forward/downward is a simplification that in general describes the most common expressions of these energies, but that is limited, less versatile, and somewhat inaccurate.

Finally, I was not considering the drill where the elbow and wrist are restricted to the same horizontal plane since I have never been taught that way. Thanks for bringing this method to my attention.

DP
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Postby Fred Hao » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:09 am

Agree

One is the whole. The whole is one.
Lu is one of the 13. The same goes An or Lie. One lies the whole. and the whole originates in center.
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Postby Kalamondin » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:47 am

Hi All,

This has been a very interesting discussion and IÕve been mulling it over for a while. I was particularly interested in the idea of single arm push hands involving liejin, and the whirlpool images of pulling/sucking in and the flywheel casting out. When I combined with DPÕs earlier characterization of liejin as a force-couple, I started getting an interesting picture of the forces involved.

First though, I do agree that itÕs useful to break down the single arm push hands sequence into push, ward off, rollback/split/pull to get a better idea of the forces (jins) involved, and I also agree that there is a point where the jins do all blend together and itÕs impossible to say where one ends and the next begins.

Now, I think there are a few stages of complexity to liejin, some of which I am probably missing, and IÕd like to propose a few for consideration, in order of increasing complexity. Additions and corrections are always welcome!

Single plane: A force couple in a single plane (e.g. Lift hands and step up) could be the most basic example of liejin. (I think it was DP who condensed that one down for usÑthx.)

Spiral about a cone: A more complicated example of liejin might be a combination of pung to attract, lu to smooth, pull to draw in, and finally liejin to rend. In that example, IÕm actually thinking about one of the basic applications of lu (most likely on YJÕs DVD) with the addition of split at the end. This is more like the whirlpool analogy of drawing something in while rotating around a central core. Travel around the outside of a cone towards the center ending with a force-couple in a single plane. (In an earlier post on a different thread, I thought this cone thing might be part of lujinÑnow I think itÕs an aspect of liejin.)

Spiral about a moving and undulating cone, or: Hurricane: The body is like a twister (hurricane) with a rooted base point (the feet). The body circles around on top of the root, tracing a shifting, rotating spiral pattern above (in single arm push hands) while remaining fixed below. There is a vertical axis (axel, center) around which everything revolves. This spiraling energy has the power to draw in, or throw out. A typhoon can sever palm trees from their root by twisting them off. It can suck objects up into the sky and then draw them in and down. Also, think of the satellite images of hurricanes. The arms of the hurricane are like our armsÑconnected to and driven by the rotation at the center. From the top down it looks like a single plane. But inside, there is movement up and down as well as laterally. This is the energy spiraling up from the ground, controlled by the center, expressed through the arms. See picture: http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/images/hurricane.jpg

Spirals within spirals, circles within circles, or: Protein structure as frozen trajectory. For this one, I am still thinking of fixed step push hands, free style, though it could easily apply to free style moving step. From the inside, there is still a sense of a central core around which everything rotates. The difference is that the core is not necessarily vertical at all times. The spinning action is still present, also the drawing in and throwing out, but the spiral is no longer a neat cone, nor even a dynamic but tidy hurricane (as viewed from afar). Rather, this kind can rotate in all directions at will. The core undulates like a fickle summer twister, but it can also bend in any direction and curve in on itself (like the complications of protein folding structure that involve a double helix (like a rope) twisted up on itself). This example includes the folding in, and the explosions out, the swallowing and spitting, the sealing, and unraveling. ItÕs a constant sense of spiraling and spinning that can coalesce into split energy at any time on account of maintaining the Òupper handÓ and covering the opponent (like DPÕs rendition of ÒsealingÓ). These images of protein folding structures are as close as I can get right now to a visual image of what IÕm talking about, but itÕs not quite what I mean. See: http://www.p450.kvl.dk/gallery/Aligned_CYPs.jpg or http://www.p450.kvl.dk/gallery/Rn_P450Reduc.jpg

How is it split? IÕm not sure anymoreÑitÕs probably all the jins combined. The earth has a core about which everything spins. But force-couples about the core? It gets really hard to talk about at this point. Within the earth there are currents, eddies, subduction, orogeny, not to mention surface currents of differing densities: water; windÉitÕs too complex to track through breaking-down the pieces into parts to understand it, nor can the rational mind hold the sum of these parts. Some things have to be experienced to be comprehended and cannot be thought about to be apprehended.

Kal
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Postby Audi » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:13 pm

Hi Fred, DP, Louis, Kal, and everyone else:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>One is the whole. The whole is one.
Lu is one of the 13.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Fred, I agree with your statement, at least in a certain sense, but it raises a question for me. Do you believe that Ba Gua, Xing Yi, etc. have the same “one” as Taijiquan? Do you believe they have the same 13?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Does it matter to you if a Taijiquan energy is illustrated by the generating force or its resulting effect on the opponent? I tend to use both, depending on the context, and which may be less confusing in a particular illustration.</font>


I think we have a similar approach. I tend to think in terms of a single force that has the two aspects you mention. Where we may or may not differ is that I try to think of the characteristics of the force itself independently of what generates it or what effect it has.

