## Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

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### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

windwalker wrote:One question he asked was whether I could relate taiji some taiji movements using my understanding to what are called
six degrees of freedom. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_freedom

This is an interesting starting point. An object in space can be moved ("translated") along any of three axes or rotated about any of those axes, for a total of 6 "directions" of motion (degrees of freedom). The human body, however, can distort/alter its shape, offering additional possible types of motion than simple translation or rotation. In at least some of the "internal" martial arts, this additional type of motion - expansion/contraction - is used as a primary source of developing "power" or "force".

I have a 100-minute video that describes the foundation of movement in Taijiquan as being comprised of expansion/contraction, translation and rotation.

Degrees of freedom don't readily apply to an amorphous, readily deformable object, such as, say, squishing jello or water. The human body is somewhere in the middle, a rigid structure, but one that can deform under applied loads.

I have consistently found that using physics combined with traditional IMA termanology goes a long way to understanding and challenging ones own understanding based on it.

As have I.
Last edited by charles on Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Interesting. Systems that work are usually self-consistent, which also means that they can be closed. Mathematics, for ex., is a closed system. There's no such thing as "2" or "pi", but both can be used to describe and predict things in the real world.

Imo, constructed tcc systems only need to be self-consistent. They're like languages. It is irrelevant that speakers of different languages cannot communicate. One guy learns his alephbethgimmels, another learns his alphabet.

If the tcc terms are standing for (or signify) the same things, the words used are not important. However, the problem is that people disagree on what the terms mean. Moreover, the terms come from a culture that conveys meaning by using ideograms. So, we can freely use the word "qi," but find it impossible to translate into English. We could call it gas .

Afa creating "common (English) language" terminology for tcc, it would be necessary to have consistent definitions. Imo, there are very few tcc terms of qualities that have strict definitions. In fact, every term has multiple connotations and layers of meaning. They're all metaphors or similes. For example, the phrases "like holding a ball" and "like a cat playing with a mouse," etc; try putting them into single terms. Even if possible, it'd take a teacher or personal experience to explain.

But, have at it If you can get 50% of tcc people to accept it, I will have to bow down.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."

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### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Afa creating "common (English) language" terminology for tcc, it would be necessary to have consistent definitions. Imo, there are very few tcc terms of qualities that have strict definitions. In fact, every term has multiple connotations and layers of meaning. They're all metaphors or similes. For example, the phrases "like holding a ball" and "like a cat playing with a mouse," etc; try putting them into single terms. Even if possible, it'd take a teacher or personal experience to explain.

But, have at it If you can get 50% of tcc people to accept it, I will have to bow down.

I dont mention or claim any skill level.
At most I can say I share something I've been working on for a little while
that some seem to find interesting as do I.

Of those I work, worked with most if not all native speakers of Chinese
a methodology based on physics as frame of reference seems to work quite well.
Its repeatable, verifiable,and accords with known accepted standards explaining observed movement. .

This from one of the people I work with a long time taiji practitioner

Learning Taichi in English and using physics is a unique experience for me. I always think that Taichi should be explainable by science. However, because my limited skill and prejudice from my Chinese background, I was not able to explain it using my own knowledge. Working with you verifies my conjectures about Taichi. What amazes me most is when you brought up the similarities between Taichi and Go, composition, and philosophy.

I find no problem equating many of the metaphors to physical expressions in movement dynamics.
It offers a way to explore things in a more or less neutral way with an agreed upon common point of reference
with out taking anything away from the cultural meanings. In fact most of the native speakers I work with bring out more of the deeper
meanings, something that non native speakers my not get nor understand that tend to reinforce physics as applied. I should say that my own understanding is basic at best, with many of those I work with having advanced degrees in it....they have no problems keeping me on track when my own thoughts are wrong or what I feel is being done is in fact not.

In my own work I've found that equating it to "taiji" is problematic as some mentioned due to the many lenses that people view it through.
I no longer do so,,,,

This was brought home to me In a place called 18 peaks in Hsinchu, by another long time taiji teacher in watching my practiced saying he felt it had a chen style influence something I've never studied nor really cared for, just personal preference.

Found it an interesting comment considering my own back ground.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
rule 19
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### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

My point was that the concepts/meanings are not linked to the words. And, all that matters will be the ability of the teacher to translate the concepts into a language understandable to the student.

If physics works, which I believe, it's only because the student and teacher share their understanding of physics. It could have been taught, or it could have come from personal experience.

For ex., you and charles can agree about physics, but one can use a model based on classical mechanics or one based on fluid dynamics to explain what you're doing. That's due to the internal consistency of the models.

The Chinese who created tcc might have used a completely different model .
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."

Steve James
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Posts: 17031
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Most people with some high school physics or just some recreational sports participation can have some understanding of mechanical force and leverage and how movement of one thing can cause another thing it collides with to move.

What's harder to understand if someone (it would help if the teacher were smaller than the student and not the other way around) has "root" and can "uproot" you with seemingly no effort. Still we can understand isometric muscular tension can apply a force with no movement.

It gets harder to understand and talk about if the teacher does not appear to be exhibiting any tension or movement or weight transfer or lean, etc. and the student is also not pushing and "bouncing" off the teacher. It's pretty easy to feel some feeling of "qi" in oneself but talking about and understanding what that has to do with anything like the above? Pretty much impossible with normal "mechanical" or "fascia" or any other "biomechanical" or "physics" language. Most people haven't encountered something very unusual so will say either 1. it's all "mechanical" 2. nothing weird or unusual exists. If it's either 1 or 2 (and not some weird #3), it shouldn't be hard to talk about whatsoever.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science

everything
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### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

everything wrote:What's harder to understand if someone (it would help if the teacher were smaller than the student and not the other way around) has "root" and can "uproot" you with seemingly no effort. Still we can understand isometric muscular tension can apply a force with no movement.

It gets harder to understand and talk about if the teacher does not appear to be exhibiting any tension or movement or weight transfer or lean, etc. and the student is also not pushing and "bouncing" off the teacher. It's pretty easy to feel some feeling of "qi" in oneself but talking about and understanding what that has to do with anything like the above?

Pretty much impossible with normal "mechanical" or "fascia" or any other "biomechanical" or "physics" language. Most people haven't encountered something very unusual so will say either 1. it's all "mechanical" 2. nothing weird or unusual exists. If it's either 1 or 2 (and not some weird #3), it shouldn't be hard to talk about whatsoever.

would not agree, in fact of the things mentioned IME its even more easier to explain and demo "in person" kind of pointless on the net
as shown by the many clips of chinese teachers using physics to explain what they do still not accepted often ignored.

A question that is not often asked but implied is one of "assumptions"

What are the assumptions that one is using that allows what ever is shown to be useful.
Is it reasonable to assume that what is shown will work as shown if so, has it been...

all questions that one might ask and find their own answers for.

it shouldn't be hard to talk about whatsoever

ha on this site....haha

Ok

Most of the conversations are about verifying something in use or used, rather then how or what is used,
Using other arts or models to show what is being claimed being used,,,something that does not lead to clarity of understanding.

compared to some one talking about a left or right boxing hook, and showing it in use...IMA has no
real equivalent representations to draw from.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
rule 19
windwalker
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### Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

My point was that the concepts/meanings are not linked to the words. And, all that matters will be the ability of the teacher to translate the concepts into a language understandable to the student.

If physics works, which I believe, it's only because the student and teacher share their understanding of physics. It could have been taught, or it could have come from personal experience.

For ex., you and charles can agree about physics, but one can use a model based on classical mechanics or one based on fluid dynamics to explain what you're doing. That's due to the internal consistency of the models.

The Chinese who created tcc might have used a completely different model .
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."

Steve James
Great Old One

Posts: 17031
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

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