24 or the 48 Tai Chi Forms

Postby mckwu » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:48 pm

Ok, so, we're supposed to empty our cups so you can fill them with your concerns for our health? Gee, thanks. I am quite able to decide for myself what is good for my health and what is not. I don't actually happen to train the 24 or 48 forms. But, that doesn't mean they are bad for people. If you're sitting on the couch, watching tv, smoking cigarettes, boozing it up OR practicing the 24 to 48 forms, which is better or worse? So what if there's a trend to keeping the martial aspects out of taiji in the US. There could be a reason for that. Could it be that most people who get into taiji aren't too interested in fighting or learning how to fight? There are other arts that will make you a much more effective fighter than taiji: kyokushin-kai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, any MMA school, western boxing, wing chun, muay thai...

I mean, I can go out on the 'Net, find a site that says creationism is a legitimate theory. Does that mean it's true? Let me see how this works: I find something on the 'Net that I agree with for whatever reason. I post that on a public BB and assume that everyone will agree with me. When people don't agree with me, I cast them down as immature cronie's. Makes perfect sense to me.

9th degree black belt, huh? Wow. I'm impressed. Is that supposed to grant you absolute total knowledge of taiji, the practice of the 24 or 48 forms, or any other martial art for that matter? I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that when it comes to Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, as you probably have a great amount of subject matter expertise given your rank. And, if you were to post that the kimura is the best submission option after you have gained side-control, pinned one arm with a leg (or other), and have 2:1 on the other arm, I wouldn't presume to debate you.

Jerry has clearly stated why he chooses not to believe what Erle posts. You should respect that as you're expecting him and others on this board to listen to your opinion. You never answered my question: what exactly is factual in post on Erle's site? The post by Erle was based on his opinion, backed up by no factual or objective evidence.

And, quite frankly, referring Louis Swaim, a noted Chinese language academic with a cirriculum vitae that supports his expertise, as an immature cronie is quite laughable. How about you? Published anything lately that we the uninformed of our own health status on this BB can read?

One more comment: I thought you had decided to stop posting here? Please do us all a favor, I personally revel in my immaturity and ignorance of my own health.

Sincerely,
Michael

PS - apologies, Louis - I don't mean to speak for you, as I don't know you, nor you me. I do enjoy two of the books that you have published about Yang taiji.

PPS - Ha! I'm one of Jerry's immature cronies! Kewl. Of course, I've only met Jerry once at Yang Jun's seminar, Aug 06. I think we talked more about IBM MQSeries than taiji...
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:10 pm

Its Good that you do not practice the 24 , 48 posture forms - Because those who do are at risk! Now, concerning the Facts of Erle's Article about Why You should not practice the 24, and the 48 posture forms - First, You have to have enough adequate Training to even understand the Article in the first place, which I see that you do not - So keep on training, and maybe some day you will Understand!
And, I do see your point, concerning me opening my big mouth - I Apologize for Hurting any of your feelings!!! You DO have some Good Points for me to think about!
I'm Sorry that this got way out of hand, i was just trying to help (smile)!
I hope that All Of You Have a Great Life!!!

Yours,

Thomas
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:12 pm

I think Thomas is having a little fun at our expense. It's ok, the place has been really dead lately so the controversy, sincere or not, is fun.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:26 pm

Louis' riposte about short essays making you blow up had me rolling on the floor.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 02-25-2007).]
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Postby mckwu » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:38 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
<B>Louis' riposte about short essays making you blow up had me rolling on the floor.

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

Must have been the Yin dullness from reading a short article, when you should obviously read all the long articles. I believe that very fact was established in this thread.

Your cronie,
Michael
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:11 pm

Hi Gentleman;

I just finished reading the last writings from you all --- And I would just like to say that I Apologize For My Attitude. Too be completely Honest, i was really taken back concerning how you all felt about Erle! I had No Idea About Any Of This. Even at my Old Age, I try and keep an Open Mind, and Jerry; I will read that article that you requested I read! But because All of my Training has been with Aikijujutsu, and Nonaka Ryu Ju-jutsu , so I'm sorry to say that I would not know if Erle's Article is true or not, but i'm going to read it!
Now, Jerry; Would you do me the honers of explaining where Erle has gone wrong?

Again, I do Apologize - I Thought that everbody was on the Same Page so to speak!

