Yang Style Question

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

Re: Yang Style Question

Postby middleway on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:34 am

To me, double weighting, like others have stated, is about losing changeability. At the point of contact, this would be like touching a side of a cube (flat = double weighted) in contrast to a sphere (round = changeable). Now a cube can have a quality of changeability if the point of contact was at an edge or a corner, and a sphere can lose its changeability if it deflates/collapses and the point of contact penetrates inside the outer circumference of the sphere (no longer having the point of contact the farthest point). Changeability is about being able to have Yin+Yang at the point of contact rather than having Yin+Yin (deficiencies, collapsing...) or Yang+Yang (excesses, resisting...).

In the feet this is a little less easy to explain since all of the joints between the point of contact and the feet contribute to the changeability. But basically, things like bracing (resisting...) will be a noticeably fixed and unchangeable response that I would point to as being double weighted (regardless of weight distribution between the two feet).


This. Excellent description and the same as my understanding of the term. I am currently writing an article on some of the points above, so it is nice to see it so well summarised.

IMO the idea is called 'Double weighting' because when you are not changeable (cannot use Pairing in my description of the process) you inevitably become responsible for the opponent’s 'weight' (or force) as well as your own. Hence, doubling the weight you are responsible for.

In the solo practice we can inadvertently train ourselves to limit our ability to ‘change’ when interacting with another person. Usually this is manifested in un conscious tension, moving outside of the optimum range for the joints to easily rotate or change angle, collapsing the structure (most notably seen in the knee or elbow), Locking joint angles (moving like a robot), etc etc. So it is something that can, ultimately be applied to the legs or feet, but as said above doesn’t really represent where the weight is distributed between them.

thanks.
Last edited by middleway on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:36 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby Bao on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:51 am

In the feet... But basically, things like bracing (resisting...) will be a noticeably fixed and unchangeable response that I would point to as being double weighted


True. Many Tai Chi practitioners tend to lock their stance. Maybe lack of practicing footwork and too much focus on stationary PH might be the reason.

[general reflection, not meant as response:]
But having mobility still doesn't mean that you can not be double weighted. Lack of timing, and lack of following & adapting skill is a far greater reason IMO.

.... And again: When the foot is put down is something different from how the foot is coordinated with the hand when striking/issuing. There are many Yang stylists that propose a direct connection between hand and foot, and even between finger and toe.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby middleway on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:03 am

But having mobility still doesn't mean that you can not be double weighted. Lack of timing, and lack of following & adapting skill is a far greater reason IMO.


I completely agree. I like the term lack of 'Change'. This is something i heard from a Ba Gua Master, it was framed around 'change' being the root of mobility, timing, speed, tempo, adaption etc. They are all manifestations of 'change', both mental and physical.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby LaoDan on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:21 am

Bao wrote:Many Tai Chi practitioners tend to lock their stance. Maybe lack of practicing footwork and too much focus on stationary PH might be the reason.

It does seem like many TJQ practitioners forget about the quality of “like lowering oneself into a chair” when they practice PH, instead primarily bracing, locking, resisting... The lowering/absorbing quality in the legs activates the Yin (flexor muscles) as opposed to just having the Yang (extensor muscles), therefore producing Yin+Yang rather than just having Yang+Yang. One should be able to pull/sink into the legs as well as push/expand, regardless of how low or high one’s stance is. We want to retain the ability to do either (which produces the “springiness” that we want in the legs), at any time, rather than just resisting/projecting from the legs.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby oragami_itto on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:29 am

middleway wrote:
But having mobility still doesn't mean that you can not be double weighted. Lack of timing, and lack of following & adapting skill is a far greater reason IMO.


I completely agree. I like the term lack of 'Change'. This is something i heard from a Ba Gua Master, it was framed around 'change' being the root of mobility, timing, speed, tempo, adaption etc. They are all manifestations of 'change', both mental and physical.


I'm always reminded of "dead shapes" in Go, surrounded so they can no longer grow = dead.

Inability to change, to me, is the effect of double weightedness. The condition of double weightedness is a lack of separation of yin and yang.The primary cause of double weightedness is using force against force. Double weightedness is what taijiquan isn't.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby LaoDan on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:47 am

middleway wrote:I am currently writing an article on some of the points above...

Great!

I had introduced my understanding of “double weighting” in an article in 2016 (http://slantedflying.com/be-the-ball/) and had thought of writing another follow-up article explaining it in more detail. But when I searched for what other writers said on the topic, I saw how widely the opinions differed. Although I think that an article from my perspective on the topic would be different enough from what is already available, I thought that it may be too controversial at the time, and I delayed/abandoned the article topic.

Let me know when you post your article. It will be great to see something from another perspective that seems like it will be compatible with my understanding.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby johnwang on Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:29 pm

Can someone explain to me why this may cause Taiji "double weight"?

Last edited by johnwang on Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby Steve James on Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:18 pm

Imo, rather than looking for what it means to be double weighted, it's better to argue that the emphasis is on being single-weighted. One can be single-weighted and on both feet at the same time. The Wujianquan tcc Single Whip, for example.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby C.J.W. on Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:44 pm

LaoDan wrote: Changeability is about being able to have Yin+Yang at the point of contact rather than having Yin+Yin (deficiencies, collapsing...) or Yang+Yang (excesses, resisting...).

