Double Weighting

Postby Erik » Tue Jul 02, 2002 11:03 am

Hi All -

Louis - Thanks for that. Wow. The Wu quote pretty much sums up what I've come to realize as double weighting especially during solo practice. Very interesting translations as well. "Two bodies, one mind" - I'll be stealing this if you don't mind.

Audi - Since my slant on this principle is "non-opposition of force" my relating Taijiquan to Aikido is very much the same in this regard. I wasn't referring to similarities "technique" so much as internal "principle". Moving off the line of attack is of course a very good example of "non-opposition of force" principle. The ...CONNECTING...and ...BINDING that you wrote about is another. That's exactly my point. Connect centers (2 weights) and bind them (into 1 weight) to which I would add - ...lead the center (1 mind, 2 bodies) into emptiness or the pavement or a wall, etc.

The demonstration Yang Jun did was an example of what I am talking about. When he stood there rooted and felt like a "lump" he may have connected centers but it still created 2 centers (of gravity). Like 2 bookshelves leaning on each other. When he connected centers then moved allowing the push to go into "nothing" he connected centers then moved the opponent's as part of his own leading the push into emptiness.

I've seen some Taiji stylists do the same thing Yang Jun did in the first example but were not able to lead their opponent's force into emptiness. This "stall", mentally or physically (thanks for that one David), stops or disrupts the flow needed to move the opponents center as part of one's own thereby giving the opponent the opportunity to take over control of the centers. If the opponent isn't very skilled either it will probably end up in a "force-on-force" shove & tug match.

Double Push - again I'll approach this from a "non-opposition of force" perspective. If you push the opponent at the wrong angle allowing him to root (weight) your push or he still has good gravitational alignment (weight) providing him an opportunity to defend and counter, you are "double weighting".

If you push from a superior angle (one in which he can't root or "weight" himself) and/or you have destroyed the opponent's gravitational alignment and root (weight) before you attack you are not "double-weighting" due to the fact that his "weight" (center of gravity) has been destroyed while your's remains intact. In fact that is good Taiji isn't it? Push them when you are at your most stable and they are getting ready to fall anyway, right?

Good Training - Erik

[This message has been edited by Erik (edited 07-02-2002).]
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Postby Hans-Peter » Wed Jul 03, 2002 9:11 am

Hallo to everyone,

I like to mix up the discussion with what I consider as double weighting as a current resumee of all I've heared or read about it.

I think that Double weighting is a very complex "concept" with many layers of understanding. I think that by no means it could be considered as double weighted, if you have the body weight equally divided on both legs or if you have leg and arm of the same side full. When the classics say, double weighting should be avoided, then this means to me, that it should be avoided generally even if it should happen only for a second. But doesn't it happen in all forms at everytime? When you move from left brush knee to right brush knee, in the transmission process, for a short time you'll have the weight equally distributed over both feet, otherwise you couldn't move. If this should be avoided, then you've found the weak point of Taiji, since the opponent just have to wait for this moment to defeat you.

According to the informations I've talked about in another thread (coming from Chen Xiaowang)I think, that in Taiji the body has to walk as an unit. Then it is "single weighted". That means, that at least the three "outer harmonies" must be considered all the time. So for example always hand and feet and shoulders and hips have to walk "together", to be a unit (=single weighted). If shoulders and hips don't move together, the body doesn't act as a unit. So parts of the body does their own things. That means, the body is "double weighted". Following the discussions about "double" weighting it seems, as if this is the worst thing that has to be avoided. But following the ideas mentioned above, it's possible that the body is also "tripple weighted" a.s.o., which happens when more parts of the body do their own things (i.e. hands, feets, hips, ellbows, shoulders ... all moving without harmony). So shen it's said: "Double weighting has to be avoided" it meant for me: "Move as a complete unit, when one part stops, every part stops ...a.s.o".

Audi,

I've had some days more now to think over the concepts mentioned in the single whip discussion. When you write about the fact, if one should be able to change an arm or leg instantly from empty to full, I'd have to say: Yes that's the reason for doing Taiji. The more I think about it, I come to the conclusion, that for example "empty" doesn't mean "really empty in the common sense of the word". Empty is yin, and yin couldn't mean "without energy".It's just "another" energy (than yang-energy)- a supporting energy. So when it's said that yin and yang is always in every part of the body, than it must mean, if I make contact with one of my arms to the opponent, than the side of the arm that makes this contact for neutralizing is yang (= full), although neutralizing is defined as a yin-"action". The inside of the same arm supports this action, so the inside of this same arm is yin (=empty). You need this yin/yang in the same arm to be able, to change instantly from a neutralizing action to an attacking technique. So it's said: "Defence is attack and vice versa". IF you'd have a complete yin-arm, it would be very difficult to do this. For me that's the same with kicks. Both legs have yin/yang at the same time. It's just the question how energy is expressed. There's the sayaing: "find the straight in the curved". For me this means, that the shape of legs are curved, but the power goes straight from the standing foot to the kicking foot, the straight in the curved. And both legs have one part yang (=active, full) and one part yin (=supporting, empty). But this is probably just a sight from a beginners-level. A true master of the art should be able to clearly separate these both sides even in every toe.

