Seating the Wrist vs. Puffing the Wrist

Seating the Wrist vs. Puffing the Wrist

Postby Yin Peixiong » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:40 pm

Zhuo wan or seating the wrist is an important taijiquan hand posture. Wang Yongquan however prefers the term gu wan or puffing the wrist - there should be a better translation. Although I'm thinking of puffed sleaves and the puffed cheeks of Dizzy Gillespie, a softer and more gradual quality should be conveyed instead of a puff of air.

His reservation of using seating the wrist is that it may lead to regidity instead of agility in the wrist. It seems to be a meaningful distinction since yi, song, and jin are emphasized over the physical.
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:04 pm

While I can understand the desire to come up with a word that doesn't have the negative connotation of rigidity that "seating" or "setting" might bring...
I don't know that "puffing" is exactly the word I'd go with.
Beyond the connotations related to a certain controlled substance here in the U.S.A...
If someone were to say to me to "puff the wrist" I would think they were telling me to make it bigger all around, actually swell it up to a greater size in all directions.
To my mind the word "puff", or it's action word "puffing", does not convey the same meaning, or even a close one, to "seating" or "setting", nor does it give me the idea to do with the wrist what is required of it for Tai Chi Chuan form or application.

I have no idea what other word would work better in the context required, but I can say pretty definitively that "puffing" won't work for an American mind to understand the context it is trying to convey about the wrist.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:12 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Yin Peixiong:
<B>Zhuo wan or seating the wrist is an important taijiquan hand posture. Wang Yongquan however prefers the term gu wan or puffing the wrist - there should be a better translation. Although I'm thinking of puffed sleaves and the puffed cheeks of Dizzy Gillespie, a softer and more gradual quality should be conveyed instead of a puff of air.

His reservation of using seating the wrist is that it may lead to regidity instead of agility in the wrist. It seems to be a meaningful distinction since yi, song, and jin are emphasized over the physical.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings Arthur,

I agree that “seating the wrists” is potentially an elusive concept. It could be misunderstood in a way that could lead to stiffness or rigidity in the wrist—and that is definitely not the objective. I tend to think of “zuo wan” as “settled” in contrast to “floating.” That is, the concept of “seating the wrists” involves a consciousness of gravity pulling down through the joints of the wrists, as it pulls down through the elbows and the shoulders.

I’m curious about that term “gu wan” advocated by Wang Yongquan. Do you happen to have a page reference in Wang’s book where he discusses this, so that I can look it up?

In the meantime, here’s a link to a document elsewhere on this site, in which Yang Zhenduo describes seating the wrists and other aspects of the palm forms in taiji:

http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/about/articles/palm-methods

Take care,
Louis
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Postby fumin » Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:42 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Yin Peixiong:
<B>Zhuo wan or seating the wrist is an important taijiquan hand posture. Wang Yongquan however prefers the term gu wan or puffing the wrist - there should be a better translation. Although I'm thinking of puffed sleaves and the puffed cheeks of Dizzy Gillespie, a softer and more gradual quality should be conveyed instead of a puff of air.

His reservation of using seating the wrist is that it may lead to regidity instead of agility in the wrist. It seems to be a meaningful distinction since yi, song, and jin are emphasized over the physical.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hello,Yin

Don't get confused the word of seating ,setting or puffing the wrist.
The wrist is only part of the whole body.
When one Taichi Practitioner applies pen,lu,press and An(push), you can repeat the An back and forth and you can see the wrist's shape. When it's a good timing for a Taichi skilled practitioner to thrust the whole Jin through the palm into the opponent's body, he suddenly and quickly change the angle the wrist with An(push).
If it cause the bounce or harm to the opponent. You can use any term to describe the wrist. Otherwise, it is meaningless.
The better way is to practice the An well with the Sifu and the partners. Once you can apply it and you understand the seating wrist.
What yi, song, and jin are emphasized over the whole body deserves to pay attention to.

Cheers
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:54 am

Aha. Found it, on p. 5.

