Tuishou practice in taijiquan

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

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby LaoDan on Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:50 am

My teaching emphasizes interactive work, so I start new students with a version of PH (see below) and use class time emphasizing the principles using interactive exercises, paired forms and drills. There is plenty of solo form instruction available locally such that people who are looking for that can easily find it with other teachers.

I start classes with a three person push, rather than the typical one-on-one, for various reasons. One-on-one can get too confrontational and often leads to ego issues. Two against one reduces confrontation and ego and allows participants to not worry about losing. Two against one also trains participants to broaden their awareness since they need to respond to two independent inputs rather than just one opponent (e.g., they cannot effectively “brace” against one opponent because the other opponent will then often be successful, and they need a soft focus that encompasses more than focusing on one thing/person allows).

The three person free pushing starts gently with the two issuers trying to get the receiving middle person moving, but avoiding making them lose their balance (the issuers needing to sense that “tipping point” and backing off a little bit prior to exceeding that point) – therefore allowing the receiver to try to relax rather than resisting or avoiding (running away from) the incoming forces (and not having to worry about falling down). This initial version emphasizes the sensing stage (for all three participants) prior to trying to use what is sensed for off-balancing. Later versions try to use what is sensed to off-balance the middle person, and there are many increasingly difficult versions of this three person free pushing format that can be used.

Day one has them pay attention to the soles of their feet (rocking and rolling...) and the crown of their head (suspended...) during the sensing version of the three person push mentioned above. Later classes add awareness of other joints and body surfaces, as well as movement principles, etc. I try to get students to understand TJQ principles while under pressure rather than merely dealing with the constant and vertical force of gravity as experienced during solo form practice.

While it is often relatively easy to understand the principles using this class format, it is rather difficult to put them successfully into practice. At home the students can use solo forms to practice these principles without the added difficulty of interacting with other people – but at least they know what they are striving towards. In my experience it is much more difficult to even understand what the principles are without first experiencing them using interactive feedback (that is typically lacking in solo forms work).

I find those that only do solo forms generally lack the awareness of when their joints are properly aligned and stable. Most people need their postures to be challenged by forces other than gravity in order to learn this. It requires being pushed and pulled from various angles and with varying intensities to check one’s structure/alignment. Form alone does not seem to be enough for most practitioners. They may feel comfortable, but this may just be a feeling based on habit rather than being correct. They need objective feedback of some sort in order to check their complacency. I use interactive practices to provide feedback rather than just verbally trying to correct students’ solo postures and movements. Of course, the interactive work also needs to have a progression so that the exercises do not overwhelm the less skilled students. If overwhelmed, then they also will not be able to understand and will not progress.

Admittedly, I do not retain numerous students, and especially not those just looking for an easy or gentle health practice that they can feel good about doing. Oh well, I am not trying to make a living from this art.
LaoDan
Huajing
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:51 am

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby everything on Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:01 pm

3 person sounds interesting. not sure where they are in space.

separate rant.
I'm pretty much against using tjq training as "basic athletic" skill training. do any difficult sport, and all the "alignment" is there, trained, talked about. if that is what form and ph is about, no wonder no "fighter" comes from this area. nothing wrong with "health" though. and if someone is incredibly uncoordinated, this will work. really - you should be training "internal" which is super hard to do on your own, let alone in a semi-cooperative exercise. that's why you don't jump to ph. if you skipped the "first sink qi to dantian" step, well wtf, your gigantic loss I guess. most people do not want to do "internal" though, or think it's some kind of nonsense. I do not mean the "alignment" stuff above which you can get much better/faster by doing sports.
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 /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science
User avatar
everything
Wuji
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:48 pm

How do you think YLC learned? Who's improved it? How did he learn?

It's true that no fighter has come from just doing forms, but that does without saying for any art. I don't think any "fighters" have come from phs either. But, there has always been a progression from form to phs to da lu to free hand.

