Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

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Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Yeung on Fri Nov 19, 2021 6:43 am

The strategy of enticing into emptiness is quoted in the “Playing of Hands” in the Taijiquan Classics (1700 AD?). This strategy can be traced back to the Thirty-six Stratagems from the Book of Southern Qi (470-502 AD) and the Art of War by Sunzi (500-430 BC). The comparative advantage of Taijiquan is the ability to maximize resistance without the problem of overbalancing oneself and being able to withdraw the resistance quickly to let the opponent overbalance himself or herself.
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Nov 19, 2021 8:40 am

How does one accomplish "Enticing into emptiness" and is it different than "yielding"?
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Bao on Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:23 am

If it's from the Dashou Ge (Song of striking hands), the quote is not complete, 即出 is missing. It should be:

引進落空合即出
(yǐn jìn luò kōng hé jí chū.)

即出 means "immediately send out"

Mark Rusman, in his translation of Ma Jiangbo's Wu style Taijiquan Questions and Answers, he translates 引進落空合即出 like this:

"Lead [the opponent] in, [and he] falls into emptiness, unite and immediately issue."

It's a perfect translation, IMO.

In Li Yiyüs handwritten document, you can read: "The ancients stated that you should be able to 引進落空" Douglas Wile translates this "引進落空" as "draw in the opponent's energy so it lands on nothing". This is more an explanation than a direct translation, but it's an ok explanation.

So it's not about that you are "yielding" . You are doing the yielding. This is about doing something to your opponent, he is doing the "falling into emptiness"-thing.

So what you do is leading your opponent so he falls into emptiness. As soon as he is unbalanced or he finds himself stumbling in air, you catch his balance and immediately issue (fajing).
Last edited by Bao on Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:29 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Subitai on Fri Nov 19, 2021 9:07 pm

....Oh...boy...
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:08 pm

Yield only to return

The way most people push the right amount of yielding is not built into the structure
They either bull at the gate not yielding but trying to manhandle or the are like wet tofu
You should also look into Enganue in illustrissimo kali
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:00 pm

So what is the "right amount of yielding", and what is the actual difference between yielding and leading?
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Nov 20, 2021 5:44 pm

Listen neutralise follow complete
Yielding precedes leading
The right amount is passed on hand to hand
Can't be told can only be shown
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Doc Stier on Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:51 pm

Classical tui-shou (push hands) partner training in all traditional TCC styles focuses on the development of defensive touch sensitivity to the opponent's changes of technique, position, direction of movement, speed, and power application following initial physical contact.

A typical formula used to describe this is Attach, Adhere, Join, and Follow, i.e. establish an initial point of contact bridge (attach); stick to a point of contact with at least one hand (adhere); match their initial speed and direction of movement (join); and employ soft, relaxed changes to remain united with their changing movements (follow).

When this can be effectively done consistently, it becomes easy to transform following the opponent's movement from points of contact to leading the opponent's movement into disadvantaged positions which are momentarily empty, unstable and imbalanced due to their suddenly compromised structure and center of gravity. At that time, most fighters will be unable to sufficiently recover fast enough to avoid being defeated by well trained and properly applied counter measures. 8-)
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Doc Stier on Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:11 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Listen neutralise follow complete
Yielding precedes leading
The right amount is passed on hand to hand
Can't be told can only be shown

Agreed. Well stated. It takes four hands to acquire truly effective skills. Feeling high level skills applied to your own body repeatedly over time by an expert teacher is far more valuable and more informative than watching such skills being applied on someone else from the sidelines. ;)
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Steve James on Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:35 pm

How does one accomplish "Enticing into emptiness" and is it different than "yielding"?

So what is the "right amount of yielding", and what is the actual difference between yielding and leading?


Using those terms, "leading" and "enticing" are the same, except the former is physical and the latter is psychological. "Yielding" means "not resisting." Of course, there are many ways not to resist; running away, for example. But, the skill is in yielding "without letting go."

The example I used was the swinging door. If someone leans against it thinking it's a wall, they may become off-balanced and possibly fall. If you entice someone into thinking they're hitting something solid, they can be put off balance. The trick, however, is to encourage them to feel that way. If you're tantalizingly close, the opponent will be more likely to take the bait.

