Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:42 pm

I am of the CMC lineage and we do it
You won't run out of space because it is balanced with follow steps going in the opposite direction
TT Liang had a lot of other teachers beside CMC
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Steve James on Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:48 pm

It's interesting that Sun style doesn't use GBT, but "Lazy about Tying Coat" no? Sun style is/was known as "active step" tjq.

Afa I know, CMC style isn't active step, nor are most other tjq styles. They might use a half-step, but imo it's not the same. I mean that active steps are fundamental to Sun style.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:28 pm

Thé solo san shou forms are very much active step
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Steve James on Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:35 pm

Sure. Everything that isn't fixed step is active step, and most tjq styles have parts in the form that are active step.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:15 am

wayne hansen wrote:I am of the CMC lineage and we do it
You won't run out of space because it is balanced with follow steps going in the opposite direction
TT Liang had a lot of other teachers beside CMC


So to clarify, you are taking about the solo form, not the San shou, right? You do the CMC form with active steps? I haven't seen anyone else do that.

I agree the San shou is very well balanced and doesn't eat up a lot of floor space.

Which postures would you add active stepping to balance it it? Thinking on it I'd probably just add extra brush knees to make room. I've spent enough time not practicing the 150 that I can't immediately think of where else to make up space.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Aug 13, 2021 4:09 am

Not the 37 chengs 108
Turn around chop with fist
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby yeniseri on Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:14 pm

Rhen wrote:Both Sun style and older Yang styles do this as mentioned in grahams podcast. One of my teachers explained in the Yang chengfu style the delivery of power in larger stances needs a pivot on the heel ( not ball of foot) for this.

In higher stances like Sun taijiquan the power needs to be delivered with a follow-up step similar to a western boxer who pivots on ball of foot (not heel).


According to my recollection of what one of my teachers stated, 1/2 step used to be part of Yang style but with 'orthodox teaching and segmentation of style variations" it was somehow omitted (no reason was given ;D ) and the bow and arrow stance (movement!) became a standard. The 1/2 step was maintained in 2 man pre-arranged 'forms' in the one I was taught but rarely practiced over the ages.
Sun style made it part of training due to the paquazhang/quan conditioning element and therefore it became a signature for Sun style dynamics/mechanics.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Wed Aug 18, 2021 12:49 am

yeniseri wrote:According to my recollection of what one of my teachers stated, 1/2 step used to be part of Yang style but with 'orthodox teaching and segmentation of style variations" it was somehow omitted (no reason was given ;D ) and the bow and arrow stance (movement!) became a standard. The 1/2 step was maintained in 2 man pre-arranged 'forms' in the one I was taught but rarely practiced over the ages.


Might be true. I have watched Yang forms being performed with different types of footwork by old practitioners. I remember that there were a couple of clips on the YT maybe ten years ago with a lot of following steps. Have been looking for them, but can't. I would bet that there's a lot of the older stuff on the Chinese tubes, most of the old clips on YT come from there.

Sun style made it part of training due to the paquazhang/quan conditioning element and therefore it became a signature for Sun style dynamics/mechanics.


Well, this is not true. Sun style is just a variation of the modern Hao form. Most of what you see in Sun style Taijiquan and its characteristics (though body mechanics is a bit different), including the "huobu" (active/lively stepping), is directly derived from its precursor.

.....

Interesting aspects of "follow steps" from Mr Chen Zhonghua. Worth to watch even if you don't understand the Chinese. I've summarised what he said below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YERyoN_11Q8


Here (in Chinese), first he says that people usually do following steps too small. You should keep a certain width in order to keep the kua open, but the stance should not be too wide. So even if you walk with a wide stance, the rear leg should follow.

Also, the stepping should be done from the kua, or by using the muscles on the inside of the thighs close to the groin. This area is not "relaxed" and instead you use it in a highly active and conscious manner. He says that you can imagine a pair of scissors. The power comes from the inside where the two blades start do divide. This area is what cuts the paper, not and not the tips. So you should work with the kua when you step as you used scissors. The kua is what you use to move, the rest of the legs and feet just follow.

