Coming over from another style

Postby Wushuer » Mon Dec 23, 2002 9:02 pm

Just wanted to let you know, I did play around with making that "pluck" behind me during Fist Under Elbow.
I think I see what you're driving at. The step forward after the leaning turn does give you a lot of momentum that way. I'm impressed, I never would have thought of that on my own.

Well. I am off for a holiday.
Going to Florida through the new year.
If any of you are in the Ft. Lauderdale area over the holidays and see a short, stout, pasty skinned, blonde guy doing NAWS forms (fairly well) or Section 1 of YCF forms (badly) on the beaches... Say "Hi", cause that'll be me.

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Postby Audi » Sat Dec 28, 2002 10:41 pm

Hi Michael and Wushuer,

Michael, I agree with your thoughts about movement variations. As I think you know, I was trying to give a plausible justification for the exact movements of the form without necessarily prescribing the only way to do Fist Under Elbow.

As I think I have said before, I strongly believe that the form postures are not merely representative Taiji "applications," but rather exercises to develop one's mind intent and to get to know how the parts of the body can work together in an integrated way. I like to view the postures as being made up of segments as small as the movement of an individual joint. These movements can be integrated in various ways to have different effects on one’s own movement energy and on the opponent’s movement energy or body. I think that both the segmentation and the integration make up the “Taiji” of the application. One does not work well without the other.

Seeing the postures either as only individual interchangeable segments or as indivisible unalterable units leads to partial understanding, in my opinion. Changing the angle of an ankle or an elbow can create a variation, change nothing, or change everything. Of course, talking or writing about this in a clear and concise way is quite difficult, and we all necessarily make assumptions as writers and readers. Unfortunately, these assumptions are not always well founded.

An additional complication, in my opinion, is that the “movement units” of Taijiquan are not the same as in other martial arts, so that talking about a punch, block, or kick does not give the same information in Taijiquan as in other arts. I find it especially difficult to follow Taiji applications if I do not have a sense of how the body mass of both proponents is supposed to be moving and why.

Wushuer, I am glad if you were able to figure out what I was trying to get at. I had been preparing a long boring post that has probably been mostly mooted by your recent posts. One thing that I realize that I did not specify in my earlier posts on this thread was what the thrusting of the left arm is supposed to do.

In mechanical terms, your left hand grips the opponent’s left wrist or forearm, while your left arm thrusts (and twists?) the opponent’s arm forward and upward. I think that this is an attack on the opponent’s root through his or her left shoulder. An opponent’s response to this may be to bend his or her left elbow to relieve the pressure. Your reaction to this is simply to follow, by thrusting the point of his or her elbow toward the ceiling. This prevents the opponent from reestablishing a good root and opens up his or her left side. You then punch “under” your elbow into the opponent’s side.

As you may know, the Chinese name the Yangs use for this posture is Zhou3 di3 kan4 chui2, which can be interpreted as “the punch that looks under (your) elbow.” I realize that some see the relevant elbow as the one belonging to the opponent, but I think that would change the energy manifested in the posture.

Take care,

[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 12-28-2002).]
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Postby Michael » Sat Dec 28, 2002 11:48 pm


My post was not referring to yours actually. I agree entirely with your thoughts here. And yes assumptions are always "dangerous" and at least usually wrong. Clarification is always desireable.

I don't however see any big energy differences in whose elbow one is considering. I understand what you are saying. The difference it seems to me, comes in where the intent is focused. That would be the case regardless of whose elbow one is thinking about. In your example---which is the basic one taught---whose elbow is it now? I don't think it really matters....but I have been wrong before....

I view each posture as training certain basic full body energy use--as you describe. That basic set of techniques at the same time trains many of the numerous variations. If I only ward off with my left vs the opponents left and once shifting weight to the left and merely move his arm in a leftward and downward direction I can bring the right in as a punch to the ribs with the same motion--- weight shift and waist. One never gets to the action which you describe. But one still can. True it is a timing change but it is not inappropriate, and the basic energies and how they used are still there---just "shortened".

