Yang lineage and other translations

Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:00 pm

To me, the text has the following logic chain:

taiji chang quan (taiji long boxing) => (IF) it becomes one fixed form/frame => (THEN) (eventual undesirable/dangerous transformation into) slick (hua*) form (OR/AND) stiff form/frame. (One should consider that and avoid such a fault).


One vague thing is what in fact SLICK (hua*) means?

I found in the internet one interesting reference to a phrase inYang Chengfu's "Taijiquan shiyoung fa". I haven't got the book, so I cannot verify this statement, but it may give additional food for mind.

Here it is ¨C

£³£°Äê´ú³ö°æµÄ¡¶Ì«¼«È­Ê¹Ó÷¨¡·Ò»Ê飬Ñî³Î¸¦Ò²Ëµ¡°²»µÃÓÐÖ±¾¢£¬¿ÖÈÕ¾ÃÈëÓÚ»¬È­Ò²£»ÓÖ¿ÖÈëÓÚӲȭҲ¡£¡±

It states -
In the book "Taiji quan applications" Yang Chengfu says: "One should not have straight jin (zhi jin), for fear that it (taiji) will eventually become slick and facile (hua*) boxing, or stiff and rigid boxing".


* this "hua" may also mean "smooth", "slippery", "to slide".

interested to hear your opinions,
Yuri


[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-20-2005).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:11 pm

Greetings Richard,

I agree that the “cunning/insincere” connotation is likely very close to the intended meaning. My “slick” rendering is kind of an appropriation of the colloquial usage we encounter in descriptions of “slick” used auto salesmen or politicians who have mastered presentation at the expense of integrity. In fact, the “slick” overtones of hua are used in a very similar way in phrases used to describe cunning characters as “slick heads” (hua2tou2), or “slippery sticks” (hua2gun4—gun4 is often a term for a scoundrel or suspicious character).

Your question about the role of a “fixed form” plays in fostering this result of mere cleverness rather than genuine accomplishment gets right to the heart of the issue, I think. It hinges on what the meaning is of “fixed” forms or frames. In my opinion, the author did not mean to imply that the shape and alignment of one’s postures should not have an objective standard or measure, but rather that a truly perfected form will be able to instantaneously adapt to the circumstances or contingencies at hand. The Chinese commentary that Yuri linked puts it very well: “One must absolutely not allow the formation of a fixed frame, for if the frame is fixed, the transformative properties diminish. If the motive force for shaping the forms is allowed to fall into a fixed pattern, this will invariably lead one down a wrong path.”

I think the author of the original text had in mind a contrast or distinction of internal and external practice. If one places excessive emphasis on the outer appearance and shape of one’s form, but neglects the internal intent of the practice, one will fall short in attaining adaptiveness and sponteneity in one’s art.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:13 pm

Greetings All,

I found an entry in the _Jingxuan taijiquan cidian_ (Dictionary of Essential Taijiquan Terminology) for the “huaquan” term that appears in the “Wu-ba shisanshi changquan jie.” I’ll post the Chinese entry separately. It states that the technical term “huaquan” describes a flaw (bing4) in taijiquan, and indicates that one’s training is “excessively “tuo fu.” Perhaps someone can help me out with this. I cannot identify this as a compound phrase; I think it is two separate terms. Tuo (drag) here perhaps indicates the entailment found in the proverbial phrase “tuoni daishui” (to drag through mud and water—implying sloppy and ill-defined style of execution. Fu means “to float,” but here I think it has the adjectival meaning of “superficial, frivolous, inconsequential.” It also quotes an aphorism that is supposedly in the “Taijiquan Treatise,” but it is not in any version of that document that I know of. The aphorism is “[If it] only [has] roundness, [but] no squareness, this is certainly hua quan (slick boxing.” Interestinly, I have seen almost this exact wording applied to the art of calligraphy.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:14 pm

[»¬È­] Ì«¼«È­Ãû´Ê¡£ Ϊ̫¼«È­²¡¡£ Ö¸ÔÚÁ·È­ÖйýÓÚÍϸ¡¡£ Ì«¼«È­ÂÛÔ»£º¡°Ö»Ô²ÎÞ·½ÊÇ»¬È­¡£¡±

 ¾«Ñ¡Ì«¼«È­´Çµä£¬70 Ò³
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Postby Richard Man » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:42 pm

Louis, do you know what "text encoding" I need to view the Chinese text? I try "everything" on Firefox under Windows and nothing shows up right. Yesterday I resorted to using the Mac laptop and got it displayed correctly there.

I want to see your text before commenting, but I am wondering whether huaquan refers to lack of the correct slowly down, e.g. that the form becomes flowing and showy, within the internal intent.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:03 pm

Hi Richard,

The coding 'Chinese Simplified GB'. In Internet Explorer you can manually set your viewer, but I don't know what the options are for Foxfire.

--Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:05 pm

Set as Unicode, does this work?