Yours,
Thomas
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:13 pm

Greetings,

I’m glad that some of you understood my attempt at humor in my remark about exploding while reading a short-form essay. I was just responding to some references in Mr. Montaigue’s writings to fajin as “explosive energy.” I’ll post some thoughts about this on a new thread, as this one has become. . . threadbare.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:41 pm

Hi Jerry;

I read Erle's article of the Demise of Taiji!

He did beat up on Yang Cheng-fu an afoul lot!
So, what is the real story - Who changed his Farther's Form, and by change, I can only assume that the Fa-jin, and the Dim-mak methods were removed?

Thomas
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Postby Kalamondin » Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:00 am

Hi All,

LOL--some funny posts here, guys... but in all seriousness, I also remembered this post:
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum14/HTML/000004.html

T, Thomas, in general we like a good debate and don't tend to get riled up when discussing other styles of tai chi--except, apparently, Erle Montaigue. I'm not qualified to comment on his martial arts skills or his expertise at tai chi theory--but I do admire his gong fu at getting people angry. That's a good technique for getting one's opponent off balance.

Anyway, my point is that generally we are interested in learning about other styles and how they are similar to or different from Yang style and are not super invested in proving that the style we happen to practice is the best or any such BS/hubris. Master Chen Zhenglei and his son were kind enough to visit our school recently and gave a demonstration and lecture. Tung style is respected and I have enjoyed pushing hands with a visiting Tung style student. From observing my teacher, I get the sense that the top tai chi people from all the families and styles are more interested in the continuity of their art though exchange and cooperation than promoting their style to the exclusion of others.

As for short forms vs. long forms, I agree that there's more health/martial benefit in practicing a long form--but I still think the short forms are good for what they are: a shorter practice for when time is short, and a compact means of demonstration. Whether it interrupts your qi flow or not is largely a matter of intent. If you approach a short form as complete in itself, then the qi can flow just as well. But if you approach it as a kind of Frankenstein-creature that has been hacked and sliced and is missing something essential, then sure, I could see how that would be constricting or make the qi feel choppy. It's like the difference between a chocolate cupcake and a full chocolate cake: would you insult a perfect little cupcake just because it doesn't have the full three layers and is so small? Personally, I'd have no problem enjoying a cupcake for what it is!

Regards,
Kal
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Postby T » Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:00 am

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

LOL--some funny posts here, guys... but in all seriousness, I also remembered this post:
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum14/HTML/000004.html

T, Thomas, in general we like a good debate and don't tend to get riled up when discussing other styles of tai chi--except, apparently, Erle Montaigue. I'm not qualified to comment on his martial arts skills or his expertise at tai chi theory--but I do admire his gong fu at getting people angry. That's a good technique for getting one's opponent off balance.

Anyway, my point is that generally we are interested in learning about other styles and how they are similar to or different from Yang style and are not super invested in proving that the style we happen to practice is the best or any such BS/hubris. Master Chen Zhenglei and his son were kind enough to visit our school recently and gave a demonstration and lecture. Tung style is respected and I have enjoyed pushing hands with a visiting Tung style student. From observing my teacher, I get the sense that the top tai chi people from all the families and styles are more interested in the continuity of their art though exchange and cooperation than promoting their style to the exclusion of others.

As for short forms vs. long forms, I agree that there's more health/martial benefit in practicing a long form--but I still think the short forms are good for what they are: a shorter practice for when time is short, and a compact means of demonstration. Whether it interrupts your qi flow or not is largely a matter of intent. If you approach a short form as complete in itself, then the qi can flow just as well. But if you approach it as a kind of Frankenstein-creature that has been hacked and sliced and is missing something essential, then sure, I could see how that would be constricting or make the qi feel choppy. It's like the difference between a chocolate cupcake and a full chocolate cake: would you insult a perfect little cupcake just because it doesn't have the full three layers and is so small? Personally, I'd have no problem enjoying a cupcake for what it is!

Regards,
Kal

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

Sorry, my intension was not to rile anyone up just to reply to the post.

The statement I posted about Taiji as a martial art dieing was Chen Xaiowang not Chen Zhenglei. I have also meant Chen Zhenglei, had lunch with him and his wife actually, and I would agree with what you are saying.

As to the short forms; I honestly have no problem with the forms I can have a problem with how they are advertised or those that only know the short forms judging Taiji and speaking like experts on the topic when in fact they only know 24 and 48. But if someone wants to do them and enjoys them that is fine.

My first form many many years ago was 24 and I do still do it from time to time. However it does look much more like a condensed traditional form now than what I was originally taught.

