No intention is real intention

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

Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Yeung on Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:31 am

Following is a dependent variable, which has no predetermined action or open to a number of possibilities.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Walk the Torque on Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:23 pm

OK I get what is being said i.e. the Wu Wei of it all, but to a beginner or someone who has not trained Yi, it is like saying that you should not train, exercise or explore using intent; in fact though we all have to star somewhere and that somewhere is with the identification of what happens when you "throw" your feeling attention into a specific task.

Regardless of how well practiced it is, there is a world of difference between reaching out with your intent into the body of an opponent and just trying to move the "object" of that body.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Yeung on Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:01 am

Walk the Torque wrote:OK I get what is being said i.e. the Wu Wei of it all, but to a beginner or someone who has not trained Yi, it is like saying that you should not train, exercise or explore using intent; in fact though we all have to star somewhere and that somewhere is with the identification of what happens when you "throw" your feeling attention into a specific task.

Regardless of how well practiced it is, there is a world of difference between reaching out with your intent into the body of an opponent and just trying to move the "object" of that body.

Wu Wei? Most people master the adhesive technique should be in a position to follow and neutralize the opponent and that sort of achieving the real intention of controlling the opponent upon encounter, so the outcome is not predetermined. It is just a question knowing the technique of adhering and following.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby meeks on Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:40 am

I have a feeling that people will walk away with the message of 'no intention is ever real' instead of 'not having an intention is the key'
"The power of Christ compels you!" *spank*
now with ADDED SMOOTHOSITY! ;D
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby johnwang on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:37 pm

The speed/power that you think you have is not your real speed/power. The speed/power that you can respond without thinking is your real speed/power. One thing that I have trained myself all my life is "don't think, just do it". When I train, I like to keep my mind blank.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby marvin8 on Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:51 pm

Sounds like Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's "flow state."

From Flow in Tai Chi:
Learn Tai Chi in Singapore on July 19, 2015 wrote:For those who love Tai Chi with a dash of science here is one for you :-

F L O W

This is a term made famous by the seminal book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University.

Image

Originally published in 2008 this work has opened up the study of achieving optimal performance amongst solo performers, groups and communities in a variety of fields. A related book that pursues the theme of Flow in extreme sports is The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler.

Image

Here is a talk given at Google by Steven Kotler. Its pretty informative (he covers many of the same points in his book) and plenty to do with Tai Chi.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1MHyyWsMeE

After watching the video above you should now understand that understanding how to attain Flow will help you to master Tai Chi. If you still don’t get it read my follow-up post here.

Flow in Tai Chi 2

If you still don’t understand how Flow fits into the objective of mastering Tai Chi as mentioned in my first post I have laid out some explanations below using some of the pointers covered in Steven Kotler’s talk at Google.

1) To enter into the Flow state you must attain a state of no-mind. This can be achieved by practicing the Tai Chi long form in an accurate manner. “Accurate manner” can mean different things to different people but to me it means to practice in a precise manner that allows me to actualize the principles of the Tai Chi Classics.

2) When you are in a Flow state your sense of awareness is hyped up. This is true for the practice of Tai Chi because without this sense of awareness you will not be able to convert your state of intent to issue power using the models described in Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s book on the 22-form into reality.

3) Practicing the Tai Chi form in a state of Flow will dilate time. This is why without entering the Flow even a 1-hour practice session will seem very long. But once you are in the Flow a 4-hour continuous session will pass by quickly.

I know it is not easy to put in a 4-hour practice session. For many even a 2-hour session is a luxury but without finding a way to do so you will not achieve the desired state. Even then, you need to put in many X-hour sessions before you hit the stride and tip over into a state of Flow. In the meantime you will have to battle impatience, boredom, etc in your uphill climb to master Tai Chi.

4) Repetition, tons and tons of it, is important to get to the state to enter the Flow. As you practice your actions will become more refined, seamless, controlled; at this point you will start to notice certain patterns that once they make sense will trigger off exponential growth.

Even though I could write and describe what these patterns are reading about them won’t help you to master Tai Chi. You need to physically feel them.

5) When you learn Tai Chi using the tools of intention your brain will be swamped with information; many times, this is too much even for practitioners with doctorate degrees much less the ordinary Joe.

It will not get easier. The information will keep adding up. However, if you keep up with your practice the chunks of information will become clearer and you will no longer struggle mentally.

After a certain time the information will become part of you. You will use lesser and lesser effort to practice; no longer having to deal with the huge chunks of information not because they are no longer relevant or there but because your familiarity has reduced the information to smaller bite size.

At this stage you no longer have to do for example three movements to actualize a principle, you can merge the three movements into one movement. Your movements will take on flavors and characteristics that define the style you are learning.

6) When you can trigger off the principles using less intention this is when you begin to achieve the high level principle of “wu wo, wu wei” or what can be termed as the disappearance of self consciousness.

When you arrive here practice will feel pleasurable; your movements will flow effortlessly like a hot knife cutting through butter, your reaction will be swift, automated and magical recalling what Grandmaster Wei wrote about the mysterious manifesting itself. It is not magic but it is happening in a manner than does not seem possible to a normal level practitioner. When you understanding the principles it will be simply un-magic.

7) To enter the state of flow requires you to change. But as pointed out by Steven Kotler’s 7 out of 8 persons will not change their old habits even if they need to change due to a life threatening health problem.

If your life is threatened and you will not change what are the chances of you being willing to change your habits in order to master Tai Chi? Now you know why so few practitioners actually master Tai Chi.

8) To master Tai Chi through Flow we must be willing to fail time and again. However, we must first know the why and how of our failing.

