Empty Force

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

Re: Empty Force

Postby Appledog on Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:58 am

windwalker wrote:https://spark.adobe.com/page/WbRbg/

It might help answer some of your own questions....


I don't have any questions. The reason I asked you about the wu style six character formula is because it should be obvious to you that it's an unanswerable question and therefore empty force doesn't exist in Tai Chi.

Further, the article you linked to me corroborates everything I said. ex. the idea of a 'force model' which was created outside of a direct transmission and which "does not exist outside of the mind". This does not support your ideas as you have presented them here.

Not really sure what else to make of what you are saying, but if you get around to answering my question about where and how empty force is trained, precisely, we could probably go from there. It's just that you don't seem particularly enthusiastic about Tai Chi per-se in the first place, so I find it difficult to give you any credibility under that umbrella. I am sure you are an expert in whatever it is you do, it's just that it isn't Tai Chi. You seem to freely admit this yourself so I don't understand your problem with what I said, or the difficulty in just answering the question :p
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Re: Empty Force

Postby Appledog on Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:49 am

There is something more I would like to add because, as I mentioned to johnwang, people inevitably take constructive criticism the wrong way. We should strive to remember we are all members of the same family, if this is indeed true, we should strive to express it in our actions, and if it is not true, why not do so anyways?

Thus I was wondering, why do some people disagree, why do some people believe that Empty Force isn't real, that it is a fake, or a trick?

Is it their fault? Are they just ignorant? Stupid? Do they have evil and ulterior motives? Or is there in fact evidence which would lead one to a conclusion one way or another?

Let’s examine the evidence. Let’s start with a cursory look at some famous quotes and authoritative Chinese classics.

1.
“The Emission of Chi outside the body is preposterous.” – Wang, Xiang-Zhai (Founder of modern Yi Quan)

If Wang Xiang-zhai spoke out against empty force, and reached arguably one of the highest levels in the last 100 years -- and further, using most of the training methods used to generate empty force -- it is plausible to determine that the idea of empty force is not correct.

2.
In Robert W. Smith's "Chinese Boxing: Masters and Methods" (1974),
Tai Chi Chuan Master Cheng Man-Ching explained empty force to a young Tai Chi student who claimed her teacher had controlled her without physical contact. According to Cheng, "...the trick will not work against an equal or superior.", and the entire skill, "...depended on student awe, however, and would not work against a good boxer"(page 35).1 (Interestingly enough, as an aside, Huang Sheng-Shyan and many other empty force proponents are student of, or students of students of Cheng Man-Ching).

It is my belief that if Cheng Man Ching spoke out against empty force, his students would not be teaching his teachings if they promoted empty force.
I will also point out that as a result of recent inquiry I have been informed of practices within orthodox Taijiquqan which immunize one and protect one from empty force. It does not work against someone who practices orthodox Taijiquan. The explanation is trivial but wordy, best reserved for demo or pm.

3.
In the the Huangdi Neijing (Zhu Ming Translation),
perhaps the most authoritative English version, it is clearly stated “The qi is not only the basic material that forms the body, but also the dynamic power of the body.”(pg.2) This is quite plain; qi on one hand can refers to the human body or any of its components; in another it can refer to the dynamic processes of the body. So an example of how this would be taken to mean is regarding the motion of the body; sudden starts and stops will mean that the body’s qi is not “smooth”, while circular and gentle motion will mean that the body’s qi is “smooth”. This may not be a satisfactory explanation for some, so we can examine another quote: “What is qi? Uncle Qi (Chi P’o) answered: “…what nourishes the skin, fills the body and moistens the body hair like irrigation of mist and dew, is called qi.”(pg.56). Furthermore, the Huangdi Neijing lists several specific forms of this Qi, such as blood qi, other liquids and functions of the human body. All of them relate to operative processes of the human body. For example, “Men are endowed with qi from grains”(pg.59) followed by “(this) nutritive qi and defensive qi are the essential qi of food. The blood that is turned red by the heart spirit is the purified fluid of the middle warmer. So, the nutritive qi, defensive qi and blood, although having different names, are homologous.”(pg.61).

Considering all of the above sources, and considering that the qi used in Tai Chi and all other Neijia were originally in accord with the discussions in the Huangdi Neijing, it is quite clear that any kind of empty force whereby the energy of the body departs from the rivers and streams of the body was never a technique in Chinese Martial Arts. This is a very important conclusion, because it destroys any possible thought that chi (qi) may operate outside of the body.


4.
The result of scientific studies on Qi,
invariably show that Qi does not operate outside of the body, or with only very limited effects. For example, in scientific papers by S. Tsuyoshi Ohnishi and Tomoko Ohnishi (“Philosophy, Psychology, Physics and Practice of Ki”) it is concluded that while there may be some infra-red radiation emitted by some practitioners, it does not affect people who have not studied that particular form of Ki-emission. This scientifically confirms the conclusions we reached above, that the emission of Ki (Chi) is not a viable martial arts technique.


5.
There are some people who claim that they were taught a kind of “Empty Force” and that it is a very real phenomenon.

These people can be separated into two types. Type one are the fakes. For example they will either have no connection to Chinese Martial Arts, or might instead claim to be proficient in many martial arts. With this group of people, investigating their lineage will usually turn up that it either has nothing to do with Chinese Martial Arts at all, (ex. Yellow Bamboo is a Balinese spiritual practice to protect oneself against ghosts) and hence cannot have anything to do with the way Chinese martial arts developed over time. Another type of fake has real Chinese martial arts skills but has changed the name of their art and the name of the skills, rewritten their history etc. with a clear goal in mind: to gain a credibility they would not have otherwise. As an example, there is a very well known Canadian Tai Chi organization which sprung up in the 70s, which teaches neither Taoism or Tai Chi.

Type two may have a very real connection to Chinese Martial Arts. Master Shi in Beijing, or Richard Mooney would make great examples. These people are part of real lineages that are traceable and stretch back hundreds of years or more. These are the people we are interested in discussing; the first type are not interesting to discuss from the standpoint of CMA.

Let’s use Richard Mooney as an example, since he has published a book and several articles, and is easy to quote. For example, take the following quote from a Richard Mooney article:
“One of the most astonishing, and disturbing, things that I have come across is the lack of understanding that modern day martial arts practitioners have concerning what qi "is", and what can be done with it. … I have encountered martial artists who think that Qi is a concept that only embodies a specific type of mindset, or structural alignment. These people are mistaking the package for the product inside.” –from http://www.fightingarts.com/content01/use_of_qi_1.html

He goes further and states “It is the purpose of this and following articles to inform and enlighten the reader as to the valid reality of the use of qi for healing and for self defense.” I’ll note here that as noble a goal as this starts out, nowhere in the article does Richard Mooney actually say what chi is or discuss an actual method for its use. He does mention in passing what he believes he may do with Chi; and what he assumes other people may do with Chi, or what he assumes they did with Chi; but nowhere is an authoritative source referenced and no strong statement is made. This is the main problem with Richard’s article in particular and others in general; the claim is made, but nowhere is the mechanism explained, just a list of it's possible effects.

Perhaps the only problem with people in this category is that they tend to fall into category one other than being "famous" members of category 2. For example in the above quoted article, Richard Mooney makes the claim that Lin Kong Jin is a technique from Xingyiquan. However nowhere in any Xingyiquan book or classic (such as the classic of stepping, or the classic of six harmonies) can we find any discussion of anything remotely approaching Lin Kong Jin. So, on one hand we have the Empty Force crowd, and on the other hand we have dozens and dozens of martial arts manuals written by widely acknowledged masters over centuries.

You will find in many other cases as well that people who promote empty force will have this kind of cross-over or missing lineage -- perhaps, they are forbidden to tell you who their teacher was, or, their teacher learned from a wandering hermit, or a mysterious man on the mountains, or from a stork and a lizard fighting in a dream. Or it becomes obvious that they have put xingyiquan practices into taiji -- or white crane -- or liuhebafa -- or any number of other arts, presumably to fill in or replace aspects of taijiquan they didn't know or disagreed with. These sorts of ideas have not been verified to the extent orthodox taijiquan has been (or the source arts have been) and will tend to contradict what is said in the classics and by the masters of well-established lineages. It is my contention therefore that there is a serious credibility problem with people who promote lin kong jin as a part of taijiquan. I do accept that a type of lin kong jin may be a part of xingyiquan or another martial art. But it is clear that it does not come up in the Taijiquan school.

6.
“As I understand it from two different but prominent Chinese martial artists, the lin kong jin (emitted chi) idea originated as being a skill where you made a controlled feint which caused a predictable reaction.

Same as one of the "Aiki Throws" that don't involve touching and just as susceptible to games playing. However, the idea of lin kong jin became distorted in southern China and began to include the emitted qi things from qigongs. Let me separate the two for a moment, because there *may* be something worthy of exploration in emitted qi, but the lin kong jin part of it is too distorted.” (Mike Sigman from rec.martial-arts on Dec. 30, 1998)

Ultimately we may consider the problem with no-touch skills is twofold: First, there are too many authoritative figures who speak out against lin kong jin and say that it is not real. For example in the case of Richard Mooney and Lin Kong Jin specifically, Wang Xiang-Zhai (the founder of Richard Mooney’s art “Yi Quan”) is known to have discounted empty force as an illusion or trick. (I admit, that’s another reason why I chose to use him as such a prominent example earlier, because the Xingyi/Lin Kong Jin statements are such easy claims to refute). I don’t harbor any ill will towards Richard Mooney. In fact to be completely fair, I’ll point out that most of these emitted-qi folks practice a real lineage of martial arts (George Dillman or Richard Mooney for instance) and still study the original, underlying systems their no-touch skills are based on. So they should still acquire some fighting ability even if Empty Force isn’t real. Second, everyone under CMC's lineage should be aware that CMC spoke out against empty force, so it is a wonder why so many of them have fallen into it's practice. Perhaps a clue can be garnished from the frequent addition of certain Southern martial art styles (such as White Crane) into Fujianese and Taiwanese versions of Tai Chi.

7. There is a certain opportunity cost presented with the study of Empty Force in Taijiquan.
(Disclaimer, I am a Taiji guy, I am mainly speaking about Tai Chi here and in the rest of the post.)

I was presented with several word character formulas for qigong and tai chi. None of these present the idea of empty force but instead limit the creation and development of internal energy to within the body. Secondly, as everyone may be made aware (as it has been published; ex. in "The Internal Practices of Sun Lu-T'ang"), in for example Madame's famous article "Nuturing the Small", the methodology for qi development. These practices are well known in professional martial arts circles in China but largely unknown in the West. This is not to say all people in China know and all people in America don't know; there are people who don't read books in China and there are people in America who read too much (ahem, sorry about that). My point is that the mechanism is well-known even if you are not taught it directly by a teacher, what a wonderful world we live in now. We therefore must reject Empty Force as a foreign training method which does not belong in Tai Chi. You will notice this immediately; people who promulgate Empty Force invariably disagree with one or more standard Taiji practices, and will very frequently include practices from other martial arts, teaching you things from other martial arts that do not really belong in Taijiquan. (NOTE: general purpose qigong such as baduanjin does not fall into this category).

If, in the end, there is such a thing as empty force, it is indeed a secret -- and perhaps, so secret, that you run next to zero risk of ever coming into serious contact with it. My only advice is to be friendly and honest to everyone--there are always people out there who are more skilled than you are, whether they use a skill you are aware of or understand or not -- it's true that morality is important in Chinese Martial Arts. It is based upon this morality that I can no longer stand to see friends who should know better talk about things like empty force. Perhaps, given the secrecy and inubiquity of empty force in orthodox Taijiquan (and other) Chinese Martial Arts, people who do believe in and do practice Empty Force can appreciate my ignorance as it seems to serve their purposes very well. We should always remain open to learning new things, as that is how we got this far in the first place. Use martial arts to make friends.
Last edited by Appledog on Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby Steve Rowe on Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:08 am

All I can say is that my empty force appears to be different to you lot..... but I still think it's an appropriate name for mine. ;) :P
If you see someone without a smile - give 'em one of yours...
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Re: Empty Force

Postby LaoDan on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:28 am

windwalker wrote:
LaoDan wrote:I was hoping that asking someone, who makes claims of understanding this phenomenon, might help me to also understand it.
you mean agee with, not understand...to understand it you would know, knowing comes from experience which you do not have...and yet are unable to even comprehend the basic assumptions that its based on

Well WW, while I am not a physicist, I am a research scientist (Research Specialist in the Biochemistry Dept. at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, with about 30 articles published in peer reviewed scientific journals). It is possible that I understand science, and the scientific method, better than you do.

What you have indicated so far is just “fishing” for explanations, finding things that could be this or that possibly could be explained by that..., but no actual scientific experiments that support the speculations. It would be tricky to come up with a valid and testable hypothesis based on the information that you have presented. Perhaps your scientist friends could do a better job than you. To be clear, the scientific principles that you refer to are valid, it is just that there have not been any scientific studies that I am aware of to demonstrate that those principles actually are responsible for the kongjin phenomenon. Speculative theory does not equal evidence (or fact).

While I have never studied kongjin, and therefore I have not been through the training that you feel is necessary for understanding it, I have also never been exposed to anyone that can even demonstrate no (or zero) force. This includes one teacher that you have mentioned in the past as someone that could demonstrate this method, and who was willing to push with anybody.

I briefly pushed with that teacher, and he was unconvincing to me. At the time I knew nothing about him other than that he was a fellow judge at the Kuoshu tournament in MD. We were judges in the same ring, and during a break he asked me if I did PH, and if I would like to push with him. I went into the interaction as an equal (not as someone looking to receive instruction from him) and just looking for a fun activity to do while we were waiting for the next event. I later learned more about him (if I remember correctly, his daughter was attending a university in CA at the time, and he was in the USA visiting her). Since I was viewing him neutrally (we were both about the same age and size, and were both had enough experience to be judges...), when we started interacting, and he stated that I was using too much force, I explained that I thought that he was using too little, being collapsed and vulnerable to being struck. I did not try to explain that the force between us was equal and opposite, and that if he wanted there to be less force between us, it would be his responsibility since I did not agree with the level of force that he desired, and that I was therefore not going to change the way that he wanted me to. Since he did not appear to understand force (thinking that I was responsible rather than it being produced equally between us), there seemed no point in trying to talk to him about physics.

I posted about this experience with Zhou Guoshun in 2012:
http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17420&sid=ed32d837e86e54279179edbb5a1a7d9d

From my perspective, he failed numerous times.
He failed to understand physics, and therefore he failed to do what he thought he could do – he was unable to use zero force (or even minimal force) unless he convinced the opponent (me) to decrease the level of force for him.
He failed to be able to send me flying across the room as he claimed would happen due to my use of “too much” force.
He failed to prevent me from being able to strike him as he thought would be the case if he pushed me.
He failed to demonstrate that the level of force being used was a disadvantage that he could exploit.
Etc.

Having this experience with someone who is respected for his PH, and his theory of never, ever, use force, did not convince me that there was anything worthwhile to learn from him (he offered a workshop on PH at this same tournament). Perhaps my experiences would be different with different practitioners, or in different circumstances, but for now what I have experienced is insufficient to interest me in studying kongjin. So what I felt/experienced, in person, is not what you expected me to experience from one of the proponents that you seem to think has skill in the approach that you advocate. He has probably gotten better in the past 6 years, but his skill at the time did not impress me.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:42 am

LaoDan wrote:
but for now what I have experienced is insufficient to interest me in studying kongjin. So what I felt/experienced, in person, is not what you expected me to experience from one of the proponents that you seem to think has skill in the approach that you advocate. He has probably gotten better in the past 6 years, but his skill at the time did not impress me.


I don't expect anything of anyone, thats in your mind not mine....what you experienced and how is up to you not me..

I have to say that Gorge Xu, who also met Zhao around that time in SF felt he was one of the best people he had ever encountered...I guess his experience was different. Zhao is a good friend taiji bother of mine, even so we are somewhat different in our approach...yes hes evolved his thinking since that time.

I said whether touched or not the process by which it works is the same. I started to try to share some points on it, you question one the basic premises "qi" by which the concept functions with....its pointless....

Kong jin, one part of a process that some people develop over time due the the practices they follow.
Not all practices talk about this, kinda depends on skill, level of practice, for some its just an ordinary part of the practice nothing special
not all can get it, nor will...

Zhao,,,my friend is an example of someone as I am of those who followed the practices of our teacher who has a skill set, his skill set, although as noted not everyone can get it, or will express it in the same way to the same degree....

Some my students are also highly educated, in physics PHD level, others work in high tech fields all with engineering degrees in various disciplines.
Some like your self seem to be stuck within those disciplines. The things I mentioned regarding physics is my attempt at aligning what I feel is happening
with physics so that it can be compared and checked. The physicist I interact with dont seem to have a problem with some of the theories used applied to it.
Some of the old masters like master Gao, also use physics as do other masters in trying to explain their work...

If one studies something like taiji,,,,and the subject of what jin is, how its expressed, one is already studying some of the basic principles by which it works.

many reasons for why some may not understand

The Yang family particularly Yang Chienhou kept their treasure close to the chest. When Yang Chienhou was
teaching in the 4th Prince's dwelling it was said that any discussion of the art with his son, Yang Shaohou
was carried out when there were no outsiders around and they talked in a hushed manner, never writing
anything in ink, but using water to write out the strokes of the Chinese characters so that no record remained
after the water dried out.

Due to the 4th Prince's generosity and sincerity Yang Chienhou imparted certain information and skills to
him. However, the Yang family didn't exactly become wealthy from teaching Tai Chi Chuan to the Prince. On
the contrary, they were still far from financially well off.

Wang Chonglu, the father of Wang Yongquan, was the chief steward in the Prince's dwelling and took an
interest in the Yang's art.

https://spark.adobe.com/page/WbRbg/

a good site that speaks to much of what I've mentioned here.

Interesting to note that Master Wei was a chen style master who felt he had attained a high level of skill in
it. His friend wanted him to met someone whos skill was quite different.

The friend persisted. Some two years later a reluctant Master Wei stood before Master Wang who was sitting
down in a rattan chair. Master Wei was skeptical and it must have shown on his face. Master Wang waved
Master Wei over. Leaning back in his chair Master Wang asked Wei to extend his middle fingers. Master Wang
grasped both of Wei's middle fingers by the tips, showed Wei that it would not be easy if not impossible
to fajing him in this manner.


In the next instance Master Wei was thrown back, an expression of surprise on his face. He had not expected
this and in his heart knew that for all his Chen style attainment he just did not have anything close to what
Master Wang just demonstrated on him. So on the wrong side of fifty Master Wei set aside all that he had
learned before and began to learn afresh from Master Wang.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:51 am

@ LaoDan

my thoughts posted at that time on the thread...

One could make the argument that in taiji, the arms are not used, the whole body is the hand..
we use what I call yi peng,,,,meaning that you have the idea of a sphere but its one in your mind that changes as needed.

Your both right,,only in different ways, its a matter of level and what ones teachers level was.
4 levels,,,

bone (use of structure)
skin (use of mind)
hair (much higher level)
air ( BTD material)

many people develop and stop at the idea of structure, which means that their push hands is based on feeling the bone, or muscle movement / pressure....in these types of practices people practice to see how much force their structure can support, this is okay as long as they can really empty themselves which most can not do....because their practice is based on a body level of awareness.

