The energy known as Press

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:52 pm

Steve,
I understand that, outside of GTBT, there are going to be multiple combinations of jins for each shi, or form posture.
What I was hoping was that someone might have made a list of these combinations for others to look at.
Since the ultimate goal is to acheive formless expressions of the jins, I thought it might be a good idea for me to begin to understand the jins in each form so I could start to understand how they work in a set posture. That way I might figure out how to combine and use them more effectively without a set shi.

I'm big on lists. It's a failing of mine.
I've even begun a list of where in the forms you turn your whole body as opposed to where you only turn from the waist.
As I have begun to understand that concept more clearly, I have found it quite useful to understand where and when to do these seperately from one another.
Having my list, which is not yet complete or fully accurate, I find it much easier to move fluidly through my form work because it allows me to move more accurately from my center for each posture.
I have other lists as well that I've worked on. Some fall by the wayside as I more fully comprehend what's going on, some become more and more relevant over time.
I'm a "lister", I guess. I like to have things laid out for me as clearly as possible.

I frequently do form work without using my arms. Either tucking them into my pockets, letting them hang by my sides, or clasping them gently behind my back. I do it as an exercise in more accurately moving from the center. Without my arms getting in the way, I can concentrate more closely on that aspect.
I am still working on finding the Press in Diagonal Flying. I will do some work on it without my arms and see if that gets me anywhere.
I'm really only beginning on the journey into understanding the energies of the form. I clearly see the Ward Off energy in DF, I clearly understand the shoulder energy. I don't see the Press yet. At least not clearly.
I'll keep working on it.

This presentation certainly has opened my eyes to jin. I'm thinking that was its intent. If so, it succeeded admirably.

Thanks to everyone for their help. It is much appreciated.
I'll let you all know how it goes.

Bob

Bob
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:31 pm

All,
Aikido-jo posted a link to a video of Fu Zhongwen doing the long form.
Watching him do Diagonal Flying has cleared up the question of Ji in that form for me pretty quickly.
I can clearly see the expression of Press in his execution of DF.

Thanks, once again, to everyone who has helped me along on this. It is much appreciated.

Bob
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Postby tai1chi » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:49 pm

Hi Bob,

I like lists, too. I think it can be helpful to categorize. Anyway, you wrote:

"I am still working on finding the Press in Diagonal Flying. I will do some work on it without my arms and see if that gets me anywhere."

Fwiw, I would say that "Press" is not inherent in "Diagonal Flying." In general, one characteristic of Press is the compression. This, I would consider "he" or "closing." In contrast, Diagonal Flying always involves "kai" or "opening." This might be another way for you to categorize. The manifestation of "Kai" or "he" will change the nature (i.e. "jin") of any particular shi.

In addition, the degree of "waist turn" during the movement will also change the result. Louis or Jerry, if you're reading, do you happen to know the equivalent Chinese phrase for "turning the waist." I'd probably argue that it is what the "gu pan", "you pan" represent. But, that's just a personal opinion. Is there another technical term of which you are aware?

Well, for ex., the difference between "Part Wild Horse's Mane" and "Diagonal Flying", imo, lies in the degree of waist term and the amount of opening or closing.

Bob, another issue you might explore would be the timing of the waist turn and the ji forward. In some traditions, the practitioner turns the waist, then shifts forward. In others, the practitioner shifts forward, then turns. Really, though, isolating them so thoroughly --as I think you've seen done in the Wu 'square form'-- is a training technique. But, it's interesting from an analytical pov.

cheers,
Steve James
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Postby Anderzander » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:00 pm

One level of understanding goes something along these lines:

The basic component of the 8 jin is the use of the rising and falling of energy. When you suspend your crown and sink there is an internal downward movement, when this reaches its maximum there is a return force that rises up through the body.

In large changes the rise and fall is a whole body change - the whole body empties and then fills. This can also work alternately with one side empty and the other full. In small changes the division of empty and full can be too fine to articulate.

One can also choose to emphasise the movement of energy with Yi, which gives a strong sense of working with internal force - or one can choose to emphasise the space in which these changes occur, which gives a sense of emptiness and giving up on the use of force.

However back to the basic description:

So when the energy rises and is expressed outwards, perhaps by turning, that is the larger part of Peng. Perhaps the important thing for a beginner is not to be lifted by the energy - when there is an up there is a down etc

When the energy falls or is drawn down, downwards and inwards, that is the greater part of Lu. Using emptiness to meet the opponents fullness. Perhaps the important thing to remain transparent to incoming force is to maintain the crown so that the body stretches rather than compresses.

When the energy rises and the turning rotates/moves the arms and the orbits that they move through convene - that is the larger part of Ji. It is the energy of the two arms united. The point of intersection can be in the space between you and your opponent, within your opponent's body or behind him.

When the energy is drawn down and forwards that is An. The fall occurs to the root, so with the energy falling the root is moved forward creating a curve. Perhaps the important thing for a beginner is to leave the idea that the 'push jin' involves pushing.