Cheers
Hans-Peter
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Postby DavidJ » Wed Jul 03, 2002 5:01 pm

Hi All,

Hans Peter,

You wrote, > You need this yin/yang in the same arm to be able, to change instantly from a neutralizing action to an attacking technique. <

This is part of the defintion: if you are yang/yang or yin/yin you would be double weighted, yin and yang in these cases are doubled.

You wrote, > I think that by no means it could be considered as double weighted, if you have the body weight equally divided on both legs or if you have leg and arm of the same side full. <
And, > Then it is "single weighted". That means, that at least the three "outer harmonies" must be considered all the time. <

IMV the *primary* arrangement of the three external harmonies is across the body. Right hand to left foot, right elbow to left knee, right shoulder to left hip, and vice versa.

You also wrote, > When the classics say, double weighting should be avoided, then this means to me, that it should be avoided generally even if it should happen only for a second. But doesn't it happen in all forms at everytime? When you move from left brush knee to right brush knee, in the transmission process, for a short time you'll have the weight equally distributed over both feet, otherwise you couldn't move. If this should be avoided, then you've found the weak point of Taiji, since the opponent just have to wait for this moment to defeat you. <

There is no double weighting then because the weight is moving and *that* weighting aspect is still dynamic. The momentary 50/50 weight split is *transfering* the weight, i.e. one leg is becoming yin while the other is becoming yang.

If your weight split is 50/50 and you're unable to instantly move *then* you are double weighted. This is why some say that 50/50 weight spilt is wrong if you are standing still.

Louis,

You wrote, > [snip] I translated an entry from the Chinese _Dictionary of Essential Selected Taijiquan Terms_ (Jingxuan taijiquan cidian). [snip]
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. <

Thank you for finding another correspondence to the opposite shoulder idea.

Regards,

David J
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Jul 03, 2002 6:38 pm

David,

You wrote: "Thank you for finding another correspondence to the opposite shoulder idea."

Ok. If you say so. I'm not sure I see this correspondence. But then, I wasn't looking for it.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby tai1chi » Wed Jul 03, 2002 8:08 pm

Hi Mario,

yeah, I am jealous --especially cause my girlfriend will be in Paris, too. I've got to work Image Don't rub it in.
Anyway, I agree completely with your interpretation of the cross-body connection and the goal of expending one's energy in a single direction. It's more efficient (and natural, imho), and I think that the comparison you make to walking (and throwing) are great examples. I really only wanted to point out (vaguely) that what you descibe might not be exactly what was meant by "double-weighting" even though it obviously applies to it. I only used "rowing" because, apart from cross-body coordination, there is also same side coordination. Anyway, I was also agreeing with David J., that it (double-weighting) is a function of your intention. I know you like examples, so I'll use tennis. In the forehand, the ideal (taught) position to strike the ball is left foot forward. For the backhand, it's the opposite. Well, the backhand is actually a stronger movement, yet the right foot and right hand are both forward. Tennis is also a good example of how an expert player will change the ideal form to suit the situation. That's really all I was trying to say. I do think you are right, though, that very few things really happen simultaneously --the body is like a chain-- but, as for the Phoenix Punch, Bend Bow to Shoot Tiger, Sweep Lotus, Turn and Chop with Fist-- certain things happen 'relatively' simultaneously because they are connected. But, I think I agree with your general idea. I hope that let's you sleep better in France. There's not much air-conditioning there, you know Image

Best,
Steve James
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Postby DavidJ » Wed Jul 03, 2002 8:22 pm

Greetings Louis,

An example of single weightedness in the opposite shoulder principle would be: the right foot, knee, and hip are yang, as are the left shoulder, elbow, and hand. The left foot, knee, and hip are yin, as are the right shoulder, elbow, and hand.

This, for example, would make the right foot yang and the right hand yin, that is, the same side of the body is not simultaneously yin or yang.

To paraphrase then: So *not* being “shuangzhong” is therefore the hands and feet on the same side of the body *not* being simultaneously in a condition of solid or empty.

Regards,

David J
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Postby Erik » Fri Jul 05, 2002 9:40 am

Hi All,

Most internal principles are, without a doubt, inter-connected. But I don't think they are interchangeable. Are we talking about "double-weighting" or "full & empty"?

