Yang family uk power pushing...

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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:00 am

Steve James wrote:Well, I have a bit of experience with the tcc scene in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic. The first -at least in terms of publishing and holding public classes- was Sophia Delza in the 60s. She was a dancer who had studied Wu style in Shanghai with Ma Yueh Liang. None of her interests including fighting, though she did some push hands. CMC and Da Liu came a little later.

By the early 70s, apart from the CMC-related schools, the only other tcc schools compete in tournaments was Shum Leung's -who taught Wu style, but was/is a major figure in Eagle Claw. In Boston, the non-CMC schools I know of were/are Bow Sim Mark's -who did Fu style, and Gin Soon Chu's -who teaches the Yang Sau Chung variation, and does the "dynamic push hands" stuff in the video above. In the 80s, he opened a school in Manhattan. By that time, there were fewer open competitions, but a lot more "push hands" tournaments.

Anyway, it wasn't until 1980s that anyone heard of Chen style. It was promoted as "the real" tcc. It was presented along with wushu acrobatics to emphasize the difference. Anyone can check how it was promoted by looking at old copies of Inside Kungfu. However, none of those Chen guys, not the Four Tigers, or their students, demonstrated as much success as CMC guys in practice, if the ever competed at all.

In the 90s, more tournaments started to emerge, specifically through Grandmaster Huang's US Kuoshu Federation. I was in Boston around that time, and can't honestly talk about the results of those competitions. But, I know people from CMC schools who've won. I can't say I've ever heard of a Chen stylist doing so. That's not to put Chen style down, only to point out that the idea that CMC stylists are somehow inferior because of the theory is just wrong.

I can't count the number of times people have asked "how will you use soft?" But, my main point is that when it came down to actual competition, CMC stylists have held up better than any other in open competition on the East Coast of the US. Why has nothing to do with softness; it's simply because their schools had more students entering competitions. I shouldn't neglect mentioning that Mario Napoli, a CMC stylist, won the Chen Village Push Hands Competition in the 90s. Mario happens to be a strong, skilled guy who practices.

Btw, CMC "theory" as presented in his book was to develop the "flexibility of a child and the strength of a lumberjack." I'd have to dig through my library to find the quote, but maybe someone has it on hand.


I wasn't trying to take a pop at CMC or his lines.. I know all about Mario and others; we had a very good guy/school here in the UK from his Malaysia lines.. no one can watch Mario doing his thing in competition and ignore the role of strength in that kind of engagement. That's a nice quote; but as always there is a general conception; maybe that's 'mainstream', there are always two sides, and maybe his tai chi (or how it was interpreted by some} appealed more to the "relax", don't use strength crowd too.
Last edited by cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:14 am

origami_itto wrote:
cloudz wrote:


yea.. so I wanted to throw this up here as I've gotten into a couple of responses around the idea and use of power/ strength in tai chi chuan.
in one recent thread a poster pointed out how one of the US branches taught extension in form postures that brought tension and what I would further describe as tensile strength.

This is an example of the power pushing method as passed down by Yang Sau Cheung son of Yang Cheng Fu.
This should really leave no doubt that training for and using power is part of the traditional method.

I would contest that whilst it's still a matter of balance with the softer defensive skills; part of that defence and in particular offence is predicated on developing a certain kind of strength/ power.

One idea of how this misconception was formed is the taking out of context of certain sayings. As well the teaching of CMC, perhaps inadvertently. YCF most likely didn't teach a relatively short term student this method. It's questionable how many disciples he even taught this as it's more or less stayed in one branch of the family system - he seems to have kept it for his son and that makes sense given the nature of cultural hierarchy and family systems/ businesses..

CMC was spreading his soft looking form at the height of the hippy era; "relax" was the perfect fit, even though it's not a good map to anything in TCC literature. I'm not saying it has no place, but I certainly think in some quarters it's over emphasised.

Neither do you come across this disdainfulness and rejection of strength in other IMA systems; again I think tai chi people over the years have caught on and ran with something taken out of context.