The most common error of this group is to use their structure to over come the other, which leads to force on force.

Those that practice with a mind level (skin) they will feel very soft and light,,,their reactions are based on really feeling the emptiness and fullness of ones intent..this means that they rely on the mind, but must have passed through the understanding and usage of the first level. Those that use the skin level,,will tend to not have any direct lines of force,,as what there pushing or working with is the others mind through the medium of skin contact..they will feel very light and have the ability to unbalance or steal ones balance at first touch...

The most common error of this group is one of collapsing,,they intuitively understand what to do, but their body has not really been trained to follow their minds yet,

style, teacher, ones own depth of skill and experience all play into the understanding of this,,,we can say the proof is in the pudding as they say,,,the problem with this is that if ones skill level is not deep enough or developed enough,,its very easy to get caught into thinking that the beginning level of development is the last level of achievement., wind walker


not much has changed I see by the threads.

an old but good clip,,,of a doctor exploring something to understand it better.
I like his approach, something I've done in my own work..Found my answer hope others find theirs.

https://billmoyers.com/content/the-mystery-of-chi/
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Re: Empty Force

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:05 am

Image

A phd level physicist who outlines some of the things I noted.
He does not seem to go far enough with it publicly ;)

The image is a good start to understand about things out side the body, the how, why and what...

For quite a few years, I have been reading and re-reading Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises,1 written by my first T’ai-Chi teacher, Cheng Man-ch’ing (1900–1975). I consider most of this book to be very clear and filled with valuable information. However, even though my Ph.D. is in physics, I found Treatise 7, entitled “Strength and Physics,” very hard to understand. I have found that sometimes high level understanding in a subject can prevent one from knowing it.....a little different then understanding it.

This essay ends with Prof. Cheng saying, “This treatise reveals the secret of many generations of T’ai Chi Ch’uan masters. I hope the practitioner will pay special attention to this!” He evidently considered this essay, which deals in part with neutralization, to be very important and chose to use physics as the main expository tool.

https://www.chuckrowtaichi.com/ChengCh.7.html
Last edited by windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:16 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:06 am

I don't push with many people these days
On first touch I can tell if there is anything to gain from the confrontation
Softness has little to do with empty force
I just don't wish to carry someone's tension
I think it funny that the one who is promoting empty force here states that his base art is hop gar
If there is a path to empty force it would seem to me to be further into the internal not reverting to the external
I have seen empty force use many times
Not in a static way but as part of highly developed pushing hands
It is much like aikidos throwless throw
Just good mechanics in the midst of high level full on pushing hands
It is interesting that the students of these empty force masters never attack or neutralise in pushing with their teachers
It also interesting that they don't take on outside opponents
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Empty Force

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:07 am

windwalker wrote:Image

A phd level physicist who outlines some of the things I noted.
He does not seem to go far enough with it publicly ;)

The image is a good start to understand about things out side the body, the how, why and what...

For quite a few years, I have been reading and re-reading Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises,1 written by my first T’ai-Chi teacher, Cheng Man-ch’ing (1900–1975). I consider most of this book to be very clear and filled with valuable information. However, even though my Ph.D. is in physics, I found Treatise 7, entitled “Strength and Physics,” very hard to understand. I have found that sometimes high level understanding in a subject can prevent one from knowing it.....a little different then understanding it.

This essay ends with Prof. Cheng saying, “This treatise reveals the secret of many generations of T’ai Chi Ch’uan masters. I hope the practitioner will pay special attention to this!” He evidently considered this essay, which deals in part with neutralization, to be very important and chose to use physics as the main expository tool.

https://www.chuckrowtaichi.com/ChengCh.7.html


That's a great and very useful/usable model of the interaction of bodies, but nowhere does it or CMC suggest that affecting bodies at a distance is feasible.

I believe this entire phenomena is based on affecting the mind, which is valid in as far as it goes, but of limited usefulness.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby Trick on Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:22 am

windwalker wrote:
Interesting to note that Master Wei was a chen style master who felt he had attained a high level of skill in
it.

Wei Shuren was a Chen-style master? I’m probably mistaken here but didn’t he “just” know the standardized 24 form before he came to learn from Wang Yongquan ?
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Re: Empty Force

Postby LaoDan on Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:56 am

WW,

I am finding you a bit difficult to follow. First, someone who understands scientific principles should be able to understand what you practice. But I do understand science. Then, perhaps, one needs to experience the effects of kongjin training, like by experiencing PH with Zhao, before one will understand it. But when I point out that I have had experience with Zhao, then you claim that, what, I do not understand it because I am stuck having too scientific a mindset and do not really have the required belief in qi?

I do not believe that the kongjin approach works because it failed to work against my approach. No “belief” required!

Zhao attributed our differences in opinion to me having a background in both Yang and Chen styles (rather than strictly Yang style). He also appeared to lack my understanding that if one has yin on one side of the point of contact while having yang on the other side (like for a rotating ball), then the level of force/pressure, at the point of contact, may not really matter. I felt that he was advocating a yin on both sides approach that I understand to lack pengjin (allowing one to be struck due to collapsing the “ball”, and losing the defensive “ball” as illustrated in your reference to Chuckrow’s information).

My approach appeared to work against him, while his did not appear to work against mine. It probably works against many other approaches, but...
Perhaps he has a different perspective on our encounter (if he remembers it). Or perhaps if I had tried to follow his instructions and tried to use less force, then perhaps he could have gotten it to work against me?

Perhaps both approaches work, I do not know, but Zhao’s approach does not seem to be right for me.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:18 pm

LaoDan wrote:WW,

I am finding you a bit difficult to follow. First, someone who understands scientific principles should be able to understand what you practice. But I do understand science." However, even though my Ph.D. is in physics, I found Treatise 7, entitled “Strength and Physics,” very hard to understand" . So did he, he couldn't understand it because he didnt know it

Then, perhaps, one needs to experience the effects of kongjin training, like by experiencing PH with Zhao, before one will understand it. But when I point out that I have had experience with Zhao, then you claim that, what, I do not understand it because I am stuck having too scientific a mindset and do not really have the required belief in qi? kong jin, is part of a much larger approach no belief required, experience yes, belief no .

I do not believe that the kongjin approach works because it failed to work against my approach. No “belief” required!
The approach is not specifically just to develop kong jin. Why do you feel a need to insist that it such.

Do you use the "Peng jin" approach ?


Zhao attributed our differences in opinion to me having a background in both Yang and Chen styles (rather than strictly Yang style). He also appeared to lack my understanding that if one has yin on one side of the point of contact while having yang on the other side (like for a rotating ball), then the level of force/pressure, at the point of contact, may not really matter. I felt that he was advocating a yin on both sides approach that I understand to lack pengjin (allowing one to be struck due to collapsing the “ball”, and losing the defensive “ball” as illustrated in your reference to Chuckrow’s information).
You description of pung jin, I would not agree with...I can understand what Zhao might have been trying to express. Interesting we seem to have a different view point of what Chuckrow, information means.

My approach appeared to work against him, while his did not appear to work against mine. It probably works against many other approaches, but...
Perhaps he has a different perspective on our encounter (if he remembers it). Or perhaps if I had tried to follow his instructions and tried to use less force, then perhaps he could have gotten it to work against me?Or he was in what i call teacher mode,,,and not really trying to do anything...hard to say...It seemed like he was trying to teach you something, not do something....BTDT, sometimes with those I meet...Who like you may not be able to tell the difference between something that is being taught, and something that is being used....

.Don't like push hands, its an exercise used to develop or test certain concepts or skill sets among those working on the same skill sets


Perhaps both approaches work, I do not know, but Zhao’s approach does not seem to be right for me.


A good way to look at it,,,What "Zhao" was trying to show you did not work at that point in time with you.

I also used to help judge ph events helping some friends who hosted them...Used to take both winners and losers and let them feel a different approach then what they were using. They seemed to understand it but could not really let go of the idea of force that they used.

What is referred to as kong jin, is part of a larger approach to taiji that arose in different lineages
and can be traced back to them...YLC sons were noted for different approaches which would later be passed down
to others...Not all yang traditions would follow the same approaches some expressions being quite different..Some kept secret or
not really taught to outsiders...

Kong jin itself sometimes becomes something that some specialize in and become quite skilled in but may not have
developed the accompanying skill sets that make it functional out side of what they demo...Like whats called Aiki,,,and demoed.
The functional use of whats demoed is another skill set that not all develop or care to...Those that go on to do are very few...

Push hands is also like this...a skill set that some are good at, but may not have developed the skill sets out side of it to
make the skills gained from it functional what ever reason.

Dont care for it, dont practice it, do use it a little to illustrate and clarify
certain skill sets...

seems like not much has changed...
good luck in your practice
Last edited by windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:02 pm

wayne hansen wrote:I don't push with many people these days
On first touch I can tell if there is anything to gain from the confrontation
Softness has little to do with empty force
I just don't wish to carry someone's tension
I think it funny that the one who is promoting empty force here states that his base art is hop gar
If there is a path to empty force it would seem to me to be further into the internal not reverting to the external
I have seen empty force use many times
Not in a static way but as part of highly developed pushing hands
It is much like aikidos throwless throw
Just good mechanics in the midst of high level full on pushing hands
It is interesting that the students of these empty force masters never attack or neutralise in pushing with their teachers
It also interesting that they don't take on outside opponents


How do you think some of the students become students who have practice other styles.


I find it funny that someone thinks what is called internal is regulated to what's seen on the outside.

if you feel it's just good mechanics that your feeling , we have different viewpoints.

Mine is In accordance with what some might call high-level teachers who practice taiji. When examined they will all be found to say the same things and embody the same skill sets to varying degrees.

all Chinese martial arts are internal, the distinction of what is called external is merely the way the skill set is develop used and applied.
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Re: Empty Force

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:30 pm

I know all external arts have internal training
What I refer to is the external mechanics
In recent years all the arts that deride tai chi for its martial shortcomings seem to be claiming its methodology
It just amuses me that those who make claims for empty force have any need for anything outside tai chi
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Empty Force

Postby windwalker on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:27 pm

wayne hansen wrote:I know all external arts have internal training
What I refer to is the external mechanics
In recent years all the arts that deride tai chi for its martial shortcomings seem to be claiming its methodology

I think there may be some confusion about this

"Others countered that it is, after all, called Chen Style Taijiquan, so it should be included as part of the Internal Division. Master Wu Tunan did not concur.

He felt that Chen Style should be treated as an external style, similar to Shaolin.

Someone turned to Chen Fake, Master Chen, you are the standard bearer of the Chen Family, is it external or internal?

Chen Fake answered, If the revered master Wu thinks it is external, then it is external! We did not have this distinction at home.

It just amuses me that those who make claims for empty force have any need for anything outside tai chi


We did not have this distinction at home

http://practicalmethod.com/2012/02/from ... in-a-name/

Its ok to be amused but one should know what they'er amused about.

taiji is a name given to help define and clarify a group of styles sharing similar traits. As such any not of the family styles might not be considered to be taiji even though they use and can demo the same skill sets....In fact one might question what is called taiji of today,,is it the same taiji of yesterday...

The one were the masters used to engage with all comers...in the local contest of the time...

care to name the top competitor of today's time using taiji that can be recognized as taiji, in the same way as boxing is recognized when its used.

kong jin, like peng jin is a skill set that is developed after a certain amount of practice and understanding is reached not the the point of the practice.

Not everyone can develop it to the same degree nor use it after developing it. Most do not talk much of peng jin feeling they know what it is and can use it...something I would question in reading most post regarding this.. They do like to talk about kong jin,,,,seems to be the flavor of the day.
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