Sticking vs. Adhering

Postby Audi » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:00 am

Hi Kal,

I like your description of a snake climbing a tree. The snake appears to proceed by sliding, but instead it actually sticks with every point of contact.

Take care,
Audi

(Oops, sorry, meant to reply, not edit -Jerry)

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 08-30-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:57 am

Ward off is not just the 'Ward Off' move in grasp the bird's tail. Look at the ward offs in White Crane or Jade lady weaves shuttle. The rotation is the opposite of rollback rotation.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Aug 31, 2006 4:27 am

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

I like your description of a snake climbing a tree. The snake appears to proceed by sliding, but instead it actually sticks with every point of contact.

Take care,
Audi
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Neither of you has ever held a snake, it would appear. They most definitely slide. They press their entire body firmly against whatever they are moving along, but there is no doubt that they slide.


[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 08-30-2006).]
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Postby Kalamondin » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:11 am

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Neither of you has ever held a snake, it would appear. </font>


ImageHi Jerry, actually, I got to take 3 or 4 of the Albuquerque natural history museum snakes for an afternoon constitutional once. Since they don't walk well, I had to carry them.

I can report that none of them slid. Grippy, yes--had to keep unwinding them from around my neck! Granted, I follow your meaning...but this is where I would say that snake propulsion is more like a series of tiny gears ratcheting along, all solid points of contact. It's not at all like figure skating, where the skaters still have their skates solidly pressed against the ice and yet they glide. Come to think of it, sliding in ice skating is a loss of control.

I feel like there are at least a couple different ways we are all using the same word.

Sliding: skipping, skating, slipping (uncontrolled, irregular, sudden)--losing momentary control of the opponent through irregularity of contact, whether internal (mental) or external (physical). Not solid. Not sticking.

Sliding: gliding (controlled, smooth, speed and trajectory finely gauged) a gliding technique for changing the point of contact while maintaining pressure and control. This one could be both solid and sticking.

Cheers,
Kal
<<=}}}}}++}}}}}++}}}}} Image


[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 08-31-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:15 am

They slide the way we can if we plant our back foot and slide the front forward, then plant the front and slide the back forward, then plant the back... come to think of it pretty much like skating... only different!

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 08-31-2006).]
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:15 am

LOL

OK Jerry.
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Postby Anderzander » Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:01 pm

Hi Audi

Just a few comments:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Audi:
Zhang Yun's article appears to discuss zhan-nian-lian-sui in the context of a competitive freestyle push hands session. I have begun to believe, however, that the skills in question are equally supposed to be manifest, usually in combination, within individual applications, whether of push hands or otherwise. In other words, it may be less about what you do over ten to twenty seconds of freestyle push hands, and more about how you execute an individual application.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Zhang Yun's description, ime, is for any circumstance where you touch. If you can't understand it as applying in all circumstances then I think their must be differences in your taiji and his - or you have misread it somewhere.

All of the use in taiji is adhere, stick, connect and follow as they say. And as you said later.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">According to my understanding, ¡°Giving up yourself and following the other¡± has nothing to do with surrender, giving up your root, being passive, or even being empty. It has to do with putting your faith in the fact that no initiative you take based on yourself is safe. Instead, you want your opponent to take the initiative and reveal his empty and full. If he completely reveals his empty and full to you and you have the requisite knowledge, he cannot protect himself from your attack. If he defends the left, the right is exposed. If he defends the right, the left is exposed, etc. If you use the opponent¡¯s initiative for your purposes, he cannot use it for his.</font>


I don't quite follow your train of thought here Audi. It appears to be contradictory?

You say you want your opponent to take the initiative - but what are you doing until that happens?

If you are not passive, have a firm root and are full then you are handing your initiative to a sensitive opponent. He will be able to know you whilst you do not yet know him.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I should clarify that some versions of Yang Style circling (e.g., Cheng Man-Ch¡¯ing) do indeed seem to be structured around an alternation of attack and defense, rather than a circle where attack and defense are not so clearly separate. If this is the kind of push hands you do, I am not sure if my words will make much sense.</font>


Cheng Man Ching may seem to be centred around a simple alternation, but I don't think it is.

Have you trained much CMC Audi?

