Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

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

Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby oragami_itto on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:47 am

Trick wrote:lack of control, not an high level there

Well I'm sure if Yang Pan Hou were alive today you could certainly deliver him a sound thrashing.
Last edited by oragami_itto on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby LaoDan on Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:10 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.

I am skeptical of this list and the reasons behind them. They primarily seem to be about the teacher (ego, frustrations with noncompliant “otherness” not letting him get his absolute way when teaching others, or frustrations with those less skilled than is desired making teaching more difficult, etc.) rather than really being about the students. For example:
1) Different traditions: I know that many teachers of traditional cultural arts feel that the cultural traditions underlying their arts are important, but without other teachers violating this principle there would be no spread of TJQ into the west and I would never have been exposed to it. Teaching to others with different traditions will likely make transmitting the knowledge more difficult for the teacher, but I do not see why it should be prohibited.
2) Virtue: While this is a common moral martial quality, but we do not know if this “virtue” is more about the obedience and knowing one’s place as portrayed by Confucian codes of conduct. If so, then it may just be another directive stating essentially that the teacher should get his way.
3) Understanding: Those who do not quickly understand instructions can be frustrating to the teacher, but to me they can still be taught. Is this just another example of the teacher being frustrated by less skilled students which makes teaching them more difficult for the teacher?
4) Enduring: If students are not able to endure everything that a teacher insists on, then they are not giving the teacher total control and can be frustrating to the teacher. But they can still be taught even if their progress is slowed...
5) Quitters: If students are required to endure everything that the teacher demands, then there will be quitters. Who is “wrong” here, the inflexible teacher and the inflexible teaching methods, or the lack of adaptability in tailoring the instruction to various learning styles and learning competencies?
6) Splitting from the teacher: Again this seems like the teacher’s ego demanding lifelong praise from the students. If the teacher sincerely cares for the students, then they are likely to have a lifelong appreciation of that teacher and are likely to praise them freely. But if the student is mistreated, then they are likely to only put up with any abuse only for so long, and if they don’t quit (see #5) and stay around long enough to gain proficiency in the art, then they would likely not continue honoring the teacher any longer then necessary.
7) Ungratefulness: This seems again to be a deficiency with the teacher (see #6).
8) Losing ones temper: While this could be a matter of personality or “virtue” (see #2), it could also be a matter of frustration and anger with how the teacher treats the student. One can lose one’s temper when frustration with mistreatment builds to a boiling point...
9) Worldly pleasures: I do not know what constitutes “excessive” delight, but “worldly pleasures” also seems to be referring to things outside of a teacher’s control. Unless the harms of this are specified, I would tend to think that this is also mostly about the control of the teacher rather than being faults that would make someone unqualified as a student.
10) Handling various tasks: Again, I am not certain what is being specified here, is it just the teacher’s frustration with the slow learners, or those who do not do everything that the teacher wants?

If one wants to inflate their own importance and/or that of their art, then one may wish to make lists like this, but I do not personally buy it. A teacher’s job is not easy, but we (at least many of us) still do it to help as many of our students as we can regardless of the “faults” listed above.

To me, the teacher would be more “saintly” if they abandoned these guidelines!
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby robert on Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:46 pm

Yeung wrote: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.

Interesting idea. I'm not a physiologist or psychologist so I can't contribute much. Chen Xin does discuss Mencius - though not much. Personally I would tie stretchiness and springiness (jing jin [muscle/tendon meridians]) to rightness. That's sensation. What Mencius is talking about is also sensation. If you treat other people right you feel good, if you are healthy, if you are not a sociopath, if you mistreat people you will feel bad. That's sensation, it's just more subtle, but taiji's awareness is a doorway to Mencius's awareness.
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: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:58 pm

oragami_itto wrote:
Trick wrote:lack of control, not an high level there

Well I'm sure if Yang Pan Hou were alive today you could certainly deliver him a sound thrashing.

I’m sure I might have hurt someone’s linage pride by writing that, and I’m not going to say sorry for it8-)
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:41 pm

Song just does not want to waste time teaching those who are not worthy of the teaching
Not about ego just time management
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Bhassler on Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:25 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Song just does not want to waste time teaching those who are not worthy of the teaching
Not about ego just time management


If someone has to read a poem to know what it takes to learn their own art, they're probably full of shit, anyways.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:29 am

wayne hansen wrote:Song just does not want to waste time teaching those who are not worthy of the teaching
Not about ego just time management

Where those rules just for himself, as an reminder so he not stray away from his own path ? So a little about ego it might have been 8-)
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby edededed on Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:51 pm

Perhaps the moral ideas came from Daoist or Buddhist principles that may have been an influence (where virtues are more meaningful). As most taiji masters were lay people, they were then free to interpret those ideas as they like.
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Re: Towards Saintliness in Taijiquan

Postby Trick on Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:51 pm

TEN TYPES OF PEOPLE NOT TO BE TAUGHT
一不傳外教
1. Do not teach those of different traditions.
One of my Taiji teachers in Sweden said that initially he just intended to teach Chinese people in Sweden , but there was almost no Chinese that wanted to study Taiji/wushu, so he began to accept others too.
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