Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby charles on Mon May 13, 2019 9:56 pm

marvin8 wrote:Chen Zhonghua explains and shows the application of double heavy...


Having spent a bit of time with CZH, I'm familiar with his explanation of double heavy. He teaches an explicit method to avoid double weighting/double heavy, a method he attributes to Hong. The core of it is to not have everything moving in the same direction at the same time. He implies that in the video you posted, but doesn't emphasize it.

What I was really after was trying to understand the explicit application of D_Glenn's Rickshaw statement/principle to practical two-person work. I'll quietly think about it some more.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby charles on Mon May 13, 2019 10:18 pm

D_Glenn wrote:But the actual terminology is really only applied to 2 person push hands, sparring and ultimately fighting another person. So I don’t now how you could tweak the analogy to fit into a solo practice.

Erratic, aka unexpected, as it’s something that is happening out of sight and you can only feel it in the handlebar.


Often, people practice solo material a certain way. Often, when they try to perform it that way in response to an opponent's actions, they find they are double-weighted and the action fails. ("I performed it how I was taught to do it in the solo form, but it didn't work against an opponent.") They only learn that they are double-weighted when their response fails.

Working backwards from that failure, one can determine what, specifically, one should not be doing during solo practice, the result of which is that practice is uniform and consistent, rather than having one way to do it without an opponent - that isn't effective against an opponent - and having a different way to do it with an opponent, that is effective against an opponent. That approach is the basis of Hong's Practical Method: eliminating the discrepancy between how it is practiced solo and how it is used.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby Giles on Tue May 14, 2019 2:27 am

charles wrote:Often, people practice solo material a certain way. Often, when they try to perform it that way in response to an opponent's actions, they find they are double-weighted and the action fails. ("I performed it how I was taught to do it in the solo form, but it didn't work against an opponent.") They only learn that they are double-weighted when their response fails.

Working backwards from that failure, one can determine what, specifically, one should not be doing during solo practice, the result of which is that practice is uniform and consistent, rather than having one way to do it without an opponent - that isn't effective against an opponent - and having a different way to do it with an opponent, that is effective against an opponent. That approach is the basis of Hong's Practical Method: eliminating the discrepancy between how it is practiced solo and how it is used.


Absolutely. This is, or should be, one of the main feedback loops between solo training and partner training/tuishou/'sparring' etc. It says a lot for Practical Method that this is emphasized, but it can or should be in every style. There's the old adage (I think from Cheng Man-Ching): "Practice form as if someone else is there, practice tuishou as if no-else is there." That's not the end of the story, of course, but it's a good starting point. As training progresses, you can constantly ask yourself in your solo form 'What does that actually mean, imagining that someone else is there and exerting force on me in various ways? What does that imply for my body state, organization and movement?' The answers to these questions and the effect on the solo form, or indeed most solo movement apart from some kinds of Qigong, should continue evolving.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby D_Glenn on Tue May 14, 2019 8:47 am

Yes. Explore it some more. I was told about this 7, 8 years ago but I’ve never really looked into it since. Fulcrums was just my first hunch. But it’s important that there’s a living thing on one side and the peasant controlling the handle on the other side. There’s also the wooden wheels on the ground and and the peasant, so maybe one leg like the solid wheel, the other leg supple and able to spring up and down. Getting into the nitty gritty of it was beyond the scope of the lecture.

.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby oragami_itto on Tue May 14, 2019 10:45 am

Who was giving the lecture where you learned this theory?
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby charles on Tue May 14, 2019 11:09 am

Giles wrote:This is, or should be, one of the main feedback loops between solo training and partner training/tuishou/'sparring' etc...it can or should be in every style.


My experience has been that it is very rarely done in any effective way: most seem to be taught to do forms and solo exercises one way, then do two-person work some largely other way, since what they learned and practiced in forms and solo exercises doesn't work in two-person situations.

As training progresses, you can constantly ask yourself in your solo form 'What does that actually mean, imagining that someone else is there and exerting force on me in various ways? What does that imply for my body state, organization and movement?' The answers to these questions and the effect on the solo form, or indeed most solo movement apart from some kinds of Qigong, should continue evolving.


