"Sung" word in taijiquan practice

Postby Anderzander » Tue Dec 14, 2004 5:41 pm


Firstly I must clarify myself – I meant to type:

‘there is quite a strong case for the ‘Chi’ in Tai Chi sometimes being gravity - not only the Chi of TCM’

I do apologise for that possibly misleading error.

Glenn Blythe (Wee Kee Jin’s student)was the one who stated to me that he felt the word ‘chi’ had sometimes been mistranslated. He states that the word essentially means energy and as in English ‘Energy’ is a generic term.

Glenn has a great web site and a very nice article on the Chi of the earth – gravity.

This is his web site: http://www.taichischoolofgentleexercise.com/

This is his article:
(Particularly the last paragraph)

So my experience would suggest that there is both the use of gravity and the use of intrinsic energy.

The intrinsic energy is the ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ that originates from the ‘centre’, which is where the ‘tantien’ and the central axis meet. The opening expands from the centre, and the closing contracts from there – both from the inside outwards.

This I would consider to be some of the many phrases you quoted: “The qi sinks to the dantian”, “the qi adheres to the back, then collects into the spine.” And the “qi” element of the Li I Yu 5 character Secret etc.

I already talked about the use of gravity in my previous post:

<I>Relaxation creates sinking, sinking creates movement. Relaxation is a
softening of the body.

When the body relaxes the weight / gravity can be led / directed by the mind
down through the body. The movement of the energy (gravity) down into the
ground is sinking.

It is very important to suspend the crown whilst doing this or you will merely be creating compression - ie the force will not be passing through you but compacting you like a spring.

This downwards internal movement creates a stretch in the body - this stretch is Jing.</I>

(The opening and closing needs to be synchronized with the relaxation, sinking, grounding, and issuing of the relaxed force.)

Anyway fter reading Glenn’s stuff I looked into Gravity a bit more and feel it can describe quite a few more thing - let me attempt to explain what I got. Please bear with me though I am no scientist!

<I>The weight of an object is the force exerted upon it due to gravity.

Weight (on Earth) is a force we feel from the ground, which is stopping us being pulled to the centre of the earth.</I>

As we know sinking (brought about through use of the mind and breath) lowers our weight – or centre of gravity.

We create relaxation that creates movement inside (and outside) the body. We relax and allow gravity to act upon us.

<I>When resting upon the ground the force on each bit of us is not uniform.

Because when a solid object is not accelerating there is an upward force that arises. Each horizontal cross section of the object experiences not only the force due to gravity on it, but also the weight of whatever portion of the object is above it.

Part of feeling weight, then, is actually experiencing a pressure gradient within one’s own body.</I>

So, we can use the Yi to relax the body (changing the pressure gradient) and allow/lead the weight/gravity through the body – creating movement. The movement of the energy (gravity) down into the ground is sinking. This would be our Yi leading the Chi and the body following.

Perhaps when the body stopped sinking, ie the internal movement ceased, the upward force would result? Perhaps this is the ‘return force’ following sinking – gravity effectively causing rising and falling.

I.e. as the sinking body was not solid it merely underwent compression* until a pressure gradient would be experienced. (* More on this to follow)

We can go further with this model though – as it has not so far considered the effect of gravity on a suspended object (such as suspending the head top)

<I>There is another aspect of weight that a pressure gradient does not account for, an example of which is the way that our arms are pulled downward with respect to our body.

This effect comes from the fact that something hanging is not supported directly via a pressure from the ground. In fact the effect is almost the exact opposite of a pressure gradient - it is a tension gradient.</I>

The suspended head-top places the body into the same circumstance. The relaxation of the body allows the force of gravity to act through it and the body experiences a tension gradient. Essentially the body is stretched downwards towards the ground.

When the stretch is complete, or exhausted, the suspended body effectively makes contact with the ground the body immediately experiences a pressure gradient. An upward force occurs via a pressure from the ground. The Stretch (Jing) can also be released.

In summary – all of this would appear to be an explanation of the drawing of the bow and its release, the sinking to one side and of force rising from the feet.

I don’t feel I have done it justice – but as I said I am no scientist.

The description also appears to be able to describe what occurs during push hands:

When pushing hands and giving emptiness to absorb the partners energy and break his root they experience a sense of weightlessness

If we are in true free fall we feel no weight because there is no force to stop us accelerating under gravity. It has to do with whether there are force gradients across your body.

