Zhanzhuang (post standing)

Zhanzhuang (post standing)

Postby dorshugla » Wed Oct 15, 2003 7:40 pm

Zhanzhuang is an all rounded art and help to decrease external muscular stimulation and allows lower body strength building among other things.

Most people who I talk to say it is useless!
Why?
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Postby Charla Quinn » Sat Oct 18, 2003 10:54 pm

Dsg,
I kept hoping someone would respond to your inquiry on "post standing." Guess, I'll just have to put my two cents in. My original teacher taught this as a way of learning the postural principles of TCC (and Chi Kung), deepening and strengtening the breath, gaining strength in the lower body, centering (& mind clearing) and getting ready for the form. He encouraged us to practice for at least 20 min. a day, twice a day if possible, but at least a few mins. before doing form. Post is the only "meditation" I've every done and it's been most beneficial to me in a holistic sense. It's a calming, yet energizing, space that I like to go to. I'm glad you mentioned the Chinese term; how do you pronounce it?
CQ

[This message has been edited by Charla Quinn (edited 10-18-2003).]
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Postby Michael » Mon Oct 20, 2003 3:30 am

dorshugla,

As you know, I think "standing" has value. Those that do not think that it has value have never really given me a reason for their opinion. I also would like to hear what their objections are. My guess it may be a matter of a lack of patience for a large number of individuals. And it does take patience to begin to get or understand what the benefits can be. I hope no one takes any offense from that, it was not intended. "Patience" is a hard thing to come by, something that I need plenty of work on myself.

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 10-19-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:34 am

Greetings all,

Having little experience in the matter presented, I had opted, also, to let others reply.....


I practice one type of 'post' standing, called 'Mapo', in a 'pre-form practice' setting, for a few minutes at a time.

Patience is not my limiting factor, but strength in 'stability'. After only a few minutes of this 'standing' , my frame begins to shake from the stress imposed on my knees.

I was expecting my endurance in 'Post standing' to improve, but I have found no great change after a year of it's practice...
Is there a method for strengthening weak joints ?

Maybe others could provide more detail into which Post-Standing positions they practice, how long they practice, how their endurance has grown over time...etc.


I am sure the concept and practice of these techniques are valuable tools, geared at building strength and endurance in overall stability and concentration.

Strength and endurance training in physical stability would obviously be an asset in Taijiquan practice...externally.

Strength and endurance training in concentration areas would provide a better basis for the manifestation of YI in Taijiquan practice...internally.


Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.




[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-20-2003).]
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Postby dorshugla » Mon Oct 20, 2003 7:01 pm

All,

I mention it because many people do not consider it valuable, or they think (have been taught) that only the form is taijiquan, which is partly true.

There are other elements that provide the parts of the "puzzle". People are always talking about secret master(s)etc but they do not relaize that zhanzhaung (post standing) is a secret teacher because it is not done, and if people see it they do not pay any attention to it. That is the "secret" in plain sight.

psalmqimico.

mabu is horse stance and it is a main stance but there are others. The horse stance is not low as it is in Shaolin.
My intention is to get people thinking rationally on their own, so please do not believe me (take my word). Please test yourself so you can verify. This is the only way.

Zhanzhuang should be between 30-50% of practice. Form should be the rest encompassing repeated posture practice and actual form. First part is gathering the qi, working on decreasing muscular armoring and building root in legs. WHen the dantian is full, you are using movement for to "even the flow" and dissipate the excess.

Since taijiquan is no longer martial, it has entered the concept of "yangshengong" (generally speaking) as it is good for nourishing the spirit and relaxing the body/mind/spirit complex.

Zhanzhuang does not strengthen joints. My suggestion is to start in a high stance as opposed to the "toilet sitting stance of Shaolin". For joint strengthening, use range of motion exercise to increase flexibility
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:11 pm

Dorshugla:
Why do you not consider TCC martial?
I ask because I have trained in three different "schools" of TCC and all three have been martially oriented.
All three schools I have attended have emphasysed to me that if you aren't able to apply the principals martially, you are getting ZERO health benefit.
The martial proves the health benefit. It's that simple. If you aren't applying the energies martially, how can you know you can apply them at all to be receiving any heath benefit?
That being said, I am aware of the growing fad of T'ai Chi Chih, or T'ai Chi for health, that is being practiced widely.
T'ai Chi Chih is basically dancing, it doesn't do much, but it feels good.
Different animal all together.
Hoever, T'ai Chi Ch'uan has that "Ch'uan" at the end of it, to signify that it is the martial brand of training. If you aren't training the "ch'uan" then you are likely learning the "chih" which is most decidedly not martial.
Not the same thing at all.
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:26 pm

