Empty and Full

Postby Anderzander » Sun May 01, 2005 11:16 pm

Can anyone help with a phrase from the classics?

Louis, Audi etc?

The 11th line from Taiji Lun by Wang Tsung Yueh:

Left Substantial (then) left insubstantial
right Substantial (then) right insubstantial

I'm not sure what the character I've written as (then) is - but I'm curious to what meaning is ascribed to it?

I've seen it as - when the oppenent is substantial on your left - you are insubstantial - etc

also as when the left (leg) is substantial then the right (arm) is substantial

any thoughts anyone?

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Postby Polaris » Mon May 02, 2005 12:11 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Anderzander:
<B>Mr Britt

I feel you have no reason to be concerned. I don't think anyone reading in here would mistake the views posted as being representative of the Yang Family.

I also think that most serious practioners reserve judgment on a teacher until they have met them.

The internet is of course rife with derogatory comments about every teacher you could imagine - I think this further reduces the value of online opinions unless you have some relevant experience as a reader.

I read most things here and havent found anything derogatory about you or your teachings?

So, relax :-) nothing to defend here I think.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dear Anderzander,

Please see the "A question of relevance" thread on the Push Hands forum here for an example of why Sifu Britt is posting these messages.

I am not Sifu Britt, but I have spoken with him recently on this issue, and we both feel his offer to be an issue of fairness. There have been several representations of his teachings on this discussion board that have caught his attention, and he has offered to personally answer any questions that may arise as a result. I can vouch that he and the Wu family's training system in general have been misrepresented on this forum by people who say they are former students of his (although certainly not by the Yang family or their direct representatives, as you say). We would not countenance similar representations of the Yang family or their representatives unanswered on our site if the situations were reversed, once they were discovered.

I stopped posting here a year or so ago myself, rather than risk starting a flame war over the postings in question.



[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 05-01-2005).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon May 02, 2005 4:14 am

Greetings Stephen,

I’ll try to help with the Taiji Lun line. The Chinese is: Zou zhong ze zou xu. You zhong ze you yao.

This is sparse classical phrasing, and the subjects are not clearly indicated, so one must make some inferences in order to arrive its meaning. You are quite correct that “ze” means “then.” In classical Chinese, it usually announces the conclusion in an if-then construction of the type, “If (or when) X is so, then Y is the result.”

I translate the phrase “[When the] left [feels] weight, then [the] left empties. [When the] right [feels] weight, then [the] right is gone.” This is by no means the only way to render the sentence, it’s just the way that I make sense of it in the context of the whole passage, and based upon my experience. I feel fairly certain that it addresses interactive practice with a partner or opponent. It has to do with responding and yielding to pressure (weight) applied by the opponent, thus making my point of contact with him/her empty (xu). The very last character, “yao3,” is an artful variant in this case for “empty.” It means to recede into darkness, or to vanish without a trace.

Barbara Davis’ book, _The Taijiquan Classics: An Annotated Translation_ includes some good notes on some of the possible variant renderings of the phrase. It also includes a translation of Chen Weiming’s commentaries on the classics. His take on this particular line emphasizes the interactive dynamic I mention.

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon May 02, 2005 10:21 am

Polaris and/or Britt Laoshi, please write to me (jerry@yangfamilytaichi.com) and let me know which postings you feel misrepresent the Wu school and I will see what I can do to remedy that.
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Postby Anderzander » Mon May 02, 2005 11:28 am

That is a huge help, thank you Louis.

I'll muse on things for a while now.

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