More gudang

More gudang

Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:49 pm

Greetings,

In the Conscious Movement thread we touched a bit on the phrase from ‘The Taijiquan Classic,’ "qi yi gudang." There are some other occurances of the gudang compound in some early taijiquan documents. One is in Li Yiyu's text, ‘Taijiquan tiyong ge,’ in the line, “qi sui shi gudang.” Would anyone care to discuss the meaning of this line? How would you translate it? How would you interpret it? The text appears in Wile’s _Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty_, p. 130. Also in Yang Jwing-ming’s _Tai Chi Secrets of the Wu and Li Styles_, p. 69-73.


Let's discuss!
--Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:53 pm

šâËæ„ݹıU
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Postby Richard Man » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:12 am

Literally, it means "drumming, vibrating / resonating" of course. In Wu Kung Cho's Gold Book, as #9 of the "Ten Essentials," Yang Jwing Ming translated it as:

#9 Gu Dang:
The Qi is sunken, the waist is loose, the abdomen is clear, the chest is contained, the back is arced, the shoulder is sunken, the elbow is dropped. Every section is comfortable and extensive. Moving, calmness, insubstantial, substantial, exhaling, inhaling, opening, closing, hardening, softening, slow, fast, all of these mixes Jins are Gu Dang... (followed by more explanations)...

Doug Woolidge translates it similarly, although using the :direct voice: e.g.
Drum Resonating: Sink the Qi, relax the waist... etc.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:42 pm

I have heard Yang Zhenduo use the phrase 'sui shi' 随势 several times in teaching. In the contexts he used it, it seemed to mean something like 'following along with the move', ie as you do one kind of movement, you adjust it in order to follow the general movement which is the backdrop for it. Here I would say it means the qi is stimulated according to the context of the move.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:16 pm

Greetings Richard,

Thank you for your remarks. I’m interested, however, in Li Yiyu’s specific use of the gudang tem in the phrase I quoted, “qi sui shi gudang.” Does his use of the term in this construction shed additional light on what gudang means?

It’s interesting that you mention Wu Gongzao’s text. I haven’t yet seen the Woolidge book translation of Wu Gongzao’s _Wu Jia Taijiquan_, but he translated the “Zhixue shi yao” (Ten essentials for study) in the April 1995 issue of T’ai Chi Magazine, and there he translated the Gudang phrase as “Billowing (Resonance).” Yang Jwing-ming, as you mention, translates only the Gudang section as a discrete text, as “Drumming and Vibrating,” on p. 55 of his book _Tai Chi Secrets of the Wu Style_. That text is a bit shorter that the gudang portion of the Gold Book’s Ten Essentials. Yang Jwing-ming evidently used the original 1935 Wu Gongzao book, Taijiquan Jiangyi. I understand that the Gold book edited and rearranged some of the original Wu Gongzao material.

Another thing that’s interesting about the Wu Gongzao gudang text is that it matches almost word-for-word Chen Weiming’s remarks about gudang translated on p. 90-91 of Barbara Davis’ book, _The Taijiquan Classics_. Barbara and I have communicated by email and phone about this, and neither of us can explain how both authors happened to use the identical words. One possibility is that Wu Gongzao borrowed Chen Weiming’s gudang remarks. Another is that both authors were drawing upon some earlier Yang family document that has not otherwise come to light, to my knowledge.

That mystery aside, how would you translate/interpret Li Yiyu’s specific phrase, “qi shi shi gudang?”

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:29 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
I have heard Yang Zhenduo use the phrase 'sui shi' ËæÊÆ several times in teaching. In the contexts he used it, it seemed to mean something like 'following along with the move', ie as you do one kind of movement, you adjust it in order to follow the general movement which is the backdrop for it. Here I would say it means the qi is stimulated according to the context of the move.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings Jerry,

Yes, I agree that sui here is definitely "follow along with" rather than a sequential "follows" in time. Suishi means "according to circumstances" or "according with the situation." I think shi in Li Yiyu's phase is broader than just the movement or posture. My translation would be, "The qi is roused and made vibrant according to the configuration." It also reminds me of Yang Chengfu's remarks about sinking the qi to the dantian in the opening section of his form narratives: "Allow it to do so spontaneously; you must not force it."

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:46 pm

Louis, I understand your reasoning for 'according to the configuration' but I think it fails the test that Tang poet Bai Juyi once imposed on his poetry: he read it out loud to a bar girl and questioned her to make sure she understood it.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:49 pm

Hi Jerry,

I don't go to bars, so I don't get much opportunity to talk to "bar girls," whatever that means. I don't suspect bar girls would have any interest in taiji theory, for that matter.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:00 pm

What I meant was it's no use incorporating the latest fashion and buzzwords for explaining 'shi' when an ordinary person cannot understand the translation. If the translation requires a translation, it's not a translation.
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Postby JerryKarin » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:54 pm

I think you were way better off with 'circumstances' which our hypothetical washer-woman or barmaid could understand. If you use 'configuration' here our barmaid replies 'um.... configuration of what?'
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Postby Richard Man » Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:15 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>Greetings Richard,

Thank you for your remarks. I’m interested, however, in Li Yiyu’s specific use of the gudang tem in the phrase I quoted, “qi sui shi gudang.” Does his use of the term in this construction shed additional light on what gudang means?

It’s interesting that you mention Wu Gongzao’s text. I haven’t yet seen the Woolidge book translation of Wu Gongzao’s _Wu Jia Taijiquan_, but he translated the “Zhixue shi yao” (Ten essentials for study) in the April 1995 issue of T’ai Chi Magazine, and there he translated the Gudang phrase as “Billowing (Resonance).” Yang Jwing-ming, as you mention, translates only the Gudang section as a discrete text, as “Drumming and Vibrating,” on p. 55 of his book _Tai Chi Secrets of the Wu Style_. That text is a bit shorter that the gudang portion of the Gold Book’s Ten Essentials. Yang Jwing-ming evidently used the original 1935 Wu Gongzao book, Taijiquan Jiangyi. I understand that the Gold book edited and rearranged some of the original Wu Gongzao material.

Another thing that’s interesting about the Wu Gongzao gudang text is that it matches almost word-for-word Chen Weiming’s remarks about gudang translated on p. 90-91 of Barbara Davis’ book, _The Taijiquan Classics_. Barbara and I have communicated by email and phone about this, and neither of us can explain how both authors happened to use the identical words. One possibility is that Wu Gongzao borrowed Chen Weiming’s gudang remarks. Another is that both authors were drawing upon some earlier Yang family document that has not otherwise come to light, to my knowledge.

That mystery aside, how would you translate/interpret Li Yiyu’s specific phrase, “qi shi shi gudang?”

Take care,
Louis</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, as you know, Douglas Wiles translates Qi Sui Shi Gu Dang as "The Chi is aroused with the changing power relationship..." in the Lost Tai Chi Classics. Yang Jwing Ming translates it as "Qi is full and agitated following the situations (or postures)."

If I may say so, I think both translations may be slightly off. My *interpretation" would be something like with every motion and posture, the Qi must be able to travel throughout your body without hinderance, as in a drum reverbrating. Does that sound OK to you?

As for Barbara Davis' book, I have it on order and will be here shortly. I have the Chen Zi Ming's book and again the classical Chinese is difficult to read. I haven't found any reference to Gu Dang though on cursory checking.



[This message has been edited by Richard Man (edited 07-16-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:39 am

The text says nothing about "must be able to travel throughout your body without hinderance". Louis' translation is spot on. My only quibble is the word 'configuration', which is only understandable if you have read the same books he has. Wile's 'power relationship' has a similar defect. Yang Jwing Ming's version is basically correct, the same idea with different wording.

Sui shi is a well-established compound, often found in the phrase 'sui shi ying bian', somthing like 'adapting to circumstances'. 随势应变

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 07-16-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:56 am

Yang Jwing Ming is not a native speaker of English, so occasionally his phrasing sounds odd or stilted, but in my opinion his translations often demonstrate a very good understanding of the Chinese.
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Postby Richard Man » Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:56 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
<B>The text says nothing about "must be able to travel throughout your body without hinderance". Louis' translation is spot on. My only quibble is the word 'configuration', which is only understandable if you have read the same books he has. Wile's 'power relationship' has a similar defect. Yang Jwing Ming's version is basically correct, the same idea with different wording.

Sui shi is a well-established compound, often found in the phrase 'sui shi ying bian', somthing like 'adapting to circumstances'. 随势应变

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 07-16-2006).]</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I did say *interpretation* :-)
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Postby Pamela » Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:18 pm

Chi bows to, is grateful to, the song...
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