Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:47 am

connecting to my "Qi" I have no idea what they mean


Me neither.

Some teachers just speak jibberish so to confuse and make sure that their students won't learn anything. Sad but true. I've met several teachers like this.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Peacedog on Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:45 pm

As I've mentioned before, Mark has fully defined all of these terms in the context of his system.

The primary issue with most of the traditional systems is the lack of clear definition of various terms and the teachers involved not fully sharing the techniques they use.

Mark's system fully defines all of the phenomena leveraged and applies these to the techniques involved.

The definitions used are integral to generating many of the follow on effects.

While a basic fah jing discharge is certainly possible to generate using purely conventional mechanical definitions, the elemental, and other refined forms, require leveraging various meditative aspects.

I've known three separate practitioners, all of from different lineages, who could generate various elemental fah jing discharges: water/freezing, fire/burning, etc. Mark is the only one who could explain how to generate and develop that ability.

Also keep in mind that when watching his videos, you are only seeing pieces of the whole system.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:25 pm

Peacedog wrote:While a basic fah jing discharge is certainly possible to generate using purely conventional mechanical definitions, the elemental, and other refined forms, require leveraging various meditative aspects.


If you mean aspects as focus, calmness and empty mind, I do agree to a certain extent.

I've known three separate practitioners, all of from different lineages, who could generate various elemental fah jing discharges: water/freezing, fire/burning, etc. Mark is the only one who could explain how to generate and develop that ability.


I have no idea what you're talking about. What would be the point of such discharges? What was the differences when you felt them?

Also keep in mind that when watching his videos, you are only seeing pieces of the whole system.


Absolutely. This is the main problem with this kind of vid. You see only a glimpse and as an outsider you don't always know or understand the teachers way of articulating the things that he or she shows.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Peacedog on Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:41 pm

Fire element burns when you get hit with it and it has a penetrating quality.

Water element freezes the body and an impact associated with it. Imagine getting hit by a really large water balloon. Soft but jarring.

Air and earth are easy to confuse with more conventional technique, except that air has a floating/unbalancing effect and earth has a heaviness that is crushing.

I even met a practitioner that had a wood element fah jing. If you can imagine rapping your knuckle against a hardwood log, it has an effect something like that. And hurt like a lot.

As for reasons to do this, different effects on physiological response plus severely mindf#$ing your opponent.

Void element has an electric and shocking effect. That seems to be the rarest of the bunch. It also seems to have some rather long lasting psychological effects on someone unaccustomed to it.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Bao on Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:19 pm

Ok, then I understand what you mean. I've never heard anyone use elements name for different qualities of fajing. Must be his invention... But I do know different people with different qualities. Big, large people seem to prefer doing it like a half palm strike. It can both shake and hurt. IMO, it depends much on body type what kind of fajin is developed.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby dspyrido on Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:28 pm

Peacedog wrote:Fire element burns when you get hit with it and it has a penetrating quality.

Water element freezes the body and an impact associated with it. Imagine getting hit by a really large water balloon. Soft but jarring.

Air and earth are easy to confuse with more conventional technique, except that air has a floating/unbalancing effect and earth has a heaviness that is crushing.

I even met a practitioner that had a wood element fah jing. If you can imagine rapping your knuckle against a hardwood log, it has an effect something like that. And hurt like a lot.

As for reasons to do this, different effects on physiological response plus severely mindf#$ing your opponent.

Void element has an electric and shocking effect. That seems to be the rarest of the bunch. It also seems to have some rather long lasting psychological effects on someone unaccustomed to it.


This is attempting to apply magic to martial arts using 5 element terms to give credability. It's out there with the pixies.

My skepticism is based on meetings with mainland chinese masters who could apply martial arts and never utilised this sort of approach. At the most esoteric they would use many hidden muscles in a levered position. But what they talked about they could deliver. Even my sifu who was well versed in taoist magic and Chinese medicine would never mix anything that was not real and applicable.

I have met others who believed they had powers like this and had schools of followers. They either failed dismally to testing or refused to applying anything even while they shouted from the sidelines how magical their ability is.

