Hold The Line

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

Hold The Line

Postby rojcewiczj on Mon May 08, 2017 8:11 am

hold the line
phrase of hold
1.not yield to the pressure of a difficult situation.

I think this phrase encapsulates an essential point of traditional martial arts. Do not make moves against the opponent without referencing the "line". What is the "line"?
The line is whatever you hold, or you could say, your positioning. While one foot advances the other can hold the line, while your arms attack, your torso can hold the line.
There are numerous methods, but one principle: hold the line. Chen Zhonghua has spoken of this "line" as a demarcation from wince we separate yin and yang. Looked at from such close proximity as your own body,
The "line" can become obscure, but, if we think of the "line" in terms the movements of ancient military units, its necessity becomes quite obvious. Imagine training the youth of a village to prepare for a bandit attack in feudal China
(images of Seven Samurai come to mind!). One might consider how, without the ability to form a line, to fight for ground and hold that ground once won, the villagers could be easily scattered, broken, picked off one by one. Imagine you perceive immediately that the daily actions associated with working in the village have already conditioned the villagers adequately for jabbing with the pointy end of a spear; However, when demanded to move in unison, to line up and step together with stability, gradually inching forward as a single solid wall of spears, alas! its impossible! So you set about instructing them in the discipline of stability, utilizing the training of low postures and segmented, disciples stepping in order to encourage the villagers to distinguish the "line" from their usual free and easy sense of movement. For some years this training is carried on with regular intensity until one day the bandits attack. Moving in loose formation they break on your unified villagers like water breaks on a rock. The villagers attack and move forward, attack and move forward, their attack is not them moving forward, they attack and they move forward, they hold the line and little by little that line moves forward they push the bandits back leaving them less and less and less ground.

The practical necessity of holding the line in large scale battle reveals an essential principle by which the individual body can become itself a well organized army.
It is truly a Martial Art.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby jimmy on Mon May 08, 2017 3:09 pm

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Re: Hold The Line

Postby Bill on Mon May 08, 2017 3:55 pm

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Last edited by Bill on Wed May 10, 2017 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby Appledog on Mon May 08, 2017 6:47 pm

This post is supposed to be deleted because I only keep my most recent 100 posts. An admin should delete it or allow users to delete their own posts to save space.
Last edited by Appledog on Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby phil b on Mon May 08, 2017 9:55 pm

Appledog wrote:
rojcewiczj wrote:Chen Zhonghua has spoken of this "line" as a demarcation from wince we separate yin and yang.


Actually I am not sure I understand what you are talking about. A wince is a slight involuntary grimmace.


Tut tut ;D
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby GrahamB on Wed May 10, 2017 1:59 am

Appledog wrote:
rojcewiczj wrote:Chen Zhonghua has spoken of this "line" as a demarcation from wince we separate yin and yang.


Actually I am not sure I understand what you are talking about. A wince is a slight involuntary grimmace:

wince
verb
1. make a slight involuntary grimace or shrinking movement of the body out of pain or distress.
"he winced at the disgust in her voice"
synonyms: grimace, pull a face

If you meant to say "whence", then you have committed a serious grammatical error that (at least according to one webpage I checked) Nazis have been attacking since the 13th century (ref: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php ... correctly/). Your sentence should read, "Chen Zhonghua has spoken of this "line" as a demarcation whence we separate yin and yang.". Actually in order to make it read better and use proper typography, because we care about such things, you should remove the rather banal emphasis quotes and replace it with italicized text, as follows:

Chen Zhonghua has spoken of this line as a demarcation whence we separate yin and yang.

Actually now that I have switched around what you said to fit my own view of things, it makes more sense. Carry on.


Thanks - that was quite interesting ("From whence" = bad grammar). I think I'd just rewrite the whole sentence though to make it more modern:

"Chen Zhonghua has spoken of this line as a demarcation from which we separate yin and yang."
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby LaoDan on Wed May 10, 2017 7:37 am

I have addressed some aspects of “this line as a demarcation from which we separate yin and yang” in Taijiquan in the following article:
http://slantedflying.com/be-the-ball/
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby charles on Thu May 11, 2017 7:22 am

LaoDan wrote:I have addressed some aspects of “this line as a demarcation from which we separate yin and yang” in Taijiquan in the following article:
http://slantedflying.com/be-the-ball/


Thanks for a well-written article. Although off-topic, I'd like to discuss it a little.

The idea, concept or "model" that a human behaves like a rotating sphere (or cylinder) when an eccentric force is applied to the surface of the sphere is often repeated as the method in Taijiquan. The idea that the rotation causes a separation of "yin and yang" is also often repeated. I'd like to explore how those are implemented practically.

Let's take the classic example of Yang style Rollback, as seen in the Grasp Bird's Tail Sequence. As usually performed, the entire body is rotated to the left while shifting one's weight to the rear - an eccentrically loaded vertical cylinder. Based upon what you have written, using the central axis as the axis of rotation, the left side of the body is rotating to the rear, while the right side of the body is rotating forward, as the entire body shifts to the rear leg (translation). This, one rotating towards the rear, one rotating towards the front, creates the separation of Yin and Yang. While this might be what the practitioner "feels" happening, what does the opponent, upon whom this action is being performed, feel?