I don't have much time here so I am sure what I have written will not clearly describe what I mean and cause utter confusion. HA! I will try to get back to this later. One of these days I'll have to take the time and write this stuff out before I of these days.

My best,

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Postby Wushuer » Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:11 pm

Florida was wonderful. I haven't been in twenty years, so it was like seeing it all over again.
Crowded though.

Did you know that people look at you funny when you do Taijiquan on the beach? I can't imagine why.
I had one guy, obviously from a hard style school of some kind (I didn't ask) talk to me for about an hour about what I was doing. I didn't go into too many details, in fact I told him it wasn't a martial art, it was a kind of exercise and that I was only the merest beginner.
Why? Because I was on vacation and wasn't in the mood for the inevitable argument about it.
Didn't help much though, as he kept at it anyway, asking for more info and telling me how graceful it looked. I pointed him to this website and let him go on his own journey of discovery about Taijiquan.
To get him off my back, I told him about a Chen Family school I had seen advertised in Hollywood, FL. He went away on a mission, so who knows.
I tried to visit that Chen school, but they were closed for the holidays.
Doing forms in the sand is another exercise I enjoyed. When your footing is, shall we say "loose", you learn a whole new meaning to "rooted". I truly wish I'd have had a push hands or free style sparring partner down there, to give those things a try in the sand.
But that would have probably drawn an even bigger crowd of people asking questions.
Let's just say I only did it once, then kept my practice sessions back at the condo.

I do my best NOT to get any individual forms "application" written in stone in my mind. All applications I come up with are tentative at best, sort of a way for my mind to grasp what my body should do.
I believe that "free style" sparring is absolutely essential to "get" the meaning behind Taijiquan as it allows your body and mind to become one in any way necessary at that moment. It certainly teaches you to forget any nonsense about using the forms as a template for defense.
It just won't work that way. I don't care how hard you try.
Any "form applications" I come up with or describe are entirely based on the circumstance at the moment and done only for purely esoteric reasons of discussion.
Besides, you learn some neat stuff that way. I would never have considered that "pluck" you described on my own. So now I have a new way of looking at Fist Under Elbow that I would not have seen had you not explained it to me.
That's the only reason I even get involved in that kind of discussion.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you take the time to say "I'm going to do a Fist Under Elbow on this guy" while in actual combat, you are going to get yourself stomped, fast. You really, really need to forget the forms when engaged in combat and let your body do what it knows how to do.
If you are well trained and can keep your mind clear and allow your body to do what it needs to without letting you mind interfere, you will become a peerless boxer.
I wish I could.
I'm not that good, I need to practice.

When describing moves that I used in free style or push hands or even in the rare actual combat situations I've had, it's all with that clarity of hindsight. I know now what "form" most closely resembles what I did, because I have the leisure to look back on it and say "Hey! That was the hand move from White Crane Spreads Wings I used on that guy." So for purpose of discussion, I may say "I used WCSW's during this event." However, if you'd have asked me during (in a purely esoteric for this discussion and non-real universe) what I was doing, I couldn't have told you for the world.

[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 01-06-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jan 08, 2003 10:52 pm

Just read a whole bunch of old links on this web site. Two caught my attention, one called "Leaning" the other called "Weighted or unweighted pivots?”
I guess I could have saved my breath on here if I'd have read those posts first. Seems I've been chewing old soup.
If you have not read these posts I would recommend them, as there is a whole world of theory to ponder from them.

Some thoughts of my own, then a few handed to me be a COMPLETELY different area of Tai Chi Ch'uan.