I know it is difficult to separate the emotional part of ourselves from the intellectual side when learning Tai Chi. Without doing so we cannot accept criticism from others even when its evident that it is valid.Criticisms when its constructive is vital to our improvement.

Some parts of our Tai Chi journey will be difficult to go through, yet other parts will seem impossible. However, we should not despair because the art can be mastered. When in doubt go back to the fundamentals. Starting over is OK. Do it as many times as you need to until you get it. This is why my master said that Tai Chi is easy to learn but difficult to master.

10) Finally, you need to play the same Tai Chi form over and over again until you recognize what it is trying to tell you. When you reach this tipping point that’s when you start to achieve Flow.

After experiencing Flow you will probably lose it. If you keep at it you will find the Flow again. And you will lose it yet again. Again and again. Until one day when you find a way to instantly call it up when needed. If you cannot do so then your Tai Chi skills will be useless in an emergency situation.

Well, that’s it from me. Time to go and prepare for a Tai Chi lesson.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby marvin8 on Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:52 am

TEDx Talks
Published on Nov 27, 2018

When we get so involved in an activity that we forget everything else we are doing, it enables us to be "in the zone.” This feeling of being totally absorbed in an activity is known by positive psychologists as “flow.” In this talk, Adrien discusses the concept of flow and puts it into dialog with the ancient Chinese idea of wuwei, or effortless action. Adrien discusses flow and wuwei, and how recent research in cognitive neuroscience suggests what may be happening in the brain when we experience flow or wuwei. Adrien Stoloff is a doctoral candidate in Asian Religious Traditions. He is interested in Chinese religious beliefs and practices from the late Warring States period to the Early Han Dynasty (approximately 5th-2nd centuries BCE). Specifically, Adrien's research focuses on the Classical Daoist phenomenon of wuwei. Translated as "effortless action," wuwei is a state of being in which one acts effortlessly yet efficiently in a given situation. His dissertation project uses an approach informed by tools in the field of religious studies - textual and historical analysis - as well as by the fields of philosophy and cognitive science:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyhTTZIOms8

Excerpts from "Wuwei and Flow: Comparative Reflections on Spirituality, Transcendence, and Skill in the Zhuangzi:"
Nathaniel Barrett on October 2011 wrote:This essay attempts such a comparative investigation, focusing on the spiritual ideal of wuwei
as expressed by the ancient Daoist classic, the Zhuangzi, and “flow,” Mihaly (Mark)
Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of optimal experience. . . .

Let us begin with what is by far the most important passage for investigating the connection between spiritual transcendence and skill, the story of Cook Ding. The story of Cook Ding describes his uncanny ability to carve up the carcass of an ox without ever dulling his blade, and relates this ability to his attainment of a kind of spiritual — and thus presumably transcendent — insight: . . .

4. Flow Experience

This section delineates the main traits and conditions of flow, the phenomenon targeted and explained by Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of optimal experience. It then applies Csikszentmihalyi’s theory to four traits of skillful spontaneity that are central to wuwei: fine-tuned responsiveness or adaptive skill, non-deliberative spontaneity, effortlessness, and enjoyment. Two aspects of flow theory are of crucial importance for this investigation. . . .
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Yeung on Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:54 am

Flow or float that is the question. Flow means move along smoothly or continuously, and float means stay or move to a balanced position or surface. If one cannot activate one's elastic components the the passive solution of flow is the answer.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby marvin8 on Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:28 am

Yeung wrote:Flow or float that is the question. Flow means move along smoothly or continuously, and float means stay or move to a balanced position or surface. If one cannot activate one's elastic components the the passive solution of flow is the answer.

That's not Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's meaning. One can be in a flow state while "staying or moving to a balanced position or surface by activating one's elastic components." IOW, one can be in a flow state whether one is using eccentric contractions or concentric contractions.

Excerpt from "Flow (psychology):"
Wikipedia wrote:Flow state is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one's sense of space and time.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Yeung on Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:27 am

The problem with concentric contraction is that it cannot activate the elastic component, with light contraction it seems to be flexible but when it intensifies it became stiff.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby cloudz on Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:58 am

Yeung wrote:The problem with concentric contraction is that it cannot activate the elastic component, with light contraction it seems to be flexible but when it intensifies it became stiff.



well there is not one side to any of it as you should well know by now.
the arrow needs release

if you think the natural elasticity alone produced in your body is all that is needed for the 'release' phase to be wholly practical for martial use 'as is', i think you are just plain wrong about that.

I agree that it's a super important body mechanic/ way of moving, the main one for me, however this ideal that concentric contraction is the 'bad guy' in the wings is slightly pointless.
It will just happen and be involved regardless. the primary conscious way of moving in IMA does not need to be re hashed or regurgitated here by me. if it is followed ones naturally occuring concentric movement/contractions of their muscles won't 'get in the way', so to speak. And it is not the part/ mechanism that activates the store phase either!
Last edited by cloudz on Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:21 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby GrahamB on Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:19 am

Since we're talking about 'flow', I think the best flow you'll ever see in martial arts is in Capoeira.

Clearly your connection to the other person, transcending physical connection, has to be in place or you end up with a foot to the face. That's Ting Jing on steroids.

With the rhythm of the music there's all the potential for it to cross over into 'spirit dance' where you connect to the wider environment.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Bao on Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:57 am

Don't know hoow common it is generally in Bagua, but the Cheng Bagua I studied had some two man circle walking exercises on distance where you walk and must react exactly synked with the other bagua practitioner and respond by doing exactly the same movement at the same time. It's a very smooth flowing type of exercise and smooth changes and you learn to respond inuitively with no "thought". At least in those exercises.
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Re: No intention is real intention

Postby Yeung on Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:20 am

The is a coordinated set of Bagua pushing hand, and it will be very different in free style:
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