Concealing Intent

Concealing Intent

Postby Kalamondin » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:07 am

How do you keep from telegraphing your intent?

There’s the saying, “I know my opponent, but he does not know me.”

So, how do you keep yourself from being known?
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Postby Anderzander » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:20 am

give up your intention.

:-)
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Postby Kalamondin » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:56 am

Hmm... how ? Image
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Postby cheefatt taichi » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:39 am

Hi Kal,

Intent can be detected by the strength you exert, face expressions, eyes, movements, breathing and many others. In TCC, we train ourselves to become very sung and soft so that our strength is hidden at all times but when we attack, jin is release in a split second to avoid giving-out prewarning to our opponent. We calm our mind and spirit so that our face do not sell us out. Our eye too is concentrated at all time and do not send-out signal. In short, TCC trains us to be very natural when fighting so that we don't reveal our intention unconsciously. Releasing of jin is in an explosive manner and only in split second, hence opponent don't know us.

our opponent, if not fully trained will send out a lot of prewarning signals when they are about to attack. With TCC sensitivity, we can easily see, hear, feel these signals...therefore, we know him. How to not telegraph your intent? Well, maintain the sung, calm, relax manner as you are doing the TCC form.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:53 am

Seek stillness in movement
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:23 am

Also old manuals say: "look at an opponent as if you are looking at grass, hit an opponent as if you are just walking".

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[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 11-02-2005).]
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Postby DPasek » Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:03 pm

Good topic Kal! I like what Cheefatt said in his post. Here are some additional things to consider.

If the majority of your intent is not separate from your opponent, then it is difficult for the opponent to read yours separate from theirs. This is the "following your opponent" concept, where your intent is to follow along with what they are doing and to take advantage only of what they give you during the interaction. You do not try to impose your own movements separate from what is happening in the interaction between you and the opponent. Of course, you still control the interaction with your circle (arcing, spiraling, non-linear movements). Although the idea behind the "use four ounces to deflect your opponent's thousand pounds" concept probably only refers to physical force, I see no reason not to apply this concept to intention as well. Using only four ounces of your intent to control the opponent would be very difficult for them to detect.

Sometimes the concept of using the circle for defense and the square to issue (fajin) is stated. In practice, I find that if the circle is not only used for defense, but is also used to set up the attack, then it is more difficult for the opponent to read your intent. Defensive movements can certainly also be, or set up, offensive ones. Using arcs, spirals, curves, etc. is like water flowing around obstacles as it flows downstream. Use these non-linear paths not only to protect your own center and root, but also to flow around the opponent's strengths in order to find their center and weaken their root. The flowing to their center is like the water flowing downstream - it just goes without the intent of going around this or that obstacle. Once you have found their center in this way, it is too late for the opponent to be able to respond to an attack, and you can issue (fast if desired, but, at this point, slowly attacking will still be effective and may illustrate better when you have actually reached this situation). Linear actions are much easier to detect and interpret/understand than non-linear ones.

DP
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Postby miscjinx » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:07 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Kalamondin:
<B>How do you keep from telegraphing your intent?

There’s the saying, “I know my opponent, but he does not know me.”

So, how do you keep yourself from being known? </B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Often people telegraph because they are thinking too much - people decide they will attack.

We have to be totally in the present moment and allow the attack to happen of its own accord. There is an intent to attack, but not specifying the how and when. Then you will be like water splashing again the opponent, when there is a hole in their defense you will flow into it. There is no choice to flow or not flow into the void - it happens of its own accord.

This requires a high degree of present mindness and awareness - not only of yourself but of the opponent. You must also accept and receive whatever the opponent does.

Make sense?

~ Eric Putkonen
[teaching Tai Chi Chuan in Plymouth, Minnesota (Minneapolis)]
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Postby Kalamondin » Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:46 am

You guys are great! Thanks for all your responses. I've been thinking on my own about this a lot and am coming to similar conclusions.

Apparently (ha!), I am a wide open book (to some). My teacher started the whole thing by telling me, "When you push, it's like this..." (Here he demonstrated a really exaggerated eyes-wide very intent push. Think about a 4 year old blowing out birthday candles...) Then he said, "I want you to learn strategy. When you are too much on one side, you are vulnerable on the other. Learn to keep to the center."

My training partner agreed: "Yeah, I can see you coming a mile away. I have plenty of time to get out of the way." Phooey.

So I've been trying to work on this "keeping to the center" business. A few times I've understood a little about how to move as though I am not moving.

Sung, relaxed--yeah, needs more work. I will focus on attacking in a relaxed way during forms practice this week.

Movement in stillness--I need to learn to do this while still holding an intention--or maybe I need to let go of the intention. Are intention and movement in stillness mutually exclusive? Can you have both at the same time?