This is a strategy, not a technique. A western boxer --or a Chinese general-- can use it just as easily. It has nothing to do with internal/external. Though, training methods can obviously differ. Theoretically, push hands is training in using tcc methods to accomplish a particular strategy. At least, imo, it's possible to generalize about the theory in ways one can't when it comes to the specific practice. The idea of "fa" (and what to do with the opponent who's be enticed into emptiness/unbalance) is debated among styles. I.e., there are people who emphasize the "internal power/strength" they can issue is what defines tcc. And there are others who'll argue that it's all about the qi.
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Bhassler on Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:58 pm

Doc Stier wrote:Classical tui-shou (push hands) partner training in all traditional TCC styles focuses on the development of defensive touch sensitivity to the opponent's changes of technique, position, direction of movement, speed, and power application following initial physical contact.

A typical formula used to describe this is Attach, Adhere, Join, and Follow, i.e. establish an initial point of contact bridge (attach); stick to a point of contact with at least one hand (adhere); match their initial speed and direction of movement (join); and employ soft, relaxed changes to remain united with their changing movements (follow).

When this can be effectively done consistently, it becomes easy to transform following the opponent's movement from points of contact to leading the opponent's movement into disadvantaged positions which are momentarily empty, unstable and imbalanced due to their suddenly compromised structure and center of gravity. At that time, most fighters will be unable to sufficiently recover fast enough to avoid being defeated by well trained and properly applied counter measures. 8-)


This is not directed at anyone in particular, but Doc's post made me think of it.

It's funny that taiji people (or IMA people in general) seem to think they're the only ones who avoid force on force conflict, and instead use skill to neutralize the opponent's attack and thereby create opportunities for themselves. In reality, everyone I've met who has had to fight past their hormone-riddled early twenties has realized that force on force is stupid and painful. All the magic taiji people talk about as superior "internal" strategy is really just common sense with a little experience, and is better achieved with angles and positioning than imagining one is going to stand there and neutralize a strike by wiggling their body around.

If anyone thinks they have the sensitivity to yeild to a strike based purely on touch without establishing contact first, here's a test:
  • If you're male, find a female friend. Preferably your significant other, but any female friend should do.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Ask them to slap your face as hard as they can. Don't worry about it hurting, because you're going to yield....

Please report back at your earliest convenience.
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Nov 20, 2021 11:15 pm

I agree all good martial artists are masters of yielding
I am not going to give any woman a free slap
Saying that I have had yielding automatically come into play
It has happened on the waterfront where I worked several saving various limbs and my life on more than one occasion
It has happened when driving and other times that slip the mind
Internal is such a tainted word what I mean by it may not be what others do
I have entered a whole new state of internal understanding in the last 6 months
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby windwalker on Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:22 am

We use the term "yeild" to be more concerned with outside positioning changes as mentioned..

Emptying is different referring to a "state" think of a ballon full of air, and one empty but still maintaining its outer shape..

This makes it very different in that one can yeild with out emptying...
One can empty without yeilding...

The sensitivity one cultivates the ability to sense this "change state"
which does not rely on physical touch, but starts from it.

The higher this ability the less movement to no movement is needed.

Most demos showing this questioned... the reactions caused by the others sudden "change state" not understood by those looking for outer change.

Taiji is said to be "open close / empty full "

by enticing, it means as "we" practice.

to change inside, the other not understanding attempts to maintain control outside

"leading is following, following is leading" inner change leads, outer change follows.

In usage, taiji. was once referred to as "touch boxing"
Last edited by windwalker on Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:46 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Bao on Sun Nov 21, 2021 4:33 am

oragami_itto wrote:So what is the "right amount of yielding",


The main idea of pressure in my own Tai Chi, yielding or leading or anything else, is to take away as much as possible and only leave what is absolutely necessary. The less pressure, the less contact, and the less amount of strength applied, the better. The less you need, the better and more effective result.

and what is the actual difference between yielding and leading?


Yielding only considers your own body to maintain no obvious pressure and no obvious contact with the opponent.
Yielding is disappearing, your opponent should feel like it is clouds he is trying to grab. But he still has the choice to move however he wants and in whatever direction he choses.

Leading is using as little contact as possible to direct your opponent in the specific direction of your own choice. Here, he has no free choice to move as he wants, you decide over the direction of his movements.
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Re: Entice into Emptiness 引進落空

Postby Steve James on Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:12 am

Yeah, I agree that "following is leading. The technique of yielding can vary, but the idea is to allow the opponent to go on their way. Instead of resisting, you help them. That's a specifically tcc approach that differs from boxing and most other martial arts. It's why people often doubt tcc yielding works. The idea of "give yourself up and follow the other" can be hard to swallow. :)
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