Regards - Erik
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Postby mnpli » Fri Jul 05, 2002 8:24 pm

Mario,
<<< yeah, I am jealous --especially cause my girlfriend will be in Paris, too. I've got to work Don't rub it in.>>>

:-)))


<<< Anyway, I was also agreeing with David J., that it (double-weighting) is a function of your intention.>>>

There are many places one can be " double weighting".
( body , mind, ect...) There are also, many schools of thought that handle these issues and how they deal with them differently!
But, we are talking about 'tai chi chuan' and 'tai chi chuan' start the lesson off with re-balancing the gross first! ( physical body) .

.

<< I know you like examples, so I'll use tennis. In the forehand, the ideal (taught) position to strike the ball is left foot forward. For the backhand, it's the opposite.>>

Not really, the question is ; when and where do we store energy, before it gets released.
a back handed tennis position is a back leg thing!
Steve try this, the next time you play the game and when doing a back hand play, with your idea connect the right hand with the right foot as you hit the ball ,then do the opposite, connect the right hand with the back foot and see if there is a Big difference in power!
( P.S. you don't need to finished with the weight in the back foot! Once you start to unload your strength , it matters not where you finnish! like, Kao or diagonal flying and so on...


<<I hope that let's you sleep better in France. There's not much air-conditioning there, you know >>

Yeah, I know , what a bummer!!
but i do get a kick at their reasons (excuses) for not having air condition; We tried it once, we got sick , so It's bad for you !
I think that the truth is closer to, It's too expansive to run!!! :-)))

ciao,
M.

Best,
Steve James


[This message has been edited by mnpli (edited 07-05-2002).]
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Postby tai1chi » Sat Jul 06, 2002 2:33 am

Yo Mario,

you wrtoe:

"Steve try this, the next time you play the game and when doing a back hand play, with your idea connect the right hand with the right foot as you hit the ball ,then do the opposite, connect the right hand with the back foot and see if there is a Big difference in power!
( P.S. you don't need to finish with the weight in the back foot! Once you start to unload your strength , it matters not where you finish! like, Kao or diagonal flying and so on..."

It's a really important point, imho, that you raise here. You're talking about shifting the weight (the transitional use of the body). It's true that "double-weighted" can also be interpreted as a "lack of transition." I.e., the weight divided between the two feet at the moment of application. I think you'd agree with me there. I also agree that you point out that a backhand is like a kao. Anyway, sure, there's a physical way to describe "double-weighting." Btw, some would argue that it means "all the weight on one foot or the other." But, it's more complicated than that, and the transitional view allows a way of looking at it as a process. When I say "intention", I don't mean to over-intellectualize it. it just means that movements have purpose the way force has direction.
Off topic: are you going down to the Luxembourg Gardens to practice while you're in the land of croissants?

Enjoy,
Steve James
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Postby Michael » Thu Jul 18, 2002 1:39 am

To All!!

I just returned from a long vacation in Montana where they have air conditioning...esp the natural kind in the mountains where the Cutthroats and Rainbows are willing.

Geezzz You guys have really been at it. I have really been enjoying all your thoughts. I am particularly taken by Louis' quote ".... Taijiquan is only the exercise of a central pivot. When you have found..." To me nothing could be more simply described or be more profound. Thanks Louis.

I also am glad at your return Mario.

The form called "double wind to the ears" was mentioned by Mario I think being a "one two". I was taught (KP Yang)it was used when "pushing" down or rather a brief resisting of an upward and/or inward motion by the oppponent sucking him in momentarily and absorbing his energy, and then using it to propel your own fists into his face etc. You control his direction safely and help him to hit himself. I think it was Steve who referred to a similiar action in another situation earlier (I can't find it). How would this fit into the all the double weighting theory? Just curious to your thoughts.
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Postby Audi » Sat Jul 20, 2002 12:28 am

Hi all,

Jerry, thanks for the clarification about Yang Jun's pronunciation of "shuang chong." This raises two problems for me. If I am talking about his art, should I banish the term "double weighting" from my vocabulary and replace it with "doubling" or "doubling up"? Also, do you know (or does anyone else) what difference there is if any between the fault of "butting" (ding) and "doubling up"/"double weighting"?

Mario, I mentioned in my earlier post that some people deny that push is an application of the "An" posture because my understanding is that Erle Montaigue and his students take this position. Montaigue is also a big proponent of not striking simultaneously with the palms. My understanding of his view is that he sees a push as a watered down old person’s adaptation of the "original" intent and sees the "An" posture as a strike meant to cause internal damage to the opponent.

