So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

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

So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:24 am

"You need to sink the qi"

Imagine that you have a bunch of motor parts in front of you. And instead of teaching you how to put these part together, there is some stupid nitwit trying to tell you: "You need to let the electricity flow through it."

"How do you do it?"
"I sink the qi"

=

"How do I connect these parts too get a motor running?"
"You need the electricity to run through it."

So instead of teaching how to actually do something, teachers keep on speaking about an expression or function that happens when you already have everything in place and the "motor" is already running.

*sigh* ... The Tai Chi world is really in deep need of better teachers.
... and less pompous as well ...

Well, anyway, I'll just leave this right here, something I just had to write and wrote out of frustration:

"Just get it right and don’t think too much about Qi."
https://taichithoughts.wordpress.com/20 ... -about-qi/

... Now I think I've finally got all of the frustration out of my chest ... :-\
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- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:09 am

Interesting post considering a conversation I had today with one of my students about the usage of words like qi,
He mentioned that for him In his culture It's very much a colloquial term.
Being such they understand it and do it but no longer consciously think about what is done or how its done, they just do it.
In our practice we align as much as possible with might be called a physics based approach while still retaining the
essence of the old terminology.

This means what ever is done can be examined to see if it meets theories used to explain what is thought to be being done.
or to change what is being done to better align it with what is used to explain what is being done.

Dont really have a problem with terms like "sink the qi" not something I use in my practice...can understand
the use of it in others.


But you don’t need to really “sink” until you meet a pressure against you.


BTW dont really agree with your bolg post...but understand its intent.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:11 am

windwalker wrote:Dont really have a problem with terms like "sink the qi" not something I use in my practice...can understand
the use of it in others.


I don't have any real problem with the words. It's about "why" and "when" teachers use this phrase. And if it's helpful or not.


.....


Ma Yueliang said: "It took 10 years to discover my Qi, 30 years to use it."

If a teacher who has practiced internal arts for only maybe 5 years or so says: "Now I sink the qi", then I will just laugh at him.
Last edited by Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:20 am

Bao wrote:
windwalker wrote:Dont really have a problem with terms like "sink the qi" not something I use in my practice...can understand
the use of it in others.


I don't have any real problem with the words. It's about "why" and "when" teachers use this phrase. And if it's helpful or not.


.....


Ma Yueliang said: "It took 10 years to discover my Qi, 30 years to use it."

If a teacher who has practiced internal arts for only maybe 5 years or so says: "Now I sink the qi", then I will just laugh at him.


don't get it, not an issue for me....people express things in the way that they understand it, probably using the same termanolgly as
they were taught with.....

If I used a word like now you have to create a "moment" and " "parallel axis" it might not make much sense either..for those reading or
being there until they felt it...
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby GrahamB on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:23 am

TL;DNR

:)

I skipped to the interesting part, which had a very good heading:

"What to actually do and what to don’t"


Cool! Great heading! So now he's going to tell us what to actually do, and what to not do!!! Yes, this is what the Tai Chi public have been waiting for!!!



So what should you do? When you practice solo or with a partner, you need to have a very practical and realistic approach of what you are doing. Fooling and imagining yourself or someone else that you do things that you don’t do doesn’t help yourself and it doesn’t help your partner or student.


Yes! This is what we want... all good so far!

So that was what to not do. So again, what to actually do?


Yes! This is what we want - keep going!

Well, to really circulate Qi as we mean to circulate Qi in neigong and in the Internal Martial Arts, as achieving full circulation through out the body, you need to first nurture the three Dantians and open the three gates.


Er, what? More jargon....

What does this mean?


Ah, he's going to explain it! Good!

It means that without a calm, focused mind, without deep breath and without a heart without worries and anxiety, there is no real circulation. Forming those three aspects means a “perfect function of an indent in human body.” Then you will have Qi. You don’t need to think about Qi, just calm your mind and heart, relax internally and externally while you are still or moving and there will be Qi.


What? This is as revealing to me as "Brexit means Brexit" - a quote famous in the UK for appearing to mean a lot, but not meaning anything.

Further, to circulate the Qi throughout the whole body, you need to open the three gates, and briefly speaking, you need to open the joints as well as understand to become soft and movable in both the lower and upper back. Focusing on all of these aspects of mind, breath, heart and body while practicing, and keeping on practicing these aspects while help you to develop what you could feel as circulation. It will help you to build up heat while you are practicing and to make the feeling of circulation more intense. And you will never even once have to “think about qi”. Don’t.


Er ok, so relax and that's all you need to do....

Gee, thanks. I think you really nailed that one.

;D

(I apologise in advance. Just doing a funny ;D )
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:28 am

A student wants to learn how to actually do something, not what the teacher believe is happening while he is already doing something. I don't have respect for any kind of teacher who just wants to look good in front of their students instead of teaching.

probably using the same termanolgly as
they were taught with.....


If a young, unexperienced person copy the terminology of an old, experienced teacher, or claim to have the same skills, well, there's something funny to laugh at again.

But I agree, being there and feeling it first hand is what is most important.
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:29 am

Not to belabor the point

Some other things like trying to feel your Dantian might help you to stabilize your own structure.


Dantian is just like qi..a type of jargon

both of which I don't use in my own practice but as mentioned
do understand the use of them in others.
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:36 am

Bao wrote:A student wants to learn how to actually do something, not what the teacher believe is happening while he is already doing something. I don't have respect for any kind of teacher who just wants to look good in front of their students instead of teaching.

Really not an issue for me...There are many teachers I may not agree with. On line or those I see in the parks.
I always respect what they do and for the most part don't interact with them nor attempt to change their thinking...unless we are interacting.


probably using the same termanolgly as
they were taught with.....


If a young, unexperienced person copy the terminology of an old, experienced teacher, or claim to have the same skills, well, there's something funny to laugh at again. again not an issue. People running schools, seminars, earning a living have to market their skill or lack of...

But I agree, being there and feeling it first hand is what is most important.
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:37 am

"earning a living have to market their skill or lack of..."


Exactly. ;)

windwalker wrote:Not to belabor the point

Some other things like trying to feel your Dantian might help you to stabilize your own structure.


Dantian is just like qi..a type of jargon

both of which I don't use in my own practice but as mentioned
do understand the use of them in others.


Dantian is something you can feel, either you regard it as a spot inside your belly or the belly itself. Focusing on this has a very basic, practical function, i.e. understand how to keep your center.

GrahamB wrote:Er ok, so relax and that's all you need to do....


Yeah, you got it. ;D 8-)

"Qi" in neigong and IMA is more or less nothing else than the ability to keep certain very basic criteria. Mostly just about relaxing.

Next time someone tells me about how they feel qi, I'll just quote Judge Judy =

"I am not interested in your feelings".
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby windwalker on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:41 am

Bao wrote:
"earning a living have to market their skill or lack of..."


Exactly. ;)

windwalker wrote:Not to belabor the point

Some other things like trying to feel your Dantian might help you to stabilize your own structure.


Dantian is just like qi..a type of jargon

both of which I don't use in my own practice but as mentioned
do understand the use of them in others.


Dantian is something you can feel, either you regard it as a spot inside your belly or the belly itself. Focusing on this has a very basic, practical function, i.e. understand how to keep your center. you see, we don't agree,,,not the topic at hand...If this works for you and others in their practice its good but for me its not really a good way to describe or instruct others to do...I would say first one has to understand what a center is. Once this is done they can learn to understand a center can be at any point, not something that one has to keep or maintain, its already there.

anyway I get it ;) we have some different view points on this.....take care


GrahamB wrote:Er ok, so relax and that's all you need to do....


Yeah, you got it. ;D 8-)

"Qi" in neigong and IMA is more or less nothing else than the ability to keep certain very basic criteria. Mostly just about relaxing.

Next time someone tells me about how they feel qi, I'll just quote Judge Judy =

"I am not interested in your feelings".
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby GrahamB on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:52 am

"Qi" in neigong and IMA is more or less nothing else than the ability to keep certain very basic criteria. Mostly just about relaxing.

Next time someone tells me about how they feel qi, I'll just quote Judge Judy =

"I am not interested in your feelings".


On the contrary, I think it's actually quite useful to "feel the qi". In fact, I did a whole video series showing people how to do it and why it's useful ;)
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:58 am

GrahamB wrote:On the contrary, I think it's actually quite useful to "feel the qi". In fact, I did a whole video series showing people how to do it and why it's useful ;)


:)

But what we feel in different stages is different and what we call it might vary. What you feel is something that comes from correct practice.
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:58 am

you see, we don't agree,,,not the topic at hand...If this works for you and others in their practice its good but for me its not really a good way to describe or instruct others to do...I would say first one has to understand what a center is. Once this is done they can learn to understand a center can be at any point, not something that one has to keep or maintain, its already there.

anyway I get it ;) we have some different view points on this.....take care


I understand your view from earlier discussions. I can agree with most of what you write and what you have written about this subject earlier.

I am talking about something practical only. And IMO important. You need to organize your body to give it the best support and balance possible when you are dealing with another mass. This starts from the center. Some people do it instinctively, some others have hard to do it. So we all have different things we need to work on. What "center" might mean in a broader perspective or in a more advanced stage is not really of my concern for the moment, but again I can agree with much of your view.

The same to you. :)
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- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby Trick on Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:59 am

Yi,Qi and Action!.......Sink the Qi or why not just say relax. If not like the Qi word why use it at all ? ......The mind activate the electricity that runs in the nervous system that in turn activate the muscles. The lesser the mind and muscles are tensed up the smother the Electricity(Qi)flow, the smother the flow the quicker mind muscle interaction...? The Buzz one can feel in the body and out in the limbs, is it Qi, is it Electricity are they one and the same?
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Re: So, so tired of all of the "sink the qi" talk....

Postby charles on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:28 am

Bao wrote:So instead of teaching how to actually do something, teachers keep on speaking about an expression or function that happens when you already have everything in place and the "motor" is already running.


I think you raise an important point. There is "functional" instruction and "prescriptive" instruction. Functional instruction describes an outcome or result: what should be an outcome or result. Using your motor example, when the motor is correctly assembled, electricity should flow through the motor - or, perhaps, the motor should turn as a result of the flow of electricity.

Prescriptive instruction is a set of instructions or a recipe: a sequence or collection of steps or activities. Using your motor example, it is a sequence of assembly for the motor. In the food world, it is a recipe: add 1 cup of flour to 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of butter, stirring until mixed homogeneously.

If I were to provide you with a recipe, such as adding a cup of flour to a cup of sugar to a cup of butter and stirring, it tells you what to do, but does not tell you what is the intended outcome. That is, you are blindly following a sequence of steps without knowing what is the intended result - say, a cake. By contrast, if I "instruct" you to end up with a cake using flour, sugar and butter, but provide no instruction/guidance on how to do that, you know what your desired goal is, but have no explicit instructions or method to follow to achieve that goal.

The most effective instruction includes both: a description of what you are trying to achieve as well as an explicit method for achieving that. Both parts are needed.

I suggest that, depending upon one's goals, "sinking qi" is neither. It isn't the ultimate, practical goal - that is, it isn't sought for its own sake, but is a means towards some other end - but it also isn't effective prescriptive instruction either. That is, it doesn't really tell the practitioner, in practical terms, what to do. If one understands the term "sink qi" to be a "code" or "shorthand" for an explicit series of activities - a prescription or recipe - one can then begin to explore for what activities or steps it is a shorthand.

The Tai Chi world is really in deep need of better teachers.


I agree. As is the rest of the world.
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