My experience has been that it is pretty tough - read, almost impossible - to be taught a base of how to do solo practice that is almost entirely ineffective in two-person application, and then figure out from two-person application how to alter what one has been taught in solo practice and implement it. Doing so necessitates a big change to and divergence from what one was taught in solo work.

As a very simple example, most Chen style variants - not all - teach that the elbow is raised in practicing solo material. (Shoulder, elbow, then hand, then sink the elbow after the hand extends to its final position.) Keep the elbow up like that in two-person work and you'll spend a lot of time getting up off the floor. Very few Chen practitioners then alter how they practice their solo material: they were taught to practice solo material with the elbow up and continue to do so, even though they know/learn it doesn't work in "the real world". For many, solo training is done one way, two-person work another way: different guiding principles for each.

Many Yang style variants practice solo "roll back" as part of the Grasp Bird's Tail sequence in such a way that they are double-weighted. Do it that way with an opponent/partner, and you'll spend a lot of time getting up off the floor. But, "everyone" still practices it solo in the same way that produces the double-weighting that sends them to the floor. Few become aware of the underlying principle(s) that need to guide the solo practice so that if they do the same thing in two-person work, they are not double-weighted and sent to the floor. For many, solo training is done one way, two-person work another way: different guiding principles for each.

For many, solo training is done one way, two-person work another way: different guiding principles for each. When students attempt to use in two-person situations the guiding principles they were taught to govern their solo work, it fails. They have to learn a different set of principles to make it actually work. Many teachers don't teach the principles to make it actually work: the principles to make it work are often "secret". Many students get icing - principles to guide their solo practice - but no cake - the principles that make the art effectively work. Many students are left to figure out the discrepancy - and how to eliminate it - or not.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby Bao on Tue May 14, 2019 11:48 am

For many, solo training is done one way, two-person work another way: different guiding principles for each. When students attempt to use in two-person situations the guiding principles they were taught to govern their solo work, it fails. They have to learn a different set of principles to make it actually work. Many teachers don't teach the principles to make it actually work: the principles to make it work are often "secret". Many students get icing - principles to guide their solo practice - but no cake - the principles that make the art effectively work. Many students are left to figure out the discrepancy - and how to eliminate it - or not.


Completely agree. That is why partner practice should be there right from the beginning. You learn balance, coordination and separating full and empty from solo practice. But you learn the correct movement and balance from partner exercises. They should always interact right from the start. What you learn from partner exercises should be the substance of the form.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby LaoDan on Tue May 14, 2019 12:41 pm

I had not heard the rickshaw (or wheelbarrow) analogy before, but both center the weight of the person riding over the axle of the wheel. If centered over the axle, then the pull (or push) is a primarily horizontal force rather than being complicated by having to lift or push down on the handles as well. It almost seems like it could be referring to concentrating one’s force in one direction rather than dividing it into two.

Since I prefer using the properly inflated ball floating on water analogy, I prefer Chen Zhonghua’s “Any time you have a large surface of contact you are double heavy – no surface – only use a dot. The exception is when you intentionally create a large surface to counter your opponent’s particular action.” His dot is like the point of contact on a sphere that is free to move. The large surface would be like the face of a cube, which cannot change as well as a sphere can. I interpret the error of “double-weighting” as being flat rather than curved, or having the same energy on both sides of the point of contact rather than pivoting at the point of contact.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby Giles on Tue May 14, 2019 12:42 pm

Completely agree in principle with Charles and with Bao. Overdose of harmony and accord, anyone...? ;D

charles wrote: My experience has been that it is pretty tough - read, almost impossible - to be taught a base of how to do solo practice that is almost entirely ineffective in two-person application, and then figure out from two-person application how to alter what one has been taught in solo practice and implement it. Doing so necessitates a big change to and divergence from what one was taught in solo work.


