expression of the whole body's force

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

expression of the whole body's force

Postby mixjourneyman on Fri May 16, 2008 9:12 am

This is a very complex subject that pertains to bagua and taiji that I would like to canvas your views on.
When practicing a so called soft art, how do you (or do you at all) express the force of the whole body to the end of your limbs, when doing a movement that has no fajing quality to it?
To me, expressing force in every movement is one of the most important things in IMA. I think many people are confused by the idea of softness and don't have the quality of force in all of their movements.
So I'll restate my question: how do you personally do this? Do you think its important? Or do you emphasize other qualities?
How do you stop the force from getting trapped on the inside of your body?
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby nianfong on Fri May 16, 2008 9:16 am

um, this actually applies to xingyi as well, if not more so. but I guess the whole body force expression is more obvious, esp at the mingjing level.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby shawnsegler on Fri May 16, 2008 9:17 am

I think the answer to most of those questions is to be deeply inside your body.

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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby mixjourneyman on Fri May 16, 2008 9:19 am

nianfong wrote:um, this actually applies to xingyi as well, if not more so. but I guess the whole body force expression is more obvious, esp at the mingjing level.


Yeah, thats why I left xingyi out. Most people will be able to recognize that xingyi has force in it. Bagua and taiji is harder, since many people don't even understand that you need to express force while doing so called "relaxed" movements.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby dragontigerpalm on Fri May 16, 2008 9:22 am

Absorb to the dantien, pull to and expand from the mingmen.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby Sprint on Fri May 16, 2008 9:39 am

In the opening of all taiji forms the hands and arms are raised and then lowered. It occurred to me the other day that what this demonstrates or should, is the balance of 6 forces (harmonies). So as the hands are raised they go forwards, upwards and inwards (slightly); when they are lowered it is down, out and back. But the body moves also does it not in the same way at the commencement, not just up, then down; but upwards and slightly forwards with closing between the legs; then backwards downwards and a slight opening between the legs. To me this is the blueprint. And actually if you think of the body prior to taiji it is wuji. The point of wuji is to perfect alignment, to make a good structure. So you practice structure first and then moving that structure using the balance of 6 forces. That is how I would summarize the expression of whole body force.

Not sure I know what you mean about trapping force in the body though?
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby jjy5016 on Fri May 16, 2008 9:52 am

Well Mix,

The different systems call it different things. In a nutshell it is equal force at all points of the body. They have mostly common ways of developing this. Whatever you call it, the hsing, peng jin etc. it all amounts to being able to have balanced force at any point on the body. Zhong lik or strength from the center. Like the spoked wheel of a bicycle that has equal pressure around the rim and outer edge of the tire, only instead of a bicycle wheel think of a globe. Once the strength is there then one learns how to be more and more relaxed so that one can be soft but still have that underlying frame.

This is one of the qualities that yiquan employs its basic zhan zhuang practice for. Hsing yi also uses zhan zhuang. Bagua develops it walking the circle. Taiji uses zhan zhuang and its long forms to develop it.

Not trapping the force within the body is something else. Posture is a factor, relaxation another. Breaks in proper movement loses the force and keeps it in the body. Tensing the muscles also keeps the force within the body. Too many factors to make a general statement about this.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby bailewen on Fri May 16, 2008 10:00 am

I think you have to somehow sort of engage the so-called "fascial network".

There are some strange ways to do it. This guy's demo kind of opened the door for me to see it clearly:



Once I got it in the single palm change app he does around 2 minutes in, getting it in other ways became easier.

The old man does it so god damned elegantly. It's all connected even though his movements and energy are super super light.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby shawnsegler on Fri May 16, 2008 10:06 am

Not trapping the force within the body is something else. Posture is a factor, relaxation another. Breaks in proper movement loses the force and keeps it in the body. Tensing the muscles also keeps the force within the body. Too many factors to make a general statement about this.


This also falls under what I said...there are too many factors to break it down and the answer to that is to be deeply in your body, have good listening and be able to control those factors to the end result of not getting the force trapped.

Having a good idea of the feelings that make up your interior landscape is the first step in controlling said interior landscape.

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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby DeusTrismegistus on Fri May 16, 2008 10:25 am

I think people get confused by the idea of relaxed power. They think if it doesn't look forceful then it must not be forceful. There is a lot of power in a smooth continuous strike. Think of an arrow, after it is let loose it moves in one continuous arc, the power that propelled it was short and then the arrow flies to the target with no interference and penetrates. A strike can eb powerful in the same way, the power is generated by the body and the limb is like the arrow. There doesn't need to be a visible expression of power for thepower to be present. The only way to truly know the power any strike has is to be on the receiving end.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby jjy5016 on Fri May 16, 2008 10:32 am

You can bet that the old guy's movements weren't always that compact and light. They started out like everyone else's and he refined and condensed them over the years. If you look closely at the single palm change application you can see a very tiny movement of his waist that aids in delivering the force through his arm and sending the student back. This combined with balanced force is the beauty of the technique.

Power is another thing.

My teacher sought out a famous bagua instructor around Beijing several years ago. Liu was his name I think. Then talked about theory for a while and sifu gave him something like $200.00 or the equivalent for his time and as a sign of respect. As soon as the old guy felt the wad in his pocket he decided that it was time to go get some bai jiu. Liu's son in law and four other students knew where he was going and tried to stop him because he had already gone blind in one eye from drinking too much. They all grabbed him and he just gave one small shake and knocked them all away. Then continued to the liquor store. He was in his 80's at the time. My teacher never saw him after that. Even at an old age if one's technique is correct he can just keep refining it more and more until it's barely noticeable.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby bigphatwong on Fri May 16, 2008 10:43 am

what the others said... keen kinesthetic proprioception, awareness and relaxation. for me not getting the force "trapped" relies largely on not letting the mind or intention stagnate, again this goes back to the hsing-i idea of the mind leading or pulling the body along and not moving an inch until both are in sync. if you can manage this your movements will have more of a continuous, flowing quality to them.

when I was learning taiji we had an exercise from white crane called "trembling horse", basically this involved shaking or vibrating the body in a continuous wave from the fingertips up the arms, down the spine and into the ground, then back up and out thru the arms. this was done to dissolve any patches of unneccesary tension in the body, but also served as the basic mechanics for discharging.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby mixjourneyman on Fri May 16, 2008 11:10 am

Some very good posts (jjy specifically).
What I was trying to get at is a discussion of the basic foundation of internal power.
We all seem to believe that internal power is obtained differently and we have different methods of going about getting it. I personally believe the whole softness thing is way overrated, but of course don't rate clumsy force at all. Its about striking a balance. I personally equate it with creating dynamic tension the whole way through the body, extending, and squeezing the force out. What are peoples thoughts on that?
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby Josealb on Fri May 16, 2008 11:29 am

Its ok to be all soft....but people who can say that already have the right body frame. At first, you gotta rely on tension to keep the frame, then gradually soften up.

The problem is that some people stick to the tension and focus on developing it, instead of discarding it slowly. My current opinion on the subject.
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Re: expression of the whole body's force

Postby mixjourneyman on Fri May 16, 2008 11:53 am

Josealb wrote:Its ok to be all soft....but people who can say that already have the right body frame. At first, you gotta rely on tension to keep the frame, then gradually soften up.

The problem is that some people stick to the tension and focus on developing it, instead of discarding it slowly. My current opinion on the subject.


You mean like softness within hardness?
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