[滑拳] 太极拳名词。 为太极拳病。 指在练拳中过于拖浮。 太极拳论曰:“只圆无方是滑拳。”

 精选太极拳辞典,70 页


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 11-20-2005).]
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Postby Richard Man » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:42 pm

OK, I installed the Chinese language pack and select Simplified Chinese and it displays fine! Yay! Now the issue at hand....

The "roundness without square/corner" sounds like a Wu teaching? I will do some diggings. Lets think here, if HuaQuan is such a flaw, that unless somehow some secret teachings are lost, we must know it by a different term? No? Another thing - it is called a disease of Tai Chi Chuan. Therefore, it must be a relatively common flaw.


[This message has been edited by Richard Man (edited 11-20-2005).]
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Postby Anderzander » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:09 am

I would imagine that this is quite difficult, as each author could be using the phrase differently?

Not reading chinese, I'm not sure if I can contribute much.....here are a couple of ideas that may be wide of the mark:

I read Kuo Lien Ying citing the error of developing slipping hands. This is a common problem where people make a firm structure and use it to deflect force, instead of remaining alive and changeable inside to neutralise the force through transformation.

The other thing that springs to mind is that besides someone overemphasising the postures and missing the internal generation of it (internal/external split), a very common error is for the emphasis to be on the internal structure and the form to lose it's free flowing quality, namely that when one part moves all parts move. If structure become firm many parts moves as one solid unit instead of being set in motion and being light and agile. Locked together with force is an error as much as locked together with tension.

Perhaps these may have some connection with the quotes being discussed.
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Postby Richard Man » Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:30 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">...
I read Kuo Lien Ying citing the error of developing slipping hands. This is a common problem where people make a firm structure and use it to deflect force, instead of remaining alive and changeable inside to neutralise the force through transformation.
...</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have the Guttmann translation (is the original Chinese version available anywhere?). Around which page or chapter is this on?

Thanks!
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:20 am

Greetings All,

Louis,
thank you for the references. They gave me much food for consideration. It's a pity that I cannot image what the similar phrase in the art of calligraphy means. The phrase about roundness and squareness in taiji dictionary is from Chen Xin's works, I'll cite it below.

Stephen,
I think you are right about "internal/external split", I liked that your phrase.

Chen Xin wrote:
³ÂöÎ Ëù˵¡°Ö»Ô²ÎÞ·½ÊÇ»¬È­£¬Ö»·½ÎÞÔ²ÊÇӲȭ¡±

¡°[If it] only [has] roundness, [but] no squareness, this is certainly hua quan (slick) boxing. [If it] only [has] squareness, [but] no roundness, this is certainly ying quan (stiff) boxing.¡±


From what I read, roundness YUAN relates to continuity, smoothness (run4), liveliness-flexibility (huo2); square(ness) FANG relates to the four primary directions (peng-south, lu-west, ji-east, an-north - one of the correlations you may met) and the four corners and to the other things.

From all of this I made conclusion that speaking about "zhi jin" (literally - straight/direct/frank strength) Yang Chengfu may mean a sort of "one-sided" or "merely overt" manifestation of jin.


Take care,
Yuri



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-21-2005).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:52 am

Also ¨C "slick" may mean "without corners"!
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:32 am

-------------------- +++ -----------------------


===== The text was cracked by L.Swaim&Team ====


-------------------- +++ -----------------------
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:25 pm

Hi Yuri,

Where can I find the Chen Xin document?

Thanks,
Louis
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:55 am

Hi Louis,

I have met the phrase in Wang Zhiyuan's book "Yang shi taiji quan quan shi". There is a chapter about FANG-YUAN on five pages.

Here is the passage:

Ì«¼«È­Ö®ÃîÕýÔÚÓÚ·½Ô²Ö®»¥ÔË(ÓÃ)¡£·½Ò×ÓÚ¾¢£¬
µ«·½²¢·Ç¼´ÊǾ¢£¬¹Ê·½ÒÔÇóÆä¾¢º·£¬µÃÒÔ·½¾¢£»Ô²Ò×
ÓÚת£¬µ«Ô²²¢·Ç¼´ÊÇת£¬¹ÊÔ²ÒÔÇóÆä»ëÍÑ£¬µÃÆäÔ²
ת¡£Óз½¾¢¶ø·¦Ô²×ª£¬»òÔò»á¸Õ¶ø·¦ÈᣬÏÝÓÚáî°Ô¡£
ÓÐԲת¶øʧ·½¾¢£¬»òÔòΪÈá¶ø·¦¸Õ£¬½üÓÚÃÄËס£³ÂöÎ
Ëù˵¡°Ö»Ô²ÎÞ·½ÊÇ»¬È­£¬Ö»·½ÎÞÔ²ÊÇӲȭ¡±£¬¼´ÊÇ´ËÒâ¡£


But most helpful was your phrase about the art of calligraphy! Thanks again, Louis! The text is plain for me now. Hua is a flaw in the art of calligraphy, when there is YUAN but no FANG. I think those two words from taiji dictionary describe this flaw - ¹ýÓÚÍϸ¡ (too much drag-floating)!


Take care,

Yuri


[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-23-2005).]
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