form on the opposite side!

form on the opposite side!

Postby rvc_ve » Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:25 pm

I was thinking on learning the taiji from on the other side (starting to the left instead of the right and performing all techniques whith opposite hands and legs). I thought it would help me improve my coordination and performance in push hands.

Mi question,

Is there a princliple or rule that states taht the form can only be done to one side? if so why or why not? has anybody tried this?

All opponions welcome!


Ray v.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:52 pm

I can't speak for the Yang family, but my YCF instructor has told us this is a good idea. I have been practicing doing thier form this way.
I learned the Wu form this way as well, but haven't done it that way in years.
It does teach you to not have your mind locked in stone about the postures.
Just my opinion. I have heard both sides of this issue and some people believe this is not good practice.
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Dec 23, 2003 9:18 pm

Andy Lee once asked this question of Yang Zhenduo at a seminar. He replied that that was fine. He also said something to the effect that the form was designed to counter a right-handed opponent...
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:04 pm

Jerry,
Yes. Very much the same thing I was told about Wu style.
So I figured, "what if I run into a left handed guy?" and learned the form the other way.
I try to practice the YCF form to the left, but I lose myself pretty quickly after White Crane.
I'll keep working on it.
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Postby Michael » Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:27 am

I am a "believer".
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Postby rvc_ve » Wed Dec 24, 2003 1:27 am

I guess that pretty much answers my question! Thank you!
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Postby HengYu » Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:00 am

Practicing the form on the other-side is an excellent co-ordinating exercise.
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Postby Audi » Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:06 pm

Hi all,

Based on all the recent comments, it would seem that everyone should be practicing left-side forms to a significant degree. Despite, this it seems that there are at least some prominent teachers who do not do so. Is anyone aware of the counter arguments?

I have heard one person relate that practicing left-side form was not good for health, since the body is not symmetrical. One teacher I have had related that doing some postures to the opposite side entailed exposing acupoints that should be left guarded.

Could restricting practice to a right-side form be merely a custom or a convenient teaching technique?

Take care,
Audi
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Postby rvc_ve » Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:43 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Audi:
[B]
Could restricting practice to a right-side form be merely a custom or a convenient teaching technique?

Thats one of the reasons why I asked. From the physical point of view, I dont see a problem in performing movements on both sides. This can also increase coordination for martial aplications.

But since we also circulate chi when doing our form (or at least we try!), will the performance of the form on the opposite side affect this circulation?
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Postby Michael » Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:01 pm

balance. The body structure makes the adjustments, you pick it up from there.
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:29 pm

Greetings All,

As Audi stated...I don't believe the Yang Family advocates or practices this opposite side form formally.
For reasons of which I too am unaware.

However, I can understand the physical merits on the external levels. If I lifted weights in a certain pose with my right arm which I never imposed upon my left arm, I might find, after ten years, that there is a large discrepancy between right and left arms in certain aspects. It makes sense,to me, to exercise both sides of ones body equally and in similar fashion, because at least externally one is symmetrical (relatively).

As well as for martial fluidity, as RCV suggested...for ease and scope of greater ability, a more complete artist.
An ambidextrous fighter might have the edge over a "right-handed" fighter.


On the internal planes, I would theorize ( STRESS THEORIZE) that chi circulation running through meridians in the right sided form must be beneficial to certain organs...the smooth circulation passing through them allows for unblocking of and maintaining of unblocked points...
Somehow I see this as only beneficial.
Therefore, I would opt for the conclusion that doing this on the opposite side could only benefit differing passages and organs...
Or perhaps be less beneficial to health, but at least not detrimental.

It would be interesting to know for certain if there was a medical, meridian related reason against the practice of left sided form...


Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 12-31-2003).]
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Postby Audi » Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:36 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the responses.

Let me amplify on the health angle, since I may have been to cryptic in my reference.

My limited understanding of the theory of Qi movement in the body is that all flows are not equal. For instance, the Microcosmic Orbit seems always to be discussed as if it should go in only one direction. Since the heart, liver, intestines, and other organs are not symmetrically positioned in the body, one could argue that certain exercises promote proper circulation in one direction; whereas others would alter the proper direction of the flow. I think the criticism of left-side forms proceeds from this kind of view.

One of many difficulties I have with this sort of theorizing is that some people also purport to make allowances between men and women, arguing that some Qi Gong exercises should proceed in one direction for men and in another for women. Presumable this difference is supposed to reflect Yin/Yang differences.

Another argument I can think of for one-sided form is that some argue that efficient martial training should not be 100% bilateral. For instance, many argue that training weapons equally in both hands simply decreases the amount of training available for the dominant hand and dominant side. Someone who has spent half his or her time training a sword in the right and left hands will, at any one time, be able to display only half the skill of someone who has trained exclusively with one hand. One counter argument is that training with only one hand is putting all one's eggs in one basket.

Similar thinking in favor of one-sided training holds that the techniques one should use against "lefties" should not necessarily be mirror images of the techniques one would use against "righties." Consider, for instance, how professional boxers train and fight or how baseball players pitch and bat against left- and right-handed opponents.

I would guess that weapons theory and training need not be the same as bare hand; nevertheless, I can see something to the argument that it is better to specialize the dominant hand for some things.

One last comment I would like to make is that, unlike in the case of the form, every push hands drill I have every learned seems always to have had right and left variants, implying that bilateral barehands training should be the norm. The only sense I have been able to make of all this is that the form may be dedicated to teaching principles and that partner training may be the appropriate arena for actual training of applications.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby psalchemist » Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:22 pm

Greetings All,

Audi,
Interesting presentation describing the multiple facets ands views on this subject.


The flow of the microcosmic orbit in only one direction???

I would be eager to hear further elaboration on this idea, if anyone has any comments...They would be most welcome.

Thank you,
Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby DavidJ » Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:16 pm

Greetings All,

I like to do the form "left-handed" about once a week. I am told that doing it in both directions is traditional.

The general design of the movements is to face a right-handed opponent, but the form is put together in such a way to compensate for the relative overuse of the right hand compared to the left hand. I was taught how to adjust the form to compensate for a left-handed student.

Regards,

David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 12-31-2003).]

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 12-31-2003).]
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Postby Michael » Thu Jan 01, 2004 12:04 am

Hi All,

The set is taught on one side because(IMHO) it is convient. I do not believe that because some teachers do not encourage or "teach" a left set, means that they are opposed to them. I do not believe it is efficient for the instructor to go through a left version. Most people would get impatient with that anyway. I think most teachers feel that that should be carried on by the student themselves. But as I said, because they do not teach it, it does not mean they are against it. I have never heard any teacher say that it is "BAD".

As far as "direction" or the chi flowing differently or whatever on the right or the left, chi finds its way through the entire body, I do not think that a left WHite Crane is going to be any problem for the body. I really think this is a "non issue". I do not believe that the micro or macrocosmic orbit patterns are comparable to taiji in this regard...apples and oranges. Doing a set on the left changes nothing. Chi will flow exactly the same on both sides.

Most of what Audi says about sword I think is correct. And sword is not barehand, principles are shared, but again apples and oranges. I am fairly ambidexterous, for me sword may be less of a problem than for most. Again I see no real problem with trying it. The outward form in some ways is secondary in sword. It is the internal that is the main focus in sword. BUT one should achieve a certain level before attempting this I think. Martial training with a sword is rather silly actually, as we do not walk around with swords on our belt. It has a different purpose today. So is right or left dominate really as issue? Would time spent on the left be detrimental? Off hand I would say no but I don't really know. I think it is up to the individual. I only train sword and saber on the right side. I see no reason to do otherwise. Barehand, that I feel is a different thing entirely.

My Guang Ping teacher, and his teacher and his teacher all had their students do left sets. If I remember correctly, you do the right set for two years, then you practice for one year doing the left set only. Then the right set for one year, alternating year to year. This is class only. Once proficiency was obtained on both sides, one was supposed to do both each day--that would be ONE set. The three set daily "rule" would apply.

Happy New Year!

[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 12-31-2003).]
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