By giving emptiness to a push (relaxation), whilst suspending our crown, we effectively join to the other person’s mass. So their force passes through our sinking structure bringing their ‘weight’ with it.

Like one of those old slinky toys, they are raised up and drawn in. This movement creates the stretch (storage of Jing) and breaks their root.

I think this is one of those topics where I could go on and on – and of course no one may be interested Image

But hopefully I have said enough to add some veracity to the theory.

Please ask any questions that you want to or need you to help understand what I am saying.

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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:08 pm

Greetings Jeff,

Re: ‘my experience is that “sông” involves an extremeley intense degree of attention, focus, and activation of energy. “Letting go” and “releasing tension” are –actively- controlled in Taiji. Control of the kind in not flinching under pain; not being afraid or tensing up when a bigger, stronger person is trying to harm you; not getting angry when someone who knows how to get you angry is trying to do so, etc.’

I’m seeing a lot of “not” in the above, which seems to support my “negative admonition” idea. We are likely talking about the same thing, but expressing it differently. I think we can agree that ‘fangsong’ requires action and attention. I’ve said I don’t consider it to be a passive thing at all. Not doing something necessarily involves the obverse. Looking at the south wall means that your back is turned to the north wall. But just on an impressionistic level, the intensity of control as expressed seems almost to evoke a sort of Greek Heroic model of actor and action. I don’t see it that way philosophically (Sunzi, for example, de-emphasized heroic action), and I don’t feel it that way experientially.

As I mentioned to Jerry in an email earlier today, I don’t disagree with the remarks you two made regarding the priority of speech in linguistic analysis. I would hope that my conjectures on the word “song” had the requisite hedges and caveats. However, even though I’ve benefited from DeFrancis’ analysis in _Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy_, and the whole ‘visible language’ model, I don’t accept it uncritically. I think that some modern scholars (and Karlgren earlier) make a compelling case, for example, that Classical and Literary Chinese is something quite apart from any of the spoken Chinese languages, and it is rather different from a transcription of speech. I have a lot of thoughts on this issue, but not enough time to put them down right now.

I guess I should survey both you and Jerry—how would you translate “song,” “songkai,” and “fangsong?” Given Jerry’s “ordinary language” argument, would one have to go with “relax?” Or is that in conflict with the expanding, stretching aspect of the practice? I also recall, if not mistaken, Yang Zhenduo repeating, “fangkai,” and “lakai,” which I hear as something like, “release open,” and “pull open.”

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby Anderzander » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:39 am


It just occurred to me having read Louis' post, that words which become specialist terms seem to invariably take on meanings of a greater depth than the in the original usage.

For example the use of the word 'Self' by Carl Jung, he even differentiated between 'Self' and 'self'.

Another factor might be that even if the word has not become a specialist term - it's meaning will be taken as different depending upon a persons experience.

For example 'Relax' to some people is putting their feet up and watching tv - whereas to a Hypnotherapist it would be much more.

Besides the above contextual aspects of words, there can also be definition changes throughout society over a period of time.

As they say "in the 50's a 'joint' was what one had roasted on a Sunday, a 'fag' was stuck in the mouth and smoked, 'grass' was mowed', 'coke' was kept in the coal shed, 'making out' meant that you managed on your wages each week, and to be 'Gay' meant that you were the life and soul of the party."

It's a tricky business!
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Postby Gu Rou Chen » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:34 am

Hi Louis,

RE: “We are likely talking about the same thing, but expressing it differently. I think we can agree that ‘fangsong’ requires action and attention. I’ve said I don’t consider it to be a passive thing at all.”

I think so too.

Gu Liuxin’s book strongly supports this. His description of the whole process of ‘sōng’ (‘relax’) and how it is not an end but a means of developing ‘jìn’ (‘Taiji strength’) is very clearly written.

Bamen Wubu:
I admire your optimism and hope dearly that it does indeed live on and that others can take it to higher levels.

Gu Rou Chen
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:45 am

Here are a few principles I think we should adhere to when talking about the meaning of words in Chinese.

1. Chinese dialects are organic human languages.

2. Words in Chinese have meaning which can be perceived independent of the written language. By that I mean that illiterates and children who haven't learned to read can understand words in their language perfectly well, even though written characters are inaccessible to them. It is worth noting that up until the latter half of the 20th century, literacy rates in China were quite low.

