Other Yang family descendants?

Postby JerryKarin » Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:47 pm

Ji actually means something like 'squeeze'. It's what you do to get toothpaste out of a tube or pus from a zit.
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:04 pm

As in "press"ing or "squeeze"ing the tube or zit?
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:17 pm

Yep. You Ji toothpaste out of the tube or Ji a zit. Squeezing from two sides or from all around like milking a cow.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:58 pm

Greetings,

I mentioned Yang Zhenji wrote that there were some anomalies in the original photos of Yang Chengfu’s mature form as presented in Taijiquan Tiyong Quan Shu. I dug up a translation I did a few years ago from Yang Zhenji’s book, in which he discusses the orientation of the posture Left Ward Off. Yang Zhenji began to study Taijiquan with his father, Yang Chengfu, at a very early age. While living in Shanghai as a child, he received additional instruction from his uncle, Zhaopeng, son of Yang Banhou. After his father died, Yang Zhenji continued to study with his older brother, Shouzhong. Yang Zhenji has been teaching Taijiquan in China since the 1950s. His book, _Yang Chengfu Shi Taijiquan_ (1993), was co-written and edited by the martial arts journalist, Yan Hanxiu. The following is a brief translation from that book regarding the Left Ward Off form:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concerning the direction of the eyes in Left Ward Off, Zhenji considers that the direction of the eyes and the Ward Off hand should correspond. In Yang style Taijiquan, with regard to theory and method, it is required that the energy (jin) be integrated—the direction of the foot, body, hand and eyes must be in accord. When striking there the eyes must focus there; you cannot strike here and look there. In consulting Chen Weiming’s Taijiquan Shu (The Art of Taijiquan), published in 1925, Wu Zhiqing’s Taiji Zhengzong (Orthodox Taiji), published in 1940, and Wang Yongquan’s Yang Shi Taijiquan Shuzhi (A Straightforward Account of Yang Style Taijiquan), all have Left Ward Off with the eyes looking in the direction of the left hand. The authors of the three books all learned directly from Master Yang Chengfu. When Yang Zhenji underwent his study, his father, Yang Chengfu, taught it that way. Zhenji’s elder brother, Yang Shouzhong, also passed on the Taijiquan form Left Ward Off with the eyes looking in the direction of the ward off hand.
In Taijiquan Tiyong Quan Shu (Yang Chengfu’s ‘Complete Book of the Essence and Applications of Taijiquan), the photo of Yang Chengfu’s left Ward-off shows his left toes are pointing directly forward.* The written explanation is as follows: “I now separate my right foot to the right side and sit solidly [over it] then lift the left foot and take a step toward the front, bending the knee and sitting solidly [over the left leg].” There is no mention of the toes of the left foot turning in. It goes on to say, “Using my wrist, I adhere to the opponent’s arm between the elbow and wrist, and use transverse energy (heng jin) to ward-off forward and upward.” So, according to the fighting methods handed down in the Yang family, it is necessary that the eyes focus in the direction towards which the left hand wards off. Why, then, does the photo show the eyes looking toward the right side? It would seem now that at the time the photo was taken, the photographer made an error.** An error of this sort is understandable, because the photographer did not understand boxing (quan). There are a few cases of similar errors in the book, about which I will give accounts later. Some books on Yang Style Taijiquan depict this move as the left foot stepping forth, with the toes turning in at 45 degrees when the heel touches the ground. This, evidently, is also not in conformance with the photo of Master Yang Chengfu. The above analysis is merely for the student’s reference and choice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*The photo referred to here appears in Wile’s -_T’ai Chi Touchstones_ as the posture photo labeled “Ward Off”, on p. 40 and throughout.

** I assume the ‘error’ Yang Zhenji refers to means that the photographer captured the transitional move following the fixed point of the Left Ward Off posture rather than the posture itself, but I am not certain this is his meaning. Clearly, though, there are different interpretations of how WOL is performed in Yang style taijiquan.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:15 pm

Louis,
I seem to recall a discussion someplace else about the same thing? Maybe not on this site, but I've heard the debate over this photo before.
Anyway, I have seen the photo and while I'm clearly, clearly not an expert, it seems pretty apparent to me that the move pictured is the transitional move after the Ward Off.
When others, Yang Zhen Duo for instance, make the transitional move after the Ward Off this is exactly what the transitional form that follows their LWO looks like.
I can see, though, how some would see this photo and then make a different assumption.
Thank you for clearing that up.
The translation you provided really gives a clear idea of the martial app for that form, too.
Are there other breakdowns of the form like this that you know of?
I've said it before, a long time ago, but I'll say it again.
Every time I read a translation on the form and it's apps that comes from Yang Zhenji I get a clearer picture of the Yang forms. I really do have to find his book next if there's an english translation.
If there is, do you happen to have another handy-dandy link to where I can get it?
I am putting in my order for Yang Zhenguo's book tommorow.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:26 pm

