Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby rojcewiczj on Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:54 am

The point is not that the shoulders never move. The point is that the shoulders move by the action of the torso not by action of the arms. This is what is called brute force, for the arms to drag the shoulders along, bringing some residual body mass into the strike but actually preventing the whole mass from being delivered. This is what is called "tossing" in Taiji, that the movements of the arms toss the shoulders along with them, causing the body to wobble. This is not a small and obvious issue. On a practical level, The process of fully differentiating the arms from the body and then re-forming their relationship is, to my understanding, a very important function of martial art. It can be very difficulty to truly understand the process of moving the body and arm in a coordinated relationship. In order to begin the process of re-forming, we must be clear on what is the body, and what is the arm. The arms is the limp itself which can reach and rotate, comb your hair and brush your teeth. Your shoulders are that part of your torso on which the straps of your backpack hang. Taken in this sense, do you really think you need to move your shoulders to move your arms? or that they have a common role in making actions? The arm and shoulder have completely different jobs to fulfill. Move your arms with your arms, move your shoulders with your body, move them separately but together through coordination. Connect with your arms, transfer mass with your body. Do one thing and do another in harmony. Don't let your shoulders get dragged into what is your arms responsibility.
rojcewiczj
Anjing
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:09 am

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:07 am

If you want to use your shoulders as a hidey hole for your head like western boxing go ahead
Just don't tell me it is a part of traditional tai chi
Admit that it is a modern adaption that you use
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
wayne hansen
Wuji
 
Posts: 2728
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:52 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby willie on Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:19 am

wayne hansen wrote:If you want to use your shoulders as a hidey hole for your head like western boxing go ahead
Just don't tell me it is a part of traditional tai chi
Admit that it is a modern adaption that you use

Your always using shoulders to some degree, If not then there would be no connection to the rest of your body and
your arms would just be lying on the floor...
willie
Wuji
 
Posts: 1757
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:21 am

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby charles on Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:59 am

rojcewiczj wrote: The point is that the shoulders move by the action of the torso not by action of the arms. This is what is called brute force, for the arms to drag the shoulders along, bringing some residual body mass into the strike but actually preventing the whole mass from being delivered.


Sure, I guess. But, this seems something of a straw man in that I don't think anyone who has trained well does this.

This is what is called "tossing" in Taiji, that the movements of the arms toss the shoulders along with them, causing the body to wobble.


In the context of Taijiquan, the only person that I am aware of who uses the term "tossing" is Hong. In his system, that is not what "tossing" means or what causes it.

On a practical level, The process of fully differentiating the arms from the body and then re-forming their relationship is, to my understanding, a very important function of martial art. It can be very difficulty to truly understand the process of moving the body and arm in a coordinated relationship. In order to begin the process of re-forming, we must be clear on what is the body, and what is the arm.... Move your arms with your arms, move your shoulders with your body, move them separately but together through coordination. Connect with your arms, transfer mass with your body. Do one thing and do another in harmony.


I think it is important to understand the practical use of the arms and the torso, but "re-forming their relationship" seems to me to be barking up the wrong tree. Simply put, the arms twist and the arms extend and retract. They do that, in part, in response to what the torso does. Looking at them as completely separate objects and then trying to relate them is to miss what coordinating/integrating them is about. Rather than differentiate them, I'd suggest looking at how they are connected, rather than how they are coordinated. That is, how the motion of one causes or influences the other, rather than see them as two disjoint things to which coordination is then imposed. Instead of seeing the wringing motion of a towel as two ends of a towel who's rotational motions need to be coordinated, see them as a single entity wherein the twisting of one end causes the twisting of the other.
charles
Wuji
 
Posts: 1238
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby RobP3 on Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:07 am

rojcewiczj wrote:The point is not that the shoulders never move. The point is that the shoulders move by the action of the torso not by action of the arms. This is what is called brute force, for the arms to drag the shoulders along, bringing some residual body mass into the strike but actually preventing the whole mass from being delivered. This is what is called "tossing" in Taiji, that the movements of the arms toss the shoulders along with them, causing the body to wobble. This is not a small and obvious issue. On a practical level, The process of fully differentiating the arms from the body and then re-forming their relationship is, to my understanding, a very important function of martial art. It can be very difficulty to truly understand the process of moving the body and arm in a coordinated relationship. In order to begin the process of re-forming, we must be clear on what is the body, and what is the arm. The arms is the limp itself which can reach and rotate, comb your hair and brush your teeth. Your shoulders are that part of your torso on which the straps of your backpack hang. Taken in this sense, do you really think you need to move your shoulders to move your arms? or that they have a common role in making actions? The arm and shoulder have completely different jobs to fulfill. Move your arms with your arms, move your shoulders with your body, move them separately but together through coordination. Connect with your arms, transfer mass with your body. Do one thing and do another in harmony. Don't let your shoulders get dragged into what is your arms responsibility.


No, it isn't neccessarily "brute force". Waves can go both ways. Movement can be initiated from any part of the body if you have true freedom of movement and are not stuck in some stylistic straitjacket
"Remember, if your life seems dull and boring - it is" Derek & Clive
www.systemauk.com
RobP3
Huajing
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:30 am
Location: UK

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby robert on Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:37 am

rojcewiczj wrote:The point isThe arms is the limp itself which can reach and rotate, comb your hair and brush your teeth. Your shoulders are that part of your torso on which the straps of your backpack hang.

It is not that simple and in over-simplifying you're making it much more complex than it is ;)

From the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Your shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle).

The humerous is part of the shoulder.

Most people generate power with their shoulders, in the CIMAs the power centers are the kua, yao, and chest. Learning how use the kua and yao and have the shoulders maintain a passive role means retraining the body - breaking ingrained habits. You don't generate power with your shoulder and you need to be connected so you can transfer the force generated by the power centers out as required to shoulder, elbow, or hand/fist.
Try not to let the words confuse you — they serve no other purpose than to guide you into the inner structures of Taiji. Chen Xin
robert
Anjing
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:32 am

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby rojcewiczj on Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:40 am

Raising your shoulders to hide your head is a function of raising your arms at the the shoulder joint, you are raising your shoulder girdle by raising your arms at the root. The arms and torso are connected by nature, not by will, they are connected at the shoulder in such a way as to allow independence of the arms relative to the body. Not being one thing, but being two, This allows for a relationship to form between the arms and the body. When I punch, I connect to my opponent via the shoulder joint, my arm seeks to become a most perfect connection for my body mass to transfer through. It is the same with grappling. If their is only one, then the concept of connection stops existing and along with it the wealth of traditional martial arts skills. Where is connection lost? because a connection is something which exists between two objects. My arms are connectors, they exist between my body and my opponent, they connect us and allow the forces of our bodies to interact. By controlling the connection I control the interaction. How to control the interaction? Through truly distinguishing my arms from by body. Through truly distinguishing between what connects and what is being connected to.
rojcewiczj
Anjing
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:09 am

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby BruceP on Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:55 am

Bhassler wrote:BruceP wrote rather extensively about this (and similar) years ago, but swinging a sledge hammer for a chunk of time with bad intentions is a great way to learn how to coordinate shoulders/arms with the body. Just make sure it's done with the idea of doing the most work with the least amount of effort-- don't turn it into a Crossfit workout...



Always feel a little like Blaine, in the scene before the drop, whenever practical info actually threatens to take a discussion off-topic



BruceP
Great Old One
 
Posts: 1523
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby BruceP on Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:16 am

rojcewiczj wrote:Raising your shoulders to hide your head is a function of raising your arms at the the shoulder joint, you are raising your shoulder girdle by raising your arms at the root. The arms and torso are connected by nature, not by will, they are connected at the shoulder in such a way as to allow independence of the arms relative to the body. Not being one thing, but being two, This allows for a relationship to form between the arms and the body. When I punch, I connect to my opponent via the shoulder joint, my arm seeks to become a most perfect connection for my body mass to transfer through. It is the same with grappling. If their is only one, then the concept of connection stops existing and along with it the wealth of traditional martial arts skills. Where is connection lost? because a connection is something which exists between two objects. My arms are connectors, they exist between my body and my opponent, they connect us and allow the forces of our bodies to interact. By controlling the connection I control the interaction. How to control the interaction? Through truly distinguishing my arms from by body. Through truly distinguishing between what connects and what is being connected to.


That is an excellent idea for keeping intention/energetics out of the interplay and just letting the action rally. It's a great technique for exploring distance and timing.

Range, though, needs the shoulders and hips to rotate and extend. Extension is a vital component of finding good range.

Whip needs 'independent' sequencing to be smooth, and the shoulders need to move ahead of the arms while following the torso in order to transfer smooth power.
BruceP
Great Old One
 
Posts: 1523
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby Fubo on Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:54 pm

Have not read the entire thread, but with regards to the OP, I think the language being used confuses a pretty simple point. I think a lot of internal people needlessly over complicate descriptions. I believe the OP is describing the feeling that when the shoulders have the correct degree of relaxation, you can transfer force through the body and into the arms without the shoulders tensing up, thus having the sensation that the shoulders are not "felt".
Fubo
Wuji
 
Posts: 1210
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby rojcewiczj on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:09 am

The feeling of not having shoulders is a product of having freedom of movement in the shoulder joint; more importantly however, is the change in the methods through which we engage our opponent. In my experience, concepts around the use of the body, the Shen Fa, have taken precedence to an unhelpful degree in discussion of proper body usage. What I am suggesting is that instead of be very much concerned with the nature of the waist and hips and legs, all of which are undoubtedly important, we instead take time to look at how we engage our opponent and how that method of engagement sets up proper or improper relationships within the body. I think many people are trying to engage with power and throw or strike their opponents down through a movement of the entire body, with out consciously distinguishing the roles of different body parts. I think this single body kinetic chain type of action is a mistake and a critical mistake, and that to engage purely through a rotation of the shoulder joint before sending body power through the connection, raises the practitioner up to entirely higher level on interaction. Is it daunting when someone is punching quickly towards your face? For me it was, because my body is so much larger and slower than this fist flying at me, But then I found with a small and nearly instant rotation of the shoulder I can connect to with strikes. Grappling, to be honest, for me mostly consisted of trying to knock over my opponent and lay on them while trying not to get knocked over and laid on, free style push hands was an exercise in big, gross movements that often felt clumsy and strained. Now, I create the connections I want through small and nearly instant rotations of my shoulder joints, when the shoulder joint can no longer rotate, I know my hook is sunk into my opponent, I have a bite, and my whole body power acts through the connection for clear and intentional effect. I have a fine control to create precise connections through the rotation of my shoulder joints and I have this big power from my whole-body ready to be expressed through those connections. I'm very enthusiastic about the separation of arms and body, about the lost of my shoulders as something merging my arms and body into one force, one control, because I believe it is a gate-way to higher level skills.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjjiJbPOdR8

Of all the interpretations one can form on what is going on in this video. I suggest, quite simply, that master Chen is controlling the interaction through connection via shoulder rotation, while supporting every connection with his body.
Can we not see how the body remains fairly stationary compared to the quick and precise action of his arms?
Last edited by rojcewiczj on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
rojcewiczj
Anjing
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:09 am

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby charles on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:25 am

rojcewiczj wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjjiJbPOdR8

Of all the interpretations one can form on what is going on in this video. I suggest, quite simply, that master Chen is controlling the interaction through connection via shoulder rotation, while supporting every connection with his body.


In an attempt to remain polite and constructive, I'd suggest you e-mail Master Chen with your thoughts and obtain his feedback. Better still, attend a seminar with him and feel what he is doing first-hand and hear his explanation of what he is doing and when - timing matters. Get the information first-hand and avoid all the middle-man discussion/distraction. I respectfully suggest you'll find that you are barking up the wrong forrest and that he isn't doing what you think he is doing.
Last edited by charles on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
charles
Wuji
 
Posts: 1238
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby rojcewiczj on Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:11 pm

From my understanding, the principle in practical method is separation of yin and yang, the concept is indirect power, and the method is in with elbow no hand out with hand no elbow. In with elbow no hand out with hand no elbow sounds like rotation of the shoulder joint to me. I think your right that I should pursue more time with master Chen, given my interest in his method.
rojcewiczj
Anjing
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:09 am

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby charles on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:21 pm

rojcewiczj wrote:From my understanding, the principle in practical method is separation of yin and yang...


That is a basic principle in all styles of Taijiquan. How it is implemented in each style varies and is part of what distinguishes one style from another.


the method is in with elbow no hand out with hand no elbow.


The method is "in with the elbow, out with the hand". That is, withdrawing the arm, lead with the elbow; extending the arm, lead with the hand/fingers. It isn't that there is "no hand" when withdrawing or that there is "no elbow" when extending.

In with elbow no hand out with hand no elbow sounds like rotation of the shoulder joint to me.


Might sound that way, but it isn't.

I think your right that I should pursue more time with master Chen, given my interest in his method.


Absolutely. You'll find that he is very approachable and is skilled at teaching.
charles
Wuji
 
Posts: 1238
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: Body and Arms, I have no shoulders

Postby robert on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:33 pm

From an interview with Chen Zhonghua

Movement reflects adjustment within a fixed frame, with limbs always connected. There is no “waving of the arms.”

Arms only move connected with the torso, from kua rotation driven by legs, not independently from the body.

That is what kua movement is about. Only by moving in this manner, can you eventually develop your kua.


See the thread earlier this summer regarding kua -
http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26176&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15&sid=ceb4fd36ab838cb9d1b6c2404a91e653
Try not to let the words confuse you — they serve no other purpose than to guide you into the inner structures of Taiji. Chen Xin
robert
Anjing
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:32 am

PreviousNext

Return to Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest