Double Weighted

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

Double Weighted

Postby Yeung on Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:35 am

I came across the following on double weighted from the book published by the Hong Kong Yiquan Society (1996), pp 48-49, other translation might be available.

拳道中樞(大成拳論)

王薌齋

夫均衡非呆板也,稍板則易犯雙重之病,然亦不許過靈,過靈則易趨於華而不實也。須要體舒放屈折含蓄,如發力時,亦不許斷續,所謂力不亡者也。蓋雙重非指兩足部位而言,頭手肩肘膝胯以大小關節,即一點細微之力都有單雙鬆緊虛實輕重之分別,今之拳家大都由片面之單重走向絕對之雙重,更由絕對之雙重而趨於僵死之途。

Section three of Essentials of Martial Arts (dàchéng quán lùn)

by Wáng Xiāngzhāi (the founder of Yiquan)

A balanced person is not stiff, as the slightest stiffness is easy to make the mistake of double weighted; yet it is not over flexible, as over flexible is easy to be slick and not firm. It is necessary to let the body relaxed and rotated, and if force is exerted, it should not be restricted, as in the saying that energy does not die away. In the case of double weighted, it is not limited to the parts of the legs, but it should cover all the large and small joints, such as head, shoulders, elbows, and knees, Even a little bit of force has the differences between single and double, elastic and tightness, void and solid, light and heavy. The current practices of practitioners of martial arts are mostly from a single [stretch] to the absolute double; and from the absolute double, it tends to be stiffened as dead. (Translated by Yeung, 26th December 2018)
Yeung
Wuji
 
Posts: 562
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:07 am

Re: Double Weighted

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:35 am

Well put, thank you for sharing your work
"My own knowledge is shallow and I await corrections from the intelligent."
-Hermit of Jade Well
User avatar
oragami_itto
Wuji
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Double Weighted

Postby johnwang on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:45 pm

Is this theory really that important? Boxers, wrestlers, Judo guys don't know this theory but they can still do their job. Do we just make a non-issue into a big issue?

Are these double weighted?



Image
I'm still allergy to "push".
User avatar
johnwang
Great Old One
 
Posts: 8994
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: Double Weighted

Postby robert on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:51 pm

I noticed that in one of the manuals that Andrzej posted recently - Central Pivot of the Way of Fist

Harmony and balance mean that there is not stiff, mechanical action. Even a little bit of stiff
action means the illness of double weight. But there should not be excessive freedom and
looseness, as this can mean lack of solidity. There should be felling of being comfortably
stretched, in bent form force is accumulated. When you issue force, there should not be
breaks, force should not disappear. Double weight is not just about putting weight on both
feet. If we are talking about head, arms, legs, shoulders, elbows, knees, hips and all big and
small joints, everywhere, where there are even slightest forces there can be division into
single and double, relax and tension, empty and solid, light and heavy.


Chen Xiaowang says something similar - that double weighted means you can't change. He says the idea that it means equal weight on both feet doesn't make sense because there are taiji postures where the feet are equally weighted - like raise hands at the very beginning.
The method of practicing this boxing art is nothing more than opening and closing, passive and active. The subtlety of the art is based entirely upon their alternations. Chen Xin
robert
Huajing
 
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:32 am

Re: Double Weighted

Postby johnwang on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:57 pm

robert wrote:double weighted means you can't change.

There is no such thing that you will put yourself in a situation that you can't change. It's possible that your opponent can put you in a situation that you can't change. May be we should discuss how to make that happen.

If I pull your shoulder back, at the same time sweep your leg forward, you can't change.

Last edited by johnwang on Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm still allergy to "push".
User avatar
johnwang
Great Old One
 
Posts: 8994
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: Double Weighted

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:15 pm

I'll go further and say it's impossible to be in a position where you can't change unless your limbs are immobilized. What is more accurate to my way of thinking is that all of the good options for how to change are unavailable.

It's like in chess where you attack the wrong square and your opponent moves to reveal that is not a weak Target and they're also threatening you. Instead of carrying out your Gambit, you're stick dropping moves to scramble for a new position and mitigate your losses.

Same idea. On a spectrum between requiring an adjustment before offensive or defensive movement can occur to having to choose between eating a fist or the dirt being the only options. I think a more helpful description than double weight is misplaced fullness.

It's easier to get to in a push hands context due to the restricted steps. If you can get them bending backwards at the waist then it's pretty trivial to pin them to the spot via pressure on the solar plexus area either directly or through the arm, for example.
"My own knowledge is shallow and I await corrections from the intelligent."
-Hermit of Jade Well
User avatar
oragami_itto
Wuji
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Double Weighted

Postby Steve James on Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:14 pm

Imo, it's more important to know what single-weighted is, rather than argue about double-weighting. It might seem trivial, but I don't think the old masters of what's called tcc thought of it as an art where one could simply stand and defend oneself. I.e., everything related to martial usage involves some movement. That's not because tcc is special; it's because the martial arts and artists that the old masters had to face moved.

