Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

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

Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby LaoDan on Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:04 am

To me personally, it is very difficult to come up with a short yet comprehensive TJQ strategy for fighting, especially when the variability of weapons sparring is considered/included [e.g., fighting with a dao/saber may not even involve touching the opponent or their weapon, except when landing an attack] rather than just bare handed fighting.

In brief, TJQ seeks to maintain one’s “Zhongding” (central equilibrium) which can also be interpreted as properly aligned “nine pearl bends” (joints that remain open and mobile even when issuing or receiving force through them, i.e. Fangsong) for “whole body power” (linking the forces through the body to/from the ground/root from/to the point of application), maintaining mental/emotional and physical neutral, maintaining six-direction force (Pengjin)...

So, TJQ fighting strategy would be to maintain this in oneself while disrupting it in the opponent.

The methods used to do this include:

Soft resilience (to maintain oneself when under pressure)...
Off-balancing the opponent (physical, mental, positional, emotion, focus/distraction &/or...)...
Using stick/adhere/connect/follow to maintain oneself while controlling the opponent...
Leading the opponent into emptiness (their attack has no effect on us but can make them vulnerable)...
Maintaining changeability...
Interrupting the opponent’s changeability (freezing, seizing, breaking their root &/or...)...
...

If one maintains this (Zhongding...) in themselves while disrupting it in their opponent, then the follow-up attacks can be infinite.


Note: Because Adam Mizner uses TJQ terminology so differently than I do, I no longer pay attention to his statements. For example, I genuinely do not understand when he says:

Adam Mizner on Feb 17, 2015 wrote: Genuine tai chi—the jin will overcome their li...


To me, jin is trained li, so he seems to be essentially stating that trained force will overcome their untrained (or raw, or crude, or clumsy...) force. Big deal – no surprise. Unless he is using the term jin differently than I do, more like a separate kind of force (something other than trained li), perhaps like the force in Star Wars which is not the same as typical physical force...??? Is he somehow mystifying the jin force? Is it different than trained physical force??? Is “genuine” TJQ only “genuine” if one uses a mystical interpretation for jin (and how “genuine” is mysticism?) rather than a practical one? I do not know what he is trying to say/convey!
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby marvin8 on Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:06 am

A post from another website related to the OP (without any replies :'(), "Engaging Opponents: Ting, Dong, Hua, Na, Fa:"
Audi on Wed Aug 22, 2001 wrote:Hi all,

I find that having some theory of T’ai Chi engagement is very important to my practice. How one intends to engage an opponent has implications for the intent behind almost every movement, since variations in speed, timing, sensitivity, power, and angle of attack achieve different aims (probing, enticing, inflicting pain, sticking, deflecting, etc.). For me, this also has implications for how to extend T’ai Chi principles beyond the physical aspects of self-defense. In considering a ward-off arm, am I seeking health through the strength of a block, the relaxation of muscles, the delicacy of a deflection, the flow of a circle, the twisting of joint tendons, the sensitivity of the skin and nerves, the extension of energy through an arm, or the mere focusing of the mind?

A few times on this board, I have gotten impressions that some hold views of what I am here calling T’ai Chi “engagement” (for want of a better word and a lack of imagination) that differ from my understanding. I would like to explore those differences with those who are willing, or at least to test my understanding. In doing so, I am trying to strike a balance between the two extremes of asserting that there is only one correct interpretation of traditional T’ai Chi and of accepting any martial theory that has an element of yin/yang opposition, softness, or borrowing of energy as emblematic of T’ai Chi.

My understanding of how one is supposed to engage an opponent using T’ai Chi principles stems mostly from the Intrinsic Energies of T’ai Chi Ch’uan (Chen Kung Series II). I have lent out my copy and so am quoting the title from memory and apologize in advance for the inevitable inaccuracies.

I believe the primary material in the book was translated and annotated by Stuart Alve Olson, a student of T.T. Liang, and is described as setting forth Yang family writings transmitted by Chen Kung, a student of Yang Cheng Fu. If someone could elaborate on the origin and transmission of the writings, as well as their authority and level of general acceptance, I would be grateful. I was unable to understand fully the description of these matters offered in the text.

As a preliminary matter, let me state that Stuart Olson’s experience in T’ai Chi and Chinese far surpass mine and that I have found the insights in his book tremendously enlightening; however, I cannot help but differ with some of the translations and Chinese character interpretations he offers in his notes. Some of these translations and interpretations go to the heart of how one practices T’ai Chi (for example, what the origin is of the characters used to write the names of the postures of Grasp Sparrow’s Tail and how much softness or delicacy is inherent in these characters).

The material in Olson’s book describes various T’ai Chi “energies,” or at least various activities one performs to the opponent’s or one’s own energy (jin). (The question of whether all these are correctly termed “jins” I leave to resolution of what was raised on the thread entitled “Tackling,” where it was suggested that the term “jin” should not be used to categorize some or all of these activities.) Five of these activities—ting (listening), dong (understanding), hua (neutralize), na (seizing), and fa (issuing)—seemed to be described as a cluster of activities that described a majority of T’ai Chi cycles of defense and offense. Did I leave anything out?

In other words, if an opponent attempted to strike you with his or her fist, you would connect with the opponent’s arm to listen (ting) for his or her power (jin), seek to understand (dong) the intent and qualities of the power (jin) being applied against you, neutralize (hua) the power, seize (na) it, and then issue (fa) your own power to defeat him or her. Although this can closely resemble blocking, deflecting, or leading away the opponent’s technique, as is done in other arts, I believe this to be different in intent and in the subtle details of the movements. Does anyone want to offer contrary views?

As I understand it, although these activities are described as having a hierarchy of dependence, there is not necessarily a clear physical or sequential separation between them. Also, although one’s mind (yi) directs all of these activities, my understanding of the everyday meaning and the T’ai Chi meaning of the Chinese word “yi” is that it refers to where and why one’s mental activities are focused (i.e., one’s will, intent, and purpose) and not to the deliberative process of thinking itself.

My understanding of this cycle of activities is that it would apply to every posture in the form, and even to some of the intermediate transitions. I have seen some evidence that these concepts are directed only at pushing hands and not true sparring or self-defense, but have not been comfortable with this view. Any thoughts?

Let me describe my understanding of how a movement from the form would fit in this scheme. When one is attempting to apply the roll back to the opponent represented in Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, one would be “listening” with one’s body for the opponent’s reaction. If one felt that the power of the roll back was being effectively defeated or resisted, one would seek to “understand” the power and direction of the opponent’s attempted counter or transformation. Typically this would be that the opponent was beginning to defeat the lock on his or her left elbow and was starting to turn to face you, perhaps with a strike.

Once this is “understood,” one would “neutralize” the opponent’s use of force (hua jin) with some combination of other T’ai Chi skills (e.g., yielding, adhering (zhan), etc.) and turn (hua) the opponent’s power (jin) to his or her disadvantage. In the form, the technique we use is Press/Squeeze (ji), where we join the power of our left arm to that of our right arm, which remains in contact with the opponent. The goal of our neutralization is to escape the attack and “seize” the opponent’s power (na jin) so that he or she can no longer change the situation. As executed in the form, this would most likely be because the opponent could not deal with power our combined arms would be adding to his or her waist turn into us. If we are successful, we temporarily abandon most of the more subtle T’ai Chi skills and issue our power (fa jin) into the opponent, by extending our posture.

To be clearer, let me give some detail to each of the five activities, so that those who are interested can add, subtract, or correct what they think appropriate.

“Ting jin” refers either to “listening to [the opponent’s] power/strength” or to the “power/skill of listening.” (Which interpretation is more correct, I leave to resolution of the issue described on the Tackling thread). As I understand it, T’ai Chi disdains preset reactions to aggression (e.g., there are no generally accepted fighting stances) and counsels waiting until the opponent attempts to close with you. Some authors talk about the possibility of launching unpowered strikes at an opponent to force him or her to make contact, if remaining purely reactive or passive is deemed inadvisable. Does anyone disagree with either point? Does anyone know of any examples in the T’ai Chi literature of “listening” without contact with the opponent or of a traditional Yang Style application that does not presuppose physical contact with the opponent?

Once the opponent attempts to extend his or her power/energy to you, you connect with his or her limbs, body, or clothing, in order to sense the “jin” that is opposing you. As far as I know, the Chinese word “ting” has more or less the same relevant meanings and connotations as the English words “listen” and “hear.” As a technical matter, I think one is supposed to be “listening” to the opponent’s “jin” with one’s “qi” as directed by one’s “mind/intent” (yi) and controlled by one’s “spirit” (shen). As a practical matter, I have interpreted this as sensing with the tendons, sinews, and the skin at the point of contact with the opponent and with the floor, aided by one’s eyesight and hearing and controlled by one’s overall intent and spirit. Does anyone see this differently?

Once you sense the opponent’s jin, I believe you try to understand (dong) its configuration. Is the opponent attempting to use his or her power to strike you, push you, pull you, kick you, twist you, etc.? Where is the power directed and how fast? Where is the power coming from? Once these things are understood, one will know the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the technique being used, what is solid (shi) and what is empty (xu), and what is yin and what is yang. Again, I think the Chinese word “dong” has pretty much the same meanings and connotations as the English word “understand.”

Once the configuration of the opponent’s jin is understood, you can then exploit its inherent weaknesses to transform (hua) it to your advantage. As far as I understand it, the core meaning of the Chinese word “hua” is to “transform” and a derived meaning is to “dissolve or melt.” However, this word seems to have been usually translated as “neutralize” in T’ai Chi contexts. I have always wondered whether the connotations of “neutralize” or even “dissolve” are accurate, since to me these words connote merely defeating the opponent’s technique and preclude a sense of using the opponent’s technique to your advantage. A word like “transform” leaves open what result is envisioned. Can anyone add to this, because here I am at or slightly beyond my linguistic level of competence.

I have also wondered about emphasizing “not being there” or “letting the opponent exhaust his strength.” I have no problem with these as general martial theories, but have trouble emphasizing them from a T’ai Chi context. To me, avoiding the yang part of the opponent’s attack requires pressuring the yin part of his or her defense. In other words, the point is not merely to dodge the opponent’s attack, but have the attack expose a weakness that is exploited by your defense. “Not being there” and “letting the opponent exhaust his strength” would then be only half of the equation. Is what a matador does to a bull really a good image for traditional Yang Style T’ai Chi?

I read a criticism of the T’ai Chi descended from Yang Cheng Fu which described it as deficient in not addressing evasive techniques (Complete Tai Chi Chuan by Dan Docherty, p. 55). Does anyone have any opinions about this? I found this book quite insightful in many ways, but found this comment a little strange, given my own biases.

From the Intrinsic Energies of T’ai Chi, I also understand that the concept of transformation (hua) is distinct from the concept of “borrowing energy” (jie jin), which is a separate technique. Some styles of T’ai Chi disdain the generation of great force; however, I do not believe this is the case with what the Yang family teaches. The only limitation appears to be that great force is not to be directed at the opponent’s strengths. Accordingly, borrowing the opponent’s force (jin) is a good technique, but not a necessary one in all cases. Does anyone disagree with this view, as applied to Yang Styles other than what was taught by Cheng Manching?

Transforming the opponent’s jin seems to have two goals: saving oneself from harm and also putting the opponent in an untenable situation. The latter is what I understand by the term “seizing energy” (na jin). The core meaning of the Chinese word “na” is to manipulate with the hand, and it is the normal word used in Chinese expressions that can be translated into English as “take,” “hold,” “carry,” and “bring.” It is the second word in the expression “qin na,” (seize [and] hold) which refers to techniques of grasping and immobilizing the opponent’s joints. Although “seiz[ing]” seems to be the customary T’ai Chi translation, perhaps “hold[ing]” or “control[ling]” might have more accurate connotations.

From the Intrinsic Energies of T’ai Chi, I understand “seizing the opponent’s energy” (na jin) to refer to the moment when the opponent can no longer transform (hua) your energy to escape. At one point, the book describes merely making the opponent apprehensive as the equivalent of “seiz[ing]” his or her energy. I have taken this as a reference to a “deer-in-the-headlights” moment, when the opponent’s spirit is immobilized.

Once the opponent’s energy is “seized” or “controlled,” one then issues energy (fa jin) to defeat him or her. Intrinsic Energies of T’ai Chi explicitly links the concept of “fa jin” with the concept of “seizing energy.” If memory serves, there is a phrase like “What would be the point of issuing energy if one has not first seized the opponent’s energy.” I have never been sure what to make of this, since other arts seem to have no problem issuing strikes and kicks without even being in contact with the opponent, let alone controlling him or her in any way. Does anyone have any good insights to share about this?

The two speculations I have had are as follows. If one attempts to push an opponent who can still retain some room to yield or maintain softness, the push often ends up with wimpy results. If on the other hand, the opponent freezes up or attempts to pull away, it is very easy to issue a dramatic push. The reference to “making the opponent apprehensive” would seem to make sense in this context.

My other speculation is that if T’ai Chi normally requires following the opponent, the one moment where one would be permitted to cease following and attack is when the opponent’s power is controlled and he or she is no longer able to “lead.” One could argue that failure to adopt these strategies would lead to a mindset that seeks to win through greater speed and power, which I do not believe to be characteristic of traditional T’ai Chi. Such strategies would have a stop-and-go feel that dares the opponent to be quick enough to block or to attack, rather than daring the opponent to be able constantly to change the flow of energy.

As an aside, let me say that my understanding of fixed push hands sets is that one must always have the intent of doing ting, dong, and hua up to the point of seizing. If you can seize, you then issue. If you cannot seize, you must flow into the following technique in the sequence to avoid becoming the object of seize. In other words, the question before you is not whether to attack, since you are constantly doing that, but whether to press an attack home. I also understand this to be part of the logic T’ai Chi uses to avoid competing with the opponent in terms of speed of technique. Does anyone have any contrary views?

If memory serves, the Intrinsic Energies of T’ai Chi says that these five techniques are generally fundamental to any interchange using T’ai Chi techniques, but describes a few techniques where one or more of the five can be dispensed with. I think I recall one of these techniques being “intercepting energy” or perhaps “borrowing energy.” Is anyone familiar with this?

I have never really understood the difference between freezing energy/cooling strength (leng jin) and intercepting energy, but I think intercepting energy involves interrupting the opponent’s movement at a point where his or her qi has not yet risen to match his or her attacking intent (yi) and thus cannot react to a new offensive threat. An example of this might be pushing on someone’s pressing arm at the instant he or she has mentally committed to initiating a press attack, but before his or her muscles have begun to carry out the mental command. Can anyone confirm or correct this?

Beyond imbuing the form with the proper intent, I have felt that applying these concepts to many transitional movements seems to make more sense of some of the more subtle motions. For instance, the spiraling of the upper arm in White Crane and during the strikes of Fair Lady Works the Shuttles seems simultaneously to open up the opponent while promoting sticking in a way that a simple block or deflection would not. Similarly, the arm rotations in Cloud Hands seem more than an augmentation of power, but a subtle way of enticing the opponent into a position where his or her power can be "seized."

I look forward to any comments, corrections, or additions anyone may want to offer.

Happy practicing,
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby Bao on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:19 pm

In other words, if an opponent attempted to strike you with his or her fist, you would connect with the opponent’s arm to listen (ting) for his or her power (jin), seek to understand (dong) the intent and qualities of the power (jin) being applied against you, neutralize (hua) the power, seize (na) it, and then issue (fa) your own power to defeat him or her. Although this can closely resemble blocking, deflecting, or leading away the opponent’s technique, as is done in other arts, I believe this to be different in intent and in the subtle details of the movements. Does anyone want to offer contrary views?


Upon touch you don't seek to understand intent or anything. Fighting goes very fast, you have no time to try to understand anything. When you touch it's your skills in tingjin and dongjin that dictates what you should do, not any kind of thinking or planning. You touch and react and that's it. If he goes close (for a throw or a take down) follow and fill in the gaps to take him down. If you see a gap for landing a punch, the fist should be right there as soon as you notice the gap. This is body following yi. There should be no gaps, no hesitation, no delay. Intent and action is the same. Everything happens directly and together.
Last edited by Bao on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby wayne hansen on Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:56 pm

You are describing how listening energy works in actual combat
How you train is how you fight
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby oragami_itto on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:23 pm

Steve James wrote:Back to the formula, though. I first heard the formula 30 years ago from people associated with the Wu/Ng family tcc. But, it was "hua (neutralize), na (grasp/seize), da (hit/strike), fa (express/issue)." (I think Dmitri remembers some of those people from the old tcc list). Anyway, after the hua action, na, da, or fa can end the fight. Na can include anything from qinna (big or small). Da can include any from of strike (impact). Fa can be any issuance of energy, whether "push" or fajin.


Respectfully, that sounds a bit like a conflation of the Hua-Na-Fa idea and Shuai, Na, Ti, Da (throw, seize, kick, punch) idea. What I mean is the taiji process is always, by necessity if it's to be called taijiquan, be Nautralize->Seize(grasp)->Release. The release can take the form of any number of techniques or no-technique, but the broadest top level categories are the shuai, na, ti, da.

Adam Mizner's "Seven Point Push" video just mentions Hua and Fa, and describes a training progression that starts with hua and fa separate, but ends with them occurring simultaneously. That's a good example of the overall approach to taijiquan as a method. Starting from slow and large and separate and leading to small and fast and simultaneous. He doesn't mention na specifically but as others have posted quotes pertaining to the idea have described, without Na there is no point to Fa. If you are not attached, how can you affect them? It's at best a blind strike, praying for unblocked contact.

I believe that philosophy is if not unique to taijiquan than at least it's in limited company. When practiced perfectly we don't commit to an attack until it is certain to succeed. That usually means the opponent is already fully under our control before we attack, or that we can accurately predict where the opponent will be and what they are doing. I don't know if there is a term for this. That sort of knowledge is as good as control. Reading them, I suppose. Ting jin at a distance. Or feinting, enticing as it were into disadvantage.

LaoDan wrote:To me, jin is trained li, so he seems to be essentially stating that trained force will overcome their untrained (or raw, or crude, or clumsy...) force. Big deal – no surprise. Unless he is using the term jin differently than I do, more like a separate kind of force (something other than trained li), perhaps like the force in Star Wars which is not the same as typical physical force... Is he somehow mystifying the jin force? Is it different than trained physical force??? Is “genuine” TJQ only “genuine” if one uses a mystical interpretation for jin (and how “genuine” is mysticism?) rather than a practical one? I do not know what he is trying to say/convey!


What I understand from what videos I've watched of his, he believes in stages of progression in one's expression or embodyment of taijiquan. What is true and right for you today may be holding you back tomorrow, or just no longer relevant or important. Our relationship to the art evolves and morphs over time, hopefully becoming more correct.

With that in mind, if I understand him correctly, he has described at least three stages, untrained li, skillfull li, jin. Jin derives from sung. untrained li is all but useless. Skillfull li can simulate many of the effects of jin, but it is inferior to true jin.

My personal take is that jin and li are always present. Skillful li simulates jin by carrying a small amount of actual jin, as we progress in training and conditioning the li fades and the jin grows stronger, sharper, crisper. Less muddy and scattered. Calling back to the method it moves from large, obvious, external, li to small, invisible, internal jin.

So then it follows that in the Hua, Na, Fa process our skill over time goes from large, slow, and external with skillful li to small, instant, and internal with jin.

I feel like I'm rambling and repeating myself at this point.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby windwalker on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:32 pm

@oragami_itto,

Nice detaild post.

I believe what you're running into is the redefinition of words used by others not from the culture they originate from.

I like Adams, work.. I don't see how it's possible for one to talk about what he's doing unless they can do or have had a high degree of exposure to it. At most which you're doing they can outline it with their own take on it.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby Steve James on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:39 pm

Respectfully, that sounds a bit like a conflation of the Hua-Na-Fa idea and Shuai, Na, Ti, Da (throw, seize, kick, punch) idea. What I mean is the taiji process is always, by necessity if it's to be called taijiquan, be Nautralize->Seize(grasp)->Release. The release can take the form of any number of techniques or no-technique, but the broadest top level categories are the shuai, na, ti, da.


Well, it's an old oral formula. There's also "lian, nian, zian, sui" and others, but they're often related to specific branches of tcc. Anyway, I kow I'm not confusing anything with shuaijiao --cause I never really learned it. I'm only transmitting what I was told by members of the Wu/Ng family line. In fact, I've never heard them used by Yang (family or CMC) or Chen tcc people, though the concepts can definitely be applied. There are lots of different tcc practitioners here. No one has the complete answer for tcc.

I agree that fa (issuing) can take many forms. I don't agree that na is specifically a tcc technique, nor that it is necessary. I understand that it can be explained and understood as being integral, but it's not more important than listening --particularly in tcc. What makes tcc "na" different from Shaolin "na"? If it's a matter of body mechanics, it's not really a question of strategy. It's just an action.

Anyway, I always repeat these sayings the way I was taught, and I never make new ones up. I'm not arguing that the formula you learned was wrong at all.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby Appledog on Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:42 am

wayne hansen wrote:You are describing how listening energy works in actual combat
How you train is how you fight


Yeah. There have been some really interesting quotes and explanations on this thread. But in an actual fight I don't have too much time to run through a list of strategic points such as a "Tai Chi Strategy" versus, say, a "Wing Chun Strategy", a "Chow Gar Startegy", etc. and I have to rely on my training.

I consider the whole thing like a series of "black boxes" -- inputs in, mysterious processing, and inputs out. One of these processes in Tai Chi is called push hands. I cannot imagine anyone who is very (very) good at push hands who will also have extensive questions about Tai Chi's fighting strategy.

Of course how to push hands properly is another matter, but assuming that end of things is correct I concur, how you train is how you fight.
Last edited by Appledog on Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:36 am

The correct order is ‘Ti da na shuai’, and it’s a general saying that pertains to Chinese martial arts. It actually doesn’t pertain to ‘Shuai Jiao’ as that’s skipping the first three and only practicing the Shuai.
In tjq the Shuai part could also be called ‘Ti Fang’(lit. Lift and let go) or uprooting. In the days where ‘push hands’ was used in place of actual fighting to challenge and contest other practitioners, a ‘Ti Fang’ would often be accompanied by a ‘bao fali/ fajin’ (explosive release of power using the Dantian and spinal column) so that the person would be injured and not get back up to continue, and would lose the match. Since the Fali/ Fajin can cause injuries that outside/ untrained observers couldn’t see, they confused the uprooting part (ti fang) of push hands with the Fa.

The classic texts of tjq refer to what happens in actual combat, not semi friendly push hands challenges, so ‘ti fang’ is rarely (if at all) mentioned. They only mention the Fa, which when done with a Shocking (zhen) power it won’t result in a throw but will cause internal injury that won’t necessarily make the opponent move away at all, but the opponent might fall away after suffering from that.

.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby windwalker on Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:47 am

oragami_itto wrote:I feel like I'm rambling and repeating myself at this point.


Illustrates some of the points you mentioned
demos transitions from basic push hands to usage showing different strategies for entering
and bridging commonly found in taiji....applied.


https://youtu.be/bYFcUxep9TE

In this English-subtitled teaching video, Guo Shifu explains and demonstrates several important fighting concepts, namely,
1. hu zhong xin - guarding the centre
2. da qian - attacking the beginning,
3. wen jin - asking for force,
4. bi shi ji xü - avoiding the substantial and attacking the empty,
5. fa jin - generating power,
and
6. gun dong - rolling
Last edited by windwalker on Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby BruceP on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:25 am

GrahamB wrote:The amount of "that's fine" on this thread is really impressive


Sure is impressive, Graham. Especially when you consider that most of what's "that's fine" is/was so far ahead of the curve in terms "getting there so long before most". middleway asked me about the bits of "that's fine" that I listed in this thread in the old EF chatroom just after the turn of the century because he hadn't heard of those 'tai chi fighting strategies' before.

Maybe, some day, it'll just be "oh yeah, of course". Until then, it'll continue to be, "that's fine".
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby GrahamB on Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:09 am

Aye, Bruce. Turn of the century? It's probably a sign that we've been here too long...

The problem with all of these definitions is that people think things have to be only one thing at at time. But the world is more complex than that. People often think that it's either/or, but there is often no reason why it can't be both/and.

Every move in Tai Chi has a myriad of applications - there's never just one way to do it.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby middleway on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:29 am

The problem with all of these definitions is that people think things have to be only one thing at at time. But the world is more complex than that. People often think that it's either/or, but there is often no reason why it can't be both/and.


Well said.

Turn of the century? It's probably a sign that we've been here too long...


Amen, more and more I feel this ...

Perhaps this is the ultimate problem with boards like this with such a long history. Opinions and positions posted 15 years ago are held to mean something today.

... hopefully most of us old guard are very different people, often with polar opposite opinions, after all this time.
Last edited by middleway on Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby BruceP on Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:29 pm

Really interesting replies, guys.

GrahamB wrote:Aye, Bruce. Turn of the century? It's probably a sign that we've been here too long...

The problem with all of these definitions is that people think things have to be only one thing at at time. But the world is more complex than that. People often think that it's either/or, but there is often no reason why it can't be both/and.

Every move in Tai Chi has a myriad of applications - there's never just one way to do it.



middleway wrote:
Perhaps this is the ultimate problem with boards like this with such a long history. Opinions and positions posted 15 years ago are held to mean something today.

... hopefully most of us old guard are very different people, often with polar opposite opinions, after all this time.


You've both held to very different opinions regards tjq than you do now. Some of us have had the same ideas, opinions and approach since before EF while you guys have slowly co-opted the language and assimilated the ideas that you used to argue against.

Golly! Imagine of one of you had written a book or magazine article fifteen years ago, with the pretense of authority. Could it be held to mean something today?

Are you guys all done going polar opposite with your respective opinions and understandings of tjq? Let's watch and see...
Appeals to authority is why we can't have nice things
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Re: Tai Chi Fighting Strategy

Postby middleway on Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:07 am

Golly! Imagine of one of you had written a book or magazine article fifteen years ago, with the pretense of authority. Could it be held to mean something today?


No it couldn't. For instance, do you look at old published scientific studies that are now outdated or proven false, and hold the scientists who wrote them to those old studies? That viewpoint is truly ridiculous under scrutiny.

You've both held to very different opinions regards tjq than you do now. Some of us have had the same ideas, opinions and approach since before EF while you guys have slowly co-opted the language and assimilated the ideas that you used to argue against.

Golly! Imagine of one of you had written a book or magazine article fifteen years ago, with the pretense of authority. Could it be held to mean something today?

Are you guys all done going polar opposite with your respective opinions and understandings of tjq? Let's watch and see...


Bruce.

Opinions change. You see it as a problem while most of the world see it as something very different ....'growth'. My current opinions and viewpoints are they are born out of training, experience, hands on contact with experts who's feel I then tried to understand, and self research. If someone were to spend 15 years with that approach your damn right their opinions should change. If I have arrived at similar opinions to you it's coincidental.

So let's lay it out.

1) I don't particularly do tai chi anymore .. only for enjoyment and only with 1 other person.
2) I use language that is appropriate to what I do now. You don't own any language and I don't care how you feel about the language I now use.
3) I have no idea about your method or approach... I can't even remember our conversations. But perhaps more importantly I don't want to know your method or approach.
4) I couldn't care less about your opinion of me, what I do or what you feel about it. I, and the people I actually have contact with, are happy with the training we do. Again ...your opinion plays no factor at all.

And finally... This chip on your shoulder seems to be a real bug bear for you. You keep posting on threads i start with snide remarks about the past. Your genuinely wasting your energy and time being pissed off.

After all the things I have personally been through in the past 15 years ... some guy I don't know, on an internet forum I frequent less and less, being annoyed with how my viewpoint has changed, is literally like water off a ducks back. Every time you do it you simply re-affirm i am doing the RIGHT thing because you highlight my greatest attribute, the ability to change.

Hope that makes it crystal. I will now continue with my birthday.. a marker of time passing ...and leave you to your past.

You want to keep this going lets take it to PM. It is not relevant to this thread or the subject.

Chris
Last edited by middleway on Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
"I am not servant to the method, the method is servant to me"
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