Anyone's Taiji Look Like This?

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by onyomi, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    It can be backed up with the same level of proof as what you are saying. The wudang / practical TCC website contains a far larger amount of this than I could ever produce and is all based on hearsay and anecdotal evidence the same as this is. I have strong and varied contacts in the mainland and in Hong Kong, where Chen's name is regarded by some with more than a little amusement. I have relayed some of the milder ones about the history and how he met and associated with Docherty. I am fully willing to accept that I have been told a pile of lies if that is what you wish but by people who *don't* know each other, so it is unlikely. And I also believe a large percentage of it is jealousy and face saving excuses for the success of his students in martial competition. At no point have I said that the Wudang art is crap or that what they teach is inefectual. That is part of the problem it is not inefectual, and for beginner students they can show far greater physical martial skills than tradtional Tai-Chi students far ealier in their training. BUT there is a reason and that is what I was refering to.

    Interestingly the influence of the Wu form and the principle of it has softened the training considerably to the point that I believe it now represents a more accurate representation of pre-cultural revolution Shaolin than the performing seals that now represent that art from China.

    You see you only know what you know and have been taught and you only know what you have been told. I wish to show that there is another contra view on your training and on your group. There is much you have not experienced, but if you wish to just limit your spectrum to that then you have chosen a very good art and school to follow, it is just not traditional Tai-Chi. And seeing as that is harder to find in the west than an 18 year old virgin, then ignore me and get on and enjoy it, just *try* to keep an open mind and remember Martial Art is mostly smoke and mirrors. But by taking these short cuts you block access to what traditional Tai-Chi eventually becomes, if you stick at it for many years
  2. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    It is training not application and requires a degree of co-operation or at least understanding on the part of the trainee to leave his energy available even though he knows it is being manipulated. It is the same as all training, it is easy to confont and counter it if you know or are told what is going to happen or be shown to you. This is applicable on a mental level a physical level and an energetic level, they are/can be trained in isolation but never used in isolation. The clips and picture are of training work within the group, you just pick out the most bizzare energetic ones as that serves your purposes. The reason why it has to be felt rather than seen, as you say, is important. But what is the point of showing work to an audience who cannot feel if you cannot see it. This method of energetic work make it visible so easier to find for the student and something to observe for the interested. I can assure you if used for real it would not look like this and would just seem like skill and you would only recognise the physical nature of it, but it would feel very different.
  3. Jekyll

    Jekyll Valued Member

    Kindly do so then.

    Please tell me who your sources were, and why they would know this.

    At the moment you're just repeating your slander with an additional layer of vaugeness.
    Names please.
    This the best reason for you to cite your sources. You don't fully believe them yourself, yet you repeat them as though they were gospel.
    This comes across as no more than the jealousy and face saving excuses you mentioned earlier. You are demeaning yourself by making these allegations without backing them up.

    No. I read a lot, and I evaluate what I've seen and heard. Honestly, if you have anything more than vauge rumours to contribute please do so.

    I don't care about other peoples views regarding what happened, so much as I care about what actually happened.

    If you are going to pretend that these aren't your views, but you're just passing on what other people have said, then you should do so from the start, and not just fall back on it as an excuse when challenged.

    Your tai chi may well be mostly smoke and mirrors, but I don't think you can speak for the rest of us.

    Seriously, do you expect me to believe that someone who talks about marrow washing has the real tai chi? What's next Chang San Feng's 18 hands of Lohan?

    Feel free to explain how pad work and sparring stops you from developing tai chi.
  4. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    The rest is pointless and already explained, but you are on defensive high horse. Get Docherty to provide proof for his explanations and articles and views, they are on the same basis. A classic one is the attack on Chu King Hung and his visit to one of your classes in the 1980's. I have heard four versions from people who were there and none of are the same as Docherty's published version, smoke and mirrors!

    But this one I will try to help you with, with pleasure. But it will be a pointless exercise as you are well blocked. It takes away access to the primary tai-chi skill - sensitivity. Well what is this skill - a good explantion would be to call it listening, but not with your ears. You learn nothing from touching a wall apart from the wall is hard. You learn and feel when you touch something living and animate. Wear pads and gloves or punch bags and all you do is whack you don't feel you cannot adjust, you cannot apply energy or skill. It also creates a potentially dangerous situation for you and your partner as you haven't a clue as to the effect of what you are doing.

