Hi Andreas and Jerry,
Andreas, thank you for your post. I think I am unfamiliar with Ma Hong. Is she the wife or daughter of the Ma of Wu fame that died in the last year or two (Ma Yue?)? Is he or she a Chen Stylist?
From my Yang Style perspective, I have difficulty seeing what I do in terms of silk reeling and so have had great difficulty with the definition of Peng that I described. From the link you provided, it seems, however, that some Chen Stylists see Peng Jin as was what results from appropriate silk reeling, rather than one or the other form of it. I see this as very close to what I attribute to loosening and extending the joints. The rest of the descriptions also seemed very much in line with what I have been told and experienced.
By the way, let me congratulate you on a wonderful site. I perused the home page and some of the links, which I found quite interesting.
Jerry, thanks for your reply to my posts. I have to confess that I am still somewhat confused, but also quite intrigued. First, let me deal with the confusion, since I am not sure in your corrections, which statements you end up asserting.
Isn’t the rotation of the left arm in the Roll Back posture and the rotation of the right arm as it withdraws in Deflect Downward, Parry, and Punch the same type of rotation? In both, the thumb rotates upward, outward, and then downward. My understanding is that the same rotations on the left side of the body will be mirror images of the rotations on the right side of the body, without changing the quality or type of the rotations. If you agree, is this forward (“shun”) or reverse (“ni”) rotation?
Isn’t the rotation of the left arm in the first repetition of Fair Lady Works the Shuttles and the rotation of the right arm at the beginning of Roll Back (when the body rotates rightward) the same? In Fair Lady Works the Shuttles, the left thumb of the connecting arm rotates inward, downward, outward, and then slightly upward. In the rightward movement of Roll Back, the right thumb rotates inward, leftward/downward, outward, and then rightward/upward. If you agree, is this forward (“shun”) or reverse (“ni”) rotation? Also, isn’t this the opposite of the rotation described n the previous paragraph? Is it possible that the apparent inconsistency in Shen’s footnote is actually what is correct and that the rest is what is inconsistent?
Now let me deal with what I find intriguing about your post. The Yangs clearly have an important roll for arm rotation in their form. Every time I go to a seminar I am always amused to discover yet another arm rotation that I had not previously noticed. Once or twice I have scurried back to view their video, certain that this is some new practice, only to discover that it has been there all along under my unseeing eyes.
I may be overinterpreting your post, but you seem to have suggested that the Yangs have a general theory of arm rotations that I was unaware of. It has always seemed to be that their arm rotations did not really occupy the same theoretical space as Chen Style silk reeling, for instance. In Chen Style, all actions seem to have a screw-like motion that I have not found in all of the Yang Style movements.
In fact, it has seemed to me that certain portions of the Yangs’ movements are deliberately performed without significant arm rotation, particular in association with arm movements that occur after the corresponding wrist has seated. Am I incorrect about this? I have even gone so far as to associate this difference with “storing energy in circles (i.e. with rotation)” and “discharging energy in a straight line, like an arrow” (i.e., without much rotation). Do the Yangs have a general “theory” of arm rotation?
To take an example, in Brush Left Knee and Twist Step, does the right palm rotate once it has seated? Doesn’t the palm seat with the fingers in a vertical position, and don’t the fingers remain more or less vertical throughout the forward strike? I realize that the right elbow has to travel somewhat inward in order to end up in line with the right shoulder and palm. Is this what you mean by rotation? Or again, am I reading too much into your post?
In Deflect Downward, Parry, and Punch (Ban Lan Chui) and in Step Up to Seven Stars, it has seemed to me that the right wrist seats almost immediately in its final orientation as the fist begins to travel forward, rather than “screwing” into its target. Am I incorrect in this?
In the culmination of Single Whip, I have distinguished the rotation of the leftward Ward Off motion with the final push, where I do not rotate. I realize that these two motions can be blended somewhat, but have tried to maintain a distinction in the quality of the motion, matched with what I am doing with my feet and body mass. Should I do this differently?