Yang Style Eye Usage, By Yang Zheng Ji
Yang style Taijiquan is very particular about the method of using the eyes.
Tradition has it that when Yang Cheng Fu pushed hands or engaged in combat,
when emitting jing would look at the opponent and the opponent on receiving
the strength would fall in the direction which he looked. Looking at Yang
Shao Hou's precious image, his eyes appears to have brightness shooting
forth, this is a result of long term training fully concentrating on the
eyes as well as the internal qi.
Yang Cheng Fu said: " The eyes though should look forward levelly, sometimes
following the body and so shift, the line of sight though may be fixed on
emptiness is an essential movement in the change, this compensates the body
Yang style Taijiquan's requirements regarding the eyes are:
1. The eyes should look forward levelly. In normal circumstances, the eyes
look levelly forward, looking through the hand in front towards the
front, caring for the hand, but not fixed dead on the hand. The eyes
can also look downward to the front, it must follow the boxing
posture's main hand movement and so determine the direction to look.
2. The expression of the eyes is in accordance to the movements, the
principle of the eyes's turning follows the body's movements. The body
moves the eyes follow, the body faces what direction, the eyes gaze
towards that direction. Taijiquan's practice has continuous forward
advancing backward retreating left and right turns, when forward
advancing backward retreating, left turn right rotate depends on the
waist and body turning, the eyes in left looking right glancing must
follow the waist and body's turning to turn.
3. The eyes and the intent are consistant. The eyes are the mind's focal
point, what the mind is considering, the eyes is concentrated upon, if
the eyes and the movements are not in accordance the internal and
external are also not in agreement, the usage of the eyes have an
important use in push hands, necessary to observe the opponent's upper
and lower portions, closely observing the direction of movement of the
opponent's back, in the course of movement catching hold of the
opportune time to cause the opponent to be in a predicament.
4. The method of the eyes must be natural. When utilising the eyes, do not
stare, do not close the eyes, keep the spirit held within. The correct
use of the expression of the eyes has a relationship with the energy at
the top is light and sensitive (xu ling ding jing), the energy at the
top is light and sensitive, then the spirit can be raised, then the
eyes will naturally have expression.
Yang zhenduo said:
When we talk about the head, we also must talk about the two eyes. The requirement for the eyes is looking straight ahead. For instance, if I do ''Brush Right Knee And Twist Step" with my right hand, then my eyes look straight forward, in the direction where the right hand is striking.
If the arm is moving to the side, the eyes naturally follow the direction where my arm is--to the side.
In a movement like "Needle At Sea Bottom," where my hand is pointing downward, my eyes look to the downward position.
Therefore whether moving straight, moving to the side, moving down, or moving up, the eyes must always follow the direction where the hand is pointing.
Generally speaking, our eyes are looking toward the front. But we must also be aware of one point: even though we look forward, the eyes should not stare. They should not be stiff and "dead" looking, by which I mean just staring to the front but without any spirit. The requirement includes a certain amount of change of spirit in the eyes as the movement changes. In doing so, you avoid that dead look"
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