Psalchemist:
Open your kua while doing horse stance. You should notice an immediate lessening of tension on your knees. Also, make sure your knees are pointing in the same direction as your toes. If you have your toes at 45 degress to your hips, make sure your knees are facing in that same direction. Toes straight ahead? Point your knees right at 'em.
Either way, open that kua if you want to last a long time in horse stance.
Relax your knees by first relaxing your toes, then your feet, then your ankles, then your calves and shins, then your knees, keep going up to relax your thighs and then your hips, then your waist and belly, up to the shoulders, the neck and then your jaw, keep going so you don't forget to relax your eyebrows. Now, start at your eyebrows again and consciously go all the way down and push all the tension you can still feel right down your body and out your toes into the floor.
Imagine a pole coming out of your sphincter that goes from the heavens through your spine, out your orifice and down to the center of the earth. This imaginary pole is both rooting you to the earth and holding you up as if it was a small stool for you to sit on.
Keep your hips tucked in, but relaxed.
Use the third eye, keep the other two closed.
Don't forget to breath. In.... Out... In... Out...
Very slowly, in through you nose, out through your mouth.
Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth, loosely held to your palette. Don't let go to breath out, you can blow around your tounge. Don't open your mouth too far to do this, only a tiny bit, if you're breathing slowly and correctly you won't fill your cheeks up with air, it should flow smoothly out.
If you accumulate any salive in your mouth during this, swallow it naturally instead of trying to expel it.
Keep you hands folded at tantien level, right hand thumb touching across all fingertips and inside a cupped, upturned left palm, left thumb touching the accupoint at the second joint of your left index finger. (For laughs and giggles, reverse this from time to time).
Relax your shoulders, let your elbows hang, open your back, don't slouch.
Back straight, crown of the head lifted and as if suspended from above. Keep your chin tucked in.
Don't forget to breathe.

Got all that?
It has taken me sixteen years to be able to hold a horse stance for over an hour with no discomfort.
These are all the "tricks" I've had to learn to do so.
Hope this has been informative for you.
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Postby dorshugla » Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:34 am

In response to Wushuer:
Q. Why do you not consider TCC martial?
A. After the fall of the Qing dynasty, taijiquan was known for keeping the nation strong and healthy. Even before, if you read the historical record, taijiquan began to lose its face adn it became relegated to 'yangshengong'. Over 95% of people leawrn for health and wellness, those are the facts.
COMMENT:
All three schools I have attended have emphasysed to me that if you aren't able to apply the principals martially, you are getting ZERO health benefit.
RESPONSE; This is utterly false and heavily propaged by those who should know better.
When taijiquan has been tested at Emory University (the famous balance in the elderly), it was found that taijiquan improved such balance in a 'profound' way and people are still surprised. When taijiquan has been used for hypertension, MI, etc most of the people who gain benefit do not study martial principles. They may be awar of it but that was not their main purpose. I will agree that learning the 'harder gong' (martial implications) would improve better its results even for healthy people.

UTTERLY FALSE
The martial proves the health benefit. It's that simple. If you aren't applying the energies martially, how can you know you can apply them at all to be receiving any health benefit?
wushuer stated "That being said, I am aware of the growing fad of T'ai Chi Chih, or T'ai Chi for health, that is being practiced widely.
T'ai Chi Chih is basically dancing, it doesn't do much, but it feels good".

I initially thought that but by being openminded I have seen that Tai CHi CHih is not dancing. It has therepautic benefit.
All taijiquan is for health and that is how it is essentially taught today.

Hoever, T'ai Chi Ch'uan has that "Ch'uan" at the end of it, to signify that it is the martial brand of training. If you aren't training the "ch'uan" then you are likely learning the "chih" which is most decidedly not martial.
Not the same thing at all.
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:12 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

Thanks for all the great advice. Nice summarization, great checklist for my 'post standing' practice.

Thank-you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:06 pm

Psalchemist:
Glad I could help.
I've always called this "horse stance meditation", never heard it called post standing before. But hey, as long as it works....
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:14 pm

Dorshugla:
Sorry to have to disagree with you again, but T'ai Chi Chih is dancing, nothing more.
Pretty, nice to watch, but still dancing.
Does it gain you any health benefit?
Of course it does.
Dancing is one of the simplest ways in the world to get healthy. Most people can do it, it doesn't require a lot of training, it builds up strength, endurance, balance, all that.
Is it T'ai Chi Ch'uan?
Nope. Not even close.
It is dance, based on the movements of TCC. Nothing more.
I have an open mind on these things, believe me. It's just that T'ai Chi Chih is a whole different kettle of fish than T'ai Chi Ch'uan, that's all.
Not one thing wrong with it. It's an excellent exercise regimen that has health benefits for those who chose to practice it rather than T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
The biggest benefit of T'ai Chi Chih is that it keeps most of the folks who want to learn "T'ai Chi" but not learn how to apply it martially, as that would be bad for some reason, out of the way of those of us who want to learn T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
Keeps our blood pressure WAY down and lets us get on with our training with a minimum of interuption.
What the researchers aren't telling you about T'ai Chi Chih is that you get just as much benefit out of it as if you were to take ballet or yoga.
Which is GREAT. Don't get me wrong. People need those benefits, it's good for them, it works.
LET 'EM ROCK ON, is my motto.
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:53 pm

Greetings Wushuer,
Horse stance it is, I really don't know the difference, I was just using the expression I heard here previously.

