[i]Chansijin[/i] (Silk Reeling Energy)

Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:52 pm

DPasek, thanks for your contribution as a Chen practitioner. You said what I did not dare to formulate for the fear to misinterpret some concepts since I am not a Chen practitioner. However I was introduced to chen style once in the past and tried to do basic exercises. Based on that I'll try to express my viewpoint which is consonant with Louis's one. DPasek, please correct me if I'll make mistakes describing Chen's exercises and its underlying theories.

The basic exercise in Chen stile you usually start with is elementary rotation of the arm(s) in front of your body. In this exercise you are supposed to get the basic idea of what chansi jin is. I would describe the chansi jin as a spiral movement of the hand. In some sense it goes "around" along your arm. The feature of this kind of spiral movement is almost constant rotation of the hand in process of arm circling. Once you get the idea of this spiral movement of the hand you may learn and try to do beginning movements of the form launching this kind of hand turning in them. Almost all movements from the Chen style are designed so that this spiral turning would go freely. Look for example on the hook hand in Chen style. It is bended only slightly to not interrupt chansi jin. Compare it with Yang's hook hand. After practicing chen style some time you get the internal feeling that this or that movement (trajectory, hand position) will permit chansi jin to occur in the most optimal way. You get the idea of the style.

I'll dare to say that in Yang style not all movements and hands position optimally suits for this kind of spiral movement "around" along the arm. The most basic movement in the Yang style – PENG ARM may be an example. Yes, the forward hand is turning a little but the accent is on the pushing forward by the forearm not on the screwing forward. The push forward performing slowly is IMHO pulling silk (chousi).

About concept of pulling silk itself I cannot add anything to Louis's words

Feel free to disagree and make comments Image


Take care,

Yuri



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 03-08-2006).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:13 pm

I am rather amazed at how much people read into that one line from the lit about yun jin ru chou si. Especially since the Yangs never mention it.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:16 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
I am rather amazed at how much people read into that one line from the lit about yun jin ru chou si. Especially since the Yangs never mention it.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Jerry,

Evidently, Yang Chengfu mentioned it. It is quoted in his Ten Essentials, item number nine.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:24 pm

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

Evidently, Yang Chengfu mentioned it. It is quoted in his Ten Essentials, item number nine.

Take care,
Louis

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmnn yes he mentions it in the 9th essential, but only in the context of continuity and circling back to the beginning. He does not seem to be using it in the sense Wu Tunan mentioned (ie not too much or too little force, or enough to hold the thread tight but not breaking it).

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 03-07-2006).]

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 03-07-2006).]
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Postby Anderzander » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:40 pm

Hello!

Firstly, Louis the thought occurred to me that your post might be a little terse in a couple of places. I hope that my own post has not caused any offense?

I hope not. I was just engaging in dialogue and had no string agenda or the like.
{edit: oops I meant strong agenda! - but string seems fairly appropriate}

That said! onwards......

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
The phrase chousi in the line “Move jin AS THOUGH (ru) drawing silk” is not a nominal construction, but a metaphor describing HOW to move jin. I've come to understand that knowledge of "what" is different from knowledge of "how." It’s not a distinction I arrived at out of thin air. It’s a distinction I see in the grammar and usage of the terminology in question, but also one that I feel, based on the way I practice, and based on things that have been taught to me by teachers with much better understanding of the art than I have.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The distinction of 'what' as opposed to 'how' was not what I was questioning. I'm clear on those.

It was something else I was trying to pin down - the issue of whether they are 'the what and how' of the same thing or of something different.

ie is silk reeling jin (the what) named as such because it is performed (the how) like pulling silk?

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
I would assert that in taijiquan, it doesn’t matter. It’s not whose jin is in play that’s important, but who is controlling and managing the jin. (In the Zhang Yun article you linked on zhan, he states: ‘When using Zhan, you do not use your force to move your opponent, instead of he is moved by his own force but by your control. So it is called "borrow force from your opponent and use his force to beat him back".’ There you go!)</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes I see. I had thought (in my haste!) that your take on chousi was not a description of jin (when the sentance/phrase had it as a subject). I can see from what you have said above that it can be taken to mean the opponents jin.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
<B>Of course when doing solo practice, the jin you are moving is your own; when working with a partner, the jin that you move is whatever is available, and the point is to move it so that you don’t get hurt.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here you say the jin in 'Mobilise the jin like pulling silk' can be your own or another persons.

So I'm trying to get the distinction between 'Mobilising your own jin like pulling silk' and a jin that may be named by 'how' it is performed (as 'silk reeling jin')

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis Swaim:
But take a look at the lines that open the passage where the chousi line appears: “It is also said, if the other does not move, I do not move. It the other moves slightly, I move first. The energy (jin) seems loosened; about to expand, but not yet expanding. The energy (jin) breaks off, yet the intent does not.” The context seems to be interactive movement with an other. </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, though of course all of taiji is interactive once applied and therefore every phrase is both how to affect yourself and the other person.

That said, much of the context immediately surrounding the phrase seems to be descriptive for oneself?:

'on the inside, make firm the jing shen; on the outside show peaceful ease', 'step like a cat', 'the whole body's yi is on the jingshen, not on the qi. If it is on the qi, then it is zhi'


I presume that in the jin referred to in the phrase 'Mobilise the jin like pulling silk' (when it is your own) is whichever you are using (singularly or combined)? could it be said to be characterised by being strung together and connected? (either within oneself or also with another)

Is it also that whilst 'silk reeling jin' is classed as a jin in it's own right it not exclusive of using others? in fact it would be present throughout the use of any of the other energies? could it also be said to be characterised by being strung together and connected? (either within oneself or also with another)

So I guess I'm asking the following:

is silk reeling jin (the what) named as such because it is performed 'how' the jin is moved (like pulling silk)?

is there a difference between working with your jin like pulling silk and a 'pulling silk jin' that is present with other jin?

could the difference be emphasis and interpretation? or is it more fundamental?

