Mind Intention in Taijiquan

Postby psalchemist » Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:41 pm

Greetings, again, Audi,

Since I have 'levels' on the brain presently...

You stated:
< The postures give you the theatre in which you can learn to practice using intent and to see how intent works> Audi.

I would say now, based on the theory that the nine levels represent 'teaching and learning' levels, that I can better comprehend what you are saying about <learning to practice using intent and to see how intent works>.

This could probably be considered level two (jing-chi, body-mind level)

...This would be <an appropriate theatre to practice using intent> (for future use of intent against an opponent?) and it would also be the appropriate time to <see how intent works>

But, I am not so sure that it applies to any higher levels than the initiating one...

Are you aware of the official existance of different 'levels' towards learning 'intention' in Taijiquan?

When do you think it is appropriate to introduce yi into a students curriculum?

The distinction of various levels of intention leads me to better appreciate the degree of difficulty in discussong such matters. If all aboard are on the same level of instruction, then it might be easier, but then again, maybe not.
Yi, I find, has easily been the most complex aspect of Taijiquan that I have thusfar encountered.
Not easy to convey in any manner and even more trying to understand.

Oh well...Onward Image

Best regards,
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Postby psalchemist » Fri Oct 10, 2003 10:25 pm

Greetings Dorshugla,

Thanks for the reply, I have a few comments if you don't mind...

I'll use the numbers you employed...

1. Zhanzhaung-sorry, I'm not very good with the terminology yet...I do this as 'Mapo' and could not identify your expression. Thanks for clarifying.

2. <How can one progress in Taijiquan but not work harder(duration of practice)? It can never happen> Dorshugla

What I was trying to convey, ineffectively perhaps, was that I don't beleive this information is necessarily transferable to all practitioners and students...
For two reasons...
One, you are advising everyone to practice harder...What if a student told you he practiced the long form twenty times a day, his knees were weak and stiff from overwork and/or incorrect posture, and instead of being full of energy, he was exhausted from the practice...Would you still say he should practice more? I think not.

Secondly, based on that statement: that we should continuously raise our level of duration of practice a day... we would go from one hour a day in the first year to what, say ten hours a day after ten years? When would you suggest the incrementation plateau?

I do believe that practice should essentially be founded upon the student/practitioner and his needs, goals and limitations.

You also mentioned 'gut feeling'...That is an aspect of Taijiquan training theory I wouldn't mind discussing as well...I will return to that topic eventually, but if you have some further ideas to contribute I would enjoy pondering them.

Lastly, I too practice with a heavy iron spear (midieval style, was a gift) and find it to be excellent stregnth training as you said. But if I really wish to work the energies I will have to purchase a wooden one, I believe, for Fajin training.

Actually, I havn't leaned the Taiji weapons yet, I am working Kung-Fu spear practice which hopefully will set a foundation for Taijiquan staff/spear...What do you think...

Are the weapons of external arts helpful as a basis for the internal weapons forms of Taijiquan?

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
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Postby psalchemist » Sat Oct 11, 2003 11:51 am

Greetings Drogula,

Everyone has different opinions, just as all teachers must have different methods.

I was suggesting, at Audi's request, a particular method of conveying Taijiquan techniques...Which is drawn from an excellent source...and which I personally find, would be an ideal order to do so.

What suggestions would you make towards establishing a Taijiquan curriculum?
Based on what ideology, if any?
When do YOU think a student should be instructed in the matter of YI in Taiji?


P.S. The name is Psalchemist...as in 'by-the-way'...Alchemist. (#2 in your list above...)

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-11-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Sat Oct 11, 2003 2:17 pm

Greetings Audi,

...returning to your first post on this topic...once again.

I first wished to thank you for investing the time and energy required to translate Taijiquan Chinese/English texts, terms and expressions.

I am only beginning to appreciate the true complexity of the Chinese language,
And so am only beginning to appreciate the efforts employed in the task of thorough translations.

You provided these two translations, amongst many others: XIN and YI

XIN: <Mind, heart, origin or seat of the thoughts...> -Audi

I have heard this correlation between mind and heart previosly in Taijiquan context. I am pleased to see that fact re-confirmed.
The Chinese implications are certainly, as you implied, not those of the English language. The Chinese term encompasses a much broader concept than the word MIND in english.

YI: <Intent, purpose, view, implying "in the moment" > Audi

I have heard this also expressed as 'having presence' and thought it was quite an apt depiction as well.