Stephen



[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 09-02-2006).]
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Postby Audi » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:12 pm

Greetings all,

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Ward off is not just the 'Ward Off' move in grasp the bird's tail. Look at the ward offs in White Crane or Jade lady weaves shuttle. The rotation is the opposite of rollback rotation.</font>


I agree with this statement. My understanding is that these rotations are ideally accomplished the same as in the push hands circling, i.e., without the contact point sliding against you partner's skin. You may indeed slide, skin to skin, when your purpose is not to stick, but to do something else. For instance, in Fair Lady Works the Shuttle, you might slide beneath your own arm and your opponent's arm to reach his elbow; however, once you free yourself, I think you want to "stick." While sticking, your arm rotation will help cause the opponent to open up further. Your arm is the sprocket (?) in the bicycle wheel that causes the chain to move. Even though the sprocket stays "still" in one place, it causes the chain to move. "Seek stillness in movement"?

By the way, I recall a few times in the three-volume video set where Yang Zhenduo very deliberately goes from a ward off into a grab in order to demonstrate applications. (If I recall correctly, he did this to demonstrate Rollback.) When I first saw it, I remember thinking that he moved in a very deliberate and special way. I wondered why he took such care, since he was merely getting his hand in position to show a subsequent application.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">They slide the way we can if we plant our back foot and slide the front forward, then plant the front and slide the back forward, then plant the back... come to think of it pretty much like skating... only different!</font>


As an aside, I once recall watching a nature show about the motion of sidewinders. These snakes appear to move my wriggling sideways across the ground, but in reality they sort of walk sideways with only two parts of their bodies touching the ground at any one time. Most of the wriggling actually takes place in the air. If you imagine the snake in the shape of an uppercase "N" with the head at the right and the tail at the left, only the top two points would be touching the ground. As the snake moved up the screen, it would invert its coils, moving the two "bottom" points of the "N" through the air to touch the ground above the previous two points. This would form the shape of an inverted "N."

Here is a picture and a description of sidewinder locomotion (the description is at the bottom) that is clearer than what I have written above. Note that the marks in the sand show that its contact with the ground is actually discontinuous and that it cannot be sliding or wriggling along to produce such marks. I find it interesting that what our eyes think they see is different from what actually happens.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Zhang Yun's description, ime, is for any circumstance where you touch. If you can't understand it as applying in all circumstances then I think their must be differences in your taiji and his - or you have misread it somewhere.</font>


It's not that I thought his description does not apply, its that his description led me to think in a restricted way.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In pushing hands, when you touch your opponent, you should unsettle him. Do not use too much force, just let him feel that he must do something to solve the problem. Then he will give you a reaction. From his reaction, you can determine how you should respond. If you cannot make a chance, keep doing Nian, that means follow him, keep touching and giving him a little bit more trouble, and wait for him to give you more reaction. So Nian is also used to sound the opponent out. That means to give him questions and await his answers. The questions should hit his weakness point continually. If you have question for him one by one and he cannot give you the right answer on time, you are controlling him.</font>


Language like the above led me to think of Nian only in a "macro" way as something that you "keep doing" over and over, that you do "continually," or to "sound your opponent out." As I considered the live teaching I have experienced, discussion of these things always seemed to focus first on the "micro" issues. For instance, during a particular counter to a Press application, I was told not merely to get my body out of the way as my partner sailed by, but to try to "stick" body to body during the process. In other applications, I have been instructed to get my partner's limbs in certain positions and needed to use zhan-nian-lian-sui to do so.

During some of my most intense instruction in push hands, I have been asked to show each of the eight energies from a position of doing open circles. If I simply moved on my own initiative and put my arms in position to start the application, I received the friendly caution about disconnecting and giving permission to my partner to strike. Instead, I was supposed to use zhan-nian-lian-sui to set up the right conditions. Imagine doing circles with your opponent's palms on your wrists, being asked to perform Rollback, and being forbidden from (1) disconnecting, (2) relying on crossing your arms and using a closed circle, (3) sliding, or (4) taking more than five seconds or so to set up the right conditions. I should stress that this is not magic and is performed as a semi-cooperative exercise.

I believe Zhang Yun's description can be applied to the situation I describe above, but I think the viewpoint and training emphasis feels different.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>I don't quite follow your train of thought here Audi. It appears to be contradictory?

You say you want your opponent to take the initiative - but what are you doing until that happens?

If you are not passive, have a firm root and are full then you are handing your initiative to a sensitive opponent. He will be able to know you whilst you do not yet know him.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As far as I understand, I am just regurgitating standard theory and so must indeed be explaining myself badly.

Consider the Preparation Posture. Some people teach this as an opportunity to "relax" completely and eliminate any feel of muscular exertion. The Yangs do not talk in these terms. They talk about demonstrating the Ten Essentials even here. To do this, you must exert yourself physically. You cannot do this if you merely stand there impassively. Even though you are waiting for you opponent's movement, you are actively engaged in doing various things while you wait in alertness.

