<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mike:
<B> Hi Audi:
Essentially, I think there is only one basic way to do all movements in Taiji. They are based on the natural opening and closing of the body using jin. So, for instance, a Brush Knee movement which flexed too much outside of these natural parameters would by necessity be an "external" or artificial movement in relation to the natural movement powered by peng jin... therefore, it would be wrong.
I am sorry if I may not have been clear in my question. I agree with what you have said about peng jin. Unfortunately, though, I still don't have a good practical idea of your technique.
I have seen at least three very different palm methods for movements of the right hand in Brush Left Knee that IMHO are physically inconsistent. (Roughly, flex at the beginning, gradually flex throughout, and flex only at the end.) Each method was justified as an important means for cultivating jin and implied the others were suboptimal. In order to understand which type of training you follow, I thought it might be helpful to know how you physically performed the move.
By the way, in rereading some of my posts, I found that much of what I have said can be read as if I am asserting a high level of practice. If only it were true.
A couple of years ago, when I felt I was beginning to make progress, I was frequently frustrated because my three-year-old daughter would frequently grab or push my legs in form and upset my postures. Call me thick headed, but it slowly dawned on me that there was something seriously wrong with my practice. Either my daughter was an undiscovered natural talent far exceeding my abilities, or my rooting skills were not quite would they should have been.
After a few years of dedicated practice and serious study, I can confidently declare that I can now handle any frontal attack my daughter can deliver with only a little wobbling. I usually beat her at pushing hands as well. In a few years, I may even be able to hold my own if she jumps me from the rear.
When I have gone to painful lengths during my posts to describe my physical sensations during form, it is not to claim expertise, but to make clear what path I feel I am on. Hopefully, responders will either say: "Yeah, that's what I feel; or no, you must be kidding." I sense you are in the latter camp; but it is, of course, hard to understand another's T'ai Chi feelings hearing or reading mere words.
I am also wary of drawing too many conclusions from merely reading words like "jin" or even "seat" your wrist. I was very surprised to read recently in a book (Gateway to the Miraculous by Wolfe Lowenthal?) that some people apparently interpret Yang Cheng Fu's admonition to seat the wrist as a warning not to flex the wrist backward and to assume a "beautiful lady's wrist." I would certainly have misunderstood the term without his helpful physical description of what he was discussing.
You also implied in your reply that external movements were not good T'ai Chi. I of course agree with this at a general level. I am curious, however, if you subscribe to Yang Cheng Fu's Ten Principles, and if so, what you make of the injunction to Unite/Harmonize Internal and External.
You also linked your comment with the need to avoid "artificial" movements and the need to follow "natural" movement. Again, I agree with this, but confess that I find much of T'ai Chi practice and training not very "natural," at least on the surface, and so do not always find this a reliable guide.