Double Weighting

Double Weighting

Postby Erik » Sun Jun 23, 2002 2:43 pm

Hi Guys,

This has always been a big topic for me. Anyone want to be the first to talk about it? I'd like to hear what some of your views are regarding double-weighting.

Cheers - Erik
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Postby DavidJ » Mon Jun 24, 2002 6:33 pm

Hi Eric,

On each forum there is a drop down list of posts which can show you posts prior to the last three weeks.

On this forun there are two pages of discussions related to double weightedness. They are at
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000002.html

Regards,

David J

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 06-24-2002).]
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Postby Erik » Tue Jun 25, 2002 12:09 pm

Thanks David,

I'll give 'em a good read.

Good Training - Erik
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Postby mnpli » Tue Jun 25, 2002 4:33 pm

<<< Hi Guys,
This has always been a big topic for me. Anyone want to be the first to talk about it? I'd like to hear what some of your views are regarding double-weighting .>>>

Hello to all, I haven't been here for a very long time, So Erik I hope you don't mind if I give my two cents on this subject.

They way i like to show folks the difference of single vs, double weight, is by telling them not to think about the legs, but rather think about the arms.
Try this, take two baseballs one in each hand and throw them at the same time vs. throwing only just one ball, what we will see is, that the single handed throw will be the stronger of the two!

So, a two handed trow is supported by both legs, not so strong!
While a one hand throw supported by one leg, the opposite side leg, result's in a stronger throw . A right handed throw with a right sided leg support is also double weighted


also on the same subject, we must look at the other side of this coin.

Try hammering a nail on the wall with just one hand , you will find that the hand wile strong is not realy steady or accurate and so on... now place the left hand( if you right handed) on the wall for support and then hammer the nail and you will noticed that hammering the nail just got better in every way!

you need both hands yes! but not doing the same job!!! same with tai chi chuan .
both legs yes, but not doing the same job!

P.S. Audi, you wrote ;

" Is this the reason why some followers of Cheng Man-Ch?ing seem to delay waist rotations until the last moment in moves like Ward Off Left, Ward Off Right, and Cloud Hands? This seems like an interesting viewpoint,"

Audi

This is not the way i was taught CMC tai chi chuan, so i must say tha in my opinion you have it wrong.

Look at it this way, we turn/shift, something like a baseball pitcher, pitches a ball , or like a handball player hit's the ball

anyway something to think about

Ciao
M.


[This message has been edited by mnpli (edited 06-26-2002).]
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Postby Erik » Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:28 am

Hi David and M.

David - thanks very much for the link. I'm still a bit new to the site and haven't had a chance to read all of the earlier discussions yet. This was a good read to say the least.

M - thanks for your input. I was really looking for something different than the "weight equally distributed" party line. Your's was an interesting new way to look at it. I'm playing around with the examples you gave right now.

One instructor I had (only one out of all the others) explained and demonstrated it to me like this - The "illness" of double-weighting comes from force-on-force with your opponent. A failure to connect centers (of gravity). Force-on-force creates to centers of gravity, or weights - double weights. The idea of connecting with and leading the opponent's center of gravity as an extension of your own (one weight) is central to Internal Martial Arts, Aikido, Judo, etc. He said that this is the reason why someone can practice for years and still have not gained much skill.

But now I just have another interpretation of it. I'm trying to find out if there is any concrete work in the classics that explains double-weightedness this way. Louis??? Help please??? My Chinese is not that good.

Good Training - Erik
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Postby mnpli » Wed Jun 26, 2002 8:03 pm

Hi Erik,
<<< One instructor I had (only one out of all the others) explained and demonstrated it to me like this - The "illness" of double-weighting comes from force-on-force with your opponent. snip...... >>>


I get what your saying. and this is a good thread for push hands that you can start!
cause the principle are the same!
But, Tori can if he wants, go directly straight at Uke with a strike , colliding and all and still not be double weighted!
My example was to show how we can be double weighted in our own bodies.


Ciao
M.
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Postby Erik » Thu Jun 27, 2002 10:12 am

M,

Exactly! It's amazing how this principle - 2 little words - can be taken so many different ways and be equally applicable to each. I'm wondering, and would like to hear, all the different takes on this principle there are out there. I learn something new from each one. Thanks for yours M.

Ciao - Erik
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Postby Audi » Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:45 pm

Hi Erik and M. (and everyonge,

Double weighting always seems such an interesting topic, yet so difficult to completely define and explain. Whatever you both can add is greatly appreciated.

M., it is good to see you back on the board. I like your baseball and hammer analogy; especially, your point about specialization. However, I have always had certain problems with this approach that maybe you can resolve. How do you justify having the weighted leg and the striking arm on the same side of the body in Go with/Piercing Palm (Chuan Zhang), Slant Flying/Flying Diagonal, Fan through the Back, etc.? This topic was broached on another current thread in the context of Single Whip.

