question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

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

Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby everything on Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:09 pm

Steve James wrote:I dunno. IT seems like "holding the tree" or "tree hugging" was introduced into tcc practice from qigong practices. I don't think the "hold a ball" imagery has much to do with it, but I'm not sure that it is very old at all. The combination or correlation of "tree hugging" with tcc is a relatively new t hing that only occurred when tcc was dissociated from martial arts and considered primarily a health exercise for old people.


I'd rather do qigong for health as that's more useful in the scheme of things.

Ben Lo would make people hold various form postures for a long time. i never heard it was qigong. Maybe that would have helped. When people wondered where he got his sublime ability, he said we were doing exactly what he was taught to do and did. A lot of form and standing.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby wiesiek on Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:35 am

As far ,as I know standing practice came directly from Chan -Chinese Zen, and is primary meditation technique,
so
doin` standing - you`re jumping into the Zen.

What people from different styles are doing with it is another matter.

Story about 3 y.o., doing standing..., well I would treat it, as a part of building the legend ;),
speakin` so,
I don`t know to much about Chinese approach to raise children,
but
if we consider keepin` them under the table , and forcing do do the trainings there... :-\
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Trick on Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:51 am

KEND wrote:For the actual tree posture[with a tree] I was taught a ritual of asking tree permission etc-it seemed to work.

Superstitious nonsense, asking tree for permission !? …From the tree might draw inspiration of upward rising feeling. If focus is on “hugging” then it’s an upward pulling of an imaginary tree, that is an rudimentary imaginary exercise. If you would happen to have a big tree in front of you, you can imagine to pull it toward you, or more as it would forcefully and quickly coming toward you and you react to that action, but any object can be used for that mind game and no need for an “tree hugging” posture either.……
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Bob on Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:44 am

This type of training is fundamental to baji - the horse stance employed by baji is a bit narrower and elbows are sunk, fists held in a relaxed, connected manner - use the mind to direct the breath to 8 individual areas per breath - then employed in the xiao baji form, stance-by-stance.

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=ht ... AHoECAYQBg
Last edited by Bob on Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby windwalker on Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:11 am

"Ben Lo would make people hold various form postures for a long time. i never heard it was qigong. Maybe that would have helped. When people wondered where he got his sublime ability, he said we were doing exactly what he was taught to do and did. A lot of form and standing."

Ben, also did standing although the hand positions were down, thumb and forefinger touching inseam of one's pant leg. He mentioned this was to connect certain points.

My teacher in Beijing, didn't advocate standing. He had static movements that were done very slowly, moving from a standing position to almost a single leg squat.

Over the years I had asked him about this as most advocate standing. He felt that it tended to build stiffness as another post mentioned, and that what was developed most could not maintain out side of the posture used to stand with.

The taiji practice itself was a type of moving standing practice.

For some of the legwork the development process was said to take three years just to build the legs to the point where they could do the exercise. It wasn't so much a matter of strengthen the legs as much as softening the tendons loosening the joints along with building the strength/connections to maintain the postures as one practice them.


The end result was that one had such a wide range of movement they could adapt and follow any movement.

Trying to push or do anything with them attempting to lock them up or use leverage was pointless.

Which necestaited another way of thinking and development.
Last edited by windwalker on Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby KEND on Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:27 am

Trick, to dismiss ritual as superstition is to have a lack of understanding of process. Do I believe a tree is listening to me , of course not, but the ritual may put me into the correct state of mind, of being grateful that I am receiving energy or whatever rather than the arrogance of 'taking' it . The same attitude exists in Qigong where 'masters ' say they heal and their ego gets in the way of the process
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby windwalker on Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:32 am

KEND wrote:Trick, to dismiss ritual as superstition is to have a lack of understanding of process. Do I believe a tree is listening to me , of course not, but the ritual may put me into the correct state of mind, of being grateful that I am receiving energy or whatever rather than the arrogance of 'taking' it . The same attitude exists in Qigong where 'masters ' say they heal and their ego gets in the way of the process


;) Good points.

It should be mentioned that trees are living things as such they have a type of field around them. Many qi gong practices work with this as part of their practice.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Bill on Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:49 am

Trick wrote:
KEND wrote:For the actual tree posture[with a tree] I was taught a ritual of asking tree permission etc-it seemed to work.

Superstitious nonsense, asking tree for permission !…


Is there a connection between plant and man?


Cleve Backster was a top polygraph (lie detector) expert, who through a series of accidental and planned experiments in his New York office in 1966, discovered that plants can sense emotions among humans within proximity to them including other life forms ( animals, insects ).

Impulsively attaching the leads of a lie-detector machine to one of the leaves of his Dragon pot plants, Baxter wanted to know if the plant showed any response if he watered it. Seeing a strange response to the polygraph, he then lit a match and intended to burn one leaf. The instant he thought of burning off the leaf...THE POLYGRAPH REGISTERED A STRONG REACTION to his intended action as if the plant could read his thoughts.

Plants respond to the threatening intentions of other life forms that they are attuned to. Backster’s experiments also showed that a strong bond appeared to develop between a plant and its owner. Once a plant is "linked" to a particular person it seems to be able to maintain that link, no matter where that person is or how big a crowd of people the person mixes with.

Cleve Backster called plant emotions—PRIMARY PERCEPTION—an apparent interconnectedness between organic and other living matter.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby everything on Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:02 am

I don't have a green thumb, but people with plants seem to claim talking to them helps. Could be the carbon dioxide.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Bao on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:06 am

KEND wrote:In I Chuan front 6 postures I learnt you start with hands level with lower Tan Tien and the build up to middle Tan Tien [tree posture] In this fashion the body builds up the palm-abdomen connection, I couldnt understand why in TCC you go straight to the third posture.


If you don’t have the palms facing down and/ or slightly outwards as in bagua’s ”Earth” Palm Walk, there’s no martial function. The palms should also connect to the dantian all the way through the back, not only directly to the front. What you promote with a low tree hugging posture is IMO qigong, not IMA or Taijiquan.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby charles on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:56 am

Bao wrote: What you promote with a low tree hugging posture is IMO qigong, not IMA or Taijiquan.


I was taught it focuses on the kidneys/urinary tract, particularly for aging men.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby robert on Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:01 am

wiesiek wrote:As far ,as I know standing practice came directly from Chan -Chinese Zen, and is primary meditation technique,
so doin` standing - you`re jumping into the Zen.

What people from different styles are doing with it is another matter.

Standing meditation isn't specific to Chan. Walking, standing, sitting, and lying down are all mentioned in a sutra on mindfulness attributed to Budhha, so the tradition is pretty old. I think these postures are all part of vipassana meditation as well.

wiesiek wrote:Story about 3 y.o., doing standing..., well I would treat it, as a part of building the legend ;),
speakin` so, I don`t know to much about Chinese approach to raise children,
but if we consider keepin` them under the table , and forcing do do the trainings there... :-\

I've trained in Chenjiagou a number of times and back in 2006 when we started training in the mornings there was a preschooler who would stand in the mornings for 15 or 20 minutes. I can't say I'm that good with ages, but I'd say 3 to 5 years old. He wore a big red jacket and looked like a fire plug.

Here's a picture of some kids doing a form demonstration in front of Chen Xiaoxing's school.

Image

Here's a video of Chen Pengfei (CXW's 3rd son) competing - I was told he was 3 at the time.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby robert on Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:26 am

Bob wrote:This type of training is fundamental to baji - the horse stance employed by baji is a bit narrower and elbows are sunk, fists held in a relaxed, connected manner - use the mind to direct the breath to 8 individual areas per breath - then employed in the xiao baji form, stance-by-stance.

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=ht ... AHoECAYQBg

After doing Taiji for a year I was in Taipei and worked with a Praying Mantis guy for four mornings. One of the things he taught me was a Praying Mantis standing set. It had the basic stances of Praying Mantis and you would hold the stances, as low as you could, but there were transitions between the stances so it was a form. IIRC there were 8 stances held on both sides, except the horse stance was just held twice as long :). They had different names for the stances and I don't remember them all, but there was a horse, half horse, bow, cat, empty, t, one legged, and another. That wasn't at all like standing I later learned in taiji, xingyi, or a bit of yiquan. There was no concern for calming the mind or relaxing, on the contrary you really wanted to push yourself to go as low as you could for as long as you could. As mentioned before I think standing is pretty common in CMAs, but, of course, the CIMAs have their own take on it.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Steve James on Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:01 pm

Holding stances is as old as CMA. Of course, there is that old legend that Shaolin training originated as health exercises for sedentary monks. But, anyway, my point is that "holding stances," "holding a ball" (in tcc), and "tree-hugging" are only similar in that the practitioner is standing and holding his arms in a particular position.

Afa holding postures in tcc, that is essentially how one is taught. At least, in my experience, every movement is taught in small steps. "1, 2." Then, the teacher says "Do it again." Sometimes, the entire moving sequence was only done at the end of the class. Iow, most of the beginner training consisted of standing. However, holding the horse stance with arms out was not emphasized. Otoh, there are neigong exercises where one takes that specific position. I know people who hold those positions for hours.

Deriving or sharing energy with a tree is a different thing, whether one thinks it makes sense, is beneficial or not. It doesn't matter whether one considers it jibengong, qigong, or neigong, doing so will have an effect on the entire system. Improvement in any of those areas will be martially useful.

Well, people should do what makes them feel good. However, I would never recommend that a 3 year old stand post unless he or she wanted to do it. In a country with a billion people, a tradition of martial arts that also offers a chance for success, I think there'll be quite a few children who want to practice or who are encouraged by their parents. I would prefer if my kids just had fun. They can stand when they're older, or elderly when standing is a "real" exercise. In fact, I would recommend standing to everyone in a rest home, and hope it makes them strong enough to walk. I think it will benefit a 70 year-old more than a 7 year-old. Jmo.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:08 pm

KEND wrote:Trick, to dismiss ritual as superstition is to have a lack of understanding of process. Do I believe a tree is listening to me , of course not, but the ritual may put me into the correct state of mind, of being grateful that I am receiving energy or whatever rather than the arrogance of 'taking' it . The same attitude exists in Qigong where 'masters ' say they heal and their ego gets in the way of the process


This is like something that jumped out at me watching "Tidying Up" with Mari Kondo. She is Japanese and as far as I know a practitioner of Shinto.

To begin her method of cleaning up a house she has the inhabitants sit quietly and thank the house for keeping them safe from the elements and holding all their things. Then as she works through clothes, books, miscellaneous belongings, she tells them to hold each thing. If while holding it "sparks joy" then you keep it, if it doesn't you thank it for the service it rendered and prepare it to be donated or trashed.

So what jumped out at me was that it was not a native spirit in the thing that has an intelligence that can respond, but your relationship to the thing that you were transforming. Appreciation for the house, a sense of closure for the discarded items.

It seems above all else to be one way to hack your brain and change the way you interact with your surroundings to prevent building up the clutter again.

Also semi treated, Mark Rasmus has a couple videos where he talks about touching and joining with trees to develop listening energy by feeling the movement of the limbs and leaves through the trunk.
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