Dang裆 and Kua胯

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

Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby LaoDan on Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:08 am

The following wrestling picture shows a fairly common interaction which I would equate to the “butting cow” analogy. They push/brace into their back legs, lean their bodies into each other such that their heads are often touching, etc. While common in wrestling, unfortunately, at least in my opinion, this type of pushing is also not uncommon in TJQ PH. This illustrates the “horizontal” emphasis, and loses the verticality into the feet. While this is probably good for wrestling, I do not think that it is desirable for TJQ, especially when other techniques, like striking, are involved.
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I am curious if practitioners have practiced this way – PH while standing on bricks – and if so, then what they were told the purpose was. To me it is a way to check that one is maintaining verticality into the feet, but I was never taught this method, so I could be wrong.
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby charles on Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:55 am

LaoDan wrote:I am curious if practitioners have practiced this way – PH while standing on bricks – and if so, then what they were told the purpose was. To me it is a way to check that one is maintaining verticality into the feet, but I was never taught this method, so I could be wrong.
Image


The photo shows two people (Yang Jwingming and other) fairly heavily leaning forward/bent at the waist. Your terminology of "maintaining verticality" will quickly become open to misinterpretation since it isn't being physically vertical that you are describing.

If a rigid object - say a cube - stands entirely vertically, its weight is entirely vertical against the ground - or whatever it is standing on. There is no horizontal component. If the rigid object leans, but still has the entirety of its base on the ground - such as the leaning tower of Pisa - the weight of the object is eccentric to its base of support. The entire weight of the object is still vertical, but it introduces a moment about the base. The moment, unless resisted, will cause the object to fall over (tip).

If a horizontal force is applied to the vertical rigid object, such as the cube, the weight of the object is still acting entirely vertically. The horizontal force, if applied to the object along the base of the object, where it is supported, the object will slide horizontally unless resisted by an equal and opposite frictional force. There is no vertical component introduced by the horizontal force: there is only the weight of the object acting vertically.

If a horizontal force is applied to the vertical rigid object, such as the cube, but is applied to the object above its base of support, the force is applied eccentrically, which introduces a moment that attempts to tip the object. In that situation, there is the vertically acting weight of the object, the eccentric horizontally applied force, the horizontal opposing frictional force and the tipping moment, with (or without) a countering equal and opposite moment from the support to the object. The horizontally applied force does not change the vertical forces acting on the object.

Where it begins to become interesting is that humans are not rigid objects and don't, generally, behave like one - though many beginner Taijiquan practitioners, and many of those being demonstrated upon, do. The interesting part is how can humans use the body to redirect horizontal forces into at least some component that is vertical. I believe that is what your discussion about "verticality" is about.

In the photo, above, the long axis of the bricks is aligned with the length of their stances. To tip the bricks end-for-end would require a considerable unbalancing of the person standing on them - if the bricks can be tipped end-for-end at all. Tipping them sideways, due to the small width of their base of support should be relatively easy. Tipping them sideways requires a moment about the width of the brick (also the width of their stances), rather than about the length of the brick (the length of their stances). Even with 100% of their weight remaining vertically directed, a horizontal force in the correct direction - producing the correct moment - will topple the bricks sideways. (People often discuss directing a force into one of the opponent's "gates".) That isn't about maintaining one's weight vertically.

(If one turned the bricks 90 degrees so that the width of the brick was in the same direction of the length of their stances, the interaction would change: one would win by pushing or pulling along the opponent's stance rather than across the opponent's stance. If one really wanted to test their skills, having each foot standing on one these might be a better indicator: http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/1 ... iVXt1qw%3D.)

That raises the question of whether or not what is needed is to simply ensure that the opponent cannot push horizontally in the direction needed to create the necessary moment. That is, if one redirects the applied horizontal force so that it does not act in the necessary direction to create the tipping moment, can one prevent being tipped? Alternatively, can all or a large portion of the applied horizontal force be redirected to act in a vertical manner, as another alternative to preventing forces in the direction of the vulnerable tipping moment? (One simple approach to that is to lower one's stance so that the opponent ends up pushing at least somewhat downward, adding a vertical component. Having a longer stance that one's opponent can produce a similar result, though it also changes leverage.)
Last edited by charles on Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:20 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby windwalker on Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:07 am

charles wrote:
That raises the question of whether or not what is needed is to simply ensure that the opponent cannot push horizontally in the direction needed to create the necessary moment. That is, if one redirects the applied horizontal force so that it does not act in the necessary direction to create the tipping moment, can one prevent being tipped? Alternatively, can all or a large portion of the applied horizontal force be redirected to act in a vertical manner, as another alternative to preventing forces in the direction of the vulnerable tipping moment?


nice write up...

Didn't really want to post on this seeing what seems to some confusion that you've addressed.
The redirect also has to do with "timing" the time that the force is felt and the "moment"
that can be used and expressed in the redirection.
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby robert on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:53 pm

LaoDan wrote:The following wrestling picture shows a fairly common interaction which I would equate to the “butting cow” analogy. They push/brace into their back legs, lean their bodies into each other such that their heads are often touching, etc. While common in wrestling, unfortunately, at least in my opinion, this type of pushing is also not uncommon in TJQ PH. This illustrates the “horizontal” emphasis, and loses the verticality into the feet. While this is probably good for wrestling, I do not think that it is desirable for TJQ, especially when other techniques, like striking, are involved.
Image

To some extent isn't that YCF's influence on taiji? He added the forward slant and I've always guessed it was to make it easier to manipulate jin.

From rollback to press.

Image

Image
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby LaoDan on Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:54 pm

charles wrote:Where it begins to become interesting is that humans are not rigid objects and don't, generally, behave like one - though many beginner Taijiquan practitioners, and many of those being demonstrated upon, do. The interesting part is how can humans use the body to redirect horizontal forces into at least some component that is vertical. I believe that is what your discussion about "verticality" is about.

Yea, this is what I was trying to point out about “verticality”. In the photo I think that they are set too far apart, and they break at the waist in order to avoid being pulled off of the bricks. To be fair, for most people it is easier to project vertically from the ground than to pull vertically into the ground [for example, someone doing PH with their feet together can often push fairly well without pushing themselves backwards, but they frequently have difficulty responding to a pull]. But I think that one should also be able to absorb vertically into the ground in response to a pull, without breaking at the waist as is shown in the photo.

Long stances can help keep one’s center within the base of support (and many practitioners take this approach during PH), but I think that one should instead also be able to maintain this quality even with a much smaller base (by changing the horizontal forces into as vertically powered as possible) – and even when one is only on one leg (although this becomes much more difficult since the base of support becomes very small, and the “verticality” needs to be much better). The more “vertically” into the legs that one can achieve, the smaller the base of support can be, and the more agile one can be.

You raise some great points; I may have to steal some from your post ideas for the article! It is often much easier to demonstrate these things in person than it is to describe them.
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby charles on Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:19 pm

LaoDan wrote:In the photo I think that they are set too far apart, and they break at the waist in order to avoid being pulled off of the bricks.... without breaking at the waist as is shown in the photo.


I don't think there is much, in terms of "good practice", to be learned from that photo.

Long stances can help keep one’s center within the base of support (and many practitioners take this approach during PH), but I think that one should instead also be able to maintain this quality even with a much smaller base


I agree. Mostly, what I was thinking of is in Hong style where, in the right circumstances, a longer stance than one's opponent provides greater leverage.

You raise some great points; I may have to steal some from your post ideas for the article!


Feel free. Good discussion is about exchange of ideas and catalyst for further thought.

It is often much easier to demonstrate these things in person than it is to describe them.


It certainly is. Sometimes a hands-on demonstration is worth more than 10,000 words: other times an explicit description of what is being done is necessary for the novice to understand that something specific is being done.
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby everything on Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:37 pm

LaoDan wrote:

I am curious if practitioners have practiced this way – PH while standing on bricks – and if so, then what they were told the purpose was.



I don't know about taiji students, but as a little kid, standing on a log and trying to push each other off the log is a great "push hands" activity.
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Re: Dang裆 and Kua胯

Postby Yeung on Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:17 am

An example of flexible Dang and Kua from Hong Quan, the low stances are use mainly because Hong Quan was developed for fighting in river boats and opera performance, and later in movies, etc.:

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