Walking stick jin

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

Re: Walking stick jin

Postby robert on Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:35 pm

Bao wrote:
The idea that there was a break in transmission or that it was reconstructed or reconstituted is demonstrably false from the historical accounts


What historical accounts?

Chen Changxing (YLC's teacher) taught his son, Chen Genyun, who taught his son Chen Yangxi, who taught his son Chen Fake (1887-1957).

Chen Xin (1849-1929) wrote The Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan. Chen Xin studied with both his father, Chen Zhongshen, and his uncle, Chen Youben. Chen Xin is probably two generations prior to Chen Fake (Chen Fake is 38 years younger). Chen Zhongshen is contemporary with Chen Genyun, Chen Changxing's son.

These are two separate lines of transmission. They are also acknowledged as separate lines, Chen Xin's lineage is referred to as small frame. The Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan discusses body requirements such as ding jin and chen jin, the waist is an axis, relaxing the chest, and others found in Yang/Wu taiji classics, and of course the diagrams and discussions of silk reeling jin from the book are well known. I train with Chen Fake's grandsons and great-grandsons and they recommended Chen Xin's book to me. The body requirements and over-arching principle are the same. For the most part the postures are the same.
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
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby Bao on Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:06 pm

I like Chen Xin's book very much, one of the best texts written about Tai Chi. But the book itself is also well enough proof of how different modern Chen style has become in just a couple of generations. His small frame art seems to be alive but practiced by a handful. Most of the xiaojia practitioners still perform their style with the modern dajia expression.
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby robert on Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:19 pm

Bao wrote:I like Chen Xin's book very much, one of the best texts written about Tai Chi. But the book itself is also well enough proof of how different modern Chen style has become in just a couple of generations. His small frame art seems to be alive but practiced by a handful. Most of the xiaojia practitioners still perform their style with the modern dajia expression.

Can you give some examples from Chen Xin's book where he describes body mechanics and body requirements that are different from what people in Chen village are doing today?
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
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby Appledog on Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:15 pm

Bao wrote:
The idea that there was a break in transmission or that it was reconstructed or reconstituted is demonstrably false from the historical accounts


What historical accounts?


taiwandeutscher wrote:Historical documents clearly show, that the tradition in the village was very much broken. A Chinese guy did a thorough research, with accurate sources and all. Followed that on FB, should be listed on Marvin Spivac's website. Other lineages of Chen might have preserved more, be it the Small Framers, Xi'an or Beijing lines. And don't forget the close neighbors in Zhaobao and Chenvinzhuang.


I think the only way to avoid politicizing it is to start from historical accounts that are neutral versus accounts or stories told as part of learning tai chi. For example, although I haven't read the particular series of books, there are a pair of books detailing the history of Chen Village during the cultural revolution which I think might be a good place to start (Anita Chan, Richard Madsen, Jonathan Unger). I would also like to ask what you make of stories such as this one http://chen-taiji.com/the-origin-of-lao ... -new-form/ which seem to contradict the break theory -- i.e. what about Chen Yun Ting? He was a previous-generation grandmaster, yet he is not mentioned as the teacher of the four tigers. He had no students and no sons? This is very hard to swallow.

From various other sources I would consider as being reliable historically (vs. being something you would hear related to tai chi) I have learned that most of the residents of Chen village fled Chen Village to Xi'an and other nearby places to escape the poverty and starvation of the city. So I guess you could say there was a "break" in the sense that if you happened to be living in Chen village after everyone fled elsewhere there were only very few teachers left or none at all but given how so many people ended up coming back I can't see this as an important concept. If you look at contemporaries of Chen Xin for example, you find Chen Yanxi (Chen Fa-ke's father), people like Chen Miao and Chen Sen who were famous fighters, and Chen Yannian who taught Chen Lianke. To assume none of these people had other sons or students besides what came out of Chen Yanxi/Chen Fake's family is a bit strange. There is also the concept that you only need a teacher to be of a certain level and the rest is up to you (more or less) which explains how you can say that someone like Chen Fa-Ke was "the best" which would have meant he surpassed his teacher. So I am pretty confident that enough people remained and were able to get together and teach and practice, even in the village, and after things calmed down from back then, that talk of a 'break' has become a political tool to promote certain lines over others. I claim proof by embarrassment (My line in Tai Chi comes from Shanghai).

You can find basically the same thing on Moling's webpage too. http://molingtaiji.com/chen-taijiquan-s ... ult-years/ -- a fascinating read. ex. "It was at this time that the broken continuity of Chen Taijiquan was reconnected once again." -- if it was reconnected by the same people who left I don't see how this could be a true break. There was no generation that learned partial skills or a partial art.
Last edited by Appledog on Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:14 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby marvin8 on Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:45 pm

oragami_itto wrote:
Bao wrote:For a classic Yang style "brush knee" for example, the pressure through the rear leg must be there and coordinated throughout the whole movement.


As a side note this it is precisely why I said that recent video of a right cross had nothing to do with brush knee. Power was all in the torque over the left leg and didn't have anything coming from the rear leg, which was off the ground.

The right cross (aka, right hand) that you are describing is not technically correct.

In a correct hard right hand, power is generated by one's rear foot contacting the ground, rotating one's upper body and weight staying on the right rear leg, not "torque over the left leg."

Some details: Elbow is glued to side of body. The back foot turns inward. The back knee turns towards opponent. That will allow for the full rotation. Bring the rear shoulder close to the lead knee. It is difficult to do that without going forward, if you do not turn the back foot. Turning the back foot forward and bringing the right knee towards the left knee, is what will allow you to stay sat back on that right leg. Because if you don’t, you’re going to push off of it and end up on the left foot whether you want to or not.

A lot of people are still under the impression that your weight should move forward. It’s not forward it’s diagonally downward. As you rotate with this punch, rear shoulder towards the lead knee. You bend your knees slightly as you go into the punch. If you have trouble understanding the concept, do split squats—where you keep your back perfectly straight and don’t lean forward. That’s how throwing a right hand should feel, like your weight moving slightly diagonally downward.

Note that Cheng Man Ching also lifts his heel/"leg off the ground" when he pushes in the video posted in this thread.

EXERCISES FOR ALL SEASONS on Jan 4, 2015 wrote:
Withdraw & Push, Ti-Fang, spring-like action of back foot, right side view - 09/07/14 (Summer)

The way I learned this type of Ti-Fang, the heel of the back foot remains slightly raised above the ground, so the entire back foot can act as a coiled spring / shock absorber. When the pushee receives / absorbs / directs the incoming push into the ground, the back heel compresses closer toward the ground momentarily (it could even touch the ground for a moment). This is the “withdraw” part of Ti-Fang. But instantly, the back heel rises from the ground, sending the force of the incoming push back into the pusher! The coiled spring compresses with the incoming force and then expands, sending the incoming force back into the pusher. Like a quick bounce. The incoming force BOUNCES off the ground and goes back into the pusher. Like bouncing off a trampoline. This is the “& push” part of Ti-Fang. It’s still “withdraw & push” but very different from the feel of the “4-ounce push” in the Type 1 Ti-Fang. Type 2 Ti-Fang may have a hundred pounds of force passing through the pushee’s body, bouncing off the ground, and going back into the pusher. . . .

The up and down “coiled spring” action of the back heel can be utilized in the Type 1 “four ounce” push as well.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8K_GaGl8Wo
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby charles on Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:33 am

Appledog wrote:I think the only way to avoid politicizing it is to start from historical accounts that are neutral versus accounts or stories told as part of learning tai chi. For example, although I haven't read the particular series of books, there are a pair of books detailing the history of Chen Village during the cultural revolution which I think might be a good place to start (Anita Chan, Richard Madsen, Jonathan Unger).