¨ä¹ê§¤µÃ«Ü®e©ö§Î¦¨¤â¶Õ»ø¤Æ, ¦]¦¹À³ª`·N ¡§¹ªµÃ¡¨. ¹ª°_µÃ¤l¨Ï¤â¶ÕÃP³n¥­ª½. . . .

--Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:03 am

Greetings Arthur,

Now that I’ve found the term in Wang Yongquan’s book, I can better discern the meaning. Since he also uses the term “guqi,” it would seem to have a meaning similar to “pluck up” or to “rouse.” The imagery that comes to mind here for me is “charged” as for example a firehose filled with water is “charged.” In fact I think I read an interview with Fu Zhongwen in which he used the imagery of a charged water hose to describe the flow of jin through one’s arms into the palms. Does that make sense for you?

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 08-04-2008).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:00 pm

It also appears to me that Wang Yongquan is addressing the relationship of the wrist and the hand, which he states as "linked together." The admonition to seat the wrists (zuo wan) refers primarily to the downward-sinking of the joints of the wrist, but does not address the lively upward lift of the palm and fingers. It looks to me like Wang proposed this "gu wan" term to better describe the interaction of the wrist with the hand. I see the point he is making, but I'm not sure how successful it is, or how best to translate it (to rouse? to charge?). To me, the prescription to seat the wrists is very useful, but benefits from additional instruction about the orientation of the palm and fingers, as provided by Yang Zhenduo.

--Louis

[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 08-02-2008).]
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Postby Yin Peixiong » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:39 pm

Hi, Louis,

Fu Chongwen's Important Point 3 of Posture 2, Beginning Form, gives a detailed description of zuo wan - Louis, my pinyin can't help but improve with your help! The quality of the movement is not in doubt.

What I appreciate is Wang's preference of gu to zuo; zuo has a physical connotation, and gu, however it may be translated, has an internal (hence, more helpful) connotation for me.

Arthur
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Postby Yuri_Snisarenko » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:26 am

Greetings,

In Fu Zhongwen line we follow the condition of sitting the wrists mainly (as I see it) because li dian/ jin dian (intrinsic strength points) are located mostly in the wrists during the form. Remove zuo wan – and li dian is no more in the wrist so the meaning of the posture will be changed. That’s indeed in the beginning a PHISICAL manifestation of the internal principle. And physical level here goes first – that’s the nature of Yang Chengfu style as I see it.

I suspect that Wang Yongquan probably didn’t emphasized or even bypass li dian/ jin dian method in his training, that’s why he suggested to change the term. I think I see what he is trying to suggest , but it’s not probably the beginning stuff, not the usual standard way of studding in YCF method (IMHO).

BTW here is a rare video of WYQ doing the form:

http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=YBrwGG9gSPs&feature=related

looks like almost standard YCF form to me.
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Postby Yin Peixiong » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:03 pm

Upon reflection of Yuri's comments, I now revert to using the term zuo wan. My hand posture follows Fu Zhongwen's description of zuo wan. I will keep gu wan in mind as a warning against developing rigidity in the wrist.

As to Wang's usage of gu wan, I will leave it for others to speculate.

Arthur
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Postby fumin » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:27 pm

Hi,Yin
Take a careful look at what the difference is between Mr.wang's Fajin and the Quan form.

A lady asks Mr. Wang in Chinese where his Jin comes from. Wang answers,"it comes from the behind." as the classical principle--"energy comes from backbone".

Therefore, the wrists' outer shape shoudn't block the ejection of jin behind. It only acts as a channel, and through it,the jin reacts upon the opponent.

Cheers


http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJaaVm7rKqE&feature=related

[This message has been edited by fumin (edited 08-06-2008).]
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Postby Yuri_Snisarenko » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:45 am

Nice thought provoking discussion. Thanks to everyone.

