On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

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

Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Appledog on Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:06 pm

robert wrote:
Appledog wrote:That just means it's internal, not that it is Taijiquan. You could be talking about any number of arts. For example below you seem to present song as the core jing and not peng.

I've been talking about peng jin as the core jin and as such I would say it's equivalent to neijin. What is your definition of peng jin as the core jin and how do you feel it differentiates taiji from xinyi and bagua?


But that's just it, I've told you three times that idea is wrong, that it is a mistake to say peng jin is the core jin of tai chi. The core jin you are talking about is in fact common to a multitude of styles and it is basically along the lines of standard chi kung practice. Pretty much everyone stands, so it's no suprise that there is a core skill or two developed by standing. But to say it is the core which separates tai chi from other arts, or to assume it's called peng in tai chi because peng is considered a core skill in taiji and this is also a core skill, is just not correct.

robert wrote:
Appledog wrote:I'm almost certain you're talking about opening the joints and not peng, because you said you can be fang song without having peng but you cannot have peng without being song.

The idea of opening the joints might describe part of what I'm talking about, but you have to be relaxed and connected as well. I would have to see what you mean by opening the joints.


Opening the shoulders and hips for one, the mingmen, the iron gate, and all that.

robert wrote:
Appledog wrote:I'm almost certain you're talking about opening the joints and not peng, because you said you can be fang song without having peng but you cannot have peng without being song. Therefore you are saying song, which comes mainly out of standing and other practice is a prerequisite to peng. So why don't we just say that song is the core jing of taijiquan?

The idea of peng jin as the core jin being a fundamental skill is not my idea ;) I've just been expressing my understanding of what that means.


If it's not your idea then don't hold on to tightly to it. A lot of people will say something like this, but it is based on a misunderstanding as I have shown. You should probably double check that FZW quote, are you sure it is saying what you think it is saying?
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby robert on Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:41 pm

Appledog wrote:If it's not your idea then don't hold on to tightly to it. A lot of people will say something like this, but it is based on a misunderstanding as I have shown. You should probably double check that FZW quote, are you sure it is saying what you think it is saying?

I have an open mind, but the quote seems pretty clear to me.
YY: Does this mean there are two definitions of peng? One is the upward direction of the four side energy, while the other is a broader concept, the expanding energy concept?
FZQ: It is OK to differentiate; to give two definitions. One is the upward direction of the four-sided energy (peng/lu/ji/an), the other is yi(4) qi(4) gu(3)dang(4). [Gudang has a very subtle meaning. Here it is used to describe the outward expansion/movement/vibration of yi and qi.]

Every movement is guided by yi and qi movement. If you don't have yi qi gudang, you collapse. Even if your limbs do not move, you need to have yi and qi. When your intention arrives, your qi will arrive. Movement will follow naturally and your force will arrive.

I'm not trying to sell this idea and if you interpret it differently that's fine, but what he is saying seems clear.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Appledog on Mon May 01, 2017 9:30 am

robert wrote:
Appledog wrote:If it's not your idea then don't hold on to tightly to it. A lot of people will say something like this, but it is based on a misunderstanding as I have shown. You should probably double check that FZW quote, are you sure it is saying what you think it is saying?

I have an open mind, but the quote seems pretty clear to me.
YY: Does this mean there are two definitions of peng? One is the upward direction of the four side energy, while the other is a broader concept, the expanding energy concept?
FZQ: It is OK to differentiate; to give two definitions. One is the upward direction of the four-sided energy (peng/lu/ji/an), the other is yi(4) qi(4) gu(3)dang(4). [Gudang has a very subtle meaning. Here it is used to describe the outward expansion/movement/vibration of yi and qi.]

Every movement is guided by yi and qi movement. If you don't have yi qi gudang, you collapse. Even if your limbs do not move, you need to have yi and qi. When your intention arrives, your qi will arrive. Movement will follow naturally and your force will arrive.

I'm not trying to sell this idea and if you interpret it differently that's fine, but what he is saying seems clear.


Yeah it's clear, as I said, both ways can be interpreted as being correct. Thats what he says too. He says it is OK to give two definitions; one is my definition (as part of peng-lu-ji-an) and the other is the fill-up outward expansion.

The problem is the second explanation is kind of a mistake. What makes it weirder is that there is a name for this (I checked with 2 of my sifus to be sure -- one of whom is a student of FZQ and one who is a student of FZW, both of whom I think you quoted) and it is not peng. So it is anyone's guess how this trend got started. My speculation, when people have been going down the wrong path for quite some time, they tend to try and map whatever experiences they have had into the tai chi classics/13 postures/etc, never assuming that they could make a mistake because "something is happening". They get attached to this "something" (whatever it is, there are several we could discuss) and they don't want to let it go because it is "something" and that means they're "making progress". And they are, if they could learn to recognize that "good moves and bad moves are next to each other", i.e. what is and is not a correct "something" is progress because you know where to look but not necessarily what to look at. Or might not have the eyes to see it. Etc.

So sure, you can say that this expansive relaxation and stretching and whatever is peng, but that is a form of humility, you might as well call it peng assuming you are talking about the system in absence of it's politics and difficulty finding a good teacher. FZQ has also said he has chi bolts flying around inside his body, but he (by the way) never explained how that fits into training either. So you need to realize that this is just a stepping stone, and grab the feeling, grab the energy, but maybe forget about what it is called. Its not important to know what it is called, actually, that is an academic exercise maybe for teachers and historians. Calling it peng will just cause needless confusion. Why would anyone want to do that? :)

Now once again the point of all this and why I want to be so careful is because of the title of the thread.

If you have peng ala peng lu ji an, you will not have excessive movement in taiji practice.

If you have peng ala expansive/framework/song-qing jing energy, this will allow for excessive movement in taiji practice.

Therefore song-qing jing is not a core skill of taiji despite being a core skill of neijia in general.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby robert on Mon May 01, 2017 12:34 pm

Appledog wrote:Yeah it's clear, as I said, both ways can be interpreted as being correct. Thats what he says too. He says it is OK to give two definitions; one is my definition (as part of peng-lu-ji-an) and the other is the fill-up outward expansion.

I prefer peng jin referring to peng-lu-ji-an because you can use the term neijin or just jin to refer to the other, but on public forums you often see both being used and that's fine with me, but it can be confusing.

Appledog wrote:Now once again the point of all this and why I want to be so careful is because of the title of the thread.

If you have peng ala peng lu ji an, you will not have excessive movement in taiji practice.

If you have peng ala expansive/framework/song-qing jing energy, this will allow for excessive movement in taiji practice.

If you are connected, if you use that connection to move (silk reeling/drawing), if you're using neijin, I don't think your movement can be excessive at least in the torso & pelvis. I think that's part of the reason it's hard to learn the internal arts. When I was first learning Chen style, if I was having problems with a move, I would sometimes ask if the instructor could move a little larger, but of course you can only go so large and still be connected, otherwise it's external and that is not the same. Within internal movement there are larger and smaller movements and the goal is to get smaller, but once you're internal I don't think the movement would be called excessive.

The only advice I have is to focus on moving with connection and practice, be persistent, and sincere.

My opinion.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Steve James on Mon May 01, 2017 1:02 pm

So it is anyone's guess how this trend got started.


It began when there were claims on the newly-formed internet that "Peng" was the reason that tcc and people like Yang LuChan and others became famous. It's what made tcc so formidable and so on. And, thereafter, every style wanted a prestige of being the "real" tcc and the possessor of its power.

Afa pengshi versus pengjin, they're both correct in context. As so many have pointed out, they're not the same. I wouldn't even say that either are the same as "peng" the feeling of expansion. Ymmv.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby charles on Tue May 02, 2017 5:36 am

Bodywork wrote:Maintaining circular movement creates yin and yang within all aspects of the movement. Chen Fake supposedly told Hong Jun Shang that he believed that people misunderstood peng as the one jin. Rather Chansi jin was the one jin. As within silk reeling...all jins are present.


Interesting. My understanding, perhaps incorrect, is that Hong defined peng as, "Not giving up what you have won". The method for achieving that could well be silk reeling.

For absorbing and generating forces I prefer rotation as it maintain an independence and detachment in free movement across styles... So being free to change and maintaining detachment in widely changing environments are integral to how I think about internals. For me I have found that, my foundational skill set works best based on rotation.
Dan


These days, I regard the basic building blocks of movement to be expansion/contraction, translation and rotation. If one eliminates translation, one is left with expansion/contraction and rotation. I regard silk reeling as a combination of expansion/contraction and rotation.

I was taught that Taijiquan is about change, change in what you are doing in response to an opponent's applied force(s), and how to effect change in your opponent. The inability to change is, I was taught, the error called "double-weighted" or "double-heavy".
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby charles on Tue May 02, 2017 5:51 am

Partridge_Run wrote:Charles,

You are doing a fantastic job with your posts. Your style of communication sets a clear standard.
Thank you for that.


Thank you.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Appledog on Fri May 05, 2017 1:53 pm

robert wrote:If you are connected, if you use that connection to move (silk reeling/drawing), if you're using neijin, I don't think your movement can be excessive at least in the torso & pelvis.


Any move which is on a path of termination, such as a standard strike or heel kick, is automatically extraneous movement. This is why you train the form energies before push hands. Because you have to know what you are looking for. Being connected (alone) is not the issue. Being connected means you are in the door because you know what it is exactly you are training, your not "looking for" the energies anymore. But it doesn't mean you are "100% connected" in the sense of mathematics (a continuous line) and have no extraneous movements. You can be connected and still be double weighted. I think that is the problem here. Even a connected movement could be found to be extraneous if there was a weak link in the chain (note: in the same way a so-called unconnected movement would be discovered). So we reduce the problem to midpoints. It becomes an issue of "where". If you don't have excessive movement in the torso and pelvis, where exactly is the extraneous movement? Somewhere broken from the rotation of the torso and pelvis. Somewhere off-circle. You also seem to agree with this idea in your practical example below.

robert wrote:I think that's part of the reason it's hard to learn the internal arts. When I was first learning Chen style, if I was having problems with a move, I would sometimes ask if the instructor could move a little larger, but of course you can only go so large and still be connected, otherwise it's external and that is not the same. Within internal movement there are larger and smaller movements and the goal is to get smaller, but once you're internal I don't think the movement would be called excessive.

The only advice I have is to focus on moving with connection and practice, be persistent, and sincere.

My opinion.


Well, it's an opinion, but if in practice it works out by defining connection as staying in the circle, and having to go to a larger circle to feel the roundness, then aren't we now talking about something different than the expansive energy you get from standing? What about arts that don't have this kind of circular motion, but do have the expansive energy. Would they also be a kind of Tai Chi? If we took one of those movements. Say Beng quan (the punch) from Xingyi. A fine and famous move. But in tai chi, would such a move be considered extraneous?
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby robert on Fri May 05, 2017 5:41 pm

The OP asked about EXCESSIVE movement and that's what I was dicussing, see the thread title. You're engaging in a straw man argument.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby wayne hansen on Fri May 05, 2017 5:57 pm

I wonder what part of Beng you are talking about
It is in backlist parry punch,punch down and groin punch
It is the first two movements of side a of the San shou and the second movement in side b
It also appears many more times that I won't mention here
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Appledog on Fri May 05, 2017 6:06 pm

robert wrote:The OP asked about EXCESSIVE movement and that's what I was dicussing, see the thread title. You're engaging in a straw man argument.


No, that's just your opinion, but you are free to address the points I raised, or answer any of the questions I've asked you over the past few messages. Either way, I think our relative positions on this issue are clear enough that if the OP has any questions he will be able to ask by himself.

wayne hansen wrote:I wonder what part of Beng you are talking about
It is in backlist parry punch,punch down and groin punch
It is the first two movements of side a of the San shou and the second movement in side b
It also appears many more times that I won't mention here


I just meant a move which starts and stops. Hidden hand punch is another kind of problematic move. But I wanted to refer to something outside of tai chi so we couldn't just say it's supposed to be done in a spiral anyways.
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Steve James on Fri May 05, 2017 7:18 pm

Hidden hand punch is another kind of problematic move.


Do you mean the "Step forward, deflect downward, parry, punch" in the Yang form?
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby wayne hansen on Fri May 05, 2017 8:55 pm

Every move is a spiral employing twisting of silk and reeling of silk
Even though one might be there to a greater degree they are both always there
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby Appledog on Fri May 05, 2017 9:09 pm

Steve James wrote:
Hidden hand punch is another kind of problematic move.


Do you mean the "Step forward, deflect downward, parry, punch" in the Yang form?


We could talk about that, or brush knee as a similar kind of example. When you push forward in brush knee in yang style, there is a moment when you stop pushing forward and your arm comes back up. Many people do this by pushing forward then moving their weight back to twist step, causing a forwards-then-backwards broken energy. Yes it's possible to do it without breaking the energy this way, so I didn't want to point out a tai chi posture in particular. There are too many ways to say that the move should be done in a different way which gets away from the point of my example. But if during the initial push, there is a flat part i.e. it's not part of the eventual twist step, then I am saying that particular section is an extraneous movement for the same reason any other kind of flowery or incorrect movement would be. It is merely something outside the realm of the silk reeling, something which breaks it or flattens it. Anything which is extraneous would be outside such a circle. And you get a flat, linear energy that can only be used to express force against force.

But I also reread the OP after what robert said, and I think the OP was more focused on stances and weight transference than the turning-point expression in the torso and arms. My problem is that I don't consider that kind of traveling or tossing as an extraneous or incorrect movement. Thats because my focus is different. The focus of such traveling is wrapped up in the form itself; in other forms it's not an issue and may even be written into the form (ex. sun style). So, taking issue with "counter to the principles of the art" I was taking a look at "extraneous movement" through silk reeling colored glasses. I should be clear though and point that out, what the OP was saying is highly style/form specific.

Some close relatives of hong's chen style don't mind this kind of traveling either. Maybe I am misreading the OP, but I've never seen a chen style that doesn't shift weight in single whip...
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Re: On excessive movement in taijiquan practice

Postby robert on Fri May 05, 2017 9:22 pm

Appledog wrote:Well, it's an opinion, but if in practice it works out by defining connection as staying in the circle, and having to go to a larger circle to feel the roundness, then aren't we now talking about something different than the expansive energy you get from standing? What about arts that don't have this kind of circular motion, but do have the expansive energy. Would they also be a kind of Tai Chi? If we took one of those movements. Say Beng quan (the punch) from Xingyi. A fine and famous move. But in tai chi, would such a move be considered extraneous?

It looks like we have different ideas about what connected means. I mean the body is connected internally using jing jin (muscle tendon channels). I'm not talking about drawing in the air. If the body is connected the waist and pelvis can be used to move the limbs. I'm interested in body mechanics and from what I've seen the body mechanics for taiji, xinyi, and bagua are very similar. I suspect the main difference between the neijia is tactics.

This guy looks connected to me.

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