First: Leaning.
I was taught to lean during the forms in Wu style. For Wu style training that is correct and I will continue to do so while practicing THAT style.
I can and will adhere to what my YCF instructor is teaching me about THIS style and where and when to lean, because for this style that is correct and who am I to question the wisdom of Yang Zhenduo or Yang Jun.
On the question of leaning and its right or wrongness:
I am coming to the conclusion that the FRAME is the important question in whether to lean or not.
Wu style TCC is SMALL frame and in that context the lean is, apparently, essential, necessary and desirable.
YCF style TCC is LARGE frame and in that context the lean seems to be only employed where it will do good during the frame.
I would sincerely love to find a school of MIDDLE frame TCC some day and see if it does indeed fall somewhere in the middle.
MUCH later in life, after I've had the leisure to at least learn this wonderful large frame of TCC to some small degree of proficiency.

On weighted or un-weighted pivots:
Again, the FRAME could be the answer to that question as well.
Small frame seems IMHO to use more weighted pivots and in that context it would appear they are more desirable for the art as applied in that frame.
Large frame appears to use unweighted, or more accurately LESS weighted pivots, at least in my limited experience.
Again, I'd love to see the middle frame of things and someday learn it for myself.

Now, on to what I have been told by a fellow practitioner of TCC of a completely different flavor.
A gentleman of my acquaintance is quite an accomplished martial artist. He has reached a fairly high level of expertise in Kempo, Aichido (I hope I spelled that right) and a couple of other words I can't even pronounce. He also has been practicing Tung style TCC for quite some time.
I have known this, just as he is aware that at one time I was of the lowest form of pond scum on the scale of Wu style TCC and am now studying YCF style in the hopes of gaining at least a glimmer of knowledge on the subject.
We have both observed the wisdom of silence on the subject of martial arts while with each other and have spoken politely of only other things.
For some reason I broke my silence today and asked him for a fresh perspective on the questions of "lean" and "pivots" as espoused by his flavor, Tung style, of TCC.
Paraphrasing, of course, this is what he had to say.

If it works, do it, if it doesn't, don't do it.

Ah, wisdom.
I sincerely hope that someday I will have my own.

So there's another camp heard from on the issue.
I'm not good yet, I need to go practice.
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Postby Michael » Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:15 am


Leaning or not, or when to lean or not, Weighted or unweighted pivots...I think you are right. I don't know if it is what I would describes as depending upon "small" or "large" or "medium" frame but it without a doubt the basic structure of the style.

The Kuang Ping Yang style I studied is considered a "smaller" frame. In it, our torso remains perpendicular to the floor at nearly every moment. As you read, to lean was a "cardinal sin". And for the philosophy and how the techniques are performed you DO NOT want to lean at all.

I began that thread long ago. I have been told that one can easily resist the forces of push and pull when one is leaning--- and since then I have still not found a practioner of our Yang (CF) style who could keep from being pulled forward or keep from being pushed over from behind in the push position using structure alone (I am certain Yang Jun can however). Now this was a concern I have had for some time. In the upright spinal position I cannot be pushed or pulled due only to structure.

Recently I figured out what everyone was doing wrong. Nearly everyone would bring the forward knee past the vertical and tip the top of the pelvis forward slightly (or a lot). It is true that one can bring the knee past that point (but not past the toes) and keep ones root in nearly all situations .....BUT not a pull. And not a pull that uses your energy. There is a fine line determined by physics. The lean must be appropriate to the situation and structure. One thing wrong and it is like a house of cards.

Now that I have figured it out I am much more comfortable with the two methods. I can see the structural, technical, and philisophical reasoning behind both---though I lack the words to descibe it well. But saying that, I never bring my knee as far forward as most of my fellow YCF practioners. Play with this a little.

I can't say anything about Wu structure as I am not that familiar with it, having only seen it once or twice, But I am certain that it is appropriate to it's philosophy....and effective. I have heard some very impressive stories concerning some old and high level Wu masters out in the San Francisco area.