In the feet this is a little less easy to explain since all of the joints between the point of contact and the feet contribute to the changeability. But basically, things like bracing (resisting...) will be a noticeably fixed and unchangeable response that I would point to as being double weighted (regardless of weight distribution between the two feet).


You are approaching this from the perspective of PH or other types of physical interaction between you and the partner.

Changeability is the term many Taiji teachers like to throw around when they are asked to explain what is double-heaviness and how to avoid it. It's certainly not wrong, but I consider it a phenomenon that naturally occurs once you know how to move in ways that are not double-heavy.

Avoiding double-heaviness, or staying Yin/Yang balanced, at the most fundamental level, is about how YOU move, not how you respond to an opponent's actions. And that's the physical quality solo form practice is supposed to instill in us.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby Trick on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:54 pm

C.J.W. wrote:
LaoDan wrote: Changeability is about being able to have Yin+Yang at the point of contact rather than having Yin+Yin (deficiencies, collapsing...) or Yang+Yang (excesses, resisting...).

In the feet this is a little less easy to explain since all of the joints between the point of contact and the feet contribute to the changeability. But basically, things like bracing (resisting...) will be a noticeably fixed and unchangeable response that I would point to as being double weighted (regardless of weight distribution between the two feet).


You are approaching this from the perspective of PH or other types of physical interaction between you and the partner.

Changeability is the term many Taiji teachers like to throw around when they are asked to explain what is double-heaviness and how to avoid it. It's certainly not wrong, but I consider it a phenomenon that naturally occurs once you know how to move in ways that are not double-heavy.

Avoiding double-heaviness, or staying Yin/Yang balanced, at the most fundamental level, is about how YOU move, not how you respond to an opponent's actions. And that's the physical quality solo form practice is supposed to instill in us.

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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby Bao on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:05 am

C.J.W. wrote:double-heaviness, or staying Yin/Yang balanced, at the most fundamental level, is about how YOU move, not how you respond to an opponent's actions. And that's the physical quality solo form practice is supposed to instill in us.


At the most fundamental level, agreed. And later you need to learn how to keep certain principles or the integrity of your solo practice when someone throws a punch at you or try to take you down to the ground. Most people need a whole lot of partner practice to understand how. In Tai Chi, balance and body movement are based on interaction with another person. If you don't understand the practical functions of posture and movement, your solo form postures and movements will be wrong.

Trick wrote:We daily interact with the world, that's how we learn to be us, ourselves


Exactly. 8-)
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:45 am

Steve when I questioned my first Wu style teacher on single whip
He said we are not double weighted but double heavy
That said it may look double weighted but we move through it so it is not static
Fan thru the back is the same
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby Steve James on Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:30 am

My point was that it’s single weighted, not double weighted, and not a fault. I’ve never read the term double heavy in any of the Classics.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby LaoDan on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:39 am

C.J.W. wrote:
LaoDan wrote: Changeability is about being able to have Yin+Yang at the point of contact rather than having Yin+Yin (deficiencies, collapsing...) or Yang+Yang (excesses, resisting...).

In the feet this is a little less easy to explain since all of the joints between the point of contact and the feet contribute to the changeability. But basically, things like bracing (resisting...) will be a noticeably fixed and unchangeable response that I would point to as being double weighted (regardless of weight distribution between the two feet).


You are approaching this from the perspective of PH or other types of physical interaction between you and the partner.

Changeability is the term many Taiji teachers like to throw around when they are asked to explain what is double-heaviness and how to avoid it. It's certainly not wrong, but I consider it a phenomenon that naturally occurs once you know how to move in ways that are not double-heavy.

Avoiding double-heaviness, or staying Yin/Yang balanced, at the most fundamental level, is about how YOU move, not how you respond to an opponent's actions. And that's the physical quality solo form practice is supposed to instill in us.

C.J.W.,

It is perhaps easiest to explain and illustrate my viewpoint from the interactions perspective, but it also applies to solo practice. This is implied in my statements about the feet (legs bracing...). In broad terms, isometric tension would be an example of “double weighting” since both flexor and extensor muscles would be Yang (tensed, locked...= Yang+Yang). Collapsing or limp limbs would also be considered as being “double weighted” as the flexor and extensor muscles would be Yin+Yin. Less easy to describe would be activating only one side (Yang+0, or Yin+0) which I would also consider as being “double weighted” since these also lack the desired Yin+Yang.

In the example of the legs, just bracing (either against an opponent’s force or against the force of gravity) would be Yang+Yang, unless the Yin was also activated by also having the quality of “like lowering oneself into a chair” (producing Yang+Yin). In terms of changeability, one would be “double weighted” if one could not suddenly either pull into the legs or jump up. If one has to “reset” (or readjust, or stop then restart...) in order to change from sinking down to jumping up, then one is “double weighted”. If one has to “reset” (etc.) to change from pulling to pushing, absorbing to projecting, retracting to extending, etc, then one is “double weighted”.

The practice of moving in circles helps to avoid the need to stop and restart (or reset, readjust...) when changing from one action to another (either solo or while interacting with someone). Therefore, circularity helps to avoid “double weighting” and leads to smooth transitions without pauses.
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Re: Yang Style Question

Postby johnwang on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:15 pm

C.J.W. wrote:Changeability is the term many Taiji teachers like to throw around...

When you commit 100%, you don't want to change.

I have put this clip into slow speed. You can see his hand and foot arrived at the same time (not foot arrived first and hand arrived later).

I'm still allergy to "push".
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