When you look at Chen systems, you can see also strength and power is there. When I watch Chen Zhonghua for example you can just see it come through. Lot's of examples. Stories about stone weights in Chen village. Chen Zhiqiang doing moving step grappling looks strong and issues with strong power. The diverting power is/ becomes far less external motions and an internal affair when you get up close and personal ie. clinch ranges.

Wu style through CTH also is not formed out of 'relaxation' and avoiding tensile strength or strength/ power training.

To not be manipulated into compromising positions your connection needs to remain firm and strong. There's a place for letting go of connection or strength and that's the other side.. However you should IMO work from the base and fundamental of connected strength, over the other way round.. All tai chi postures have this fundamental connected strength to begin with anyway. And you need both heaviness and lightness. Where the emphasis can sometimes become too much on heaviness.


The idea is to not use strength against strength. You don't put the forces against each other with the greater one being the victor. The opponent should never feel your strength. You should never feel like you have to use your strength.

From the outside this can appear to be a case of greater strength prevailing, but it's not. The opponent's strength is simply neutralized.

The teacher there can then use their force unopposed for greater effect.

Isolating single muscles or muscle groups for strength training, IMHO, doesn't add much, if anything. Residual tension that may linger actually detracts.

Tension makes you slow and gives your opponent a handle.
It's not that I don't get what you're saying or it's logic. but at this point I feel skeptical that some of it blends some truths with some untruths. Untruths in the sense they are gross generalisations and almost stereotypes at this point. They may feel intuitively true but aren't supported by any real evidence. If anything modern sports science and elite level training would say you are basically wrong to think that way. btw, no one is really talking about isolating single muscles, which is barely possible. Muscle groups maybe a different story, as in three main areas of the body; top, middle, bottom. I'm not uncomfortable with that. Done smartly and (obvs) done with whole body work, strength or otherwise. I'm more into movement than strength per se anyways.
Last edited by cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:21 am

robert wrote:
cloudz wrote:CMC was spreading his soft looking form at the height of the hippy era; "relax" was the perfect fit, even though it's not a good map to anything in TCC literature. I'm not saying it has no place, but I certainly think in some quarters it's over emphasised.

Neither do you come across this disdainfulness and rejection of strength in other IMA systems; again I think tai chi people over the years have caught on and ran with something taken out of context.

The problem is that some people didn't get the idea of jin. Many still don't. How can you be loose and relaxed, but not collapse?

ZMQ pushing. I like the push at 0:30, ZMQ uses ward off to push the guy and his arm doesn't collapse, it's a good example of jin. It's also clear that he's not using his "shoulder" (deltoid) to push, his upper arm is extended when he starts to push. The same thing is shown at 3:06 where he pushes Robert Smith, and again at 3:09.



ZMQ also shows strength against strength (jin). Although you don't want that in push hands, it doesn't mean it's not encountered in training. A couple different examples are shown - 6:07 and 6:55. It seems clear that ZMQ tried to teach people about jin. He not only demonstrated it, he let people film it!



As far as I can tell YCF seems to have been pretty good at teaching people how to train jin.

I suspect Robert W. Smith understood the problem - "Westerners do not want to learn Tai Chi, they want to teach it."


very true that training and usage protocols get confused or treated as the same. much of the tropes are training guides or devices, of a certain context.
Last edited by cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 1:54 am

Bao wrote:Well, Taiji jin can have many different expressions. I agree that it must be understood by physical transmission. You need to feel it.

I like this text, from Li Yaxuan. This version is translated from Thai by Adam Mizner with assistance, so I would rather try to find a translation directly from Chinese, but still it's not the most advanced theory. You can this as an article on the HME website. I am not eager to give them more "link juice", but it's easy to google up.

Many Yang master's aw well as Zheng Man Ching's fajin skill is described below.

1. “Yang Lu Chan’s fajin was empty, leaving the opponent not knowing what happened or how the jin was released. His jin was so perfected as to be called mysterious.”

2. “Yang Ban Hou’s fajin was SUDDEN, like lightning without rain, emerging from nowhere with the sounds of «Pa!». One fajin would send the opponent out many zhang ( 1 zhang = 3.3 meters). His jin would leave people in pain and injured.”

3. “Yang Jien Hou would use the lightest of touch, his sticking energy was so high that people could not disconnect, then they would be suddenly released like an arrow from a bow.”

4. “Yang Shao Hou’s jin was ever spontaneous and song to the extreme, fast beyond compare. His body skills were mysterious and treacherous like a ghost appearing and reappearing, fooling his opponents so they would have no idea what was happening or how to defend themselves until they had fallen to his jin before even knowing it.”

5. “Yang Chen Fu’s fajin was powerful with great sudden dantien force. Before he would fa there was a deep intention; when he would fa it was like Guang Gong taking off a head with a single stroke…”

6. “Wu Hui Chuan used song elastic energy preferring to use just a little jin to send his opponents out, he did not lose face as a student of the Yang family. His students could produce long jin, both song and sunk, not bad.”


7. “Cui Yi Shi was skilled in fajin both song and sunk. Before he would fa he would inhale one time and use the elastic jin. His jin was song and springy, propelling his opponent away. On release the jin would cause the opponent to release a sound from the mouth as the wind was knocked from them. This is the kung fu of the qi striking the qi.”

8. “Li Xiang Yan in his youth studied and trained deeply in long fist, after which he followed Yang Feng Hou taijiquan and achieved great gong li. He was dedicated to study and practice and achieved jin that was full and hard, penetrating deep inside the opponent. Later he bowed to Yang Chen Fu as his teacher.”

9. “Dong Ying Jie liked to use Rou Cou Jin, pressuring his opponent from side to side, forward and back until they fell defeated.”

10. “Zheng Man Qing would use light touch and clean sticking energy, entering close with his body before firing the opponent out with jin. He was small but had kung fu and courage and was skilled at penetrating the defense of his opponents.”

11. “Tian Zhao Lin’s kung fu was soft and penetrating, breaking his opponents as they were knocked down, amongst other skills.”

12. “I myself Li Ya Xuan use many strange changes, making it difficult to follow. The jin is fast like lighting. I don’t like to just play sticking and circling.”


that's great thanks for the share. and true, expressions vary and how it should be - is that obvious or not ?
anyway i came across this recently

Chengfugong (Yang Chengfu) was known for “Once the hand is shown, the opponent is flown back for 1.8 zhang (5.94 meters)”. So, he was definitely respected in the community of martial artists.
"Yang Taiji is One Family Across the Straits" by Qu Shijing.

but for sure, he was a giant among men. something like 160kg which is big even by modern US standards lol. never mind in the south of China where in those days the average weight was 50 kg. Northeners were generally bigger, but I doubt the average difference would have been that great.

I once had to compete at the European comp in Sweden, moving step amongst a group of giants. Going in I was aiming for the 85-90kg group at that time, but there wasn't anyone.. I was put in with a bunch of experienced guys ranging between 103-110. To say I had a tough time of it is an understatement. well over 10 yrs ago now, but fun times nonetheless.

still managed to go home in the medal places from that tournament though.
go me! ;D
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby origami_itto on Thu Oct 20, 2022 3:33 am

cloudz wrote:
origami itt wrote:The idea is to not use strength against strength. You don't put the forces against each other with the greater one being the victor. The opponent should never feel your strength. You should never feel like you have to use your strength.

From the outside this can appear to be a case of greater strength prevailing, but it's not. The opponent's strength is simply neutralized.

The teacher there can then use their force unopposed for greater effect.

Isolating single muscles or muscle groups for strength training, IMHO, doesn't add much, if anything. Residual tension that may linger actually detracts.

Tension makes you slow and gives your opponent a handle.
It's not that I don't get what you're saying or it's logic. but at this point I feel skeptical that some of it blends some truths with some untruths. Untruths in the sense they are gross generalisations and almost stereotypes at this point. They may feel intuitively true but aren't supported by any real evidence. If anything modern sports science and elite level training would say you are basically wrong to think that way. btw, no one is really talking about isolating single muscles, which is barely possible. Muscle groups maybe a different story, as in three main areas of the body; top, middle, bottom. I'm not uncomfortable with that. Done smartly and (obvs) done with whole body work, strength or otherwise. I'm more into movement than strength per se anyways.

