Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

The following typical threads that plague martial arts sites will get moved here if not just deleted: 1 - My style is better than Your style" - 2 - "Internal & External" - 3 - Personal attacks - 4 - Threads that start well, but degenerate into a spiral of nonsense.

Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby robert on Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:16 am

wayne hansen wrote:You seem to be saying two opposite things at the same time

Yeah I shouldn't have gone back to the quote about YCF. The point is do you want your opponent to feel like they have been hit with a hard steel bar or a down filled pillow? Chen taiji is hard and soft. When you strike your opponent you want them to feel like they've been hit with something solid and heavy while at the same time you are loose, relaxed, and comfortable. Hope that is more clear.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby shawnsegler on Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:26 am

GrahamB wrote:It's matched only by your fascination with what I'm doing Shawn, which I find equally baffling :P


It's because your taiji notebook posts keep coming up in my fb feed and after a bit I feel inclined to respond to them. It's like a reflexive thing. I truly am not seeking you out, dude, but if you're going to make yourself a prolific internet internal martial arts presence you're going to get some feedback sometimes.

Cheers!

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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bao on Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:30 am

shawnsegler wrote:So much nonsense....

Also Scott is a snake oil salesman.


He seems to just repeat and what Scott already have said.

Scott has a strange agenda and a confused deductive reasoning. I think he just wants to create a show around him. His theories fall flat by his mere use of the word “theatre”.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:32 am

shawnsegler wrote:
GrahamB wrote:It's matched only by your fascination with what I'm doing Shawn, which I find equally baffling :P


It's because your taiji notebook posts keep coming up in my fb feed and after a bit I feel inclined to respond to them. It's like a reflexive thing. I truly am not seeking you out, dude, but if you're going to make yourself a prolific internet internal martial arts presence you're going to get some feedback sometimes.

Cheers!

S


Well that is terrible for you. If only there was some way you could choose not to follow my page... Damn Zuckberg and his cruel agenda!
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby shawnsegler on Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:01 pm

GrahamB wrote:
shawnsegler wrote:
GrahamB wrote:It's matched only by your fascination with what I'm doing Shawn, which I find equally baffling :P


It's because your taiji notebook posts keep coming up in my fb feed and after a bit I feel inclined to respond to them. It's like a reflexive thing. I truly am not seeking you out, dude, but if you're going to make yourself a prolific internet internal martial arts presence you're going to get some feedback sometimes.

Cheers!

S


Well that is terrible for you. If only there was some way you could choose not to follow my page... Damn Zuckberg and his cruel agenda!


LOL! You're attributing way too much of an agenda on my part, yo! I don't search out your stuff, but neither do I care about it enough to turn it away or even NOT to reply to it...obv. As I said, we cover a lot of the same ground so some times I'm going to have thoughts on the things you say. I'm not losing any sleep over it and neither should you. Have a cup of decaf. (Edit: Also, I don't "follow" your stuff. You post in place where I see it like the RSF FB Page and some of the other internal martial arts groups that we both belong to. One should get over ones self)

As to Zuckerberg being evil, that's a whole different ball of wax.

FWIW.

S
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:42 pm

Bao wrote:
shawnsegler wrote:So much nonsense....

Also Scott is a snake oil salesman.


He seems to just repeat and what Scott already have said.

Scott has a strange agenda and a confused deductive reasoning. I think he just wants to create a show around him. His theories fall flat by his mere use of the word “theatre”.


Bao, you're the guy whose teacher literally wrote the book on Lion Dance... an actual book, that he wrote, about dressing up in a costume and dancing, but "theatre" is a stretch too far for you?

(Edit: I haven't read it but it's apparently a great book btw).
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bao on Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:22 pm

GrahamB wrote: but "theatre" is a stretch too far for you?


Lion dance comes from religious ceremonies to scare away demons. I am sure that religious ceremonies have been infused in, or mixed with, martial arts. But the question is about what came first and how things develop. Scott approaches the word "theatre" from a Western point of view, use it far to general and he gets the time frame wrong. He speaks about the parts that he can use, but avoids things that contradicts. Chinese opera started with comedy, and later song and dance. But battle scenes and warrior characters became ingredients in Chinese opera several hundreds years after the first martial arts forms we still have preserved until today were created.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:34 pm

Well, ironicaly, there is little more "from a Western point of view" than trying to worry about what came first.

As Holcombe says:

"In China the martial arts are far more than just techniques of hand-to-hand combat, although actual fighting skills are indeed traceable far back into antiquity. In China the martial arts are an aspect of religion, with all of the attendant mystery and miracles. At the same time, the public face of the martial arts has often been that of the entertainer, and the self-image of the martial artist has been thoroughly imbued with motifs drawn from fiction and the theater. The martial arts of today must be understood as a confluence of China's unique approach to physical combat, Buddho-Taoist religion, and theater."
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bao on Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:58 pm

GrahamB wrote:As Holcome says:
In China the martial arts are an aspect of religion.


I don't agree. There's a strong connection, but they are not based on religion. Chinese Martial arts have a very strong connection to early battlefield warfare. They are all based on weaponry. Soldiers and generals though were also religious and performed rites and they also practiced Daoist and Buddhist health exercises. Somewhere here martial arts and religion might have become mixed.

... At the same time, the public face of the martial arts has often been that of the entertainer, and the self-image of the martial artist has been thoroughly imbued with motifs drawn from fiction and the theater. The martial arts of today must be understood as a confluence of China's unique approach to physical combat, Buddho-Taoist religion, and theater."


What is theater? Your friends Scott and Holcome need to define it properly. I struggle to understand what they mean. When they use it loosely for western readers, people will use a western way to interpret it. There was no Western style theater before the 20 the century in China.

The entertainment aspects that came with the popularisation of opera is a much later phenomena. Martial arts performances might have been a part of festivals and similar for the same reason as lion dance, but even if there's a theatrical aspect, I have a hard time to call superstitious or shamanistic rites 'theater'. It's just not as simple as how they try to make it.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:17 pm

"I don't agree". Hmmm, so should I listen to qualified, respected historian Holcombe... or a guy on the Internet who does tai chi... I don't know. What do you recommend?

"I struggle to understand what they mean."

Well, my friend - I'm going to suggest that this is on you, not them, and if you really want to find out what they mean, then you're going to have to read a book.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Bao on Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:36 am

GrahamB wrote:"I don't agree". Hmmm, so should I listen to qualified, respected historian Holcombe... or a guy on the Internet who does tai chi... I don't know. What do you recommend?


Yes, he has a Phd in history and has written a few books. Even if I do respect his knowledge, I don't know why anyone would want to believe that he is right in everything he writes. There are Chinese historians that claim that Chen Wangting invented Tai Chi and that the Li manuscripts are real, and those know much more about Chinese history than Holcombe. Everyone has their own reasons to write what they write and claim what they claim. You should try to build your own understanding so that you don't need to rely on others, or to hide behind what other write. Though I cannot brag about having published books, I do have an academic degree which includes subjects and studies as Chinese history and Classical Chinese language (and btw, I worked with China and Chinese companies for ten years.) Even if you don't care very much about what I write, but as you are interested in Chinese history and culture, I would suggest that you try to find books from my teacher that you mentioned. If I would rely on anyone, and trust anyone's word, I would rely on him. Literary raised in an imperial library, I would not exaggerate If I said that he has at least one hundred times more knowledge in Chinese history and culture than Holcombe and Scott combined. There you will find true knowledge. I am very sad to know that he won't complete his planned and partially finished book about the Tai Chi history. If he had, I would not need to argue about why Scott is wrong and flaws in Holcombes reasoning.

Well, my friend - I'm going to suggest that this is on you, not them, and if you really want to find out what they mean, then you're going to have to read a book.


I don't understand why you can't see that Scott is nothing else than a lunatic. But of course, unlike me, he wrote a book... :P I have read enough from them both to understand that by generalising of this name they both miss the mark. If you don't understand why "theatre" is bad term to use about Chinese opera tradition in general, I suggest that you read more about these very diverse and rich Chinese traditions.

... Oh my ... I have no idea why I care about arguing with a guy who cannot keep up a decent discussion without showing a bad attitude and being passive aggressive... some random "guy on the Internet who does tai chi"... someone who hasn't even studied China or visited the country. :P

... But hey, I guess one reason to procrastinate from doing important work is just as good as another... :-\
Well, back to work. :P
Last edited by Bao on Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:42 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby shawnsegler on Fri Apr 30, 2021 2:49 am

Bao wrote:
shawnsegler wrote:So much nonsense....

Also Scott is a snake oil salesman.


He seems to just repeat and what Scott already have said.

Scott has a strange agenda and a confused deductive reasoning. I think he just wants to create a show around him. His theories fall flat by his mere use of the word “theatre”.


Bingo...and Bingo!

Cheers!

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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby GrahamB on Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:10 am

I really don't get the vitriol Scott generates from people here. I mean, I do get that he's a difficult personality to engage with - his work is generally very well researched, but in conversation you'd never know - he tends to make big mental leaps without showing you his workings and he can talk down to people and act crazy, but it seems to go beyond that.

I mean, is it just that his work somewhow emasculates men who have created a little identity around their Chinese hobby? -shrug- I mean, what else is there?
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby Doc Stier on Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:25 am

In recent decades, there has been a much greater focus in many martial arts on the 'performance' aspects of the arts. This trend has included an increased popularity of training primarily for tournament form competition performance, YouTube video performance to market online courses and group seminars, and the promotion of MMA events and Modern Wu-Shu as performance entertainment.

I don't particularly like the use of the word 'theater' in reference to these various types of 'performance', as none of them are akin to seeing a theater group present a stage play anywhere, even though there definitely are some common elements involved, such as specialized performance clothing and rehearsal or practice in preparation for the performances.

Nonetheless, in relation to the martial arts as hand to hand combat methods for personal self-defense or military engagement, the performance or theatrical aspects of the arts are traditionally of very little importance in comparison to application efficiency in real life scenarios where the outcome can be seriously or permanently life changing.

Thus, I believe that every martial art which has proven to be sufficiently effective historically to survive until today was created and formulated by people who were probably not very concerned about any theatrical, religious, or shamanistic components being represented in their methods. I know that I certainly am not. Just my personal opinion.

Your training agenda priorities may be different than mine for a variety of reasons as you deem best for yourself, and I'm ok with that. 8-)
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Re: Taiji History - Chen v Yang? (Zhaobao?)

Postby shawnsegler on Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:10 pm

I mean, is it just that his work somewhow emasculates men who have created a little identity around their Chinese hobby? -shrug- I mean, what else is there?


Hahahaha!!!

Oh, dear! Meooww!! That passive aggression sound like a response to a palpable hit!

I'm really curious as to when you're going to wake up with buyers remorse like you had with Sigman.

Anyway...

Have a nice day.

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