Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby LaoDan on Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:38 am

Ian, I am glad that you decided to post on this forum. I loved your student’s reactions on the OP video. Rather than specific questions about the video, however, I was wondering if you would be willing to give your opinions on more general topics.

Many that participate on this forum are teachers, including myself, who try to pass their knowledge on to others, even beyond their immediate students, much like you are doing with your videos (thanks!). Many choose to do this through written words or video lectures, but others post video demonstrations. I try to use clear and non-vague terminology when I write about TJQ because I do not know the background or knowledge or skill of any prospective readers, and I try to avoid style or school specific concepts that may not translate well for those outside of my classes. When teaching in person, however, I use many physical examples where students can touch me to get a somatic sense of what I am trying to convey, and I have numerous drills where students can practice the principles (although these often use style specific practices).

When you make demonstration videos, the person that you demonstrate on can feel what you are doing, but the viewer obviously cannot. I suspect that the inability for viewers to feel you, could lead to misinterpretations of what is actually happening in the video, and may allow erroneous interpretations of your instructions. Do you find this to be a concern and, if so, how do you attempt to address it? I also favor using modern knowledge to help explain TJQ, and I personally try to avoid using traditional, but too vague, terminology (like using intent or Qi), even though that terminology does describe what is happening, IF someone is already able to do what is being addressed (at least to some degree of ability).

I would appreciate hearing your perspective on these concerns about accurately transmitting information in formats where students cannot personally feel what the teacher is doing, especially as concerning video demonstrations which appears to be your chosen vehicle for disseminating information beyond your immediate students. I find that writing about topics (or lecturing about them as Hai Yang does on his videos), allows for improved organization of the information, but this probably lacks much of the information that a knowledgeable viewer may be able to pick up from video demonstrations. Thoughts? Comments? Note, of course, that others on this forum are also welcome to post their thoughts.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby GrahamB on Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:21 pm

Hello Ian Sinclair! Nice to have you here.
I could be wrong.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Walk the Torque on Sun Aug 15, 2021 4:24 pm

wayne hansen wrote:If your ever in Australia I would like to exchange some energy


Yeah me too.

Iv'e enjoyed your clips in the past Ian.

Cheers
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Bao on Sun Aug 15, 2021 4:59 pm

Hi Ian. Good to have you onboard. 20 years late, but whatever... ;D

Hope you will participate a bit in the discussions and not let it stop here with a comment on one of your videos.

Cheers
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Bhassler on Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:33 pm

Ian Sinclair wrote:
Bhassler wrote:Kind of disappointing that he says it's all Newtonian physics and then doesn't even attempt to explain what he's doing in Newtonian physical terms. It sounds like he's jumping domains when he talks about lessening pressure and then immediately goes into talking about pushing where the structure/force isn't. Magnitude and direction are two different things. I'm sure it all makes sense as a sort of local jargon between people who train together regularly and can reference the same experiences, but as a stand-alone video, it ends up sort of lacking in terms of actual meaning.


You are right, of course. This happens a lot whenever we mix the subjective and objective. I feel that trying too hard to actually explain the physics involved would greatly reduce the niche for this sort of video, especially the way I teach it. It would bore the people who understand physics and confuse those who do not.

Newton's Third Law of Motion is the most relevant principle in this video. If I push a wall, the wall will push back. So, I don't push the wall. Well, I do, but not so much that I increase the pressure. I create the moment (I=L/w) and let the partner create the movement. The neat thing about force is that the force itself does not actually move. The mass accelerates and propagates increasingly chaotic reactive forces, and other reactions that can then be exploited.

If I get attached to vectors, or the reactive force, I will find resistance and fight against it. If I avoid the attachment, then I can exploit the reaction, then my partner pushes himself.

I don't think talking about Newton's Second Law of Motion and explaining angular momentum would be helpful or necessary in this video. I have videos in the works that will, at the very least, give some insight that will allow the physics to appear to make a little bit more sense. But the physics that can be spoken of is not the eternal way.

This video, of course, demonstrates an exercise with a cooperative partner. Applying this in combat requires a more complete set of skills, not only those being tested in this video.


I re-watched the video, and liked it better this time around. Interesting that you mention the moment point-- I realized upon review that what you said was Newtonian mechanics, and not Newtonian physics. The ideas are not necessarily interchangeable, in the sense that mechanics could be viewed as closer to engineering, whereas physics might imply more on the math/abstract science side of things. I think the engineering angle is probably more practical and meaningful. Right now I'm looking to simple machines for understanding things, rather than basic physics (outside of a few principles like conservation of momentum, etc.).

Regardless of all that, I like your material, even though it's not what I do. It is definitely a cool skill set and I'm glad you're doing so much to make it accessible. Like others, I certainly welcome your input and participation on the site, but as John Cleese famously said "On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It's a silly place."
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby cloudz on Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:24 am

Bhassler wrote:
denchen wrote:The essence of what he says - the need to yield and absorb momentarily before redirecting makes perfect sense to anyone who trains and tests
their taiji against resistance.


That's your interpretation of what he said, based on your own knowledge and experience of what was shown in the video, but not actually what he said. Which is kind of the whole point-- what he said is imprecise without physical contact and thus open to interpretation. That's all well and good, as this stuff is hard to talk about. Personally, I just wish when people invoked Newtonian physics, they would actually attempt to use the language to explain what they're doing. It's not a moral judgement, I just like Newtonian physics.



but that's just silly, we all know it's QM that puts the magic in tai chi
and if you don't fathom the precise scale at which Newtonian physics breaks down and stops predicting reality; you'll just never understand any of it
never mind reach the higher skill levels.



;D
:-X
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby cloudz on Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:28 am

:-X
Last edited by cloudz on Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby cloudz on Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:51 am

marvin8 wrote:Ian Sinclair
Dec 28, 2019

The biomechanics of tai chi tuishou (pushing hands) may seem like magic or trickery. But it is based on Newtonian mechanics. Few people get the hang of it, however. One of the reasons is the attachment that people have to tension, pressure, and their need for proprioceptive feedback. Effortless is not the goal, it is the method:





Am I the only one to find it odd to state that physical interaction follows our academic (scientific) understanding and description of... guess what?
physical interaction

tension and pressure are often part of the real world of conflict and if the belief is it can be nailed under these conditions, that might be a problem :P
Last edited by cloudz on Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Steve James on Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:59 am

Imo, we could use "classical" aopt "Newtonian" mechanics or physics which is often a mathematical way to describe nature. Everyone experiences the "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" in real time everyday. Otoh, our brains interpret what we experience; and, the brain can be fooled. So, imo, we can't use classical mechanics to fool anyone; but, we can pull a chair out from under someone, or cause someone to fall because they think there's something they can lean on.

Yeah, mechanics deals more with how than why, imo. Leverage works, but it's not Newtonian. Otoh, Newton's (Leibnitz's) calculus is used in quantum mechanics. Imo, connecting quantum theory to tjq is fine, you just gotta give people some math to back it up. Otherwise, you could call it the work of Taoist demons --and I know people who won't do tjq or yoga because they feel those practices allow evil spirits to enter. I practice anyway. :)
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:27 pm

My teacher often says
They are just using simple leverage
Real tai chi pushing is something beyond that
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Trip on Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:26 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Real tai chi pushing is something beyond that


Greetings Wayne Hansen,

Chinwoo's, How to Sink Your Qi thread, brings out a truth for me
Words, description, can't get at the real sensation (for lack of a better word)
The true sensation of what is only felt but not seen.
They're just a pointer at what you're supposed to DO.
But, words are what is used on a IMA site

That said, can you try your hand at a description
of what you, Wayne Hansen, feels is a "Real Taiji Push?"

Or, point to a video you like.
...

(Edit: I am curious, but totally understand if you choose to not answer)
Last edited by Trip on Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Bao on Fri Aug 20, 2021 3:48 pm

wayne hansen wrote:My teacher often says
They are just using simple leverage
Real tai chi pushing is something beyond that


I don't know exactly what you or he are referring to. But obviously you need to have developed, and understand how to use, Tai Chi Neijin, otherwise it's not "Tai Chi pushing". And I see very few who seem to understand real Taiji jin.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby wayne hansen on Fri Aug 20, 2021 5:49 pm

Bao I was referring to Newtonian Physics V mechanics
Trip I often say here
Real tai chi is literally passed on from hand to hand
If the teacher has not got it the student dies wondering
I really don’t know how to explain it and can’t think of any clips that show it
A student of mine once told me after seeing a clip of a demo we did
That he couldn’t see what I did on film
He said in each exchange he felt multiple blows that he neutralised that set him up for the outcome
He said all he could see on the film was him punching then either being thrown away or grounded
I don’t know if that makes it any clearer and I am not trying to brag
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Bao on Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:58 am

wayne hansen wrote:Real tai chi is literally passed on from hand to hand
If the teacher has not got it the student dies wondering


Agreed. You need to feel skill firsthand to understand what skill is. If you have felt skill firsthand you will know the difference between skill and no skill.

I think about all of those who try to practice by themselves, using video courses or online studying. Maybe they go to a seminar once in a while with lots of people showing up. And many never get the chance to even feel their teachers touch. :-[

Transmitting tai chi as you say, or skill, takes time. Hands on time, together with a teacher. A lot of physical contact.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Trip on Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:22 am

Thank you, Wayne, for taking the time to share your idea of a real Taiji push.

I don't feel you were trying to brag.
I think you were just trying to tell about something that is “only-felt, but not seen,” the best way you could.

I could be wrong but
I think I understand.
...
A few days ago, a friend tried to get me to do something I didn’t want to do. Things grew to a physical insistence.
I instinctively stuck to them; slightly diverting them away from their targets.

When it ended they said, “I gave them nothing.”
However, I could feel all their power in the palms of my hands.

Thanks for sharing Wayne.
Last edited by Trip on Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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