<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob Ashmore:
<B>I clearly recall Yang Jun demonstrating turning, following or pulling of an opponent to the left with the turn after Push, and then a strike to the throat or chest of an opponent with the right hand during the turn back to the right of Single Whip at the seminars I've attended.
When showing applications for the Single Whip resembling portion of Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain, he was clear that the difference was that in ETRTM the palm is seated for a strike to an opponents chest, but that in Single Whip the hand is hooked to be used to either grab an opponents wrist or to use to strike to the opponents throat or chest with the back of the wrist.
I'm fairly certain, though not positive, that he makes these same demonstrations on the hand form DVD as well.
That said, MY favorite application for Single Whip is one that I found by accident, while mock "fighting" with a push hands partner.
I grasped his extended left wrist with my right hand, making a hook hand just seemed natural at that moment, I then pulled him in to me with a waist turn that flowed on its own into Single Whip. I was not consciously "applying" anything, I was just moving and doing what felt right.
My right arm held his left fully extended, pulling him towards me and keeping him off balance, while my left arm intercepted and opened his right arm, that he was using to try to strike me at the time, got inside his right arm strike and naturally followed my waist turn to strike into his now fully exposed armpit. The pulling back of my right arm stretched his left arm and kept him off balance, and also neatly pulled his chest right into my forward moving palm.
It was EXTREMELY effective, and I wasn't even trying to do it. It just happened on its own with no conscious thought on my part.
We were both completely astounded by that. We weren't "sparring" or trying to do anything fancy. We were just goofing around, relaxed and in a good mood after doing about half an hour of push hands.
We spent the next half an hour practicing that, and it worked for both us every single time.
I believe there are probably more applications for Single Whip than we will ever know. The fun is in finding them.
I am very interested in your reply and I'm sorry to write my own response so late, but I've only just noticed this thread. The (Chinese) Master with whom I have studied in London teaches the Yang Cheng Fu form and comparing the Master's style with Yang Zhen Duo's as revealed in his book 'Yang Style Taijiquan' shows that the two are virtually identical and only differ in about four particulars which are explained by a slight difference in the way the application is applied. I am interested that Yang Jun has taught that after Push, the first component of Tanbien consists of grasping the opponents' (left?) wrist and with a transfer of weight to the left foot, throwing the opponent away to the left. This is exactly what I have been taught, too. Also, following that, the shift back to the right foot, and the hands folding in front of the chest, according to the way I have been taught, also corresponds to grasping the opponent's right wrist, and then, as the weight shifts back again to the right foot, throwing him away again to the right hand side. However, I have not been personally shown the application of the subsequent hook hand. Nevertheless, in the applications section of Yang Zhen Duo's superb book, he is clearly seen at this point using the position in the form of a bow stance with a strike to the opponent's throat with the hook hand. Putting all of this together, I would suggest that certainly one viable application of Tanbien consists of the following: 1)grasp the opponent's left wrist and throw him to the left; 2) grasp the opponent's right wrist and throw him to the right; 3) if 2) doesn't work, and the opponent counterattacks with his right hand, draw his right hand down and to one side with your left hand, and counterstrike with the hook hand to the opponent's throat in a bow stance: the opponent's momentum will be coming forward at this point, so his throat will be struck with both yours and his combined momentum - a disabling blow, to say the least, I should have thought. For obvious reasons, I haven't practiced this hook hand application at full speed on anyone! Even so, just lightly touching touching someone's throat with the hook hand shows how neatly the hook hand fits into the area on the front of the neck, below the chin. I have to say, however, that I'm a little sceptical about the view that the hook hand strike to the throat is executed with the front part of the wrist, because although obviously the throat is a soft target, it would seem that striking in this way with the front part of the wrist actually risks fracturing it, as the hand is already bent underneath it at a right angle. I would suggest therefore what happens in the hook hand strike is that firstly, one strikes the opponent's throat in bow stance with the knuckles of the hook hand and this is immediately followed by an upwards movement against the underside of the opponent's jaw with the top of the front part of the wrist. This second component of the hook hand strike has the effect of causing a whiplash injury to the opponent's neck. But of course, these are only suggestions and I think that certainly one Tai Chi's many beauties is that is that potential applications of many of its movements are almost limitless. Tan Bien is in fact one of my favourite movements to perform. I love the coordination involved and the feeling of repose and suspension as the movement comes to its close. Actually, I have been taught that the hook hand wrist should be level with the top of the right ear at the end of the movement, whereas I notice from photos in Yang Zhen Duo's book that his wrist is more level with his shoulder, as in those old photos of his father. Still, obviously, out of loyalty to the Master who taught me, I perform it exactly how he has taught it, and I have to say that with the right wrist parallel to the top of the right ear, the feeling is one of tremendous balance and repose and I often like just to stand in this final posture for a minute or two - it's so relaxing! (But obviously separately, I don't mean I do that during my actual form practice!!). I hope these remarks contribute to this interesting discussion. Kind regards, Simon.