    More people have been seriously hurt and killed and more hands are broken with modern boxing than traditional bare fist fighting. It de-sensitises you to what is actually happening. That is why those old fights went on for hundreds of rounds. They knew the true capability of the weapons they were using not blinded into a false sense of security.

    Traditional tai-chi knows this as in the traditional saying of "hitting the cow on the other side of the mountain" the point being is that what happens at the point of contact is relatively imaterial, it is where your mind (yi) is that will be damaged. I don't expect you to understand this as yet again it is another aspect of your training that is missing.
  5. tccstudent

    tccstudent Valued Member

    I agree with Mr Dunn 100% about the pads and the gloves. That kind of training is totally external in nature and is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve in Tai Chi Chuan. The Wudang school is obviously trying to incapsulate external training methods. How can you develop neutralization and sensitivity skills if your hands are covered with large rubber gloves? If you spar within a TCC framework you should have your hands free. There is no doubt about this. Even in the old days, TCC masters did not put on gloves or hit pads (only the Shaolin did that), so why should you? It seems the MMA crowd are affecting the modern day training more than we think. Next thing you know, we'll have supposed TC fights in a ring with gloves, mouthguards, and fighing under Queens rules! :love: That is not TCC. I believe there is an account somewhere on the web of a famous TC master fighting a boxer in the 30's or somewhere around that timeframe and the boxer was completely and totally neutralized. :)
  6. oldyangtaiji

    oldyangtaiji Old Yang Taijiquan

    As I know the Taijiquan of Cheng Tin Hung and Dan Docherty is not a pure (Wu) Taijiquan but is mixed with some external elements (as used in Full-contact figthing). The emphasis is on practical usege of Shuai Jiao (throwing), Die Pu (striking) and Qin Na (grappling).
    My opinion is that is a good version of Taijiquan, but above average external.
  7. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    This is chansi-jin (silk-reeling energy). The movement initiates from the ground, is channeled by the kua and ends with the fist/elbow/whatever. If the hips moving and the punch landing occured at the same time there would be no way to take advantage of this full-body power that is vital (at least to Chen style)Taiji.

    I don't think "driving forward" is an important part of the strategy of most Taijiquan styles. The Taiji strategy is to lure the enemy into your range by giving them what seems like a substantial lead and then "leading them into emptiness."

    Your Taiji sounds more like Longfist or Praying Mantis in which one will charge at the opponent throwing continuous attacks until he is overwhelmed. In these styles the power comes more from the waist than the kua and the foot and fist are supposed to arrive simultaneously. Your Taiji really does sound more like a Shaolin-derived style. Not that this is bad--unlike a lot of Taiji stylists I don't entertain fantasies that the so-called "internal" arts are somehow superior to the "external." Nonetheless, it sounds to me like Cheng may indeed have incorporated a lot of Shaolin into his style of Taiji, which his family's website now calls "Cheng Style Taiji," btw.

    I would have no problem with saying "Cheng combined elements of Southern Shaolin and Wu Taiji to create an even more effective form of martial art." What I don't like is saying "Cheng and Dan have rediscovered the original, Wudang Mountain Taiji," especially when their strategy clearly differs greatly from that of all other established Taiji styles.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  8. SickDevildog

    SickDevildog Lost In The Sauce

    I keep hearing kua, what is it? :confused:
  9. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    The kua is a band of muscles going around the butt and upper thighs. Taiji practitioners place great emphasis on "song kua," i.e. relaxing and stretching this group of muscles. The power generation in Taiji is supposed to come a lot more from the kua than most other styles in which it comes from the abs and lower back.
  10. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    Here is one, I dont know if you mean this. Also I have let it run on a bit as it describes some energetic work.

    Once Shaohou and Zhaolin attended a martial arts show together. Western boxing was included in the demonstration. When the western boxer finished his demonstration, the audience barely applauded. Then Zhaolin got up on the stage and demonstrated some taiji techniques. The audience went wild with applause. This offended the western boxer greatly. He got back up on the stage and demanded to know from the announcer why his western boxing demonstration received such little recognition while the taiji demonstration received such good response. The ring announcer suggested it was probably because so few in the audience understood western boxing while they did understand martial arts and taijiquan. With that the bellicose western boxer immediately demanded a challenge of the martial artist.