What you outline above is an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof. Meaning not anectdoal and not isolated to a few followers because it is far to easy for group think or manipulation. If you have it then it will be welcomed but expect skepticism. I've seen too much bullshit over the years.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby aamc on Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:20 pm

Not to take anything away for his skills, but the description in the first video is a little bit of nonsense. Guiding his force down through the ground and circling back up through his feet? That's not what's happening
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Trick on Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:32 pm

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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby eshan on Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:10 pm

Agreed.

Plus, what´s the criticism here? The use of a different terminology? What does it have to do with the quality of the teaching?
As I see it, many other IMA systems and teacher could pay attention to how well articulated and structured Mark´s program is.

Peacedog wrote:As someone who has actually trained with Mark, his terminology is consistent with his system and needed to understand how to employ the system.

By combining a fair amount of meditative technology with Chinese martial arts he has a way to teach fah jing to a complete novice in as little as three days.

If anyone else on this board can do that, then I'll support whatever language you use to provide your instruction.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Bao on Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:43 pm

eshan wrote:Agreed.
Plus, what´s the criticism here? The use of a different terminology? What does it have to do with the quality of the teaching?
As I see it, many other IMA systems and teacher could pay attention to how well articulated and structured Mark´s program is.


It's a very detailed articulation. Well articulated would be simple and to the point. And also about explaining what happens instead of confusing with bogus jibberish.

The problem is not the use of a different or a detailed terminology. The problem is the gap between what is practically done and what is said.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby eshan on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:24 am

I have watched most of the videos Mark has put on youtube and found them quite valuable.
Specially considering he put them out for free.
In my opinion his teaching is concise enough. Or simple and to the point.
Based on principles rather than techniques.

If you think it´s fair to say his explanations are bogus jibberish, by this rule the same could be said of most of CIMA.
Just off the top of my head: five elements theory, heavenly orbits, bone marrow cleansing, meridian stretching, dan tian rotation, YiJing, FengShui, etc.
I do not see how these things are less esoteric than Mark´s principles.
And yet they usually get a free pass.

All I see is a man with plenty of skill and many years of experience who has come up with his own system.
It may not be to the taste of everyone, but there is big jump from disliking it to dismising it as bogus.

This puzzles me, maybe I´m wrong but I get feeling there is some kind of bias toward Mark.






Bao wrote:
eshan wrote:Agreed.
Plus, what´s the criticism here? The use of a different terminology? What does it have to do with the quality of the teaching?
As I see it, many other IMA systems and teacher could pay attention to how well articulated and structured Mark´s program is.


It's a very detailed articulation. Well articulated would be simple and to the point. And also about explaining what happens instead of confusing with bogus jibberish.

The problem is not the use of a different or a detailed terminology. The problem is the gap between what is practically done and what is said.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby charles on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:58 am

eshan wrote:If you think it´s fair to say his explanations are bogus jibberish, by this rule the same could be said of most of CIMA.
Just off the top of my head: five elements theory, heavenly orbits, bone marrow cleansing, meridian stretching, dan tian rotation, YiJing, FengShui, etc.
I do not see how these things are less esoteric than Mark´s principles.
And yet they usually get a free pass.


Generally, I agree. An awful lot of what is said in CIMA is "jibberish". It's "jibberish" in the sense that it is a specific perspective, a specific explanation, a specific belief of what is being done or happening. As many talk about it, there is a disconnect between what is actually done or happening and the belief of what is happening. In many cases, it appears to be wishful thinking substituted for reality. Humans live a large portion of their lives that way. In many aspects of life that isn't necessarily a bad thing, believing something that has no basis in reality. If people want to describe their practice as cleansing their bone marrow, stretching their meridians, rotating their dan tian... so be it. If a belief in those things produces a desirable result, all the better.

This puzzles me, maybe I´m wrong but I get feeling there is some kind of bias toward Mark.


Perhaps, the point is that there are already enough "accepted" buzz-words in the study of internal arts that one needn't create new equally intangible ones to explain what one is or is not doing. There's already plenty of jargon to describe what is or is not going on.

What's needed, if people are to "get it", is simple, easy-as-possible, accessible language. In my opinion, generally, the less language the better. One needs only sufficient language to communicate how one should be practicing. Complex theorietical/academic explanations don't, in my experience, lead to practitioners with better physical skills and abilities.

