Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

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

Postby windwalker on Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:57 am

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


A demo “filmed “ not shown

Written about

Why not post it allowing others who might be able to see what the student could not
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby cloudz on Sat Aug 21, 2021 6:55 am

Bao wrote:What he says about decreasing pressure and things that could be understood as “less engagement” is perfectly true and perfectly practical. However, very few who hasn’t experienced these things by themselves would understand how it works and how practical it really is. Must sound like philosophy for most people. But it isn’t. And again, it’s perfectly practical. And it works very good.



I agree that it can work, but i also think it's contextual. I just watched the beginning of the clip and already started to feel a little agitated! ;D
Yesterday after a short view of the thread i couldn't help think bout another youtube tai chi guru; Richard Clear.
Do you recall not so long ago the clip of him that emerged in the push hands competition. Very different from his student demonstrations and theoretical explanations.

Back to the the start of the clip and the use of the word 'pressure'; what it really meant by this?
He means force right, what else could he mean. The idea being that the less force used the less force coming back will be encountered.
A successful push being the outcome.

All things being equal I'm not really sure that this explanation of what we see can hold up to scrutiny.

Lower force or pressure from both sides would result in the same 'stalemate' or 'butting force', just less of it - not one side wins at the expense of the other.
Of course it's 101 that we don't resist with force but a relaxed type of grounding.

That this is exclusive to Tai chi push hands I think is a very arguable point indeed. I believe it's fairly common across wrestling and grappling arts.

Anyway, that's not really the point. I think it's easy to show things in a demo like this and explain it 'how you like to'. But I think there are skilful means of getting these results without actually adhering to the explanation ones made fully. So for instance he may be decreasing his force or using little force/ less force. But he can 'push through' the other guy by getting underneath, or around/ above his line of force. The 'resisting pressure' if you like.

It can be done in other ways to - by off balancing/ up rooting someone in the first instance then low force will have the same result - something he explains.
But that isn't about force or less force it's about the off balancing/ uprooting skill and the going around the force and finding the areas the are not grounded/ structurally solid.

When he uses the fingertips for example you can see him adjust his trajectory higher in a diagonal line which tips the guy back on his heels - subtle redirection of force does the trick, not less or decreasing force..

The whole explanation comes off as a misdirection in itself to me, though it does not seem intentional.

I've done this type of things myself in drills/ push hands games and it is/ can be very soft and effortless. The 'trick' isn't less pressure directly against pressure (force), but not meeting the force, rather grounding, then being and going underneath it - for example. Subtle redirecting of their force to achieve it can also be included.

You saw how the partner reacted to the early/ first explanation - why?
Because it makes no sense and actually goes against what is mechanically true (newtonian physics).
given equal skill and know how.

he's dumbfounded by the explanation because clearly the teacher is way ahead on those terms.

He doesn't give the explanation about how he's avoiding and going around the force and or resistance area - he kind of alludes to it (like talking about the butchers knife), but keeps maintaining this idea of decreasing pressure force - which to my ears can't possibly be the real reason it works..
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby LaoDan on Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:16 am

I suspect that what Cloudz and Bao wrote are both accurate, which is why it is often so difficult to understand TJQ without both the somatic feeling and some degree of theoretical and technical knowledge. Fortunately this example is not also including vague terminology (although I think that there are some inaccuracies, e.g., at ~3’ Ian mentions proprioceptors: proprioceptors receive information within one’s own body concerning joint angles and movements, and are used even when doing solo forms; perhaps he meant pressure sensors, or something else?). While one can achieve unbalancing using less pressure by attacking vulnerable angles where “resistance is futile” there are other ways that are somewhat more “mind games” as Ian mentions near the end of the video.

A body instinctively/habitually “resists” against incoming forces, and the idea of “force against force” comes into play here; the more force that comes in, the more force is used to resist it. The aggressor can use awareness and skill to apply their force using vectors that attack the opponent’s weak structure where the buildup of resistance is limited. In this approach, the attacker does not need to be stronger than the defender. This is a legitimate part of TJQ.

The other approach, and what I think Ian is trying to convey, utilizes the opponent’s instinctual/habitual responses to exploit their lack of awareness, and inducing them to respond inappropriately, which allows one to attack using less force, also a situation where the attacker does not need to be stronger than the defender, and is also a legitimate part of TJQ. This is, of course, difficult to describe in words, but I will give it a try. When one is initially resisting a force that is expected to continue increasing, one will naturally expect to brace against it and increase ones own force. However, if that incoming force decreases, then the receiver typically also backs off (especially when the initial resistance includes leaning into or bracing against the attacking force; we instinctively/habitually know that when we are leaning/bracing our force against something, then if that something no longer supports us, we are vulnerable to falling forward off balance). The backing off can be used to keep that person going in that direction as long as the attacking pressure does not again trigger the instinctive/habitual resistance, at least until too late and the receiver is already unstable (adding resistance at this point only pushes oneself off from the attacker, also in the direction one is being pushed). This can be called a mind game, but it is about awareness, or lack thereof, and the ability to gain advantage through changes. This ability does not rely upon vectors, but relies on awareness of changes and how combatants respond to those changes.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby windwalker on Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:26 am

I suspect that what Cloudz and Bao wrote are both accurate, which is why it is often so difficult to understand TJQ without both the somatic feeling and some degree of theoretical and technical knowledge.


What would be so difficult to understand if one could see it.


This ability does not rely upon vectors, but relies on awareness of changes and how combatants respond to those changes.


Really ?

If it’s not about “vectors “ in understanding change, what is the understanding based on
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Steve James on Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:41 am

There's no tjq video or demonstration that everyone likes or agrees upon. The reason has already been mentioned; it takes four hands to learn tjq. But, "it has to be felt" implies that understanding is only shared by the people experiencing it at the time. I don't believe there's a "real" tjq "thing" that has to be felt that has been felt by all the people saying it. Only they know. That's why when a video shows someone flying or hopping away, it's probably hard for someone who's never experienced it to believe. Otoh, the things which are easy to believe are considered not real. And people who say it has to be felt comment without having felt.

Anyway, gravity seems like the "Newtonian" elephant in the room. :)
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:51 am

I believe "force against force" is a difficult concept to fully grasp. It's not so much a matter of "not using force" as how the force is being generated and supported in the body and where it's aimed.

Properly trained incoming (and outgoing) force is linked from the point of contact to the ground. The force flows from the point of contact to the ground and back out again to the point of contact.

Localized muscular tension segments that flow of force. Instead of "one qi" it's two (or more) structures touching each other, and that creates a place where force can leak or be neutralized entirely (the battering ram on oily ice). It creates the potential for a moment, a rotation about an axis (which may or may not be located within the body of one of the individuals involved), which can be exploited by applying our force at a point where there is no "equal and opposite force" to oppose it. Which point can be directly behind the arm (for example) that they're trying to apply their force with.

I mean, in a nutshell, that's my understanding. It boils down to leverage, elasticity, sensitivity, and structure. I have no experience or understanding of anything that operates outside the realm of physical science.

The expression of that idea can be subtle, and there are ten thousand different manifestations in direct application. It can seem spooky, I guess. Hard to wrap your head around, sure.

Maybe other folks do something different, and I'd love to learn more useful information about that if they do.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby windwalker on Sat Aug 21, 2021 8:59 am

I have no experience or understanding of anything that operates outside the realm of physical science.


Do you claim to have an understanding of everything that operates within physical science ?
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby oragami_itto on Sat Aug 21, 2021 9:01 am

windwalker wrote:
I have no experience or understanding of anything that operates outside the realm of physical science.


Do you claim to have an understanding of everything that operates within physical science ?


I'd be suspicious of anyone who did claim that.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Trip on Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:14 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Real tai chi is literally passed on from hand to hand
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


Greetings Wayne,

Sorry to get back to this so late, but I had to sleep.
I have one last question.

You described what you consider is a "Real Taiji Push."
I accept that. :)

Do you feel that what you described is the only "Real Taiji Push?
Are there other "Real Taiji Pushes or Strikes" that you feel are real also?
Other "Real Taiji" that you accept?

If there are others, could you describe them too?

...
Edit: Totally understand if you choose to not answer my very late follow up question :)
Last edited by Trip on Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:33 pm

Don’t know quite what you mean there
All tai chi taught through a good lineage I consider real tai chi as long as the way has not been lost
That goes for other arts as well
When choosing an art for my son I took him to Hapkido
I chose the teacher not the art
I would have been happy to spend my life learning under that teacher
Hope that answers your question
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby Trip on Sat Aug 21, 2021 1:56 pm

wayne hansen wrote:Don’t know quite what you mean there
All tai chi taught through a good lineage I consider real tai chi as long as the way has not been lost
That goes for other arts as well


I've only been asking you about Taiji.
I asked because I find your Taiji POV interesting & you said this:

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


I was very curious what you, Wayne Hansen felt was a "Real Taiji Push."
And, if the one you described in your earlier post
was the only one you felt was a "Real Taiji Push?"
& Would you describe other "Real Taiji."

No hidden agenda, just curiosity about Wayne Hansen's Taiji POV. :)

wayne hansen wrote:Hope that answers your question


It does not. But I don't want to agitate.
I will move on.
Thank you for the time you gave :) :)
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby LaoDan on Sat Aug 21, 2021 2:27 pm

windwalker wrote:

This ability does not rely upon vectors, but relies on awareness of changes and how combatants respond to those changes.


Really ?

If it’s not about “vectors “ in understanding change, what is the understanding based on

If it was just about vectors, then pulling before pushing (or going down before going up, etc.) would not make much sense (it would not create an advantage). But something else happens when changing from one direction to another. I describe it as the person that is receiving the energy responds in a particular way (instinctive and/or habitual…), and fails to change appropriately when the attack changes, resulting in them becoming more vulnerable to the changed situation than they would have been otherwise. That is different than the result from merely summing the different vectors. Perhaps someone else has a better way of explaining it?
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby windwalker on Sat Aug 21, 2021 5:17 pm

LaoDan wrote:
windwalker wrote:

This ability does not rely upon vectors, but relies on awareness of changes and how combatants respond to those changes.


Really ?

If it’s not about “vectors “ in understanding change, what is the understanding based on

If it was just about vectors, then pulling before pushing (or going down before going up, etc.) would not make much sense (it would not create an advantage). But something else happens when changing from one direction to another.

It makes sense if the body is thought of as a dynamic hollow sphere, " pushing or pulling " expanding, contracting. "going down before going up"

vertical rotation. ect.


I describe it as the person that is receiving the energy responds in a particular way (instinctive and/or habitual…), and fails to change appropriately when the attack changes, resulting in them becoming more vulnerable to the changed situation than they would have been otherwise.


That is different than the result from merely summing the different vectors.
Perhaps someone else has a better way of explaining it?






:-\


If one can not distinguish or understanding the underling principles of why a position is better than another, consciously or unconsciously
They will not be able to "understand" force. The study of taiji should lead to an understanding of this.
Can be explained in many different ways....

Taiji is said to be about the circle and square

Image

See Fig. 6 for the application of the above vector equation for the force required for deflecting incoming momentum displaced different amounts from the center of the defender.

https://www.chuckrowtaichi.com/ChengCh.7.html
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby windwalker on Sat Aug 21, 2021 6:13 pm

Nice clip...

Ian Sinclair wrote:
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.


3. Newton’s Third Law. It is impossible for an object to exert force on another object without that object exerting a force back. According to Newton’s third law, if object A exerts a force on object B, then B exerts an equal and opposite force back on A (see Fig. 2).

These two forces are called an action and reaction pair. Thus, when someone exerts force on your body with his hand, before you even do anything, your body automatically exerts a force back on his hand that is exactly equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force his hand exerts on your body.

Similarly, when you place your hand on his body, now another two forces come into play. One is the force that you are exerting on his body with your hand. The other is the equal and opposite force exerted on your hand by his body.



Image

Fig. 2. In part (a) of the above figure, a person is pushing a door with a force of magnitude F to the right. Part (b) shows the force exerted by the person on the door. Part (c) shows the reaction force of an equal magnitude F to the left, exerted by the door on the person. It is a consequence of Newton’s third law that, when a person exerts a force on a door, the door exerts an equal and opposite force on the person.3

Conclusion: By controlling the force you exert on the opponent, you automatically control his force on you.

https://www.chuckrowtaichi.com/ChengCh.7.html


Agree the combative applications require additional skill sets

Might help to clarify some of the points you've illustrated in the clip

4. “A Force of 1,000 Pounds can be deflected with a Force of Four Ounces.” What is meant by this oft-quoted saying is that a very powerful attack can be deflected with a very small force. How this defense can occur will be analyzed in the next sections. However, the wording of this saying leads to misunderstanding in explanations using physics because it does not make sense in terms of Newton’s third law.

According to that law, if there is a force of 1,000 pounds, it must be exerted on something (or somebody) that (or who) exerts 1,000 pounds back. Here, the force that the opponent exerts would be on you, and you of course would exert an equal and opposite force back on him. But the main idea is not to interact with the opponent in a way that can cause injury to yourself. The goal is to exert minimal force on the opponent and not interfere with his motion—only redirecting his attack to clear your body.

Using minimal force on the opponent means that you don’t need a lot of strength. It also means that he will, by Newton’s third law, use minimum force on you, which lessens the chance that you will be injured.

Not interfering with the opponent’s motion means that he will be more likely to over-extend and lose his balance. Then, he will either fall or pull back. If he pulls back, you can easily push or hit him.


https://www.chuckrowtaichi.com/ChengCh.7.html
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Re: Tai chi tuishou. Less is more — Ian Sinclair

Postby LaoDan on Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:06 pm

I already said that understanding vectors was appropriate for TJQ. I was trying to point out that reacting properly to one thing can set one up for failure when the situation changes (acting improperly for the changed situation). Understanding how to change with change so that one maintains their appropriateness is also important, and relies on awareness as well as habits, etc.. If the opponent responds properly to the first action, but fails to change with the second action, then maintaining the first correct response can become wrong for the second response and leave one vulnerable. Habits, especially unconscious ones, can also be exploited. Catching someone off balance mentally can be as effective as catching them off balance physically (although the former can also be used to do the later). To me they are different.
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