Your description on the weight transfer conerning pivots was very good and clear. I have seen Yang Jun use small weight shifts (into the heel/just in front of the heel) and the deeper ones into the back leg. He definitly does not shift as far back as his grandfather. It is all determined by intent arising from the situation. I practice both the more "defensive" shifts and the more--not the right word---"aggressive" way. Each is appropriate, and one should be comfortable with both methods in my opinion. If I do not need to shift most of my weight into my back leg in soming like Brush Knee, there is no reason to do it. I may just as well "need" to follow, so a smaller (in the foot only) shift would be appropriate. That last word is is probably the most important word for me concerning taiji. Enough said---you read it all before in the old thread.

I didn't need to say all this to you as I am sure there is nothing new. You did bring up two subjects that I have thought (and am still thinking about) quite a bit.

The Tung practioner--he's right. That is particularly true as we develop our "own" style as we have talked about before.

Good Practice!

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Postby Wushuer » Thu Jan 09, 2003 5:01 pm

The idea of keeping the weighted legs knee behind its toe is a cardinal rule that I do my best to follow, for the reason you describe and others. That is no different in YCFS than it was in NAWS, both styles have the same rule of knee.
If your knee is forward of the toe you cannot be pushed backward very easily, however a forward pull can easily offset you. As you know if you have committed that knee too far forward, you are easily moved forward.
One learns these little lessons much more easily when ones instructor delights in throwing him to the floor repeatedly. Mine did, I met that floor (wall, whatever was handy actually) too many times to count until I got the idea and learned how to hold myself to best advanatage.
I think those kinds of lessons are best learned during sparring. I noticed my forms improved dramatically after I learned the "why" of them (hitting a solid object repeatedly at speed teaches you this, trust me).
Unfortunately that's a bit of a catch 22. You don't learn to spar (push hands, even) until you learn the forms, but you don't really learn the forms until you learn to spar.
Like everything else in this crazy pass time of ours, it's paradoxical.

Having learned to "lean" quite a bit, I "lean" into just about everything I do, so for me it's easier and seems to make more sense.
When I "lean" forward, I know just how far to do it so that if an opponent thinks he has me and attempts to pull me forward, I LIKE that.
I have found that it's that moment where my opponent THINKS he has me that I often find I have him. They commit themselves to pulling me forward or pushing me backward or whatever, so once I sense this I can yeild and overcome, usually by allowing them to make the pull (for sake of this discussion, we'll stick with the pull), then stepping into it and reversing the energy they expend back onto them in some way.
Don't forget, that's one reason why we have two legs, to step with.
Just because someone has pulled you forward, even using your own energy, does not mean they have defeated you. Sometimes it is exactly where you want or need to go.
If they have "pulled" you, they have given their energy to you. If you have overextended and "given" your energy to them then that's why you channel at all times, to give you that "out" of stepping into your own center again.
I have, on occassion, even "given" myself to my opponent purposely. Yes this is a bit aggressive, I have to admit that, but it can be desirable. If you have "given" your opponent some energy and they have then amplified it and returned it to you, then there is just that much more returned energy to redirect back at them. I have found that, in real life, this will happen, so I have tried to learn how to deal with it effectively.
On occassion, especially against an opponent who is sensitive and sticking to me without giving up his own energy, I have initiated this aggressive method. It can backfire, and has, but often it has lead my opponent to overextend themselves in some way that I can then use against them.
"Yeild to conquer" taken with a grain of salt.
I wouldn't recommend it, especially if you're not sure you're more sensitive than your opponent, but sometimes I get these crazy ideas when I'm sparring and I'll give them a try. Sometimes they work, sometimes I get stomped. But that's what sparring is about, learning what things work, what don't, and why.