    Yang Shaohou was sitting with Zhaolin at ringside. Zhaolin immediately jumped back into the ring and told the announcer he was willing to take the western boxer’s challenge. Shaohou shouted up at Zhaolin to knock the guy out of the ring. The challenge match began. The two fighters approached one another. Zhaolin started to circle slightly. He held one arm up shoulder level and extended the other to the front. Suddenly the western boxer lunged at Zhaolin. Before anyone could see, the western boxer was suddenly tossed cleanly from the ring. It was as if he were a kite held taunt by a string when suddenly the string is cut and the kite suddenly jumps out, up and away cleanly. He was bewildered and did not understand what had happened.

    Energy, including that of taijiquan, may be thought of as transmission by wave. Earlier generation adepts in taiji had an expression – “'hitting the cow on the other side of the Mountain.” This phrase referred to hitting an opponent’s front side with the pain and effect being felt on the back side. In years past, people who sparred with Shaohou often described him as also having an energy like electricity. That is, it caused very painful sensations in the muscle and even on the skin surface. Tian Zhaolin, coming from that background, also knew this method. In the 1940’s a guy known as "Big Spear Liu" came to Shanghai’s “big world,” the city’s major performance and entertainment center. Spear Liu asked the doorkeeper, “Are there any good hands around here?” In other words, he was seeking someone considered highly skilled in martial art in order to make a challenge. The doorkeeper told “Big Spear Liu” of Tian Zhaolin. With that Big Spear set off to find Mr. Tian. He found Zhaolin and immediately demanded to spar by each striking the other three times. Tian responded that it may not be necessary. He said, “Just let me touch you. If you can tolerate my touch, you win. Liu, sensing a fool and an effortless victory, immediately agreed. The two men approached and Zhaolin reached out his hand to touch Liu’s chest. Within a few moments, Liu's facial muscles started to contort. Soon he grimaced and his face showed signs of intense pain. Spear Liu pulled away and, after recovering, commented: “I have traveled throughout five provinces and various cities but until today I have never seen such a profound skill.”
  11. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    Relating to physical functionality you are correct, but in more applicable terms it is the inguinal crease(s) as there are two. The function is like forceps opening and closing, but complicated by the circular curving nature of the junction. This is *the* kua. *A* kua is a different thing and represents all the forceps joints in the body, they are all Kua. Opening the/a kua is a pre-requisite for releasing whole body energy. If closed you block it and can only release that from below the block.
  12. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    Which other joints are you referring to as "kuas" besides the ones between the thighs? Does this have to do with the Yang concept of the five bows? Also, I don't put much if any stock in stories like that about Zhaolin and the Western Boxer. Depending on who you ask the stories change completely. Ask a Praying Mantis practitioner for an account of the match between Jiang Hua-long and Gong Bao-tian and you will hear a detailed account of how Jiang owned Gong. Ask a Bagua practitioner and you'll hear an equally detailed account of how Gong owned Jiang. These kinds of stories are not only highly unreliable, but also have the unfortunate effect of even influencing a student's choice of art. A potential CMA student should choose the art that most suits them/the art which a good teacher near them is teaching--not the art with the coolest sounding stories behind it.

    Can you make an uncooperative opponent contort in pain just by touching them? If not, then get training until you can do it yourself rather than telling stories about how people once could do it. If you can do it then why don't you use this remarkeable ability to win the UFC or challenge the Cheng/Docherty guys, thereby proving your Taiji to be the best? Also, I find that comment about 18 year-old virgins offensive. Please don't start talking like Soggycat or you'll start to receive the same level of respect he gets (i.e. none).
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2005
  13. sparrow

    sparrow Chirp!

    My teachers also refer to the 'upper kua' as being the shoulder girdle/chest, if that's any help
  14. pete_e

    pete_e New Member

    I'm not so interested in what these exercises give to the audience - rather I'd like to understand what the point of this energy work is for the practitioners? What skills does it help them to develop?
  15. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    Energetic skills.

    Li - Yi - Qi, this is Qi

    This is so basic, if you want to understand then find a class and teacher.
  16. pete_e

    pete_e New Member

    Thanks Richard, but I already have a very good teacher and a reasonable understanding of the concept 'yi dao, qi dao, jing dao'. (Not sure why you've brought li into it though?)

    I had been hoping - clearly in vain - that you might be able to provide some kind of meaningful explanation for the video clips on your site. As things stand, they bring to mind such mythical skills as empty force, which can only be demonstrated using students who know exactly what is expected of them. Such 'skills' have no practical application except to swell the teachers bank balance and provide students with vastly unrealistic expectations of their abilities.

    Now if you want to explain to me what is going on in these clips and how my current opinions are wrong I'm quite prepared to listen. Alternatively, you can continue to suggest that I am in need of basic instruction before I can even start to understand - it's your call....
  17. oldyangtaiji

    oldyangtaiji Old Yang Taijiquan

    For developing Qi and Jin, only practice Taijiquan probably will no be enough.
    To speed up gaining internal skills is necessary also practice Meditation and Qigong.
    Also for the usage of them is necessary practice with a partner (one or more).

    Rishard, in your school this exercises are grouped in Mind, Body and Spirit categories. From where comes this exercises? Are (some of) this exercises from the Tian's?
  18. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    As I presumed and I was right. Your question is a troll to trot out your predudices and preconceived ideas. The question has already been answered beyond that you have to feel!

    Once again it trains specifically the martial aspect of Qi usage in an isolated form. It is rarely if ever used in an isolated form. If that doesn't help you then as I say you will have to find a teacher to show you and then feel it. I do not doubt you have a good teacher, but you wanted to know about this. LOGIC! if you want it and it is not there then go look for it. If you just wish to troll then you waste my time and everyone elses.

    I didn't start this conversation on this subject, you did, so don't demand like a spoilt child. It is not my job to teach you.
  19. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    Of course they are otherwise why would he be my teacher. It is what can be taught publically, much cannot. The Li exercises are simplified compare with the traditional as they trained from the age of 8. I give you a challenge to see if you can do one exercise from his routine and remember he is 75 years old. Stand straight with straight legs. Bend forward at the waist and grip behind the knees, then touch your forehead on the front of the knees!!!

    He also does not do ZZ type standing meditation, which we do in class as it is good foundation work. The foudation standing work he did (remember age 8) was riding horse training with parallel (to the ground) thighs. The test was balancing a cup on the thigh. This is also Shaolin foundation work. It was only done as a youth discipline and then no longer practised. If I tried to get my students to do this I wouldn't have any. ZZ form with 45deg thighs is more than enough for them. And lots can't cope with that!

    I enclose description :-

    Once in the Yang family household, Tian Zhaolin was required to participate literally around-the-clock in the practice of their internal art alongside Jianhou’s sons Shaohou and Chengfu. The practices were overseen by father Jianhou. Tian Zhaolin lived with the Yang family, practiced day and night with them, ate with them, and slept with them. The first six months Zhaolin was made to practice stake exercises exclusively. After that Jianhou began to teach him the soft, sticky, energy art that he had inherited from his father Luchan. During the stake practice, should one of them move even the slightest, Jianhou would quickly come over to strike that person sharply with his long-handled smoking pipe. Similarly, during the practice of jin, should one of them hesitate or stop, Teacher Jianhou would quickly approach and strike that person sharply with his pipe. Tian Zhaolin also became a constant companion of Yang Shaohou. Tian also served as a practice partner for Shaohou. He learned to withstand his various “jins” and blows.
  20. pete_e

    pete_e New Member

    Richard I could have started the discussion by decrying what I saw. Instead I deliberately reserved judgement and chose to ask some genuine questions in the hope of finding some genuine answers. Last i checked that was a pretty reasonable method of starting an intelligent discussion. You dismissed my questions as 'basic', at which point I offered an opinion.

    The clips and your vague explanations of them as 'qi usage' has yet to show anything I am interested in seeking out. However I don't claim to know everything about taiji and am open to discussion of such ideas. Personally I thought that was the whole point of forums such as this - or are you only interested in discussion with people who don't confront or counter, just like your training partners :rolleyes: ?

    Re-read my posts. I've made no demands. I gave you the option of explaining some exercises which appear, at first glance, rather dubious. You prefer to call me a spoilt child and a troll instead. Personally I find that a shame. I would hope that someone with such a strong beliefs in what they do would relish the opportunity to explain them to an audience of fellow taiji players.

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