The meaning of an?

The meaning of an?

Postby aidren » Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:16 am

As I don't speak or read Chinese, I have often wanted to ask those who do about the way this word is translated and what the etimology (sp?) is in it's various occurences.

While, as an energy "an" is manifested as "down", yet when it is translated in it's postural sense from the GBT sequence it is represented as push?? And, further, "push hands" is the typical translation of "tui shou"??? Where is "an" represented in this -- or is it at all?? Or am I just way out on a cloud here?

Aidren
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Postby T » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:47 pm

in the 13 postures An is north – Straight - push
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:11 am

Greetings Aidren,

The word An means, among other things “to place the hand (or hands) on,” or “to restrain, to control.” In daily speech, it is used as a verb for pressing a button, and in various compounds for taking someone’s pulse (anmai), or for massage (anmo), etc. The conventional translation “push” is not really adequate, in my opinion, because the application of An does not necessarily imply a push. As for the form posture An, as part of the Grasp Sparrow’s Tail sequence—while the ending posture may resemble a push, the form itself includes the drawing back of the body and the arms prior to extending them forward. So An encompasses more than a push. I’m inclined to think that the “control” connotation is more in line with the meaning of An as a root configuration of taiji jin than “push.” It's making contact with the hands in order to maintain control.

Regarding the term Push Hands, yes, that is a reasonable translation of tuishou. There is reason to think, however, that tuishou is a relatively modern term for the exercise. Just speculating, it could be a sort of nickname based on what it looks like. Earlier terms were da1 shou (join hands, match hands), and da3 shou. Da3 is kind of a multi-purpose verb, but da3 shou3 most often means something like sparring.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby mrnaples » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:47 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>Greetings Aidren,

<As for the form posture An, as part of the Grasp Sparrow’s Tail sequence—while the ending posture may resemble a push, the form itself includes the drawing back of the body and the arms prior to extending them forward.
So An encompasses more than a push. >

Hey Louis,
this sounds odd to me...
correct me if I'm wrong.
don't all postures, have their preparatory or transitional....
yin, yang, phase if you will.


<I’m inclined to think that the “control”>

control, not my favorite word, but, ok.
do do what with it after?
discharge, maybe?

Take care,
Louis</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:42 pm

Greetings Mario,

Re: "control, not my favorite word, but, ok."

I have in mind control in the sense expressed in the taiji classics as "Adhere, connect, stick, follow, without letting go or resisting." That accords quite well with the "control" connotation of the word "an." As for "an" resulting in a discharge, certainly that is sometimes the case, but not necessarily in all cases. There is a saying from the early Chinese text, the _Lushi chunqiu_, incorporating this sense of the word "an": "an bing bu dong," which means to restrain your troops *from* taking agressive action, when to do so would be counterproductive. It has to do with judicious management of force.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 03-06-2008).]
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Postby mrnaples » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:33 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
[B]Greetings Mario,

same here.

<Re: "control, not my favorite word, but, ok."

I have in mind control in the sense expressed in the taiji classics as "Adhere, connect, stick, follow, without letting go or resisting." That accords quite well with the "control" connotation of the word "an." As for "an" resulting in a discharge, certainly that is sometimes the case, but not necessarily in all cases. >

after what you have added here. i dislike the words control even more now..
I then would say, creating one center...with you at the helm.

<As for "an" resulting in a discharge, certainly that is sometimes the case, but not necessarily in all cases. >

same holds true with the rest of the "technique's".
Neutralize, unbalance and then, ur choice as to discharge or not.

ciao
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:25 pm

Hi Mario,

You wrote: "I then would say, creating one center...with you at the helm."

Ah, isn't the one at the helm the one who's in control? I hope so.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby mrnaples » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:56 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>Hi Mario,

<You wrote: "I then would say, creating one center...with you at the helm."

Ah, isn't the one at the helm the one who's in control? I hope so.>

hey Louis,
very subtle stuff...

when you adhere to or follow, someone or stick like glue...
(LoL, sound like a elvis song)
when there's only 1 center, whom do you need to control?

very subtle indeed! :O))

ciao

Take care,
Louis</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby aidren » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:18 pm

Hello Louis

Thanks so much for this.

