It's just a step to the left...

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

Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby everything on Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:42 am

there must have been a precursor art or arts.

unless we want to believe that some guy in a mountain or a village just invented a martial art from scratch. that hypothesis is ridiculous so it must be the other one.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby Steve James on Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:02 am

A mythical founder is much more practical for a society. Once something of social or cultural value is claimed by a family, the social value is negated. Somebody started martial arts in China. Afa a name, your guess is as good as anyone else's. All CMA came from that. It's unlikely that he or she did everything seen in mas today. And the usefulness or benefits of practicing have nothing to do with the inventor, let alone any of his family or descendants.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby Ron Panunto on Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:14 am

everything wrote:there must have been a precursor art or arts.

unless we want to believe that some guy in a mountain or a village just invented a martial art from scratch. that hypothesis is ridiculous so it must be the other one.


If you're referring to Chen Wangting as "some guy in a mountain village" I would take issue with that. He was a general in the army and was well aware of Qi Qiguangs work to identify the best martial arts of the era, much of which he included in his Taij.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:43 am

I think it is pretty well documented the arts Chen borrowed from
As Wu tu nan said in front of the Chen leadership
It is all just Shaolin red fist
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby everything on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:54 am

Ron Panunto wrote:
everything wrote:there must have been a precursor art or arts.

unless we want to believe that some guy in a mountain or a village just invented a martial art from scratch. that hypothesis is ridiculous so it must be the other one.


If you're referring to Chen Wangting as "some guy in a mountain village" I would take issue with that. He was a general in the army and was well aware of Qi Qiguangs work to identify the best martial arts of the era, much of which he included in his Taij.


a general in the army would have access to all kinds of precursor arts and then his art is by definition "mixed" martial arts. which means if taijiquan was his "invention" or his personal art growing out of his studies, original taijiquan was an "mma" of sorts, like all other ma are/were. if there were some mythical figure before that, about which all knowledge is now lost, that mythical figure didn't "invent" an art by staring at his navel, either.

side note: since taijiquan or whatever we want to call chen's art was an "mma", not sure why some people get upset if someone knows or learns something from some other art. doesn't make sense. same point from that mythical founder thread. not directed at anyone in particular
Last edited by everything on Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby robert on Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:41 pm

everything wrote:there must have been a precursor art or arts.

Yes, but if we were able to keep tracing back at some point there is someone who combined daoyin and a martial art.

everything wrote:unless we want to believe that some guy in a mountain or a village just invented a martial art from scratch. that hypothesis is ridiculous so it must be the other one.

I don't see it as inventing a martial art from scratch - I think at some point someone combined daoyin with a martial art. I suspect they just modified an existing martial art.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby robert on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:06 pm

I tend to think there was a precursor art because, historically, xingyi & taiji trace back to about the same time period. However, calculus was developed by both Newton & Liebniz independently; boolean algebra was applied to switching circuit theory by Shannon & Shestakov working independently. I suspect there are many other examples. Anything outside historical data is speculation ...
Last edited by robert on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby Trick on Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:17 pm

wayne hansen wrote:I think it is pretty well documented the arts Chen borrowed from
As Wu tu nan said in front of the Chen leadership
It is all just Shaolin red fist

Wu Tunan borrowed it from the Yang family,and Yang Luchan borrowed it from the Chen family, and the Chen family borrowed it from......?....Stories about military men occasionally sought "shelter" in the Shaolin temple might suggest the temple "borrowed" it from men well versed in combat and warfare, things of "inner" practice might have been added by peaceful temple residents?
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby robert on Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:21 pm

From the book Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing by David Gaffney, Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim

The original Taijiquan created by Chen Wangting contained five sets of forms (one set of Shishanshi [13 postures], 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th routine sets) one set of Changquan (Long Fist) consisting of 108 forms; and one set of Paocui (Cannon Fist), making seven sets total. These also incorporated skills from the Shaolin Red Fist, Shaolin Staff, and "Buddha's Warrior Eighteen Grasping Techniques." Chen also added techniques From other well known martial artists of the time, For example, Zhang BaIing's striking (da); Li Bantien's legwork (ti); Eagle Claw Wang's grasping (na); and Thousand—FalI Zhang's take-downs (shuai & die).

It is said that Chen Changxing took these routines and combined them into laojia yilu and erlu. Since CCX was YLC's teacher it's possible that 13 postures refers to this early Chen form. If that is the case the idea of 8 jin/methods + 5 steps doesn't make as much sense to me as what Ron posted previously.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby Wuyizidi on Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:22 pm

oragami_itto wrote:Taijiquan is the 13 postures, those being 8 Gates and 5 steps.

The five steps are half of the art but how much time do we spend on them?

They are:

Advance - metal
Retreat - wood
Central Equilibrium - Earth
Gaze left - water
Look right - fire

How important are these concepts to your training?
In your own words, what is the difference between gaze left and look right?


It comes from the common expression 左顾右盼 zuo gu you pan:
左 zuo : left
顾 gu: look (as in look after, check to make sure)
右 you: right
盼 pan: look, often mean look on with intensity, like gazing at someone you love

Here it's using a common construction in Chinese language, the 1st and 3rd characters are a pair with symmetrical or identical meaning, same for 2nd and 4th character. So in this context, we don't need to investigate the nuanced meaning between gu and pan. In general usage, zuo gu you pan is meant to convey 2 types of mental states: one is that you're being superior, arrogant, like walking through a place, look brazenly at people around you like you own the whole place, or two, you are worried, hesitant, like when you're crossing a busy intersection in your car, checking all directions to make sure it's safe.

In the context of Taijiquan classics, it just means move to the left (gu) or right (gu). In the song the author did not use the word 'forward', 'backward', but jin and tui, so he's using the more literary gu and pan to maintain the same tone, to indicate left and right. In everyday usage, people never use gu and pan this way.

The whole mapping footwork direction to the five element thing is, in my opinion, quite contrived. How does moving left have quality of water, and right the fire? I don't think we need to pay too much attention to that :)

In terms of footwork practice, it's obviously a big part of foundation training. There's a popular martial art expression "fighting is 30% hands, 70% feet", meaning winning is 70% dependent on footwork. Footwork determines when you're in each other's circle of influence:

Image

Footwork training in internal martial art include:
- Mo Jing Bu
- Jiao Cha Bu
- Wu Xing Bu
- Ca La Bu (the most used step)
- Shan Zhan Bu (Vasyl Lomachenko is famous for his)
- San Jiao Huan Shi Bu (again Lomachenko)
- Zhi Zi Bu
- Zhuan Shen Bu
- Dao Cha Bu
- Ce Shan Bu
...

We're supposed to walk 10,000 steps a day, so a good practice is to fulfill that requirement by practicing these basic footworks. Wu Xing Bu and Jiao Cha Bu already cover multiple directions (front, back, left, right, diagonals), so I make sure I do the others in all directions. The one I spend most time on is Ca La Bu, as that's the one used most in fighting (safest). Doing multiple sets of that in each direction and you quickly realize which leg, and in which direction, you're weak.



An key part of the practice is to not make it mechanical, like when you advance forward 10 times with Ca La Bu, you're not using doing the reps without stop in your mind, each one is a distinct action. You have to be mentally present at all time. It should be such that if something suddenly happens between any of the reps, you can immediately reverse course easily using the same footwork. That's part of what people call "owning the movement" - have it fully under your control. The same applies for any static or dynamic posture, if you have to struggle to get out a pose, you've gone too far/deep. That might be good for gongfu training (ex. leg strength), but not skill/ability training (have both stability and mobility).

A big problem in Taiji practice today is many people conflate practice method with fighting. A very obvious example of this is fix step push hands. It's one of the entry level push hand practices, simplifying things by not allowing you to move. The problem arises when that becomes a popular competition event, or contest between practitioners. Lots of people over focus on that, and then in real fighting they cannot move well, and therefore can't really fight. This is one reason many novices are surprised when they cross hand with old (age wise) masters, that they actual do better against the old experts in fix step than free push hand. This is because there's so much more you can do when zuo gu you pan comes into play.
Last edited by Wuyizidi on Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:02 am, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: It's just a step to the left...

Postby johnwang on Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:31 pm

In SC, you can train footwork in the following way:

1. Mark L1, R1, L2, R2 on the ground.
2. Put left foot on L1 and right foot on R1.
3. Move L1 to L2 and move R1 to R2 (advance).
4. Move L2 back to L1 and move R2 back to R1 (retreat).
5. Repeat 3 and 4.

Sometime you combine step 3 or step 4 as 1 step. Instead of moving 2 feet separately, you may just use 1 single "hop". I believe this training method can be applied to all MA systems.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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