3. Chinese is not a code which exists independent of ordinary language, such that meaning can be derived or divined from written symbols without reference to words and grammar.

4. No matter how tempting it is to look for meanings in the orthography, we should ignore them unless they are confirmed by actual use and behavior of the word as it is found in the language.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 12-14-2004).]
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Postby bamboo leaf » Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:51 am

(When resting upon the ground the force on each bit of us is not uniform.
Because when a solid object is not accelerating there is an upward force that arises. Each horizontal cross section of the object experiences not only the force due to gravity on it, but also the weight of whatever portion of the object is above it.)

Some really key insights, Image I always thought of it as uniform or not uniform, either way it means that not all parts are relaxed relative to each other. Only the mind can truly experience and release them.

For most people there are still hidden or hard spots in the body that are not sung, they may not even be aware of them. Really it¡¯s the work of many years.
The opening and closing of the body allows the inner change to take place so that one is truly emptying into the ground. This emptying process is also what propels the movement. you can see it in advanced players of taiji. This model is a little different then from what I read mostly online, its more fluid and gives different meaning to the ideas of structure.

If one can really open and close, empty and full the structure manifest in accordance with this, instead of something being maintained as in a more mechanical model.
The ideas of force, speed and power are replaced with balance, timing and awareness.

instresting reading

bamboo leaf
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Postby Bamenwubu » Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:06 pm

Gu Rou Chen,
There are three ways of which I am aware that a skill will survive over time. Two of these ways will improve a skill over time, the third will erode that skill until it falls into oblivion. The lines are not always clear, and that may be where we are with TCC at this point in time, caught between the second and third ways that a skill will survive. But we're not there yet by my reckoning.

If the skills of TCC are to survive, it will be because they are either necessary skills for someones survival, necessary skills for someones profession whether it is still a survival skill or not, or due to a tradition based belief that the skill is necessary for a cultural reason, such as to preserve a "heritage" or religious practice.
Why did an art such as TCC develop in the first place? It was necessary at some point.
Do you see this?
Without the necessity for it any skill, be it skiing, swimming, Kendo, Aikido, ice skating, dart throwing, arrow shooting, fishing, sailing, making fire, blacksmithing... ad nauseum.
Every kind of skill had at its root a necessity that drove someone to invent that skill. The skill thus invented answered the necessity that drove it succesfully, it was then passed on by its creator to someone else, usually their children or other members of their community, to help them meet that same necessity. In this way the newly invented skill survived beyond the inventor, and just about every skill that is necessary gets improved after time goes on by the people who then actually use it every day.
Since the skill of TCC was invented, it has been passed down the generations because of the necessity for it. Each generation meets their level of necessity in the skill, and since populations grow, people and necessities change, the skill is almost always improved in this way.

When a skill moves on to the next level, it is because it is no longer required for survival of the race or a single person, but because someone makes their living at it.
Which brings us to the second way a skill will survive.

If a skill that is not required for survival any longer is still being passed on to others, than more than likely it became someones profession. They earn their living at it, which allows them to survive. The argument could be made then that the skill is still necessary for survival, but only for those who earn their bread and biscuits by doing it.
What it becomes necessary for at this point is for someone to earn money at it. Usually this takes the form of either competing with others and if your skillfull or lucky when you win in these competitions you earn money or a prize of some kind for doing so. The second way is through teaching this skill to others for payment.
Once a skill reaches this point, there is usually no noticable backsliding or loss of this skill. In fact, due to the amount of time that these professionals can spend researching and improving their art rather than simply surviving using it, quite a high level of this skill can be achieved. This is the point at which you begin to have artists, people who can perform a skill so well that it is beautiful to behold.
Such artists are highly sought out, for private work paid for by those who are well off, or for them to teach this skill to those who wish to learn.
The skill is then still a "necessity", just not for the continued survival of mankind. It is now a "necessity" that the artists perfect their skills to the highest levels possible so that people will be willing to pay them for the performance of thier specialized knowledge in this skill.
This, I believe, is the level we have reached with TCC. We have gone beyond the necessity for survival, the self defense to stay alive every day portion of the skills life cycle, and we have moved into the level where the Masters of TCC are artists.

