jindian

jindian

Postby ruben » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Hello everibody
In Fu Zhongwen´s "Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan", master Fu briefly summarize the energy points and describe them in "grasp sparrow´s tail" movement. In the years I´ve been practising traditional taijiquan, I´ve never heard of these jin points.
Can anyone tell more about them? Do Master Yang teach them in advanced levels?
Thanks
Rubén
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Postby Audi » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:24 am

Hi Rubén,

I do not think I have ever heard the precise term "jin points" at any seminars, but I have heard Master Yang refer to this concept in all the seminars I have attended over the last couple of years. If I recall, I think he calls them "energy points," which I have assumed to be his translation of "jin dian." Most of the time he refers to "energy," I believe he is referring to "Jin."

Two examples of where I remember the topic coming up would include how to do Press in Grasp Sparrow's Tail and how to do a Rollback application in Push Hands. During Press, many people fail to press the left palm into the Jin point in the middle of the right forearm and instead contact the right wrist (as some other teachers teach). Also some forget to align this point with the center line of the body. This can be especially easy to forget because the body is not in a square position to the point of attack.

During the "standard" Push Hands rollback application, many people do not seat the wrist to make the Jin point prominent. Instead, they bend the palm in in a way that is more appropriate to some types of Ward Off. To really use the energy properly, you have to take account of the energy point.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby ruben » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:07 am

Hi Audi. Thanks for your answer.
What you say is very interesting. I think you are wright with the concepts of "energy points" and "jin=energy". Maybe there isn´t any list with the details, movement by movement, as showed in Fu´s book. But Master Yang does teach them, though not in a systematical way.
Louis Swaim (the brilliant book´s translator) could knows more about it?
Rubén
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Postby Audi » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:04 am

Hi Rubén:

If I recall correctly, Fu Zhongwen summarized the energy points only through the first few postures and then said that the reader should get the idea from then on. I think that Yang Jun proceeds similarly by describing the intent of each posture in detail, but not necessary defining each and every Jin point that applies at every instance of every posture.

In doing the form, I think I always try to maintain a sense of the Jin points in each of the postures, since this is an aspect of the energy I am trying to manifest. Almost everything I do I have gotten from within the Association from seminars or private teaching. If there are any you would like to discuss in particular, let me know.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby ruben » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:59 am

Hi Audi.
Thank you so much for your time.
As seminars with Master Yang are so difficult from this part of the world, I have no idea if he describe this energy points in his classes or not. But you gave me a good idea of his teachings.
By the way, I have just received the Association Journal and haven´t read it deeply yet, but I think your contribution on it is very good.
Thank you again.
Best wishes.

Rubén
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Postby Audi » Fri May 01, 2009 12:36 am

Hi Rubén,

Thanks for your kind words. I think the Journal came out very well, even though my contribution was very small.

As for Jin points, some interesting things I learned were the differences between various similar hand shapes. For example:

At the end of Push and Apparent Closure, I think the Jin "point" is in the entire surface of the palm.

At the end of Single Whip and Brush Knee, the Jin point is in the outside edge of the palm heel.

During the leftward transition at the beginning of Single Whip, I imagine the Jin point in the Tiger's mouth of the left hand and the palm of the right hand. The left hand shows Pluck ("cai") and the right hand shows a trailing Push ("An"). During the rightward transition of Single Whip, both hands have the Jin point in the entire surface of the downward pressing palms.

At the end of High Pat on Horse, the Jin point is on the outside edge of the right palm and the Tiger Mouth of the left palm.

I mention all of these seated palms, because my understanding is that the differences in the Jin point imply different positioning of the palm. There are, of course, many situations where the Jin point is not in the palm at all, but maybe in the inside or outside of the forearm, the shoulder, the top of the foot, the heel, the knee etc.
Take care,
Audi

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited May 06, 2009).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun May 03, 2009 7:14 pm

Greetings Rubén and Audi,

Yang Zhenji discusses jindian in his book, Yang Chengfu Shi Taijqian on pages 8-9. For those interested, I found a web page that reproduces that material here: http://hi.baidu.com/cyy8668/blog/item/94e9f824926fc9094d088dbc.html

I’ve done a rough translation of the pertinent jindian comments here. Note that Yang Zhenji’s book has a classification scheme of the palm orientations that is similar, but not identical to Yang Zhenduo’s. Those mentioned in his jindian comments include the “seated-wrist standing palm” which he describes as having “the palm seated, the center of the hand facing forward. This class of palm method is used comparatively often—most forward pushes use this palm, such as the two palms of the An form, the pushing palm of Brush Knee Twist Step, etc.” A “lateral palm” has “the center of the hand facing forward, placed in a lateral orientation, as in the upper palm of White Crane Displays Wings.” He says for an “inclined palm” that “the back of the hand forms a sloping shape, with the center of the hand inclined forward and slightly downward, as in the pushing left hand of Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain. The inclined palm is employed quite frequently in the form.” He also mentions the “face-down palm,” which he describes as “having the center of the hand facing downward, as in the left palm in White Crane Displays Wings, or the Brush Knee palm, etc.”

He states:

The different classes of palm have different focal points of energy (jindian). Clearly distinguishing the location of these focal points of energy can be beneficial in the process described as “where the intent reaches, the qi reaches; where the qi reaches, the jin reaches” (yi zhi qi zhi jin zhi). So for a seated-wrist standing palm, the focal point of energy is in the entire palm. In a lateral palm, it is on the small-finger side. For an inclined palm, it is at the center of the palm. In a face-down palm, it is in the tiger’s mouth, or on the small finger side, and so forth. Whether in solo form practice or in push hands, gaining command of the focal points of energy of the palms is very important.
—Yang Zhenji, Yang Chengfu Shi Taijiquan, p. 8

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Audi » Thu May 07, 2009 1:10 am

Greetings Rubén and Louis,

Rubén, I would like to add something to my earlier statements that you probably already know, but I thought I should make some aspects of what I am trying to say clearer.

In my view, the Association's Taijiquan is mostly about Jin. Jin has no shape, but we express it through shapes. Jin is best controlled through precise use of the mind (i.e., through the mind intent). This use is best supported through by proper spirit, focus, and concentration.

When I look at my own faults and the faults of some others I have seen, I think an important one is not properly expressing Jin. There are two extremes that are both problematic: giving insufficient attention to the Jin and giving too much attention to the Jin.

To consider the first extreme, I can refer to the Preparation Posture. In the way that we practice it, the idea is to stand naturally straight, with the hands at the side, with no bias to either side or the front or back. Sometimes when people do this posture according to our requirements they do not understand Jin enough and go towards two more extremes.

One extreme of ignoring Jin is to hold the body limp, and without any shape or energy. The other extreme is to concentrate on copying some external shape, for instance, trying to bend the wrists at some particular angle. What we are told to do is to try to express the Ten Essentials. Doing this will express the Jin vertically through the legs, spine, arms, hands, fingers, and neck; and horizontally, through the pelvis, upper back, shoulders, and chest.

To talk about problems with trying to express too much Jin, I can point to High Pat on Horse. Some people who are martially inclined look for places in the form to express this feeling. In a posture like High Pat on Horse, they will recognize the chop forward with the right hand and give this some special emphasis in order to show "intent." According to my understanding, the Jin in High Pat on Horse actually is generated throughout the transition by different parts of the body, emphasizing just the chop at the end would therefore generate less, rather than more.

As I evaluate my own postures and those of others, I look toward the movement of Jin with reference to the Jin points. As I learn more the more I see. For instance, in some postures, transitory Jin points will determine the direction of the gaze. It can determine subtle orientations in the fist. Even such a minor thing as how someone's flattens a foot can show how much they feel the Jin moving through the Bubbling Well/Spring point in the foot.

