Sinking and the Relaxed force — Wee Kee Jin

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Sinking and the Relaxed force — Wee Kee Jin

Postby marvin8 on Wed Aug 04, 2021 7:49 am

Taiji School of Central Equilibrium
Feb 7, 2021

In this video Wee Kee Jin talks about the development of the Relaxed force and the often overlooked aspect of Sinking that is absolutely essential to the progression of Taiji.

Often teachers of Taiji focus on relaxation but do not understand or teach the concept of sinking. Sinking and Relaxing are so important that they were the parting words of his teacher Huang Sheng Shyan. Huang, who was infirm and unable to speak at the time, wrote the two characters "松 沉" (Relax and Sink) with his fingers on Jin's palm as the last lesson he would give to Jin before he passed away.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgeld4fFH_U
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Re: Sinking and the Relaxed force — Wee Kee Jin

Postby Doc Stier on Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:16 pm

Many good points. Thanks for sharing. :)
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Re: Sinking and the Relaxed force — Wee Kee Jin

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:18 pm

Well spoken
I agree with everything he says
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Sinking and the Relaxed force — Wee Kee Jin

Postby LaoDan on Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:37 pm

I was originally not planning on commenting on this video since I like it and I did not want to derail any discussion. But since it has not generated much response, perhaps I can divert the thread. I do not want to sound like I am being critical of Wee Kee Jin because he really appears to be doing what he is trying to explain. Instead, I will use this video as an example of the “chicken vs. the egg” problem that is not uncommon in teaching and learning traditional martial arts like TJQ.

He is very respectful of his teacher and passes on his teacher’s knowledge in the traditional way, while trying to add explanations and demonstrations that help his own students understand the principles. The problem that I have is that, if one already can do (at least to some level of ability) what he is talking about, then the lecture and demonstrations will make sense; but if one does not already have some ability, then I do not think that the explanation will be very helpful. Once you can do it, it makes sense, but before you can do it, it probably will not make sense [i.e., do you need understanding prior to the ability, or do you first need the ability in order to understand - the chicken or the egg dilemma].

In attempting to write about various TJQ concepts, I have found that just using terms like “relax” and “sink” as well as “unify the body” and “use intent” or “qi” (etc.) end up being too vague to convey what I am attempting to write about. Just “relaxing” is not sufficient if not done correctly; how do we properly “sink” or “unify the body”…? Most students really try to do these things, but cannot seem to be able to do them correctly. This indicates, to me, a lack of suitable vocabulary to really convey the concepts. I try to mostly avoid these traditional terms unless I am able to use different ways of also describing these concepts. Even though the traditional terminology DOES accurately describe what is happening, one almost needs to already be able to do it in order to understand it.

In the video there is an acknowledgement that it is often best if one can feel someone (e.g., the teacher) who already has the skill; this is “somatic learning” which most of us probably acknowledge as being very useful. Perhaps somatic learning, combined with the traditional terminology, is sufficient for many of us, but I also think that, in this age of readily available access to written sources as well as video demonstrations, we should try to find a better vocabulary for discussing difficult topics like are found TJQ (and other "internal" MAs). I think that some people are attempting to do this when referring to such things as “resonance” or “waves”…, but those terms also seem to be rather vague and difficult to understand. Some new uses of terminology, however, do seem to be promising, like the example of pushing someone on a swing. I am not proposing any specific solutions here, but I would be interested in hearing explanations that others have found work reasonably well for conveying the information to those who do not already have the skill in whatever is being addressed.
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Re: Sinking and the Relaxed force — Wee Kee Jin

Postby Bao on Thu Aug 12, 2021 2:07 am

LaoDan wrote:He is very respectful of his teacher and passes on his teacher’s knowledge in the traditional way, while trying to add explanations and demonstrations that help his own students understand the principles.


Agreed. Repeating something doesn't mean that the students learn anything.

The problem that I have is that, if one already can do (at least to some level of ability what he is talking about), then the lecture and demonstrations will make sense; but if one does not already have some ability, then I do not think that the explanation will be very helpful.Once you can do it, it makes sense, but before you can do it, it probably will not make sense
....
In attempting to write about various TJQ concepts, I have found that just using terms like “relax” and “sink” as well as “unify the body” and “use intent” or “qi” (etc.) end up being too vague to convey what I am attempting to write about. Just “relaxing” is not sufficient if not done correctly; how do we properly “sink” or “unify the body”…? Most students really try to do these things, but cannot seem to be able to do them correctly. This indicates, to me, a lack of suitable vocabulary to really convey the concepts.



Wholeheartedly agree. 100% true. This is the biggest problem with tai chi teachers.

I believe that many people like to boast and show how much they know instead of teaching. I follow my first teachers approach. He was exceptional of showing people what to practically do so it had a certain result. As a teacher, you need to guide the students actions, what they do, in a very practical and exact manner and help them to understand what to adjust in their own bodies and how. When they have got a certain feeling for what is correct, then you can guide them further by explaining what they do in words. Sometimes allegories and comparisons are great. But the philosophy is something you can leave out for lectures and seminars on philosophy. Tai chi is learned and understood by doing.
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