That said, I think I bring my knee a bit further forward than most YCF practicioners would consider sane. I tend to ride that line between "too far" and "just right" maybe a little too close. I have spent a great deal of time finding the happy medium, but that medium was for a style that "sat" down quite a bit further into the knee.
What was fun for me was doing the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generational styles of NAWS after learning the 5th. Those forms are quite a bit lower in their stance than the 5th gen, and are subsequently a bit more "upright" though the center. The "lean" is not too much more prevelant in the 2nd or 3rd gen than in the YCF style I have been learning. The fourth gen starts to utilise it quite a bit and the 5th gen uses it throughout.
However, I was constantly criticised for my overuse of "lean" in those earlier generational styles (you'd think I'd be used to it by now). It's quite a difficult concept to forget, once you get used to it.
The weighted pivots were there though, all the way through.
Anyway (I get sidetracked, what can I say) I'm used to being quite a bit more "down" through the lower portion of my body than is utilised in what I'm learning now. So I think my knee placement is problematic at this point. I "sit" way too deep into the forms and consequently I find my knee is a bit too far forward for my own good.
I have been working on it.
At first, I was "sitting" way too low, so I brought myself up. But that proved very uncomfortable for me. Then, after watching the tape I have of YCF section 1, I noticed that the person on that tape was sitting down much deeper than I was striving for, and so I went a bit lower.
This helped me out quite a bit comfort wise. But that's when I started noticing my knee. It was consistently too far forward for my "posture". I was, I believe, still shooting for that "comfort zone" I was used to previously.
I have worked, diligently, to correct this. However I have not been completely succesful.
I'm not there yet. I need to practice a lot more to "feel" that happy medium.
I will, as you suggest, work on this much more in future. Your "base" is in your legs, if they are not solid and correctly postured, you are in big trouble.
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Postby Michael » Thu Jan 09, 2003 8:12 pm


I agree with all you say on sparring. Giving them a little of your energy to play with? Nicely called a "trap". Don't think it is works.

I guess what I was talking about with the lean is in the case where one does not "want" to follow the the pull due to circumstances. This of course, is when one has stepped in deep on the opponent. In most cases this will not arise as one will tend to be more upright in an actual altercation. In this case (of not wanting to be pulled) I do not want to resist with "muscle" but with structure. If the opponent misuderstands, and thinks I am resisting his pull and tries a push, I just turn my waist (maybe with some weight shift to the rear) and he loses. So in that instance I want to be upright with no lean and my shin straight up or "just" past the perpendiculiar. Nowhere near the toes. I can give a little energy forward or back with no risk, and easily set a "trap". In all or most other situations I want to do just as you describe. For myself, I probably won't go as far forward as you may because of the difference in our training and what we each are "comfortable" with. I am very leery of that guy who is just a little faster (in responding) than I me "conservative" HA.

In the KP style we have three feet between our about low and deep! You gain some strong legs. And when you can move out of that stance smoothly and comfortably, you can move anywhere, and anyway. I frequently will change the depth of my stance in my (YCF) practice---"higher", medium (normal), and low, depending on my focus at the time, strength, speed, or whatever. I find it very useful....not in the same set of course. Your "comfort zone" should extend through all of these "heights" and "depths" so you can move freely. It will come with time.

Always a pleasure!


[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 01-09-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jan 22, 2003 5:42 pm

I have never measured the distance I normally use between my feet. Three feet sounds like a lot, but I have no basis for comparison.
Hmm. I'll have to measure that out now and see what I got.
"Trapping" is one of those things you learn to do because you have to. You really should have some experience with recovering from unexpected situations. In sparring, and in real combat, sometimes things don't work out just the way you planned and you find yourself in the position of "screwed the pooch".
If you can recover from that screw up, then you might just salvage the situation.
In fact, we used to practice just that. How to get out of really bad situations.
Knowing how to get out of a bad spot is probably the single most usefull skill you can possess, in my humble opinion.
You won't allways be on top in an altercation. You may, in fact, be in that bad situation before you even know you are in an altercation.

