Elbow strike/stroke

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

Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby BruceP on Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:32 am

The OP asked how Zhou is trained in the form. Probably because they're still looking for applications and techniques directly from the form to apply to actual fighting.

If you are a Yang or derivative, stylist, how do you train 'elbow' in your form, since the overt moves are gone?


Hitting with 'elbow' hasn't been a secret since ever. One doesn't even need to 'fold' to apply Zhou. It can be disguised as any of the other 7/ "hidden in the form".
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:34 am

GrahamB wrote:Interested to hear people's thoughts on elbow (zhou) in Tai Chi. Zhou is said to be one of the 8 energies/powers of Tai Chi Chuan.

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If you look at Chen style you see obvious elbow strikes in the forms. E.g.:



But in Yang style, and derivatives, these moves have gone.

I've heard lots of different explanations for why, sometimes it's a reframing of 'elbow' as 'moves involving the elbow' rather than a strike with the elbow. (But if you talk to a Chen person about Zhou, they mean striking with the elbow) Other times it's explained as the move being 'hidden' in the form...

If you are a Yang or derivative, stylist, how do you train 'elbow' in your form, since the overt moves are gone?

It's one of the 8 powers, so presumably quite important. Or is it really? Is that theory just an unnecessary layer of neo-Confucian intellectual elite bullshit plastered over a highly practical art of the common people? Why is "knee" or "foot" or "head" not one of the 8 powers?

What do you think?


I don't agree that there obvious ones have been taken out, explicit elbows are all over all three Yang derived forms (T.T. Liangs, Huang Sheng Shyan, Dong Yie Jie) I study. Not as a posture per se but as applications for the movement. Just look at between withdraw and push/apparent close up, that right elbow on the turn to the north is business.

But as I was saying in another comment, 'elbow stroke' as I learned it, actually includes all striking that isn't kao (worth a thread of it's own), as well as the technique of folding and unfolding, and you can use both aspects together or separately. And that's striking with hand, elbow, shoulder, head, knee, foot.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby everything on Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:43 am

It's one of the 8 powers, so presumably quite important. Or is it really? Is that theory just an unnecessary layer of neo-Confucian intellectual elite bullshit plastered over a highly practical art of the common people? Why is "knee" or "foot" or "head" not one of the 8 powers?

What do you think?


this is an interesting, good, and quite hilarious question. I vote for "intellectual elite (and effete) bullshit" as the answer, lol.

whether anyone wants to label it as some kind of energy, it's obviously important/dangerous. after watching 100s of elbows in mma and many dirty fouls and accidental elbows in pro and rec soccer/football as well as basketball, elbow is kind of self-explanatorily dangerous. even a tiny incidental accidental elbow is dangerous. then again, eye pokes were advocated by BL coming out of wing chun, and they obviously are also super dangerous (maybe more dangerous) in mma when done on-purpose-accidentally, but we don't talk about it as an 8 energy. so that's back to bullshit as my vote on the intellectual layer.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby robert on Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:56 am

Bob wrote: In the bagua I learned there is a quasilinear elbow form - Bisio teaches a 12 elbow form in his bagua system and there are a significant number of elbow strikes in my six harmony short punch form - seems it's prevalent in a lot of systems

I learned a bagua 13 elbow set from Zhang Huasen when he was in that states in the 90's. I liked that form. It wasn't based on the circle.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:26 am

charles wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:If the hand is attacked/stuck, fold and use the elbow, if the elbow is stuck fold back to the hand or to the shoulder, if the shoulder is stuck, fold to the elbow or head, basically.


What you are describing, if I understand correctly, is folding, in general - when one "joint" is stuck, one folds and uses the next one that isn't. How is that "the secret of elbow/zhou"? The elbow's main use is only after another joint is stuck/neutralized?