??? thoughts anyone?


Yuri,

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Yuri Snisarenko:
I think what you are saying about is probably closer to higher stages ("marvelous stuff"). But what about preceding basic training…. Or maybe I don't understand something? </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Louis had mentioned his understanding was rooted in his physical experience - so I looked at mine to better understand what he meant.

Nothing more really.




[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 03-07-2006).]
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Postby Anderzander » Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:58 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Louis:
There are some people, then, who have illogically contrived to make the words chou si be regarded as a designation for a kind of jin</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

could the same have been said of chan si?

jin certainly seems to have a broad scope - 'dong jin' perhaps being an example.
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:07 pm

To my mind Yang Chengfu's 9th essential seems to make chousi look more rather than less like chansi.
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:09 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Anderzander:
<B> could the same have been said of chan si?

jin certainly seems to have a broad scope - 'dong jin' perhaps being an example.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Yes, jin is used a lot like the way we use 'power' in English: 'stopping power', 'holding power', etc. These are grammatically nominal phrases, but that does not make them (ala Wu Tunan) into proper nouns.
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Postby Anderzander » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:20 pm

'brain power' Image
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:40 pm

Hi Jerry,

Re: “Hmnn yes he mentions it in the 9th essential, but only in the context of continuity and circling back to the beginning.”

One can draw one’s own conclusions about the nuances in that text. I notice that my translation of essential #9 and yours differ in some regards. Obviously some things will resonate for one person that may not for another person. It’s that subjective quality in learning an art that makes subtle concepts subtle.

Re: “He does not seem to be using it in the sense Wu Tunan mentioned (ie not too much or too little force, or enough to hold the thread tight but not breaking it).”

For as long as I’ve been practicing taijiquan, I’ve heard the chousi metaphor explained that way. I don’t know if I can point to all the commentaries I’ve seen with that explanation, but one of them was T.T. Liang’s, I think.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:49 pm

Greetings Anderzander,

I didn’t mean to imply any offense in my reply to your post, and took none. I do hope my post was terse, however (Webster’s: “smoothly elegant, devoid of superfluity, concise”). I welcome these discussions from all quarters.

I don’t quite follow all of the windings, twists, and turns of your longer post today, but I will consider it more closely when I have a chance.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Anderzander » Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:55 pm

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

I didn’t mean to imply any offense in my reply to your post, and took none. I do hope my post was terse, however (Webster’s: “smoothly elegant, devoid of superfluity, concise”). I welcome these discussions from all quarters.

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

Great news :-)
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:06 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Re: “Yes, jin is used a lot like the way we use 'power' in English: 'stopping power', 'holding power', etc. These are grammatically nominal phrases, but that does not make them (ala Wu Tunan) into proper nouns.”

You’re absolutely right on this. I weighed in the issue a number of years ago, regarding the nominalization of “tingjin” vs textual instances where ting was verbal, taking jin as an object: http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000008.html

This is just my own take on it, but I’m influenced in my thinking about this from Gilbert Ryle’s philosophical classic, The Concept of Mind. He made a distinction between “knowing that” and “knowing how.” When it comes to learning skills, the “knowing how” is more readily conveyed with metaphors, and “it is like” kinds of language. Conversely, some people think that once they have acquired the propositional arsenal (knowing that/knowing what) that’s all that they need. I touched on this in my translator's intro to Fu's book too.

--Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:09 pm

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

Re: “Hmnn yes he mentions it in the 9th essential, but only in the context of continuity and circling back to the beginning.”

One can draw one’s own conclusions about the nuances in that text. I notice that my translation of essential #9 and yours differ in some regards. Obviously some things will resonate for one person that may not for another person. It’s that subjective quality in learning an art that makes subtle concepts subtle.

Re: “He does not seem to be using it in the sense Wu Tunan mentioned (ie not too much or too little force, or enough to hold the thread tight but not breaking it).”

For as long as I’ve been practicing taijiquan, I’ve heard the chousi metaphor explained that way. I don’t know if I can point to all the commentaries I’ve seen with that explanation, but one of them was T.T. Liang’s, I think.

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


Understood. However I must admit that I tend to be more swayed by your personal experience than by the weight of the secondary literature, since frequently they have all cribbed from the same source, which usually turns out to be yet another secondary source (ie nothing more than one guy's opinion which is then reproduced - with or without attribution - everywhere).
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:55 pm

Jerry,

Yes, that’s a good point. I know for a fact, for example, that T.T. Liang cribbed substantially from Chen Weiming’s book. I’ll have to check to see if CWM mentions chousi in his writings. But I’m compelled to ask, isn’t it true that if you pull too abruptly on a silk fiber that it will break? Isn’t that entailment embedded in the chousi metaphor itself? As for Wu Tunan, he held some controversial views, to be sure, regarding taiji’s origins and history. His credentials are pretty strong, however, having studied from an early age with Wu Jianquan and Yang Shaohou. He was university educated in the sciences, in addition to having good background in classical education. The meeting he spoke about in the early sixties had some pretty strong political undercurrents having to do with what was being subsumed under the mantle of what—so there is quite a bit of subtext in his objections. Talk about twists and turns!

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 03-08-2006).]
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