On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

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

On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Wordlessnature on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:30 pm

It has come to my attention recently, within the scope of my own training, that we become easily accustomed to moving much more than its necessary.

I would venture to say that this movement is not only unnecessary. It is detrimental and counter to the principles of the art.
I have been working a lot on dang / kua roundness and mobility, and I find that with greater movement within the pelvis, external movements quickly began to feel exaggerated and clumsy.

For example, during turning / reeling movements (sparrow's tail, knee brush, many others), the front knee tends to move if the pelvis is immobile. Opening the pelvis allows the knee to be still, free of any forward / backward or inward / outward movements.

Also notable is the tendency toward shifting weight or moving laterally while performing movements such as single whip.
This results in 'traveling', which is inefficient and greatly increases the risk of moving the center and rotating at the same time (uprooted-ness). Rather than traveling, allow the feet to move automatically while keeping the pelvis open and heavy, minding the orientation of the knees. (This stretches the inner thighs considerably, and I've had to be careful not to gather tension in the lower back to compensate.)
Last edited by Wordlessnature on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wordlessnature
Santi
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:00 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby charles on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:51 pm

What you are describing, more or less, is a central principle in Hong Junsheng's Practical Method. In his method the "travelling" is called "tossing". Chen Zhonghua provides the correction "don't move", meaning don't "travel" or "toss". In that style, one knee moves up while the other moves down: there is no forward/backward or inward/outward motion of the knees. It is driven by the kua and rotation. If you want to explore how it is done in that method, there are lots of videos that CZH has posted on Youtube that describe the mechanics of it.
charles
Wuji
 
Posts: 1162
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Wordlessnature on Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:27 pm

As a matter of fact, looking into the Practical Method is what got me down this path, although I practice Yang rather than Chen Jia. Good principles carry over though, and adhere to no particular style.
Wordlessnature
Santi
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:00 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby greytowhite on Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:21 pm

charles wrote:What you are describing, more or less, is a central principle in Hong Junsheng's Practical Method. In his method the "travelling" is called "tossing". Chen Zhonghua provides the correction "don't move", meaning don't "travel" or "toss". In that style, one knee moves up while the other moves down: there is no forward/backward or inward/outward motion of the knees. It is driven by the kua and rotation. If you want to explore how it is done in that method, there are lots of videos that CZH has posted on Youtube that describe the mechanics of it.


I really enjoyed the compare/contrast of this with the village method I had trained before. I touched hands with someone who was able to show both methods well. The village method kinda felt like I was "bounced" away while the Hong method felt like I had been attached to a merry go round and then flung off.
User avatar
greytowhite
Huajing
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:33 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby rojcewiczj on Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:58 am

To my understanding at the moment, the great issue with "traveling" or "tossing" when it comes to combat. is that it creates conflict/collisions without the power to resolve them. When one tosses, they will collide with the opponents body but will find they do not have the strength to resolve the resistance. To have Peng, one needs to be centered in their position so that the opponent receives only your exertions, the force of your action, and cannot catch or jam any of your movements. Because we toss, we can be jammed, when we are jammed we cannot produce force and only strain ourselves trying to move. Nothing less than a total revision of the way one moves is needed, a revision in which every toss becomes a powered movement, becomes a "geared" movement.
rojcewiczj
Mingjing
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:09 am

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby charles on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:33 am

rojcewiczj wrote:When one tosses, they will collide with the opponents body but will find they do not have the strength to resolve the resistance.


I was taught that the reason one doesn't want to toss is that tossing introduces the element of either pushing or pulling. (Pushing or pulling is different from pushing and pulling.) Whomever is stronger wins a push or a pull: think tug-of-war. Generally, Taijiquan isn't about who is stronger, who can push or pull with more force. Often, tossing involves the body parts all moving in the same direction. Instead, some parts should be moving in one direction, others in the opposite direction, separating or distinguishing "yin and yang". There are practical reasons to want to do that.


To have Peng, one needs to be centered in their position so that the opponent receives only your exertions, the force of your action, and cannot catch or jam any of your movements.


By your statement, it isn't possible to have peng unless one is centered in their position?

Having peng, in and of itself, doesn't prevent one from being caught or jammed. It's not like if you have peng you are invincible and no one can effect you and you can make no mistake.

In some arts, momentum plays an important role in "power" development. Where, if anywhere, does momentum fit into your scheme of things? What is the source of "the force of your action"? What produces that force?
charles
Wuji
 
Posts: 1162
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 1:01 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby David Boxen on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:47 am

charles wrote:
...Often, tossing involves the body parts all moving in the same direction. Instead, some parts should be moving in one direction, others in the opposite direction, separating or distinguishing "yin and yang". There are practical reasons to want to do that...

...In some arts, momentum plays an important role in "power" development. Where, if anywhere, does momentum fit into your scheme of things? What is the source of "the force of your action"? What produces that force?


Once the whole body has momentum, e.g. you are stepping forwards, what does it mean to have some parts moving in one direction and others in the opposite direction?
It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into.
David Boxen
Huajing
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:54 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby johnwang on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:37 am

David Boxen wrote:Once the whole body has momentum, e.g. you are stepping forwards, what does it mean to have some parts moving in one direction and others in the opposite direction?

It can be:

1. Foot sweep - your left leg sweep your opponent's right leg to your right while your left arm pull your opponent's neck to your left. This is 2 opposite direction linear force. Your lower body is twisting to your right while your upper body is twisting to your left.