Peng and Ji are largely expressions of rising, Lu and An are largely expressions of falling.

Hopefully this context will be of some use to you Bob


[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 10-06-2006).]
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:59 pm

Tai1chi,
Opening and closing is a list I've been meaning to work on for quite some time. I have quite a few notes from classes on the open/close expressed in the forms, but have never gotten around to sitting down with the long form name list and filling in a list exclusively for that purpose.
After I get this list somewhat completed, I probably will.
I understand the limitations of such a list. It only encompasses the moves from the form and so is only useful when discussing the form itself, and not for much else.
However, that's quite enough for me at this time. I will most likely put these lists on archive, probably storing them in the same place as my daily journals, once I reach that point where these things are easily apparent to me.
However, until that time I do find them quite useful. And so I keep on making them.

Thanks for you help and advice.
As far as DF goes, I have to agree that Press energy does not have to be inherint in it, however I clearly see where it can be expressed now, and clearly feel it, now that I have had the opportunity to work on it, when I decide to express it.
The video of Fu Zhongwen makes it pretty clear, at least to me, and following his example I was able to find where I can put that in if desired.
As with all things, I will practice it diligently until it becomes a standard part of my routine and then will most likely not keep it as a focus of the movement. Just like in the transition to White Crane Spreads Wings, where Press is clearly expressed. I knew that, I practiced it clearly and consciously in that fashion for a while, but now I just do it, without too much conscious thought. It is still there, just not overtly, not "big" any more in either the physical or mental process. I've internalized it now, so I can pay attention to other details that I have not.
I feel that is how it should be. Available if you need it, just not exagerated any longer in order to burn it into muscle and mind memory.
At least, I hope so!

Thanks.

Bob
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:06 pm

Anderzander,
Rising and falling... Another list to get started!
I'm going to be hip deep in lists if I keep this up!
But, it's a good way to learn. So I will keep on listing.

I've worked on rising/falling before, but not too much.
I'm going to have to think about that aspect for a while, and do some more research on it, before I could really say I understand it though.
An aspect I had not considered of the jins until you reminded me of them.
I'll have to see if I can find more out about that, though, before I would try to include it in my presentation tommorow morning.
I'm starting to run out of time to do that, so I may have to be content with just mentioning it and leaving it at that for now.

Always something else to consider. Always one more layer of the onion to peel.
Thanks for helping me see one more.

Bob
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Postby shugdenla » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:17 pm

Steve,

I think/imagine and see that both diagonal flying and part the horse's main are variations on a theme. Yes. It is angle degree that separates them. Diagonal flying to me is not never 'straight'.
Have you ever incorporated the martial content into actual form? If you did tuishou only without form reference it may be dificult.
Grasp birds'tail-beginning (staright line) can be a potential diagonal flying posture aided by elbow strike or shoulder strike (opponent right of posture!)depending on capability and opening.
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Postby tai1chi » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:11 pm

Hi shugdenla,

I agree with you on all counts. "Diagonal flying" is not "straight." When the same movements are done straight, it's no longer Diagonal Flying. Of course, as you say, there are "themes". Actually, maybe it would be possible to say that there are 13 "themes" that can operate in a cycle. Well, I guess I'd have to say that they must operate in a cycle. This is just talking in terms of the patterns in the shi. "Peng shi" can not be followed by "Peng shi." Well, easier still; one can't simply keep advancing without doing something in between.

Anyway, all 13 themes are contained in GBT sequence.

When you mentioned the beginning of the GBT, I think you specifically meant "Ward Off." Please excuse me if I'm mistaken. I agree that Ward Off, Press *I prefer 'squeeze', "White Crane," "Shoulder Stroke," "Diagonal Flying," "Part Wild Horse's Mane", etc., all have similar themes.

I also agree with Anderzander that "lu" and "an" are falling actions, while "peng" and "ji" are rising actions. Actually, I think there may be some reference to those qualities in the Classics --related to other "energies" such as "split."

cheers,
Steve James
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Postby Kalamondin » Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:49 am

Hi Bob,

I understand Press as a kind of squeezing where two curved lines of force meet and converge--like an asymptotic line. An asymptote never meets the straight line it converges toward--but it certainly seeks the straight in the curved!

For a neat visual analogy: MYJ once mentioned that the word ji is also used to talk about what one does to a tube of toothpaste.

Anderzander said: <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"><B>When the energy rises and the turning rotates/moves the arms and the orbits that they move through convene - that is the larger part of Ji. It is the energy of the two arms united. The point of intersection can be in the space between you and your opponent, within your opponent's body or behind him.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The intersection of two orbits also reminds me of drum wheels shooting out newspaper. Curves converging to send out the straight.