Thanks for the clarification. Image

Best regards,
Psalchemist
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Postby Audi » Sun Oct 26, 2003 11:05 pm

Greetings Wushuer and Dorshugla,

My understanding is that Tai Chi Chih is a specific form of exercise invented by someone who had studied Taijiquan. From what I see on the www.taichichi.org website, the founder seems to view his creation as something different from Taijiquan.

From the little I have seen of T’ai Chi Chih, the postures are clearly inspired by Taijiquan, but I am not sure to what extent many of the principles are in fact shared by the two systems or to what extent T’ai Chi Chih has a body of principles beyond choreography and talk of balancing Qi. Outer similarity does not guarantee inner similarity.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby dorshugla » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:49 am

Audi,

In the spirit of openness and impartiality, I accept tai chi chih not necessarilty as taijiquan but as yangshengong.

I look at its benefit for those who are helped by the good things it has accomplished, and it is far simpler. By being objective, I see tai chi chih as being part of individual posture practice and moving zhanzhuang.
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:07 pm

I'll tell you what. Give me the choice between studying only T'ai Chi Chih and, let's say ballet?
I'll take ballet.
At least it's a complete system with a noble history.
T'ai Chi Chih is a way to make money off all the "healthy" talk people say about T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Someone took just enough T'ai Chi Ch'uan training "for health reasons, not martial reasons" to find out that, "Hey, this takes a LONG time and I have to learn to FIGHT! I only want to get healthy, I don't want to hurt anyone. Let's speed this up. We'll take the moves from this long time to learn T'ai Chi Ch'uan stuff and we'll just turn it into dance/aerobics, we'll take all the martial out of it but we'll still talk about chi and stuff like that so it still sounds cool. That way we can call it T'ai Chi (which is how most people refer to anything that looks like T'ai Chi Ch'uan anyway) and make some quick money off the T'ai Chi name. It'll look different than the aerobic dances other people are doing and it'll seem really new and cool to these Duh-mericans and Eur-o-peons who certainly won't know any better. We'll make them believe they're getting healthy, we'll put a gozillion and one dollars in our own pockets AND we won't have to adhere to any standards except the ones we make up."
In other words, it's nothing more or less than dance when you turn it over and rub it's underbelly. Worse, it's dance made to look and sort of sound like that "trendy T'ai Chi stuff".
It's made up to look like T'ai Chi Ch'uan to fool the unwashed masses, no more or less, to take the dollars out of their pockets and put them in to the pockets of the people who came up with this "new" health craze. It's going to have "health benefits" because simply standing up and moving is "healthy" for anyone after years of sitting and watching the boob tube, and since you're not calling it "T'ai Chi Ch'uan" you won't have any of those pesky martial artist types giving you a hard time about anything.
The duh-mericanization of TCC has begun! The quick, easy path to "healthy T'ai Chi" has been mapped out by the money makers and the only REAL problem I have with that is...
Why didn't I think of it first!!!!!!!

All that said:
I stand by my original statement. I meant it when I said T'ai Chi Chih is dance, no more or less. It is. There is no getting around the fact that it's a dance done for "health" purposes, not a martial art done for self defense and health purposes.
Is it healthy? I allready said yes, now I'll reiterate that with a hearty, "You betcha!".
Yes, it's certainly MORE healthy than sitting on your ever widening back side watching more TV. So is any other kind of dancing. So is aerobic exercise of ANY kind when compared with the alternative of sitting and increasing in bulk rather than moving and decreasing in bulk.
Now, the "health" benefits I'm looking for out of TC Ch'uan are multiple.
I'm looking for long term health, longevity, not just a short term fix for my spare tire and love handles. (Yep, I'm over forty, I'm a duh-merican, I've got 'em with bells on.) I'm also looking for that health benefit called "self-defense". How "healthy" is it if you stand there dancing and someone tries to stick you with a knife and you can't do anything to stop them?
I'd call that VERY unhealthy to your long term objective of LIVING.
So the TOTAL health benefit derived from T'ai Chi Ch'uan is not even implied in the realm of T'ai Chi Chih, is it?
Part of staying healthy is staying alive when confronted martially. That's the kind of "health benefit" that returns immediate but long term results.
You can defend yourself, you stay alive longer. THAT'S one of the long term health benefits I'm interested in attaining that is not even remotely possible through the dance that is T'ai Chi Chih.

Enough about this from me. I'm off my soap box now. Let anyone take any kind of "healthy" exercise that suits them best, or not. Their choice.
My choice is to study the martial art known as T'ai Chi Ch'uan for ALL the health benefits it will bring me. If it takes me twenty more years to get there...?
Well, what else do I have to do for the next twenty years?
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