Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

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Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Fri Jul 22, 2022 3:31 pm

Ep 15: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk with Ken Gullette and Graham Barlow

In this episode of the Tai Chi Notebook podcast I’m teaming up with Ken Gullette, to answer the kind of questions that Tai Chi teachers get asked all the time.

Ken is an all-round good guy and owner of the Internal Fighting Arts website where he teaches the arts of Xing Yi, Bagua and Tai Chi at a very reasonable monthly cost. Check him out at http://www.internalfightingarts.com
Ken is a Chen style guy, and I’m a Yang style guy so it’s no surprise we have slightly different views on a lot of different topics, but that’s part of the fun of it all.

And if you’d like to help out my podcast then you can now become a friend of the Tai Chi Notebook on Patreon. Head over to Patreon.com/taichinotebook and you’ll be able to get a downloadable version of the podcast as well as support my work and get exclusive articles.

If you’ve got any comments on what we say then send them in - we’d love to hear from you!

You'll find the podcast on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/7z6jmViEcAcVWuG7xn8Xcm?si=b584d85ba2b641ab and Apple Podcasts https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ep-15-centre-the-dragon-tai-chi-talk-with-ken/id1574205685?i=1000570865387

Don't forget to write us a review and share the podcast with your friends.
Last edited by GrahamB on Sat Jul 23, 2022 12:12 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 23, 2022 12:09 am

If you'd rather hear this on Ken's podcast, here's the link. His intros are funnier than mine :)

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/i ... d948284254
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby cloudz on Tue Jul 26, 2022 11:11 am

you should youtube them Graham
totally selfish request on my part, never been a podcast kind of guy
more exposure for you though
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Tue Jul 26, 2022 12:03 pm

I will - I just put it out as a podcast first - I do an audiogram youtube version at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1SJds ... CFU9naMHHg

I'll put it there soon.
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Tue Jul 26, 2022 2:29 pm

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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby cloudz on Wed Jul 27, 2022 8:12 am

ah ok great
I shall subscribe!
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby yeniseri on Fri Jul 29, 2022 9:30 am

Many of the admonitions of taijiquan came after the Qing until the 1940s or therabouts.

The martial elements fell by the wayside and the health and exercise element surpassed the former so it makes sense not to do certain things within that MAY disrupt the work previously done to better wellness.
For example, eating after exercise, regardless of activity is not a good policy or vice versa because this "loads" the body while not allowing it to recuperate in a calm and gentle manner. An extreme case is having lunch then going swimming or running and the same applies to yangsheng disciplines. A few of these admonitions are more intuitive like lifting weights then doing qigong after (at least for me ??? ) since the muscle used need time to 'recuperate' so a few hours later or next day are perfect for qigong.

As I understand it, lifting weights is only a recent addition to CMA (other than shuaijiao and similar arts) since many of the pugilists of the past did agricultural work, were carpenters, etc so there was less need to supplement "strength training".
The palace crowd also did other CMA so taijiquan was a beneficial supplement in their schedule!

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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:15 am

"The martial elements fell by the wayside and the health and exercise element surpassed the former"

When Yang LuChan was invited into the Forbiden City to teach Tai Chi in the 1860s... why do we assume that he was teaching "martial arts". Why would protected courtesans want to learn "martial arts" that was viewed as a lower class activity? They had bodyguards.

Was this ever about fighting? Or was it really about feelgood symbolism?
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby cloudz on Sat Jul 30, 2022 2:52 am

But he was instructor to specific men who where professional martial artists. It was about fighting to an extent, but yes, other factors would come into it to. No doubt. That probably morphed and changed over the years he was in the appointment of Prince Duans House; as the story goes..
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:55 am

I said courtesans (professional prostitutes) but I meant courtiers (well born bureaucrats,) ;D ;D ;D like the Wu brothers.

But like you say, the Yangs did teach some professional soldiers too (first YLC but Ban Hou did too), but I'm not sure we can really conflate 'martial artists' and 'soldiers' as is often done.