If a skill is no longer necessary either for survival or for professional usage, it may still survive, but for a different reason.
The third way a skill will be passed on, would be due to "tradition" based transmission, usually for religious or cultural reasons, to preserve the "heritage" of the skill.
If the skill is passed on due to tradition only, then you do run the risk of the skill being eroded.
Each generation then loses a slight amount of the skill, due to it not being practiced regularly by all involved.
To do something well, one must do it all the time, constant use of a skill is the only way to continue to improve its implementation.
Do we not hear this all the time? Practice makes perfect!
So, once a skill falls to "traditon" based transmission, the "art" begins to die.
This is lamentable, but if a skill is no longer usefull, it has lived its life and now it will slowly fade away.

There are numerous artists of TCC, Masters and their disciples, those who have reached the ranks of Practitioners and who then teach the skills to others for a living or as a way to maintain and improve their own skill.
There are many, many artists at this time in this crazy art we practice with the highest levels of skill imaginable.
The "profession" of TCC is still quite strong and the demand for the skill of these artists is higher than it has ever been, and much wider spread across the globe.
There is a large demand for the skill of such artists at this time and as long as that continues I see no reason to be afraid of the degredation of the skill in it.
It can hardly be said that TCC has yet fallen to the realm of a tradition based transmission.
Now. Admittedly, TCC is most likely not a necessary survival skill in this day and age for most people. Guns and body armour have made the use of TCC for combat purposes a thing of the past. So the "necessity" is no longer there for the skill. It could easily be replaced by modern weapons.
While there are signs that TCC is sometimes being passed on for reasons of "tradition", this is isolated to the major TCC families, and even then it appears it is more of a marketing gimmick than a necessity in this age.
You get good press if you can claim to be the direct descendant of Yang Lu Chan, or Wu Chaun Yau, or Sun Lu Tang, or any of the Chen family members.
I fell into that trap for a while, as well, but I am beginning to see that, in reality, this is a marketing ploy. A shrewd one, because I still will feel better knowing that it's one of Yang Cheng Fu's own children who is heading up the Internation Association and so I have a feeling that my TCC is perhaps a touch more "genuine".
Would it be any less genuine if I learned it from Gin Soon Chu's children through the Gin Soon Chu Tai Chi Chuan Association? No. The name is not as recognized however, and due to "tradition" telling us that the descendants of Yang Lu Chan alone will give us the purest transmission we tend to gravitate towards them as the best way to achieve our goals in the art.
So the "professional" aspect is still in full swing here. The Yang family descendants of Lu Chan have a "professional" interest in keeping that "tradtional" beleif alive and well as well as thier skills honed to the peak of perfection so they can back up this claim!
No disparagement, at all, to them. When you do something professionaly, the maxim is:
Early to bed and early to rise. Work like Hell and ADVERTISE!
It is in their best interest to promote thier professional standing in the best way possible, and to keep that "tradition" based belief in the purest form of TCC coming from them and them only alive.
Way to go!!! If my great-grandfather had invented canned beer, you can bet your tushy I would be going with the advertising ploy of "And MY family invented canned beer, so the best canned beer in the world comes from my family!". You can bet your last nickel on that. I see it as simply the best advertising for their service possible and commend them on such shrewd intellect.

Yet you seem to be seeing the skills required for TCC as being tradition based only, for whatever reason. Something that is passed from father to son, or grandfather to grandson, or peer to peer, with no other reason for striving to maintain its skills and precepts than that.
Is this how you feel?
Well, if so, then I hope my little posting here will help to ease your mind on this.
Take a good look around you. There is "Tai Chi Chuan" being advertised all over the world. The mix is huge, those jumping on the bandwagon, whether they have the skill to do so or not seems irrelevant, are doing so more than ever right now and there is a huge demand for even the least skilled teacher right now.
The "profession" of TCC is in full swing, and from appearances it will continue to be so in our lifetimes.
That is what allows me to be so "optimistic" about the future of TCC and the skill of its Masters.
Nothing, or at least nothing necessary, has been lost yet. And as long as there are professionals who are serious and dedicated men, which by sheer weight of their past performances alone our Grand Master and Master Yang Jun have clearly demonstrated that they are both serious and dedicated men and they are hardly alone in this, don't forget that there is still Yang Zhen Ji, Yang Zhen Guo, Wu Kwong You, Wu Tai Sin, Vincent Chu, and many more, then we need not worry for the time being about the true skills of TCC being lost.
Maybe later. Maybe in another few generations, the skill will become one of mere tradition only. That time will be lamentable, but I have no doubt that for the time being we do not have to worry about this.