Also, the 'in the moment' implication of spontanaeity is note worthy and pertinent to understanding the deeper meaning of YI.

So, I am wondering now if I may merge these two words together cogently : XIN and_YI : ( mind,heart and intent,purpose...presence )

Audi and Louis,
Are there any equivalent Chinese phrases or references representing this particular combination of terminology that you are aware of?

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-11-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Sun Oct 12, 2003 9:33 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

Thank-you very much for providing your post on SHI SAN SHI, that was, indeed one of the key issues I was interested in addressing here.

However, realizing the expanse of such a subject, I decided to open a separate 'topic' in the barehand form forum...dedicated to the 13 postures and all the implications.

I have arrived at the conclusion, after reading these accumulated postings that the 8GATES are an essential component of proceding onto the application of proper mind 'intention' in Taijiquan.

Thanks for explaining the combination process of the "fixed energies" with the "diagonal energies" ...That was something I could not 'add' up on my own, but seems rather important to the process.

I hope I translated your explanation correctly!

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image

P.S. Audi...I recall you suggesting the validity of the idea for an 'energy' topic launching, to me, previously (hmmm....about three months ago)....I was just not ready at the time to do such a thing at that point.

Excellent, I say! IDEAL IDEA!

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-12-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:04 pm

It was Dorshugla that made the post about the hummingbirds. I'm not exactly sure why, except that he may have been tossing out an example of something that happens every day, but no one understands.
Hummingbirds are one expample, bumble bees another. Neither should be able to fly, according to how modern science understands aerodynamics. Apparently he was correlating that with Shi San Shi, accupoints and meridians, as things modern science can't understand, but that keep right on working regardless.
Thank you, Dorshugla, and realize with me that there are some who will not swallow the truth even if it is dancing naked on their plate screaming "EAT ME"!
These types of people can now go on happily content with the knowledge that I will keep my mouth shut on these matters in future.

I have seen the other thread, I will address the issues of Shi San Shi there as time allows and where I will keep the entire idea of meridians and accupoints OUT of the discussion so that others who take offense will not have to deal with such "mysterious" things.
I did wish to once again point out that I made clear that these things may or may not be used or utilized in the way I formerly learned them in this YCF style of TCC.
From all the reaction I have recieved here, via my e-mail (stacks and stacks and stacks, too many to reply to even if I wished to address small minded peoples concerns) and in my classes after asking, apparently the Yang family DOES NOT use the theories of Shi San Shi as I have formerly trained them.
I don't know how, exactly, these things are applied to YCF style TCC and can't for the life of me figure out how people who talk about chi and performing "fajin" can do so and yet get all tensed up when you bring up meridians and accupoints.
Very, very strange to me.
However, to each their own. Life is too short for this to become a huge, racous debate. Mostly because I will continue to refuse to get into one.
I learned a few "parlour tricks" with this skill of eight gates, five steps and how it applies to energy transmission through the organs and meridians and accupoints, but not enough to be considered an expert or a source of advanced knowledge on the topic. Basicly I got an overview which was enough to convince me of it's validity, was shown how to apply the most basic concepts in a consistent manner, given a passing glimpse into more advanced applications, then I left that school. Again, I clearly stated in my post that I have only a passing knowledge of such things and how they are applied.
When I posted my first response here, I was completely mystified as to WHY this subject had not been broached by any of the more long term Yang Cheng Fu stylists who post on this site.
Now I know why. They don't have the first clue about it and get very upset when you bring it up for some reason.
That's fine. I respect that the eight gates and five steps are not practiced in the way I learned them previously and the YCF tradition does not embrace these things or, apparently, have any type of knowledge of them. From the vehemence of repsonses I have received, apparently they are interested in most decidedly NOT using them.
I will, in future, do my best not to offend anyone with these "mysterious forces" I use, and will continue to use in my personal practice and continue training on with the Wu family members with whom I still have contact, as a relic from my past that I will definitely not make the mistake of bringing up again on an open forum where others will take such offense.
I hope everyone here can forgive me for introducing the concept. Chalk it up to "those" people from that "other" school, please, and forgive my stupidity while I acclimate to this one.
I will jump over to the other site, when I can get some free time, and do my best to post only items that do not contain any reference to these "mysterious forces" that so confuse and seemingly anger people with closed minds.
I will leave you with only this caveat, then those who took such offense can harangue away at me once again, and I will studioulsy ignore them once again.

