Leaning

Leaning

Postby Michael » Mon Feb 05, 2001 8:35 am

I study both the "traditional" Yang Style and the Kuang Ping Style. If I leaned forward as we are taught to in forms such as Push or Brush Knee etc. I would probably find myself on the ground (gently) or be subject to a light tap on the back of my head by my Kuang Ping teacher for breaking the principles.
I hear Wu and Yang stylist say that this forward lean in forms where the energy is mainly going forward is more effective. I also hear that the lean comes only after the technique is completed. Even if the knee does not pass the foot one is very susceptable to a pull or a push from behind even (though less so)if the the lower spine is upright. I have had this very effectivly proven to me.
In the Kuang Ping Style as in the Chen style the spine is held in the upright neutral posetion and it should not vary from this posetion. I understand (and I may be wrong) that Yang Chen Fu taught this early in the evolution and that that is the way Fu Zhong Wen taught. Can someone explain why we have the lean? It is a question to which i have never found a satifactory answer.
I do not think that Yang Chen Fu ever made a change in the Family set without a good reason. Now i also understand that there is a debate as to whether pictures of YCF actually show a lean, that his shear size only make it appear that he has the forward lean in the upper torso.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone can let me know where i can get copy of a video of Fu Zhonwen doing the set i would be greatly in your debt.
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby Audi » Wed Feb 07, 2001 5:09 am

Michael,

I may have partial answers to your questions as well as some thoughts, but I will wait for others with more knowledge to reply before I rush to spread misinformation.

I would like, however, to add two questions to yours. First, is it really true that the lean begins only after the technique is completed? I would have thought the lean begins as the technique is begun. Second, how much of a lean is correct? Do you align your spine with the bones in your back leg, or with something else?
Audi
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Steve » Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:48 pm

Hmmm....
I haven't heard of leaning in the traditional Yang style, either the Cheng Fu or Ban Hou branches. I do know it exists in the Wu style, but only because the stances are short -- the weight is still centered above the load-bearing leg. This is much harder to do in long stances, because it extends your weight too far forward (although the Sun style Single Whip leans to the side, but that very carefully controlled). I'll have to see what my masters say about this.

SB
Steve
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Postby Michael » Fri Feb 09, 2001 1:24 am

Steve, You are right that there is no leaning in the Ban Hao style as i said earlier. And the forward lean that I mentioned is very small compared to what is found in the Wu style.
Yang Zhen Duos' book show the lean, and one of his students is my teachers instructor. That same lean is performed by both of them. When I see Grandmaster Yang at this summer I will know for sure. Perhaps I will be able to ask Yang Jun about it then. I do not know if Yang Zhenji has the lean in his set, or those in the Tung lineage. I expect that those in Fu Zhonwens line do not from his frequent admonishons in his book against leaning. I may be wrong but I understand that those who practiced with YCF at the end display this small lean.
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby Steve » Fri Feb 09, 2001 9:27 pm

On the other hand, leaning is absolutely forbidden in the training of Yang style Wushu routines (in the standardized forms); yet the masters there seem to employ a very slight lean in the forward movements as a circumstance of the energy and strength of the movement.

SB
Steve
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Postby DavidJ » Sat Feb 10, 2001 11:33 pm

Michael, et al.
Measuring lean, using a protractor, on an image of Yang Chen Fu (Push), and on video tape of Tung Hu Ling and Tung Kai Ying (through the long form) reveals that they are all consistantly leaning about 18 to 20 degrees when their weight is forward in the bow stance.
David
DavidJ
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby jerome » Sun Feb 11, 2001 12:41 am

hi folks,
i'm learning about leaning now. there are,
as far as i know, two important reasons for a
slight lean in the absorption and issuing of power. first is the tuck into the kwa (hip) when closing or gathering energy. this would be done in roll back. second is the rounding out of the back and rolling forward of the shoulders, done in press.
no other primate woriies about always being upright. when watching masters do push hands, a lean is often apparent as they tuck into the kwa to neatralize coming yang.
a tung family teacher states that one cannot effectively use the lean until the energy of the spine has become unified. i had been leaning prematurely, and this led to back pain.
jerome
jerome
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2001 7:01 am
Location: Ukiah, CA, USA

Postby Michael » Sun Feb 18, 2001 8:37 pm

I just came upon this--from Chen Wei-Mings' book TCC Ta Wen p19. "Don't push your palms out past your knee; if you do you will lose your balance....When their hands push extend beyound their feet they not only can't push the opponent but, beause they are leaning forward, they become unstable. You must step in, then your hands will follow your waist forward and you can push your opponent out. This is whole body energy." Any thoughts?
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby Audi » Wed Mar 07, 2001 5:29 am

Michael,

Since no one has advance this thread for some time, I thought I would offer what little else I know.