I love how you always talk about this as theoretical, lmao. Like do you ever get out and mix it up in push hands or sparring?

So, like, arm wrestling. You isolate part of your body and pit the raw strength of your muscle tissue against the raw strength of their muscle tissue to see who's muscle tissue is capable of generating more force.

Taijiquan, and I'd dare to say fighting in general, is not about that. Strength can give you an advantage, but it's a diminishing return.

Modern sports atheletes get it. Connor Macgregor, Tom Brady, both have issued statements about the importance of looseness and relaxation when performing.

When somebody who is good Taijiquan roots your push (as part of training) they are not opposing your force with muscular force. Full Stop. If you engage your muscles in that practice, you lose.

You let the force flow past without affecting you. Or you cut it at its root or some weak point inside the opponent's body. You do your forms and weapons work properly and you've got all the muscular strength you need to make it work. Investing more in gains will just make you want to use that strength, which is going in the wrong direction.
Last edited by origami_itto on Thu Oct 20, 2022 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby Bao on Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:21 am

cloudz wrote:anyway i came across this recently

Chengfugong (Yang Chengfu) was known for “Once the hand is shown, the opponent is flown back for 1.8 zhang (5.94 meters)”. So, he was definitely respected in the community of martial artists.
"Yang Taiji is One Family Across the Straits" by Qu Shijing.

but for sure, he was a giant among men. something like 160kg which is big even by modern US standards lol. never mind in the south of China where in those days the average weight was 50 kg. Northeners were generally bigger, but I doubt the average difference would have been that great.


Yeah, he was a big guy. But then again, you can compare with what LYX writes about ZMQ:

“Zheng Man Qing would use light touch and clean sticking energy, entering close with his body before firing the opponent out with jin. He was small but had kung fu and courage and was skilled at penetrating the defense of his opponents.”

I know that many larger tai chi folks often try to use their range and keep distance. A smaller person who is good at closing in and is "skilled at penetrating the defense", can have a certain advantage.

A stronger person only have an advantage if you use strength directly against his strength. If there is nothing there for him to attach his strength on, then he being stronger is not to his advantage. How to not go directly against someone's strength, and not letting him attach his strength against you, is the tricky part. But of course, this is exactly where genuine Tai Chi skills come into play.
Last edited by Bao on Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:35 am

origami_itto wrote:
cloudz wrote:
origami itt wrote:The idea is to not use strength against strength. You don't put the forces against each other with the greater one being the victor. The opponent should never feel your strength. You should never feel like you have to use your strength.

From the outside this can appear to be a case of greater strength prevailing, but it's not. The opponent's strength is simply neutralized.

The teacher there can then use their force unopposed for greater effect.

Isolating single muscles or muscle groups for strength training, IMHO, doesn't add much, if anything. Residual tension that may linger actually detracts.

Tension makes you slow and gives your opponent a handle.
It's not that I don't get what you're saying or it's logic. but at this point I feel skeptical that some of it blends some truths with some untruths. Untruths in the sense they are gross generalisations and almost stereotypes at this point. They may feel intuitively true but aren't supported by any real evidence. If anything modern sports science and elite level training would say you are basically wrong to think that way. btw, no one is really talking about isolating single muscles, which is barely possible. Muscle groups maybe a different story, as in three main areas of the body; top, middle, bottom. I'm not uncomfortable with that. Done smartly and (obvs) done with whole body work, strength or otherwise. I'm more into movement than strength per se anyways.

I love how you always talk about this as theoretical, lmao. Like do you ever get out and mix it up in push hands or sparring?

So, like, arm wrestling. You isolate part of your body and pit the raw strength of your muscle tissue against the raw strength of their muscle tissue to see who's muscle tissue is capable of generating more force.

Taijiquan, and I'd dare to say fighting in general, is not about that. Strength can give you an advantage, but it's a diminishing return.

Modern sports atheletes get it. Connor Macgregor, Tom Brady, both have issued statements about the importance of looseness and relaxation when performing.

When somebody who is good Taijiquan roots your push (as part of training) they are not opposing your force with muscular force. Full Stop. If you engage your muscles in that practice, you lose.

