Double-Weightedness

Postby JerryKarin » Sat Feb 10, 2001 11:50 pm

David, sorry I don't know any more than that it was published in a book by Chen Weiming in 1925.
JerryKarin
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Mike » Sun Feb 11, 2001 8:13 pm

Ron K said......

Pay attention to the difference between the empty leg and full leg, ie. the one leg that you are balancing on.
..........................

Hi Ron:

I think this comment of yours is the key to the problem in this thread... IMHO. "Empty" and "Full" refer to whether there is No Jin Present or whether there is Jin Present. You can stand with a 50-50 stance, feet parallel at shoulder width. If someone lightly pushes your right shoulder and you "root" the push then the jin will go down the left leg and it is then "full" while the right leg is "empty"... yet you didn't change your "weight". Then, if you don't move a hair and your partner walks around and pushes on your left shoulder you can "root" the push down your right leg... so the right leg is then "full" and the left leg is "empty". If you see what I mean.

In other words, mixing up "full and empty" with "weighted and unweighted" is mixing apples and oranges".

And incidentally, simple "rooting" is easy to do because it is a simple basic jin skill. Bringing that jin to the hands and moving it with the mind and waist are the hard parts. Taiji is about jin (as I believe CMC once said).

By way of introduction to the forum, my Yang style training was from Her Yue Wong (108 and 88 san shou forms, push hands, sabre). He knew CMC and his brother actually studied under CMC. I have read all of the available English translations of the Yang family books and of the CMC books, so I have some familiarity with both styles. However, I don't claim to be an expert and therefore I don't teach Taiji.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:24 am

Greetings,

I’m writing specifically in response to some of the issues raised about the meaning of “double-weighting” (shuangzhong) in Audi’s initial post. I hope to clarify one statement Audi made, that “it is usually discussed in terms of the amount of weight carried on each foot.” I believe shuangzhong does indeed have to do with weight, but not specifically or exclusively with weight distribution in the legs. I do not think that the “chong” variant meaning “repeated” applies here. The term shuangchong is normally adjectival, used generally for abstract notions: “twofold proposal,” or “double standard.” Shuangzhong as used in taijiquan is more of a noun phrase. Zhong can also refer to pressure, including pressure sensed from an opponent. The classic document in which shuangzhong appears uses the character zhong elsewhere as “weight” or “pressure”: “When the left feels weight (zhong), then the left empties. When the right feels weight, then the right is gone.” Moreover, the balance scale imagery immediately preceding the usage of shuangzhong pretty clearly contextualizes it.

I thought I’d share a rough translation of the entry for “shuangzhong” from the recently published Dictionary of Essential Selected Taijiquan Terms (Jingxuan taijiquan cidian, pub’d. 1999, Renmin tiyu chubanshe). I found this in a Chinese bookshop last spring; I wish I’d had it years ago. I don’t post this as a definitive answer, but more to access otherwise inaccessible sources, and to demonstrate that the meaning of shuangzhong is not unanimously understood by Chinese martial arts researchers. Shuangzhong is another example of the rich polysemy and productive vagueness of the Chinese language. This entry also includes a Yang Chengfu quote from his Taijiquan shiyongfa, a book that is nearly impossible to find.

~~~
Double-weighting (shuangzhong): a technical term in taijiquan. In Wang Zhongyue’s “Taijiquan Treatise” it says: “Sink to one side, then follow. If double-weighted, then one will stagnate.” It also says: “whenever we see those who for several years have perfected their skill, yet are unable to employ this neutralization and are generally overpowered by others, this is merely from not having come to understand the fault of double-weighting.” This clearly establishes ‘double weighting’ as a flaw, and gives rise to wide-ranging attention among martial artists. The connotation of double-weighting is not uniformly understood among the various experts, and may be summarized by means of the following major formulations:
1. Zhong indicates the deployment of any given part of the body; “shuangzhong” indicates that in the two hands or the two feet there is not a differentiation of empty and solid—yin and yang are not clear.
2. The hands and feet are mutually conditional aspects of yin and yang; “shuangzhong” is therefore the hands and feet on the same side of the body being simultaneously in a condition of solid or empty.
3. “Shuang” (“paired, “doubled”) refers to the two aspects of form and intent (xing, yi liang bu fen); “shuangzhong” would indicate a condition in which intent and its associated form are both solid.
4. “Shuang” refers to the pairing of the opponent and me, “shuangzhong” indicates that when the opponent is solid I am solid; when the opponent is empty I am empty; thereby forfeiting the fundamental principal of “using softness to subdue hardness” [and allowing] a condition of stiffness and brute force.
Double-weighting is both a fault in tuishou and a fault in form practice. In Yang Chengfu’s book, _Applications of Taijiquan_ (Taijiquan shiyongfa), there is a vivid description with respect to double-weighting: “Please be observant of performances of the Thirteen Postures. If you see in their training method “riding the horse,” “seating the crotch,” “clenching fists,” “fierce stares,” “gnashing of teeth,” “strength like an ox,” and yet no qi has ventured to emerge, this is double-weighted training method.”
~~~

