Single weightedness?

Postby Michael » Sat Jun 21, 2003 2:32 pm


I doubt you are mistaken about the frame size differences, but system theory is also a factor.

The use of the word "balance" I really think is misleading. Balance is a factor of course but the weight shift into the front foot is to use power. And it is transitional. If I were to try and use energy against my opponent with an entirely "empty" front foot, I would have no effective way of doing it. The weight shift acomplishes it. Often waist is no longer a factor when the weight shift least in form practice.

Enjoy your day!


[This message has been edited by Michael (edited 06-21-2003).]
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Postby Michael » Sat Jun 21, 2003 3:18 pm

Just had a couple thoughts--a rare thing!

In Kuang Ping we also have 100/0 weighted stances. In rearward forms--Brush knees--the "task" is accomplished during transition, ending in what I call a "potential" position with no weight in the front foot. In forms like Stork Spreads it's Wings(both parts--one a downward energy, the upper upward) the weight is never distributed to the front foot, but in reality I must (It seems to me) to accomplish the task at hand. The timing would vary. I think that this empty front foot implies potential, and change. If everything is going as "planned" you would put weight into the front foot....the amount varying. If not, I have a multitude of choices, or rather, responses.

In the form called Strike Palm to ask Buddha there is a true weightless front foot technique. This is a lateral strike to the head (from both sides--basically a neck break) and a sweep to the foot at the same time.

Concerning Wu style.

My second thought involves when is your front foot "weightless"? after the technique has been performed? Or does it conform to my thoughts above? Does the "empty" stances occur at the end or is it a starting place for the next technique? Can a technique be delivered while that front foot is empty?

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Postby psalchemist » Sat Jun 21, 2003 9:20 pm

Thanks for the "it's all a process" reminder. I've 'got it' for now, I'll try not to lose it again.

To all,
Please allow me to amend my earlier statement concerning horseback riding=001001.

Firstly, I would like to express my apologies for the truly 'brainstorming' format it was presented in. I will try to refrain in future.

Secondly, I was once again reasoning in terms of stagnant, momentary positions. It really should have been a SERIES of binary notations, representing the full range of movements at work/play within that particular activity, not just one.(thanks,M)

Thirdly, I would like to change it from a statement to a question: DavidJ, How did you make the connection between bar positions in the hexagrams with the referred body parts?
It is of great interest and importance to me.

Questions for all,

Are the hexagrams actual descriptions of physical position qualities/energies?
If so, then a TCC form would probably be an activity which encompasses all of these hexagram formations. It would probably contain a group of these combinations for each position of the form. Different activities would possess different movement energies and hexagram groups. Horseback riding would undoubtedly use less of these groups than TCC, being more limited in range of movement. Folding laundry(P?) would also contain a group of notations, if one were to become a very creative/imaginative clothes folder, I am sure that one COULD include all of the hexagram configurations in that particular activity.

I would, in essence, like to be able to identify movements by their energies. Be able to recognize the appropriate hexagrams in action. Start 'matching-up' or comparing movements to their respective groups of hexagrams/binary, if I can. Not only in TCC but in all movement.

To write well, one should know the meanings of the words and how to apply them correctly. To be a good musician, one must learn to read and understand the notes and symbols etc.of sheet music to be able to translate it into sounds.Perhaps, I can better perform movement by better understanding the underlying energies behind them.

I would like to understand more fully the meanings behind the movements.Any references, ideas or thoughts on the matter welcome.

I am also seeking a link to a good '8 gates' source. If anyone knows of a good site it would be appreciated.

Best regards,

P.S. Could hexagram 52 be more comparable to the opening, preparation movement in the long form?

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-21-2003).]

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-21-2003).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Jun 22, 2003 6:17 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

Regarding the conflicting interpretations of “double weighting” I'm afraid that we are going around in circles and not getting anywhere new in this discussion. I now find myself in the uncomfortable position of responding to an unnamed source quoted by a pseudonymous poster from a personal communication. I'll just refer you once again to my previous posts in this thread (5/27 & 6/4), and ask you to use your own experience as a guide. Quite apart from theory or interpretation of theory, if an "empty" foot is in contact with the ground, the muscle loading profiles throughout the torso and limbs are qualitatively different than they are when the "empty" leg is not in contact with the ground. Experiment and draw your own conclusions.

As for your other question about substantial/insubstantial, full/empty, I’m not aware of anything approaching an official definition; I can only share some opinions and findings of my own. I’ll do that in another thread.

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby Polaris » Sun Jun 22, 2003 9:02 pm

Louis, Wushuer, & Co.,

I have a good bit of experience with the Wu Chien-ch'uan form, and if it is done properly you are never double weighted. Being double weighted is a mistake, and contrary to T'ai Chi principle of the voluntary separation of Yin and Yang, and therefore impossible in real TCC regardless of "style." You may have your weight on both legs, there are many horse stances and transitions in the WCC form in which this happens, Single Whip, Play Arms like a Fan, as well as standing postures such as WCC style White Crane Spreads Wings and Cross Hands, but a practitioner will not be double weighted in such a 50-50 stance. Double weighted does not really refer to weight distribution on the legs in WCC style, it refers to an excess of tension in the musculo-skeletal framework of the body.

If they are double weighted, at all, they are still a student not a practitioner of TCC, regardless of "style."

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Postby Wushuer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 5:49 pm

You have not offended me in any way. Why do you ask? Did I miss a question from you, or have I posted something that made you feel like I was offended?
If so, it was unintentional.
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 5:57 pm

I guess I should have re-iterated something we covered in an earlier part of this thread, that where I trained, under Wu family disciples, we used "double weighted" to describe the condition where you have "body-weight" in both legs for whatever reason.
It is that misunderstanding of the term as used in other schools on my part which lead me to post this thread in the first place. It was and continues to be how my old Wu style instructors describe a state in which there is body weight in both legs during the forms or push hands at any time other than during transitions.
I have heard Sifu refer to postures such as Return to Mountain and Single Whip as being positions in which your weight is equally distributed, or "double-weighted" so I always assumed that if you had "weight" in both legs you were double weighted.
My ignorance of the more widely accepted term is what led us here in the first place, my posting from the Wu disciple continues the confusion, as they, naturally, responded to me in our schools vernacular usage of the term, not in terms widely understood by most TCC practicioners.
My bad for not restating this before I posted thier reply to me. I was extemely pressed for time when I posted, as I have been for several weeks, and therefor did not consider this when I did it.
We called the state you describe at the end of your post as "bad form" or simply "that's not right", never heard anyone call it double weighted where I trained. We, too, learned to respond and function during these forms, so they were not truly "double-weighted" as the term is usually used in TCC, but only in the amount of "weight" distributed between the legs.
Again, that is the only way I ever knew the term to be used before posting here.
I will ask my Wu friends to define "double-weighted" for me and see if that helps clear up any confusion. It will probably make more, but who knows.

[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 06-23-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 8:44 pm

I continue to remain anonymous not through choice, but to protect the identity of others. I would have no problem with anyone here knowing my name, but I have been asked to not reveal the identity of those anonymous quoters I refer to, my "Wu family disciple friends" as I call them. I do this at their request only, otherwise I would just use my name as my log in as do you. I started out with a healthy paranoia, I'll admit that, because I'm a neophyte internet user, especially in the realm of forums like this. You hear all the warnings, "Don't tell anyone who you are!" all the time. Since coming here I have found this board to be quite open and honest, so would have gladly revealed all, IF I hadn't been asked not to by my brother and the others at WTCCA.
I have been asked to NOT reveal their names to this board. No, I don't really know why, though I have my suspicions. I agreed to keep them anonymous, therefore I must if I am to retain my honor. If you are a man of honor, than you must know I can do nothing else.
I have said in the past that one of these disciples is my brother and another is a close family relation. Think about that for a minute...
If I tell everyone here MY name, how long would it take someone with a half portion of brains to figure out that all they have to do is go to and search the database of Wu family disciples for someone wtih that same last name? Since there is only one with the same last name as mine, it's a dead giveaway. In doing this, I would reveal his identity as surely as if I had told everyone here his name and saved them the trouble of looking it up.
The other disciples have expressed the same wish to me, to remain anonymous if I use their quotes. Finding out the identity of my brother would lead very easily to the identity of most of the others as well, since they all teach in the same area under the same Sifu, though at different locations. This too would be breaking the restriction I am under to not reveal their identities.
Again, I have no real idea why they wish not to be named. I am quite upfront and honest about what I am using the information they provide me with for and the only restriction they have ever asked of me is to not reveal their identity. Since they are adamant about this, I must adhere to the restriction.
If you are worried that I am simply posting any old garbage to make myself appear more knowledgable than I am or soemthing like that, or simply to foment dissension on this board, then I could be making up any old names I choose rather than just saying "Sorry, I can't tell you who I am or who they are, they asked me not to". Even easier than that, I could provide you with the names of ACTUAL Wu family disciples. This would be easily accomplished by simply going to the Wu families website, picking a school somewhere far from me, looking up the names of the disciples of that school then attributing my quotes to those names.
Anyone checking the validity of what I post would go to that website, see the names posted there and say "Wow! He's for real."
That would, of course, only last as long as the moment someone said, "Hey, I think I'm going to contact so and so and see if they REALLY said this." A quick e-mail or two would soon bring out the truth, but until that time I could appear to be kingly in the TCC arena as far as Wu style goes.
As for "an unnamed source quoted by a pseudonymous poster from a personal communication", you are correct, and I work hard to keep it that way for all the above reasons.

I just thought of something.
Are YOU really the Louis Swaim of song and story? Are you REALLY the guy who translates TCC books from Chinese?
How do we know? You could be making it all up and just pretending to be him, after all.
How do we know that anything you post here has any validity? You could have seen Louis' book, stolen his name and come on here and are pandering horse hockey by the bucketfull for your own amusements. You could be steering thousands of YCF students down the wrong path, to make sure their skills stay at a low level for your own evil ends.
You could be just one more looser who wants to feel important and so you went to the library, got Louis' book and are merely quoting him here, but leaving out the important stuff.
How could we know or prove otherwise?

So you see, you could just as easily be making up who you are and your credentials.
I have NEVER claimed to have any particular credentials. My only credential is that Wu Kwong Yu has and does admit that I was a Senior Student at the Wu's T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy that I attended. I have his written permission to teach people up to the Intermediate Student level in thier system of levels of advancement on my own with no supervision necesarry. I am not a disciple, I am not an expert on TCC theory, not even of Wu style TCC theory, as evidenced by Polaris having a much greater capacity to express these things verbally. I can do it, but I don't know how to tell you to do it. I could show you, if you were willing to come down here to KY and let me, any of the things I talk about here. I can do all the things I talk about here, without fail, or I don't pretend to have the cahones to speak about it.
In Wu style, I am a practicioner. To me, that is an EXTREMELY important distinction and I spent a long time, almost ten years, working very hard to earn that moniker at my old school.
At YCF style, I am the lowest form of neophyte newbie. I am working hard to lose that moniker and move on to the level where I can be considered a "practicioner". I come here to try and become a touch more knowledgable about my new style of TCC's theory. I do this by trying to compare and contrast what I know with what I am learning. They are often so different as to give me a HUGE headache.
I do my best to keep it clearly up front here that I don't know what I'm doing in YCF style, but that in Wu style I do happen to know quite a bit. When I ask these disciples their opinions or for theory to use to post here, I do so because to ignore such a rich bank of knowledge on the subject would be a waste of the only real resource I can bring to bear on this subject.
This resource is outside the abilities of anyone else on this board to obtain, except maybe Polaris. I don't see him quoting even anonymous Wu disciples though. If he can, then all for the good. I will welcome it.
I do not doubt who you are, even with no type of verification to go on. Do not doubt my validity or the validity of the quotes I post here, they are real, I merely pass them on. I cut them from my e-mails and post them n their entirety with no editing of any kind.
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 9:02 pm

Oh, and you are correct. We are going in circles with that particular portion of this discussion.
I have admitted allready that we were using different definitions of "double-weighted", I was merely trying to point out that in some circles the definition I started the board with is still out there and used daily.
That there is more than one meaning for "double-weighted" is hardly surprising to me any more, no more so than to find out that no one can agree on what Chi is, or Jin, or give me an absolute definition for even something as simple as how YCF style describes getting into a bow stance. Or a definitive description of YCF style Brush Knee and Step, or is it BK& Push. Is it Slanting Flying, Slant Flying, Diagonal Flying or what? How do the hands move in Single Whip, what are the energy movements, where should my left toe be pointing, is my hip fully engaged East or is it South-east?
All these things are one thing to one group, one thing to another.
I was trying to highlight that point, that's all, and was hoping to get at least one definition we could all agree to disagree on for the purpose of this discussion.
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:03 pm

Greetings Louis Swaim,
"The instant one lifts the right rear leg off of the ground, the body begins a whole array of micro-adjustments in order to re-equilibriate itself. The muscles in the 'full' leg, the empty leg, the arms and torso are all engaged in these micro-movements seeking equilibrium."

"If it is touching the ground, even slightly,yes, it's structurally engaged in holding the body up." (L.S. 05-27)

..."my experience tells me that in any given stance in TCC , the 'instant' that the 'empty' foot no longer has contact with the ground, the muscle forces in the limbs and torso are immediateley affected, and the state of the equilibrium of the entire body has changed from what it was in the intstant before the foot left the ground. The state in not imperceptible, and it's not negligible; it's a change that can be distinguished( a change in the muscle loading profile.) Isn't that in part what distinguishing 'empty' and 'full' has to do with?"(06-04 L.S.)

Your words of micro adjustments literally hit me between the eyes after spending the 'better part' of Sunday experimenting with 'white crane spreads wings' and 'playing the lute' over, and over, and over again.

I don't know if I can call it an advantage, really, but as a new student, I am still working with Macro-adjustments. It's easier to notice exaggerated macro adjustments to subtle micro-adjustments.
I think I finally understand what you are explaining.

While practicing with the weight distributions in the final instances of these 'postures' I noticed only 3 possibilities available to me...(Perhaps I am missing others?4?)

1-front foot off ground (full)
2-front foot on ground (empty)
3-front foot on ground (full)

4-front foot off ground (empty)?

In the first option, while practicing either one of those postures I mentionned, I experienced huge macro adjustments directly prior to touching my toes or heel of the leading front foot to the floor. Only one mm raised off the ground(100-0)caused me much instability and I had to struggle to maintain equilibrium. Also, it created a straining of the leg muscles against the pull of gravity. Too much effort, too much stress.(TCC?)

In the third option,(which I personnally have been hung-up on for quite some time), would be to place weight onto the front forward leg, making it 'full'. Would the Yang family style consider this as being 'double-weighted'? It also seems to me that I would be incapable of efficient response to an opponent.(Just a guess).

The second option, to me, now, seems to be the best one. 'Empty' front foot touching the floor ever so slightly creates a 'structure' instantly and effortlessly. It relieves the weight of gravity(why fight nature) and puts you in a good position to retaliate.

Not up, not down, straight ahead.

Lastly, to address movements like 'rooster stands on one leg', 'repulse the monkey' and the various kicks present in the form, are those postures incorporating instances of 100-0 weight distributions? ( i dare not assume). If so is the 0% foot(the one in the air) 'empty' or 'full'?

What do you think, Louis?

Thanks so much for all your help, if I'm misunderstanding something, please correct me. This stuff is not easy.

Take care,

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-23-2003).]

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-23-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Jun 23, 2003 10:27 pm

Could you please explain to me, when exactly, at what particular point in time, or which particular level of study does a student to TCC cease to be a student(one who studies or investigates TCC)and becomes a 'practitioner'(one who practices a profession)?Congratulations on reaching the 'professional' status after only ten years study. I personnally expect to be a student to TCC for as long as I might practice it.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-23-2003).]
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Postby DavidJ » Mon Jun 23, 2003 11:03 pm

Hi Psalchemist,

The hexagrams' bar positions' references to the body parts is found in the I Ching. I use the Wilhelm/ Baynes translation which is part of the Bollingen series: ISBN: 0-691-09750-X

> Are the hexagrams actual descriptions of physical position qualities/energies? <

Yes, maybe, and no, depending on how you meant your question. The I Ching is a microcosm, an architypical pattern upon which other patterns may be superimposed.

> Folding laundry(P?) would also contain a group of notations, if one were to become a very creative/imaginative clothes folder, I am sure that one COULD include all of the hexagram configurations in that particular activity. <

I teach one movement as a laundry folding pattern. Image

> I would, in essence, like to be able to identify movements by their energies. <

This is worthy of a thread, if not a forum, with the question which energies are found in each movement - going from the obvious to the arcane...

> Start 'matching-up' or comparing movements to their respective groups of hexagrams/binary, if I can. <

Once you've the match-up I'd like to see it. I've begun a form of this, but it isn't I Ching driven, though I think when it's done the correspondence may be there. Email me privately of you wish to see it.

The key into it is in the Hexagram 50 the Ting.

> To be a good musician, one must learn to read and understand the notes and symbols etc.of sheet music to be able to translate it into sounds. <

Some of the best musicians I know can't read a note!

> P.S. Could hexagram 52 be more comparable to the opening, preparation movement in the long form? <

It can apply to the moment of standing there before moving. Clear your mind so you can pay attention to what you are about to do. The first movement 'The Arising' is from Hexagram 35 Progress.


David J

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 06-23-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:09 pm

I don't know the exact definition in Yang style, or even if such a designation exists in Yang style. In Wu style one becomes a practicioner not because of a "professional" status (though technically since I accepted money to teach students I would be considered at least a former professional. I have chosen not to teach at this time, due to being very out of practice, though I may decide to do so again in future. No conngratulations are due me on that point.) but rather when one becomes able to demonstrate that one can practice real TCC.
In other words, when you are able to demonstrate that you are actually doing T'ai Chi Ch'uan instead of training to do TCC.
I became a "practicioner" when I demonstrated the ability to use the principals of Wu style TCC in everyday life. Primarily through demonstrating an understanding of the martial aspects of TCC to the point where I could effectively defend myself utilizing Wu family techniques.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:19 pm

I have no problem with hexagrams or any of the rest of the discussions along those lines. If I am not responding to these posts, it is due to an extreme lack of understanding on my part and to an inability to participate in any intelligent way in the discussion at hand regarding it.
Please feel free to discuss it, do not feel I am offended in any way over it, and know that I am trying to follow the discussion, but have no meaningful input to add.
Have fun, keep it up and I will try to follow along as best I can.
I have always believed that if you have no usefull or intelligent response in a conversation, keep quiet. Following this belief has served me well over the years and I see no reason to change that now.
When I understand this better I will ask questions and maybe even tender an opinion, until then I'll just read the posts and do my best to follow along.

Also, I've been invited to watch a class here in my local town of Tung\Sung\Tsung? (I can't quite find the proper, accepted name of the style anyplace) style TCC. I have mentioned a co-worker who practices this style of TCC, he asked me to stop by to see how it is done at his school.
He tells me there are elements of TCC, Bagua and Hsing I involved with it. As far as I can tell, and if I'm looking in the right places, this is a derivative of Sun Lu Tangs TCC.
Anyone know anything for sure about it?
I'll let you know my impression of it.
Tonight, PUSH HANDS! Woo hoo!
A small group of students have been deemed by our YCF instructor to be ready to learn and practice YCF syle push hands.
I'll let everyone know how that goes.
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:22 pm

"In WU style one becomes a practicioner not because of a professional status(though technically since I accepted money to teach students I would be considered at least a former professional...)Wushuer(06-24-2003)

In Wu style?If you accept money to teach you are a practitioner?, Really?

Also can you please explain again what you mean by "real TCC"?

Thanks for the clarification.
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