You let the force flow past without affecting you. Or you cut it at its root or some weak point inside the opponent's body. You do your forms and weapons work properly and you've got all the muscular strength you need to make it work. Investing more in gains will just make you want to use that strength, which is going in the wrong direction.


really ?

one minute it's all good you are strength training the next you're all up in my grill about it, questioning my credentials. talk about flip flop. Sometimes I get the impression you maybe talk more about it here, than actually train it with other people. the way you talk about it is very idealistic. you're not going to be able to use superior skill whenever you like or with whoever you like. you are fooling yourself if you think it plays no part at all..

No one is saying it's all about strength, where do you even get that from.. I wrote a whole post to Bao in the stick, adhere, join, follow thread that covered this just the other day.

you're not even shy about playing the modesty card, that you're not very good.. or telling us about the lack of training partners/teachers in your vicinity. so how you are so sure of this is really unclear.
Last edited by cloudz on Fri Oct 21, 2022 11:39 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:49 am

Bao wrote:
cloudz wrote:anyway i came across this recently

Chengfugong (Yang Chengfu) was known for “Once the hand is shown, the opponent is flown back for 1.8 zhang (5.94 meters)”. So, he was definitely respected in the community of martial artists.
"Yang Taiji is One Family Across the Straits" by Qu Shijing.

but for sure, he was a giant among men. something like 160kg which is big even by modern US standards lol. never mind in the south of China where in those days the average weight was 50 kg. Northeners were generally bigger, but I doubt the average difference would have been that great.


Yeah, he was a big guy. But then again, you can compare with what LYX writes about ZMQ:

“Zheng Man Qing would use light touch and clean sticking energy, entering close with his body before firing the opponent out with jin. He was small but had kung fu and courage and was skilled at penetrating the defense of his opponents.”

I know that many larger tai chi folks often try to use their range and keep distance. A smaller person who is good at closing in and is "skilled at penetrating the defense", can have a certain advantage.

A stronger person only have an advantage if you use strength directly against his strength. If there is nothing there for him to attach his strength on, then he being stronger is not to his advantage. How to not go directly against someone's strength, and not letting him attach his strength against you, is the tricky part. But of course, this is exactly where genuine Tai Chi skills come into play.


I only really brought up his size and weight because I was reading that stuff just the other day. would have made a great sumo I bet :D
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:55 am

and by the way ITTo

i get totally how there's 'ceilings' and about diminishing returns

is that the point now ?
it's not

maintain or improve your strength or not, not for me to worry about.
it matters and no amount of talking in circles changes that fact.


watch the clip I posted this morning (new thread) it really doesn't have to have anything to do with 'weight training' in the weight room or anything specific at all.
I don't know what you are even arguing against at this point other than trying to excuse your self. there's no need it's still a choice.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 5:10 am

here, watch this and get a grip already
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby GrahamB on Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:31 am

George, I love the way your posts are like "fuck you! fuck you! fuck you!" and then they end so sweetly with "Regards, George". ;D ;D ;D ;D
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby Doc Stier on Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:37 am

Every combat art, including TCC, employs strength and power. The only difference between various fighting methods is HOW the power is generated and WHEN the power is applied. -shrug-
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby origami_itto on Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:55 am

Cloudz, George, whatever your name is. I have no interest in trading insults.
Have your point. Enjoy your training.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby Steve James on Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:53 am

I only really brought up his size and weight because I was reading that stuff just the other day. would have made a great sumo I bet :D


Imo, YCF's fame came from the fact he could move so well for such a big man. That was part of what made the "string trick" amazing. He was allegedly able to jump on a roof following his opponent. I'd imagine he was more like a Sammo Hung type.
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Re: Yang family uk power pushing...

Postby cloudz on Thu Oct 20, 2022 1:20 pm

origami_itto wrote:Cloudz, George, whatever your name is. I have no interest in trading insults.
Have your point. Enjoy your training.


insults, don't insult me and we have no problem.
did my post insult you, to question if i mix it up. question if i know relaxation and looseness

you've pissed me off today. I post with good intentions.
no good deed goes unpunished.
Last edited by cloudz on Fri Oct 21, 2022 11:24 am, edited 5 times in total.
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