This is certainly true. Luckily, all the important teachers I had in the latter two-thirds of my tai chi career have, each in their own way, done the opposite: created strong and testable interaction/synergy between solo practice and application, and this is one of my biggest areas of focus in my own teaching. "It's all the same." In other words, from the word go, all my students get to experience this, not only in the sense of "what can this solo move be used for" but much more importantly, repeatedly trying out some variations and experiencing/training the organization and changes within the body that actually make the applications and push hands work, also for smaller/lighter people against larger people. Same principles all the time, just a few variations in techniques and tactics. Some get it more quickly, others less quickly, but they all get the information, framework and encouragement to train in this way.
Your description of the 'big disconnect' so often present in the tai world is, unfortunately, quite accurate but in a way it continues to amaze me. I mean, I am certainly not a 'master'. With neither false modesty nor self-aggrandizement I would describe myself as fairly competent mid-level. I've met and felt enough people who are somewhat or much better than me. But I train consistent principles in solo and partner work and nowadays up to a certain level I can usually make my tai chi work, also against uncooperative or 'difficult' people, and in a way that's in line with said principles. It's certainly not rocket science, and even less magic. Maybe I've been lucky...?

charles wrote: Many Yang style variants practice solo "roll back" as part of the Grasp Bird's Tail sequence in such a way that they are double-weighted. Do it that way with an opponent/partner, and you'll spend a lot of time getting up off the floor. But, "everyone" still practices it solo in the same way that produces the double-weighting that sends them to the floor. Few become aware of the underlying principle(s) that need to guide the solo practice so that if they do the same thing in two-person work, they are not double-weighted and sent to the floor. For many, solo training is done one way, two-person work another way: different guiding principles for each.


Yes. Basic principles (very much simplified) in this form move as done in Yang Style: left hand/arm/body half begins more 'full' but also sensitive and relaxed at moment of contact with opponent. Hips immediately begin to sink and rotate, dantien moving to the left, propelled either by opponent's force or (in solo form) by imagined force, and arm/hand are carried along in same circle. Then as this rotation continues, left hand/arm/body half start to 'empty' while right hand/arm/body half begin to come into contact with opponent and start to 'fill'. Emptying and filling in harmony with each other, no gap in between. As these processes continue, body shifts increasingly from front to back foot, moving back as little as possible but as much as necessary to neutralize incoming force and return the force through the right side. Until the technique ends, and then swing/flow through into next one. The complementary emptying and filling aren't obviously visible from the outside but they should be very clear for onself. And for the opponent, if present. Meaning he falls over, not you. If the solo 'roll back' is done this way (and it also feels much more interesting that way!), then the feedback loop between solo and partner work is naturally present. Again, not rocket science (?!)
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby marvin8 on Tue May 14, 2019 3:37 pm

charles wrote:
marvin8 wrote:Chen Zhonghua explains and shows the application of double heavy...


Having spent a bit of time with CZH, I'm familiar with his explanation of double heavy. He teaches an explicit method to avoid double weighting/double heavy, a method he attributes to Hong. The core of it is to not have everything moving in the same direction at the same time. He implies that in the video you posted, but doesn't emphasize it.

Yes, I assumed you were familiar with his explanation. I wasn't sure if his discussion of physical point and intent direction somehow added to the rickshaw statement.

charles wrote:What I was really after was trying to understand the explicit application of D_Glenn's Rickshaw statement/principle to practical two-person work. I'll quietly think about it some more.

Random thought that may be too simplistic: If passengers move, they change the fulcrum and leverage point. The rickshaw driver needs to change, whether externally or internally. Externally using upward force, the driver can tilt the rickshaw up to position the passengers into their seats. Then, use horizontal force to push them forward.

Ian on levers in tai chi.

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Levers can cause heart trouble, and mental chaos. Be careful. There is no point to practising aggressively if you can't understand where the force, load, and fulcrum:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY_-XUKKakU
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby charles on Tue May 14, 2019 7:37 pm

marvin8 wrote: I wasn't sure if his discussion of physical point and intent direction somehow added to the rickshaw statement.


I'm not sure it adds to the rickshaw statement, but they both have to do with leverage.

If passengers move, they change the fulcrum and leverage point.


In the case of the rickshaw, the fulcrum does not change: it is at a fixed location*. What changes is where the passenger's weight is relative to that fulcrum. As I described above, that can change the type of lever, Class 1 or 2, and changes the amount of mechanical advantage ("leverage") the puller has relative to the load. Less mechanical advantage means he has to use more force to balance the load: more mechanical advantage means he can use less force to balance the load. "Four ounces deflects 1000 pounds." Using 1000 pounds to deflect 1000 pounds doesn't require much training or skill.