Well. Now that I've bored everyone to death with THAT, I think I"ll go work on my skill level.
I'm not good yet, I need to practice.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:05 pm

Greetings Jerry,

I concur with the overall thrust of your stated principles, but with a few differing points.

On point one, some of the organicism could be said to have been interrupted in the written language, because while language continues to change, Chinese orthography, to an exceptional degree, was fixed at an early time. While French and English spellings have changed over time to reflect changes in pronunciation (often imperfectly), Chinese “spellings” maintained a greater fixed consistency over a longer period of time, without adapting to phonic changes. The language reforms of the twentieth century have sought to address this with reference to standard Guoyu pronunciation.

On point two, as I recall from Evelyn Rawski’s important study, _Education and Popular Literacy in Ch’ing China_, the convential view of low literacy in Imperial China is imperfect. The traditional view is based upon an elite bias that generally views “literacy” as a command of the elite educational curriculum requisite to an official career. Rawski discovered a degree of functional literacy among ordinary people that was surprisingly high. So, for example, a person working in an medicinal herb shop (my favorite example) would typically have an operative knowledge of the characters needed to fill prescriptions and do daily business. Farmers, merchants, craftsmen, etc., while they couldn’t understand the Four Books, often had sufficient functional literacy pertinent to their social roles. Sure, plenty of people were flat-out illiterate, but not in the numbers sometimes imagined.

On point three, absolutely true, but the grammar of wenyan is different from the grammar of ordinary speech, and many early texts written in wenyan were not in any sense records or transcriptions of speech, and were not meant to be read as such. Was it language? Of course. (One could make similar points about the recorded works of Shakespeare, Wallace Stevens, or Bob Dylan.)

On point four, I’m reluctant to ignore anything, especially when I’m grasping at straws! In particular, when it comes to specialized vocabulary that doesn’t appear to reflect ordinary usage—like peng, lu, ji, an, cai, lie, zhou, kan, and the like—we don’t have the benefit of knowing how and why these terms came to be incorporated into taiji theory. So, some degree of digging around in the either in search of metaphor and imagery may shed some light on things. I’ll admit that this sort of speculation can lead to wild goose chases, but I say, good hunting!

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby Bamenwubu » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:02 pm

Jerry, Louis,
Ok. You guys are WAY over my head here.
So I'll just jump into the fray with one quick statement about the very LAST thing Jerry said, as I understood that part. (Which, by the way, was a HUGE relief to this linguistically challenged mug. I FINALY read someting in one of your posts to each other that made sense to me. Do you two know you might as well be talking Greek when you do that? It's way cool to see such expertise in action, and comforting to know that the two people whose translations I read and follow most often have SUCH passion for their work, but I have to have a cup of tea and do a long form, sometimes two, to clear the fog out of my head after I read posts like that, that I don't have a prayer of understanding.)
Jerry wrote:
"none of these spoke or wrote in the style of the Delphic oracles. They had something definite in mind and any ambiguities were well within the range that we would expect to find in ordinary speech and writing"

This point was addressed in a seminar I attended once, back in 1991, when Si-kung Wu Tai Sin first came to Detroit.
Anyway, after reading Jerry's post I went and dug out my notes from that seminar, because that last statement yanked a memory cord about something Si-kung said, way back then, that seemed important to me even then.
He said, through "Eddie", Wu Kwong Yu as an interpreter, that he felt that maybe westerners were attributing entirely too much "magic" (that was the english word Eddie used, I have no idea what the actual chinese word was he used, even if I had been paying attention to him instead of Eddie's translation it would have been hopeless because I couldn't have uderstood it then, much less remembered it fourteen years later) to TCC. That it was really a very down to earth, every day kind of thing, but that it seemed to him that due to poor translations made by people who seemed to believe that TCC had some kind of magic involved with it had lead most of us to believe that was what TCC was.
He admonished us to remember that even the Founder had to get dressed every morning.
I'm not sure if that last was a badly translated joke or a wildly serious admonition, though Eddie was clearly chuckling when he said it, so we all did too.