Imagine that you are holding a chain that is attached to your opponent. If either you or your opponent pulls on the chain, the tension increases with respect to both. If either you or your opponent introduces slack, the feel is the same for both. If either of you twists the chain, the chain is affected uniformly. Even if the chain is whipped, the same energy will travel the length of the chain.

In each of the manipulations of the chain, there is more than one way to generate the energy. More importantly, although the chain defines the connection between you and your opponent, the changes in it do not fully define what happens either to you or the opponent. If you suddenly tug on the chain, the opponent may lose his balance and fall towards you. The reason you yourself do not fall is not because the energy is any different at your end of the chain, it is merely that you have disposed your body in a different way to absorb it. In this way, you can think of the energy as “directional.”

If find this way of thinking hard to describe and usually rely on describing how force is generated or absorbed by the opponent, but I sometimes wonder whether these other descriptions can be misleading. For instance, one application of Wardoff I have been taught, seems to have an effect on the opponent that is similar to what I used to think of as Rollback. It pulls the opponent in and throws him behind you. Sometimes the opponent ends up spinning away. The difference between the two techniques, Rollback and Wardoff, could theoretically be described by your initial position. Some might naturally conclude then that it is the initial body position that defines the energy; but this is not what I have been taught. I have also come to doubt such an approach through my own practice.

If we go back to the chain, it is easy to see that it is easy to pull it, give it slack, twist it, or whip it from many of the same physical positions. In other words, your initial position is not much of a constraint. If, however, you are trying to affect your opponent’s stability, you may be greatly constrained by the way she has arrayed her limbs and her energy. If she is advancing on you, introducing sudden slack will accomplish nothing; however, a well-timed pull on the chain could unbalance her and pull her past you. If she is trying to pull you, pulling back is unlikely to achieve much; however, suddenly giving in and introducing slack might cause her to fall backwards. If she is stepping forward and committing to one foot, suddenly whipping the chain to the side might cause her feet to cross and make her trip.

When I think of the eight energies, I generally think of things that address problems of engagement (Louis’s term) with the opponent. They are more general than specific applications, but they are still relative to the opponent’s “disposition” of energy. This is why I too have difficulty with reducing them to mere directions, like up or down.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> That is why I think it is better to think of the thirteen shi not as “postures,” but as root configurations. I don’t think that they were originally conceived as particular postures or movements, but more to an implied impetus and objective.</font>


Louis, I agree with this and think we are trying to explore the same territory. One way I try to do this is to pick one instance I am reasonably sure about and try to find the macrocosm in the microcosm. There are, however, dangers to such an approach; and it is certainly not the only valid learning style.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Using liejin as an example, calling it a simultaneous push/pull or absorb/project illustrates the generation of the force </font>


DP, Are you talking about actions that involve no rotation? If so, can you give an example of what you mean by “absorb/project”?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> But something like "spin force" could be confusing depending on the context since a practitioner performing Lujin could interpret their waist turn and thus their spinning body to be "spin force" even if it is not used to impart a "spin force" on the opponent (which I consider necessary for it to be called liejin). </font>


I would tend to agree that every waist turn does not imply much Liejin. For instance, as far as I know, all Yang stylists perform the Rollback in the form with one or more waist turns. It would be surprising if this move was actually designed to be a primary application of Liejin. I do wonder, however, whether Liejin requires “imparting spin force” to the opponent. I think you have to spin a portion of the “string” of energy that connects you with the opponent, but I do not think the opponent must spin himself. As I mentioned above with Wardoff, I think it is also possible to make the opponent spin without using Liejin.

The first authoritative reference to Liejin that I saw was a demonstration of using Flying Diagonal to strike the opponent’s body or intercept a strike. The only spinning involved seemed to be the spinning of the practitioner. When I once heard Yang Zhenduo distinguish Flying Diagonal from Parting Wild Horse’s Mane, he seemed to stress the difference in the starting positions irrespective of any particular effect on the opponent. I am not sure how to interpret his comments, but I have ended up settling on the scheme I have laid out above. Perhaps a simple way to put it would be that Liejin succeeds through the use of spin force; however, there are many ways to use force so that the end result will send the opponent spinning.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Finally, I was not considering the drill where the elbow and wrist are restricted to the same horizontal plane since I have never been taught that way. Thanks for bringing this method to my attention. </font>