M., on the other thread, there was a brief discussion about the principle (asserted and accepted by some) that if the left leg is solid/full, the left arm must be empty. Is this your view, and if so, do you remember what authority has asserted this in writing? I know I have read this in some commonly read book, but do not recall where.

Erik, you have an interesting point about connecting centers that I need to think more on. I am again a little puzzled, however, about your describing Aikido and Taijiquan as being the same in this regard.

Perhaps, my confusion comes in not understanding precisely what you mean by connecting. If I am butting against my opponent, are our centers not connected? However, does this not violate Taiji principles (ding)? If I charge my opponent, and use his or her resistance to execute a splay (arch backwards with my opponent pulled bodily up onto my tummy and then rotate in mid air to pull him or her around and under me as we land), are not our centers connected? Would this not be a wonderful wrestling and Sumo (and maybe Judo?) move, but nonetheless double weighted, at least initially?

The link you posted on the Tackling thread talked about differing qualities among Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xing Yi, etc. (revealing no solidity to the opponent, not being there, etc.). The link certainly struck a chord with me. In the spirit of this link, it seems to me that the one of the highest responses in Aikido to a frontal punch is to step aside, i.e., not be there. It seems to me that one of the highest responses in Taijiquan to the same situation is not pure evasion, but to connect with the opponent's energy, dissolve/change it, and bind it to my own (hua and na). Secondarily, in Aikido, I understand that you blend your energy with the opponent's, whereas in Taijiquan I am trying to change the nature of the sum total of our energy's, not minimize the disturbance of the opponent's energy.

I am not trying to say that Aikido and Taijiquan have nothing in common, or that one is better, more subtle, richer, etc., than the other, but again I find approaching them the same way somewhat strange.

Cakes, pies, cookies, and bread can all have more or less the same ingredients and can all be used as sweet desserts, but I would not want the same qualities in each and would not want to approach them in the same way. Do you want your cakes to be chewy, your pie crusts moist, your cookies fluffy, and your bread flaky? I prefer moist cakes, flaky pie crusts, chewy cookies, and fluffy bread. I find a strong two-handed push quite consistent with Taiji principles of using my opponent's energy, but find this technique hard to justify in terms of the little I know about what Aikido talks about "blending."

Speaking of two-handed pushes, M. and Erik, what is your view about full and empty in the hands during the Push posture? Do you believe you are double weighted if you push equally with both hands? I have heard this asserted by many, but never unambiguously stated in the classics or within writings of the Yang Family.

During Push, is the energy in each hand focused on the opponent's center or on a point behind the opponent? If you push more with one hand than the other, is it that all your energy goes through one palm or merely that more goes through one than the other? If you are in effect doing a single-handed push disguised as a two-handed push, is it not more difficult to avoid having the opponent simply rotate your energy harmlessly to one side?

If you care to answer, I would appreciate anything you could add about your views on the Opening Posture (Qi Shi) and Cross Hands. Some (e.g., Jou Tsung Hwa I believe) seem to imply that these postures are merely rare exceptions that prove the rule that equal weighting in the feet is avoided. Others justify these postures by asserting that the legs are solid, but the arms are empty, thus distinguishing solid/full and empty.

What about the kicks? Which leg do you view as the empty one and which the solid one?

In my questions, I am assuming from your earlier posts that you both accept simple Pushes as a valid Taiji technique and do not view the Push posture solely as some sort of strike or cavity attack, as asserted by some. If this is indeed your view, I would have very different questions.

One last think I would like to add is that some of the writings talk about being able to change a leg or an arm instantly from solid to empty and vice versa. If you accept this, how would you expand upon the pitching analogy or connection of centers to account for this? Also, how do we manage to do fixed step push hands to either side, without changing the feet? Are you executing the techniques with different "weighting" in the arms depending on which leg is forward?

Regards,
Audi
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Postby JerryKarin » Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:35 pm

I asked Yang Jun about this term a while back. He pronounced it shuang1 chong2 which would make it 'doubling' rather than 'double weighted'. He then asked me to push against his chest. I pushed and his body was like a unit, a lump, which I pushed back. That's shuangchong. He had me push again. It seemed that there was a tiny bit of fake-me-out resistance leading me to push onward and then quite suddenly his body revolved on its central axis and my hand pushed one unresisting side through to nothing. The opposite of shuangchong.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Jun 30, 2002 7:03 am

Greetings,

Erik, you wrote: “The "illness" of double-weighting comes from force-on-force with your opponent.”