On another subject,
Repulse Monkey (all 3) in the YCF forms.
I'm only using this because I just learned it and there is a complete contradiction with what I know from previous training in this motion that was throwing me off badly.
Specifically, stepping back to the toe.
In the form I previously learned (NAWS) we only stepped back onto our heel, in all moves, ever. Never did we step back onto our toe first.
I was told this was to keep the hip at the same angle throughout the step. It works, too. When stepping back to your heel, at least for me, I do not raise my hip any, I keep my alignment.
When stepping back to the toe, I just about fell flat on my face right there in class. Talk about embarressing!
I have found the right way to step, or think I have, now that I've had a chance to practice this for a while. I shorten my step a bit to adjust for the toe touching first, I was WAY overstepping before because I was putting my toe down where my heel should land. Shortening the step I make seems to solve the problem, but still feels awkward to me.
I also do not, yet, see the reason for stepping to the toe.
I'm not against it in any way, shape or form, don't get me wrong. I just don't see the advantage.
Anyone care to enlighten me?
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Postby Audi » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:23 am

Hi Wushuer,

I am not sure I can speak to advantages or disadvantages, but here is what I can say about touching with the toes first when stepping to the rear.

The logic of stepping that was first explained to me was that we wanted to use a “natural” step, something that is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. When we step forward, the heel naturally touches the ground first. When we step to the rear the toes touche first.

Another way of looking at this is that forward steps and backward steps are merely mirror images of each other. When we begin to step forward with a rear foot out of a bow stance, the last part of the rear foot that leaves the ground are the toes. When we reverse the process, the toes would then naturally touch first.

One thing I can add about Repulse Monkey is that I think the interval between touching with the rear toes and beginning to root with the entire sole of the foot corresponds to a specific torso and arm movement. The way I understand it is as follows. During this interval, the arm is bent inward toward the ear and the waist turns to change the facing of one’s navel (or I guess Dantian) from one of the corners to directly eastward. I also envision this moment as the moment when you attempt to trap or seize or hold (“na”?) the opponent’s energy by using this waist turn and by strongly rooting the body into both feet. It is like setting a hook in a fish’s mouth. Only when the “hook” is set do you send forth explosive energy.

Notice how your forward palm first goes forward into the opponent at the beginning of the move and then powerfully retreats as the weight of your body settles into the rear foot, “encouraging” the opponent to choose between releasing your wrist or attempting a disadvantageous death grip on your wrist that will likely pull him or her out of his or her root and set up your Fajing.

Make any sense?

Take care,
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Postby Michael » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:31 pm


Audi says it pretty well. I would only add with different words that when one settles some weight back onto the heel, allowing that "encouragement" that Audi mentions, to be accomplished by struture alone rather than with any localized muscle in the upper body. There is a lot of power to be generated from shifting the weight back that little bit.

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 01-23-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Jan 23, 2003 10:36 pm

OK. I see the idea of "natural stepping". Though, as you say, that is "in the eye of the beholder".
For me, now, stepping back to the heel is natural, but I do remember being thrown badly by that when first learning NAWS stepping. It took me months to learn how to do that even halfway balanced. Now, I step that way every time.
I happened to be in contact with a Wu family disciple last evening (IMing is good for something!) and they found it very hard to believe that's how it was done. I will send them an e-mail and let them in on the "natural stepping" theory and let everyone know how they see it.
I have been working on this, and I see the point of "rooting" that Audi mentions however... (come on, you KNEW that was coming!)
If you step back onto your heel, you are ALLREADY rooted just as soon as your heel hits the floor.
At least, I am.
So the idea of having to let me entire foot hit the floor before I root... it just throws me.

I also have questions regarding where and when to apply Fajing in the this move, done this way. Stems, I'm sure, from not understanding this step.
I have class tonight, so I will ask my instructor these burning questions. Maybe I'll have a better understanding next time I darken this doorway.