The opponent feels no separation. The overall sensation the opponent experiences is that of being pulled in a single direction, forward towards the practitioner's left side. Is the "separation of Yin and Yang" relative to the practitioner, and what he or she feels, or is it a practical outcome, what the opponent experiences?

In your article you describe "double-weighted" as not having one side of the body Yin and the opposite side Yang. In Rollback, by virtue of the practitioner's rotation about a central axis, "theory" suggests one side is Yin and one side is Yang, thus the practitioner is not "double-weighted". However, if one performs Rollback, as described above, on someone of skill, the person performing the Rollback is in for a big surprise, probably ending-up on their rear a few feet away. In which case, what is the practical value - or reason - of not being "double-weighted"?

To tie this back to the OP's statement, where is "the line" that is being held if the entire body, as a whole, is retreating to the practitioner's rear, left?
Last edited by charles on Thu May 11, 2017 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby LaoDan on Fri May 12, 2017 8:33 am

Charles,

My article is probably off topic to the OP, but it seemed to relate to the Chen Zhonghwa statement.

If someone pushes on both sides of a cylinder at the same time (crossing the centerline), then the cylinder can be prevented from rotating and the cylinder will be pushed back (analogous to your Rollback example). That is why each point of contact should be a separate sphere, capable of rotating relatively independently of each other (like the two arms each being capable of relatively independent actions). There should not be just one body ball/cylinder; there should be multiple spheres (with different centers). A cylinder can be prevented from rotating with two points of contact if they cross the centerline, but a sphere needs three points of contact spread around the center to prevent it from rotating in any direction.

While the whole body does make one sphere, there should be an infinite number of possible additional spheres; there should be yin and yang on each side of every point of contact (i.e. separate spheres). Double weighting/pressure can be both sides of the body, but should probably be applied more broadly to instead be referring to every point of contact, at that point of contact, in addition to the body as a whole.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby charles on Fri May 12, 2017 7:02 pm

LaoDan wrote:While the whole body does make one sphere, there should be an infinite number of possible additional spheres; there should be yin and yang on each side of every point of contact (i.e. separate spheres).


Thank you for your response.

Most commentary on Taijiquan that I've read that refers to the body as a sphere fail to mention that it isn't just a single sphere rotating about its central axis. Given that you know that, I respectfully suggest that you add the above to your article, so that readers don't go away thinking the body is a single, "slab" sphere, but, instead, numerous rotational parts, often moving in different circles (i.e. having different centers of rotation) and directions. (I'd go one step further and state that it is the different circles that produce the separation/differentiation of Yin and Yang, but it may be just another way of stating the same thing you stated.)
Last edited by charles on Fri May 12, 2017 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby LaoDan on Mon May 15, 2017 9:05 am

Charles,

Thanks for the suggestion; I am limited to 2000 words per article on Slanted Flying, so I cannot add anything to that one. I was contemplating another article on multiple centers and multiple spheres, but have nothing beyond the title idea written. It will need to wait until other articles that are completed, or in the works, get posted.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby everything on Mon May 15, 2017 11:39 am

small sphere with brilliant rolling backward of incoming force done by the expert.

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Re: Hold The Line

Postby wayne hansen on Mon May 15, 2017 11:46 am

Gee you love that shoulder roll
He lucky the attacker didn't change to the floating ribs
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby everything on Mon May 15, 2017 12:15 pm

I love roll back but know nothing about boxing. Shoulder roll seems easy to learn and probably hard to really apply. Floyd seems like he as un-hittable at times.
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Re: Hold The Line

Postby rojcewiczj on Tue May 16, 2017 6:49 am

My experience has been that it is very easy to get caught up in attempting to reproduce a certain movement, Mayweathers shoulder movement for instance. While it seems theoretically sound, to copy motions as a means of acquiring skills, I think long time traditional martial artists will generally agree that mimicry is not the same as mastery. If we really want to obtain high level movement skill, we need to fully possess the foundation on which movement skills are based. All movements of the human body, if they are to be supported, must relate to the stability of the pelvic structure. Even ones feet are stabilized by their relation to the pelvic structure, by the weight pressing through them from above. Without getting lost in the thousands of details of such anatomical considerations, It is worth considering that the solid structure of the pelvic structure, filled like a bowl with the weight of the entire torso, is the bases for power in movement; meaning, all motions should relate to the pelvic girdle so as to be fully supported. What does it look like? How does it manifest when all movements are relating in complete connection to the pelvic structure? Such movements always have something solid behind them, they always have a base for power. The higher the skill level, the more immediate and pervasive this sense of solidity becomes until it manifest at the slightest touch regardless of the range and speed of movement exhibited. In fact, the more the body derives its solidity and strength from the pelvic structure, the more the body is free to move. A mistake a made for many years, was to think that the power was based on a certain movement. No, all movement needs to be based on a relationship to the pelvic structure because the pelvic structure is solid, heavy, and central all by virtue of its construction not by its movement. The pelvic structure possess directly by nature of construction what all other parts of the body may only possess indirectly through relation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcMK3NvvBx8
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