Waiting has both a macro and a micro component. Consider a partner in a bow stance. By using this stance, she has relatively good control of front and back, but poorer control of side to side. If her right foot is forward, her "right door" is closed, but her "left door" is open. Consider a horse stance. Left and right are well controlled, but not so front and back. No matter how your partner stands, she has vulnerabilities and has to have an empty and full. By taking any stance, she has taken an initiative that you can exploit. If she does not commit to a stance or, more likely, disguises her commitment, you can either wait for her to do something or you can take action to force her to reveal her disposition of full and empty. If she is better than you, you will probably reveal yourself first, but if you execute with better skill, you can be successful.

If your partner commits to movement, you can control the movement through stillness. If your partner commits to stillness, you can control it through movement. If your partner commits neither to movement nor to stillness, then you also cannot commit and in this limited sense must wait.

My push hands instruction has not been focused only on "counters," but more on how to make the opponent give you the energy you need, both in a macro and micro sense. "Forget yourself and follow the other" is very meaningful for this kind of play, but not because you are supposed to give up all control, but rather because the root of your control is always in the opponent's energy flow. To resist this energy flow is to give up the goal of controlling it and to deprive yourself of the energy you need. You have to let the opponent extend or trap his energy in order to be able to use it.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If you are not passive, have a firm root and are full...</font>

For whatever reason, I have never heard instructors in the Association speak of a person being full or empty, they always talk about a particular part of a person's body being empty or full. If a person's arms are full, then their legs must be empty. If their legs are full, then their arms must be empty. It is the same with right and left. If all is full, then all is empty.

The name of the game is not to be empty or full, but to differentiate empty and full in order to use them to your advantage, both within yourself, but also with respect to your partner. There are several methods to do this. I can do none of them consistently, but can replicate them in "controlled" conditions.

One method is to know the moment when some part of the person's body is full and must begin to "empty" (i.e., when old yang must turn into new yin). You can choke off the flow and cause it rebound or reverse. The body part becomes too full and must empty in a way opposite to your partner's intent. You can also interrupt the flow so that the partner cannot separate empty and full adequately and cannot apply his power. This happens when your palms are in position to push, but somehow you can't seem to apply any power.

Another method is to use control over the full part to attack the empty part. You make what is empty in the opponent too empty. This sometimes happens when you pull on the opponent's push or push on his pull, but it is not the only way. Sometimes you find that when you push with someone for a while, it is easy to send them stumbling twenty feet away at the beginning, when they are fresh and can make their arms very full, compared with their legs. When they tire or get used to your tricks, their qi naturally sinks and their arms are less full. Now it is hard to use the same techniques to move them the same distance. It can, however, now be easier to prevent them from generating any power and separating full and empty for their own purposes.

Since, according to Sunzi, you cannot eliminate either full or empty, you try instead to use them to your advantage. To use them, you must be able to distinguish them in your opponent. To act on your knowledge, you must be able to distinguish them in yourself. By distinguishing them in yourself, you potentially expose yourself to your opponent. If your actions are rooted in your opponent's energy flow or stagnation, your are safe; however, to the extent you must root your actions in your own flow, you expose yourself. In actual practice, you usually have to use some of your own energy, expecially against an opponent whose level of skill is anywhere near yours. The game then is in trying to minimize how much of your self you have to use, concealing your own disposition of full and empty, being nimble in changing your own full and empty, and detecting and controlling your opponent's deployment of full and empty.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Cheng Man Ching may seem to be centred around a simple alternation, but I don't think it is.</font>


Did I say something inconsistent with your statement? Image From the little I have seen, there are many of Cheng Man-ch'ing's successors that certainly have complete and effective push hands systems. My point was to focus on communication difficulties across sub-styles.

I remember once seeing students of Chou Tsung Hwa demonstrate a simple push hands exercise that showed a four- or five-step retreat. The design was to match each of the movements to one of the Five Elements. I have never done the exercise and so cannot comment on its training purpose or ultimate value, but what struck me was the difference in apparent activity between the two parties. The "defending" party was engaged in multiple transformations that clearly showed the five elements, but the "attacker" seemed to simple shift his weight forward in four or five straight increments. The flavor was markedly different from the circling I am used to.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Have you trained much CMC Audi?</font>


Certainly not enough to speak with any authority. It was many, many years ago for perhaps only a year or two. As I think further, I am not sure if the first "circle" I was taught was a simple circle, or the two-hand exercise; but, in either case, the feel for me was the same.