Hi Wushuer,

The "written explanation" within Yang Zhenji's account is directly quoted from his father's book, Taijiquan Tiyong Quan Shu. Yang Zhenji's book not only has his excellent form narrative and his own original form commentary, but for each posture Zhenji has a section on the practical applications, and these are based upon, and/or directly quote from Yang Chengfu's demonstration narrative in Tiyong Quan Shu.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Shi Tianren » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:19 am

Are there any translations of YCF's or Yang Zhenji's books into english?
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:28 pm

Greetings Polaris,

I wished to thank you for the explanations and quotation you provided, detailling Wu style energy and it's management, or moreover, its outcome or results.

It has provided a good general idea of the differences between the two styles.

Maybe you could shed some light into the matter of HOW Wu style generates its power in short distances, with such compact form?

Since that is the major issue I am seeking to enlighten...I would appreciate any details you wished to elaborate upon.

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 02-27-2004).]
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Postby Polaris » Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:56 pm

Greetings Psalchemist,

It shouldn't be very different at all from the Yang style, in my opinion (others' mileage may vary). Wu Ch'uan yu (Quanyou) learned from Yang Lu-ch'an and his son Yang Pan-hou. Wu Chien-ch'uan (Jianquan) trained with and taught in the same school as Yang Shao-hou and Yang Ch'eng-fu. Wu Kung-i (Gongyi) and Wu Kung-tsao (Gongzao) learned from Wu Chien-ch'uan and Yang Shao-hou. Three generations of direct transmission, research and development of the art between the two families.

Subsequent Wu family members are described as being like Yang Pan-hou or Yang Shao-hou, having the repuation of being very martially oriented, if you want to train with them, you are going to be smacked around until you learn how not to be. Beginning students are taught by senior students, not often by family members, so people shouldn't worry, the martial is something that is taught at advanced levels, people have to "volunteer" to be kicked around anymore!

So, this is how the small circle applications come to be trained. At first, the applications are "long throw," two people stand opposite each other and train them individually over varying distances so that they may see how the different leverages affect the other's centre of gravity. At first that is easier to do over longer distances, larger circles. When the applications are experienced that way, one then finds that they are expressed in the pushing hands as well and the practical leverage becomes more apparent. As time goes on and one gets more experince in freestyle and sparring, especially with others who have more technique, one sees the usefulness of the "short throw" as a time saving device. The leverage should be exactly the same as in the large circle technique, but it is done in a (sometimes much) smaller space in less time.

Regards,
P.
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:10 pm

Greetings Polaris,

You wrote:
<So, this is how the small circle applications come to be trained. At first, the applications are "long throw," two people stand opposite each other and train them individually over varying distances so that they may see how the different leverages affect the other's centre of gravity. At first that is easier to do over longer distances, larger circles. When the applications are experienced that way, one then finds that they are expressed in the pushing hands as well and the practical leverage becomes more apparent. As time goes on and one gets more experince in freestyle and sparring, especially with others who have more technique, one sees the usefulness of the "short throw" as a time saving device. The leverage should be exactly the same as in the large circle technique, but it is done in a (sometimes much) smaller space in less time.> Polaris

Thanks for the direct answer. Straight as an arrow...THWAAAP!

So, one grows into a smaller frame. Image
Excellent.

This leads me to question the stance frame as well.
Is the large circle to small circle progression in the bagua accompanied by a similar process in the footwork?

Do we aspire to smaller frame stance, or larger frame stance...or is this moreover dependant upon the style of Taijiquan?

Any feedback in this area would be welcome.

Also, thanks for the lineage explanations...although I have ultimate difficulty remembering all these Chinese names...My head was truly reeling by the end of that paragraph. Image

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Wushuer » Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:16 pm

Psal,
The progression as stated by P is exactly what I did in my training. Oh, and yes I did volunteer to take the pounding.
Loved it, actually. Wish I still could!
Not that Polaris needs verification from me about anything related to the Wu style, far from it as I bow to him humbly as a Sifu, I just wanted to let you know that this is how I learned from them as well.
Simply some of the best martial arts training I've ever had from people who know their stuff and are not afraid to teach it in the traditional manner.
I've said it before, you get used to that "pounding" and learn to enjoy it, because with every new ache and pain you know you are learning things that you simply could not any other way.
Of course, since I trained with my brother, there was probably some "pounding" that I took that would go above and beyond what your average bear would go through. So did he. I think our Sifu enjoyed watching our sibling rivalries as much as we enjoyed taking them out on each other, but I digress...