As to Earle, my only thought is as stated, is he honestly stating the facts as he believes them or is it just advertising to make money. Honestly either way it doesn't affect me much at all. But if he claims lineage to Jainhou and is saying that is the form of Luchan he is, to my understanding, not exactly correct.

I have no idea what the original posters intent was but I thought it was a bit strange to say don't do 24 and 48 and then use the link to Earle's statement which has little to do with 24 or 48 and more to do with bashing Chengfu which also makes little sense to do on the Yang family site.

As to Cheng Manching I have said all I need in my original post.

My only agreement with Earle would come from the point that there are a whole lot of schools out there teaching what they call Yang style Taiji when in fact they are not teaching Yang style Taiji at all they are teaching 24 which does not come from the Yang family and they are teaching 48 which not only does not come form the Yang family it is not entirely based on Yang style. But with that said if that is what someone does and enjoys it, more power to them. It is when someone judges Taiji based on these form I have a problem.

As to any statements I made on Yang style or Chengfu that may have offended anyone my apologies, it was not my intention. I have been doing Yang style for a long time but truth be known I started with Chen and if there where a Chen Sifu in the area I moved to I would have continued with it. However I found my Yang Sifu and although I still prefer Chen I am now a Yang stylist sense I have been doing it now for many years, much longer than I did Chen.
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Postby Audi » Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:46 am

Hi all,

Kal, I liked your post, including the link.

From my point of view, I have yet to encounter the style of Taijiquan or the teacher of Taijiquan that I could not learn something from. That said, I, myself, have strong preferences among styles and teachers.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">So, what is the real story - Who changed his Farther's Form, and by change, I can only assume that the Fa-jin, and the Dim-mak methods were removed? </font>


I think this is a good question, but is put in too simple a way to answer well. For instance, does a change in the form have to mean a change in method? In my understanding, there is a lot of Yang Chengfu's teaching that is not displayed in the hand-form, at least at the surface level.

The Association's barehand form does not include many obvious instances of Fajin because that is counter to the flavor and method, but that is not because there is no Fajin in its Taijiquan. The internal feeling should still be in the form, but the practice of open Fajin should occur in other types of training.

As for dim mak, is this not merely a matter of intent? I do not recall anywhere in the classics where it says that dim mak must be the basis for Taijiquan. I think that the Association's Taijiquan is aimed more at understanding Jin than stressing things like dim mak. If you truly understand Jin, you can have an entire set of options at your disposal, from the very gentle to the not so gentle. If you do not understand Jin well, then there is little that can be said about martial applications and Fajin has little scope for use.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:25 am

Hello All;
I'm the original poster - To answer what my intent was, is this; But first let me give a little background, so my meaning is clear, my training is Aikijujutsu, and Nonaka Ryu Ju-jutsu. Ive studied for around 50 years now, but it was all in the Japanese Arts!
Now, after 50 Years of that type of study, and being retired (smile) I thought that I would look into Taiji, for something different - Well a friend of mine gave me Erle's web-site, and i started to read some of his articles - And, one of them was the one about why we should not practice the 24, or the 48 posture forms - Well, the article made sence to me, and I started to think about all of you Taiji people, so i got the big idea of contacting you with this warning!
That was my original intent - but Boy, did I open up a Hornets nest, which was not my intent!

Thomas
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Postby Kalamondin » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:03 am

Hi T,

My apologies as well: I wasn't trying to suggest you were trying to rile anyone up at all. My post was a round-about way of saying welcome--that discussion of various styles is welcome here.

Regards,
Kal

[This message has been edited by Kalamondin (edited 02-25-2007).]
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Postby Thomas C. McCauley » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:35 am

Thank You Mr.T

I sure do not want anyone mad at me , and forgive me for my not understanding the reason why so many of you were against Erle. There are differences of opinion's on my side of the fence to, that concern the Martial side, for example, some say that Modern Aikido has lost its Martial value, because of the way the training is conducted ect,.

Anyway, thanks for hearing me out, and I'm still interested in the study of Taiji.

Thomas
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:21 am

Truth is we are not really against Erle. When I viewed his lesson I saw a very likeable person. However, I do have some background both in Chinese and taiji and I must say that he plays it awfully fast and loose. A great deal of what he pronounces as fact is really nothing more than speculation, and some of it pretty far out. As long as he keeps that 'demise of taiji' piece up on the web, his credibility will be seriously damaged for me.
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