A Small frame stance

Postby Hans-Peter » Tue Jul 16, 2002 7:53 am

Hi,

thanks for the the clear words on YZD's techniwue.

Louis,

your absolutely right - I also mean that the endposition of the Ban Lan Chui move is to East. W is nonsens.

The Ban Hou Cannon fist is on a chinese video production, I guess it was for TV. I've seen many "made up" things, but this one seems very authentic to me, although it's difficult for me to decide, since the overdubbed english comments are not the full translation of the chinese comments. But this tape deals with more than 30 forms from all major families and concerning the other forms I know everything shown there is ok.
There are several Yang forms featured (not complete) including Yang style small frame (form is same as described in literature)sword, broadsword and -very interesting -demonstrations by Yang Zhenji on barehandform and broadsword. Among them there are parts of another form shown, titled "Yang Ban Hou Old frame". I've heared people talking about those forms by times, but noone really knows clear facts. But in Tai Chi magazine April 2002 article about Yang style application frame, the author also mentions a style named "Ban Hou boxing",
so I'm not sure if what the chinese narrator calls "Ban Hou Pao Chui" is just "made up", although I'm also very careful with informations like this and every information on this subject is very welcome. If anyone is interrested in this video, it could be obtained at www.plumflower.com ("A world tour of Tai chi"). BTW - to me there seems to be familiarities with what I've seen on videos from "Fu Nei Pai Yang Style". But maybe my knowledge is not enough to decide this clearly. Superficially it looks so.

My best
Hans-Peter
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Jul 16, 2002 8:10 am

Hans-Peter, I'm not qualified to comment on the small-frame and Ban-hou forms on the tape and in the literature, so I won't. One thing that has to be mentioned is that finding/inventing older and older antecedents for something one is doing is a productive mechanism in Chinese culture in general, not just taiji. Chinese are all very aware of this and take it all with a grain of salt.
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Postby Audi » Thu Jul 18, 2002 3:54 am

Hi all,

Hans-Peter, what I saw of Doc-Fai Wong’s hand form was just a few seconds of clips included in the introduction to his Wind Chasing Fan Video. I recognized the style of his form from the clips and recall fajing in connection with some of the heel kicks and a left to right crescent kick that seemed to correspond to where Shi Zi Tui (Cross Kick) falls in the form. I presume the clips come from his video entitled Yang Family Tai Chi 109 Form, Item 1251 from the Wayfarer Publications Catalog (www.tai-chi.com), which I have not viewed myself.

Louis, thanks for the clarification about the trajectory of the fist. I find it interesting, intriguing, yet still somewhat puzzling. If indeed the fist must come from the hollow of the chest, it would seem that it cannot be fully powered all the way from the hip. I find it hard to envision a force vector that would curve up and inward to the centerline and then outward in a straight line. However, maybe what you are describing is a punch that terminates at the centerline, but only appears to come from the heart. Let me theorize.

In helping to teach the Saber Form, I have become more attuned to the fact that many of the trajectories we envision for the arms are actually incorrect, because we switch our frame of reference back and forth from the stationary floor to our rotating torso. What may be a circle or curve with respect to the floor, may be quite a different shape with respect to the torso, or vice versa. In this case, although we may envision the fist as beginning at our side or flank, it is actually already quite “in front” of the body and near the center line, since the elbow and fist are actually oriented east and west with the fist on the south side of the body, whereas our torso is oriented southeast to northwest. If the fist is “snuck” just a little “forward” (eastward) and up during the beginning of the waist turn, I can see how it is possible to “launch” it with full arm force (on top of the force already being generated by the rest of the body) from the heart and centerline. Does this make any sense?

By the way, this discussion reminds me of a sharp memory I have of Yang Zhenduo demonstrating this punch, probably on the video, but perhaps in person. If memory serves, he was illustrating some point other than the trajectory of the fist. I remember it because I noticed something odd about the rotation and direction of the face of his fist and/or the position of his fist with respect to his elbow. It seemed to me that his fist was not between his elbow and his striking point, but I was unsure if this was deliberate, a byproduct of the fact that he was emphasizing another point, or just an optical illusion. I recall this because what I saw was quite different from the “Karate” principles I understood, but did not match anything I had heard or read yet in Taijiquan. I do not recall noticing this orientation at other times, but wonder now if I was seeing something related to this issue of launching the fist from the heart. At the time, I was most interested in the fact that the fist rotated much, much earlier than I was taught in my Karate.

A perhaps different thought I have is that I have been operating under the assumption that the Yangs have a form principle that dictates that the Jin point of a straight arm always ends up in line with the shoulder and that the Jin point of a curved arm lines up with the centerline. Is this what everyone else understands? I raise this in this context, because I have been assuming that the fist in the Yangs’ form must end up in line with the right shoulder, regardless of its origin.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:02 am

Hi Audi,

my actual ideas about the punch are these:

After the right backfist has deflected something downward, it prepares for a heavy blow. You try to hide this from the opponent's eyes. Therefore you hide the right hand in good position behind the left hand (that's why in Chen style this posture is called "Fist covered by hand"). Since the left hand is at chesthight, therefore the right fist also has to be at chesthide. If your torso now is square (to SE or SSE)then when bending the right elbow, the right fist automatically comes to stay near the heartregion,but the fist's face (I think that's what you mean when you talk about "jin-point") is already facing East.When you now rotate your torso to the left, the fist can strike out straight to the East and it comes from the heart. There's not necessarily a curve in the fist's path.
Regards
Peter
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Postby DavidJ » Fri Jul 19, 2002 5:42 pm

Hi Hans-Peter,

I have seen a clip labeled "Ban Hou Pao Chui" and, while I have no idea of the accuracy of the claim, it does look like Chen style with a Yang style feel to it. Even more interesting is that the performer looks like Yang Jun.

You wrote, > After the right backfist has deflected something downward, it prepares for a heavy blow. You try to hide this from the opponent's eyes. Therefore you hide the right hand in good position behind the left hand (that's why in Chen style this posture is called "Fist covered by hand"). <

This usage is taught in Tung's style, too. At the beginning of the punch the right hand is near the belly button, and the left hand is between the right fist and the opponent's eyes.

You also wrote, > Since the left hand is at chesthight, therefore the right fist also has to be at chesthide. <

Is this for when the opponents eyes are at chest height? Image

The punch's path makes an arc from near the belly button to the height of the chest. All during the punch, especially the top part of arc, left hand is drawn back, keeping it between the punch and the opponent's eyes.

Regards,

David J
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Postby Audi » Fri Jul 19, 2002 9:43 pm

Hi Hans-Peter and David:

Interesting comments about the left hand hiding the punch. I had always that the "Lan" of "Ban Lan Chui" referred to using the left palm to pin ("obstruct") the opponent's right arm near his or her body, after it had been parried to the right by your right arm. What do you both think the opponent is doing while you shield his or her eyes and prepare the punch?

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:41 am

Hi Audi,

in my general guideline of Ban Lan Chui I deflect the right arm of the opponent with my right backfist. He then can come out with his left. I parry his left at the hight of my chest with my left backhand or with my left forearm. You can check with a mirrow, that even the forearm is enough to hide the right fist. When using the forearm, you can irritate his eyes with your left hand additionally and you can turn the opponent to left and still have the left hand free to protect against another right hand action of the opponent. But you can also grab the opponents left arm, pull the arm out of the way and hold him while punching his open left side with your right fist.

Hans-Peter
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Postby Audi » Wed Jul 24, 2002 3:36 am

Hi Hans-Peter,

It would seem that your preferred application requires that your left hand cross your midline to ward off the opponent's left-hand strike. Is this how you do the form, or am I misunderstanding your description?

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Wed Jul 24, 2002 8:01 am

Hi Audi,
thanks very much for your interest in the way I do Ban lan chui.
I'll do my best to describe what I "actually" prefer to do.
My left hand don't cross my midline, since my navel points the same direction as the toes of my right foot, which is to SE (although I generally use a bit larger angle than 45 degrees). So after deflecting with my right hand I stay with torso facing SE.
Left hand which followed the right hand is
on left side of the body, somewhat below chest hight. I've closed the left foot to the right foot to form this certain "lianzhibu" stance. While making contact between my left arm and the opponents left to wward them off, I make an unweighted step with the left foot forward to the east. Right hand forms fist in front of the heart, left now is at chesthight on the left side, navel still points to SE.
Then I actually shift back weight a little bit (difficult to describe this in words)"to the middle"(between the two feet), still pointing the navel to SE.
Then I rotate waist, shift weight to left, pull back the left hand a bit and punch out the right. This has a little bit from Chen style, but for me this delivers maximum power. Although the fist comes from the heart, the whole action comes from the muiddle (-position) to where I've shifted the weight for a very short moment.
None of my hand crosses the centerline in this posture.
Can you imagine now what I do? I hope so, but I permanently work on this special posture so every critic is warmly welcome.
My best to everyone
Hans-Peter
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Postby DavidJ » Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:29 pm

Hi Audi,

You asked, > What do you both think the opponent is doing while you shield his or her eyes and prepare the punch? <

If you're in a position to unload the punch properly, after the set up, the hammer is dropped with little or no notice. Your question covers a very small amount of time. What the opponent is doing is not seeing the punch coming. Image

Are you really asking about what comes before the punch is on its way?