He shows what he does from a Chen perspective. but I think that the basic method should be valid for Tai Chi in general. People tend to move from the feet, but the steps, regardless Yang, Sun or Chen or whatever, should use the kua active and initiate the steps from here. Also, if you use the upper leg active to lift and place your empty, passive lower leg, by just letting the lower leg "fall" or "slide" into place, this will protect your knees from damage. This method will let the whole leg and knee find the correct alignment by itself.

I myself, when practicing the Sun form, have always sinked and moved in a little bit lower stances than what you usually see. The reason is the same. People tend to use the kua passive and collapse it. Even if you will find it hard to use only those muscles Mr Chen speaks about, you can still focusing on use the upper legs to lift, move and place the lower legs with, while always minding to keep the kua open and not collapse them.

A basic problem with tai chi is that if you step out with your feet first, light or heavy, your whole posture will align itself as the weight goes through the knee down to the foot. Most people do this mistake. The heavier and wider stances, the more impact on the knees. This means that you really want to find the correct alignment before transitioning weight. So even if you don't understand exactly how to use the kua, you can start by actively using the upper leg, or thigh, to lift and place the lower leg and foot, while trying to keep the lower leg as passive as possible. Keeping the kua open will help you to stabilise the stance.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:50 am

I can't say I like the way he drags his back foot
I prefer it much more active
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Bao on Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:04 am

Good point. Agreed.

I think it's from a practical PH POV though. He teaches a method to continuously keep on pressure on the opponent, pushing while walking forward. From that perspective though it's logical to keep the feet close to the ground.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Rhen on Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:13 am

Last edited by Rhen on Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby oragami_itto on Wed Aug 18, 2021 9:02 am

Rhen wrote:Many of the fast forms have the stepping.

36 seconds in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouj8116dp6Q&t=109s


15 seconds in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsg5opsY1zg


44 seconds in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiegLb3xEfw&t=6s


To me those three all appear to be completely different stepping methods.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby robert on Wed Aug 18, 2021 9:45 am

It's not clear to me what the OP means by half step. If we're talking about what CZH shows above that is found in Chen and Yang styles. The Chen erlu or cannon fist has a series of half steps in it. Around 1:35 in the video below.


And it's in Fu Zhongwen's fajin drills.

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: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Doc Stier on Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:04 am

yeniseri wrote:According to my recollection of what one of my teachers stated, 1/2 step used to be part of Yang style but with 'orthodox teaching and segmentation of style variations" it was somehow omitted...and the bow and arrow stance (movement!) became a standard. The 1/2 step was maintained in 2 man pre-arranged 'forms' in the one I was taught but rarely practiced over the ages.

The stance and footwork in question still is an integral component of the earlier pre-1930's versions of Yang Style TCC, particularly in the Small Frame Fast Form Sets, as well as in the solo and partner application drills accompanying these usage sets. 8-)

These training methods are not very easy to find nowadays, but are definitely still present in some older lineages, which chose not to accept the newer Yang Cheng-Fu Modified Large Frame 85 Forms style as their standard. Those who practice only the YCF style, or any of its derivatives, would have to seek a competent teacher of the older curriculum to access that material, or attempt reverse engineering of what they already have. Most are apparently doing the latter. :-\
Last edited by Doc Stier on Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Half step/follow-up in taijiquan

Postby Rhen on Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:30 am

These training methods are not very easy to find nowadays, but are definitely still present in some older lineages, which chose not to accept the newer Yang Cheng-Fu Modified Large Frame 85 Forms style as their standard. Those who practice only the YCF style, or any of its derivatives, would have to seek a competent teacher of the older curriculum to access that material, or attempt reverse engineering of what they already have. Most are apparently doing the latter. :-\


Not sure I agree with that statement since the 85 form is more from Yongnian village and the older form, while what YCF taught publicly is now considered the 108 or 103 forms and both 108 and 103 very different from the 85.

also for Robert, the half step/follow-up step is the one here as mentioned earlier in the thread:

at 2:11, but the better one is at 3:30 where there is a step up, then push.

Yangjia Michuan taijiquan from Zhang Qilin (learned from Yang Jianhou but had to be listed as a Yang chengfu disciple) has a follow-up step like Sun Taijiquan.

His disciple Wang Yien-Nian:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YyaHhckFJk
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