If you've had discussions with people from martial arts families, such as Wu Xiaorong (Helen), of what their lives were like in China during the cultural revolution, it can only be described as brutal. [For those not familiar, Wu Xiaorong is the grand daughter of Wang Ziping, a very famous Chinese martial artist of the first half of the 1900's.] Practice of martial arts was forbidden and those associated with martial arts were heavily persecuted. Those who did practice did so secretly and very guardedly. I'm not a historian or a scholar on the subject, but with that backdrop, it isn't improbable that most practice in Chen Village was disrupted during that time. There seem to be sufficient personal stories to support that.

Regardless, there are a number of performance variations within Chen style Taijiquan. Whether or not each of them correctly implements the defining principles of Taijiquan - say, as outlined in Chen Xin's book - is open to opinion. Varying opinions leads to politicizing the history in attempts for each to legitimize his or her opinion - and, in his or her mind, the correctness of his or her practice.

The endless search for "legitimacy" in one's practice - and the attempts to prove to everyone else the legitimacy of one's practice - is a fool's errand. The diligent practice of Taijiquan can provide health benefits and, potentially, martial skills. If one's practice provides one with either or both, depending upon one's goals, it is "legitimate". It is the individual's practice that legitimizes that individual's practice: he or she obtains health benefits and/or martial skills or he or she doesn't. It doesn't matter who one's teacher was if the individual student doesn't do the work to achieve the result, or doesn't have the aptitude. Even the most legitimate and most skilled of teachers typically has only 1 out of 10 students who "gets it". It isn't the history, or even the lineage, that produces the results, the "legitimacy".

That said, absolutely, having a skilled teacher can radically accelerate one's progress: having the wrong teacher can have a student chasing his or her tail for decades with little or no result ("legitimacy"). My point is that even with a lineaged teacher, many students still don't "get it". Consequently, the obsession that many modern students have for a historically "unbroken" transmission is largely wasted energy. Lineage is necessary, but not sufficient.
Last edited by charles on Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby GrahamB on Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:35 am

charles wrote:The endless search for "legitimacy" in one's practice - and the attempts to prove to everyone else the legitimacy of one's practice - is a fool's errand.


Boom!

Image

That's what I see time and time again when I read people's opinion on RSF.

Everybody wants to pretend that only they, or their teacher has the 'secret sauce', the real deal(™) or the Orthodox (whatever that is).
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby robert on Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:49 am

Appledog wrote:
Bao wrote:
The idea that there was a break in transmission or that it was reconstructed or reconstituted is demonstrably false from the historical accounts



I think the only way to avoid politicizing it is to start from historical accounts that are neutral versus accounts or stories told as part of learning tai chi.

A couple facts to consider along these lines. Chen Qingzhou (19th generation) studied with his father and only trained with Chen Zhaopei for a year before CZP gave CQZ his blessing to go off and teach. Chen Fake sent his second son, Chen Zhaoxu (CXW & CXX's father) back to the village to teach. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but he would have been teaching around 1945 - 1955. These are just a couple people known in the west.

CZL wrote:In many martial arts schools, Taijiquan included, each school will have a zhang men ren [leader the style]. In Chen style, we have no zha men ren. Why is this so? The zha men ren is usually the one with the best gongfu or the best leadership skills. In Chen Village, we have so many exponents. Chen style is so.. - it is impossible for a person to know every skill. It is impossible to say this is better, much less the best. Instead, we have exponents with outstanding skills and leadership abilities. They are each very skilled that are representative of Chen style Taijiquan. We appoint these exponents as Chen style representatives to go and teach authentic and traditinal Chen style Taijiquan. We are, the Chen Village officially, appoints to teach Chen Village Taijiquan. Now, this does not mean we are the best. There are better exponents back home, just that they have not been traveling around the world to teach.


FWIW.
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
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby middleway on Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:05 am

Everybody wants to pretend that only they, or their teacher has the 'secret sauce', the real deal(™) or the Orthodox (whatever that is).


:o

I'm talking about properly done Tai Chi.

No Appledog, I'm talking about really basic Tai Chi - the way it's supposed to work.

It's pretty much pure Tai Chi theory.

Believing in something else is a bit like believing in magic. Sure, lots of people believe in magic. Doesn't make it true.



Image

The rest of the board,

Interesting discussions on the Chen /yang etc styles.

I was always told, and tend to agree, that Yang was a 'progression' of Chen, not a somewhat lacking offshoot. Certainly of all the people I have met in Taiji, the best fighters were from Yang style or its Derivatives. Obviously its not cut and dry and there is more to Taiji than simply fighting. With that said, my mother trained in the Yang style for about 6 years, she moved to the chen style about 4 years ago now and at 73 is experiencing more and more training related injuries than she ever did when training the Yang Style. This could very well simply be an age thing of course.

Of course, with the Yang style being so vastly popular, there are plenty of Yang stylists out there that move around like robots with no clue about anything approaching internal work, and plenty of Chen stylists out there with amazing internal work going on. Nothing is cut and dry.

Ultimately we have to look at which system of training reliably produces the best 'internal' skills. In that respect it would be very difficult to pick a winner as, has already been mentioned, I think the answer may very well be age dependent.
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby GrahamB on Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:09 am

middleway wrote:
Everybody wants to pretend that only they, or their teacher has the 'secret sauce', the real deal(™) or the Orthodox (whatever that is).


:o

I'm talking about properly done Tai Chi.

No Appledog, I'm talking about really basic Tai Chi - the way it's supposed to work.

It's pretty much pure Tai Chi theory.

Believing in something else is a bit like believing in magic. Sure, lots of people believe in magic. Doesn't make it true.



Image


Well, hello again stalker.

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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby middleway on Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:38 am

Well, hello again stalker.


HI! Strong Meme Game you got there ... and thread relevant too!

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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby Bao on Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:46 am

[Charles:]The endless search for "legitimacy" in one's practice - and the attempts to prove to everyone else the legitimacy of one's practice - is a fool's errand.


True. But it's hard to get away from. If you present or want to discuss an idea, principle or method, the history and context will always be present in the minds of others. You will always refer to when you see something with flavour or something lacking flavour as "Chen", "Yang", "McDojo", "Ninja wannabes" or whatever. If you care or not, the legitimacy of what people does is often present in their interpretation of things or directly in the discussion.

[Middleway:]I was always told, and tend to agree, that Yang was a 'progression' of Chen, not a somewhat lacking offshoot.


"Progression" is better than "offshoot". Some people who are quite well versed in history even say that "Yang" style is the original Chen and that modern Chen style is the derivative offshoot. But still, however you turn it around, everything what is called "Tai Chi", its practice methods and principles, can already be found in older Shaolin tradition as well as in older IMA (as in XY, LHBF and TJQ forerunners). Yang Luchan obviously studied "internal" principle and methods not only from Chen family boxing. Chen and Yang are different packages of the same things. Yang style has a little more of "this", Chen a little more of "that". I would say that neither one is an offshoot, progression or anything else. Neither one represents the starting point of what is inside the packages. Just two different ways to box and wrap up the same things. The box doesn't make up the content.
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby wayne hansen on Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:15 pm

In our DNA there is more variation from human to human than human to monkey
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby middleway on Wed May 01, 2019 12:55 am

In our DNA there is more variation from human to human than human to monkey


Incorrect.

Genetic variation in humans 0.1% of the Genome.

Between humans and our closest genetic relative, Chimps, 1% according to some (based on typical protein differing only by two amino acids between human and chimpanzees) but most agree it is around 4% total genetic difference.

The difference between the two genomes is actually not ∼1%, but ∼4%—comprising ∼35 million single nucleotide differences and ∼90 Mb of insertions and deletions.

Comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes
Ajit Varki1 and Tasha K. Altheide


Probably best we all 'Stick' to Taiji and leave the biology quotes to one side.
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Re: Walking stick jin

Postby wayne hansen on Wed May 01, 2019 4:02 am

That's called poetic licence
U get my point
A lot here might be better talking biology than tai chi
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