Yes, I wrote that down. It seemed very illuminating to me back then and it has stuck with me ever since. Every time I read translations I look for all the hoopla involved, and try to parse through it.
I have never believed that TCC was something magical, beyond that I truly enjoyed it, since that day.
As I began to study the history of TCC, it became clear to me that most of the people were being pretty straightforward in thier writings, but that for some reason the westerners who were translating them were using very mystical sounding terminology for what were really very ordinary events.
It seems Si-kung knew of what he spoke.
As you would imagine after a lifetime of training, study and teaching on ever continent in the world.

There. Those are my two cents. It's all I've got, as I wouldn't know one chinese word from the next if the meaning walked up and bit me on the leg, hard.
Audi taught me how to say the greeting and the good-bye to Master Yang Jun for the seminar after he heard my VERY bad attempt at it from reading off of the program the first day.
I still doubt I was saying it correctly, but I at least managed to keep my voice low enough and move my lips in sort of the correct manner at the correct time that no one noticed in such a big crowd.
Hey. I took French for three years in High School and four years in college.
I learned how to say "Bon jour", or "Bon matin", I learned how to say "Ou est le WC", the W and C being pronounced as the french do and it is apparent short for water closet, though why the french used english abbreviations I never could figure out, so I could find the bathroom, I learned how to ask where I could find beer and how to order in a restaurant, "Je voudrais....".
After seven years of trying to learn French, that's about as far as I got.
Oh, I did learn to count to 100, too.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I stand there looking dumbfounded when people start speaking chinese around me.

Keep up the good work, you two. And thanks.
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Postby Bamenwubu » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:09 pm

Where did your last post go?
The one I replied to?
It was there, you answered Louis' answers to your points.....?
The last thing you said related to how the founders were using every day language, it wasn't all that terribly long ago that they wrote these things....?

Was I hitting the sauce this morning, and don't recall it?
No, that's not it. I even cut and pasted part of it in my reply!
There, I'm not nuts.
Well, OK, I am. But not THIS time!
Guess you deleted it.
Oh, well. At least the cut and paste lets me know I'm still sober.
More's the pity......

[This message has been edited by Bamenwubu (edited 12-16-2004).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:16 pm

Hi Bamenwubu. You caught me. I thought better of my post and deleted it, but not before you managed to quote me! I think I'll let my earlier stated 4 principles stand as my opinion on the subject.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:48 pm

I'm not skilled in wenyan or contemporary Chinese but I would agree with Louis that sometimes we need to dig around in search of metaphors meaning. I like this Louis's approach. When I had started to explore what was before "contemporary taiji teachers" like Yang Chengfu or even before YLC and had tried to read "wudang taiji quanpu" that you can find in Chinese internet I was shocked how metaphorical language can be. I understood every character, but had grasped only a slight part of the meaning of the texts. Even basic images in those texts such as "suspended musical stone" (xuan2 qing4) or "west mountain" (xi1 shan1) honestly is far away from my understanding but they attract my attention as a magnet.

Take care,


[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 12-16-2004).]
Yuri Snisarenko
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:32 pm

Hi Jeff,

I re-read Gu Liuxin’s sections on ‘self-checking fangsong,’ and the ‘dialectical relationship of relaxation and tension, and soft and hard’ in his Taijiquan Shu (Art of Taijiquan). I agree that it’s an excellent analysis. As with a lot of Gu’s writings, and writings of that period, there’s a smattering of obligatory quasi-Marxist language on antagonistic relationships and dialectics, but he generally used that analysis to good effect. It’s really worth reading. Any chance you could post a translation?

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:11 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Dang! I did see your post last night, but I didn’t save all of it. As always, I benefit greatly from our discussions, and value your opinions highly.

I also will remind everybody that Jerry and I both put in time in graduate seminars at UC Berkeley, where sharp elbows and thick skin are routine requirements. Discussions of scholarly interpretation can appear rough and tumble, but it’s just a way to think things through, and never personal.

If the minutiae of any of my ramblings have caused your eyes to glaze, I apologize to everyone concerned.

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:09 pm

I regretted the tone of that last post and deleted it but I'm afraid that didn't stop everyone from seeing it Image . Louis is a very kind person and overlooks some of my occasional over the top comments, for which I'm grateful. Let me just add that Louis is one of my favorite translators.
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