Avoiding double-heaviness

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

Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby johnwang on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:49 pm

Steve James wrote:Knowing when to commit, and when not is a skill.

This go back to the BJJ term "dominate position". If you are in dominate position that your opponent's arms and legs cannot give you any trouble, you can commit and your opponent won't be able to borrow your force.

So how to create a situation that your opponent's arms and legs won't be able to give you any trouble? Should this be the most important part of your daily CMA training?
Last edited by johnwang on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby Bao on Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:03 pm

C.J.W. wrote:
Unless you can read Chinese, those dissertations probably wouldn't do you any good. But I can tell you that the experiments were carried out at Taiwan Sports University and done by people who actually practice XY/BG/TJ as well as other TCMA and using subjects with many years of experience in the arts.


Yes I do read Chinese. If there are several dissertations, you should be able to give me a couple of examples.

And I am confused. Who is saying that all those Taiji masters are wrong? ???


You are.

If the Taiji classics say --in your own words --that fajin is supposed to be “rooted in the feet, developed in the legs, directed by the waist, and manifest in the hands," then scientific findings showing that energy transfer in fajin is sequential actually proves that the classics are indeed accurate, and that those old-time masters were doing it right all along -- unless there's other evidence suggesting that they deviated from the classics.


No it doesn’t. The quote doesn’t say “fajin”. In the classics it only says “Jin is rooted in the feet...”. The Tai Chi classics only says that Fajin is like releasing an arrow.[/quote]
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby johnwang on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:20 am

C.J.W. wrote:fajin is sequential ...

When I trained long fist, preying mantis, Zimen, Taiji, I will

- step out and land my foot,
- transfer my weight from my back leg onto my front leg,
- coordinate my punch with my front knee locking.

I have coordinated my hand with my knee but I did not achieve my harmony of hand and foot. Until one day when I cross trained the Baji system, I then understood how to coordinate my hand and foot.

When a preying mantis guy said that Baji helped him to open his eyes. His comment made his preying mantis teacher mad big time.

I do think that hand and foot stop at the same time is not part of the Taiji training. At least in the 108 moves long Taiji form, there exist no move that require "hand and foot stop at the same time".

In the following clip, it's easy to see that his foot had landed but his hand is still moving. His hand coordinates with his knee instead of coordinate with his foot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpDm0EB ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:31 am

johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:fajin is sequential ...

When I trained long fist, preying mantis, Zimen, Taiji, I will

- step out and land my foot,
- transfer my weight from my back leg onto my front leg,
- coordinate my punch with my front knee locking.

I have coordinated my hand with my knee but I did not achieve my harmony of hand and foot. Until one day when I cross trained the Baji system, I then understood how to coordinate my hand and foot.

When a preying mantis guy said that Baji helped him to open his eyes. His comment made his preying mantis teacher mad big time.

I do think that hand and foot stop at the same time is not part of the Taiji training. At least in the 108 moves long Taiji form, there exist no move that require "hand and foot stop at the same time".

In the following clip, it's easy to see that his foot had landed but his hand is still moving. His hand coordinates with his knee instead of coordinate with his foot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpDm0EB ... e=youtu.be


some mantis clips for comparison



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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby Steve James on Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:24 am

johnwang wrote:
Steve James wrote:Knowing when to commit, and when not is a skill.

This go back to the BJJ term "dominate position". If you are in dominate position that your opponent's arms and legs cannot give you any trouble, you can commit and your opponent won't be able to borrow your force.

So how to create a situation that your opponent's arms and legs won't be able to give you any trouble? Should this be the most important part of your daily CMA training?


Waiting for or making the opponent over commit is just basic tcc theory. The training tool for that should be the two person exercises that begin with push hands.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:48 am

johnwang wrote:I do think that hand and foot stop at the same time is not part of the Taiji training. At least in the 108 moves long Taiji form, there exist no move that require "hand and foot stop at the same time".


Every movement requires "hand and foot stop at the same time"

Wang Tsung-yueh/Yang Cheng Fu wrote:At all times bear in mind and consciously
remember that as soon as one part of the body
moves the whole body moves; and as soon as one
part is still the whole body is still.

Never forget for a moment that as soon as one part of
the body moves the whole body moves . Do not move
just one part independently . This is like a train: when
the engine moves, all of the cars follow . The movement
of energy in T'ai-chi must be precisely coordinated .
Although it is precisely coordinated, it must still be
natural and lively, just like the moving cars in a train .
Although the body is in motion, the mind should guard
its stillness; and when the mind is still the whole body
will be still . Although it is still, it also contains the
potential for movement. The most important thing is
that with every movement the upper and lower parts of
the body move together.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby Steve James on Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:55 am

The most important thing is
that with every movement the upper and lower parts of
the body move together.


That is the harmony.

Wang's phrasing that I've used is:

Remember, when moving, there is no place that does not move.
When still, there is no place that is not still.

First seek extension, then contraction;
then it can be fine and subtle.

It is said if the opponent does not move, then I do not move.
At the opponent's slightest move, I move first."


T'ang (allegedly) wrote:

Entice the opponent toward you by allowing him to advance,
lightly and nimbly follow his incoming force
without disconnecting and without resisting.
When his force reaches its farthest extent,
it will naturally become empty.
The opponent can then be let go or countered at will.
Maintain your central equilibrium
and your opponent cannot gain an advantage.


That answers John's question. Anybody disagree?
Last edited by Steve James on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby johnwang on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:59 pm

oragami_itto wrote:Every movement requires "hand and foot stop at the same time"

In the following clip, it's clearly to see that his foot has landed but his hand is still moving. His hand stop when his knee stops and not when his foot stop. It's hand and knee stop at the same time and not hand and foot stop at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqELZK ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby Steve James on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:07 pm

The way I was taught, every form has a "ding shi." I don't know Chinese, but I was told it meant a "stopping point." That point was how the particular form (shi) was drawn or photographed. The stopping point of one form was the beginning of the next. However, no one expects to fight in a prescribed sequence. There's often or always a follow through when a particular form hits its target. I.e., the stopping point in a form is primarily a way to divide up the sequence. It's not actually necessary to stop when it comes to application.

Afa the CMC video, as long as his body is moving, the whole body is being carried along. We can see that he's doing Brush Knee Twist Step. There is a very old debate about whether the form should be done continuously or have stopping points. I'm of the opinion that there have to be stopping points, but that doesn't mean that the form shouldn't be continuous. An observer doesn't have to see or feel any stopping point. It's totally a matter of intent. The practitioner should know where his stopping point should be --otherwise he or she will over-extend. It's no different from a western boxer over-extending his punch or missing.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby johnwang on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:34 pm

Steve James wrote:Afa the CMC video, as long as his body is moving, the whole body is being carried along.

Will you be able to find even 1 move in Yang Taiji that "hand and foot stop at the same time"? IMO, almost all the Yang Taiji moves are "foot is landed but body is still moving". In Yang Taiji, you just don't see that "there is a button on the floor and when you step on it, your hands fire."

Even in the preying mantis, you can see "hand and foot stop at the same time" move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6z0HE_ ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby Steve James on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:40 pm

johnwang wrote:
Steve James wrote:Afa the CMC video, as long as his body is moving, the whole body is being carried along.

Will you be able to find even 1 move in Yang Taiji that "hand and foot stop at the same time"? IMO, almost all the Yang Taiji moves are "foot is landed but body is still moving". You just don't see that "explosion" in Yang Taiji.


Well, I don't think it's possible or sensible to judge what's in tcc by what's in the form. We practiced jumping double kicks and other "explosive" movements to use. But, the only people who did them were those who were interested in competing. Of course, purists who focus on forms today would say that we weren't doing tcc. They'll say that it's mixing boxing or wrestling with tcc. It's why we don't see videos of ima or tcc fighting. However, there are plenty of videos of people who've trained tcc in competition. Max Chen is an easy example, since his father learned from CMC; but, is usually accused of only being a boxer.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzlpX0doK2U
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby C.J.W. on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:48 pm

Nice observation about the knees, John.

Most CMAists talk about the importance of the kua, but IMO, the knees are highly underrated. When the energy from the ground comes up, it passes through the knees before moving up the dang and reaching the kua. So if the knees are not stable or held in the right position to transfer energy, talking about the kua is basically putting the cart before the horse.

When trying to determine a CMAist's level of skill, the easiest way for me is to look at their knees when they do their forms. If the knees wobble or move all over the place -- especially sideways --- it's a clear indication that the person is only doing pretty forms and has no kung-fu.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby C.J.W. on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:55 pm

johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:fajin is sequential ...

When I trained long fist, preying mantis, Zimen, Taiji, I will

- step out and land my foot,
- transfer my weight from my back leg onto my front leg,
- coordinate my punch with my front knee locking.

I have coordinated my hand with my knee but I did not achieve my harmony of hand and foot. Until one day when I cross trained the Baji system, I then understood how to coordinate my hand and foot.

When a preying mantis guy said that Baji helped him to open his eyes. His comment made his preying mantis teacher mad big time.

I do think that hand and foot stop at the same time is not part of the Taiji training. At least in the 108 moves long Taiji form, there exist no move that require "hand and foot stop at the same time".


There you go again, John. You are getting this stuff. ;)

This also brings us to another question, why do Zimen and Mantis teach people to land feet fist and hands later, but Baji doesn't? I believe it has a lot to do with each style's unique fighting strategy and techniques.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:50 pm

johnwang wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:Every movement requires "hand and foot stop at the same time"

In the following clip, it's clearly to see that his foot has landed but his hand is still moving. His hand stop when his knee stops and not when his foot stop. It's hand and knee stop at the same time and not hand and foot stop at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZqELZK ... e=youtu.be


Look again. There is constant motion in both feet throughout the entire movement. Once you begin the tai chi form, every part of the body is in constant motion until it is complete, if you're doing it properly. The postures have distinct stop and end points, not spliced together, even though the motion is continuous. if you remove the posture from the sequence, starting from the previous posture motionless, everything starts together, at the end, everything stops together. No part of the body is dead and freeloading. If you aren't doing this, you aren't practicing taijiquan.

Just because a foot has been picked up and then put down does not mean that foot is done moving, even if it stays flat where it is.

Now I grant you may be discussing a slightly different manifestion of the principle, so let's look a little closer.

We can divide the form into postures, or consider the entire form a single posture, or divide individual postures into time slices. Any point in time in the movement of the posture should be able to serve as a start or stop point. You should be able to stop and be balanced and comfortable and be able to deliver power/issue force at any point. Every step is a kick.

I agree, at no time should the arm and hand both be committed in a single direction at the same time because it's double weighted and off balance. Committing the weight before the foot is placed is the biggest no-no of no-no's. We want to step like testing ice. If the surface is slick or the opponent can time a light kick just right committing the weight can cause you to fall, in addition to destroying the aforementioned ability to be able to stop and be balanced and comfortable and able to deliver power. If you're committing two limbs in a forward direction like that then there is a point where you are temporarily unable to change until the movement has completed, your foot is back on the floor, balance is regained. That might be what you're going for, it's the basic mechanic behind the Dempsey drop step, but it's not taijiquan. Taijiquan is 100% control 100% of the time, in theory.

You used the word "land" this time, I quoted you earlier using the word "stop". Those are two different words. One involves picking the foot up. The other doesn't. When we issue force, it's coming from the dantien to the hand, and also from the dantien to the foot, simultaneously. That is where the harmony is most evident, at least when issuing force. They start together and stop together or it doesn't work. The foot you're looking to as "landing" is generally speaking not the substantial leg or the one you should be looking at for the harmony.

Also, there's let's call it the "nature of force" and the "experience of force". As discussed, the wave like nature of force propagation can only really be verified with special equipment and trained scientist observers, it seems to be of limited use when it comes to training. What we've got is the subjective experience of creating and channeling the power. So it might act like a wave, like an arrow in flight, but we fire it like a bow, stretching and releasing. I really dislike the "whip crack" analogy as I think it sets the wrong idea.

I think that's all the ramble I've got in me tonight.
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Re: Avoiding double-heaviness

Postby johnwang on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:08 pm

Let's make sure that we all agree with the definition of "single heaviness" here.

While you kick and stand on one leg, are you "single heaviness" right at that moment?

oragami_itto wrote:You used the word "land" this time, I quoted you earlier using the word "stop". Those are two different words.

"Foot land" and "foot stop" mean the same to me. Your foot is not moving but your leg may still move. It's like there is a button on the floor and when you step on it, your hands fire.

C.J.W. wrote:This also brings us to another question, why do Zimen and Mantis teach people to land feet fist and hands later, but Baji doesn't? I believe it has a lot to do with each style's unique fighting strategy and techniques.

This is why Zimen, mantis, long fist don't have Fajin, but Baji, XingYi Lie He, Chen Taiji have. But Chen Taiji does not follow 6 harmony 100%.

Again, I like the description of, "There is a button on the floor and when you step on it, your hands fire."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1exzy- ... e=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vegddzn ... e=youtu.be
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