I believe in the three-volume video Yang Zhen Duo and Yang Jun created, Yang Zhen Duo does a demonstration of why a lean is necessary in his opinion. He has Yang Jun assume a push position with his spine vertical. (If memory serves, I believe Yang Jun also bends his back knee at this point.) Yang Zhen Duo then gives a strong slow push against Yang Jun's hands. Yang Jun begins to wobble and visible has trouble dealing with the high degree of force. Yang Jun then assumes a slight lean, with a straight rear leg, and easily withstands the same type of push without any wobble.

Yang Zhen Duo then makes the point that a correct stance is not vulnerable to a pull, by pulling forcefully on Yang Jun's wrist without uprooting him.

As for your question about allowing the hand to pass the knee, it has always seemed to me that this matched the dynamics of the sunken bow stance taught by Cheng Manching, but not the expansive bow stance taught by Yang Zhen Duo and others. Of course, part of this may be a question of application versus training devices. I personally usually try to adopt Yang Zhen Duo's method, but am often surprised at how little extension I actually achieve when I actually train fa jin with a partner.

Audi
Audi
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby mnpli » Wed Mar 07, 2001 5:51 am

Audi wrote
"always seemed to me that this
matched the dynamics of the sunken bow stance taught by Cheng Manching"

Hi Audi, what do you mean by "sunken Bow stance " i'm not familiar with this term can you explain


Mario
mnpli
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 20, 2001 6:01 am

Postby Michael » Wed Mar 07, 2001 7:31 pm

Audi, I am not sure of what this "sunken bow stance" is either.

Concerning the demo on the video. it is very true that the small forward lean will give a very strong structure vs a push from the front. It goes directly to the back leg. Notice that when pushed on front where the rear leg is NOT straight it has no strength...the position (bent) of the rear leg is critical when in the forward "70/30"stance whether you are vertical or leaning forward. Also try it in a 60/40 or the 50/50 (with the vertical spine) that you may find yourself in during transition. This very strong also. A push from the back however is something else, when leaning forward.

The pull again is what worries me. It is very probable that I can't pull Yang Jun off his feet in any straight forward situation, but I bet I can most others. I know i am very vulnerable and have not YET found anyone who wasn't. Maybe i just have not yet found the proper structure in the forward lean to withstand this pull. But maybe.... I know this subject can be a touchy one, i do not question the teachings but just am trying to get to the depths of something that i might not completly understand the physics of yet.

You are very correct Audi about this being primarily an application question as it is in my example from CWM. Your Fa jin example is a good one. When i envision application, (this may be a repeat of something i stated somewhere else) I see a situation where i am in close with as much contact with my opponent as possible. And in stepping i am going through or by the opponent. In close quarters like this I never want "extra" extension that he can take advantage of if my technique fails. This may clarify my concerns. In form practice there is no issue of any type. i also do as the Yang family does concerning the leans--most of the time -and this is due to some physical limitations that occasionally flare up.

Thanks for your thoughts. i will explore it some more.



[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 03-07-2001).]
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby DavidJ » Thu Mar 08, 2001 6:44 pm

Hi Michael,

Your inability to resist a pull may not be related to leaning. It may be related to how you use your feet.

The main point of focus in the foot that I use for weight is just forward of the heel, it is the arch.

Have you ever heard of the "three nails secret," the "three living nails," or the "three gentle nails?" They are 3 points in a line on the bottom of the foot. One point is in the area of the ball of the foot and big toe, one is in the area of the arch, and one is in the heel.

Each point can be considered a secondary focus, which can have a certain proportion of weight on it all the time. How the weight is distributed on each "nail" is something you need to sense.

(In your daily sets you might want to first focus the weight on the arch, and in later sets you work on the "nails.")

By using the muscles in your calves that you would use to point your toes, flexing the ankle downward, you can adjust the amount of weight that is on each point. This may be felt clearly in the front foot when shifting the weight to the back foot.

After you have an idea of the main focus of weight you can use the calf muscles to keep these proportions of weight the same on each point, each "nail," no matter how much weight is on the foot.

What is directly related to the problem of being pulled forward is the nail in the heel. If this nail is secure in your front foot you shouldn't be able to be pulled over from the front. This is a good test, for you can try the "nail" in different parts of the heel, until you find the right spot.

Other benefits of doing this include that the quadraceps are properly engaged and the distribution of load on the knee is better.

I hope that I've expressed this well, and that it solves your problem.

David
DavidJ
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Michael » Thu Mar 08, 2001 8:44 pm

David, yes, i am very familiar with William Chens three nail theory. It was one of the things i first worked with in trying to resolve this question for myself. You have stated it very well. I hope others who are not familiar with it will look into it as it is valuable.

I have played with nail location just as you suggest to resist the pull. It is also useful to have the line from the waist through the sacrum vertical, this helps greatly in resisting. The degree of lean is also a huge factor.

THIS QUESTION AFTER ALL, MAY JUST BE ONE OF DEGREES! . Can you resist the pull? Maybe someday we will meet and experiment. I will continue to work with it all. Now, can you also resist the push on the shoulderblade or from a shoulder from the side if your push (or whatever) is neutralized, and the opponent steps to your side when you are in an extended position(or can you escape easily)?

Again my interest in this subject is in usage. This may confuse things as it deals with several things, but let me quote the Tai Chi Boxing Chronicle by Kuo Lien-Ying. it may spark some interest in terms of language and theory others may want to pick up on somewhere else.

This from The Nine Principles of the Practice of T'ai Chi Boxing.

"5. The body is upright and can withstand impact from all directions.

If the body is upright it can react to pressure from any direction. This is the ulilization of Peng Ching. If you lean towards the front, then the back has no Peng Ching. If you slant to the left, then the right has no Peng ching. No place on the body should be without Peng ching, and then no place in the body will have a shortcoming.

If you are weak in this area, you will miss the concept of T'ai Chi boxing's circular liveliness. During moving energy the body revolves a great deal and it is difficult to avoid overextending while receiving and releasing. The complete waist down to the tail must be centered and upright. If not, you will miss out on the foundation of flexability. The whole body equally must collect and strike. Boxing chronicles say: The tail is centered and upright and the spirit is threaded to the top. Make the waist like a flag and there will be no shortcomings."
There are points that can be taken to support a number of opinions, however they are "leaning" on this subject. I post the above only for yours and others take on it. i don't have any answers, and i think things are done for a reason. I could talk about what i am taught in my other Yang style but this is not the place. And i am sure that were Yang Jun to read this, he would know that I mean no disrespect and am just looking for honest answers.

I have heard the thoughts of those saying the leaning talked about is not in the physical sense. if they could explain, especially in terms of my examples (or others) i would appreciate it. i tend to be in the physical camp on this as is obvious, but i am willing to to learn.

Thanks
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Postby JerryKarin » Thu Mar 08, 2001 9:11 pm

Michael,

I am not Yang Jun or Yang Zhenduo, so I cannot speak for them. Let me, however, summarize my own understanding of what I have learned by studying with them and reading Yang Zhenduo's book.

Yang Zhenduo advocates leaning forward slightly in a bow step whenever both hands are going in the same direction. That means all bow steps except single whip and fan through back and left ward off.

When you lean forward slightly and straighten the back leg (naturally straight, not locked) the entire body has the ability to 'prop' like a straight wooden pole, and any pressure exerted by an opponent against the front is then directed into the back foot and the ground. You can verify and tune the effectiveness of this by getting into the ding4 shi4 or end position of a move like 'push' from Grasp the Bird's Tail, and having a friend push against your two hands.

In a bow step, you must always have a slight resistance pushing backward by the front foot - in opposition to the push forward by the back foot. On this point see the article from Yang Zhenduo's book at http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/info/essays/bow_steps.htm (can also be found from the yangfamilytaichi.com site by navigating to info, essays, Bow Steps...). I have also heard Yang Zhenduo mention that the toes of the front foot on a bow step must curl downward and grab the floor in order to most effectively resist a pull from the front. You can also test the effectiveness of this with a partner.

Hope that helps.

Jerry

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 03-08-2001).]

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 03-10-2001).]
JerryKarin
 
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 7:01 am

Postby Michael » Thu Mar 08, 2001 11:01 pm

Jerry, you state the exact way i have been taught, my teacher could have been talking instead of you.

Maybe my concern is with the hairline difference between "leaning" and being "overextended". And maybe there is some linguistic factors here in translation concerning "not to lean" -is it over extension being spoken about? Just a thought. I would be interested in what you or Louis (or others) had to say on that. My Chinese is just slightly more than that of the restaurant variety (though it is improving), and have to count on you there.

If my lean is VERY slight (and I think that is what is recomended by the Yang family) i have nearly the same strength as I have in the "50/50" stance (with the upright spine) found in my other style, where i cannot be pushed from ANY direction. Introduce a lean in that and you are "dead". Introduce a few more degrees in a "70/30" and you are "dead" also.

Small is safe. One or two degrees probably makes all the difference in the world in determining what "over extended" means, coupled with the stance you find yourself in at any particular moment (50/50, 60/40,70/30, whatever), in transition or "completion". A push from the front is not in question here.

I know Kuo was talking in terms of a different stance (the "50/50") than we use in our set. Might it be possible that Chen Wei Ming be speaking from a similiar position? But i THINK his words can apply to both situations.

Thanks


[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 03-08-2001).]
Michael
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:01 am
Location: Wi. USA

Next

Return to Tai Chi Theory and Principles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron