Single weightedness?

Postby Polaris » Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:42 pm

In the Hong Kong Wu style, at least, a practitioner is someone who can actually demonstrate proper P'eng, Lu, Chi, An, Ts'ai, Lieh, Tsou and Kao and their appropriate combinations in any appropriate direction when under attack, effortlessly and consistently. Simply put, if you tense up or stress out at all in an application, "double weight," you are still a student, not a practitioner.

To call someone who merely took whatever money for whatever teaching a practitioner wouldn't wash at our place.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:57 pm

Greetings Polaris,

Have you had a chance to find out any more information vis-a-vis Wu Baoxiang, and the tuishou photos we discussed here a while back? I'd be curious to know if there's a surviving legacy, and if the gentleman in the photos with Wu Jianquan is indeed Wu Baoxiang.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:01 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

If my expressed discomfort with anonymity irritated you, I apologize. I really meant no offense, but was merely expressing my own frustration at the several layers of remove. We can still communicate, though, right? So we’re fine.

I’d like to add that I just post here as Louis Swaim. I don’t profess any particular credentials, authority, or affiliations; I just enjoy discussing taijiquan.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:58 pm

Greetings All,

I didn’t realize that there was a distinction of “student” and “practitioner” in taijiquan curricula; I’ve always used these designations interchangeably, and consider myself a student/practitioner. The definition I’m going by here for practitioner is “one who practices,” with practice being “to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient; to train at by repeated exercises”; to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually” (Websters 9th). There is, of course, a definition meaning to engage in professional activity, but I wasn’t aware that such a formal designation existed in taijiquan.

Perhaps in individual schools these designations take on more specific meanings. Does anyone know if there are certain Chinese designations for these distinctions of student versus “pro”? The Chinese words that come to mind that I’ve seen for individuals who do taijiquan are “xue zhe” (students), and “ai hao zhe” (enthusiasts, or amateurs in the ‘to love’ sense of the word, NOT implying ‘non-proficiency’). There are of course various traditional terms of hierarchies of junior and senior (usually analogous to family terms for older and younger brother, uncle, etc.), but “practitioner” to me has always been a rather broad term for anyone who “does” taijiquan.

What do others think about this?

Take care,
Louis
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:51 pm

Hi All,
Practitioner:n."One who practices a profession".
Student:n.1."One who studies or investigates". 2."One who is enrolled for study at a school, college etc.
Teacher:n."One who teaches esp. as a profession."
Teach:1."To show how to do something; give lessons to.". 2. "To give lessons in a subject." 3. To provide with knowledge, insight,et.

These are the definitions I am working with from the Websters New World Dictionary(revised edition). Maybe I will invest in a second dictionary, this one seems deficient. I am curious to know if there are any official definitions on the subject, however, to avoid confusions of English terminology vs. TCC terminology in future.

Regards,
Psalchemist.

P.S. Wushuer, not picking at you, only at what you said. No offense intended.
Psalchemist
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Postby psalchemist » Tue Jun 24, 2003 8:09 pm

Polaris,
I like the definition so far, it makes alot of sense to me. Thanks for the explanation.
Psalchemist.


[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-24-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Jun 24, 2003 10:12 pm

Psalchemist and Louis,
You did not read very carefully what Polaris and I posted. Please reread those posts and you will find the answers to your questions.
I very clearly said that becoming a "practicioner" at WTCCA's is a moniker internal to that school ONLY, AND I further stated clearly that I know of no correlation of such a designation in Yang style. I was only replying to the question of what I considered a "practicioner" and I replied that in Wu's T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academies you become known as a "practicioner", at that school, if you can demonstrate that you are doing real TCC, which means that you are able to demonstrate that you can martially apply the principals (which Polaris went on to further list in their entirety) that the Wu family uses for their style.
In that school, this word is used in it's own way and only at that school as far as I know.
I did not attempt to define "practicioner" from the dictionary, but from the WTCCA usage. I figured everyone would have access to a dictionary and so would not need that definition reprinted for them here to understand what was being said.
"Real" TCC, the way I mean it, and no one else in the world may mean it this way, is TCC used as a martial art. Other types of tai chi are out there, but you'll notice the missing "ch'uan" designation in the description I use. This is intentional, if you're not using "ch'uan" (does anyone here REALLY need me to define ch'uan? I didn't think so) then you're not doing REAL TCC, you're doing tai chi, which is a dance not a martial art. Pretty, but not really very useful.
I could tell people that I am a Master of Jumpupanddown style TCC and take tens of thousands of dollars a year from suckers by making up my own "style" of TCC (there are thousands of people out there who do it every day). They would probably never know the difference and some would happily pay me for years and call me "Master and God" if asked them to. This would not make me a practicioner of Wu style TCC.
Taking money to teach something does not make you a professional in any profession of which I am aware, it makes you a paid teacher, maybe even a "professional" teacher but not a "professional" at TCC. Taking money to DO something makes you a professional at that profession, not taking money to teach it. Since I have never been paid to perform TCC, I am not a "professional" at TCC. I have taken money to teach others TCC, so I guess that would have made me a "professional" teacher of TCC, which I am no longer.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Jun 24, 2003 10:17 pm

Louis,
I will admit to being a bit put off by your post though I understand the reason you said what you did, believe me.
Understand that I take matters of that type very seriously. When I am asked to protect someone elses identity, I do that. I consider it the only honorable thing to do. As I am using these people as sounding boards to help us here get insight into a different style above my understanding and all they have asked of me is to not reveal who they are...
Then that is what I must do.
We are good, never weren't.
I must go for now. More when I can.
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:45 am

Greetings all,

FWIW, I wasn't under the impression that Wushuer said a practitioner was someone merely paid to teach, either.

Louis,
No, I haven't found anything out about the photos, as my peripatetic source (whom I will affectionately, if anonymously, refer to as "old timer") hasn't visited our school yet. Hopefully in another few weeks he'll pop in...
As for the student/practitioner thing, it is just a designation of convenience we use to distinguish level. Which is to say, a practitioner is certainly still a student, just one who can use P'eng, Lu, etc., appropriately. Its applicability to the TCC situation came by analogy from the word's use in medical terminology. I certainly prefer practitioner to master, which I reserve for elders. It may just be internal to our group.

Regards,
-P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 06-24-2003).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Jun 25, 2003 6:38 am

Hi Polaris,

Thanks for the clarification about your school's use of "practitioner." It was apparent to me that it's a school-specific usage, but I was more interested in the rationale. I'm always looking for the deep structure. It occurs to me that an equivalant term in Chinese would be "jia," which connotes a specialist in a particular field or endeavor. So a taijiquan jia would be translated as a practitioner.

Thanks again, and I hope the old gentleman stops in soon.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Polaris » Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:28 pm

Louis,

Is that the same "jia" as the "jia" that means family or sect?

Just Curious,
-P.
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:46 pm

Polaris,
If the "old timer" is who I think it is, at least "think" hello to him for me.
I know you don't know who I am (or do you?) but I can at least feel a bit closer to the "old timer" that way.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Jun 25, 2003 10:02 pm

Hello Polaris,

Re: 'Is that the same "jia" as the "jia" that means family or sect?'

Yes. An economist, for example, is a "jingjixue jia." It's quite common to see "quan jia" (martial artist), or "taijiquan jia" (taijiquan practitioner), and the like.

Oh, and a polite way of referring to an "old timer" would be "lao ren jia."

Take care,
Louis

[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 06-25-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Jun 26, 2003 3:28 pm

DavidJ,
I was just going to ask you about your term "superimposed", when I read Louis new thread(excellent) and mention of the word "contradicting". Is this comparable to your 'superimposed' thoughts?
I pondered the (50) hexagram as you suggested. Thanks for 'pointing the way', even if it was inadvertant. I now have enough of a lead to start some of those match-ups I was talking about.
With the complimentary configuration(I guess would be 3)to 50, I have actually been able to start resolving a 'life' problem in a more concrete manner, with help of the (bdy/bar) in the Yijing. Let me try to give you an idea of what I'm saying. I am too (50) in some instances, and that wouldn't be so bad if I were to compliment it with a (03)(utimately be able to alternate with ease between the two states of mind)at the moment or later, but rather, I am missing the qualities of the (03) and will have to "work" at correcting that.

Is this idea similar to the one you are pursuing ? Are you implimenting your theories in this same manner?

I would really like to see your present research, but feel as though I should try to make my own interpretaions first,to not influence my results.

In a couple of weeks I should have quite a few to swap with you. I will e-mail you in private, as you suggested so we can exchange theories, in the meantime, though, I really wouldn't mind another clue...(as you wish).

Thanks for all the help, and ideas.

Sincerely,
Psalchemist.

P.S. expressing myself in a grounded manner is not my forte..sorry if I'm difficult to understand.
P.P.S. Hmmm ... I may have reversed those numbers. No matter, trial and error.

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-26-2003).]

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 06-26-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Thu Jun 26, 2003 7:39 pm

All,
Well, I now belong to a push hands group. Yay! We meet once a week.
We had our first practice the other night and I learned quite a bit. I'll ramble a bit and try to get across some of the things I may have learned from the experience.
First:
I'm starting to learn the real feeling of "movement from the waist" in a way that you cannot feel in form practice alone. I will play with that muchly in future. I think that my YCF form is starting to get better now because I am beginning to understand how to turn from the waist like that.
Second:
This waist turn is in the Wu forms, it was just never emphasized in my training. Unfortunately for me, I trained at WTCCA's when their "Hide secrets from the Guilo" policy was in effect. I learned it, so they didn't necessarily hide it, they just never really explained it's significance openly. C'est la vie, I'm learning it now.
Third:
This waist turning is very effective. On it's own, keeping my hips stabilized forward and using only my waist to turn, I can effectively push hands. I'm VERY stiff in this part of my waist, due to non-use over the years, but now that I'm opening it up I should improve. At home with my son we practiced using both turning from the hip AND turning from the waist together.
We can't figure out why everyone doesn't do this. This is the most effective combination of turns I have ever seen or felt. If you turn your waist first and THEN continue with a hip turn you can offset your opponent so that every single last erg of energy he tosses at you goes by like you're not even there. Turn it around and start your push from the hip until you reach your limit that way THEN continue the energy by continuing with your waist turn and it feels like I could push over a mountain without even trying.
I'm afraid, actually afraid not just kind of leery, to try that on another person. I will play with it for quite some time before I do.
Fourth:
Using less than total seperation between the legs really does help with the roll back portion of pushing hands. I've noted this before, but I was using only hip turns at that point. Now I have begun to integrate the waist turns as well, I see this more clearly. However I find that pushing is easier, for me, if I push to a 100/0 seperation.
Fifth:
I lift the toe on my front foot when I push hands. I have always done so in both styles of TCC I trained in previously. I noticed my instructor does not though he said that's perfectly acceptable. I tried it without lifting the toe and noticed some very strange energy in my body. Don't know if this is good or bad yet, for me, I'm going to have to play with it.
Any ideas here? I'm at a loss.
I didn't feel "better" or "worse" from it, just different. It threw me off, since I've never pushed that way before, but it wasn't like I had more or less rooting or was unstable in any way because of it. Nor did it give me any apparent advantage either way.
The one thing it did was limit my ability to turn as far with my hip. Since I was only using my waist to push that night, it didn't really matter, but when I started putting the two turning methods together I noticed it right away. Lifting the toe on the forward foot when you are sitting back does allow you to open your hip to a much greater degree.

Well, that's enough to start with for now. I'll try to think of more things as time goes by and let you all know.
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