"The more I know, the more I know that I don't know".

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Postby dorshugla » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:28 pm


That is exactly what I meant. Hummingbirds are not supposed to fly based on present aerodynamics but obviously they do. Theories abound but the exact actions are difficulkt to duplicate though efforts are on to find out why. Same with push hands as there is lots of talk and few can exhibit and apply.

In almost all free for all with taijiquan, all practitioners when the grappling started (at step 1) all the techniques are out the door! Why? What happened? In all assault scenarios and similar encounter, people will always grab for the upper body (neck/head) if possible (95% of the time). Additionally the neck/head is also a target when grabbed from behind!!!!

What is the strategy to counteract that?
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:05 pm

Greetings W,

You wrote: “When I posted my first response here, I was completely mystified as to WHY this subject had not been broached by any of the more long term Yang Cheng Fu stylists who post on this site. . . . Now I know why. They don't have the first clue about it and get very upset when you bring it up for some reason.”

I’m curious as to what “this subject” is, who “they” are, and how you got the impression that “they don’t have the first clue about it.”

Maybe some specifics would clarify your intent, and avert potential misunderstandings.

Take care,
Louis Swaim
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:21 pm

I will respond in a fashion I am most loathe to use, but since I cannot answer in any other way...
I will answer this ONE time with a very specific example of a counter to this type of attack from a form move, because the odds of anyone here, other than the esteemed Polaris, of actually using it correclty (and he allready knows how) are slim to none.
I will give you a response to your question based on my knowledge of a Wu style technique, as very little harm could come from that.
If I were using Wu style techniques to counter a grab from behind to my upper body, I would use some form of the North American Wu family, fifth generation (so the purists don't have a fit), version of White Crane Spreads Wings and all of it's internal energies to counter such a grab.
WCSW's is a mite different in Wu style than in Yang style. So much so that until I felt the internal energies I felt sure they were not related for a long, long time.
North American Wu Style (5th gen), would use this motion (primarily, there are, of course, others) to first offset, then throw an opponent grabbing from behind.
As for YCF style, I would hazard a guess that WCSW's might work, if you modified it quite a bit. However, I will leave the YCF response to someone who knows much, much more about it than I do.
Sorry I cannot give you a form that you know that would counter such a thing, but I am a bit hesitant to even try at this time.
Basicly, you would straighten up from your slight crouch (which you should be in, ready posture), this will cut your opponents center since he is so nicely hanging on to you with his grab that he will come straight up with you, then you would bend forward from the waist, collapsing your chest inward, and turning your upper body left simultaneously (I'm following the form here, you will turn either way you need to). This should throw your opponent right over your shoulder onto his back on the ground in front of you if you did it exactly right. If you don't do it exactly right you will still have offset and tossed your opponent around enough that he shouldn't be clinging to your back anymore and you can get free.
It's worked every time for me, and I have had to use it.

I can't answer the question for you on why people grapple and toss out the principals. I used to, a long time ago. I guess it's your bodies way of reverting to what you know or something.
I just know I'm glad they do. There's nothing better, to me, than an opponent who tenses up and grabs ahold of me with both hands, nice and hard.
I just smile and feed them back their own energy.
What else can you do?
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 13, 2003 5:36 pm

Please refer to my response to Michael above. All should be clear if you put these two posts together.
I guess I should have made more reference to who "they" are. For that, I aplogize to everyone else who is confused.
"They" are the people who took it upon themselves to respond to me off these boards, via my e-mail address, on the subject of internal energy using the Bamen.
Let's just say it took me a while to delete all the e-mails I got from people who do not seem to want to discuss such things as meridians and accupoints and internal organs generating jin and how they apply to Shi San Shi.
I figured since it was here that I posted orginally and here that people found out where to send to me telling me what a crack pot I am, then this was the appropriate place to state that I will no longer bring such things up rather than respond via my e-mail.
Quicker anyway, since I felt I would only have to do so once.
Let me say, for the record, that NOT ONE of these people used a name or e-mail address I recognise from the board.
I have no idea who these people are, nor do I care.
However, this is the only place I've EVER discussed this topic, after which I received nearly fifty e-mails calling me a whole bunch of perfectly true and applicable names, and even a couple I can't pronounce and don't know what they mean.
"They" know who they are, everyone else, please ignore my peckishness on the subject.
I am doing my best to practice my TCC, I am yielding to the forces being exerted against me and doing my best to redirect their energies elsewhere.
To all others, forgive my vague post. It was not directed at you.
It may be time for the persona, Wushuer, to die. He seems to be angering some folks and that's the last thing he wishes to do.