Louis, thank you for your link. It was interesting to read Yang Zhenji's thoughts on these issues. One thing that threw me for a loop for a while, was his use of 法 in the expression 手眼身法步. I had not heard this before and was a little confused as to what he was talking about. Fortunately, he explained it later and I figured it out.

The five characters seem like quite a neat way of explaining what needs to be covered in truly learning a posture. How would you translate this into English? "Hands, eyes, torso, method, footwork"? "...body, usage, steps"? He makes a passing reference to the hands being first in the order. Do you or does anyone else have a theory about the order of the other elements? I would have thought that they were almost random, but putting "method"/"usage" in the middle seems to be unusual enough to be a deliberate choice. The only rationale that springs to mean would be that the elements are in reverse order of necessity or uniqueness to express the flavor a posture.

Louis, I also had some questions about the following:

不坐腕的立掌:不坐腕,有前立掌,手掌向前微俯。 2914;倒撵猴式的前掌;有手心向左右的立掌;如肘麻捶 ;式的上掌等。

What does 不坐 mean in Yang Zhenji's usage? How could he not seat the palm in Repulse Monkey? Did he envisage this as a palm edge strike? Or something else?

By the way, 肘麻捶式 threw me for another loop, at least for a while. I am not used to visual typos.

Take care,
Audi

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited May 06, 2009).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu May 07, 2009 5:09 am

Greetings Audi,

You wrote: 'The five characters seem like quite a neat way of explaining what needs to be covered in truly learning a posture. How would you translate this into English? "Hands, eyes, torso, method, footwork"?'

Yes, I think that works. You raise an interesting question about whether there's a particular rationale for the order in the formula. One could speculate that it proceeds from what it most obvious to what is more subtle, but I'm not sure I could make that case. The "fa" being in the middle kind of intuitively makes sense, as Yang Zhenji presents the "method" as being the "content" of the gestures/forms. Earlier he warns that the content is what distinguishes good taijiquan from other kinds of movement, when he writes:

"Yang style taijiquan requires that each gesture of the hand have a name, each strike of the hand have a direction, each position possess the conscious intent of attacking and defending, so that with regard to the angular orientation of the hand or palm, whether it is forward, back, left or right in its operations -- you must be meticulous in applying intent (yong yi). You should not gesture casually; it can't be like mere calisthenics, and is not so easily accomplished."

As for: "What does [bu zuo] mean in Yang Zhenji's usage? How could he not seat the palm in Repulse Monkey? Did he envisage this as a palm edge strike? Or something else?"

Right, I understand how you would be puzzled about that. As I mentioned, Yang Zhenji's nomenclature and classification scheme for the hand and palm orientations differ from Yang Zhenduo's. Suffice it to say that what comprises a "seated" wrist is open to interpretation. Zhenji's usage of "seated" evidently has a more limited scope, while Zhenduo's is more general. I am much more used to Yang Zhenduo's interpretation of "seated," and I tend to think whenever the palm is standing in such a way that it bends or "cocks" the wrist, the wrist is seated. Evidently Yang Zhenji saw it differently.

The typo that you caught is just on the web page. It's correct in the printed book: zhou di chui shi.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited May 07, 2009).]
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri May 08, 2009 7:48 pm

Louis,
I think I see what Yang Zhenji might mean.
I am NOT pretending to understand more than a glimmer of what you guys are talking about but I have asked the question before about differences in palm "seating" of my teachers. The way I understood the responses is that sometimes the wrist is "more" or "less" seated in different postures.
For example, "Opening" posture has what I would call a "less seated" wrist, while Brush Knee Twist Step has a "more seated" wrist. Both are seated, it's the degrees of the seating and what they are used for that is entirely different.
If I'm understanding you correctly (and I'm probably not) it seems that YZJ had different names for the different ways you set your wrists.
That's what I call detail in angular orientation !
I'm quite interested in what he had to say about this. Does he give a detailed listing in his book?
More importantly, is there anyway someone handicapped with the burden of being monolingual (is that a word?) could understand the list if it exists?

Thanks,
Bob
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