But what we don't know is what they were teaching these people, and why YLC was hired. I"m sure Yang was good at fisticuffs, but would that be why seriously bad ass soldiers hired him? They could already fight. Guns were widely used at this time. Ritual, magic and religious rites were also widely practiced at this time. People believed in ghosts that needed to be placated before conflict could be engaged in. I"m sure there was a lot going on we have no idea about.

And like you say - it would have morphed and changed as time went on.
Last edited by GrahamB on Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby windwalker on Sat Jul 30, 2022 7:55 am

Image


The 438 of professional wrestlers at Shan Pu Ying (善扑营) belong to but one of the three capitol city garrisons. The one where Yang Luchan, Liu Zhijun, and Song Mailun taught at – Shen Ji Ying, had over 2,000 instructors/weapons experts who led the training of 30,000 strong palace guards. That plus the battle-hardened agents of Big Ten security companies (Biaoju), members of Big Six martial arts of the north, and all the people who flock to the city to make a name for themselves, Beijing during Qing Dynasty represented the peak of development and growth of traditional martial art.




The lifetime patronage of the large number of ruling class already deeply steeped in martial culture played a huge role in all of this. The Manchurian, experts to start with, with unlimited time and resource, were discerning connoisseurs of martial art as in any of their other hobbies. One nobleman – Duke Lan,hosted Ma Gui for years hoping Ma would teach him the famous Eighteen Interception (si ba jie 十八截) – an advanced broadsword (regular length, can be worn at waist) skill.

Taken all together, given the large, vibrant, and knowledgeable community, it would be impossible for the Yang’s to be teaching one set of drastically watered-down skills to the nobles – the very people who made all these growth and development possible, and teach another, more advanced set to other Han people, whom the Manchurian patrons also know equally well.


https://internalmartialart.wordpress.com/?wref=bif


Presents a good argument outlining some of thoughts expressed here
Last edited by windwalker on Sat Jul 30, 2022 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby GrahamB on Sat Jul 30, 2022 8:18 am

Windwalker - Wuyuzidi's article is about this: "One of the persistent myths in Taiji is that when Yang Luchan went to Beijing, he made the training easier by taking out all the hard stumping and jumps from the form to make it easier for the nobles. "

I'm not trying to suggest he taught one set of skills to the soldiers and another to the nobles. I'm saying - we don't know what he was teaching, or why. It's all speculation.

Just as aside: the concept of being a 'marital arts teacher' was really new at the time (1860), so I don't know how this could have been the "peak of development and growth of traditional martial art." I don't know. Maybe it was in some senses, but it depends what he means by "traditional arts" - does he mean soldiers? If so, the level of "marital skill" displayed during the Song Dynasty in the 1200s was off the charts because those guys had to fight on a regular basis against the toughest opposition. Is he talking about Shuai Jiao? That was imported with the Qing from outside China, so is that "traditional"? Or does he mean, who would win a fight in a ring? In which case, the people right now doing MMA in China would probably win. I think it's all relative.
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby taiwandeutscher on Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:19 am

Shuai Jiao imported during the Qing?
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby Bao on Sun Jul 31, 2022 5:01 am

taiwandeutscher wrote:Shuai Jiao imported during the Qing?


Agree 100% on this one.
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Re: Centre the Dragon: Tai Chi Talk w/K Gullette & G Barlow

Postby origami_itto on Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:08 am

GrahamB wrote:"The martial elements fell by the wayside and the health and exercise element surpassed the former"

When Yang LuChan was invited into the Forbiden City to teach Tai Chi in the 1860s... why do we assume that he was teaching "martial arts". Why would protected courtesans want to learn "martial arts" that was viewed as a lower class activity? They had bodyguards.

Was this ever about fighting? Or was it really about feelgood symbolism?


As far as I know, we do have a knowledgeable and well respected practitioner of "Imperial Yang" style that is a regular contributor to the board.

Don't want to call them out by name, but they might have some thoughts about what was being taught that I would love to hear.
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