When I first heard this, it was also quite a surprise to me and different from what I had originally been taught. Now that I think about it, I believe the Association’s drill is described as something like “horizontal circling,” rather than single-arm circling. Because of this, I think the emphasis is truly on the horizontal plane to the exclusion of other planes. Similarly, the four-hand drill is described as “vertical circling,” because the circles must be distinctly vertical in character. My understanding is that there are many, many different types of circling, and one of the aims for training is to be able to smoothly transition between the various types.
In the horizontal circle, the end of the rotation leaves the palm in a position with the hand flat on the opponent’s wrist, but with the thumb below and the fingers above. The palm is in position to close like a clam and initiate a horizontal Pluck (Cai/Ts’ai) in the direction of your elbow. You do not actually do Pluck in the drill, but you end the rotation in position to do so. One easy error to commit is to use the rotation merely to initiate the forward push (An). If you have this intent, the rotation arrives too late for Pluck and tends to violate the principles of sticking that I think the drill is designed to teach. It is also possible to rotate too quickly, ahead of the waist. To me, it seems that the palm arrives completely only as the waist rotation finishes and as my partner should be switching full and empty.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Still, I’m kind of attracted to the rendering of lie as “torque.” </font>


“Torque” is a nice simple word that is just mysterious enough to make English speakers think. By the way, for those who might not be native speakers or near-native speakers, you should know that “torque” is not an everyday word. To me, it is a scientific term that refers to the physics of motion. I think of it as “twisting force.”

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> lie is torque based </font>


Rich, I think I even prefer this formulation, because it tells us to look for some sort of twist as the basis for what is done, but implies there is more. For example, as I mentioned in another post, it was made clear to me that Liejin requires a certain delicacy or exactness in the application speed. Another example would be not to assume that the local twisting of the opponent’s left arm in a move like the Rollback in the form is enough to characterized the entire application as emblematic of Liejin. In Rollback, the twist merely sets up the effectiveness of what comes next. The twist itself does not uproot, move, or injure the opponent.

Kal,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> First though, I do agree that itÕs useful to break down the single arm push hands sequence into push, ward off, rollback/split/pull to get a better idea of the forces (jins) involved, and I also agree that there is a point where the jins do all blend together and itÕs impossible to say where one ends and the next begins. </font>


I also have been taught that mixing the jins is indeed supposed to be fairly typical of Taiji applications.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> A more complicated example of liejin might be a combination of pung to attract, lu to smooth, pull to draw in, and finally liejin to rend. In that example, IÕm actually thinking about one of the basic applications of lu (most likely on YJÕs DVD) with the addition of split at the end. This is more like the whirlpool analogy of drawing something in while rotating around a central core. </font>


I find it interesting that you examine this sequence from the perspective of one technique. I tend to be a splitter, rather than a joiner, and so prefer to examine it as a series of different possibilities that are somewhat mutually exclusive. I can think of peng/pung in this situation only as you describe it above. The other three, I think of as sequential possibilities, each of which could theoretically be emphasized, but not simultaneously or in the same cycle.

For Lu, I think I would want to search for a fulcrum. For Lie, I think you want smoothness. For Cai, perhaps the key is a transition between states. The way the exercise is actually performed, I would think that the Lie part is what is emphasized, at least as we have apparently come to define it.
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Postby DPasek » Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:44 pm

Audi,

These concepts are certainly easier to illustrate physically than through words, but I'll try to answer the questions that you posed.

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

I do wonder, however, whether Liejin requires “imparting spin force” to the opponent.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did not mean to imply that their entire body spins (although it could for some applications), but that the torque is applied to some body part. That body part would receive the "spin force" but would not necessarily cause the entire body to spin (and due to the constraints of the joints, etc., might break, dislocate, force them up on their tiptoes or down on their knees, lose balance, etc., rather than spinning the opponent's torso).

Your point about imparting the energy to the connection between the individuals is good, but if you twist the chain without that twist reaching all the way down the chain to the end that the opponent is holding (thus not transferring that spin force to them), then you are not really applying that energy to your opponent, even if you are exhibiting it on your end.


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

DP, Are you talking about actions that involve no rotation? If so, can you give an example of what you mean by “absorb/project”?</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most (though not all) would involve some rotation, though not necessarily of the torso. "Absorb/project" is similar to "push/pull" and both are easiest to illustrate using qina applications (though they are not limited to qina). Also, not all liejin applications can be described using those two paired terms. This is one reason that I am now happier using torque for liejin. While absorb/project and push/pull can generate torque, so can opening (as in Flying Diagonal), closing (as in Play Lute), etc.. Torque can be generated in numerous ways without requiring a waist turn (e.g. an up/down application of energy), but it does impart a "spin force" to the opponent.

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

...I think it is also possible to make the opponent spin without using Liejin.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Certainly. I think that probably all of the other energies could be used in such a way that causes the opponent's torso to spin (or roll, summersault, flip, etc.). Liejin differs from other jin in that it uses torque to impart a spinning energy that could be used to cause the opponent's torso to spin (among many other possible applications of this energy).

DP
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:57 pm

Greetings,

Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry for torque. On the left-hand column, you can also click on the zhongwen language link for a Chinese page about torque.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque


Take care,
Louis
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