form on the opposite side!

Postby Audi » Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:23 am

Greetings all,

David, you stated that you were “taught how to adjust the form to compensate for a left-handed student.”

I find your statement intriguing and would appreciate it if you would elaborate to the extent you care to do so. Are you implying that left-handed students were advised normally to practice the right-side form in a way that is different from how right-handers should do so? If so, would this be for martial purposes only? What were some of the alterations? How could a teacher handle a mixed class? Were left-handers also expected to learn the reverse side of this adjusted form? What about weapons forms?

Michael, you mentioned the “silliness” of training sword and saber for self-defense, given contemporary dress habits. I tend to agree, but am curious as to what you think the main purpose of sword and saber training should be?

I know that some people talk about learning to extend Qi further. I can understand this to the extent that Qi refers to extending perceptual awareness or to extending Jin. However, when I was first taught about Qi and sword, I think I recall my teacher asserting that Qi could make a tassel swing in a circle without the use of any external motion or agent. I have not witnessed this latter feat and remain highly skeptical about Qi’s ability to do this.

In contrast to talk of extending Qi, I think that Kumar Frantzis’ (spelling?) asserts something very different. In his book on internal martial arts, I seem to recall him saying that his Baguazhang teacher said that this concept is a fallacy and that the inert steel of a blade cannot conduct or does not have Qi (unlike the staff or spear?). The purported reason for sword training (at least, in Baguazhang) was said to be for developing a “killer instinct,” rather than for developing or extending Qi.

Do you have any thoughts?

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Andreas Graf » Fri Jan 02, 2004 12:59 am

Hi Audi,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Audi:
<B>Greetings all,

... agree, but am curious as to what you think the main purpose of sword and saber training should be?

....swing in a circle without the use of any external motion or agent. I have not witnessed this latter feat and remain highly skeptical about Qi’s ability to do this.

... steel of a blade cannot conduct or does not have Qi (unlike the staff or spear?). Do you have any thoughts?

Take care,
Audi</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am not the person asked, but let me add some opinions:

1. in the least, it is some form of strength training.

2. "Qi" has different aspects. I have seen someone rotate a bang with a crude form of "Qi". Maybe think of it like moving a pendulum.

3. Again, there are various aspects of "Qi", it which are connected. As you mentioned, the aspect that might be called "jin" can be brought to the tip of the weapon.

Andreas
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Postby Michael » Fri Jan 02, 2004 3:29 pm

Audi,

I agree with your post. I was told that sword/saber was to "refine" chi and to learn to extend jin, just as you said.

To be very honest, my main interest is the simple fact that since I was a "itty bitty" boy I have loved sharp steel in all it's forms. That is why I do it. "Extending" jin is also part of it for me. BUT there is nothing like the sound of steel coming out of a scabbard or cutting the air.

I also would like to see Qi spin a tassel without any outward movement. I have seen tassels spread out (on a wooden practice sword)like a dandeleon head---probably due to static electricity---was it Qi?

Weight training was mentioned. That is true if you use a heavy or "combat" steel sword. I have a real one that will make your forearm go numb with a lot of practice, or if I have not been practicing with it for awhile, the forearm will start to tingle halfway through. I am saving for a heavy saber, that will get your biceps and shoulder a workout.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:47 pm

My two cents on this: (1) the sword trains continuity (essential number 9) because gaps and discontinuities are made more apparent by the large weight you are swinging around and the tassel; (2) the sword teaches you to fang song (lengthen and extend) so that the circles are large and round (3) the thin and sensitive blade also can train in fajing, similar to shaking staff.
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Postby psalchemist » Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:10 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Thank you for those apt comments...interesting, clear, instructive.
Well organized, knowledgable input. Image

Best regards,
Psalchemist.
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Postby DavidJ » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:40 am

Greetings Audi,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Audi:
<B>Greetings all,

> David, you stated that you were ?taught how to adjust the form to compensate for a left-handed student.?

> I find your statement intriguing and would appreciate it if you would elaborate to the extent you care to do so. Are you implying that left-handed students were advised normally to practice the right-side form in a way that is different from how right-handers should do so?

[DJ] Yes. They were free to do the mirror-image set, too.

> If so, would this be for martial purposes only?

[DJ] No.

> What were some of the alterations?

[DJ] The moves which come in odd multiples, 'Brush Knee' 'Repulse the monkey' 'Parting the Wild Horses Mane' anyone is allowed to do 3, 5, 7 or 9, and 'Cloud Hands' may also be increased up to nine. How many is determined by how much you are each-handed. The more lefty you are the more of those moves you do.

> How could a teacher handle a mixed class?

[DJ] Have the left-handers do either the mirror-image set facing the class, or do the same set with the class, but do the increase on their own time.

> Were left-handers also expected to learn the reverse side of this adjusted form?

[DJ] It's left up to the person, generally, as I don't know any teachers who require the reverse in any case..

> What about weapons forms?

[DJ] I believe mainly to do the form with the weapon in the dominant hand, but I'm not 100% sure.

[snip]

> Take care,
> Audi</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I hope that makes some sense.

Regards,

David J



[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 01-08-2004).]
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Postby Polaris » Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:33 am

Greetings All,

An interesting topic.

I've been taught that we want to train to be able to do anything on our non-dominant side that we can do with our dominant side. Our forms are fairly well balanced that way, but at least in my style there are a few postures in the hand form that do things on one side that aren't really done on the other. So, we are allowed to do mirror image forms at a certain point. Most of that discrepancy is made up in pushing hands, stand alone left/right single form training and weapons forms and sparring, however, so mirror image hand forms are mostly seen as something done by people with a LOT of extra time on their hands!

Our formal weapons forms are right hand dominant, therefore it is more common to find us concentrating on training the weapons forms a bit more left handed than we would the empty hand forms.

Regards,
P.
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Postby rvc_ve » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:22 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Polaris:
[B]Greetings All,

An interesting topic.

I've been taught that we want to train to be able to do anything on our non-dominant side that we can do with our dominant side. Our forms are fairly well balanced that way, but at least in my style there are a few postures in the hand form that do things on one side that aren't really done on the other.

Just out of curiosity...What style?
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Postby Polaris » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:31 pm

Greetings R.,

Wu Chien-ch'uan style, the current version taught by the Wu family's headquarters in Hong Kong.

Cheers,
P.
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