>> The word An means, among other things “to place the hand (or hands) on,” or “to restrain, to control.”<<

I like the “control” definition as well. It makes much sense to me.

I also like “pressing a button” as it suggests, to me, an’s use (not suggesting this is the only use) of downward jin in terms of compressing(?) the other person’s center in order to raise it (or cause it to spring up).

>> the form itself includes the drawing back of the body<<

It is this part of the posture an, and at the very end of the posture, the end of extension with the sink, that I tend to equate with an jin, in terms of the downward direction of energy.

So, having said all that, the use of an jin is very much about controlling and restraining (at least to me at this time).

>> which means to restrain your troops *from* taking agressive action,<<

Something rang a bell with this… the following is from Kuo Lien-Ying’s book on an jin…

“An ching is used as a listening energy. It is like having troops ready to move but holding them back until the command….”

Regarding “da1 shou” (join hands) and “da3 shou” (sparring) … then what does “san shou” mean??

And, finally, as an aside to all this, thank you Louis for taking the time with this and also the time you’ve spent on the book translations you’ve done. People like me rely on them. I particularly like the fact that you include translation notes.

Thanks again

Aidren
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Postby aidren » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:35 pm

Hi Mario

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
<B> <You wrote: "I then would say, creating one center...with you at the helm."

Ah, isn't the one at the helm the one who's in control? I hope so.>

hey Louis,
very subtle stuff...

when you adhere to or follow, someone or stick like glue...
(LoL, sound like a elvis song)
when there's only 1 center, whom do you need to control?

very subtle indeed! :O))</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So if you are creating a new center... and assuming the other person does not want you to do that... wouldn't that be you taking control???

Just my 2 cents worth..

Aidren
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Postby mrnaples » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:47 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aidren:
<B>Hi Mario

<So if you are creating a new center... and assuming the other person does not want you to do that... wouldn't that be you taking control???>

study; Adhere, connect, stick, follow.

<Just my 2 cents worth..>

ciao

Aidren

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:22 pm

Greetings Aidren,

Thank you for your kind remarks. Thank you also for that Kuo Lien-ying quote (page #?): “An ching is used as a listening energy. It is like having troops ready to move but holding them back until the command….” I think that bell rings true! That gets right to the meaning I was trying to express, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kuo’s original Chinese used the saying “an bing bu dong.” http://z.about.com/d/chineseculture/1/0/5/p/AnBingBuDong4144.gif


The other term you ask about, sanshou, means “random hands.” It refers to un-choreographed, free sparring. However, there is a choreographed two person set documented in Chen Yanlin’s book, and practiced by many present day Yang enthusiasts that is called, ironically, sanshou.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby yslim » Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:04 am

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
[B]Greetings Aidren,

Thank you for your kind remarks. Thank you also for that Kuo Lien-ying quote (page #?): “An ching is used as a listening energy. It is like having troops ready to move but holding them back until the command….” I think that bell rings true! That gets right to the meaning I was trying to express, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kuo’s original Chinese used the saying “an bing bu dong.” http://z.about.com/d/chineseculture/1/0/5/p/AnBingBuDong4144.gif


Hi Louis

I will seconded your good statement above from this peanut gallery. "An bing bu dong" is so well used in China in all level of society it became a common phrase. It create another common phrase "Even the woman and child (uneducated one) knows what it mean". Any other similar statement or say including Master Kuo's will be root back to these four words.

Even I was going to use these four words to reply Aidren but you have read my mind and ARRIVE FIRST. Good Taiji Yi power! and I thank you.Typing in English is not my cup of tea.

Ciao and have a good Yi day
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Postby aidren » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:26 am

Thanks everyone for responding.

Louis, the Kuo Yien-Ling quote is on page 45.

take care

Aidren
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:50 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aidren:
<B>Thanks everyone for responding.

Louis, the Kuo Yien-Ling quote is on page 45.

take care

Aidren</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Found it! Thanks again.

Take care,
Louis
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