Subitai wrote: Regardless, my point again is that it's not just a prepared body, in mind, structure or power etc etc. alone that will enable application to take place. NO, IMO they are a perquisite but you still have to do the work of trying it live. Also, I'm a firm believer in different body types. No matter how proper the foundation what works for a small master, is not necessarily the same box you want to put a big westerner into. I've seen it many times.
Yes, I agree that there is a need to “do the work of trying it live.” I also agree that each person practiced with, and even the same person from one time to another, require different variations of the applications (whether significantly or only subtly different). I also agree with the statement in your original post:
Subitai wrote: “I believe that we should teach base applications that work in the most common way 1st and THEN learn to respond and follow whatever the opponents do.”
Giving the benefit of doubt, I think that some of the responses in the OP are addressing the problem with rote performance of techniques, which I would agree would be problematic. If practitioners instead practice to have variability in their applications such that the technique changes to address the variability of each individual encounter, then I think that the applications approach that you seem to advocate is likely to be appropriate.
To reconcile the various statements:
“I believe that we should teach base applications that work in the most common way 1st...” roughly corresponds to “I demonstrate applications to my students only to give them a sense of YI”
(although I personally do not like the inclusion of the word ‘only’).
“...THEN learn to respond and follow whatever the opponents do” roughly addresses the concerns of “Not once did I ‘do moves.’ If I had, I would have been toast.”
I am not certain whether or not I entirely agree with you (online communication being what it is), but depending on the actual practice, I could agree or disagree with your Parting Horse’s Mane example.
Subitai wrote:Everyone's got a bunch a ways to use it, but if you wanna boil it down to say your favorite 3 and work on those live, with tons of repetition. You start to realize that there are a couple ways to do it that are most useful and common. Those are what I speak of. Of course, later to expand upon them.
Initially there is a need to practice one application (or three) essentially by rote to understand the intent of the move, and to be certain that it can be applied as desired. Soon, one should be able to determine that differences are needed due to differences between different partners or differences from one time to another, leading to variations 1, 2, 3.... Then one should see that there are an infinite number of variations since it should be unique each time that it is applied, since each encounter is essentially unique (even if similar).
If a practitioner just practiced variation 1, then variation 2...essentially by rote, then I might disagree with the practice. If, however, they practiced each repetition such that they could use any variation, depending on which was more appropriate to each time practiced, then I may agree with the practice. IMO we should not develop a rigid set of responses, but should be able to use the appropriate variation called for by each unique interaction. I suspect that you and I are in agreement due to the statement “...learn to respond and follow whatever the opponents do.” I am not certain, but the posters in your OP may not be that far apart from each other, just the differing emphases, and the nature of online communication, may make the positions seem less compatible than they may actually be.
You seem to emphasize learning applications and their variations in order to eventually be free to “respond and follow whatever the opponents do.” They seem to be emphasizing the problems with rigid practice of technique that may lead some to do applications by rote rather than responding and following whatever the opponents do.