Regards,

David J
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Postby DavidJ » Wed Jul 31, 2002 8:35 am

Hi Louis,

I appreciate the good work that you're doing, unraveling these skiens of thought. A few notes, though.

On July 3, you wrote, > The two feet side by side, nearly all weight on one foot, the other foot on its tips.” In fact there is such an instance in the standard Yang form in the banlanchui sequence prior to the extending of the left parry and the concurrent advance of the left foot (see fig. 47 in Fu Zhongwen’s book). <

In the copy of the book that I have, in fig. 47 the left foot isn't "on its tips," it's in the air. There is no mention of touching the left foot down in the text, either.

On July 14 you wrote [in movement 5] > the heart of the fist obliqely facing the upper left. <
[large snip]
> The fact that his and Fu’s descriptions both refer to this alignment of the fist with the centerline, and both use the phrase “fist that issues from the heart,” suggests that 1) Fu got this from Gu; 2) Gu got it from Fu; or, 3) both got it from a common source. <

I thought "heart of the fist" and "fist of the heart" were references to different things. Are you saying that these are the same terms, or simply that it was a common juxtaposition?

Thanks,

David J
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Jul 31, 2002 6:14 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for your comments, and for your keen observations. You are absolutely correct that in the form I referred to, the toes of the left foot do not touch the ground, and *all* of the weight is in the right leg. I’m sorry to have misled. I was quoting Hans-Peter’s description of a stance, and what I was observing is a similarity of configuration between his description and this transition within the “Deflect, Parry, and Punch” sequence, as depicted in fig. 47. That is, there is a collecting or gathering up of the body, with the left foot drawing in close to the center of gravity, prior to the “lan”—the left palm parry. Classically, this would be considered an instance of “closing” (he) prior to the “opening” (kai) of the parry. Although in the Yang form the left toes do not touch the ground, they do drop downward as the leg is drawn up from the knee. I don’t know much about Sun style taijiquan, but in observing photos of Sun Lutang’s form, he seems to exploit this configuration frequently, and in his form the toes do appear to come in contact with the ground.

Regarding “heart of the fist” (quan xin) and “fist that issues from the heart” (quan cong xin fa), these are different things altogether. The “heart of the fist” refers to the palm side of the fist—where the fingertips of the curled fingers meet the palm—as opposed to the back of the fist. Another fist term is “hukou” (tiger’s mouth), which refers to the opening surrounded by the knuckles of the thumb and index finger—that is, the top of a “standing fist.” A related term is “zhangxin” (heart of the palm). The term xin, while literally meaning the organ of the heart, also can mean the center, middle, or the core of something. (Aha! A metaphor!) In Fu’s description, for example, he used the term “xinkou,” (heart-mouth) which can refer to the “pit” of the abdomen. Gu Liuxin used a different term for the same thing: “xiongwo,” which means the “hollow of the chest.” So, to clarify, in Gu’s description, “heart of the fist” refers to the orientation of the fist at one point in its forward travel. The “fist that issues from the heart” refers to the fist’s trajectory once it has aligned with the centerline of the torso.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 07-31-2002).]
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Postby Audi » Sat Aug 03, 2002 4:26 pm

David,

In asking about what the opponent is doing while you are hiding your fist, I had this in mind.

In my understanding of our branch of Taijiquan, one does not launch techniques through the air while treating the opponent as a target. Instead, my understanding is that techniques always involve some simultaneous control of the opponent's flow of energy (i.e., na jin). In describing shielding your fist, it sounded as if you and Hans-Peter were describing a moment in which no meaningful content was being made with the opponent's body and the opponent seemed free to act.

From other postings that you and Hans-Peter have made, I think you both share at least some of my viewpoint and so was curious as to what you felt the opponent was doing while your punch was being hidden. Under what I was taught of Karate combat theory, a Karate-trained opponent would have at least one arm chambered at this point to prepare for a strike that would be timed to land at least as quickly as the strike you propose.

The viewpoint of a Karate opponent would be to try to unload his or her counter punch quicker than we could take any action, hidden or otherwise, and so render the precise details of that action irrelevant. My Taiji viewpoint is that I should always be moving in such a way that the opponent cannot attack without creating a weakness in his or her position. That is why I understood the left palm as doing "lan" or obstructing and why I understood this obstruction to be continuing throughout my punch.

Of course, the left palm and arm can have more than one purpose, and so I can see that hiding the fist could be one consequence of one's body position.

Take care,
Audi
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