the table

the table

Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Dec 03, 2004 4:30 pm

The are many stories of the yangs practice of training under table by one of the sons I belive.

Is there any historical fact for this? How high or low was the table?
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Postby mls_72 » Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:46 am

Personally I think this would have to be a table on bricks or a table with high legs otherwise there would be some really bad crouched over and uncomfortable taiji.

I am not opposed to low stance training like ma bu, gong bu, shi bu, pu bu, ect.
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Postby Marc Heyvaert » Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:08 pm


I have read somewhere that these table where in fact some type of high kitchen tables, more like counters.

I have also seen a historical photograph with someone, in a low stance under such a table, but it didn't look very comfortable.

I'm not against low stances, I have done traditional external kungfu training myself and part of the training was holding really low mabu stances for 10 minutes (sometimes with older students or the teacher pushing against our body or hitting legs and torso with hands or a pole). But in TJQ I often see people going really low -mostly for competition reasons- thereby betraying basic principles.

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Postby Bamenwubu » Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:12 pm

There are many such stories, and many corrobarative accounts by students of the early TCC masters of this event.
I have also seen photographs of students under the tables, crouching in low forms, from a family of TCC I used to train with.
There is little doubt of the veracity of these tales.
However, as mentioned previously, these "tables" were not as low as a modern dinner table, they were more like the tables used in older time commercial bakeries, with high tops and longer legs. The tables I'm referring to were primarily used to roll out bread dough, and so were set at about chest height to ease the backs of the workers who were rolling out the dough by hand while standing.
I've also heard them called "prep tables". I've seen sewing tables of the same dimensions in older homes, as well.
I have no idea what the tables were used for in China, I suspect preperation of food as all the photos I've ever seen of these tables were placed in kitchens.
The student did not have to crouch as low under one of these tables as we might imagine in modern times, when this type of table is more of a rarity than an every day fixture of our lives.
These tables were not that low, but what it did was to put most students into a very deep stance and then force them to hold it while they practiced.
I have practiced forms under a dough table, and it's not fun. I don't think I'd want to do it on a regular basis. At the same time I feel quite sure that my low forms would become much better if I were to do so.
Given the choice, I'd rather have practiced under these high tables than the alternative I have heard about.
There were masters who, according to tales I've heard, would stand on a raised platform holding a switch, they would walk up and down the line of students and if any of them came out of low forms, higher than the master liked, the master would smack them on the head with the switch until the got down as low into the form as the master deemed necessary.
And, one can imagine, that if a student was up to high, the master would have him go even lower still before he would stop smacking the top of his head with that switch.
I'm glad Bill doesn't have a switch!!!!
Though, after reading this, he just might....

Me and my big mouth!!!!!!!!!!
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