Sam Tam demonstrating form

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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby robert on Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:53 am

nicklinjm wrote:By CMC's own account he studied with YCF for 7 years, i.e. starting in 1929.

In that case ZMQ contradicts himself. Do you have a reference for that?
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby co-lee on Fri Sep 24, 2021 12:44 pm

robert wrote:
nicklinjm wrote:By CMC's own account he studied with YCF for 7 years, i.e. starting in 1929.

In that case ZMQ contradicts himself. Do you have a reference for that?


In the 13 Treatises, Zheng says he "followed Yang Cheng Fu for 7 years".
In the intro to same, his wife says it was 6 years. Although she qualifies it as studying w/ YCF every day. Maybe the extra year was when he took some time off....

Of course, in this same time frame, he spent 3 years studying with Qian Mingshan and told his disciple Tam Gibbs
He put his heart and soul into studying the classics and the sages, and for 3 years his feet never left the school's door. He took no summer vacations or vacations of any kind.

Professor Cheng once commented to me, “Tam, during that time of study of Master Ming-shan, I never slept I burned the midnight oil for three years and no one ever saw me except my teacher, and that was only when I handed in an essay to him.”


Trying to put the pieces together, it looks to me like CMC started studying w/ Qian in the last half of 1931. Right after he'd visited Japan for an art show, realized what a problem having Japanese connections was about to become, stopped teaching art and selling his paintings, resigned his post at the Art College, and retreated to the forest. Also pretty much the same time he was studying w/ YCF, for any of the versions of the timeline. And 3 years from 1931 where he never left the school's door also covers the time period where he was teaching / assisting at the Nanjing Guoshuguan.

Remarkably talented guy who was able to fit 3 years of study in w/o doing anything else, while also commuting to Nanjing, studying with Yang Chengfu. beginning private lessons w/ Zhang Qinlin, establishing his medical practice, ghost-writing YCFs book, and polishing his literati chops. He seems to have been a fast learner ...

(edit to add: I should clarify that, joking aside, I'm in the CMC line and respect his skills and talent. I just have to roll my eyes at the obvious incompatible dates...)
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby robert on Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:49 pm

co-lee wrote:In the 13 Treatises, Zheng says he "followed Yang Cheng Fu for 7 years".

Thanks for that. So he does contradict himself.

co-lee wrote:(edit to add: I should clarify that, joking aside, I'm in the CMC line and respect his skills and talent. I just have to roll my eyes at the obvious incompatible dates...)

I started in the ZMQ lineage, but moved on after a couple years. There's video of ZMQ so people can see how he moved. He clearly used jin. I like his writings; he clearly writes from experience, for the most part. How good he is doesn't really say anything about how long he studied with YCF. I've always seen contradictory information regarding how long he studied with YCF, now I know why - it comes from ZMQ himself.
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby Pennykid on Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:24 pm

I've read many times that CMC used the straight wrists as well as the parallel stepping in Repulse Monkey because they were better for qi flow.
Is there anyone on RSF that has found that to be the case?
I suppose a good question would be: Was CMC known to have more qi, or a stronger flow of it, than his fellow famous students of Yang Cheng Fu?
I find it hard to believe the famous Yangs themselves were all stifling their qi according to CMC's understanding.
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:08 pm

The straight wrist has a purpose in application
The stepping comes from a thing Cheng read about Chang san Feng reaching enlightenment while practicing that way
If you watch Cheng he dosent use nor do any of his seniors
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:40 am

robert wrote:
co-lee wrote:In the 13 Treatises, Zheng says he "followed Yang Cheng Fu for 7 years".

Thanks for that. So he does contradict himself.

co-lee wrote:(edit to add: I should clarify that, joking aside, I'm in the CMC line and respect his skills and talent. I just have to roll my eyes at the obvious incompatible dates...)

I started in the ZMQ lineage, but moved on after a couple years. There's video of ZMQ so people can see how he moved. He clearly used jin. I like his writings; he clearly writes from experience, for the most part. How good he is doesn't really say anything about how long he studied with YCF. I've always seen contradictory information regarding how long he studied with YCF, now I know why - it comes from ZMQ himself.


I've taken everything from both of them with a grain of salt after their book relayed a conversation between YCF and YLC.
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby robert on Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:56 am

oragami_itto wrote:I've taken everything from both of them with a grain of salt after their book relayed a conversation between YCF and YLC.

That's a good point.
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby robert on Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:44 pm

Pennykid wrote:I've read many times that CMC used the straight wrists as well as the parallel stepping in Repulse Monkey because they were better for qi flow.

In Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on Tai Chi Quan he writes about Professor Yang’s Essential
Points of T’ai Chi Ch’uan
.

2. “Sink the shoulders, drop the elbows, and ‘sit the
wrist.’” This means that the shoulders should neither be
shrugged nor collapsed. The elbows should not be raised
nor squeezed. If they behave naturally, they will auto-
matically sink. To “sit the wrist” is the most difficult of
the three, as it requires that the veins and tendons do
not appear on the back of the hand in order to be cor-
rect. This is traditionally called “beautiful lady’s hand.”
The fingers are neither closed nor open, and neither bent
nor straight. One seeks the opened from the closed and
the straight from the curved. The ch’i must pass through
the lao kung point (Pericardium 8) in the palm before it
can reach the tips of the fingers.


Here ZMQ is discussing qi flow in terms of sitting the wrist. A beginner will not be able to open in closing. After five or ten years of training a person may be able to sit the wrist correctly.

A few pages later ZMQ has a picture of a straight wrist and says the wrist should always be straight. If you look at the pictures of ZMQ in the book in a number of postures he sits a wrist.

Some photos where the wrist does not seem straight to me.

Image

Image
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:03 pm

I don’t know about the sword photo
The other photo is quite old and he does the form quite differently to later photos
I prefer the younger ones
Remember any photos or films are taken one day at one time
We don’t know the circumstances or how he was feeling on that day
Better to follow teachers who saw and learnt from him on many days over extended time
I trusted my teachers because they could tell me why and then apply it
If Cheng didn’t have it they would not have it
They did
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Sep 25, 2021 3:12 pm

wayne hansen wrote:I don’t know about the sword photo
The other photo is quite old and he does the form quite differently to later photos
I prefer the younger ones


I've seen folks with similar opinions about other famous masters too.

I don't know what to think of that.

It stands to reason that the later form would be a result of the practitioner's refinement over time.

The question, I suppose, is what refinement they've incorporated. What ends have the changes been made to accomplish?

Is the practice made more potent or diluted?

What about the older pictures of the younger Cheng appeal to you?
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby co-lee on Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:51 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Better to follow teachers who saw and learnt from him on many days over extended time
I trusted my teachers because they could tell me why and then apply it
If Cheng didn’t have it they would not have it
They did

this is the key.

And re
wayne hansen wrote:I don’t know about the sword photo

FWIW, I've been specifically taught to angle the wrist there via teachers who studied w/ CMC. Which makes sense if you understand the directions of motion in this move, as done via CMC teaching.
BLH rules expose nuance when one gets to the sword form in, at least US-based, CMC teaching.
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Sep 25, 2021 5:35 pm

Sure people refine form over time that’s a given
People like Cheng become formless
Like I Chuan where the form is second to the intention
The thing I didn’t mention about the maidens hand is that you don’t not sit it you just don’t sink it to the point the Yangs do
One of my Wu teachers sat his even less
When doing Huangs 5 exercises sitting the palm is what most people miss
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby GrahamB on Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:27 am

I just find it really bizarre that anybody would take Cheng's Tai Chi as some sort of standard for Tai Chi to then argue about...?

But don't mind me - carry on :)
I could be wrong.
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:15 am

GrahamB wrote:I just find it really bizarre that anybody would take Cheng's Tai Chi as some sort of standard for Tai Chi to then argue about...?

But don't mind me - carry on :)


I mean, say what you like about the quality of his system, but you can't deny he had the single most impactful influence on Taijiquan in the United States (at least).
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Re: Sam Tam demonstrating form

Postby GrahamB on Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:37 am

oragami_itto wrote:
GrahamB wrote:I just find it really bizarre that anybody would take Cheng's Tai Chi as some sort of standard for Tai Chi to then argue about...?

But don't mind me - carry on :)


I mean, say what you like about the quality of his system, but you can't deny he had the single most impactful influence on Taijiquan in the United States (at least).


Yes, totally true.

If it makes you happy, go for it.
I could be wrong.
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