*One of the things that makes Taijiquan very interesting is that, unlike the rickshaw, a human can choose to change where on the body a fulcrum is located. (This is done largely through "intent", rather than overt movement.) Doing so is an integral and important part of training. Much is said about using the central axis, from top of head to between the feet, as the axis about which the fulcrum pivots, but any point on the body can be used as the axis of rotation, about which the fulcrum pivots.

Here's a fun, easy example. Stand in front of a wall almost arm's length away. Extend your arm, palm facing down, so that your index finger touches the wall. Now turn your palm over using the tip of your index finger against the wall as the pivot point/axis of rotation. Observe how your arm moves relative to that fixed point (the tip of your index finger). Next, touch the tip of your small finger against the wall, palm facing down. Now turn your palm over using the tip of your small finger against the wall as the pivot point/axis of rotation. Observe how your arm moves relative to that fixed point (the tip of your small finger). Rotating your arm about its central axis - say, middle finger - it behaves like a wheel. Rotating your arm about an eccentric axis - such as index or small finger - your arm behaves like a cam. There are applications where one uses rotation about one eccentric axis versus the other eccentric axis to produce different effects on a partner/opponent. One draws the opponent in while the other pushes/displaces him out: rotating about the central (concentric) axis does neither and is just "spinning one's wheels".

The rickshaw driver needs to change, whether externally or internally. Externally using upward force, the driver can tilt the rickshaw up to position the passengers into their seats. Then, use horizontal force to push them forward.


I think the important point is that the rickshaw driver, in response to a constantly changing load, needs to continually change the amount and direction of his balancing force.

Ian on levers in tai chi.

Levers can cause heart trouble, and mental chaos.


I like Ian's work, but find his presentation on levers too undefined for my taste. I don't know where he is coming from with levers causing heart trouble or mental chaos.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby everything on Tue May 14, 2019 9:00 pm

Giles wrote: Again, not rocket science (?!)


definitely not rocket science. a good thing to do with a beginner is just the basic roll back motion with a whole body moving. all of the external part of the art is there already.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby Giles on Wed May 15, 2019 4:01 am

everything wrote: Definitely not rocket science. a good thing to do with a beginner is just the basic roll back motion with a whole body moving. all of the external part of the art is there already.


Sure, that’s the best thing to begin with. But in my opinion it’s still important to familiarize beginners with the basics of ‘full’ and ‘empty’/yang and yin as soon as possible, at the practical level. This can be done using relatively simple partner exercises which still have a clear ‘does it work or not?’ aspect but are less complex and potentially tension-inducing than the actual applications.

Staying with the example of “roll back”: if a beginner learns to turn the body externally in the form and doesn’t hear about or start training ‘full’/’empty’ until, say, a year later, then movement habits will just have to be unlearned again. I think that’s even more important for smaller people, especially most women. If they try to use ‘turn body’ and nothing else again a stronger partner, or opponent, then they will usually be overwhelmed. Introduce ‘full’/‘empty’ into the equation and their chances improve significantly. If only using ‘turn’, men will usually get double-weighted as well, but some will be able to use muscle and bulk to cover this up. It ain’t good Tai Chi but the problem may be less obvious.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby oragami_itto on Wed May 15, 2019 7:47 am

Another aspect to consider is pushing with two hands simultaneously.

Since the arms aren't generating or adding an appreciable amount of force, just channeling what is coming from the body, duplicating the contact point divides the amount of force present at each, similarly to how doubling the surface area of the contact point would reduce the pressure per square inch.

It's possible to reunify the forces inside the opponent's body to attack a single point (some might call it Ji), or that they're perfectly timed and act as a single large unit, but also possible that the two forces scatter or oppose each other. The opponent's reaction has some influence over which happens.

In my opinion, in most cases a single point with stronger and more focused force is going to be preferred. Or even a single, large area if I need to affect a large area of their body. I generally try to push with one hand and if the other is involved, just use it for keeping them in the position that makes the push most effective.
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Re: Shuang Chong 双重(double weighted)

Postby Giles on Wed May 15, 2019 8:35 am

@ Origami
Yup, and moreover: mostly pushing with one hand narrows the training gap between 'push' and 'strike'. Sometimes, if it's OK with your partner, you can execute your pushes with a fist instead of with an open hand. Also helps to avoid allergies.
- I freely admit I got the 'push with fist' idea from a Systema workshop.
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