No such thing as "Taijiquan"

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

Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby windwalker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:52 am

charles wrote:
windwalker wrote:If something was called Chen style or cotton fist before being noted or called taiji was it taiji before it was called taiji or after.


Chen Fake was quoted as saying his family's art was historically called "Chen Family Boxing".


more to my point, yang family calls its style "Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan "
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... ssociation

I would suppose understanding that "taiji" can be applied in a number of different ways donating
different things. The premise that "no such thing as "taijiquan" could be true as you've mentioned when not used
in context with other qualifiers.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby windwalker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:13 am

How many would consider this to be correct

The Yang family first became involved in the study of t'ai chi ch'uan (taijiquan) in the early 19th century. The founder of the Yang-style was Yang Luchan (楊露禪), aka Yang Fu-k'ui (楊福魁, 1799–1872), who studied under Ch'en Chang-hsing starting in 1820.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang-styl ... i_ch%27uan

If what he practiced was " historically called "Chen Family Boxing". and only became know as taiji after the fact.
Last edited by windwalker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Dmitri on Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:39 pm

Humans must label stuff; that's how we communicate and propagate knowledge/develop technology, etc.

The "stuff" itself, is nothing but a snapshot of a very global, very gradual, and very subtle, change of everything.

That applies to everything under the sun, including such (apparently) dramatically-distinct events as life and death. Arguments about "when does life begin?" are as old as they are countless and futile, an it is all because it is not a single "binary"/instantaneous event, but a gradual transition involving a great number of different "smaller" events.
More and more research is coming out how, in the exact same way, death isn't a binary event but a gradual collection of many very different physiological events. You just need to "zoom in" closely-enough.

For a less politically- and religiously-charged example :), binary/digital signals aren't nearly as clear-cut and pretty in reality as they are on paper. On paper we draw a few beautiful perfect straight lines at perfect right angles to one another, where one horizontal line is '0', the other is '1', and the vertical lines between them indicate instantaneous changes from one state to the other. However, in reality things aren't nearly as pretty -- once you "zoom in" enough:
Image

So for simplicity's sake, we slap labels on those and have a range of voltages define each label, where (using the above image) any voltage between 0 and 0.5 V is considered a binary '0' signal, and between 2.8 and 3.3 V is a binary '1' signal. But in reality, there exist those pesky little/short stretches between 0.5 and 2.8, which for sanity's sake and for all practical purposes, are ignored when we are answering the question "what's a binary '1' signal?"

And that's just a binary 0/1 signal; highly-complex questions like "what's taijiquan" or "what's classical music", where do they start or end, are infinitely more involved and complex and, for all practical purposes, unanswerable in any globally, objectively-satisfying manner.

This thread's question will have as many answers as there are labels that different people may be willing to place on that "graph". Some will argue the binary '1' signal starts at 2.85 V and other that we should start registering it at 2.78 V.

Labels are an artifact, a human concept/invention to help organize and quantify things.

The universe has no labels or names; there is only change.

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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby everything on Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:49 pm

To conflate one of our confusing off-topic topics into this thread, take a "smart" "machine learning" algorithm such as spam filtering. It will predict a 1 (spam) or 0 (no spam) and that really is a binary classification, even if underneath the hood there are close-to-0s and close-to-1s and both false positives and false negatives. As long as it mostly gets it right, we accept it as useful. If we (humans) can automate identifying spam and even build self-driving cars, surely we can probably figure out a little something about certain elements of taijiquan.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Dmitri on Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:53 pm

everything wrote:If we (humans) can automate identifying spam (binary) and even build self-driving cars, surely we can probably figure out a little something about certain elements of taijiquan.

"a little something", and "about certain elements of" -- sure!
I'm just wondering, why bother.
I guess I've transcended y'all's [double contraction shoutout!!] petty little worries. ;D
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Bao on Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:58 pm

Bhassler wrote:At some point, you just have to say "they're doing something different" rather than "they're doing what I'm doing, but wrong".


Nah, I prefer "They are doing it wrong." That's much better for my ego. ;D

If you (general you) really think there is something that uniquely defines all of taijiquan, then articulate it. What is present in all styles of taiji that is also absent from all other, non-taiji martial arts? I don't think you'll find anything.


windwalker wrote:I would suppose understanding that "taiji" can be applied in a number of different ways donating
different things. The premise that "no such thing as "taijiquan" could be true as you've mentioned when not used
in context with other qualifiers.


Honestly, I think the issue is nothing else than a matter of argumentation. This whole thing is like the kind of academic argumentation you can find in humanities. There is no right or wrong. But you must be able to argument for your cause. If you have a strong case and can support it, then you are correct until someone have a stronger argumentation. I can argue for my own study. Someone who has a completely different view may also be able to argue strongly for his or her case. If no one can argue for that the other one is completely wrong and support this claim, then they both are correct despite extremely differences in conclusions. I can put up a whole lot of argument and support my view that Chen style is not the first "Tai Chi Chuan". But I am not willing to say that what they are doing is not Tai Chi Chuan as well as I am not willing to say that people who only practice the 24 form is not Tai Chi chuan. I believe that from their own view, they would have better arguments than me. I would lose. ;)
Last edited by Bao on Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby everything on Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:01 pm

"why bother" is a really different question than "can we".

