## Sun Taiji Form

A collection of links to internal martial arts videos. Serious martial arts videos ONLY. Joke videos go to Off the Topic.

### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Sean wrote:Yeah, you know, there is a very paternalistic "tone" to your online writing style. You might want to work on that.
Moreover, what exactly are you trying to say with your sine wave mathematics? Just come out and say it in a normal way.
.

Interesting, you mentioned waves in one of your earlier post on this thread. Taiji is said to be about the circle and square, would have thought just by looking at the drawing you would understand the meaning, relating it to waves.

In a " normal way," it means your timing is off in some places, your movements are not clearly defined from a central point, this will make the range of some moments either too big or too small.
As some have noted it also means that some things are not happening at the same time.

windwalker
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

There you go again with that same writing style.
Guess you just can't help it.

Anyway, the precise mathematical relationship between the unit circle and the sine or cosine wave isn't what I was talking about when I mentioned "waves" of force.

As far as your other observations, I appreciate them.
Although it may not always be perfect or evident, I do practice the form initializing movement from a well defined center. Personally I think that comes across pretty well in the video.

I'd be interested to hear exactly where you notice my timing being off. I have my own feeling where I could improve my timing, but it's always good to have an outside perspective.

The range of motion of some movements is also interesting. I wish you could elaborate in helpful, positive way.
Sean
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Sean wrote:Anyway, the precise mathematical relationship between the unit circle and the sine or cosine wave isn't what I was talking about when I mentioned "waves" of force.

"

And what you said about duality - that is something that I'll have to meditate on for sure! Thanks!

Without agreeing or understanding a common verbage used to describe physical events it's kind of pointless.
Your use of " wave " can mean anything.

Maybe it might be another thing to meditate on.

Best of luck
Last edited by windwalker on Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

windwalker
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Looking good man. I learned a little Wu (Hao) form once and it's always interesting to look at the very similar Sun.

Really interesting about the open-close in Sun style, auto-correct, and microcosmic orbit. I think it's easier to focus on qigong which helps the posture, rather than alignments, lungs, spine, etc. which in turn helps with doing the qigong aspect. It's both and circular, but kind of going inside-out seems easier/better/faster.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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everything
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Windwalker,

Here is an article that touches on what I mean by "wave" in biomechanics :

https://www.just-fly-sports.com/biomechanics-fascia-rotation-waves/

Best of luck to you, too.
Sean
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

windwalker wrote:Interesting, you mentioned waves in one of your earlier post on this thread. Taiji is said to be about the circle and square, would have thought just by looking at the drawing you would understand the meaning, relating it to waves.

In a " normal way," it means your timing is off in some places, your movements are not clearly defined from a central point, this will make the range of some moments either too big or too small.
As some have noted it also means that some things are not happening at the same time.

Your model ignores a lot of complexity.

A sine wave has both frequency and amplitude. If you decrease the amplitude, then the frequency has to increase to maintain the same energy (think of water going from a big pipe to a small pipe). Then there's consideration of the amount of mass being moved. If someone moves their waist and pelvis, even a small movement will require a lot more energy than a much larger movement of a small limb like an arm. Then there's the fact that the sine waves are not the only kind of wave-- you also have compression waves. At the point of contact, you want energy moving "forward" in a chosen direction (jin) as in a compression wave, not laterally as in the tangent to a sine wave.

So even a rudimentary model would have to have a sine wave (or multiple sine waves) approaching a compression wave that originates from one or more points and changes in both amplitude and frequency as it travels through a medium of changing mass, density, and size while accounting for basic action/reaction of a body of mass acting on another body of mass in gravity.

Sorry, but I don't think your images of a simple sign wave illustrate any of that meaningfully. And there is a common verbiage for all of this stuff-- people are just too lazy to learn it and use it. It's much more fun to take a half understood concept and drop it into conversation while nodding sagely (and slightly sadly) at anyone who doesn't know what you're talking about.
Bhassler
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

@everything

Thanks, mate.
Going "inside - out" is a good way to put it!
Sean
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Sean wrote:Here is an article that touches on what I mean by "wave" in biomechanics :

https://www.just-fly-sports.com/biomechanics-fascia-rotation-waves/

Great article. We posted at the same time, but it does a much better job of practically illustrating what I was trying to say.
Bhassler
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Your model ignores a lot of complexity.

A sine wave has both frequency and amplitude. If you decrease the amplitude, then the frequency has to increase to maintain the same energy (think of water going from a big pipe to a small pipe). Then there's consideration of the amount of mass being moved. If someone moves their waist and pelvis, even a small movement will require a lot more energy than a much larger movement of a small limb like an arm. Then there's the fact that the sine waves are not the only kind of wave-- you also have compression waves. At the point of contact, you want energy moving "forward" in a chosen direction (jin) as in a compression wave, not laterally as in the tangent to a sine wave.

So even a rudimentary model would have to have a sine wave (or multiple sine waves) approaching a compression wave that originates from one or more points and changes in both amplitude and frequency as it travels through a medium of changing mass, density, and size while accounting for basic action/reaction of a body of mass acting on another body of mass in gravity.

Sorry, but I don't think your images of a simple sign wave illustrate any of that meaningfully. And there is a common verbiage for all of this stuff-- people are just too lazy to learn it and use it. It's much more fun to take a half understood concept and drop it into conversation while nodding sagely (and slightly sadly) at anyone who doesn't know what you're talking about.

It is like the first lesson on "CALCULUS".....mind twisting, and is complicated.
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Hey Bhassler,

Waves in biomechanics are pretty complicated, but I think that an individual athlete can use the "image" and "feeling" of a wave to tap into that proximal to distal energy transfer the article mentions.
Sean
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Sean wrote:Hey Bhassler,

Waves in biomechanics are pretty complicated, but I think that an individual athlete can use the "image" and "feeling" of a wave to tap into that proximal to distal energy transfer the article mentions.

I posted the same article in a RSF thread asking if how it explains athletes move (e.g., wave, etc.) is it the same as in the internal arts. Interloper essentially said no, it's different. Are the way athletes use waves, etc., as explained in the article used in the same way as in internal martial arts (e.g., Sun Taiji)?

Interloper wrote:
marvin8 wrote:Would you say the activation of muscles, tendons, and fascia in the following excerpt is the same as in the internal arts? If not, how is it different (in your opinion)?

Excerpt from "A New Paradigm in Biomechanics: Fascia, Rotation, and Waves," https://www.just-fly-sports.com/biomech ... ion-waves/:
Kevin Foster on July 16, 2018 wrote:Rotational Dynamics in Arthro- and Osteo-kinematics

At the level of the joint there is no such thing as linear movement. There are muscles that pull on tendons that pull bones in arcs and circles. By understanding this, we can see linear motion as a finely choreographed sequence of arcs and rotation, that when pieced together create a straight line.

When looking at movements pieced together in this way, we can see the importance of rotation in the creation and transfer of energy in movement. An important concept from Adarian Barr’s work is the role of end range of rotational motion in timing and energy transfer.

As an example of this concept, look at how energy gets transferred through the kinetic chain in a baseball or javelin throw: Energy of internal rotation of the right side of the pelvis gets stopped and absorbed by the stiffness of the left hip (think about a bicyclist crashing into a curb and flying over the handle bars to help visualize this example). The linear and angular momentum of the body causes this energy to get transferred up the spine, where end range of thoracic extension and rotation acts as another “curb” that transfers energy to the scapula.

Jan Zelezny is the epitome of these motions in action

The end range of scapular retraction and posterior tilt acts as another “curb” that forces gleno-humeral external rotation. When the shoulder hits its end range of external rotation, it acts as a “curb” for the transfer of energy into elbow extension, whose end range acts as a “curb” for gleno-humeral internal rotation and forearm pronation.

There are three key takeaways from this example.

First, as noted above, is that individually these motions all occur in arcs and rotations, but synergistically pull the baseball or javelin in a perfectly straight line.

Second, is that at these “curbs,” the mass of each lever gets progressively smaller, so the conservation of angular momentum plays a massive role in accelerating limbs to high speeds.

The third is that the end ranges of these joints act as a built in “timer” for movement. If you have adequate mobility, and the ability to stay relaxed, each joint will perform its actions when the force gets there.

Timing, Waves, and Elastic Energy

Muscles, tendons, and fascia are all intrinsically elastic. The stretching and contracting of these elastic tissues can be looked at as waves of tension. Remember back in physics class, how all waves followed a sine function when analyzed on a graph? The same concept can apply to stretching and contracting muscles/tendons/fascia.

Building on this concept, when two waves “collide” they can either be constructive or destructive. That is, they can either add together, or cancel each other out.

Whether they add together or cancel out is a function of timing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcPdMwHjGxJ/?utm_source=ig_embed

Utilization of Nature’s Potential Energy in Movement

. . . One last piece of the puzzle to tie all of this together is that of timing. Precision in timing is the single biggest key in powerful movement.

As mentioned above, the transfer of energy proximally to distally occurs in waves. This can manifest in the form of a transverse wave up or down your body from joint to joint, or in the form of a longitudinal wave through the elastic elements of your body.

(Transverse and longitudinal are the physics terminology for how different types of waves travel. Transverse would be like wiggling a rope so it looks like a sine wave, while longitudinal would be like if you quickly compressed and retracted a slinky and you’d see the line of compression travel down the coil.)

A transverse wave up or down the body comes from the conservation of angular momentum, just like in a whip. The key to allowing this to occur is to have adequate mobility and relaxation to let the wave passively pass through each joint.

A longitudinal wave of elastic energy comes from loading and unloading muscle/tendon/fascia. Neurofascially facilitated vertical stiffness is a major component of allowing these elastic waves of energy to travel up the body. Without full body connectedness, there is no spring and movement becomes driven by muscle.

The key to true athleticism is in timing of movement so that waves of energy combine, rather than cancel each other out. The single best example I know to visualize this is in the video below of Thomas Rohler throwing the javelin.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj4k7PvnJ3x/?utm_source=ig_embed
. . . this view of his throw is an amazing display of his energy transfer from his feet to his fingertips.

When his block leg hits (also notice how he directed his CoM straight into his block leg off the back foot contact), you can literally see the ripple of force travel up his leg. That “ripple” is elastic energy traveling up his posterior chain and into his torso.

I agree that there is no true linear motion; it's an illusion. Everything moves in arcs and spirals.
Beyond that, though, the above essay is kinda getting the topic lost in the weeds. It's describing, in a lot of detail, "external" athletic movement, which use muscles in a different way than what we use for internal-power actions. To make internal structure and generate power and force, we are using certain muscle and fascia groups in atypical ways that create dynamic tensions and act upon "passive" connective tissues (tendons, ligaments) to achieve various effects based on torsion, elasticity, expansion and condensing of tissues in a different way than the kind of movement described above, in the javelin throw. The words may sound the same, but they are describing two very different ways to move and to generate power.

marvin8
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

It depends. It's sort of like comparing an all wheel drive sports car to a 4 wheel drive pickup truck. There are major differences in powertrain, suspension, etc that vastly change how the vehicle performs, and those differences are really important. But at the same time, they both use internal combustion engines, have 4 wheels that can provide power, some kind of suspension that works off the same principles of physics, driver controls that are more the same than they are different, etc. If you're talking about "how does a car work?", then we can ignore most of those differences. If we're talking about "what car should I buy?" or "how do I fix my busted old wreck of a vehicle?", then we need details.

But it's not like comparing a diesel pickup to a Tesla, because a diesel truck and a Tesla are manufactured using fundamentally different components. We all have the same pieces-parts, and they all operate in more or less the same way. We can adjust how we use those parts and get some really significant improvements in one direction or another, but we can't change the essential nature of physics and how we're built.

EDIT: Until someone comes up with a similarly clear and detailed post of how "internal" skills are supposed to work that's "different" than the principles (not details, principles) outlined in the article referenced above, they're really just blowing smoke, and likely have no idea what they're talking about. Doesn't mean they can't do cool stuff, it just means that they don't have the tools to differentiate things in a meaningful way. Caveat emptor.
Last edited by Bhassler on Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bhassler
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Hi Sean
Nice form work and I see the influence of Tim in detail and in general on your performance. There's an expansiveness/contractiveness to your flow that is often absent [or sometimes exaggerated] in many of the practitioners and experts demonstrating Sun-style on the internet. You and I play the form a little differently but c'est la vie and there is an impressive physicality to your form that doesn't take away from the precision or the tempo though I play it smoother than you do in places, especially the kick section. Glad to see you are still training this form.

I have shared what little I know over the years with some local colleagues and former students of mine and some have stuck with the form and continued to enjoy and benefit from it. It really is a little gold mine of throws and applications, isn't it?

One last thing, the camera angle [on the floor?] was a little weird as you moved closer to the lens and I wondered if that accounted for your looking, when you were facing the camera, as if you were sticking your chest out some of the time when doing Open/Close?

Anyway, nice work as far as I am concerned -- from one practitioner to another.
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Yang & Sun Taiji and Bagua Solo Form Samples on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/michaelbabin
Michael Babin
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the feedback. I remember we exchanged some ideas on the form some time ago on this forum. Good to hear the you're still practicing it as well. And I agree, it's a gold mine of practicality when it comes to fighting!

Maybe the camera angle has something to do with it, but I do sometimes let my chest expand a bit during the open -close. It helps me to find the right (neutral) alignment of the upper body again. I feel like it's unnatural to not have some expansion in my chest when I actively pull my shoulder blades together. Could be just my personal body issue, though.

Say, do you also train Sun taiji jian?
Sean
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### Re: Sun Taiji Form

+ 1 on that last post, Bhassler.
Sean
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