When I was taught what I think was the initial circle, I was taught that my partner would push, I would look for the right moment to turn the waist and use Rollback. She would then attack with Press, and I would use Cover (?) to let her force pass by. Then I would use Push. In learning this method, I was never encouraged actually to execute a Rollback attack unless my partner committed to a Push application. I could not really initiate a Press attack unless my partner committed to a Rollback application. I was not taught an application for the "Cover." Pushing, however, was okay. There was a tremendous emphasis on "relaxing" that seems to me to be handled quite differently in the Association's pushing.

Stephen, I would be curious to know how you have been taught about zhan-nian-lian-sui and how you find these concepts helpful in your circling. I am also curious how much emphasis there was on the size and geometry of the circle and also on the palm orientation. Also, how were the initial exercises stated? In other words, what were you told that you would actually be practicing by going through the motions?

In the Association's initial circle, the only commitment you need from your partner in order to partake of the flavor of an application is the circling motion itself. There is no need to immediately think in terms of counters. The circle motion itself is sufficient. When I show the initial applications (i.e., the Push and the Pluck), I do not ask my partner to change the circling in any way. In fact, I think this is one way to check on the mechanics of your motion, which are supposed to be quite externally precise to provide the foundation for the inner feeling.

Now in reality, both training systems, as I understand them, are intended to be cooperative. You do not initially push competitively or use applications in either of them; nevertheless, I find that in other ways, the initial psychology promoted is different. Terms like "force," "attack," "defense," "circles," and "relaxing" seem to receive very different emphasis and have very different focuses or connotations. If I am talking across styles, I think it can be helpful to clarify what one is talking about.

Take care,
Audi

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 09-02-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 09-03-2006).]
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Postby DPasek » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:22 pm

“I remember once seeing students of Chou Tsung Hwa demonstrate a simple push hands exercise that showed a four- or five-step retreat. The design was to match each of the movements to one of the Five Elements. I have never done the exercise and so cannot comment on its training purpose or ultimate value, but what struck me was the difference in apparent activity between the two parties. The "defending" party was engaged in multiple transformations that clearly showed the five elements, but the "attacker" seemed to simple shift his weight forward in four or five straight increments. The flavor was markedly different from the circling I am used to.” – Audi

Just to let you know, that drill was the most basic version of this concept, where one individual is essentially just helping cue [with a four stage advance for metal] the other individual going through the other elements (i.e. only one person is practicing the elements at a time with the partners alternating the one practicing the elements). Jou Tsung Hwa taught another level to this drill that has both partners practicing the five elements simultaneously such that each goes through their own “creative cycle” while simultaneously using the “control cycle” vs. their opponent’s cycle. This ends up with a drill similar to those common for four energy drills like tuishou and dalu where the partners continuously cycle through several postures, each a response to the other person’s action.

DP
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Postby Audi » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:20 am

Greetings DP.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Jou Tsung Hwa taught another level to this drill that has both partners practicing the five elements simultaneously such that each goes through their own “creative cycle” while simultaneously using the “control cycle” vs. their opponent’s cycle. This ends up with a drill similar to those common for four energy drills like tuishou and dalu where the partners continuously cycle through several postures, each a response to the other person’s action.</font>


There seems little mention in the literature about how the Five Elements practically relate to Taijiquan. Would you mind elaborating on your experiences with the exercise described above? What was its purpose? Would do you feel you learned? I would be most interested in your comments with respect to "those common for four energy drills like tuishou and dalu."

I would also be interested if anyone could comment on what the view of Xingyi (Hsing-I) might be on drills of this nature. I am very comfortable thinking of Taijiquan in terms of Yin and Yang, even in the midst of a push hands drill, but the Bagua and Five Elements are much less transparent to me. My understanding is that Xingyi, and perhaps take a different approach.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby DPasek » Fri Sep 08, 2006 8:05 pm

Audi,

I only learned the drills taught by Jou Tsung Hua second-hand, so I can not speak with certainty what his intent was, but the following is my understanding. He would define Taijiquan as the thirteen shi; the eight energies/applications in the hands and the five phases/changes in the feet. The drills that commonly emphasize the eight energies/applications are tuishou which focuses on the four square/cardinal energies of peng, lu, ji, and an, and dalu which emphasizes the four corner energies of cai, lie zhao, and kao. I do not know of any similar drill commonly taught that emphasizes the five phases. I think that Jou developed his drill to address this.

I agree with you that “there seems little mention in the literature about how the Five Elements practically relate to Taijiquan.”

In Jou’s drill advance corresponds with metal, but I do not think that the correspondences are agreed upon in different schools, for example Yang Jwingming has several versions listed in one of his books based on literature from different practitioners.