P.,
I have to say that the "power generation" between the two styles appears quite different on the surface.
As one who has trained both, I can now say that the appearance is decieving, the power is generated in a similar way....
BUT..
Not exactly.
My limited TCC theory vocabulary, and neophyte status in Yang style, is keeping me from trying to relate exactly what those differences are at present.
I'm working on it and will wax poetic about these differences, later.
But first, I would need to ask your opinion on the role of the "kua" in WKY's square form in order to help me further understand what's going on.
Here's why.
Power cannot be generated without a proper "root", if I understand that concept correctly. You "root" with your feet and legs, your lower half. The differences in stance, in "rooting" techniques, appear at first blush to be quite different from each other. I'm beginning to see as many similarities as differences, but...
Still a lot of differnces.
With that in mind, I'll do my best to phrase this coherently, and would humbly appreciate your input on these aspects from the Wu family perspective.
If I'm missing the point about YCF leg work, please, please, please, someone correct me so I can move forward on this research with the correct ideas in mind.
As I see and understand it now....
In the YCF form I'm learning presently, there is an emphasys on opening the kua in stances, and keeping some tension between the legs like a pulled bow (in bow stance, which I'll start with), back foot at 45 degrees to front, 70/30 weight distributions and you're pushing back against the back leg with the front and the front with the back (very hard for me to adjust to).
In the Wu form as I learned it, I do not recall an emphasys on opening the kua region. Keeping your back foot straight on to the front as we do almost, almost precludes such a thing. I certainly do not recall any mention of making an effort to open the kua area as a conscious part of the form training, except in the 50/50 stances such as SW and even then I only did so because Sifu mentioned to us once when we were studying horse stances, and as often as I've reviewed Sifu's tape of the form I've heard no mention of the concept in his breakdowns at all.
In fact, I watched the entire tape last night (I thoroughly enjoyed practicing with Sifu again, I've been concentrating on my Yang forms since I started my last class), and opening the kua was not addressed at all.
I trained that style for eleven years, and was surprised when my YCF instructor mentioned opening the kua in my stances. First, because I'd never heard the word before and had no idea what he was talking about, second because I then tried to recall any point at which this was mentioned in Wu style training, and only later remembered being told this by Sifu Eddie during the horse stance training he gave us, which was at a Chi Kung seminar, not during form training.
Now. All that said. I may have missed this for some reason. Goodness knows I've missed other things, so I may only be suffering from my horrible memory capacity.

I have other questions that I'll need to ask, not too many though, before I can, hopefully, figure out what I'm doing wrong to make these styles seem so different when they're not.


[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 02-28-2004).]
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:37 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

About opening the Kua...My impression is that if one does not pay attention to opening the Kua sufficiently, one may also disregard the collapsing of the knee inward...

Just my impression of what the particular emphasis may be based upon.

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:44 pm

....But...if Wu style has a smaller stance, in footwork, I suppose opening the Kua would be less necessary, because there would be less pull on the knee inward...

I would thus conclude logically that one should grow into a larger stance, due to the Kua issue...but this is only my reasoning...what do you guys think?

What IS the Wu style norm for foot width?
Shoulder, larger, lesser?

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Wushuer » Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:19 pm

Louis,
I've only got a second, but I knew I had read a nearly identical post to the one you made above!
I found it when I was looking for Yang Zhenji's book with a google search, I followed the first link that came up.
Here it is:
http://www.go2taichi.com/cgi-bin/webbbs/config.pl?read=37

You had posted it back in December of 1998, under a heading that had something to do with someone looking for information on a Wu Zhiqing, though what the post had to do with Wu Zhiqing I don't know and I have no idea who Wu Zhiqing is.
I'm off, but it was nice to see I'm not losing my mind.
Well, not too badly, anyway.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:06 pm

Hi Wushuer,

December of 1998; that does go back a ways, doesn’t it? It was me who was seeking information on Wu Zhiqing. He was a student of Yang Chengfu who authored an excellent book on Taijiquan. His book also contains some interesting materials by other wushu experts of the time, including Xiang Kairan. I’ve never been able to learn much about him, or whether he had a surviving legacy. Someone told me he also had considerable Shaolin credentials, and that in the late 1940s he became a devout Buddhist, then “disappeared” after starting off on a journey to
Tibet.

Take care,
Louis
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