Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

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

Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Yeung on Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:36 am

I am in the process writing up a paper on my research, your comments will be very useful for further researches to address them, the summary as follows:

Saintliness is the oneness of humankind and heaven, which influenced the thoughts of martial artists but it was not clearly defined until the excavation of the writing of Zisi (481- 402 BC) in 1973 and 1993. He defined saintliness as benevolence, righteousness, courteous, and wisdom. The aim of this research is to review the influence of this concept in the theory and practice of taijiquan.

The methodology is contextual study of the Zisi’s 5 element model, establish standards of these 5 elements in traditional theory of taijiquan, evaluate the practices of taijiquan by a penal of long time practitioners of qigong and taijiquan, and rationalize the findings with the latest scientific development.

The concept of saintliness is the sum of benevolence, righteousness, courteous and wisdom, which is consistent with Yi Jing and the writing of Mencius (372-289 BC), but this concept is somewhat mixed up with Babylonian culture from India and various local elixir practices. Taijiquan seems to maintain the 5 element model of Taiji, Yin and Yang, and four directions, with the centre as the sum of the four directions. Benevolence is exhibited by the attitude of control with superior adhesive skills of stretchiness and springiness. Righteousness is exhibited in the concept of being right or correct with awareness of the internal and external forces. Courteous is exhibited in the techniques of following and neutralization. Wisdom is exhibited in the discernment of the opponent’s movement. The acquisition of the skills is difficult but it does have a profound influence of the character of the practitioner. The latest research in eccentric muscle contraction and muscle elasticity and meridians has validated the benefits and advantages of taijiquan.

This research has validated the applicability of the saintliness model in taijiquan but further research is required.
Last edited by Yeung on Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Bao on Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:31 am

If you haven't already you should read the old Neidan classics as well. A lot of ethical and spiritual stuff connected to this kind of practice.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby greytowhite on Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:19 am

Ya gotta construct the Holy GRRRAIL within your body. You first gotta clear away distractions in the wuxing and clearly define the various elements. Then once you are sure of fire and water are at hexagram 64. Your next goal is hexagram 11 to clarify heaven and earth. Then once that is complete you have to work on your wood/air axis of thunder/wind. You start to embody the leontecephaline figure, then the rainbow serpent and its rider. Qilins are after that but I have not a clue as to that stage yet. 9 Palace work is really important for all of this. The 5 elements are metals, the 8 trigrams are stones, to create the 13 circle cube of the soul. Metatron is often accredited with this but it is Cassiel's magic square you should seek. The two interwoven bagua patterns create the tree of life that one can traverse once one constructs the tetrahedron. It took me a while to find a good excuse to bother with taijiquan again.

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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby cloudz on Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:53 am

Err, sure there many road
Good luck in your writing
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Yeung on Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:47 am

太極功
THE TAIJI ART
宋書銘
by Song Shuming
[1908]
[translation by Paul Brennan, Mar, 2017]

此書十不傳
TEN TYPES OF PEOPLE NOT TO BE TAUGHT
一不傳外教
1. Do not teach those of different traditions.
二不傳無德
2. Do not teach those without virtue.
三不傳不知師弟之道者
3. Do not teach those who do not understand instructions.
四不傳收不住的
4. Do not teach those who cannot endure.
五不傳半盡而廢的
5. Do not teach quitters.
六不傳得寶忘師者
6. Do not teach those who gain the treasure but forget the teacher.
七不傳無納履之心者
7. Do not teach those who are ungrateful for what they receive.
八不傳好怒好慍者
8. Do not teach those who are prone to losing their temper.
九不傳外欲太多者
9. Do not teach those who take excessive delight in worldly pleasures.
十不傳匪事多端者
10. Do not teach those who cannot handle a great variety of tasks.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Greg J on Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:11 pm

Yeung wrote:I am in the process writing up a paper on my research, your comments will be very useful for further researches to address them, the summary as follows:

Saintliness is the oneness of humankind and heaven, which influenced the thoughts of martial artists but it was not clearly defined until the excavation of the writing of Zisi (481- 402 BC) in 1973 and 1993. He defined saintliness as benevolence, righteousness, courteous, and wisdom. The aim of this research is to review the influence of this concept in the theory and practice of taijiquan.

The methodology is contextual study of the Zisi’s 5 element model, establish standards of these 5 elements in traditional theory of taijiquan, evaluate the practices of taijiquan by a penal of long time practitioners of qigong and taijiquan, and rationalize the findings with the latest scientific development.