I'm not good yet, I need to keep practicing.
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Postby Michael » Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:57 am


When you step back and the ball of your foot is on the floor (only) one should be rooted---whether your ball or your heel or whatever. When you settle back into the rear foot and with the waist turn, you are generating energy. Some say the energy generated here allows for your escape from the wrist hold and at the SAME time "propels" the opposite hand to stike or block a punch --depending on the circumstances. That the fajing is done at that point. Another told me that you escape or "pull" the opponent towards you with the shift to the rear, and then you shift a little weight into the front foot and then (finish the) strike. I myself have not been able to accomplish the latter in a smooth linked manner as of yet, close but not quite.

I would be interested in what your teacher has to say--or any others on this issue---or when to "issue". sorry about the joke.

I know myself that when you drop the heel you can generate an incredible amount of force through the striking hand--or whatever. This can also be done when shifting weight to your right leg in Fist under elbow. How you use it that case is open to debate. maybe on another thread.

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 01-23-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Fri Jan 24, 2003 7:07 pm

I believe, though I'm not entirely certain yet, that my problem with this form mostly comes from the different theories of Repulse Monkey between styles.
In other words, I had entirely the wrong idea of what I was trying to accomplish in mind for this move.
In NAWS, I had always teated RM like a retreating throw, more of a Na move than a strike, though a strike COULD be used by the palm of the upper hand (whichever it happens to be) it was not the main thrust of the way I was trained.
I did ask the burning questions last night, and that was when I discovered that I was completely missing the point of RM in YCF style.
So that question has been answered for me. The movements are similar, but not completely related.
The toe stepping was explained to me in detail, and though I'm not sure I am doing it correctly, the theory is now in my head and with diligent practice I hope to add this very elegant and powerful movement to my repetoire.
I do see the advantage now, and how that step can generate considerable power.
I was sure there was SOME reason for this, I just could not, for the life of me, see what.

Now. I have gone over every Wu style move I was trained in, and I HAVE found one step where you step back closer to the toe than the heel. It is not in the form, it is in Da Lu. In Da Lu, the way I was trained, there is one backward step where you land MORE on the front of your foot than the heel. Not necessarily to the toe, but I would imagine that was the origin of this step. I was trained to step back onto the entire front of my foot, rather than the toe or the heel, with the heel slightly elevated and then allow my body to rock back onto my foot from there.

So there you have it. Another mystery of cross styling solved for me.
You know, I do realise I'm a bit of a pain. I probably spend a bit too much time carrying on about these differences. I only do so to help myself and any others who care to adjust to this style from another one.
My glass is, unfortunately, not completely empty at this time. It is filled partly with a different set of theories and applications.
I do want to extend thanks to all of you folks who are being patient and doing your best to help me out here.
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:01 am

Postby Michael » Sat Jan 25, 2003 6:04 pm


I can say that I enjoy your questions and observations. I for one, enjoy the constrast you make between the Wu and the Yang Styles. There is much to be learned from both approaches and I look forward to learning more from you. I don't know that I can be of much use to YOU in the way of "answers", but your posts always give me something to think about.

Whether wrong or right---I don't know---I approach each move in this manner. Rather than think about what I am doing in any particuliar form (posture) I first try to get the move structurally correct. Then I try to identify how the energy is moving, then I work on the basic technique which is supposed to aid the developement of the latter. Then I work on all the variables and other techniques. I find that if I hurry through these steps, or blend them overly, I miss something because of not paying attention or by inserting a concept inappropriately or at the wrong time.

In the past I have approached a move when learning it with preconceived notions---as you are finding yourself doing now, quite naturally I might add. This can slow you down some. But because of you having a good deal of experience and understanding already, you have more questions (and more to question) than most who are just learning this style.

I try to approach each "move" as if I am learning it for the first time, everytime I practice it, either in the form or in single movement keeps one from getting "lazy" or "sure of oneself".

Please keep your questions and observations coming.

Good Practice!

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Location: Wi. USA


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