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby Mike » Mon Feb 12, 2001 3:53 pm

Hi Louis:

Using Yang Jun's comment that the Yang style evolved from the Chen style as a springboard, let me make a comment or two about "double-weighted":

I had a long talk with Chen Xiao Wang about "double-weighted" and asked him to show me what it meant. First off, he told me an anecdote about a student of his grandfather, Chen Fa Ke... this student lived in Beijing and thought he was pretty good so he came to Chen Village and began teaching so "the art would not die away". :^)

One of the things the guy taught was that "double weighted" meant not to actually weight both legs, etc., etc., just as you often hear westerners talk. Chen Xiao Wang laughed merrily at this and said, "If that was all there was to it, then anyone could do it."

To make a long story short, my conversation with CXW indicated clearly to me (for the first time for me, too) that "double-weighted") has to do with the jin. Probably the simplest 2 points are these:

1. You must always be in a balanced position that allows you to manifest jin (up, down, away from the body, toward the body; i.e., peng, an, ji, lu)in any direction at any time. I.e., the body is like a balance scale and the essence of Taiji jin is that you are always trying to rebalance against any aggression.

2. If you are in such a position that your opponent can "lock" you such that the immediate rebalancing is not possible, then you had the fault of "double-weighting".

Hope that makes sense.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

Postby Mike » Mon Feb 12, 2001 5:47 pm

Louis quoted in his earlier message....

"Double-weighting (shuangzhong): a technical term in taijiquan. In Wang Zhongyue’s “Taijiquan Treatise” it says: “Sink to one side, then follow. If double-weighted, then one will stagnate.”

"Sink" in this quote refers to sinking the qi, not sinking the body. It is easy to read some of the "classical" admonitions and confuse physical action with qi action. "Sinking the qi" is a precursor to directing the jin, since qi (as activated by the mind intent) is the intangible precursor to the tangible jin.

Regards,

Mike
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

Postby Ron K » Tue Feb 13, 2001 2:56 am

Hi Louis,

Thanks for the input.

Is there any chance that in #4 of the Talks that the "what is called substantial" refers to the rear weighted foot, not the front foot. The 'standard of vertical alignment' would then be a reference to #2 of the Talks, not to the front knee which generally should not go beyond vertical alignment with the heel. At least in empty stances with 0/100 weightings.

The result of putting too much fierce strength into the solid foot is illustrated by the picture that Jerry posted of YCF circa 1915.

Also, YZD in his bowstep article has

"If the back leg is bent too much, the pushing force cannot come out, and it will seem as if you have a lot of power but can't use it." This he writes to make a different point, but the fact of this is evident in single weighted postures. The ultimate use of fierce strength in an empty step would be in "Snake Creeps Down".

Do you recall seeing an recommendation by YCF to use "Sitting Step"?

Also, just to keep you busy, have a look at the poem where the archer puts down his bow after his work is done.

His horses move slowly;
He shoots but seldom;
Now he lays aside his quiver;
Now he returns his bow to the case.

See if peng rather than meaning 'cover of a quiver' does not simply mean "friend", "companion".

Horse and carriage, bow and ......

Also, sunbeams before they were shot by the celestial archer from a carriage, were shot as quills from a big bird who at dusk would fold his wings(bow and quiver together) and rest till the next dawn.

Guess what the chan ssu chin looks like when done properly with two arms- inward, upward, outward, downward, inward.

Effortless gestures of Hello or Goodbye, occasionally at the same time, if required by circumstance. Friendly palms.

There are some who in tracing the ultimate circles will discover why someone might have called a chuan, T'ai Chi.

Thanks for the FZW book.

Ron
Ron K
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Nanaimo British Columbia

Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Feb 13, 2001 7:58 am

Greetings Ron,

Re: “have a look at the poem where the archer puts down his bow after his work is done.”