The concept of saintliness is the sum of benevolence, righteousness, courteous and wisdom, which is consistent with Yi Jing and the writing of Mencius (372-289 BC), but this concept is somewhat mixed up with Babylonian culture from India and various local elixir practices. Taijiquan seems to maintain the 5 element model of Taiji, Yin and Yang, and four directions, with the centre as the sum of the four directions. Benevolence is exhibited by the attitude of control with superior adhesive skills of stretchiness and springiness. Righteousness is exhibited in the concept of being right or correct with awareness of the internal and external forces. Courteous is exhibited in the techniques of following and neutralization. Wisdom is exhibited in the discernment of the opponent’s movement. The acquisition of the skills is difficult but it does have a profound influence of the character of the practitioner. The latest research in eccentric muscle contraction and muscle elasticity and meridians has validated the benefits and advantages of taijiquan.

This research has validated the applicability of the saintliness model in taijiquan but further research is required.


Hi Yeung,

This is an interesting concept, but could perhaps end up missing the point? Most saints that I've studied or met manifested compassion in their actions, and a worldview that was expansive and inclusive. I suppose that to the degree Taiji can help a person get connected with their body, the earth, and the environment it can also help someone on the path to saintliness, but it seems like a bit of a stretch.

Best,
Greg
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:00 am

Yeung wrote:太極功
THE TAIJI ART
宋書銘
by Song Shuming
[1908]
[translation by Paul Brennan, Mar, 2017]

此書十不傳
TEN TYPES OF PEOPLE NOT TO BE TAUGHT
一不傳外教
1. Do not teach those of different traditions.
二不傳無德
2. Do not teach those without virtue.
三不傳不知師弟之道者
3. Do not teach those who do not understand instructions.
四不傳收不住的
4. Do not teach those who cannot endure.
五不傳半盡而廢的
5. Do not teach quitters.
六不傳得寶忘師者
6. Do not teach those who gain the treasure but forget the teacher.
七不傳無納履之心者
7. Do not teach those who are ungrateful for what they receive.
八不傳好怒好慍者
8. Do not teach those who are prone to losing their temper.
九不傳外欲太多者
9. Do not teach those who take excessive delight in worldly pleasures.
十不傳匪事多端者
10. Do not teach those who cannot handle a great variety of tasks.

students list. ...1. Do not study with a teacher who cannot handle a great variety of tasks. 8-)
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:58 am

A man once tried to challenge Yang Pan Hou by hiding in a bush and jumping out to attack as Yang was walking past with his daughter. Yang killed him dead on the spot.

He had a high level of achievement in Taijiquan, would you consider this murder saintly?
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:07 am

He was just a passive instrument of the attackers suicide
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby oragami_itto on Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:50 pm

wayne hansen wrote:He was just a passive instrument of the attackers suicide

Today we have suicide by cop. In the late 1800s the Chinese had suicide by Yang?
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:52 am

oragami_itto wrote:A man once tried to challenge Yang Pan Hou by hiding in a bush and jumping out to attack as Yang was walking past with his daughter. Yang killed him dead on the spot.

He had a high level of achievement in Taijiquan, would you consider this murder saintly?

Didn’t he also kill his daughter later on ?
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:02 am

"The secret principle of martial arts is not vanquishing the attacker, but resolving to avoid an encounter before its occurrence. To become an object of an attack is an indication that there was an opening in one's guard, and the important thing is to be on guard at all times."
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby oragami_itto on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:36 am

Trick wrote:
oragami_itto wrote:A man once tried to challenge Yang Pan Hou by hiding in a bush and jumping out to attack as Yang was walking past with his daughter. Yang killed him dead on the spot.

He had a high level of achievement in Taijiquan, would you consider this murder saintly?

Didn’t he also kill his daughter later on ?


An accident with spears while training, yes.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:22 am

lack of control, not an high level there
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby yeniseri on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:27 am

The conept of saintliness in taijiquan does not appear to match a 'taijiquan model' though its individual objective characteristics (righteousness, benevolence, etc) which can be observed, is still somewhat tenuous based on the label.
More thought needed on the matter. We know what a saint is and sometimes its degree within the individual and culture are not always balck or white.

I am thinking of those who are skillful in taijiquan and are unknown while those who we see who wveryone knows but the former remain quiet in the background while the rest portion their teaching as needed or required. There are varying degrees od saintliness with its concepts, which are difficult to translate or even elucidate. Even within social science, we look at different concepts regarding an ethical or moral sphere per characteristic but saintliness is not even a factor, perhaps due to its 'religious' connotation having nothing to do with mundane tasks though that is needed to reach that 'height'.
Last edited by yeniseri on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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