I only know of two versions of the drill, the one you saw and the one I described earlier (and in more detail below). Both just had the wrists contacting without really doing any of the eight energies/applications in order to focus attention on coordinating with the partner and emphasize the five phases performed with shifting the weight and turning the waist. I do not know if there were more advanced versions of the drill (e.g. with stepping vs. stationary; or with addition of applications in the hands, etc.).

The mutual control and creative cycles version of the drill is sort of as follows:
Each practitioner will do the following “creative cycle”
Metal – Advance to fully forward
Water – Turn to the side with 1/3 retreat
Wood – Sink (root) while moving to ½ way back
Fire – Turn back so that the waist returns to square with your partner while shifting to 2/3 back
Earth – Retreat to fully back
And back to Metal…
while simultaneously doing the “control cycle” to the partner’s move [i.e. “A” would do Fire in response to “B” doing Metal, B responds with Water, A with Earth, B with Wood, A with Metal, B with Fire, A with Water, B with Earth, A with Wood, B with Metal, and then you are back to the beginning and everything is repeated]

After doing the pattern it is not too difficult to deduce possible applications during the drill, but applications were only hinted at with slight added energy (pulling or pushing) while doing the pattern. I must admit that I do not regularly practice two person drills on my own (although I of course do them as part of class instruction), at this point in my development I much prefer more freestyle work. When beginning with Taijiquan the drills were helpful though. For example, in the tuishou drill it is instructive to see how ji/squeeze can be a good response to lu/divert, and in Jou’s drill you could see how turning (with a slight retreat) with their lu/divert and then retreating further and rooting (Wood) helps avoid being controlled/pulled during a similar interchange.

DP
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Postby Kalamondin » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:44 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>

Can anyone explain to me the difference between sticking and adhering please?

Thank you,
Pamela

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Pamela,

I think I found you a video that might illuminate the difference. If I understand correctly, sticking is what Master Liang is doing through-out this video...but he's using adhering very clearly after 4:07 when the guy is stuck to Master Liang like glue and can't shake him off.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8784247348094164056&q=ma+liang&hl=en


Cheers, Kal
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Re: Sticking vs. Adhering

Postby jetiong » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:22 am

Chan(Adhering), Nian (Sticking), Swee (Following) and Dhiah (Proximity), these are the 4 basic requirements in PH. But personally, I feel that chan, swee and dhiah are the requirement of Nian.

Nian - is sticking or maintaining contact with your partner/opponent (P/O)
Chan - is how much force or pressure at the point of contact/s with your P/O. Chan literally means the pressure you get when pressing against water.
Swee - is moving in sync with your P/O so that we are always facing the P/O and in a position that is able to take opportunity to ward off your P/O when in an advantageous situation (de si)
Dhiah - is maintaining a cl[/list]ose proximity/distance with your P/O.

In summary, we need to stick (nian) to our P/O very lightly (adhering) , at the correct position (swee -in front of us) while maintaining a close distance (dhiah) that allows us take offensive moves when the P/O is in an off balance position.

There is no threat if we stick to our P/O with an outstretched hand (no Dhiah) or our back facing him ( Slow to "swee" and the P/O has gained advantage in position wise). Chan to touch the P/O lightly so he can't read our move and also to keep us from being moved from the stable position.

These are my personal opinions, I might not be right and I welcome further advice from the other members
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Re: Sticking vs. Adhering

Postby jetiong » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:00 am

Tai Chi have been made too difficult to understand so I suggest that we look it from different prospective instead of the qi and the inner energy.

To me, Tai Chi teaches us to use our body and limbs in a mechanically correct manner. We are used to do things in a quick and fast way but in a mechanically wrong way, it's ok because most of the chores are light and easy. Tai Chi is actually teaching us to transform our body into a simple machine that uses the fulcrum or spiral to multiply our own force. We always place ourselves at the longer end of the fulcrum and force the opponent to be positioned at the shorter end of the fulcrum, in this way our force multiples more than the opponent's.

In Physic study, we learn that we could save energy through sacrificing distance, that is why in Tai Chi we always move in circular path, we are using the extra distance to multiply our force and momentum.
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Re: Sticking vs. Adhering

Postby Audi » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:31 pm

Hi Jetiong,

Welcome to the discussion board.

When you write "Dhiah (Proximity)," are you referring to 连/連

As for your other ideas, I think it is often helpful to translate Tai Chi concepts into scientific terms. I think there are also some aspects of Push Hands theories that touch on things beyond mechanics and physics, such as neurology, psychology, and physiology. When we talk about full and empty, for instance, it is hard to limit that concept to a question of trajectories and angles. I think it can also involve the state of the ligaments, the breath, and the focus of the mind.

Take care,
Audi
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