pretty sure I agree with you, but it's probably because it's interesting chatter for RSF. this board just loves to talk about this topic.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Dmitri on Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:10 pm

I know, I know... (all too well...) :)
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Steve James on Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:29 pm

This argument about what tcc is really started after it became profitable. Then it became a matter of ego.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby windwalker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:42 pm

Steve James wrote:This argument about what tcc is really started after it became profitable. Then it became a matter of ego.


yep ;)
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby windwalker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:08 pm

Bao wrote:
Honestly, I think the issue is nothing else than a matter of argumentation. This whole thing is like the kind of academic argumentation you can find in humanities. There is no right or wrong. But you must be able to argument for your cause. If you have a strong case and can support it, then you are correct until someone have a stronger argumentation. I can argue for my own study. Someone who has a completely different view may also be able to argue strongly for his or her case.

If no one can argue for that the other one is completely wrong and support this claim, then they both are correct despite extremely differences in conclusions. I can put up a whole lot of argument and support my view that Chen style is not the first "Tai Chi Chuan". But I am not willing to say that what they are doing is not Tai Chi Chuan as well as I am not willing to say that people who only practice the 24 form is not Tai Chi chuan. I believe that from their own view, they would have better arguments than me. I would lose. ;)


It is interesting in any case, the perception of what "taiji" is, is based on yang's style. which was called other things before being associated, representation taiji.

What is now known as tàijíquán appears to have received this appellation from only around the mid of the 19th century.[13] A scholar in the Imperial Court by the name of Ong Tong He witnessed a demonstration by Yang Luchan at a time before Yang had established his reputation as a teacher.

Afterwards Ong wrote: "Hands holding Taiji shakes the whole world, a chest containing ultimate skill defeats a gathering of heroes." Before this time the art may have had a number of different names, and appears to have been generically described by outsiders as zhan quan (沾拳, "touch boxing"), Mian Quan ("soft boxing") or shisan shi (十三式, "the thirteen techniques").[citation needed]


Before the arrival of Chen Fake, the public perception of t'ai chi ch'uan was based on the views of the Yang style and Wu style. This meant that the t'ai chi ch'uan forms were practiced as slow and relaxed movements. Chen Fake showed a different type of training that at times can include fast vigorous actions and explosive moves. So in the beginning, many within the Beijing martial arts community doubt the authenticity of Chen Fake’s quan.

According to Chinese tradition, when Chen first arrived in the Chinese capital, he was openly challenged by other martial artists in order to establish his credibility. In those impromptu competitions, there were no rules and no preparations so they could be quite dangerous. For the next thirty years, Chen remained undefeated. Chen not only established an unparalleled martial arts reputation but earned the public’s respect for his morality and integrity.


In each case they did not talk about the theory, they used it....allowing others to define it.
Something of departure for most modern masters of the art.
This I feel is the main confusion for most
looking for a definitive answer. There is nothing that one can really point to as "taiji"
out side of the family styles which currently do not engage in modern sportive venues.

They created their own venue "push hands" something that can be argued was its undoing
in certain aspects...Not a fan of push hands.

not trying to prove a point or anything, just find the thread interesting.

disclaimer:
do not consider what I do now to be
reflective of taiji as its commonly known, leaving that for others to decide.
As such I find the origin stories interesting from a historical perspective.
Last edited by windwalker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby everything on Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:31 pm

Trick wrote:
cloudz wrote:
everything wrote:We users are using natural gesture and voice UI, but the Internet still uses UI like:

sudo apt-get install
pip install Flask-Login
git push heroku master

Not sure where this analogy is going. Back to non-existent "taijiquan".



you play soccer don't you; I play TCC.

Now imagine someone came to you and said soccer doesn't exist.
It's crazy talk for sure.

When we are told who's doesn't exist and who's does, that will be the kicker won't it.
The real name is 'Football' 8-)


missed all this. haha yeah. either way, it's definitely a "sport". and there are lots of sports with round balls. dancers moving slow are doing, er, slow dance. people doing qigong are doing, er, qigong. neither are likely to be considered tai chi by RSF.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Bhassler on Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:55 pm

For those who wonder "why bother?", it's arbitrary. In some contexts it's useful to differentiate between one version and another, understanding that goals, methods, and mechanics are different-- in other contexts, it's not relevant.

To say that there is not meaningful difference, or that the distinction is useless, leaves behind much of the value of understanding what it is one's trying to accomplish, and ultimately can only hinder one's development. To borrow from taiji itself, what's the difference between peng and lu? It's the same thing, just in different directions. Since that's the case, why not get rid of the ba fa entirely, and just say "taiji is peng"?
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby Steve James on Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:15 pm

It doesn't have to be binary. Tcc does not have to be one thing.
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Re: No such thing as "Taijiquan"

Postby everything on Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:49 pm

I would probably say futsal and football (knowing both) are basically the same but different. Same with squash and racquetball (I don't know them). I would say pickleball (popular in USA, not sure of anywhere else) is mostly like easy tennis. Maybe people think the same thing about various subclassifications of tai chi.

Same thing with IMA and the "big 3" and others. Some people might say these are all basically the same or follow the same general principle or are in the same family. I don't think xingyiquan is the same thing as baguazhang but maybe you do?
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