To put it more succinctly, as Bao said, "The problem is the gap between what is practically done and what is said."

rant over.
Last edited by charles on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:52 am

charles wrote:
eshan wrote:If you think it´s fair to say his explanations are bogus jibberish, by this rule the same could be said of most of CIMA.
Just off the top of my head: five elements theory, heavenly orbits, bone marrow cleansing, meridian stretching, dan tian rotation, YiJing, FengShui, etc.
I do not see how these things are less esoteric than Mark´s principles.
And yet they usually get a free pass.


Generally, I agree. An awful lot of what is said in CIMA is "jibberish". It's "jibberish" in the sense that it is a specific perspective, a specific explanation, a specific belief of what is being done or happening. As many talk about it, there is a disconnect between what is actually done or happening and the belief of what is happening. In many cases, it appears to be wishful thinking substituted for reality. Humans live a large portion of their lives that way. In many aspects of life that isn't necessarily a bad thing, believing something that has no basis in reality. If people want to describe their practice as cleansing their bone marrow, stretching their meridians, rotating their dan tian... so be it. If a belief in those things produces a desirable result, all the better.

This puzzles me, maybe I´m wrong but I get feeling there is some kind of bias toward Mark.


Perhaps, the point is that there are already enough "accepted" buzz-words in the study of internal arts that one needn't create new equally intangible ones to explain what one is or is not doing. There's already plenty of jargon to describe what is or is not going on.

What's needed, if people are to "get it", is simple, easy-as-possible, accessible language. In my opinion, generally, the less language the better. One needs only sufficient language to communicate how one should be practicing. Complex theorietical/academic explanations don't, in my experience, lead to practitioners with better physical skills and abilities.

To put it more succinctly, as Bao said, "The problem is the gap between what is practically done and what is said."

rant over.


One of the people I work with in Taiwan teaches robotics at one the local universities.
It is interesting as when we talk about taiji, or movement we tend to view it and discussed in terms of physics
seeing if in fact the practiced follows this adjusting the practice as needed.

Image

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

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.
Image

Very much can relate to what Charles said, my last teacher didn't mention much everything was explained hands on and then practice...
Understanding was shown by doing....At one time I had brought a copy of what are known as the taiji classics written in Chinese and English feeling this would be good to use as starting point for questions I had...He looked at it, smiled and gave it back to me, saying that some of it is wrong "for this practice" and will lead one to confusion if followed...better to just practice and understand it through the process of the practice.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:03 am

I would question the assumptions made as to whether one can do this in a free moving combative environment,
in the first training clip along with his explanation of what he feels he's doing.
Is it in fact what is happening. The jargon used matters little.

We do use similar concepts ie a spherical body formed by the body shape part of which is understood to be felt at the point of contact
with another. The other can either be on the outside of the sphere or part of it depends on what is being done and intention of the one forming it.

Having said this the teacher looks and sounds very sincere with good skill
sets willing to share them based on others comments who've met him.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai Chi mechanics — Mark Rasmus

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:24 am

you think it´s fair to say his explanations are bogus jibberish, by this rule the same could be said of most of CIMA.
Just off the top of my head: five elements theory, heavenly orbits, bone marrow cleansing, meridian stretching, dan tian rotation, YiJing, FengShui, etc. I do not see how these things are less esoteric than Mark´s principles.
And yet they usually get a free pass.


There are philosophical explaining models that makes sense inside their own system of philosophical thought. If you use their vocabularies outside of these system they often stop to make sense. When it works and make sense it's like an academic discussion where two different parties have equal amount of knowledge of the subject at hand and they both know how to use the terminology. If you as an initiated take out words and a line of thought and use it in conversations with others who are uninitiated, it's unfair. What was supposed to be a useful explaining model is now nonsense.

There's no bias or animosity towards this fellow. He seems to be kind and have a lot of enthusiasm that can inspire people. But there's no good reason to speak about how you use qi in application when it would be much more logic to speak about things like unbalancing and leverage. The only reasons would be to make yourself look better than you are or trying to confuse anyone who is interested to learn something practical.

And I do agree with Charles:
"What's needed, if people are to "get it", is simple, easy-as-possible, accessible language. In my opinion, generally, the less language the better. One needs only sufficient language to communicate how one should be practicing. Complex theorietical/academic explanations don't, in my experience, lead to practitioners with better physical skills and abilities."
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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