You know I know that poem from the Shi Jing, “Da Shu Yu Tian.”

“With arms bared he seizes a tiger, And presents it before the duke.
O Shu, try not [such sport] again;
Beware of getting hurt.”

I hear it’s good for you to read the Songs. Kongzi told his students “the songs will help you to incite people’s emotions, to observe their feelings, to keep company, to express grievances. . . . Moreover, they will widen your acquaintance with the names of birds, beasts, plants and trees.” (Analects 17:9, Waley)

I do know that in that poem peng means “the cover of an arrow quiver,” not “friend” (which lacks the hand radical). It’s the same graph as peng in taiji, borrowed perhaps for it’s poetic and metaphorical import.

You have a good memory! And a poetic sensibility.

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby Mike » Tue Feb 13, 2001 12:51 pm

Louis Swaim says....

"""I do know that in that poem peng means “the cover of an arrow quiver,” not “friend” (which lacks the hand radical). It’s the same graph as peng in taiji, borrowed perhaps for it’s poetic and metaphorical import."""

Hi Louis:

I used to watch these arguments about the translation of "peng" a few years back and I thought (my memory could be failing) that it was pretty much reconciled by various native Chinese that the closest meaning was to prop up like a scaffold. Does that sound about right to you? I hadn't seen the old quiver and arrow tag for a long time. However, my impression is still that "peng" in this particular sense is simply specialized terminology that you either know or don't know. It's the old story of how useless words are in trying how to describe how to ride a bicycle.

Good to see you in print again. :^))

Regards,

Mike
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Feb 14, 2001 6:00 am

Ron,

Re: “If peng as 'cover for a quiver' occurs in that part I quoted, it doesn't make sense, poetic or otherwise.
Return a bow to the cover of a quiver?”

Are you actually interested, or are you merely goading, ‘Another 2’-like? In order to understand the wording of the poem, which is *very* early Chinese, and full of weird rhythm and sighing particles, you have to know something of early Chinese chariots and warfare equipment. Arrow quivers were often actually attached to the body of the chariot. You can find pictures of these. When in use the cover of the quiver (peng, or pin as it was probably pronounced then) was tied or in some fashion held open. When one was done using it, the cover was “shi4” loosened, or freed so that it shut. That’s what actually happens in the poem. Like all good military equipment, it had muli-purpose function, and could also be removed to gather water from a stream for drinking. When Legge says in his translation “He lays aside his quiver,” he is taking some license in the service of catching the cadence and grandeur of the original. His notes mention that he is aware of the actual function of the peng/pin as “the cover of a quiver.” The “returns his bow to the case” is a separate operation. The Chinese, “yi4 chang4 gong1 ji4,” is actually using the word for a bow case verbally: he “cases his bow.” The Han Dynasty dictionary, Shuo Wen Jie Zi, defines the peng/pin graph as the cover of an arrow quiver, and also mentions a usage for the charater of “returning an arrow.” Yang Chengfu’s push hands passage on peng in his Taijiquan tiyong quanshu mentions the Shuowen dictionary. An earlier book by Xu Yusheng, student of Yang Jianhou, quotes the Shuowen definition verbatim in the section he writes about push hands terminology.

Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby Mike » Wed Feb 14, 2001 6:43 pm

Hi Louis:


You wrote:
"Yang Chengfu’s push hands passage on peng in his Taijiquan tiyong quanshu mentions the Shuowen dictionary. An earlier book by Xu Yusheng, student of Yang Jianhou, quotes the Shuowen definition verbatim in the section he writes about push hands terminology."

Isn't it a valid comment again that martial arts terminology is an adjunct (intermingled with) of Chinese language? If the Yang family was largely illiterate, then their "comments" must have been written by someone else (as in the recorded cases of Chen Wei Ming and Cheng Man Ching). So the Chinese characters assigned to some of the terms may possibly not have been as accurate as you're ascribing to them.

Secondly, there are instances of mistakes that have crept into some Taiji documents because the scribe or translator did not fully understand the art or the expert telling the scribe what to say.

Some wellknown instances I can think of in this regard are the few postural names in the Yang and Chen forms that got screwed up by homophones (e.g., "Return Tiger to Mountain" that should have been "Two Hands Strike Mountain", etc.), the famous srewup of "Raise the Back", our own translations of "energy" for "jin", etc., etc.