This, I think, is the crux of it—not countering force with force. I don’t know what “a failure to connect centers” might mean in your interpretation, but in my experience, when a connection with a partner is resolved to one shared center, it tends to disolve the tension. One taijiquan master I met had an amusing way of expressing this: “two bodies, one brain.” That’s sure what it felt like (I was the one without the brain.) That is, I had the uncanny sensation of no longer having any control over my body.

Here is a quote from a piece on push hands by Xiang Kairen, who was in the Wu Jianquan tradition. I downloaded it from Terry Chan’s site sometime back, but I can’t seem to get the link to work right now:

“Some people explain double weighted as both feet touching the ground at the same time or both hands striking at the same time. Thus, one hand and one foot means single weighted. This explanation is the worst kind of misunderstanding. We should understand that single weighted or double-weighted is not a matter of outer appearance but of the inside. Taijiquan is only the exercise of a central pivot. When you have found where this pivot is located, then your feeling will become spherical and every place will be single weighted, If you do not find the center of gravity, then your feeling will become stagnant and every place will be double-weighted. And it is not only the feet and hands—even one finger will be double weighted.”

One thing to keep in mind is that “shuangzhong” (or “shuangchong”), applies in the solo form as well as in two-person training. Meng Naichang’s study and commentary of various taijiquan documents has this to say about double weighting:

“There are two kinds of double weighting. There is double weighting between the other and myself and there is double weighting in my own body. Double weighting between the other and myself necessarily results in “butting” (ding). Double weighting in my own body necessarily results in stagnation (zhi).”

In another thread on the board, I translated an entry from the Chinese _Dictionary of Essential Selected Taijiquan Terms_ (Jingxuan taijiquan cidian).

~~~
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 bufen); “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.
~~~

The entry makes the point that martial experts do not unanimously agree on the meaning of the term. I’m kind of baffled by point number 3, but points 1 and 4 seem the most supportable by classical theory, and most in accord with what I’ve been shown.

Jerry, the demonstration that Yang Jun did for you of “shuangchong” and its opposite sounds like a perfect encapsulation of what is said in the “Taijiquan Jing” passage about the concept: “Stand like a balance scale; active, like the wheel of a cart. Sink to one side, then follow. If double weighted, then one will stagnate.” I think the “shuangchong” or “doubling” reading of the characters is plausible. It is a common enough phrase, but generally has rather more abstract meanings (say, “double standard,” or “dual personality”) than one would associate with taijiquan technique. It occurs to me, though, that both readings, zhong4 and chong2, are etymologically rooted in weight or heaviness, with chong2 meaning essentially “pile up,” hence, “repeated,” or “doubled.” So it may come down to what one means by weight. The author of chapter 27 of the Zhuangzi actually exploited the polysemy of the character in a term he used there which could be read: “zhongyan” (authoritative—weighted—words) or “chongyan” (doubled—repeated—words).

One reading of the character zhong/chong that I’ve encountered that might capture its use in the taiji term is “emphasize.” In English, we actually use the “weight” metaphor in a similar fashion when we say “give weight to” in the sense of “emphasize,” or we “weigh in on” something when we give an opinion. I recall you and I had a conversation about about shuangchong where I chose a different word, “commited.” That is, if one commits one’s strength and intent in a manner that causes one to lose one’s center of balance, then one has committed the error of shuangchong.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby mnpli » Mon Jul 01, 2002 8:32 am

Double weighting
--------------------------------
Hi Erik and M. (and everyonge,


M., it is good to see you back on the board.

*********************************


Thanks , nice to be here!


***************************

I like your baseball and hammer analogy; especially, your point about specialization. However, I have always had certain problems with this approach that maybe you can resolve. How do you justify having the weighted leg and the striking arm on the same side of the body in Go with/Piercing Palm (Chuan Zhang), Slant Flying/Flying Diagonal, Fan through the Back, etc.? This topic was broached on another current thread in the context of Single Whip.

********************************************

Personally , I see no problem , let's take Diagonal flying as an example; When I take my diagonal step. (It's an empty one) , My weight will still be on my left leg, my waist is still on the left corner gathering energy and ready to uncoil , So as i shift towards my right leg my right arm is supported by my left leg, so all i need to do is unwind , where it end up is not really that important .
The same with kao, as i shift toward my right leg, my body is winding /coiling, ready to strike while the right shoulder is supported by my left leg

*********************************************
M., on the other thread, there was a brief discussion about the principle (asserted and accepted by some) that if the left leg is solid/full, the left arm must be empty. Is this your view, and if so, do you remember what authority has asserted this in writing?
Without reading the post hard to tell what i would agree or disagree with,

*********************************************


Audi If , we take the hammer example again , we use both hands to make for more efficient hammering,
they work together, one is in a supporting role, while the other is in an action role!
so i would not consider a supporting role as "empty" If we use the 70/30 stance, my left hand is being supported by the right leg which is still 30% full

********************************************
I know I have read this in some commonly read book, but do not recall where.
*********************************************

Sorry Audi, i'm not the worlds most active reader. so i would not be of much use here.