With Montaigue's application in mind, I can understand why the palms might not issue simultaneously. However, if we are merely talking about a push, I am not sure I would have any real consciousness of favoring one hand or the other or specializing their functions. You make a very interesting point in this regard with Double Peaks/Winds to the ears, where the feasibility of landing both strikes at the same time seems quite unlikely to me.

Mario, thanks also for your response to my questions about High Pat on Horse and Pierce with Palm. I am still puzzled, however, if you determine whether a leg is full in a posture by how it begins or how it ends or, if either is possible, which definition is appropriate at any particular moment. If the right leg is full in Pierce with Palm because it begins with the body weight and the left leg is full in Brush Left Knee because it ends with the body weight, why are these postures different? Could I not always justify having either hand substantial if I can choose which leg to reference?

David and Mario, in the Saber Form, there is a forward stab with the left leg forward near the beginning of the form. It corresponds to the "zhan" (extend) of "teng nuo shan zhan." There is also a forward stab with the right leg forward (corresponding to the "zhao" of "zi you zhao") right before the leftward and rightward vertical circles near the end of the form. How does your principle account for the fact that either foot forward can correspond to a stab with the right hand. The relevant differences I can see between these postures is the facing of the torso as the strike is delivered, the waist movement, and the movement of the left arm. As I understand it, in the first posture, the torso is held square and the hip rotation has more or less ceased (I originally posted this as waist rotation, but after further consideration think that the waist rotation is actually blended throughout the weight shift forward) as the final step is weighted and the left knee is bent. The left arm pushes directly out to the left side. In the second posture, the waist rotates throughout the strike and the left arm swings leftward. The torso ends up facing slightly leftward.

I have the same question with respect to the horizontal rib/belly cuts that precede the first Little Dipper in the Sword Form and with respect to the two repetitions of the Dragon Walking Posture (Long Xing Shi) (also called something like Poking the Grass to Seek the Snake.)

Erik, I do not understand your differentiation between full/empty and double weighting. Is not properly distinguishing full and empty the essence of avoiding double weighting/doubling up? Where do the concepts of full and empty come up in the classics other than in this context? I recall some cryptic advice about attaching to the substantial or insubstantial side of the opponent with one’s own substantial or insubstantial side, but no one seems to tackle these concepts much. If this is what you have in mind, please expound further, because those principles seem even harder to understand than avoiding double weighting.

Hans-Peter, I think I agree with David that crossing through a 50-50 weight distribution does not mean that you are even momentarily double weighted or doubled up. From where the reference appears in the classics, it seems that the essence of the problem is focusing on being able to pivot with oncoming force, not really on weight distribution in the feet. Again, the only way I have been able to make practical sense of all this is to think of not trying to circulate energy in opposing directions that will cause stagnation.

As Steve mentions, some people define the avoidance of double weighting purely in terms of physical weight shifts, i.e., 100 percent of the weight means “full/substantial” and 0 percent means “empty/insubstantial.” One danger of this approach is that it can seem as if one need only reproduce the weight shifts in the form without ever bothering about any higher “principle.” This was my original understanding until I realized that 100 percent weight shifts were rarely practical for self-defense or combat. I think a lot of the confusion arises from people who begin with this approach, but then become baffled when they cannot figure out what feeling in the arms is supposed to correspond to the weight shifts in the feet. Yang Chengfu’s definition is so short that it leaves much unsaid.

Take care,
Audi



[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 07-21-2002).]
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Postby Michael » Thu Jul 25, 2002 1:27 pm

Audi,

Your point about the 50/50 weight distribution in the feet not being what double weighting is about is a very good point, one too often misunderstood.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:00 pm

Audi, ding3 is generally used for resisting force with force. This might coincide with 'doubling' or might not. As far as shuang1 chong2 or 'doubling' I was as surprised as anyone to hear Yang Jun pronounce it that way. Removing the idea of weight does make this a more general formulation. Talking about it in English is going to be difficult for a while since virtually everyone in the English-speaking world is using 'double-weighted'.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Jul 25, 2002 6:07 pm

A push-hands adage goes: bu4 diu1 bu4 ding3 'don't let go and don't resist with force'.
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Postby Hans-Peter » Wed Jul 31, 2002 2:28 pm

Hi Audi,

in your post from 06 -29 you asked, where it's written in the classics that if the left leg is solid, the left hand should be empty. I don't know if that's the only source of it, but I've got the information, that in the collection of boxing aphorisms "Yong Wu Yao Yan" edited by Chen Xin this saying is written down as follows:
"Zuo Zhong Ze Zuo Xu, You Chen Ze You Yao".
I have no further informations about the characters, no numbers or so. But maybe Louis can definite this.
Regards
Hans-Peter
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