When I look at what Louis provided from Yang Zhenji's book, I can't tell if his description confirms or denies my idea about asymptotes:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3. A direct line of fajin. The method of ji is one of issuing force in a direct line. In Yang style taijiquan, when one issues, one “seeks the straight in the curved” with specific regard to the focal point of the opponent’s center line, seizing the opportunity and strategic advantage (dejideshi), and issuing jin along a straight line (zhixian fajin) rather than in a curved arc.</font>


Best,
Kal
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Postby Anderzander » Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:15 pm

How did it go Bob?
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Postby Audi » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:36 pm

Hi everyone,

I am coming somewhat late to the party, but I would like to offer a few comments anyway.

At the last two seminars I have attended, it was stressed that outward form did not constrain the inward expression of Jin. It was suggested that you might have to ask the person receiving the energy to explain the nature of what exactly happened. For instance, if you are "pushed" by someone's two hands, you might actually feel the energy coming from their torso, more than their palms, which would indicate a degree of Kao.

Following this idea of looking at the energy from the vantage point of the receiver, I have proposed to myself the following definitions:

Peng: When applied to you, you feel your energy buoyed away from your line of attack or defense. When you want to sink, you can only float.

Lu: You feel your energy converted from square to away from your line of attack or defense. What starts off square is involuntarily converted into another angle.

Ji: You feel your energy squeezed or bounced out of its location. You feel two energies cannot occupy the same space.

An: You feel your energy is suppressed so that it is covered and cannot get out. You want to unfold, but feel you cannot.

Cai: You feel your energy pulled out of position. You want to be still, but are forced to move.

Lie: You feel your energy whirled or snapped out of alignment. The energy flow gets a sudden kink.

Zhou: You feel your energy is elbowed in some way.

Kao: You feel your energy is manipulated by your opponent's mass.

As for Jispecifically, although many talk about the two hands joining together, I have been taught that Ji can be done with a single arm. This was actually one of the basic applications I was shown.

I think I see Ji much more readily in Parting Wild Horse's Mane than in Diagonal Flying. The whirling of Diagonal Flying would seem harder to convert into Ji.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, for ex., the difference between "Part Wild Horse's Mane" and "Diagonal Flying", imo, lies in the degree of waist term and the amount of opening or closing.</font>


For what it is worth, in the Association, we are taught that the whirling angle of attack in Diagonal Flying lends itself to Lie, whereas the Yangs want us to show more Peng and Kao in Part Wild Horse's Mane.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I also agree with Anderzander that "lu" and "an" are falling actions, while "peng" and "ji" are rising actions. Actually, I think there may be some reference to those qualities in the Classics --related to other "energies" such as "split."</font>


I do not know what is right or wrong or, more importantly, whether there is a right or wrong; however, I think Yang Jun teaches these a little differently. For instance, at the last seminar I was at, he talked about using Ji in an upward direction to be nice to your partner, but that you could also do it downward if there was a need to be not so nice.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">When the energy falls or is drawn down, downwards and inwards, that is the greater part of Lu.</font>


I think I know why someone might define Lu in this way; however, these words would seem to define the canonical way I have been taught to express Cai. I am referring to the application of Cai that can be countered with a shoulder stroke to the torso.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Anderzander » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:11 am

Hi Audi

I think a downward Ji could be described as An and Ji together.

The description of my postures is to do with a method of generation and yours to do with a method of application - I think that is the difference in your last comment.
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Postby Anderzander » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:19 am

double post

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 10-10-2006).]
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:39 pm

All,
My presentation seemed to go pretty well.
I spent quite a while on Thursday and then again on Friday evening putting it all together. Not because of a lack of material, but because by Friday, with everyones help, I had way too much info for a short presentation on Ji.
My first draft, which I did Thursday evening, was over three pages long, and I was trying to keep it short!
On Friday, I got some more good information that I thought should be included, but then I remembered the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and that this was a presentation to be made to mostly beginners, so...
I went back on Friday and had to take a good, long hard look at what to put in and what to leave out.
I managed to pare it down to one page by the time I left work on Friday, but that still seemed a bit long when I practiced it at home.
So I sat down and whittled it down to the bare minimum and got myself down to about three quarters of a page.
That seemed to work out pretty well. It let me be thorough without being long winded.
I think it went fairly well, others said so too but they may have just being polite.
I enjoyed demonstrating some different places in the form where others hadn't thought to find Press. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction there.
I did ask Bill near the end to explain to me the Press of Cross Hands. He demonstrated that quite ably for us. I had thought I had it right, and apparently I was pretty darned close, but it was nice to have some verification.

I'd like to thank everyone for their help.
We are supposed to start working now on the other four energies, but that won't be due for some time.
Believe me, when it's approaching and I know for sure which other energy I will be getting, I will once again not be shy about asking for everones help.

Thanks everyone. Your help was invaluable and much appreciated. I learned more than I ever thought there was to know about the energy known as Press. I will continue to read up on the energies and hopefully I will learn even more.


Bob
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:41 pm

Audi,
This is good stuff.
The receiving end. What a great way to look at this.
Thanks. I'm going to print that up so I can use it for my next presentation.

Bob
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