********************************************
Speaking of two-handed pushes, M. and Erik, what is your view about full and empty in the hands during the Push posture? Do you believe you are double weighted if you push equally with both hands? I have heard this asserted by many, but never unambiguously stated in the classics or within writings of the Yang Family.

********************************************

I think i gave my understanding on this , but i would like to add that we need * both * hands when we push!
one hand for support, gathering info, and pinpointing and locking in on the target , while the other hand goes for the kill! sort of speak. :-)) if we push with just one hand we are blind!

*********************************************
In my questions, I am assuming from your earlier posts that you both accept simple Pushes as a valid Taiji technique and do not view the Push posture solely as some sort of strike or cavity attack, as asserted by some. If this is indeed your view, I would have very different questions.

********************************************


Audi not sure i follow you, can you be more specific?

Ciao,
M.

Regards,
Audi



[This message has been edited by mnpli (edited 07-01-2002).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Jul 01, 2002 4:59 pm

Greetings,

The link to the Xiang Kairen article that I mentioned above seems to be working again. It's a long article about Push Hands. I don't know who translated it, but it's a very worthwhile read.

http://www.nardis.com/~twchan/ph.html

Enjoy,
Louis
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Postby DavidJ » Mon Jul 01, 2002 7:17 pm

Hi Everyone,

If someone was trying to choose between two things and couldn't make up his/her mind, wouldn't that be a form of double weightedness?

I've seen people dance as though one part of their body was doing one thing and another part of their body was doing another.

Sometimes your weight is more towards the heel, sometimes your weight may be more towards the ball of the foot, it all depends on what you are doing - where you going. What is appropriate in one instance may be inappropriate in another instance.

So maybe single weightedness is where your mind and all the parts of your body are cooperating in doing the same thing.

Regards,

David J

P.S. Hi, Mario, nice to see you back.
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Postby tai1chi » Mon Jul 01, 2002 10:12 pm

Hi All,

fwiw, I think Louis provided a really comprehensive description of the types of double-weighting. I think that Mario is right, too. TCC *must* conform to the theory of yin and yang. If we separate everything into yin and yang, it's correct, except if we think of yin and yang as absolutes. There is always some yin in yang and vice versa. This is what, imho, makes David J.'s observation the most important: i.e., that the "disposition" of yin and yang is (should be) a product of 'mind' or "Yi." It's physical, as Mario points out, but not necessarily for the exact reasons he describes. For example, it works for swimming, walking, hammering, etc, but less well for rowing and similar bilateral sports --which are in the minority. But, even so, there are times in martial arts --even in tcc-- that two strikes (or three) are executed simultaneously. So, it's not simply that one side of the body is yin and the other yang. I believe Wolfe Lowenthal or Doug Wile had works that contained a breakdown of the combinations (double "this or that." Some are ok, but that's because of the fine distinctions that can be made between "feet, inches, tenths, hundredths", etc. All contain a potential distribution of yin and yang depending on one's intention.

Best,
Steve James
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Postby mnpli » Tue Jul 02, 2002 9:08 am

Hi All,

Yo Steve, David and others

<<I think that Mario is right, too. TCC *must* conform to the theory of yin and yang. If we separate everything into yin and yang, it's correct, except if we think of yin and yang as absolutes. There is always some yin in yang and vice versa.>>

CMC, used to say " not to slavishly adhere to form " That said,
I wan not really trying to say that we * must * do anything
but , in my own way I was trying to say, that if we move a certain way, we get better results.

<< that the "disposition" of yin and yang is (should be) a product of 'mind' or "Yi." It's physical, as Mario points out, but not necessarily for the exact reasons he describes. For example, it works for swimming, walking, hammering, etc, but less well for rowing and similar bilateral sports --which are in the minority. >>

Steve,
I don't see these sports you just mentioned, as being opposed to correct movement!
our body is like a stick , i suppose, and we can generate force two ways, up and down , give this stick two arms and two legs and it a moving stick , give it a waist and it turns side to side ect ..ect..
now my point is that, we still use the same two opposing forces, but now we used that force in many different ways, that's the whole point of the five energy and the eight sides thing.
the left arm right foot thing ( kris -cross) is the way the body as evolved to get the best result!


<<But, even so, there are times in martial arts --even in tcc-- that two strikes (or three) are executed simultaneously. >>

for what it's worth, I belive a posture like the two fisted punch to the temple, is done as a one two combination punch and a good practitioner can do it with out being too visible to the naked eye.

P.S. Steve don't mean to get you jealous or nothing, BUT I'll be in France during the tour de France. :-)

ciao,
M.

Best,
Steve James
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