My point is that, in a stance, one's bodyweight is distributed between both feet (unless it's a one-legged stance). So, if that's what double-weighted means, then we're almost always double-weighted, and when we shift forward or backward, we inevitably have to go through a position where the weight is equally divided between the feet. Then, dang, that "no double-weighting" rule does seem silly.

However, from a practical pov, the object of a strike is to exert the most force possible on the target. Sure, we can talk about contests, but I mean a situation where you really want to hurt the other guy. I think that most people in a real fight would prefer to be stronger. Unfortunately, the other guy might be bigger and stronger; so, the outcome might depend on how you used the force all the force you can muster. I would argue that, even given special or atypical body mechanics, more force would be generated with movement --as in stepping forward.

Ime, Sun's "active" step tcc illustrates using stepping in its base form. I know that it's not unique. But, most styles progress from fixed step to moving step to free step. Yeah, I know that it's purely physical, but in all throwing or hitting sports, there's the quality of commitment and the presence of follow through. I'm not saying that it's necessary. A person can stand in a stance and break a board. I'd like to see the ancient battles where people did that. Matter of fact, I think the modern examples are kinda interesting too.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
User avatar
Steve James
Great Old One
 
Posts: 18139
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Double Weighted

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:09 pm

I think there's a lot of benefit to understanding it at depth.

The three main areas of consideration are what it is, how to prevent it in oneself, and how to create it in an opponent.

The "weight evenly distributed between the legs" I believe is a good entry point to the idea because in that condition the weight must shift to one leg or the other before you can take a step. If you stop there it doesn't seem too useful though, as you pointed out. Whenever we move we pass through a point of "double weightedness" according to this definition so if that's all there is to the concept it's a pretty stupid concept indeed.

So the next useful guidepost is the wheel. Taijiquan is like a wheel turning around an axle. If weight is applied to one side it's spun off. If weight is applied to both sides equally it can't turn so the weight can't be thrown off. This starts to suggest that double weightedness is what taijiquan isn't. The opposite of double weightedness isn't single weightedness, it's taijiquan, i.e the free and dynamic interplay and transformation of forces.

The metaphor is overly simple because the underlying reality is mind bogglingly complex. The reality can't be accurately intellectualized outside of these simplistic models.

To reiterate a simple definition though, double weightedness is a dynamic condition marked by an inability to change directly to a more desirable position caused by misplaced fullness.

So how do you avoid it? By moving in accordance with and maintaining the conditions of taijiquan in the body. Song, sunk, etc, but most importantly, avoiding the use of force against Force. Force against Force creates a deadlock condition until one overcomes the other. We want to turn it away or turn it against itself, not meet it directly and overpower it.

How do you create it in somebody else? The same way, I guess. Most people when attacked with taijiquan tend to tense up and become stiff and double weighted and easy to manipulate. The better their Kung Fu, the better their reaction, generally. The greater the difference in their level versus your own, the worse their reaction, generally, but that level meter can swing wildly moment to moment. Some people you just touch and they freeze, others you have to dance and plan and play and lead them into that poor position.

Ultimately it's dynamic, tactical, and temporary. I like the chess analogy because each move is a spent potential that can't be gotten back. You want every movement to be a move toward check mate, if you are backpedaling or stalled or have to reposition to begin an attack, you're falling behind and giving the opponent more opportunity to end you. Especially if the opponent is in a dominant and comfortable position while you're paralyzed or vulnerable.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"My own knowledge is shallow and I await corrections from the intelligent."
-Hermit of Jade Well
User avatar
oragami_itto
Wuji
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Double Weighted

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:14 pm

Wrestlers and boxers don't have a theory of double weight but they learn it thru trail and error
It is taught as a principle in tai chi and is in many more ways than just the legs
Chen showed he doesn't understand double weight in Taiwan with the ba kua guy
The opening posture is before yin and yang have separated as soon as your opponent looks at you with lustfull eyes the game begins and there is no more double weight
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
wayne hansen
Wuji
 
Posts: 3557
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:52 pm

Re: Double Weighted

Postby Trick on Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:14 am

johnwang wrote:Is this theory really that important? Boxers, wrestlers, Judo guys don't know this theory but they can still do their job. Do we just make a non-issue into a big issue?

If you would read through the translation of wang’s writings that Andrei posted in the other thread some days ago, Wang Xiangzhai’s purpose seem to be to clarify this issue for the practitioners of Chinese martial arts in China at the time. He is actually trying to make a “big issue” into an “smaller issue” or more exactly an more easy understandable issue for all those practitioners of his time that “stayed” away from the proper way.
Trick
Wuji
 
Posts: 2368
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:30 am

Re: Double Weighted

Postby Steve James on Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:21 am

My point is that it's better to focus on what we should do rather than on what we shouldn't. For ex., what is the sense of debating what "not sung" means. It's hard enough to define "sung." So, I would rather define and debate "single weighted-ness," since that is not a fault.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
User avatar
Steve James
Great Old One
 
Posts: 18139
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Double Weighted

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:54 am

Nobody is forcing anyone to discuss anything, so if you don't feel it's useful it's easy enough to not participate.

It's important enough to be spotted and defined by the clever folks that came before us, I think it's still a useful concept. As previously discussed sometimes it's not always about avoiding it but sometimes about causing it in someone else. You can't learn punching by only studying not being punched. Though practice dodging and blocking helps inform your technique, to actually gain the skill you have to understand the skill and practice the skill. You have to throw some punches to learn how to punch. You have to know what a punch is in order to throw it.

But ultimately, yes, you avoid it and cause it by doing good taijiquan
Last edited by oragami_itto on Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"My own knowledge is shallow and I await corrections from the intelligent."
-Hermit of Jade Well
User avatar
oragami_itto
Wuji
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Double Weighted

Postby marvin8 on Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:32 am

wayne hansen wrote:Wrestlers and boxers don't have a theory of double weight but they learn it thru trail and error
It is taught as a principle in tai chi and is in many more ways than just the legs

Chen showed he doesn't understand double weight in Taiwan with the ba kua guy
The opening posture is before yin and yang have separated as soon as your opponent looks at you with lustfull eyes the game begins and there is no more double weight

Depends on what you mean by "double weight" and "trial and error." Boxing, MMA, judo and most other sports that face an opponent have theories, strategies and methods to get their opponent out of position (e.g., freeze, tense, angle, weight distribution, momentum, COG, etc.) and attack at the right moment (e.g., timing, inability to change [or keep pace], etc.).

In the process of a well-timed attack, the opponent becomes double weighted, even if these sports don't use the term "double weight." If you can discuss what tai chi's "double weight" theory adds or how it is different, I would be interested in hearing.

Steve James wrote:My point is that it's better to focus on what we should do rather than on what we shouldn't. For ex., what is the sense of debating what "not sung" means. It's hard enough to define "sung." So, I would rather define and debate "single weighted-ness," since that is not a fault.

One should be aligned, balanced etc. (not double weighted), so one is not taken advantaged of and can deliver power and technique at the right moment—when the opponent is double weighted. Also, not use force on force but use opponent's force against himself.
Last edited by marvin8 on Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
marvin8
Wuji
 
Posts: 1688
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:30 pm

Re: Double Weighted

Postby Steve James on Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:46 am

Nobody is forcing anyone to discuss anything, so if you don't feel it's useful it's easy enough to not participate.


Wasn't my point. People have been debating what double-weighting means. That's useless, since there hasn't been any consensus. Well, most are forced to agree what it is not (i.e., weight distribution). My suggestion is to try to define more concretely what double-weighting was not by defining "single weighting."

In his Treatise, Wang writes:

Sinking to one side allows movement to flow; being double-weighted is sluggish. Anyone who has spent years of practice and still cannot neutralize, and is always controlled by his opponent, has not apprehended the fault of double-weightedness.


In my first post, I tried to point out that this was about movement, not stationary or static positions. Li I Yu, in his Classic "Essentials" wrote:

If you feel someplace in your body is powerless, it is double-weighted and unchanging. You must seek the defect in yin and yang, opening and closing. Know yourself and know others: in one hundred battles you will win one hundred times.


I included his last sentence taken from Suntzi because, imo, it was about the use of the martial art.

At any rate, I'm not opposed to discussing the term. I just think that telling a student not to be double-weighted can be confusing without giving practical methods to avoid it. For ex., I think I hit hardest when most of my weight is on one leg. I can also run faster --and I don't mean hopping. Ultimately, if it's a thing, how do we train it. I am not denying anyone's definition of it.
"A man is rich when he has time and freewill. How he chooses to invest both will determine the return on his investment."
User avatar
Steve James
Great Old One
 
Posts: 18139
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Double Weighted

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:56 am

Sorry if I came off aggressive there. Holiday spirit and all that.

I agree that it's about movement. What I think becomes confusing for some people is the nature of cultivation of taijiquan knowledge.

What I mean is the overall pedagogy of taijiquan is from simple to complex, from superficial to deep, from stillness to motion.

Being that most of what is written and first accessible about the topic is for beginners and outsiders, the most common understanding is the static ratio of weight between the legs.

To be clear I agree with you.
"My own knowledge is shallow and I await corrections from the intelligent."
-Hermit of Jade Well
User avatar
oragami_itto
Wuji
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:11 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Next

Return to Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest