Qi before Li, weight before strength

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

Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby rojcewiczj on Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:22 pm

It seems to me that there is a tendency to use strength/speed before shifting weight, or putting weight into motion/ direction. Using strength without first orienting and directing ones weight towards the point of action seems to cause one to exert with limited power and effect. I find when i've placed my weight on my opponent they are often barely externally effected, but then, when I use my strength while my weight is secretly on them, they are moved around with little effort. it seems that this may be the movement of Qi before Li: the placing of ones weight secretly on the opponent before exerting any strength on them. In striking this seems to manifest in the way that a loose, full body motion, when accelerated and strengthened at the last moment, allows for ones weight to arrive in the strike. It seems very important to be able to distinguish between the transfer of weight and the use of strength, as they must exist simultaneously but layered with proper priority.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuW4UfaC-l8&t=920s

This interview seems to demonstrate the ability I'm speaking of.
Is this essentially what internal martial arts is about?
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Re: Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby charles on Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:21 pm

I don't understand what you are trying to say. Is there some "classic" of Taijiquan that you are quoting as "qi before li"? What do either of those have to do with weight?

The classics with which I am familiar often say "don't use strength" (use qi not li). That can be interpreted a number of ways, but I don't think applying one's weight prior to using strength is one of them.

I don't see the interview talking about or demonstrating applying one's weight on an opponent first, then using strength. The portion of the video you've linked seems to be talking about structure vs "power", or where the "power" comes from. He seems to suggest that structure is initially "the condition to create song", and power comes from song. I'm not sure how that can be interpreted as applying one's weight on an opponent prior to using strength.

I think you are barking up the wrong forest. It's good that you are thinking about things and how they could work, but I don't follow your reasoning.
Last edited by charles on Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby rojcewiczj on Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:51 pm

It seems to me that Song is to be relaxed while applying weight, either to the ground (solo) or to an opponent (tui sho) , thus allowing one to exert with a strength which expresses ones whole mass. I understand Qi to mean energy, of which mass is a sort of condensed form. weight is a typical way we experience our own mass on earth. I understand the movement of Shen to Qi to Li, as Mind to Mass to Strength. Meaning, I use my mind to set my mass, my weight against my opponent before exerting strength. Of course this happens nearly instantaneously in action.
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Re: Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby Bao on Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:10 pm

Wha
rojcewiczj wrote:. I understand the movement of Shen to Qi to Li, as Mind to Mass to Strength. Meaning, I use my mind to set my mass, my weight against my opponent before exerting strength.


Exert strength? What style and what philosophy are you actually referring to? :-\
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Re: Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby charles on Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:43 am

rojcewiczj wrote:It seems to me that Song is to be relaxed while applying weight, either to the ground (solo) or to an opponent (tui sho) , thus allowing one to exert with a strength which expresses ones whole mass.


Generally, "song" is the antithesis of "exerting strength".

One's own weight can be used in a few different ways, one of which is to develop momentum. Trying to pick up a young child who doesn't want to be picked up is an example of the child using "song" to become a malleable dead weight.

I understand Qi to mean energy, of which mass is a sort of condensed form.


Qi is a bucket term that means different things in different contexts. In English, one example of a bucket term is the word "energy". It means different things in different contexts. "My energy level is very low today", meaning "I'm tired". "The kinetic energy of the rocket needs to be maximized to have the rocket leave orbit."

Einstein's E=MC**2 not withstanding, in no practical daily activity is mass a condensed form of energy, and not in martial arts practice.

I understand the movement of Shen to Qi to Li, as Mind to Mass to Strength. Meaning, I use my mind to set my mass, my weight against my opponent before exerting strength.


In Taijiquan, the theory is that the intent (yi) leads the qi that leads the jin. Mass isn't in that process, nor is (brute) strength, li.

I'm not really sure where you're coming from with all of this. The most skilled Taijiquan people I have met are feather-light. You don't feel anything but your own loss of balance and your inability to stand and the contact of your skin against theirs. Applying their weight has nothing to do with that skill. I describe these sort of skills as "manipulation".

A flip side of the skills coin is what I'd call "percussion", that involve striking, fa jin... These can involve the use of momentum - moving one's mass.
Last edited by charles on Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:47 am

Instead of making up your own system for all of this you could possibly study taijiquan and use the common vocabulary, just a thought
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Re: Qi before Li, weight before strength

Postby Yeung on Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:01 am

Passive stance again:

https://www.facebook.com/39716348706001 ... 984892858/

Movement = Force - weight, > 0
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