A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

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

Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Fa Xing on Sun May 06, 2018 10:13 am

Bao wrote:
Fa Xing wrote:
Bao wrote:
Sun Tai ji is not a synthesis. It's just "tai chi", his own version of Hao Taijiquan with a blend of Yang Style principle. There is no bagua or Xingyi infused as many claims. Everything that looks like bagua or Xingyi can already be found in Hao taijiquan. They just don't know anything about old Wu/Hao styles.



That's not true, if you've ever trained it with someone who knows Xingyi and Bagua as well, they'll point it out.


I have. I practice Sun Tai Chi and I have practiced Sun XY and BGZ as well as other BG and XY styles. I can point out everything people claim comes from XY or BG and how Hao style has it all, except for that SLT adapted “raise hand” and “close hands” from XY. This doesn’t turn the Sun from into a “mixture”. The body method and power generation is still Tai Chi and only Tai Chi. Other things like the follow step, santi posture etc all comes from Wu/Hao. SLT also lost the main idea of vertical circles from the original small frame that was kept in Wu/Hao, and focused on linear horizontal movement. This is an influence from Yang Tai Chi. If you can point on anything in Sun Style that turns it into a mix, you are welcome to do that. But Sun Lutang never claimed that his Sun style was a mix and no one of his students have claimed this. SLT says himself in his foreword to his Tai Chi book that even if there are principles that are the same and connect his arts, his XY, BG and Tai Chi are kept in three seperate systems. Sun Tai Chi is a Tai Chi style, not an IMA mix. But I guess you know better than SLT himself. :P


Sun JIanyun, Tim Cartmell, Bradford Tyrey have all stated and pointed out the elements of Xingyi and Bagua in Sun Taiji. I agree that Sun Taiji is taijiquan itself, it follows the same general pattern that most taiji systems follow. I never stated that it was necessarily a "synthesis" but more contains elements (no pun intended) of xingyi and bagua, or taiji postures that have been "xingyi-ized" and "bagua-ized" in the form. Funny though, that someone like yourself who has done all three doesn't notice that. ;)
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby willie on Sun May 06, 2018 1:17 pm

aiasthewall wrote:I think that's a great question, something I have been thinking about. You would have to define clearly what you mean by internal first, which is a can of worms but I don't think it's impossible.

You would have to define things like: is dantien used in internal, is use if dantien a necessary and sufficient cause for being included in the category? Intent? The kuas? Is there an internal type of body connection and force that doesn't use dantien? How are these specifically used and trained? If different in different arts are there essential commonalities? If they are trained and used differently should they be called different things?

It would be a fascinating subject, I don't think you'll have much luck on this site as whenever the subject gets to specific methods of training one of several things happen: it's secret information; people cannot agree in common definitions; people misunderstand each other.

I figured that I would bring this one back to the top where it belongs.
The poster suggest a way to prioritize internal in order to have faster development. This probably means cutting out a lot of each one of the Arts and concentrating on the moves that are easily acquired. However, that would mean that in the long run, the art would be ruined, because every single little thing has its appropriate place.
My suggestion for a faster Road is just to go and learn MMA and forget about all this stuff.
Last edited by willie on Sun May 06, 2018 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Bao on Sun May 06, 2018 1:33 pm

Fa Xing wrote:but more contains elements (no pun intended) of xingyi and bagua, or taiji postures that have been "xingyi-ized" and "bagua-ized" in the form. Funny though, that someone like yourself who has done all three doesn't notice that.


I just don't agree, except for the beginning and end movements.

Sun JIanyun, Tim Cartmell, Bradford Tyrey have all stated and pointed out the elements of Xingyi and Bagua in Sun Taiji.


What Cartmell writes:

Sun Lu Tang combined the Wu style with elements of Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang to create Sun style Tai Ji Quan. In general, Sun style Tai Ji Quan follows the sequence of the Wu style, but the addition of the energies of Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang give the form a different flavor. Technically, Sun style Tai Ji Quan has added the evasive body method of Ba Gua Zhang and the more overtly 'martial' techniques of Xing Yi Quan to the original technique base of Wu style Tai Ji Quan.


I certainly don't agree. I see absolutely no XY or BGZ energies or flavor in it, and certainly not in what I have watched from Cartmell's own videos. There is no more evasive bagua movement and no more xingyi technique than what is already present in Wu/Hao. Instead, Sun Tai Chi has in fact even less evasive body movement than wu/hao. Anyone who compare the two styles can see that the Wu/Hao show much more flexible use of spine and waist than the Sun Jianyun standard Cartmell represents. What Sun Lutang did was to dismiss the main idea from wu/hao of vertical circles and added the horizontal, straight movements from Yang style. So the different flavor comes mainly from Yang style tai chi. And also the fact that Sun Lutang not only got rid of the main principles of the Wu/Hao shenfa/body method, but also by doing this, he turned his Tai Chi into health qigong. That was what SLT wanted, that people should practice Tai chi and IMA as health arts, not as combat tools.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby klonk on Sun May 06, 2018 1:40 pm

willie wrote:
aiasthewall wrote:I think that's a great question, something I have been thinking about. You would have to define clearly what you mean by internal first, which is a can of worms but I don't think it's impossible.

You would have to define things like: is dantien used in internal, is use if dantien a necessary and sufficient cause for being included in the category? Intent? The kuas? Is there an internal type of body connection and force that doesn't use dantien? How are these specifically used and trained? If different in different arts are there essential commonalities? If they are trained and used differently should they be called different things?

It would be a fascinating subject, I don't think you'll have much luck on this site as whenever the subject gets to specific methods of training one of several things happen: it's secret information; people cannot agree in common definitions; people misunderstand each other.

I figured that I would bring this one back to the top where it belongs.
The poster suggest a way to prioritize internal in order to have faster development. This probably means cutting out a lot of each one of the Arts and concentrating on the moves that are easily acquired. However, that would mean that in the long run, the art would be ruined, because every single little thing has its appropriate place.
My suggestion for a faster Road is just to go and learn MMA and forget about all this stuff.


Interesting debate. I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.

The best case for doing just simple stuff to begin with is expressed in an analogy. In learning to read I started with short words. In learning to program computers I started with "Hello, world." One does not necessarily sacrifice the outcome by starting small.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Fa Xing on Sun May 06, 2018 1:44 pm

Bao wrote:
Fa Xing wrote:but more contains elements (no pun intended) of xingyi and bagua, or taiji postures that have been "xingyi-ized" and "bagua-ized" in the form. Funny though, that someone like yourself who has done all three doesn't notice that.


I just don't agree, except for the beginning and end movements.

Sun JIanyun, Tim Cartmell, Bradford Tyrey have all stated and pointed out the elements of Xingyi and Bagua in Sun Taiji.


What Cartmell writes:

Sun Lu Tang combined the Wu style with elements of Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang to create Sun style Tai Ji Quan. In general, Sun style Tai Ji Quan follows the sequence of the Wu style, but the addition of the energies of Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang give the form a different flavor. Technically, Sun style Tai Ji Quan has added the evasive body method of Ba Gua Zhang and the more overtly 'martial' techniques of Xing Yi Quan to the original technique base of Wu style Tai Ji Quan.


I certainly don't agree. I see absolutely no XY or BGZ energies or flavor in it, and certainly not in what I have watched from Cartmell's own videos. There is no more evasive bagua movement and no more xingyi technique than what is already present in Wu/Hao. Instead, Sun Tai Chi has in fact even less evasive body movement than wu/hao. Anyone who compare the two styles can see that the Wu/Hao show much more flexible use of spine and waist than the Sun Jianyun standard Cartmell represents. What Sun Lutang did was to dismiss the main idea from wu/hao of vertical circles and added the horizontal, straight movements from Yang style. So the different flavor comes mainly from Yang style tai chi. And also the fact that Sun Lutang not only got rid of the main principles of the Wu/Hao shenfa/body method, but also by doing this, he turned his Tai Chi into health qigong. That was what SLT wanted, that people should practice Tai chi and IMA as health arts, not as combat tools.


Then we'll have to agree to disagree. Who did you study Sun TJQ under?
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Bao on Sun May 06, 2018 2:33 pm

Fa Xing wrote:Then we'll have to agree to disagree. Who did you study Sun TJQ under?


Fine.

I've studied with two direct students of Sun Jianyun amongst others. But I don't follow the SJY standard. If you want names I can send you a PM.
Last edited by Bao on Sun May 06, 2018 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Trick on Mon May 07, 2018 12:16 am

Bao wrote: What Sun Lutang did was to dismiss the main idea from wu/hao of vertical circles and added the horizontal, straight movements from Yang style. So the different flavor comes mainly from Yang style tai chi. And also the fact that Sun Lutang not only got rid of the main principles of the Wu/Hao shenfa/body method, but also by doing this, he turned his Tai Chi into health qigong. That was what SLT wanted, that people should practice Tai chi and IMA as health arts, not as combat tools.

From the little Sun and Wu/Hao Taiji i have seen(note seen) I always get the feelin as something "missing"in Sun-Taiji so when you point out "vertical circles" I see the point, but is that important component really missing, why would a master of XYQ/BGZ take away that? and why would a not whole IMA's practice be better suited for building a healthy body/mind? ....And I probably missunderstand you here but are you saying that Yang-Taiji practice also do not work on the vertical plane? ...The teachings from my two main YTJQ teachers the practice focus equally on vertical and horizontal planes(six directions), now of course these two teachers are also well versed in Tongbeiquan which I also sudy from them(so maybe that has something to do with it) ....One of them sometimes mentioned that Tongbeiquan is a form of Taijiquan/TJQ is a form of TBQ, and for sure it is......If one understand the practice of the six directions then one understand and there is no need for any synthesis of of the "internal" arts. So I'm sure there must be those "vertical circles" hidden somewhere in the Sun-Taiji too 8-) ...And to the OP who study YiQuan/XingYiquan should understand the practice of the six directions from these exercises, how can there be any YiQuan/XingYiquan practice without it?
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Bao on Mon May 07, 2018 3:10 am

Trick wrote:so when you point out "vertical circles" I see the point, but is that important component really missing, ...?


No, it's more to it. The original small frame, and to an extent even Wu/Hao, is designed to teach where the structure of angles and alignment is as strongest. In comparison, the SJY standard has lost all of this and the it's shenfa quite weak. I can see a lot good stuff in Sun Jianyun's own performances, but none of her students show the same subtleties, spirit or energy. But SLT, especially earlier pictures, show a more pronounced and outstretched form. Making things smaller and less pronounced is good, but it's not good from a learning point of view. Both Yang Style and Chen style usually start with big generous movements and through progression practice and develop smaller. Somewhere Sun style lost this progression from large and clear structure to the small and subtle, probably when SLT thought that the small frame Sun form was enough to promote health.

So I'm sure there must be those "vertical circles" hidden somewhere in the Sun-Taiji too


It's not to be found in the Kai He Shou. The most basic way to shape the most basic structure in Hao is completely gone in Sun style. The Sun style collapsed version makes no sense. If you look at SLT's postures it does, but not in the common standard usually taught today.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby HotSoup on Mon May 07, 2018 5:47 am

Bao wrote:... I don't follow the SJY standard...


What do you follow then? Is it your own version of STJQ reconstructed according to your own understanding of what's correct and what isn't?
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Bao on Mon May 07, 2018 7:12 am

HotSoup wrote:
Bao wrote:... I don't follow the SJY standard...


What do you follow then? Is it your own version of STJQ reconstructed according to your own understanding of what's correct and what isn't?


No reconstruction. I don't care much about "style" and practice all my Tai Chi with more or less the same shenfa/body method I've developed mostly through small and medium frames. I usually don't do a whole form from start to beginning, but repeat different parts of a form, string together different parts of forms, drill individual movements, or practice movements together with dingshi.

I like Wang Xikui's performance very much. You can see some of the internal mechanics very clearly. He use movements from the spine, scapula and Dantian. You can sense that external structure is not important, but only internal movement. Maybe this philosophy shown here is more similar to with what SLT taught his disciples? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AuGupAIUds.

I can sense and understand that there is something internal work going on when I watch Sun Jianyun as well, she also has a certain rhythm, a continuous pumping feeling when she practice. But nothing you see in those two performances are prevalent in any of Sun Jianyun's students performances. My Sun Tai Chi teachers don't have it either.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Fa Xing on Mon May 07, 2018 9:58 am

Bao wrote:
Fa Xing wrote:Then we'll have to agree to disagree. Who did you study Sun TJQ under?


Fine.

I've studied with two direct students of Sun Jianyun amongst others. But I don't follow the SJY standard. If you want names I can send you a PM.


Yes, I would like that, thank you.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Bao on Mon May 07, 2018 11:35 am

Fa Xing wrote:Yes, I would like that, thank you.


Done. 8-)
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby LDShouler on Mon May 07, 2018 3:22 pm

Thanks for lots of interesting replies, although it would be great if we could avoid falling into a debate about detail of a particular style. My conjecture is just that, for talking about ideas, and not to imply that everything should be changed and repackaged. I personally do not have a singular style or tradition (and I respect those of you who do), and having practised various styles of 'internal arts' (wu tai chi, yi quan, a bit of sun style ba gua and hebei xing yi) whilst coming from a background of 'external' styles, I'm interested more in commonalities than differences- I believe there"s a potential value to finding core attributes and perhaps a simple series of exercises that could contribute to the development of beginners of all styles (of course, I may be wrong)
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby Appledog on Mon May 07, 2018 6:35 pm

LD one of the biggest problems I see is that this has already been done. It's called Yiquan.

The training steps in Yiquan are basically 90% of whatever the end product will look like. I don't agree with much of how Yiquan turns out in the end, I think it's been stripped of many traditional skills, but at least they start out the right way.
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Re: A 'synthesis' of internal arts?

Postby everything on Mon May 07, 2018 7:29 pm

It's also been done by SLT already. He gives a lot of detail as to what to do, but it essentially boils down to "first sink qi to dantian."

Yiquan kind of boils down to zhan zhuang but they actively try to not use such language about "qi" etc.

Sun and Wang already gave us the answers, but no one pays any attention to anything they said for whatever reason. -shrug- ??? -oldman-
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