Hey, Bruce Lee was the first proponent of avoiding the "classical mess." He advocated absorbing what was useful from wherever, and discard what is useless --such as "flowery movement." So, he created a very direct style based on his philosophy. Yeah, but BL was already a classically trained martial artist and a superb athlete. And, I don't know about now, but back in the old JKD days, you couldn't just go and pay for class. There were tests. Nowadays, the old guard might not be able to run a mile then spar two or three rounds.

I'd also like to advocate for the tcc form, especially the long form, just for the benefits of doing the form. If you do it and don't get any benefits, that's a pity. Some people have gotten great gains from doing it, especially the elderly, infirm, and ill. And, it's not a matter of doing the form a zillion times and thinking that will lead to fighting skills.
"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: 18570
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby everything on Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:05 pm

Steve James wrote:How do you think YLC learned? Who's improved it? How did he learn?


We don't seem to know much. Like probably everyone who became famous in what would be called IMA later, he seems to have had some ability in martial arts before studying an "internal" (labelled later) art. Once he showed some ability, he got taught "secrets".

This isn't really unlike what would happen in difficult-to-join sports teams this day. You don't arrive at a top team with top coaches being a bad player and athlete, and then somehow magically transform into a top player. You only get more top training and "secrets" if you already beat out 1000s to millions. But for some reason we seem to argue these days that if you do form, you magically transform from bookish nerd into what? Average athletic ability? I mean, that could probably be true as I find I'm a bookish nerd and taijiquan has helped my athleticism, but so do kettlebells and skipping rope.
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 /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science
User avatar
everything
Wuji
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:12 pm

But for some reason we seem to argue these days that if you do form, you magically transform from bookish nerd into what?


Well, just don't pay attention to anyone who says that. Nowadays, people say all sorts of stuff.
"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: 18570
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Taste of Death on Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:43 pm

Appledog wrote:
Taste of Death wrote:Taiji forms and push hands are two separate things. How does one learn yielding while doing the forms? If one wants to be good at push hands one should practice push hands with a skilled partner.


Can you please explain from what perspective you are saying this? Are you a professional Tai Chi teacher, or are you saying this from the perspective of a student? I'm curious mainly because not only are you wrong, but you're wrong in a way that even players form other martial artists could correct you on, and directly so after you have been told by someone that they (forms and PH) depend on one another. The reason I am asking is to promote a discussion where we can share our reasoning, and not an argument, so I hope you take it in that respect :) And to answer your question is very simple. You learn to yield in the form by being shown where the application of a segment is to yield. Actually practicing that is the push hands level, and you may not know this but this also answers your question; How can you practice yielding in push hands, if you do not know where the application is to yield? And the other side of the coin (stating it to underline the point everyone seems not to understand) How can you learn to push in push hands if you do not know when to push? It is not as easy as pushing when you go forward. That is not even really what push hands is about.

First you need to learn the form because that is where you learn to express the energies properly. Then you base push hands off that. If you do it backwards you will damage your ability to express proper energy and can develop bad habits which can be difficult (or even (theoretically, under some conditions)) impossible to recover from.


CIMA's are about body conditioning not forms. Without the proper conditioning the forms are empty. The forms are just reference points for one's development. "Oh, that's from single whip." But that only happens when one knows how to use it. Form training doesn't teach that. Push hands is a way for older people to train the confrontational aspects of the art without getting hurt. At some point we will all be too old for sparring...except for John Wang. And too old for these types of debates. The debate should be face to face and hand to hand. When we touch hands it becomes clear who has the greater skill. And then we find a dim sum or ramen restaurant and talk about what we learned. Here we talk, never meet, and go hungry.
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
User avatar
Taste of Death
Wuji
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby everything on Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:04 pm

So true. I don't even do any MA.

But count me in for noodles!
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 /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science
User avatar
everything
Wuji
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:31 am

Laodan wrote:"I find those that only do solo forms generally lack the awareness of when their joints are properly aligned and stable. Most people need their postures to be challenged by forces other than gravity in order to learn this. It requires being pushed and pulled from various angles and with varying intensities to check one’s structure/alignment. Form alone does not seem to be enough for most practitioners. They may feel comfortable, but this may just be a feeling based on habit rather than being correct."


Exactly. 8-)

TasetofDeath wrote:"CIMA's are about body conditioning not forms. Without the proper conditioning the forms are empty"


What is body conditioning? In IMA, it's claimed that the conditioning and overall body development is from internal practice. Practice from inside out. So there is certainly very different meanings on what is body conditioning and to what extent you should condition your body. In some styles, conditioning goes to the extreme, the practitioners hit their bodies with hard objects and cause their hands to become misshaped, deformed and lose sensitivity.
Last edited by Bao on Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7153
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Taste of Death on Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:08 am

Bao wrote:
Laodan wrote:"I find those that only do solo forms generally lack the awareness of when their joints are properly aligned and stable. Most people need their postures to be challenged by forces other than gravity in order to learn this. It requires being pushed and pulled from various angles and with varying intensities to check one’s structure/alignment. Form alone does not seem to be enough for most practitioners. They may feel comfortable, but this may just be a feeling based on habit rather than being correct."


Exactly. 8-)

TasetofDeath wrote:"CIMA's are about body conditioning not forms. Without the proper conditioning the forms are empty"


What is body conditioning? In IMA, it's claimed that the conditioning and overall body development is from internal practice. Practice from inside out. So there is certainly very different meanings on what is body conditioning and to what extent you should condition your body. In some styles, conditioning goes to the extreme, the practitioners hit their bodies with hard objects and cause their hands to become misshaped, deformed and lose sensitivity.


Body conditioning/method (zhuangtai) is developed through zhan zhuang. Hard training develops a hard body rather than a supple, responsive one. One can do both but most people try to combine the two. They are separate but can be complimentary depending on what kind of training. I would consider dragon stepping to be hard training but something that compliments rather than detracts from whatever art one practices. The big difference is internal training is done with the mind and intent. As an example, I "intend" to walk but I don't move. I do it internally by using intent. I walk in place without moving externally. At first one can feel nothing because one has not developed the ability to understand what "intent" means in relation to CIMA. Over time some get it and some don't. One reaches for the apple hanging from the tree while standing still. There is no visible movement that one would call reaching. One reaches using one's "intent". A training partner can feel this "reaching". If not, keep trying. Anyone can do it if they get out of their own way which is either a case of mind over matter or mind over mind. It doesn't make much sense until one can do it. Some may call this explanation a "reach" but CIMA explanations are like that. We need to touch hands for it to make sense.
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
User avatar
Taste of Death
Wuji
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby everything on Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:37 pm

I was watching this guy named jim kwik (mentioned on other thread). He was giving a talk and asked the audience to reach behind them and point to a spot and memorize the spot.

Then he had them go through a visualization in their minds (while not moving) where they could reach farther and farther up til "gumby" type stretchiness imagined in their minds.

Then he had them do the same reach again (only the second time). Everyone, unsurprisingly, could stretch farther the second time. We could say this is part of the "intent" or visualization. There are lots of examples like this.
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 /
“most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. Source of all true art & science
User avatar
everything
Wuji
 
Posts: 5171
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Trick on Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:30 pm

Taste of Death wrote:
Bao wrote:
Laodan wrote:"I find those that only do solo forms generally lack the awareness of when their joints are properly aligned and stable. Most people need their postures to be challenged by forces other than gravity in order to learn this. It requires being pushed and pulled from various angles and with varying intensities to check one’s structure/alignment. Form alone does not seem to be enough for most practitioners. They may feel comfortable, but this may just be a feeling based on habit rather than being correct."


Exactly. 8-)

TasetofDeath wrote:"CIMA's are about body conditioning not forms. Without the proper conditioning the forms are empty"


What is body conditioning? In IMA, it's claimed that the conditioning and overall body development is from internal practice. Practice from inside out. So there is certainly very different meanings on what is body conditioning and to what extent you should condition your body. In some styles, conditioning goes to the extreme, the practitioners hit their bodies with hard objects and cause their hands to become misshaped, deformed and lose sensitivity.


Body conditioning/method (zhuangtai) is developed through zhan zhuang. Hard training develops a hard body rather than a supple, responsive one. One can do both but most people try to combine the two. They are separate but can be complimentary depending on what kind of training. I would consider dragon stepping to be hard training but something that compliments rather than detracts from whatever art one practices. The big difference is internal training is done with the mind and intent. As an example, I "intend" to walk but I don't move. I do it internally by using intent. I walk in place without moving externally. At first one can feel nothing because one has not developed the ability to understand what "intent" means in relation to CIMA. Over time some get it and some don't. One reaches for the apple hanging from the tree while standing still. There is no visible movement that one would call reaching. One reaches using one's "intent". A training partner can feel this "reaching". If not, keep trying. Anyone can do it if they get out of their own way which is either a case of mind over matter or mind over mind. It doesn't make much sense until one can do it. Some may call this explanation a "reach" but CIMA explanations are like that. We need to touch hands for it to make sense.

yes this is the practice and why its called internal. about training partner/opponent can feel ones intent, put the intent on a strike to the torso but at the very same time instead strike the head, it should almost give an surprized feeling to one self and sure surprise the opponent
Trick
Wuji
 
Posts: 2632
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:30 am

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby yeniseri on Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:22 am

Steve James wrote:Deviating from the tradition is fine. There might not even be a reason to do the form at all. However, there's no reason to call the result of one's deviation tcc, either. Doing it the traditional way is simply that, the traditional way.

Fwiw, I'm not sure that anyone who hasn't learned the form first can teach push hands. And, if he can, then there's no reason he can't teach san shou and the weapons. Part of my point is that I teach the way I learned. I've heard people say they know of others who just do zz for a year, etc., before they learn anything else. I'm sure they say that it's preparation, even jibengong. I'm also pretty sure that, if nothing else, doing so will have an effect on the practitioner's mind as well as his body.

I do think that --in the old days-- it was traditional to make students do things that seemed to have nothing to do with fighting, or even martial arts. That was a test of how much the student was willing to faithfully work. It could be true that the "secrets" can all be taught in a day. But, whether the student is mentally and physically is another thing.

That said, I think it's relatively easy to take someone off the street and teach him a phs pattern. If it's training for a competition, it's even easier. After a few times, they'd get the idea. Win or lose, it would be push hands. Anyway, I'm not against doing that. It's perfectly alright to do things non-traditionally. But, then it's your thing


What is called traditional today (based on experience, understanding (and my lack thereof) and practice) lacks martial conditioning and therfore said art is no longer martial but a different animal together. Traditional appears to be a codeword for a special relationship with x teachers on the pedestal of hero worship and other attributes that (to me) don't appear to be worth the effort. That being said, the main reason for my shuaijiao trainign with Prof Chang Dungsheng was that it was an opportunity and I got to see the real benefit in the face of the tuishou. There are some great teachers who do excellent work but thye are few and far between. The mass others tend not to be good products of what they claim to teach, and the best of some of those have that special relationship (other than skill) that bestows x special status.

Improvisation has become (for me) a great benefit in my own analysis of tuishou (I still love to watch various Wu style youtube samples because they do a great job of having more students excel in that skill as opposed to the other teachers to whom merit is attached based on family affiliation but they only show so much and that is a good thing in the long run. ??? In my early days (when I was in Okinawa, japan) I did see a lot of this kakie push hands/rolling hands but because it was so fringe, I thought it was just a 'less than basic' training skill but now I realize, it was just a rediscovery of stuff that was nto evn thought of as beneficial.

All I am saying is that if someone finds another art that they feel meshes with their taijiquan roushou/tuishou and that integration is solid, use it, develop it and make it your own while showing the versatility of martial consciousness.
Tuishou with yiquan, tuishou with wing chun or even a hybrid of wingchun, tuishou, yiquan, etc with the skill equal to anyone out there.


Form with, and function
When fascism comes to US America, It will be wrapped in the US flag and waving a cross. An astute patriot
yeniseri
Wuji
 
Posts: 3220
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:49 pm
Location: USA

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:40 am

All I am saying is that if someone finds another art that they feel meshes with their taijiquan roushou/tuishou and that integration is solid, use it, develop it and make it your own while showing the versatility of martial consciousness.
Tuishou with yiquan, tuishou with wing chun or even a hybrid of wingchun, tuishou, yiquan, etc with the skill equal to anyone out there.