As though walking or looking at the grass--yeah, I understand this now--thanks! Now I just need more practice.

Follow the opponent--yeah, I stopped doing that when I pushed, that was the problem.

Control with 4 oz. of intent--great idea...gotta play with how to get the rest of my intent "out of the way" so that not too much "rests" on my opponent.

Curves--I like this one a lot actually and is one of my favorites. I will have to practice it more against my most challenging opponent--he likes to provide his center and then channel my push into the ground until he has enough force built up to push me to the side. I think I will just have to stop attacking--it's been too linear and obviously that route is a lost cause. When I don't attack him, I can protect my center relatively well, but as soon as I attack, I'm toast.

Present-mindedness/flowing: I like these too, particularly the image of flowing into holes in their defense--but sometimes the holes are sinkholes and traps that I fall into. I think this is again the error of not keeping to my center and overextending.

Thanks for all your feedback.
Kal
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Postby chris » Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:26 pm

Seems to me that a good opponent will address your potential, and not your intent.

Anyway, do you want to be unknown by your opponent, or unstoppable by your opponent? Bruce Lee liked to give demonstrations where he would say something like, "I'm going to hit you in the face with my right hand, try and stop me" Image
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Postby shugdenla » Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:36 pm

Intent is usually manifested in body language or body positioning.

Q. How does one keep oneself from being known?
A. It has nothing to do with MA but with human relations and behavioural constructs.
Daodejing has within its parameters to treat all alike, whether beggar, thief, king, so whther one insults or praises you, act the same. Be calm in all situation.

When people praise us, we smile and joke and allow ego to take root but when we are admonished, we get mad and give our selves away. That is the context of intent.
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Postby Kalamondin » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:49 pm

I want to be unknown by my opponent and therefore unstoppable. I want my opponent to be unable to measure my potential and thus unable to gauge anything. I want to be able to say and do things like that but choose not to say anything.

But obviously, from the lip-flapping above, I have quite a ways to go! Image

Kal
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Postby Anderzander » Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:21 am

I think there are deeper levels to this that being over expressive or crude in the use of timing and force. There are also deeper levels than deflection and quickly being able to change the type of force you are using.

Know the opponent.....

This is listening and understanding.

To listen you have to pay attention, if you are the slightest bit involved in your own dialogue there will be things you will miss. Give up your intention and follow the other person. This means do nothing but let them act upon you. Receive then whole heartedly!

Understanding is perhaps largely from experience. We can all read most inanimate objects, chairs, shoes, boxes etc. We know just where their centre is, where they carry their weight - so we know where to apply our leverage, how to pick them up and how to move them. That is understanding. If a persons body is stiff with tension or with force - they are easy to understand, just like the chair. If they are more fluid and have more sung they are harder to understand, but you can look for the parts that cannot change, those parts that move as one rather than are all in motion. They are like picking up a heavy bean bag.

The opponent doesn't know me.....

When you have no intention there can be no conflict of interests, when intention is removed from the body the chi is not stagnent and their is no point that cannot change. The body is sung and empty. Being empty it cannot receive force. You are not like a heavy bean bag - you are like a cloud - and your opponent cannot know you.

One state provides both understanding and being unknown.
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Postby cheefatt taichi » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:37 am

Hi Kal,

To put it very simple, all taiji fighting strategies are based on the skill of tingjin and dongjin (sensitivity).

Sensitivity developed from the skill of fangsong (relax, soft, pliable & non-resisting).

Fangsong relies on the ability of the mind to concentrate and calm down. To do that, we need to be focus and concentrated (shen).

A concentrated mind will gives rise to strong intent (yi).

Hence, the is no direct answer as to how to know your opponent while opponent dont know you. You need to be sensitive to not allow him to feel you (physically, intentionally etc). To be sensitive you need to be song, you need to be mindful (shen) and you need to have the intent of not been detected (yi). All these mutually support each other just like taiji, ever flowing in circle yin and yang.

During form practice, incorporate the same qualities thoroughout...maintain extremely sung, be alert, concentrate and use intent. Overtime, you will get it. If you have all these in your taiji form, it will be alived and each day you practise, you improve by a day. These are the internal aspects of taiji that have no end to their potential. Each time you improved, you will discovered more defects and so on. Put your mind inside taiji and not other ways round.

Cheers.
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Postby chris » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:26 pm

I don't think concealing your intent a la Texas Hold 'em will bring you much closer to being unstoppable. That is a small method, a parlor trick. Rather you should be unknowable in the sense that the surface of Mars is unknowable by a child with a magnifying glass.

There is another saying: "I don't NEED to know you. You need to know me!" Image
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