Song, what does it mean?

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

Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby Giles on Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:46 am

charles wrote:Surely, I'm not the only one who sees the irony in people getting into heated discussion over a term that means "relax".


That's total nonsense!
I, at least, am completely RELAXED !! >:(

And I'm very easygoing, too. So there.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby Bao on Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:50 am

charles wrote: Like Willie, I much prefer an explicit approach where there is little room for interpretation. In my experience relatively few teach that way, for a variety of reasons. As a side note, many "mangle" science, which should provide an explicit teaching methodology for certain things, in such a way that its use is no more explicit than any other approach.


If you have a concept or an idea that you can internalise and develop vy practical practice, does it matter how specific it is verbalised?
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby charles on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:40 am

Bao wrote:If you have a concept or an idea that you can internalise and develop vy practical practice, does it matter how specific it is verbalised?


Not at all. Verbalization is just one form of communication. For example, putting one's hands on a teacher's body as he or she demonstrates can be very effective communication.

If one is not teaching/communicating one's practice to others, it might not be necessary to verbalize one's practice at all. (Verbalizing can be a method one uses to make sense of what one is practicing, part of teaching oneself or part of one understanding what one has been taught.)

What I have attempted to do is to "design" exercises that require very little verbalization. Repetition of the exercise, itself, is intended to provide an environment where the student discovers or understands the specific thing that exercise is intended to teach. I'm of the opinion that traditional forms, themselves, are such exercises, but they contain many complex actions and, just by repetition, it seems few figure out what the form is intended to teach (i.e. the underlying fundamentals of the art). Many just end up with a sequence of choreography, which is not the core of the art. Song/fang song, for example, is one such fundamental. Many never achieve it, without which, in my opinion, many of the other fundamental skills and abilities of the art are inaccessible.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby windwalker on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:14 pm

charles wrote: Like Willie, I much prefer an explicit approach where there is little room for interpretation. In my experience relatively few teach that way, for a variety of reasons. As a side note, many "mangle" science, which should provide an explicit teaching methodology for certain things, in such a way that its use is no more explicit than any other approach.



The tree branch sits in it's relaxed state and then it starts to snow outside.
The tree branch starts to bend from the weight of the snow, it is now under tension and NOT relaxed.
The molecules in the top part of the branch are being stretched and the bottom compressed.
This creates Peng. It is also a bow. It also is yin and yang in one limb...
As you can see "relax" is not the correct understanding.



Do you agree with this explanation of the metaphor ?
It notes that the peng is not there until its stressed is does this make sense ?
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby charles on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:33 pm

charles wrote: Like Willie, I much prefer an explicit approach...


To be clear, that I prefer an explicit approach, one that Willie stated he prefers, doesn't mean that I agree with anything and everything that Willie states, nor that he agrees with anything and everything that I state.

Willie wrote:
The tree branch sits in it's relaxed state and then it starts to snow outside.
The tree branch starts to bend from the weight of the snow, it is now under tension and NOT relaxed.
The molecules in the top part of the branch are being stretched and the bottom compressed.
This creates Peng. It is also a bow. It also is yin and yang in one limb...
As you can see "relax" is not the correct understanding.



windwalker wrote:Do you agree with this explanation of the metaphor ?


An explicit approach likely wouldn't involve a metaphor or a simile. Just saying.

Human limbs aren't the same as tree limbs and don't behave the same way. It is a metaphor [similie], rather than an explicit instruction on what to do or not do. "Root like a tree" and "Bend like a pine needle" are metaphors, not explicit instructions on how to behave. Not that there isn't value in metaphors/similies, but it's important to distinguish between the two.

A tree limb, essentially, is a cantilevered beam. The upper surface of the tree branch, when loaded, is in tension while the lower surface is in compression. Somewhere between the two is a neutral axis that is neither in tension nor compression. I don't think that the molecules, themselves, are in tension or compression.

The first law of mechanical engineering is, "You can't push on a rope". (Unless it is frozen.) Rope-like muscle tissue can't voluntarily be put in compression. If you hold your arm out, "like a tree branch", the mechanics involved differ from a tree branch. It's a metaphor. (I think I've stated that enough times now that it is clear that it is not an explicit instruction on what to do or how to do it.)

It notes that the peng is not there until its stressed is does this make sense ?


Repeatedly, throughout this discussion of "song", people have blurred a distinction between "Peng" and "song". I've purposely avoided addressing it: if there is that much controversy on something as "basic" as "song", and its meaning, discussing Peng is, I believe, largely ineffective. Ask 10 people what Peng is and you'll get 11 different answers.

Is peng "a bow"? Is it "yin and yang in one limb"? Is "relax" Peng? Not as I've understood it. One down and 10 different opinions/interpretations to go. :o [Correction: That's two down and 9 to go.]
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby Steve James on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:49 pm

Do you agree with this explanation of the metaphor ?


It's a simile, but you're right in pointing out the need for an explanation. However, the problem --not yours-- is that similes express similarities; they don't give definitions. So, the question is what is or feels "like" snow on pine branches. Imo, there are very few if any concrete terms in tcc: i.e., terms that aren't metaphorical. As soon as they're made concrete, there's just disagreement. Sung/song and peng are just examples.

The terms that are most concrete describe actions, not ideas or concepts. For ex., "pi" means (or can be translated as) chop; and even though there can be differences in execution or application, the term's meaning is generally agreed upon. We can't say the same for song.

Yeah, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but pictures won't help. Feeling is another form of expression, but what's important is being able to achieve the state, not what it's called. A description of how to achieve fang song might help. I dunno.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby charles on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:58 pm

Steve James wrote:what's important is being able to achieve the state, not what it's called.


Bingo!


A description of how to achieve fang song might help. I dunno.


Likely, everyone here is already familiar with instruction on what to do to achieve fang song, and how to do it. But, relatively few seem to achieve it. "The map is not the terrain." Following the methods/instructions don't guarantee the result.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby Trip on Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:59 pm

charles wrote:Surely, I'm not the only one who sees the irony in people getting into heated discussion over a term that means "relax".

Trip wrote:If you really understand Fang Song -- Loosen up! :)
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby willie on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:16 pm

charles wrote:
Willie wrote:
The tree branch sits in it's relaxed state and then it starts to snow outside.
The tree branch starts to bend from the weight of the snow, it is now under tension and NOT relaxed.
The molecules in the top part of the branch are being stretched and the bottom compressed.
This creates Peng. It is also a bow. It also is yin and yang in one limb...
As you can see "relax" is not the correct understanding.



Human limbs aren't the same as tree limbs

A tree limb, essentially, is a cantilevered beam. The upper surface of the tree branch, when loaded, is in tension while the lower surface is in compression. Somewhere between the two is a neutral axis that is neither in tension nor compression.


Okay so now comes the hard part. Unless the reader is mechanically inclined, then it would be very difficult to explain any further.
If a load is placed directly above a joint, as in a hip joint, and If the quads are relaxed, they are not helping to relieve the load on those joints. This makes them bind ever so slightly. By Shifting the load onto the quads relieves the compression on the joint. I think that I've already pointed this out. But for those who cannot understand, perhaps a different analogy would work. Although I hate analogies and riddles, I am not there to guide somebody into the understanding.
This is the example.
Have you ever driven a truck and put too much weight on the back of the it? The front end of the truck starts to feel very light and the steering becomes effortless. even too easy and very loose feeling. That is part of Fang song. By shifting the load "internally" a person can adjust the way that their suspension is set up.
Just like the suspension of the truck, when the load is shifted to the front, the steering gets harder. When the load is slid back the steering becomes easy.
"By isolating the load into one quad, the body is able to both support the load and redirect it easily."
Last edited by willie on Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby Interloper on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:38 pm

charles wrote: Like Willie, I much prefer an explicit approach where there is little room for interpretation. In my experience relatively few teach that way, for a variety of reasons. As a side note, many "mangle" science, which should provide an explicit teaching methodology for certain things, in such a way that its use is no more explicit than any other approach.


Sorry to cut away so much of your great post, charles, but this last paragraph is the meat of what I was trying to get across. I can appreciate the points of the many other people who have written here (and thank you, Trip, Bao, Trick and all, for putting your views forth so succinctly).

IME, beginners, especially, need a no-frills foundation lexicon and set of directions. Later, when, as more advanced students, they are on their way to making the art "their own," that is the time to give them a free rein to fill in some unanswered questions... because at that point, they have enough foundation to be able to hash out the answers for themselves. You have to have something, to get something.
It's at that more experienced stage that the students can actually understand the metaphors and esoteric poems that the teacher gives them because they have at least the basics of the principles and concepts and can see the analogies that relate to what they are physically experiencing.

In the Japanese art I practice, we have body-forging drills -- tanren. They are the equivalent to neigong. There is one set that utilizes a heavy iron pole or rod. Beginners who try to do these exercises end up using and overworking conventional muscle because they do not yet have the internal processes to lend support to their structure. They end up flexing their shoulders and developing other bad habits because their minds and bodies are not ready to work with weight resistance "internally," yet. It is practitioners who already have well-developed dantian/mingmen, kua, and other key qualities, who benefit from the iron rod tanren. For them, it becomes a great way to add even more resilience to their tendons and ligaments. The experienced student already understands the purpose of the iron pole and how to wield it; he is ready for it. The less-experienced student is just confused by it, struggles with it, and can develop bad habits and form because of it.

In the end, while many may enjoy their journey deciphering poems, riddles and koans, and filling in gaps their teachers may or may not have intentionally provided for the students' homework, I see the straightforward approach of using simple, direct descriptive language to make instruction of internal method as clear as possible, and, as willie stated, free from interpretation.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby windwalker on Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:32 pm

Interloper wrote:
charles wrote:

In the end, while many may enjoy their journey deciphering poems, riddles and koans, and filling in gaps their teachers may or may not have intentionally provided for the students' homework, I see the straightforward approach of using simple, direct descriptive language to make instruction of internal method as clear as possible, and, as willie stated, free from interpretation.


I never quite understand this fascination with others people's teachers and teachings as it does not affect or reflect one own.

All words are agreed upon descriptions of the reality that we function in. When something is translated from one language to another the original meaning often can be lost in the translation. Some might end up with an approximation of what the original meaning was.

As in is thread about the meaning of fan song. I note no native speakers have opined on it.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby willie on Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:33 pm

windwalker wrote:
Interloper wrote:
charles wrote:

In the end, while many may enjoy their journey deciphering poems, riddles and koans, and filling in gaps their teachers may or may not have intentionally provided for the students' homework, I see the straightforward approach of using simple, direct descriptive language to make instruction of internal method as clear as possible, and, as willie stated, free from interpretation.


I never quite understand this fascination with others people's teachers and teachings as it does not affect or reflect one own.

All words are agreed upon descriptions of the reality that we function in. When something is translated from one language to another the original meaning often can be lost in the translation. Some might end up with an approximation of what the original meaning was.

As in is thread about the meaning of fan song. I note no native speakers have opined on it.

That's not quite true windwalker because I posted a direct translation from GMWHJ.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby willie on Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:46 pm

Interloper wrote:
In the end, while many may enjoy their journey deciphering poems, riddles and koans, and filling in gaps their teachers may or may not have intentionally provided for the students' homework, I see the straightforward approach of using simple, direct descriptive language to make instruction of internal method as clear as possible, and, as willie stated, free from interpretation.

Hi Cady, I too must admit that I had to try to solve riddles in my own way a long time ago. That's because I was originally taught that way, but because of my Chen style teacher I have done away with all those errors. But I must say that fantasizing and using your imagination to try to solve these puzzles was indeed quite fun. The problem is that the answers will usually be wrong and people will be left outside of taiji unable to proceed any further. Now that I think of it, the yang system that I was taught only represents about 8% of the Chen Style martial content. So there is such a long way to go that it is imperative that someone receives a direct answer to enable the practitioner to move on as quickly as possible.
Thanks
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby Interloper on Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:05 pm

willie wrote:
Interloper wrote:
In the end, while many may enjoy their journey deciphering poems, riddles and koans, and filling in gaps their teachers may or may not have intentionally provided for the students' homework, I see the straightforward approach of using simple, direct descriptive language to make instruction of internal method as clear as possible, and, as willie stated, free from interpretation.

Hi Cady, I too must admit that I had to try to solve riddles in my own way a long time ago. That's because I was originally taught that way, but because of my Chen style teacher I have done away with all those errors. But I must say that fantasizing and using your imagination to try to solve these puzzles was indeed quite fun. The problem is that the answers will usually be wrong and people will be left outside of taiji unable to proceed any further. Now that I think of it, the yang system that I was taught only represents about 8% of the Chen Style martial content. So there is such a long way to go that it is imperative that someone receives a direct answer to enable the practitioner to move on as quickly as possible.
Thanks


Hi Willie,
I didn't mean to imply that there is no place for such things. It's just that the riddles, and the "figure it out on your own" stuff should not come until the student has a foundation -- a tool kit -- to use to find the answers. You can't create something from a vacuum; there's got to be something there to work with, first. Self-discovery is most definitely one of the more pleasant aspects of learning an art. Can't do that if the teacher is just spoon-feeding you, of course. In the two arts I study, there are places where the student must solve problems and find creative solutions... but within the framework of the art as it is set forth. You can't bend rules until you learn them and learn to move within their requirements.

It's interesting that you compare two taiji systems for content. It is much like that in Aikijujutsu, too. There are lineages that do not have the same depth and breadth of "internals" as others. However, each line works with what it has, and takes what it has as far as they can. There is no dishonor in that. Creatively taking your art to the max, doing the most you can with what you have, is a valid pursuit. That is why I respect all of these arts that have a sound foundation.
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Re: Song, what does it mean?

Postby windwalker on Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:26 pm

willie wrote:That's not quite true windwalker because I posted a direct translation from GMWHJ.


I did mentioned that he means nothing to me, don't know him or of him. He may be a good teacher
he is someones grandmaster not mine or anyone that I know.

If you really wanted to find the meaning you might use a source like a dictionary and look up
the characters current meaning, and their old or original meanings and start from there.

I had asked this question to my student here he mentioned

We tend to read Chinese characters by their integrated meanings, not looking into their compositions separately. You need a special dictionary to understand the original meaning and compositions of Chinese characters.


My own teacher did not say much, even to the locals there, it was expected that one would have to work thought it to get it themselves. What was got was always shown by being able to demonstrate it, not talk about it.

Charles: A tree limb, essentially, is a cantilevered beam. The upper surface of the tree branch, when loaded, is in tension while the lower surface is in compression. Somewhere between the two is a neutral axis that is neither in tension nor compression. I don't think that the molecules, themselves, are in tension or compression. Interesting approach one I had not expected from you it seems very mechanical. The tree and everything that's part of it is in a state of "equilibrium" anything that disturbs this is trying to overcome this. Restoring force is what restores the system back to its org equilibrium. How much force is outlined by "pin needles or hair" So we have something that is straight, and yet flexible, like a string on a violin. To much slack, it wont resonate, to little it might snap or be off key the amount of tautness relates to what some call pung jin, fan song relates to being of one medium with out breaks or blockages.

The first law of mechanical engineering is, "You can't push on a rope". (Unless it is frozen.) Rope-like muscle tissue can't voluntarily be put in compression. If you hold your arm out, "like a tree branch", the mechanics involved differ from a tree branch. It's a metaphor. (I think I've stated that enough times now that it is clear that it is not an explicit instruction on what to do or how to do it.)Why push it when you can send a wave through it, rope or an arm is just a medium, the forces that interact are what causes the reactions seen in many demos. As to instructions it might depend on the time, culture and how things were expressed back then. Chinese is not the same as English, there are concepts that english can approximate but may not quite get.


"All matter can exhibit wave-like behavior. For example, a beam of electrons can be diffracted just like a beam of light or a water wave. The concept that matter behaves like a wave was proposed by Louis de Broglie (/dəˈbrɔɪ/) in 1924. It is also referred to as the de Broglie hypothesis.[1] Matter waves are referred to as de Broglie waves."
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