Sure, but that doesn't have anything to do with what I said. Combine "tuishou" with whatever you like and call it whatever you like, just don't tell people you're teaching them tcc or tcc the way it should be done.

In fact, I don't think human beings can ever do more than one thing at a time. I think one can learn from any art, and that one should do just that.

I think the "only do form, so cannot fight" argument is a straw man. It's not been my experience that people who have only done form enter fighting competitions. It's also not been my experience that people who've done push hands are any good at "fighting" either. The only people I've know who were good at it were people who'd actually done it. Period. Anything else is magical thinking.

Otoh, fighting causes damage unless one is very lucky. I consider "form" as a way to repair damage and maintain the health one has. It is not a way to practice fighting, and neither is push hands. I see nothing wrong with teaching someone push hands who's never done the form. I've worked with kali guys, etc., and shared/learned with them. I wouldn't go around teaching kali, or expect they'd teach taichi.
"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: 18570
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 8:20 am

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby BruceP on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:23 pm

Taste of Death wrote:
Body conditioning/method (zhuangtai) is developed through zhan zhuang. Hard training develops a hard body rather than a supple, responsive one. One can do both but most people try to combine the two. They are separate but can be complimentary depending on what kind of training. I would consider dragon stepping to be hard training but something that compliments rather than detracts from whatever art one practices. The big difference is internal training is done with the mind and intent. As an example, I "intend" to walk but I don't move. I do it internally by using intent. I walk in place without moving externally. At first one can feel nothing because one has not developed the ability to understand what "intent" means in relation to CIMA. Over time some get it and some don't. One reaches for the apple hanging from the tree while standing still. There is no visible movement that one would call reaching. One reaches using one's "intent". A training partner can feel this "reaching". If not, keep trying. Anyone can do it if they get out of their own way which is either a case of mind over matter or mind over mind. It doesn't make much sense until one can do it. Some may call this explanation a "reach" but CIMA explanations are like that. We need to touch hands for it to make sense.


From a 2012 discussion, IP 101:

https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php ... 15#p266270

northern_mantis wrote:1/ A very basic exercise to begin your development towards IP


Sitting at your computer, find a point, or thing, directly in front of you and just barely within your reach. With your full intent focused on reaching for that thing, don't.

You send out the command to reach, but you arrest the movement before it starts, then you hold it in stasis between start/stop. Notice how your lower abdonmin and perinium feel solid and tingly?


2/ A way of demonstrating you are developing IP as a result of the above


Stand in front of a closed door and do the same thing with the intent to grasp the door knob and open the door. You'll have to find the posture and alignment in standing to recreate what you felt while you were seated. Not hard to do, and you'll feel more of a whole body connection from the floor up.

3/ What should be felt/seen as the recipient/observer of the above demonstration


Not sure who the observer is but it doesn't matter.

4/ Ideas for combat application


It might be too soon for straight up fighting, but there are some drills which will get your body coordinating the push/pull, inside/outside and up/down reciprocations. Might be best to practice the movement drills without any of that stuff until you've become familiar with the movement patterns themselves.

Corn-grinding is a really good exercise because it teaches the body to 'pull' the receding hand inward and backward with the opposite foot while the outward, advancing hand is 'pushed' outward and forward from its opposite foot. Push and pull are tricky so it's best to just practice the movement pattern until it's as natural and automatic as reaching for something. Then the arresting action of not grinding corn can really light up the 6 Harmonies.
Appeals to authority is why we can't have nice things
BruceP
Great Old One
 
Posts: 1649
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: Tuishou practice in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:29 pm

What is called traditional today (based on experience, understanding (and my lack thereof) and practice) lacks martial conditioning and therfore said art is no longer martial but a different animal together.


IMO, it’s not that What is called traditional today lacks martial conditioning, it’s more about that people in general lack real fighting experience.
...Which is a good thing. ;)
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
Bao
Great Old One
 
Posts: 7153
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:46 pm
Location: High up north

Previous

Return to Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest