why not just actually start with step 1?

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

why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:55 pm

Wang, Sun, Yang, all of those guys said to first sink qi to dantian. Why not? Too woo woo? You can't "see it" in a video? You think it's some weird elaborate metaphor that actually means "fascia"? You just don't believe any of those stories about those guys? You tried it and gave up? You need someone like Jon Jones to prove it in an octagon first? Need scientific studies? I guess my main answer is qigong and IMA are kind of boring.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby oragami_itto on Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:30 pm

People have a hard time believing what they can't experience directly and immediately with their five senses. They tend to reject talk of anything outside that in the manner of swine trampling pearls.

It isn't really necessary to talk about Qi for quite some time. You can speak exclusively of the conditions necessary to sink and cultivate it, i.e. the exercises and practice of your method, without once needing to mention it. In fact as we've seen so often here it can serve as, at best, a distraction, and at worst, a direct block to progress.

Yang Cheng Fu's Ten Principles are pretty much all you need to get started, and are what I was started with and what I start others with. I like the version in that link, the language concerning Qi is clear, the movement is something you create conditions to allow to happen, not something you do.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:46 pm

It's true people have a mental block to something foreign. We are taught (rightly so) the value of data and skepticism. It's weird to me that people who are interested in something "internal" are unable to let go of a very external outside-in view. But 100% understandable. "Internal" isn't really needed (other than no living energy, no living). Starting with anything functional makes sense. It's not what they say to do, but it still makes sense. But it's still too bad. If you want to learn anything, the fundamentals are always the key. People skip them in every endeavor for some reason.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby robert on Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:32 pm

everything wrote:Wang, Sun, Yang, all of those guys said to first sink qi to dantian. Why not?

I think you should. It also shows that Wang, Sun, Yang, all of those guys thought that the dantian was something very basic in practice - as you say step 1 ;) Why not indeed?
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:58 pm

No one says that you should ”sink the qi” except for some highly commercial teachers today. Traditionally no one have ever said it. Not Yang masters, Wu masters or Sun masters. No one. The classics states “The qi sinks, the spirit rises”. You don’t don’t “sink the qi”. If you relax your body, calm your mind and let the strength and breath sink, then the qi will sink regardless what you want. The “qi sinks”, means that you feel grounded and that your breath is deep. And your “spirit rises” means that your mind becomes clear and feel alert. If you become good at controlling yourself you should be able do all of this at an instant, i.e. drop your strength/weight as well as breath and empty your mind. This is the only way you can suddenly “sink the qi”.

If you look at hyperactive teachers who claim they demonstrate that they “sink the qi” (as an Italian “Internal” WC guy) amongst other ones you can see immediately just by looking at them that they have no qi to sink and that they have no clue what they are doing. Their point of gravity is high, their breath is high and they show no sense of calmness, no stillness within. So you shouldn’t listen too much about what people say they do, but rather watch closely how they act and behave when they do something. IMHO.

everything wrote: You think it's some weird elaborate metaphor that actually means "fascia"?


Fascia does nothing. You can keep it soft and flexible by keeping movability in your body or you can let it pull itself together, become stiff and hard by losing movability in your body. That’s pretty much how you can use it.

I guess my main answer is qigong and IMA are kind of boring.


Qigong is boring AF, IMA is fun and fascinating. IMO :)
Last edited by Bao on Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby wayne hansen on Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:29 am

I remember when people first told me about chi
I had no idea what it was
A little practice of Shen fa and chi soon revealed itself
Just start with the physical
Mental will follow
Spiritual is not far behind
Just sink don't think
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am

Even Wang Xiangzhai said this.

If you don't want to believe it or think they're wrong or don't care, that's another story.

I'm interested in what those guys said.

Many years ago I went to Ben Lo's camps. People wondered where his skill came from. He just said it was doing form. Of course that made absolutely zero sense at the time. So I get it that this makes no sense to people.

But why WOULDNT people just give things a try? I suppose I wouldn't either without some kind of odd real life experience.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby robert on Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:15 am

Bao wrote:No one says that you should ”sink the qi” except for some highly commercial teachers today. Traditionally no one have ever said it. Not Yang masters, Wu masters or Sun masters. No one.


Methods of Applying Taijiquan by YCF wrote:Taiji Boxing Beginning Posture - Preparation
... Spirit is now consolidated within and energy is sinking to the elixir field. ...

氣沉丹田
qi chen dantian

qi sinks (to) dantian

In the same section Yang Chengfu also writes about the Beginning Posture

Image

YCF wrote:However, people typically are liable to neglect this posture, ignorant in particular that regardless of whatever technique is being practiced or applied, none of them can be disassociated from this one. I hope the reader or student will give it first priority and pay attention to it.
Last edited by robert on Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:23 am

Yes exactly, YCF said “Qi sinks...”, not “sink the qi.” He also said that Qi sinks by itself and that you should not force it or pay too much attention on qi.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby robert on Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:11 am

Bao wrote:Yes exactly, YCF said “Qi sinks...”, not “sink the qi.” He also said that Qi sinks by itself and that you should not force it or pay too much attention on qi.

That's semantics. Saying sink the qi means follow the body requirements that allow the qi to sink. :-\
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:23 am

Bao wrote:Yes exactly, YCF said “Qi sinks...”, not “sink the qi.” He also said that Qi sinks by itself and that you should not force it or pay too much attention on qi.


Good point yeah.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:06 am

robert wrote:
Bao wrote:Yes exactly, YCF said “Qi sinks...”, not “sink the qi.” He also said that Qi sinks by itself and that you should not force it or pay too much attention on qi.

That's semantics. Saying sink the qi means follow the body requirements that allow the qi to sink. :-\


Semantics? Absolutely not. It's about honesty and being clear about what you do. If you say "now I sink the qi" or "you need to sink the qi" anyone who does not understand "the body requirements that allow the qi to sink" will believe that you are supposed to do something directly with Qi.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby robert on Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:03 pm

Bao wrote:Semantics? Absolutely not. It's about honesty and being clear about what you do. If you say "now I sink the qi" or "you need to sink the qi" anyone who does not understand "the body requirements that allow the qi to sink" will believe that you are supposed to do something directly with Qi.

It depends on context. On this forum if someone says sink the qi to dantian I assume they mean use the body requirements to allow the qi to sink. In this case it looks like that may have been misguided. If people are talking to an audience that does not know what qi sinks to dantian means then I agree with you. It's a truism that if someone does not know what a thing means it's meaningless. Saying let the qi sink to dantian or qi sinks to dantian is just as meaningless. The idea of sinking qi to dantian doesn't make any sense until you've developed that body state and someone has verified it.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:50 am

robert wrote: It depends on context.


I referred to “commercial teachers”. You can watch a bunch of teachers out there, Sam Tam, “Sifu Sergio” and others who often say “sink the qi”, “now I sink the qi” etc. Lately I have become allergic to “I sink the qi”. Sometimes when I hear it I just want to vomit.
Last edited by Bao on Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Trick on Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:32 am

everything wrote:Even Wang Xiangzhai said this.

If you don't want to believe it or think they're wrong or don't care, that's another story.

I'm interested in what those guys said.

Many years ago I went to Ben Lo's camps. People wondered where his skill came from. He just said it was doing form. Of course that made absolutely zero sense at the time. So I get it that this makes no sense to people.

But why WOULDNT people just give things a try? I suppose I wouldn't either without some kind of odd real life experience.

Once I asked my YiQuan teacher in Beijing about Qi and Dantian. About Qi he said, don’t bother your head with Qi, Yi is what is important. On my Dantian question he got a little irritated and said the whole body is the Dantian.
If Wang Xiangzhai said “sink the Qi to the Dantian” it must have been in his early years?
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