I think, I see the issue with the wrists now. One should carefully investigate the meaning of “jin” and “li” in neijia and decide for him/her-self what he/she is looking for (personal preferences, so to speak)…
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Postby JerryKarin » Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:51 am

When Yang Zhenduo explains zuowan he takes the other hand and actually lifts the fingers of the demonstrating hand up. I sometimes used to interpret this phrase at seminars as 'stand the wrist'. I think the idea of 'sitting' relates to when you sit the upper body is erect and there is a near right angle bend at waist.
In fact I seem to remember him occasionally using the phrase 立 li wan. 'stand the wrist'.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 08-08-2008).]
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Postby Audi » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:34 pm

Hi everyone,

Great discussion!

Since Louis did not translate the excerpt he quoted, let me give it a shot.

‘´›‰¿˜rœk—eˆÕŒ`¬Žè¨™K‰», ˆöŸœä’ˆÓ gŒÛ˜rh. ŒÛ‹N˜rŽqŽgŽè¨é “’¼.

"As a matter of fact, in seating the wrists, it is easy for the shaping of the hand position to become rigid. Because of this, one must pay attention to activating the wrists. Moving to activate the wrists makes the hand shape/gesture soft, spongy, even and straight."

I think I might understand the reasoning behind this statement, but generally approach this problem from a slightly different direction, based on what I understand from the teaching in the Association. For most people, I do not think the solution lies in imagining or cultivating any type of feelings in the wrist in isolation. Although I think this can be done successfully, I think this instruction can be very misleading and lead people to ignore the physical and try for an exclusively mental or metaphysical solution that will prove illusive.

What I understand to be important is to understand that seating the wrist involves a Taiji relationship between extending the Jin point in the palm or palm heel and preserving the Jin flow from the spine to the Jin point. From shoulder to palm (heel) you want a straight line of energy, but you cannot make the arm too straight. You want a curve that tends toward straight. Seek the straight in the curve (and vice versa).

If you do not extend the fingers enough, you do not draw out the Jin point. If you extend them too much, you choke off the Jin flow. If you bend the wrist too much, you destroy the smooth curve and cut off the Jin flow. If you do not bend the wrist enough, you hide the Jin point. If you bend the elbow too much, you destroy the straightness and extension of the Jin flow. If you do not bend enough, you destroy the curve and cut off the flow of Jin. How straight the straightness should be and how curved the curve should be depends on the application.

What I do is to think about extending through the Jin point in the palm or palm heel, helping with the fingers, but feel for the curve extending from the Jin point through my arm to my elbow and to the middle of my back between the shoulder blades. The curve is like an arch. If the curve is right, the arch will be strong and the Jin will be strong. If the Jin point is drawn out and exposed, I know that I will be able to send it out. The more I need extension, the flatter the arch will be (e.g., in the final position of Push or Apparent Closure) . The more I need to store or absorb energy, the more rounded the arch will be (e.g., the position in Push or Apparent Closure when the hands are near your body or the final position of the top arm in Fair Lady Works the Shuttles). In some transitions, you need a temporary double arch, joined at the elbow, such as when the seated palm is tucked near the arm pit in Brush Knee and Repulse Monkey.

If you think of bending the wrist as only an isolated, local movement, I think the tendency will always be to make a shape that is stiff, weak, and brittle. If, on the other hand, you activate the relationship of the wrist to the entire curved line linking the middle of the upper back and the tips of the fingers, you can form something that feels alive, flexible, yielding, and yet strong.


Take care,
Audi
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:41 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
<B>When Yang Zhenduo explains zuowan he takes the other hand and actually lifts the fingers of the demonstrating hand up. I sometimes used to interpret this phrase at seminars as 'stand the wrist'. I think the idea of 'sitting' relates to when you sit the upper body is erect and there is a near right angle bend at waist.
In fact I seem to remember him occasionally using the phrase —§ li wan. 'stand the wrist'.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 08-08-2008).]</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings Jerry,

Since it is the wrist that is seated, it would seem to make more sense to me that it is the palm that stands. Hence the phrase could be li zhang, "stand the palm." Could that have been it?

Take care,
Louis
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