If nothing else, the Yang family illiteracy has to be a large factor.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Feb 14, 2001 7:36 pm

Greegins Mike,

I agree in principle with some of what you say, but I’ll point out that I was merely addressing the issue of the known early usage of the graph peng (with the hand classifier and the “friend” phonetic) in the Shijing (Book of Songs), and the references to the “arrow quiver” definition of same in Xu Yusheng’s and Yang Chengfu’s books. How this otherwise “dead” character made it into the taijiquan corpus is anyone’s guess. I’ve actually assembled a good deal of research into this issue, but I wouldn’t dare to draw any firm conclusions from the data I’ve managed to assemble thus far. I’m equally intrigued by another peng character (with the bird classifier instead of the hand) that is the name of an enormous mythological bird, introduced in the opening chapter of the Zhuangzi. It also happens to appear in a posture name in the Yang sword form, “Great Peng Spreads Wings.” It was also in the name of Yang Banhou’s son, (Chengfu’s cousin): Yang Zhaopeng.

I occasionally see references to the alleged illiteracy of famous martial masters. I think we have to be careful about what this means. The meaning of “literacy” in Qing China was different from what we think of as literacy—that is, the ability to read. Literacy (xuewen) meant having a scholarly training and capacity enabling one to take the exams and become an official. There were plenty of people who could read (say, people who owned or worked in small village medicinal herb shops) who were not necessarily xuewen. Also, it was/is not at all unusual for a martial arts master to have a student record and write down their teachings. This has nothing to do with his or her level of literacy, but with what they chose to do with their time. Until fairly recently with the ubiquity of computers and email, most corporate executives never even wrote a memo. A lot of them didn’t know how to type, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t read.

In the available literature, there are many references to Yang family “pu” (manuals), being handed down, borrowed, etc. One would imagine they weren’t being used for doorstops.

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby Mike » Wed Feb 14, 2001 8:42 pm

Hi Louis:

you wrote:

"I’m equally intrigued by another peng character (with the bird classifier instead of the hand) that is the name of an enormous mythological bird, introduced in the opening chapter of the Zhuangzi. It also happens to appear in a posture name in the Yang sword form, “Great Peng Spreads Wings.” It was also in the name of Yang Banhou’s son, (Chengfu’s cousin): Yang Zhaopeng."

That particular "peng" relates to the "Da Peng" (Great Bird) that hovers around the Buddha protecting him from harm, I believe. That's why you'll see various references to "Da Peng" as a protective device or training in martial arts. For instance, there is a famous conditioning set (rarely known; if known, not always done correctly with the breath and qi)which is called "Da Peng Gung".

In terms of the initial thrust of my question, I still think that it is valid whether the right character was used and whether perhaps too much attention is being addressed to the inferences of that character. But it is one of those moot things. As I said earlier, my understanding was that "props up" as in scaffolding is the best translation. FWIW. I could be wrong.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Feb 14, 2001 9:10 pm

Greetings Mike,

Right, the peng graph meaning “prop up” appears in a compound “pengjia” that means “scaffolding.” That peng has the wood radical instead of the hand radical. It could well have been the source concept. Who knows? Of course, six of the eight jins have the hand radical. Only zhou and kao do not. One might speculate that the hand-radical version of peng was appropriated because it fit nicely with these other characters with hand radicals, but it would only be speculation. (Lu, for example, only appears with the hand radical in taijiquan theory.)
There are lots of possibilities.

Take care,
Louis
Louis Swaim
 
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby DavidJ » Thu Feb 15, 2001 7:57 pm

Mike,
You mentioned 'the famous screwup of "Raise the Back"' I assume that this is from an article by Yang Chen Fu. I hadn't heard of this screw-up, but I always wondered what that meant.
What should it have been instead of, "Raise the Back"?
David
DavidJ
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Mike » Fri Feb 16, 2001 1:28 am

Hi David:

When Chen Wei Ming wrote the book for Yang Cheng Fu, he used the term Ba Bei which people took as "raise" the back, but actually the Chen, Yang, Wu, etc., "RELAX" the back. When Chen Wei Ming saw that his words were being taken wrongly, he corrected the problem in his own, later book.... but sense the Yang Cheng Fu book was far more popular, the "Raise the Back" took hold.

If someone can get a copy of the later Chen Wei Ming book, they will see that this is so.

So all this talk about "raising the back" does nothing but show most people are carrying on about nothing... or worse yet, teaching the wrong thing as truth.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Mike
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Durango, CO

PreviousNext

Return to Tai Chi Theory and Principles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests