Yi Percentage?

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

Yi Percentage?

Postby Walk the Torque on Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:04 pm

A question occurred to me yesterday.

What percentage of power does Yi add to your striking/throwing whatever?

By that I mean if you consider your body mechanics and timing to be pretty consistent factors, in percentage what do you think your Yi adds to the overall power?
Last edited by Walk the Torque on Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby Bao on Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:47 pm

Walk the Torque wrote: ...I mean if you consider your body mechanics and timing to be pretty consistent factors...


Well I don’t, so I guess I can’t reply on your original.

For most of people Yi is what collects your Tai Chi body and mind together. It helps you to step into your Tai Chi body and to keep you there. No Tai Chi Jin without Yi. So the question is not about percentage, it’s about the whole ability to use jin instead of li. If the Tai Chi Shenfa has become second nature, then there’s no difference between using yi and using body method. You can’t add or take away yi to add percentages of power. Either you understand yi to use jin or you use li. There’s nothing in between.
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby Walk the Torque on Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:02 pm

Ahh Interesting Bao,

I always thought of Yi as a more externally directed intent to project force outward.

I suppose Yi can also be directed inward to enhance body mechanics but I just think of that as proprioception.

The difference is like pointing a finger to the moon... ;D
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby KEND on Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:55 pm

I would think the internal Yi would relate to the correct kinetic linkage in the body and external Yi to how far the shock energy is projected, from 0% at palm to 100% when striking internal organ
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby dspyrido on Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:34 pm

Depends on the definition of Yi.

Is Yi a super power up button? Or if you're throwing a punch is Yi whether your paying attention or not? I don't see it this way at all.

Yi (for me anyway) is all about the training method to get to be really really natural at launching a punch or whatever is being trained. Much like a blacksmith who lifts a hammer 1000s of times a day (and does not get tired like normal folk) - striking is also about conditioning to get to a level where it looks effortless yet lands hard. This takes a bucket load of Yi to have to patience, discipline and focus to achieve this level of "kung Fu".
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby Walk the Torque on Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:27 pm

Interesting, there seems to be different interpretations as to what Yi actually is.

What I was referring to was the increased amount of force that is projected when using ones intent to guide the force to a given point.

Say for instance, if you have a ball in your hand and throw it to a target; if you concentrate on the action of your throw, that throw will invariably be less powerful. If however you concentrate on the target, a more powerful throw will result.

What ever that quality is called (I think of it as Yi) have you ever considered a percentage amount that that intent bestows on your power?

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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:52 pm

Ahh Interesting Bao,

I always thought of Yi as a more externally directed intent to project force outward.


This interpretation of Yi is overrated IMO. It can be a good thing to practice as it can help you to measure what you do with your body to achieve maximum results. But it’s what you actually do that is important, not what you think. So when you have learned the correct angles of projection adding Yi doesn’t really add to your results.

If however you concentrate on the target, a more powerful throw will result.


Here the question is: What target? If you throw/push someone upwards, YCF said something like that you should have the intent to not only throw him far, but to throw him up into the sky or up to the trees. So the attitude and commitment of action does matter. But still, this is also something you should always have in whatever you do. If you have the right attitude towards commitment of action, then again, trying to add more Yi doesn’t give you better results.
Last edited by Bao on Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby oragami_itto on Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:46 pm

I'm with Bao on this. Yi is part of the process. Inwardly directed, outwardly directed, whatever. No yi, no jin.

Regarding the three harmonies, Shen or Xin(depending on who's telling) leads Yi, Yi leads Qi, Qi leads Jin.

If your Yi is on your Qi, you're stagnant and can't release Jin. If your Yi catches up to your Xin, you're double-weighted and likewise can't release.

It's akin to playing an instrument in a band. You don't have time to listen to each note before preparing to strike the next. As each note completes, before it can be registered by the ear and brain, we must be already striking the next, or we lose the rhythm and harmony.

Yi in this sense is not projecting or internalizing, though each might be involved.

The Xin creates the impulse or desire, the Yi shapes that and creates the potential for Qi to fill, like drawing lines in sand for the surf to flow into, then Jin follows the Qi. Though never said in classical texts, I believe it should rightly be four harmonies with Shen leading Xin, but that doesn't mirror the three external to make six total all nice and neat. So the interplay of that process, impulses start at Xin and work through, while the Xin is also evolving and starting new iterations of the process, or one continuous dynamic process like gears turning.

Or, like, you can just throw your meat around in space, that works too. Thinking about where you want to direct the meat can make it deliver more energy.
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby Bao on Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:27 am

oragami_itto wrote:It's akin to playing an instrument in a band. You don't have time to listen to each note before preparing to strike the next. As each note completes, before it can be registered by the ear and brain, we must be already striking the next, or we lose the rhythm and harmony.


Liked that analogy. 8-)

...Must remember to steal it... ;D
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:06 pm

Bao wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:It's akin to playing an instrument in a band. You don't have time to listen to each note before preparing to strike the next. As each note completes, before it can be registered by the ear and brain, we must be already striking the next, or we lose the rhythm and harmony.


Liked that analogy. 8-)

...Must remember to steal it... ;D

Eat five grams of golden teacher and listen to ok computer and you will never forget. :O
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby greytowhite on Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:37 am

oragami_itto wrote:Eat five grams of golden teacher and listen to ok computer and you will never forget. :O


:o :'( -barf- -lol-

Why would you ruin someone's trip that way?
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby Bhassler on Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:54 am

oragami_itto wrote:It's akin to playing an instrument in a band. You don't have time to listen to each note before preparing to strike the next. As each note completes, before it can be registered by the ear and brain, we must be already striking the next, or we lose the rhythm and harmony.


Speed of sound = 343 m/s
Speed of a signal in the nervous system = 100 m/s

Presumably you're playing songs at something like 3000 bpm, then. Tender love songs, most likely....
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby greytowhite on Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:22 pm

Bhassler wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:It's akin to playing an instrument in a band. You don't have time to listen to each note before preparing to strike the next. As each note completes, before it can be registered by the ear and brain, we must be already striking the next, or we lose the rhythm and harmony.


Speed of sound = 343 m/s
Speed of a signal in the nervous system = 100 m/s

Presumably you're playing songs at something like 3000 bpm, then. Tender love songs, most likely....


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soliton_m ... uroscience
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Re: Yi Percentage?

Postby oragami_itto on Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:17 am

Bhassler wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:It's akin to playing an instrument in a band. You don't have time to listen to each note before preparing to strike the next. As each note completes, before it can be registered by the ear and brain, we must be already striking the next, or we lose the rhythm and harmony.


Speed of sound = 343 m/s
Speed of a signal in the nervous system = 100 m/s

Presumably you're playing songs at something like 3000 bpm, then. Tender love songs, most likely....

Clever but you missed the point.

It's not about speed, it's timing. It doesn't matter how fast something happens if it starts a millisecond too late. In order for the song to stay true, certain events must happen at precise intervals, if the attention catches on the effects instead of continuing to maintain causes then there is stuttering in the flow. Double weightedness.

Listen to a beginning student practicing their instrument. The irregular pauses as they look up the note, remember the body positions required to sound the note, move the body to that position, and then sound the note. In the beginning each note is distinct and probably irregularly sounded, too loud or too soft. As familiarity with the instrument increases, then it becomes more of a matter of knowing which note to strike next in the sequence. So learning a song, perhaps there's some of that play-play-play-pause, play, long pause, play, play, short pause, as they refer to the sheet music. Next they can perhaps play songs without reference to the sheet music because they've been memorized, but sometimes they may forget the next note and stutter. Next then playing songs by ear, and finally perhaps the ability to sit in with someone else and improvise, or spontaneously compose. Same thing with Taijiquan.

They say playing an instrument provides a unique boost to mental capacity, I theorize this particular need for the internal harmonies is at least part of the reason for that boost. Consequently, I hypothesize you can receive some of the same benefit from authentically training the harmonies in your martial art.

Personally, I break it down as such.

There's the sequence buffer/pattern generator. Let's call that Xin. We learn the movements intellectually, store the movement in the body, and orchestrate them with the heart. There's a level of awareness tied to each aspect, Xin, Yi, Qi, Jin, and they're all proceeding on individual tracks. So when we strike a note, or blow, there's the part of the mind that is setting up the next movement, the part of the mind overseeing the execution of the movement, and the part of the mind observing what has happened.

That's the main idea, that the process can't stop and dwell on the result. There is an observer tracking results, but the orchestrator doesn't have time to wait for that feedback. It can change tack based on feedback received, but it cannot delay action waiting for it.

Flow training, basically.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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