Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

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

Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:04 am

RobP3 wrote:The large frame was invented as preparation work. Like I said before, "real" large frame is very open and stretchy. I was taught (by Yang Family lineage) that practice of large frame replaces the need to do exercises like the three circles routine in order to make the body limber.


One time ago, I also thought that the large frame was a "preparatory" thing. There's a common view that you should make large movements first and small movements later. But I don't agree with this any longer. I think it's the wrong way to learn. In Tai Chi, the small frames were invented before the larger frames. The Yang "Middle frame" that already looks quite large was also developed later than the small frame. The thing is that if you over-do large movements before understanding internal movements, you will learn a completely wrong way of using your body. The real "big" movements are necessarily not big for the by stander, but internally, they can feel "big". What is necessary for Tai Chi is things like to learn how to coordinate the whole spine, from the kua, to the spot behind of the dantian and how to coordinate spine with the movements of the lower ribs and scapula. This is the kind of work you need before working with a bigger frame (and eventually connect to a larger frame). If not, if you just start with externally large movements using coordinated limbs, you will just make big visually movements, but there will be no synchronisation with the dantian and you will not learn how to draw out the internal movement, or "energy", right out through your arms and fingertips. Big bold movements are good in many ways, but it won't teach you anything about generating internal movement. Also, a too big frame (like how modern Yang short forms are usually taught) is not balanced, it doesn't have the stability and the angles that are necessary for Tai Chi martial applications. So if you only focus on big frame, you will end up with an external exercise that in best case is a good meditative exercise, but have very little use for martial function. If you start working like this, you will working in the wrong direction, just in the opposite way you want to go. Then the question is if you are able to or willing to re-learn what you already have learned, to make a 180 degree turn. So IMO, internal movements and small frame body alignment should be taught first or at the same time as a medium or large frame. Then you can start developing what is important from the start and of course, start from the right end. But of course, my view is contradictory to what most people believe.
Last edited by Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby RobP3 on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:15 am

Well, I'm just repeating what teachers in the Yang Sau Cheung lineage told me (main one being Vincent Chu). LF is nothing to do with application it is about strengthening and limbering the body. Maybe we have seen different versions of "large frame", the one I was taught was physically quite demanding. No-one said that you only do this form, it is preparation for the various middle and small frame forms. I was told it was used to replace various Yang Family exercises, such as the Three Circles and others.
This is, perhaps, a wider issue with taiji, people trying to learn application work when they have no strength in the body. It's all very well talking about small details, but if someone has no strength in the legs it is just talk.
Your view is contradictory, with respect, to the Yang Family as far as I can see. Vincent Chu travelled round many old-time teachers in China and other places, the guy has done his research. They all said the same thing.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:22 am

RobP3 wrote:Well, I'm just repeating what teachers in the Yang Sau Cheung lineage told me (main one being Vincent Chu). LF is nothing to do with application it is about strengthening and limbering the body. Maybe we have seen different versions of "large frame", the one I was taught was physically quite demanding.
...
Your view is contradictory, with respect, to the Yang Family as far as I can see. Vincent Chu travelled round many old-time teachers in China and other places, the guy has done his research. They all said the same thing.


It depends on how you understand the concept of "large frame". If it's balanced with a good ground structure (rooting) and if you can coordinate the movements from the dantian and "draw energy" from the spine, it's good. Most people though don't understand this and are not taught how to do this. Most stand rather tall and use coordinated, yet isolated limb movements. I like the Yang "low" frame, but the modern way to do Yang large frame has become very much contradictory to this one.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby GrahamB on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:28 am

Bao wrote:
Lol! You mean I should "realise this is how the Yang form is supposed to be done" and follow Yang Jun?

Or you mean that I should ignore what he does because a Yang Style practitioner can move how he wants?

So I should stop make excuses and follow Yang Jun because a Yang Stylist can move how ever he wants? Oh... I think you contradict yourself a lot...


I don't say he does anything deliberately wrong. I say that he just can't move any better than that. What he is no way near the older generation. And you think that this guy is a good representative (official or not) to the Yang family?

...Well, if you can't see any difference between Yang Shaozhong and Yang Jun regarding shenfa and the quality of movement... well... I guess you just can't see it. ;)


1. No. I didn't say that "you" should do anything. You seem to have made this into a personal issue about "you". Strange.

2. I already said that YSC and YJ were moving in different ways.
Last edited by GrahamB on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby RobP3 on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:37 am

Bao wrote:
RobP3 wrote:Well, I'm just repeating what teachers in the Yang Sau Cheung lineage told me (main one being Vincent Chu). LF is nothing to do with application it is about strengthening and limbering the body. Maybe we have seen different versions of "large frame", the one I was taught was physically quite demanding.
...
Your view is contradictory, with respect, to the Yang Family as far as I can see. Vincent Chu travelled round many old-time teachers in China and other places, the guy has done his research. They all said the same thing.


It depends on how you understand the concept of "large frame". If it's balanced with a good ground structure (rooting) and if you can coordinate the movements from the dantian and "draw energy" from the spine, it's good. Most people though don't understand this and are not taught how to do this. Most stand rather tall and use coordinated, yet isolated limb movements. I like the Yang "low" frame, but the modern way to do Yang large frame has become very much contradictory to this one.


Couple of versions of what I was shown.



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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:38 am

GrahamB wrote:No. I didn't say that "you" should do anything. You seem to have made this into a personal issue about "you". Strange.


Oh. Swedish don't use "you" in the same general manner as English, we use a special general word (except for quite a few people who mix English and Swedish, they tend to directly translate "you" into Swedish). Confusing sometimes. Yes, we interpret things too personal sometimes because of this. I'll just blame the language barrier and leave it like this.

I already said that YSC and YJ were moving in different ways.


... so I don't understand why you believe that Yang Jun is a better representative than YSC. You said that he shows the way that Yang style should be done. :-\
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:48 am

@Rob: They are ok, though the YBH is usually taught and performed lower than this. The question is still, how do you get the internal work going and how to coordinate dantian and back/spine? Even for the most traditional Yang Large frame, most people are not taught how. They are only taught the external movements.

Compare the last vid with this Lee Yingarn, though probably influenced by the Dongs (that sounded funny...), his movements are so much better and IMO seems more genuine to old Yang school.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPkGWNOlNA4
Last edited by Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby cdobe on Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:38 am

wayne hansen wrote:
cdobe wrote:
Wuyizidi wrote:Ed,

Within Wu lineage we are very open in our admission that Song Shuming kicked Wang Maozhai and Wu Jianquan's asses before they reached level of mastery (Quan You had passed away at the time).


First of all, you are not a spokesperson for Wu style. This story is the typical bullshit lore from people who like to lay claim to having received a secret, ancient transmisson. Xu Yusheng wrote in the part of his book, where he lists his teachers and gives credit to them that he himself (Xu) has learned from Song as well as from Wu Jianquan. Use the search function of this forum for my translation. Wu Tunan, a proven liar, concocted the story that Wu Jianquan became a student of Song in order to link himself to Song.

I would also appreciate if you didn't write Wang Maozhai's name, a Quanyou student for about 3 years, ahead of the Wu style inheritor's name Wu Jianquan or mention him in the same breath. Thank you.



So who did wang train with


I suspect that he continued his studies with Wu Jianquan after Quanyou's retirement as the other disciples did. Liu Caichen, a Quanyou disciple, wrote about this in his book.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Trick on Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:25 am

Bao wrote:
RobP3 wrote:The large frame was invented as preparation work. Like I said before, "real" large frame is very open and stretchy. I was taught (by Yang Family lineage) that practice of large frame replaces the need to do exercises like the three circles routine in order to make the body limber.


One time ago, I also thought that the large frame was a "preparatory" thing. There's a common view that you should make large movements first and small movements later. But I don't agree with this any longer. I think it's the wrong way to learn. In Tai Chi, the small frames were invented before the larger frames. The Yang "Middle frame" that already looks quite large was also developed later than the small frame. The thing is that if you over-do large movements before understanding internal movements, you will learn a completely wrong way of using your body. The real "big" movements are necessarily not big for the by stander, but internally, they can feel "big". What is necessary for Tai Chi is things like to learn how to coordinate the whole spine, from the kua, to the spot behind of the dantian and how to coordinate spine with the movements of the lower ribs and scapula. This is the kind of work you need before working with a bigger frame (and eventually connect to a larger frame). If not, if you just start with externally large movements using coordinated limbs, you will just make big visually movements, but there will be no synchronisation with the dantian and you will not learn how to draw out the internal movement, or "energy", right out through your arms and fingertips. Big bold movements are good in many ways, but it won't teach you anything about generating internal movement. Also, a too big frame (like how modern Yang short forms are usually taught) is not balanced, it doesn't have the stability and the angles that are necessary for Tai Chi martial applications. So if you only focus on big frame, you will end up with an external exercise that in best case is a good meditative exercise, but have very little use for martial function. If you start working like this, you will working in the wrong direction, just in the opposite way you want to go. Then the question is if you are able to or willing to re-learn what you already have learned, to make a 180 degree turn. So IMO, internal movements and small frame body alignment should be taught first or at the same time as a medium or large frame. Then you can start developing what is important from the start and of course, start from the right end. But of course, my view is contradictory to what most people believe.

Hmmm, my feeling and experience here is(in form practice)first big then continue big(here not always visually), but i'm sure one can get the big from the small too,, i mean, above so below, micro-macro and so on......as long one have a good guide and a clever and persistent mind one will most certainly get it.....But I think that traditionally if one began learning from a young age one first learned the big, and later the small just comes out by itself, the small was nothing that was specifically learned it just comes along with the correct practice of the big..at least this is my experience
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:48 am

RobP3 wrote:
Bao wrote:
RobP3 wrote:Well, I'm just repeating what teachers in the Yang Sau Cheung lineage told me (main one being Vincent Chu). LF is nothing to do with application it is about strengthening and limbering the body. Maybe we have seen different versions of "large frame", the one I was taught was physically quite demanding.
...
Your view is contradictory, with respect, to the Yang Family as far as I can see. Vincent Chu travelled round many old-time teachers in China and other places, the guy has done his research. They all said the same thing.


It depends on how you understand the concept of "large frame". If it's balanced with a good ground structure (rooting) and if you can coordinate the movements from the dantian and "draw energy" from the spine, it's good. Most people though don't understand this and are not taught how to do this. Most stand rather tall and use coordinated, yet isolated limb movements. I like the Yang "low" frame, but the modern way to do Yang large frame has become very much contradictory to this one.


Couple of versions of what I was shown





Large frame or small makes no difference they are just methods of practice to achieve different ends
But in both these the mechanics are poor
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:35 am

Trick wrote:Hmmm, my feeling and experience here is(in form practice)first big then continue big(here not always visually), but i'm sure one can get the big from the small too,,...But I think that traditionally if one began learning from a young age one first learned the big, and later the small just comes out by itself, the small was nothing that was specifically learned it just comes along with the correct practice of the big..at least this is my experience


Yes that's in line with the common view. But small frame is not only "small" as smaller in size. "Small frame", as in Wu/Hao and Sun at least, has a very precise and detailed alignment. So this frame does not come out by itself. "Small frame" is nothing else but where the angles of the body is the strongest possible (from every direction) and where structure of the body have the most possible support. You often need help, special exercises and even tools, to really feel and become aware of this kind of alignment and where the angles are perfect. So no, normally it doesn't come by itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPvAFPD8x4E

Last edited by Bao on Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby edededed on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:28 pm

Hey RobP3:

What is the "three circles" exercise?

I thought that Vincent Chu's videos of the various frames were very interesting - as one can certainly see similarities with other lines (e.g. small frame with Wu Jianquan style, middle frame with Tian Zhaolin's line, etc.); however, the flavor seems to be a bit different (the latter seem more "specialized" perhaps (e.g. the extreme spiralling of Tian's middle frame), certainly they spend more of their time practicing those specific frames). If the Yang family did indeed preserve (sometimes create) 5 different frames until now (while hardly showing them to anybody, until Vincent), then that is a feat in itself - it is hard enough to practice enough to master 1 or 2.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Steve James on Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:35 pm

There's more than one way to skin a cat. But, you only need one.
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby edededed on Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:29 pm

One cat, or...? ;D

(I think we need a new idiom - how about "There's more than one way to peel an orange?" I have actually seen catalogs selling all sorts of skinned cats... for research purposes, I suppose? And in Asia, they are used for certain musical instruments...)
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Re: Taiji Origins & Creation Myths

Postby Trick on Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:47 pm

Screaming cats sounds horrible
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