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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:03 pm

Wushuer, sorry to hear you got pestered by emails. I don't think any of our regulars here would do that. To whomever sends such things, relax, it's only taiji!
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Postby psalchemist » Mon Oct 13, 2003 7:09 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

I too am sorry to hear that you have received such.....e-mail.

I cannot understand how people can be like that.

You have never offended me in the least with any of your postings, to the contrary, I have learned many new and interesting things from them.

I look forward to your next presentation...

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-13-2003).]
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Postby Wushuer » Mon Oct 13, 2003 8:24 pm

I went and did a long form, I have a clearer mind now.
I was a bit put off by the e-mail I recieved. A lot of it, all very negative. Some of it insulting, some of it downright vicious, though whoever the culprits were did not get physically threatening at any time. Abusive, yes, threatening, no.
I shall not let Wushuer die, he is a part of me now and I will not let someone run me off like that, either here on a message board or anywhere in real life.
Thank you for your kind words, Jerry and Psalchemist. I was a bit down there for a while and needed to come back up. Your posts helped.

To whomever wrote to me.
Please feel free to continue doing so. Your opinions are obviously important to you and you must need to vent for some reason. If it is more than one person (there were a total of thirteen email addresses, which my strange mind quickly jumped to as EIGHT gates, FIVE steps, yes I can add) then you are all very welcome to e-mail me at any time.
I will be retrieving that deleted e-mail from my recycle bin as soon as I get home and responding to each of you in turn.
Please understand, if you think I'm a long winded, pompous, arrogant wind bag here (and those are the names I've been called that I'm willing to print here, in other words, the perfectly true and applicable ones) then just wait until you get my e-mails!!!!!!
You aint seen nothin' yet!!!!!

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Postby psalchemist » Tue Oct 14, 2003 10:55 am

Greetings Audi,

I have two final questions concerning your last posting on this topic, if you don't mind.

You wrote,
< One should give meaning, YI, to each and every joint and to the 'energy network' they form as a whole. > Audi

I notice you mention 'joints' AND 'energy network', but have left 'sinews' absent...
Are you implying that the 'energy network' is based in 'sinews' ?

Let me try to make a leap...

Are you saying that one should...

1)Focus YI on the proper 'energy network'(sinews?) such as tsi,lu,an etc. configurations.

As well as,

2)Focus YI on the joint/tendon system ( Threading ) ?

I am not sure what you are referring to by the term 'sinews'...I am assuming, here, in this example I provided that 'sinews' are accupoints but that is based only on my comprehension of english connotation, just a guess.

You stated:
< You do not make use of opposition within a joint but rather use opposition between different joints and between sets of joints(Deng vs. Cheng). In this way you have the feeling of constantly extending the joints, but still have control over how much extension is actually realized. You are constantly experiencing a dynamic yin-yang equilibrium that is Taiji(not Wuji, or some yin with some yang) > Audi

I really enjoy working through your postings, Audi...

It sounds as though you are describing two different types of " 'resistance'/'momentum' combinations " ( I have great difficulty in approaching a definition of that 'push/pull', 'resistance/momentum' ideology. <Dynamic yin-yang equilibrium that is Taiji-Audi> is very nice. Image

The former as you said is a resistance/momentum action within a single joint and is unadvisable.

The latter is what I am not sure of...

Would you be implying...

Resistance/momentum between two joints from two different limbs? As an example, AN...When we push forward with the left leg, we simultaneously 'resist' with the right leg?

I am not sure if I understood your explanation, due to my overall lack of experience in Taijiquan. I wish to make certain that I am correctly interpreting the information received.

Thanks for your patience,
Best regards,

[This message has been edited by psalchemist (edited 10-14-2003).]
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Postby psalchemist » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:44 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

Thanks for the discourse in matters of 'jin', 'chi', 'accupoints', and the 'shi san shi' ...

These are subjects I do wish to pursue...I think they will help me to understand 'internal' art more deeply.

I don't know if it will be beneficial or not for others, I can only speak for myself.

I hope you do not refrain from explaining these terms and what you know of them...

Best regards,
Psalchemist. Image
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