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 robert on Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:44 pm

Steve James wrote: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.

I think it's easier to stretch when you are young and easier to clear out the blockages, and so on. Chen Ziqiang seems to be doing well for himself as a taiji instructor. Here's a video of Pengfei competing at age 12 in 2000.



Wow. I think his Mom is pretty good too. She showed me some pictures of herself doing taiji - very low postures! And he seems to be smart as a whip. IIRC he got his MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Now he's a successful businessman in Beijing. Anyway, they both started young and they seem to be well adjusted and doing well for themselves.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Steve James on Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:45 pm

At 50 seconds, the tree is hugged,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDxZcfQ_bDA
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Trick on Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:42 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

Yes that might work that way for some. Anyway you mentioned YiQuan with superstitious rituals in the same post, as you would/should know superstitious rituals is not done in YiQuan practice methods
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Trick on Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:49 pm

windwalker wrote:
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.

If walking into the forest as an lumberjack the trees might feel worried , but if doing your internal practice methods among the plants they feel not worried 8-) 8-)
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Trick on Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:08 am

Bill wrote:
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.
A lie detector expert can probably make any story believable 8-)
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Trick on Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:21 am

windwalker wrote:"

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.


.
About stiffness from that particular exercise it might be true if overdo it. A story I hear about Wang Xiangzhai in older age walked lika a duck, which might suggest some leg/hip problem. Of course other factors could play part to his “duck” walking.. Zhao Daoxin was basically a cripple at old age, the reason why I don’t know, but could be because of his practice methods.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Trick on Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:34 am

Bao wrote:
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.

The so called “tree hugging”posture is more to develop an all around/over/omnipresent/hunyuan awareness, which of course is a good thing to have developed for any situation one might find oneself in. The lower arm/hand position work on slightly different muscles especially in the shoulder area. Yes hand position where fingers or palm pointing outward/forward has an more direct martial intention to it, these are the hand positions in use in YiQuan when particularly focus on an martial intent……I personally feel the santishi posture has an more well balanced approach than the “regular” postures practiced in YiQuan
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby wiesiek on Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:02 am

@ robret,
Steve basically write down my answer,
so
I will not copy and paste it, `cause is on the same page :),
anyway, would like to add, that due to overpopulation Chinese are very competitive kind of society , even from the kindergarten time , what is kinda of sick in my opinion, and brings lot of problems later on.
Maybe this is a way to grow a masters ,
however , not necessary the way. 8-)
We have our /western/, example with youngsters over -education , where parents went crazy with learning art, math, languages etc. their new born.
Research show that such way of education is pointless - it brings results on beginning stage ie , "special" educated /pre-kindergarden / seems to outsmart peers in few first years of school, but later difference diminishes and disappear completely .
Fruits not worth the efforts, then.
Anyway if somebody is new born genius - it will be, parental role is to find best field for child to shine...

and about removing blockades from 3 y.o. body,
hmm, well don`t get it,- what kind of blockade, unremovable by simple, play-like stretching in such young body.
Last edited by wiesiek on Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby Bob on Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:49 am

robert wrote:
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.


Yes, before I did baji everyone started in praying mantis. Posture training started in the horse stance and moved through six or seven postures from general praying mantis (started in 8 Step). When I first learned the kun wu sword we also would hold the postures as we went through the form - we only held them for a breath or two but it was done all the way through the form - in bagua, after running through xiao kaimen, we held postures starting with the horse stance and at various angles we held all the basic postures but rotating at different angles -- Andrew Nugent illustrated something very similar in his Dao Yin Bagua clip but he has since taken it down.

Generally speaking holding postures or "hugging the tree" has always been a part of the training I received in my very early training days.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby robert on Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:44 am

Bob wrote:Yes, before I did baji everyone started in praying mantis. Posture training started in the horse stance and moved through six or seven postures from general praying mantis (started in 8 Step). When I first learned the kun wu sword we also would hold the postures as we went through the form - we only held them for a breath or two but it was done all the way through the form - in bagua, after running through xiao kaimen, we held postures starting with the horse stance and at various angles we held all the basic postures but rotating at different angles -- Andrew Nugent illustrated something very similar in his Dao Yin Bagua clip but he has since taken it down.

I learned Yin Bagua animal standing from Xie Peiqi. I practiced that for a year. That lays somewhere between external and internal standing IMHO. Some of the animals have coiling and it's not relaxed, you really coil and take it into isometric training. I studied Liang Zhenpu bagua, not Yin, but did a couple workshops with Xie Peiqi - Andrew was taking him and He Jinbao around to various schools.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby northerndevotee on Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:10 am

For myself zhang zhuang is a key building block in the foundation of learning tai chi. Using the minds eye to visualise the correct alignments we seek in our posture, even people with large curvatures in hips or spine and neck can 'feel' the improved flow of chi once they have learned to relax the body deeply enough to feel what is often described as song.
It is simple but requires patience, fourty minutes a day for a minimum of ninety days is what i was taught and advocate myself.
Fizzy knees, vibrating hands and arms constant corrections and whole sessions of pointlessness it seemed. Surfing, squatting lower than i thought possible, whole body vibrations lasting twenty minutes or more. I was taught to allow the chi to move me if it wanted, eventually it will centre again.
I went through all that and found the chi flowing through my body, and feeling the bubbling pools fourty minutes and often only getting ten minutes of the good stuff cause it took me thirty minutes to get there.
It took me ten years to understand what it is i am trying to learn. Without this training in my foundation i would probably still not understand what i am trying to learn.
Holding the hands parrallel with the floor by pressing the lau gar? Down firmly stretches tendons from finger through wrist elbow shoulders and kneck opens up the channels like a water hose, often those doung this open up the bubbling springs and may seem to be rocking on their heels or riding the sides of their feet.
Also for those interested an inscription on a taoist temple wall describes this posture as essential for getting correct in order to light the furnace to produce the elixer.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby everything on Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:11 am

if you want to do qigong, you don't really need zhan zhuang. if you want to feel alignments, tendons, blah blah blah, you don't really need zhan zhuang either. Farmer's Walk is probably a much more immediately useful exercise (this is really another topic).

zhan zhuang brings it all together w/o the complexity of dealing with movement so it seems "basic" and "foundational".

what about different postures? since xingyiquan means something like "form intent boxing" - the answer to the original question is kind of in the name of the art, isn't it.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby windwalker on Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:44 am

everything wrote:if you want to do qigong, you don't really need zhan zhuang. if you want to feel alignments, tendons, blah blah blah, you don't really need zhan zhuang either. Farmer's Walk is probably a much more immediately useful exercise (this is really another topic).

zhan zhuang brings it all together w/o the complexity of dealing with movement so it seems "basic" and "foundational".

what about different postures? since xingyiquan means something like "form intent boxing" - the answer to the original question is kind of in the name of the art, isn't it.


Address some of the basics regarding Zhanzhuang


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jDP3sfJCuI
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby northerndevotee on Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:21 am

Had a few aha moments with various walking exercises myself. But as you say blah blah blah.
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Re: question about holding the ball/hugging the tree/whatever

Postby oragami_itto on Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:44 am

So among the zz practitioners, how many of you hold one legged postures?
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