2. Twist and spring - your right leg spring your opponent's left leg to your right while your arms twist his upper body counter-clockwise to your left. This is 1 circular force and 1 linear force. Your upper body is twisting to your left wile your right leg is springing to your right.

3. ...

But I don't think this is Taiji principle at all.
Last edited by johnwang on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
I'm still allergy to "push".
johnwang
Great Old One
 
Posts: 8064
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby everything on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:42 am

Any of these should be classified as "splitting energy" from a taijiquan pov, even if a specific throw or sweep is not a technique in the tjq catalog/curriculum.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science
User avatar
everything
Wuji
 
Posts: 3679
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby everything on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:43 am

Excessive movement is a likely problem any time you're learning a new move in any art or sport or movement discipline. It happens to me all the time since I'm almost always trying to learn a new (soccer) move. It is awful to feel clumsy but things smooth out quickly.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science
User avatar
everything
Wuji
 
Posts: 3679
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby johnwang on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:57 am

Wordlessnature wrote:to moving much more than its necessary.

This is very important training. When I train "cut" in solo drill, I'll touch my right hand on the ground while kicking my right leg backward and point to the sky. Do I really need to use this much move to take my opponent down? May be not. But if I can do this, I know that my body is still flexibly enough to do any "cut" that doesn't require that much force.

If you can

- run, you can walk.
- stay low, you can stay high.
- move fast, you can move slow.
- kick high, you can kick low.
- do jumping kick, you can do non-jumping kick.
- ...

The other way around may not be true. When you train, you should move your body to the maximum to develop your maximum ability.
Last edited by johnwang on Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
I'm still allergy to "push".
johnwang
Great Old One
 
Posts: 8064
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:57 pm

First master large movements
Then master small
When both methods are understood it is their messhing and combination that leads to understanding of application
Seek the straight in the curve and the curv in the straight
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
wayne hansen
Wuji
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:52 pm

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Itten on Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:06 pm

Surely the answer is the same in any art. When training as much as is needed to develop attributes to their natural capacity limits. In usage as little as possible to get the job done. Artistic flourishes usually signal the demise of an art or students blindly copying teachers physical idiosyncrasies.
Itten
Mingjing
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:46 am

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Steve James on Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:09 pm

Your upper body is twisting to your left wile your right leg is springing to your right.


Maybe not "springing," per se, but in the "Sweep the Lotus" move toward the end of the form, the upper body moves in one direction and the legs in another. Hmm, I did a general search for an application. This is the first one I found. Is it Niall, maybe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iDLzdwZefk

Oh, the next one is interesting too, even mentions shuaijiao.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr0rtGybQo0
Last edited by Steve James on Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
User avatar
Steve James
Great Old One
 
Posts: 15742
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby rojcewiczj on Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:09 pm

charles wrote:
rojcewiczj wrote:When one tosses, they will collide with the opponents body but will find they do not have the strength to resolve the resistance.


I was taught that the reason one doesn't want to toss is that tossing introduces the element of either pushing or pulling. (Pushing or pulling is different from pushing and pulling.) Whomever is stronger wins a push or a pull: think tug-of-war. Generally, Taijiquan isn't about who is stronger, who can push or pull with more force. Often, tossing involves the body parts all moving in the same direction. Instead, some parts should be moving in one direction, others in the opposite direction, separating or distinguishing "yin and yang". There are practical reasons to want to do that.


To have Peng, one needs to be centered in their position so that the opponent receives only your exertions, the force of your action, and cannot catch or jam any of your movements.


By your statement, it isn't possible to have peng unless one is centered in their position?

Having peng, in and of itself, doesn't prevent one from being caught or jammed. It's not like if you have peng you are invincible and no one can effect you and you can make no mistake.

In some arts, momentum plays an important role in "power" development. Where, if anywhere, does momentum fit into your scheme of things? What is the source of "the force of your action"? What produces that force?



If your Peng is sufficient, then even if you are stopped, your opponent will have to receive your force. Where is the force come from? Your muscles. The goal is to train until your body functions as a machine and every movement you make correspondence to a force generated by the muscles: without slack, without tossing. Is there momentum? yes, but it is not my job to develop momentum. It is my job is to train my body until every move I make can and will effect my opponent. For instance, when stepping forward with peng, one leg pushes off the ground and the entire movement of the body correspondence purely to this push off the ground. The entire body becomes a 1 to 1 between strength and movement, force and movement, muscle and movement. Does this mean you need to have bigger and bigger muscles? by no means, what it does mean is that the entire integrity of the body needs to become more and more clearly defined in each movement, in each part. The clear integrity of the torso is most important as all actions of the limps lead to and from and through it. Is this a strange doctrine at all? Truly? Taiji is not exempt from the common realities of physical activity. In fact, it is only by the excruciatingly realistic requirements Taiji sets for the body that Taiji has something profound to offer martial arts and physical activity in general. Other martial arts may say that you need to learn this many techniques and practice so many repetitions of this or that and spar so long, but the Taiji I love tells you quite simply that your not strong enough! The mystery is not where does the force come from, the mystery is strength itself. What rules strength follows, how is it expressed through movement. Particularity this question, how do we move with strength? Movement itself is a sort of weakness, a softness that must rap itself around iron. Iron by itself is dead and must be concealed within the folds of movement.
rojcewiczj
Mingjing
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:09 am

Next

Return to Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: johnwang and 1 guest