<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by AudiFor me, concepts like "Yi" are both extraordinarily ordinary, but also deep.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by bamboo leafI would say no, the idea is not extraordinarily ordinary, even among many Chinese stylist its quite rear and not common. Many can talk about it but actually few very few can do it.
Yang Chengfu said (as translated on this website):
<B>8. Match Up Inner and Outer
What we are practicing in taiji depends on the spirit, hence the saying: "The spirit is the general, the body his troops".
If you can raise your spirit, your movements will naturally be light and nimble, the form nothing more than empty and full, open and closed. When we say 'open', we don't just mean open the arms or legs; the mental intent must open along with the limbs. When we say 'close', we don't just mean close the arms or legs; the mental intent must close along with the limbs. If you can combine inner and outer into a single impulse *, then they become a seamless whole.</B>
In this quote, Yang Chengfu uses the three terms “shen,” “yi,” and “qi” (translated here as “spirit,” “mental intent,” and “impulse.”). He uses these terms to explain the principle of matching inner and outer. To me, this strongly implies that he assumes his reader will readily understand what the terms mean and will need no secret key to unlock his meaning. This is what I mean by “ordinary.”
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> my own reading and understanding of this means that due to ones level the practice changes, the issues are very different.</font>
I agree completely with this statement. The practice issues always change. My contention, however, is that the principles and underlying method do not change, at least according to my understanding of the Association’s Taijiquan. “Yi” and “Qi” are not high-level concepts, but rather basic ones.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B> (My training partner said that at higher levels, there's no external movement, but each partner is chasing the other like two little mice running around inside until boom, one flys out.)
not so good at typing, if you look at the clips posted you will see different high level applications showing this happen.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I was unable to access any of the clips, other than the one of Wang Peishen; however, I am pretty sure I know what is being referenced. Depending what is meant, I find the idea that many things in Taijiquan are not directly dependent upon movement to be quite orthodox; however, I find attempts to divorce internal from external quite troubling. I find no support for such a view in the classics, and I like to orient my present study by the classics.
I find equally troubling statements that imply high-level Taijiquan uses only Qi. Which of the classics talk in this way? If anything, I find that traditional Chinese philosophy accepts less of a distinction between the physical and non-physical than has been common in the West. And yet, even in modern science such a concept as “pure energy” (as distinct from matter) contradicts the prevailing theories and experimental evidence.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Empty force (i.e. with an air gap) has been performed on video dozens of times.</font>
Assuming this statement to be accurate, how should I relate it to any of the classics or the writings of the traditional families that developed the art? What about the 13 postures or sticking-adhering-connecting-following? I am not asking about anecdotes, but about principles. Of course, one view of “empty force” is completely orthodox and unremarkable, but sending Qi through the air to push somewhat out seems hard to fit with many of the classic writings.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> You are so right there have to be a movement no matter what. the mistake was mine as I was thinking about something call 'internal shi, (or internal movementfor for lack of right word)) one already setup in the physical body and "expressed through the "external shi (the physical body movement for lack of right word)and by the time the opponent saw this external shi and make his "move first" the opponent is already finished(defeated).</font>
I agree with this and think of it as standard theory. You leave later and get there first because you are already there.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I usually perceive in people an intent to move before they do so. Sometimes I experience it as a wave of energy that washes through me (huh!) a split second before they change course and launch an attack. Part of why I'm so appalled at not being able to counter this new Yi to Yi business is that I'm used to "reading" a little bit in advance of what happens physically and now my safety zone of that split second is gone.</font>
If we are speaking precisely, I think I look at this a little differently. I do not try to predict or anticipate movement or even try to get better at movement. I try to understand what my partner can do in the present. This is what I understand to be “dong jin.” If I can do this across time, I do not care what he or she plans to do, since I will always be in a position to counter and use his or her force. I can always use where I am in order to separate full and empty to my advantage. This is part of the meaning I find in “Seek stillness in movement.”
The minute I try to predict or anticipate, I am restricted to something that may or not be real and so cannot have an empty spirit (xu ling) leading my power (xu ling ding jin). When I have pushed with people I believe to be high-level, this is also what I feel is done to me. I do not feel an anticipation of my movement, but rather an intimate knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses in the ever-changing present and a control of a fulcrum to exploit these. The minute I over- or under-extend, I feel the fulcrum swing into action and cause me to be unable to change any further. I get pushed out by my futile attempts to regain control.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I do think that "people don't value the jade in the Kunlun mountains, they value their own trinkets", poor as they may be, "because they are of some benefit to them". Wonderful as some of these feats may be, I actually find them less interesting than the more mundane sort of practice which I do every day.</font>
I pair those thoughts with “Not leaving the near to seek the far” and “if you miss the beginning by a hair, you may miss the ultimate goal by a thousand miles.”
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Interesting we have a saying or phase neisan hua which means three inner powers combined. Shen, yi and qi</font>
Are these three not part of standard, public theory?
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> When for example my own teacher says do not use li. He literally means do not use your muscle.</font>
I have no reason to doubt your teacher’s skill or the effectiveness of his teaching method, but I do not understand how this can be meant literally. If he is not lying on the ground, must he not be using muscle to counterattack gravity? If he is using muscle, how is this fundamentally different from standard training?
[This message has been edited by Audi (edited 09-16-2006).]