It does not apply to Chen only yang
By secret I mean painfully obvious but missed by most
If elbow is used without folding it will only catch the unaware
Shoulder and elbow are yin and yang
Elbow appears yang but is yin
Shoulder appears yin but is strongly yang
This is the trap for young players
In our fighting form we have an elbow section that contains 6 elbows
I have seen many so called elbow forms but fail to see more than that
Would love to see an elbow form that contains more
Last edited by wayne hansen on Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby BruceP on Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:52 am

everything wrote:
this is an interesting, good, and quite hilarious question. I vote for "intellectual elite (and effete) bullshit" as the answer, lol.

whether anyone wants to label it as some kind of energy, it's obviously important/dangerous. after watching 100s of elbows in mma and many dirty fouls and accidental elbows in pro and rec soccer/football as well as basketball, elbow is kind of self-explanatorily dangerous. even a tiny incidental accidental elbow is dangerous. then again, eye pokes were advocated by BL coming out of wing chun, and they obviously are also super dangerous (maybe more dangerous) in mma when done on-purpose-accidentally, but we don't talk about it as an 8 energy. so that's back to bullshit as my vote on the intellectual layer.


That's because it has nothing to do with hitting with an elbow. Zhou serves a unique and distinct function of the body's energetic chain. It's the thought given to hitting with the elbow that is the 'intellectual bullshit' in this case.

Planing, sawing and carving wood all use Zhou energy in slightly different ways - as does raking leaves, mopping a floor or rolling tar onto a roof. One just has to stop thinking about 'martial application', - he LOLed - and consider what Chou represents in the form since that was what was asked originally, and (probably accidentally) most fittingly.

White Stork posture exemplifies the ideal of Zhou with no bends or corners (matches knees) as the point(s) of awareness.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby Steve James on Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:48 pm

Zhou serves a unique and distinct function of the body's energetic chain.


Hmm.

White Stork posture exemplifies the ideal of Zhou with no bends or corners (matches knees) as the point(s) of awareness.


Why doesn't WS exemplify Kao?
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby Steve James on Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:50 pm

I think the question "Why isn't 'knee' a specific jin?" is a great one.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:02 pm

Knee is elbow
Hip is shoulder
Foot is fist
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby GrahamB on Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:57 am

You guys seem to be having so much fun with this I don’t feel like I need to add anything.

I might just add something to make me sound all-knowing though... here goes. Rate me out of 10 on the Pseudo Master scale please ;)

Elbow is elbow but it is also folding and wrapping. But it is also unwrapping and packaging and also delivery. And for an extra $10 you can have a hand written card.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby I-mon on Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:59 pm

Now we just need Scott Phillips to tell us the ritual and mythological symbolism of elbows for the exorcism of a particular demon of the northeast wind, or something.
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:46 pm

Naw, Graham would prefer to hear about the relation of elbow to the Chinese zodiac :).
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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby GrahamB on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:27 am

The Chinese Zodiac is just another result of Chinese miasma, same as neo-Confucian intellectual overlay to martial arts. I'd prefer the Shamanic origins of elbows myself ;) Interestingly Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema never strikes with his elbow. He doesn't like it - says it makes you too tense. (Paraphrasing from memory from the book 'Strikes'). If you look at all the videos of him online, you hardly ever see him hit with the elbow.

Simon - I do remember reading Scott Phillips rather amazing explanation of the 4 main energies of Ta Chi Peng, lu, ji, an - the square in the circle as an exorcism ritual. He really took it to the next level. Let me find it, hang on.....

...

... ah here you go:

"A square inside a circle means a ritual exorcism in traditional China. Called a jing (a well) because ghosts and demons are locked up inside wells during exorcisms. Chinese coins also symbolize this and were used for exorcisms. The movements peng, ji, lu, an, are the sequence used in an exorcism. "an" being the final stage, imprisonment or "pacification."
http://northstarmartialarts.com/blog1/2 ... nding.html

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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby RobP3 on Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:27 am

GrahamB wrote: Interestingly Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema never strikes with his elbow. He doesn't like it - says it makes you too tense. (Paraphrasing from memory from the book 'Strikes'). If you look at all the videos of him online, you hardly ever see him hit with the elbow.



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Re: Elbow strike/stroke

Postby GrahamB on Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:32 am

Oh my Lord - this thread has released the Poynton! :D
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