why not just actually start with step 1?

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

Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:25 am

D_Glenn wrote:If you are good at pool, then you have instinctively learned how to do the requirement. It’s a natural thing that all mammals are capable of doing. You don’t have to know anything about ‘Qi’ to do it. Everyone already knows how to do it. They just aren’t aware that it is a thing. Let alone a thing that can be given a sort of name.


Instinct is natural knowledge that doesn't require learning. To say something is "instinctively learned" is simply meaningless. You don't just pick up a pool cue any old way and start sinking bank shots. You have to learn how to hold the stick, how to aim the stick, and how to move the stick. You don't just throw the stick at someone and say "see, that is playing pool!"

Now if you did just throw them the stick and they caught it with a proper grip, did a tight little spin, landed in perfect shooting position, and they ran the whole table in two shots, and it was their first time then I'd say that's instinctive. If they'd been playing all their life and developed that gungfu then I'd say it was second nature.

Maybe a better example is cold weather.

When it's cold out, your natural response is to tighten up, that restricts blood flow, which makes you feel colder since the warm blood isn't circulating as much, and then you start to shiver to create motion and heat and feel warmer.

To a certain temperature, it's much more efficient to sink the qi. Relax the muscles, let the blood flow. Even though your entire life you've conditioned yourself to tense up and shiver, you will actually feel warmer if you relax and calm your body.

BUT ONCE AGAIN I MUST SAY, you may be studying and practicing something different with the same name. I can only describe the parameters of what I practice, which is to re-condition my mental, emotional, and physical responses, not simply to amplify the natural response.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby D_Glenn on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:30 am

Giles, great story. That gives me chills just reading it. I’ve had a lot of experiences somewhat similar to that from before I even started learning martial arts.
But as Dr. Xie says, the more you do it, the stronger the effect can become. So look at the potential in the untrained then what it can become when you specifically hold that feeling for an hour or more everyday.
气沉丹田 (Qi chen Dantian) also ties into the physicality of having stronger abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, or a solid or full Dantian.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:34 am

With oragami as well but no street fights or dangerous things.

once you have this feeling of energy in lower dan tien, then you can more easily have this feeling to your limbs. This seems to help with the relaxation/alertness/ease of movement. You can work on that without doing the energy work, but it feels easier if you do this work.

It's as if it's a shortcut. I can stand there and relax this and that a little at a time. We know intent fires off electricity and then we move with no special feeling. But if I merge qigong with other bits of zz it's easier. As if a flow feeling helps the nervous system at once from inside out, instead of working on muscles (more outside in). This might sound odd but I think it's just the starter bits. Doesn't mean I can play GK or do MA btw, just that it helps.
Last edited by everything on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:48 am

Without serious training the natural response to a threat is to tense up and do the opposite of "sink the qi".


Agreed. This is IMO what IMA practice is all about.

I was very surprised myself the first time I felt calm, clear and balanced instead of tensing up. Nothing I struggled with or even tried to do. It just came natural, a sort of feeling of being in control of the situation. It felt good. I enjoyed the moment.

I was just a teenager back then, maybe 17 or 18 years old, maybe younger. The bad thing was that I liked that feeling and wanted to see if I could achieve it again, so I got out more or less looking for trouble...

My old teacher said that, regarding Wai Lun Choi, the calmer he got the more scared you should be. Again, the opposite of what is "natural", where threats are loud and puffed up. I've worked hard to emulate that quality.


This is probably true as well. You don't want to fight someone who is calm and hardly reacts to threats. This might be a natural reaction based on instincts. You just don't know what they keep up their sleeve... ;)
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby D_Glenn on Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:53 am

These analogies are just ways to try and teach something. Obviously not everyone is going to have the same life experiences or the same reactions to those experiences. Collecting metaphors and analogies is what makes a martial lineage so great. The billiards one really resonates with me, but I also grew up with a pool table in my basement since I was 5 years old.

Normal people only have glimpses of this. Like a flash of Lightning in the night sky, but you can close your eyes and still see the lightning streak. The analogies are only to help you maybe remember where you have had a glimpse of it. Then like the lightning, try to capture it, and maintain for longer than a split second.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:05 am

Bao wrote:You don't want to fight someone who is calm and hardly reacts to threats. This might be a natural reaction based on instincts. You just don't know what they keep up their sleeve... ;)


Someone who knows might read it as a warning sign, definitely, but to an ignoramus it can have the same effect for a different reason. Maintaining a neutral and non reactive attitude can prevent triggering the attack.

If you're tense and start shifting into a recognizable fighting stance out bring your fists up, or even just flinching, that can be read as a signal to escalate.

The attitude is externally calming and deescalating using non threatening posture and language while internally loosening and focusing and preparing to receive an attack.

I mean, honestly there is a lot to this, most you already know I'm sure, I could go on forever in specific detail but maybe that's better in its own post or my memoires
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby D_Glenn on Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:06 am

These are some the analogies that are adapted to people growing up in a Western world. There’s a lot of analogies that are specific to living and growing up in China, and where you could play with antiques for some of the more classic analogies.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:31 am

oragami_itto wrote:. , I could go on forever in specific detail but maybe that's better in its own post or my memoires


Please do, please go on how long as you wish. :)
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby robert on Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:59 am

Bao wrote:
Trick wrote:About Yang Chengfu. He himself didn’t write any books because he couldn’t write ? So could he even proofread “his” writings ? Maybe there is things misunderstood or deliberately added/altered by his coauthor(s).......Could that be possible?


Some people say that it was a collaboration between a writer that was his students. What I’ve heard is that he sold his name to a person who had very little or any knowledge about Tai Chi.

It says in the book - by Yang Chengfu and Dong Yingjie. I'm not a fan of the hopping that the Dong family does, but their body mechanics seem pretty solid.

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: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:15 am

robert wrote:Some people say that it was a collaboration between a writer that was his students. What I’ve heard is that he sold his name to a person who had very little or any knowledge about Tai Chi.

It says in the book - by Yang Chengfu and Dong Yingjie. I'm not a fan of the hopping that the Dong family does, but their body mechanics seem pretty solid。[/quote]

From what I heard, Dong didn’t write anything but checked, corrected and approved what the work of a ghost writer.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:46 am

oragami_itto wrote:
Bao wrote:You don't want to fight someone who is calm and hardly reacts to threats. This might be a natural reaction based on instincts. You just don't know what they keep up their sleeve... ;)


Someone who knows might read it as a warning sign, definitely, but to an ignoramus it can have the same effect for a different reason. Maintaining a neutral and non reactive attitude can prevent triggering the attack.

If you're tense and start shifting into a recognizable fighting stance out bring your fists up, or even just flinching, that can be read as a signal to escalate.

The attitude is externally calming and deescalating using non threatening posture and language while internally loosening and focusing and preparing to receive an attack.


I think this also works with dogs. Not sure I'm any good at it, but Cesar Milan (is that his name?) seems to show this all the time. He is in control and calm, but not projecting aggression or threat. Then that calms the dogs down.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:18 am

everything wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:
Bao wrote:You don't want to fight someone who is calm and hardly reacts to threats. This might be a natural reaction based on instincts. You just don't know what they keep up their sleeve... ;)


Someone who knows might read it as a warning sign, definitely, but to an ignoramus it can have the same effect for a different reason. Maintaining a neutral and non reactive attitude can prevent triggering the attack.

If you're tense and start shifting into a recognizable fighting stance out bring your fists up, or even just flinching, that can be read as a signal to escalate.

The attitude is externally calming and deescalating using non threatening posture and language while internally loosening and focusing and preparing to receive an attack.


I think this also works with dogs. Not sure I'm any good at it, but Cesar Milan (is that his name?) seems to show this all the time. He is in control and calm, but not projecting aggression or threat. Then that calms the dogs down.


Man I am NOT a dog expert by any means. I can't keep my own mutt from attacking my ankles. She just does it to get me to try to kick her or grab her or something, and then we wind up playing. Hate that dog.

But that's the basic idea, calm, in control of yourself, not projecting aggression, not projecting fear, not even projecting readiness, just absorbing whatever they're throwing at you. Neutral and non-responsive until they do something that is directly threatening, draw that line where you feel most comfortable.

Psychologically, it's hard to respond to that aggression with calmness, but that's exactly what I feel is necessary for Taijiquan to have any hope of relevance in conflict resolution. You have to suck up that psychic energy and let it slide off you just like their pushes in practice, don't be there for it to hit. Release the ego so when they start describing the sexual liberties you take with your mother and the insignificance of your manhood and honor you don't get triggered into reacting. If it must devolve to physical violence make them drag and force it to that point with as little help or excuse from you as possible while you just focus on casually slipping a banana peel precisely where they're going to step. Metaphorically speaking.

I don't think I'm the first to suggest that step 1 is actually one of the highest level skills.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby everything on Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:53 am

Well, step 1 in any art or sport is always the highest level skill when done really well. Like shooting baskets or goals. Steph Curry (well the Warriors didn't win but whatever) can shoot baskets super well. Messi can shoot goals incredibly well.

But back on the dogs, I'm no expert either, but it frequently seems to work. Yesterday, a young rabbit or hare (not a baby as it was longer than 5 inches, but it was tiny) was in my yard. I tried to go into a calm state and talk to it, and surprisingly to me, it kind of looked at me, walked to the side (no farther away from me - probably about 5-6 ft), and kept eating. I came back out and threw a carrot piece near it. It again oddly didn't run away from me as I walked to the same spot, but then it got scared when I threw the carrot. Maybe now it will associate humans with predators, who knows. Most of them hop farther away if I'm 10-15 ft away.
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby marvin8 on Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:48 am

everything wrote: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. . . .

Well, step 1 in any art or sport is always the highest level skill when done really well. Like shooting baskets or goals. Steph Curry (well the Warriors didn't win but whatever) can shoot baskets super well. Messi can shoot goals incredibly well.

Studies have shown sports players enter a "flow state"—achieved when athletes feel completely engaged in their performance, lose their perception of time, concentrate on the moment (without distraction or dilution), and, perform at extremely high levels.

During 1 minute rest periods in MMA and boxing, fighters are instructed to breath deep, relax and bring their heart rate down:

@ :49,
Shawn Porter on Sep 5, 2018 wrote:The science behind this [heart rate monitor] is get my heart rate at a level where I am working—where my heart is not working. In that 60 seconds in the corner, we try to bring our heart rate down as quickly as possible:

EsNews
Published on Sep 5, 2018:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Um3sGc52Ks&t=0m49s

1000delight
Published on Jun 13, 2019:

Let’s not wasting life on the fantasy type of Sinking Chi fighting application.
https://wingchun2017.wordpress.com/2019 ... lications/:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_2bB_0X6J4

@ 16:00,
Hendrik Santos on Mar 18, 2017 wrote:What is sink qi to dantian mean? Simple. You have a high capacity breathing. . . .

1000delight
Published on Mar 18, 2017

iYikKam WCWE: sink Qi to dan tien is just this simple:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1--VAwIxq4&t=16m0s
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Re: why not just actually start with step 1?

Postby Bao on Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:39 am

Origami.. wrote:Psychologically, it's hard to respond to that aggression with calmness, but that's exactly what I feel is necessary for Taijiquan to have any hope of relevance in conflict resolution


Hiding intent and hiding mechanics starts from there. Keeping mind calm and collected starts from not reacting with aggression. Sure it might seem hard. If you have no opportunity to fight you have no opportunity to test yourself. If you can't test or train yourself for real, how do you know if you could do it? To be perfectly honest, I believe that certain things might come more natural in a real situation than one might think. If you learn about these things and make it an opportunity for yourself, having it as a choice, using it might become a question of instinct as well...

"Taijiquan is a skill based on unpredictable opportunity. If the other thinks you cannot attack, you should just move your mind suddenly to attack. If others think you will come then you should transform as if you have nothing to attack. This is the so-called "being suddenly visible; suddenly invisible"." - Li Yaxuan

If you act by responding to aggression with aggression, you can't make use of anything like this. No Tai Chi skills, strategy or methods. You'll have nothing.
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