Roundness

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Roundness

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:38 am

Liang De Hua Taijiquan wrote:Taiji Quan is not just Song and sinking in the Zhan Zhuang or standing practice. It includes many characteristics in the Taiji form movements too. As in this video, the roundness is the primary function for the neutralizing Jin (Hua Jin) or even adhering Jin (Zhan Jin).

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Re: Roundness

Postby charles on Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:15 am

It took him more than 6 minutes of talk to say “round is peng”. He gave no practical insight on how to achieve that (peng). Viewers would probably have gotten just as much from the video if he had said,“You have to have “blue””. In my opinion, another of the many examples of vague, ineffective teaching.

Sorry, but I don’t have much patience for this kind of poor teaching.
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Re: Roundness

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:13 am

Do you have any thoughts on how to better express the idea?
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Re: Roundness

Postby charles on Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:55 pm

oragami_itto wrote:Do you have any thoughts on how to better express the idea?


Peng is an essential quality of movement. No amount of talk will produce it or transfer it in someone else. So the question is what sort of training should one do and what hands-on correction should a teacher provide? That speaks to the core curriculum and the quality of one’s pedagogic method. So, what you are really asking is what should one practice, how should it be practiced and what hands-on corrections should a teacher provide. My answer to that would either be be very very long or very short.

My short answer is look at the videos I’ve made. That is my best attempt at a practical answer to the question you asked. The videos are several hours in duration.
Last edited by charles on Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby Bao on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:00 pm

Agree with Charles. Wholeheartedly so. He could have pointed out correct angles of the arms, how you turn the center line as a wheel turning, explain how you meet the opponent’s force with roundness of movements. There are so many ways to describe what and how you do something.

OTOH, everything in Tai Chi are circles, spheres and spiral movements. “Roundness” seems like something too basic to complicate. Or even to address in this manner. Redundant.
Last edited by Bao on Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:12 pm

charles wrote:
My short answer is look at the videos I’ve made. That is my best attempt at a practical answer to the question you asked. The videos are several hours in duration.

I don't really care for your videos. What I'm asking is how you would explain the ideas he's trying to communicate here. If you don't want to, that's fine.
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Re: Roundness

Postby charles on Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:26 pm

oragami_itto wrote:I don't really care for your videos.


That’s okay.

What I'm asking is how you would explain the ideas he's trying to communicate here. If you don't want to, that's fine.


I understand what you are asking and I’m not evading answering. I don’t think you understand my answer.

First, I don’t think he’s “trying to communicate” anything beyond “one should have peng”. For most of the video he calls it “roundness” before eventually stating that the roundness he is discussing is peng. No one disagrees that one should have peng. Simply saying it repeatedly doesn’t provide insight into what it is or how to develop it.

Second, I’m stating that what it is and how one develops it can’t be communicated verbally. Your asking me to communicate it verbally and I’m advising you that it can’t be. It isn’t that I’m refusing to answer your question, it is that the answer can’t be given in the format you want - a verbal description. It is similar to your asking me how I would explain the color blue to someone who has no experience of the color blue: the experience of what the color blue is can’t be obtained from a verbal description.

As long as you continue to look for a verbal description as a means of understanding what it is, that understanding will evade you. It isn’t complicated, but it is experiential, like the color blue. The experience comes from training the right thing the right way. Understanding comes from that first-hand experience. (My videos show one path to achieving that experience.)
Last edited by charles on Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby Tim M on Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:17 am

I totally agree with the lack of teaching in this video. One of the reasons I’ve moved to wing Chun after years of tai chi, is this lack of showing how to get there. It seems so many teachers demo well and explain it with totally inadequate information. They think that mentioning the qualities themselves, are enough to teach them. Relaxation, whole body power, sung, peng, etc etc

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Re: Roundness

Postby GrahamB on Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:46 am

“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”

― Albert Einstein
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Re: Roundness

Postby charles on Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:54 am

GrahamB wrote:“You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”

― Albert Einstein


“Peng is qi flowing everywhere.”

- Chen Xiaowang

Now both you and my grandmother understand. Now that you both understand, both of you now have master-level physical skills and can teach them to others. Isn’t that simple?


“Things should be made as simple as possible but no simpler.”

- Albert Einstein
Last edited by charles on Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:22 am

Charles.

I'm not searching for understanding here. I understand what he's explaining poorly and it's not "Peng is round, you should have Peng."

I'm just searching for conversation. That isn't weighted by excess self importance, condescension, and pretension, I mean.

I mean, clear failure there, obviously.

I agree with Graham, you should be able to explain it to your grandmother. Some things do defy intellectual understanding and explanation, no doubt, but "look at my hours of YouTube" is a cop out.

If you really understand it, you should be able to explain it for most purposes within a few minutes. Otherwise you're just filling dead air with chatter.

Liang speaks English as a second language and is still learning and has made an attempt to communicate a concept in seven minutes. Clearly he failed since you got the wrong idea from the presentation.

If I were to summarize his point myself, I'd simply say that he's saying roundness is everywhere in taijiquan, externally and internally, physical and mental, shape and movement, visible and invisible. The point to study is to find that roundness, or more likely find the squareness in your practice and work on rounding it off.

Nothing Earth shattering, but something useful to consider and work on.

Conversation from that point might then involve deeper exploration of the truth of the claim. The straight within the curved, the meaning of the circle and square. Much meat to chew, imho.

But this is RSF, it isn't about the arts, is it? Is about egos, right? Trying to prove who knows more or does better, right? Does that shit work in the octagon?
Last edited by oragami_itto on Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby windwalker on Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:37 am

I'm just searching for conversation. That isn't weighted by excess self importance, condescension, and pretension, I mean.


Nice, something I feel that's often lacking in some of the threads.

one thing I didn't see mentioned , was the fact that English is a second language for the teacher. Often things can be explained in a first language with fewer words and more succinctly, then in the second language.

For example the words that many use here, peng, qi, ect.
For many in the culture from which the words come from there is no need for much explanation if any.

“Peng is qi flowing everywhere.”


this is very short in the first language as it's expressed it might well contain all that is needed for one to know what is happening with the teacher giving a physical Hands-On demo of how it feels and corrections to make it happen.
Last edited by windwalker on Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby Bao on Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:25 am

If I were to summarize his point myself, I'd simply say that he's saying roundness is everywhere in taijiquan, externally and internally, physical and mental, shape and movement, visible and invisible. The point to study is to find that roundness, or more likely find the squareness in your practice and work on rounding it off.
...
The straight within the curved, the meaning of the circle and square. Much meat to chew, imho.


So how in a practical sense do you create this roundness? How to practice, what to think about and what to focus on?

When it comes to discussions on teaching capacity I don't think that there's very much ego going on. At least not compared to the level of frustration shared by many. A lot of people are frustrated by the level of unwillingness to teach in a direct and practical manner in the Tai Chi world. IMO it's a bit unfair to dismiss this kind of criticism as ego trips. Most people criticizing teachers are serious players who just want to learn more and understand more. I understand why people are tired of Tai Chi teachers as I myself have shared their frustration.
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Re: Roundness

Postby charles on Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:39 am

oragami_itto wrote: no doubt, but "look at my hours of YouTube" is a cop out.


My point was that one needs to do physical practice rather than focus on abstract academic understanding.

If I were to summarize his point myself, I'd simply say that he's saying roundness is everywhere in taijiquan, externally and internally, physical and mental, shape and movement, visible and invisible. The point to study is to find that roundness, or more likely find the squareness in your practice and work on rounding it off
.

That’s basically my point. I find “mental roundness” or “internal roundness” to be academic platitudes. What is a “round “ thought? How does one make their physical insides “round”? In my opinion, searching for some all-encompassing “roundness” in one’s Taiji is irrelevant. It is a distraction. “Roundness” is not the keystone of Taijiquan.

Making the outsides round is basic physical/postural stuff. For example, one should round the dang (“crotch”). In conjunction with that, “open” the kua. These are both basic postural requirements of stances.

Closing the chest makes the chest round (concave) and opens the upper back making it round (convex) and connects the arms to the torso. Opening the chest and closing the back does the opposite - makes the chest convex (round) and makes the upper back concave (round). There should be continuous transition between the two in every movement.

There are a few basic physical aspects of “roundness” that can be worked on and found in nearly any Taijiquan movement, forms or partner work. At more advanced levels one can discuss “energy” being circular and/or spiral.

But this is RSF, it isn't about the arts, is it? Is about egos, right? Trying to prove who knows more or does better, right? Does that shit work in the octagon?


I’ve never had an interest in those things.
Last edited by charles on Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roundness

Postby everything on Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:16 am

all toddlers use sinking. all american football and rugby players use roundness.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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