(Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming Fighting Set) Breaking Someone's Structure?

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by KrazyKaiju, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. KrazyKaiju

    KrazyKaiju New Member


    Hello, everyone!

    I'm a Tai Chi student in college who has been training for a year. This is one of my first posts, and I hope to learn alot by coming here.

    I had a quick question regarding imbalancing a well-rooted opponent, particularly in context of Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's 2 person fighting set.

    Say I'm the "bad guy" (I punch first). I tend to have a difficult time with the move preceding the second punch.

    Also, much later in the form (I forget if it is the bad guy or the good guy), I proceed to do "diagonal flying", but I find this one to be rather troublesome.

    I've been told (not by my teacher, but by a senior student) that I may not be settled enough in the back leg, I may have to come in closer, etc.

    While I feel that all of these things are probably true, I also feel that I don't have a good grasp of the concept of "breaking someone's structure" from a physiological/anatomical standpoint. Whenever I do something, I like to know what I'm doing and why it worked. :)

    What are some general rules of thumb for breaking structure?
  2. crushing step

    crushing step Valued Member

    Breaking of the structure really is just a term to help you conceptualize the idea of putting someone off balance, mostly by disrupting their center of gravity.

    In diagonal flying for example, you have a step of the right leg, a weight shift to that right leg, and a turning of the hips all supporting the motion of the right hand making the extension. It's the step in, weight shift and turning that will disrupt your partner's center of gravity and therefore "break his structure". The arm movement is then merely a toppling motion.

    Something to think about. The center of gravity is generally at or below the waist. If your waist / hips come in contact with your partner's, a weight shift on your part pushes his center of gravity off center. This is the simple concept and is easy to remember, and is actually the foundation of a judo hip throw! If you wanted to hip throw someone, the fulcrum point is the hips, so that way you can throw someone that weighs 200 pounds while exerting much less energy.

    I google searched breaking the structure and came up with an article by a wing chin guy, but it looks pretty interesting:

  3. Dillon

    Dillon Valued Member

    The first step in something like breaking structure is having an idea of what constitutes good structure to begin with. If you understand the guidelines for having good structure, all there is to breaking structure is to prevent your opponent from following those guidelines. For example, one of the six harmonies is the relationship between the shoulder and hip. If you can screw up that relationship (maybe by twisting their shoulder to one of their dead angles, so the shoulder and hip are out of alignment) you can take their balance easily. Another example is that generally the hips (center of gravity) needs to stay between the feet (within the base). If you can move their hips outside of their feet, you can knock them down easily.
  4. BigJohn

    BigJohn Valued Member

    I belive this to be a good video showing
    Breaking Someone's Structure, in a class setting.


  5. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Another video to be filed under

    "Horse Feathers"

    What a load of old tosh. What is with the jumping. Why can't teachers put out honest videos instead of all this "compliant student shows off teachers skills" malarky.

    I have been videod and know that it is impossible to see what is being done/what it feels like. It certainly looks like nothing if executed correctly.

    No wonder folks laugh at TaiJi. (Quan missed off intentionally, in this instance)
  6. BigJohn

    BigJohn Valued Member

    you seem to be confused as to the subject at hand
    (Breaking Someone's Structure) as well has my reply.
    the video simply that "root breaking" before the push. In a class setting.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  7. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    I can assure you that I am not confused. :mad:

    That was not root breaking, it was compliant students faking it, without a shadow of a doubt.

    There are far too many charltons in the TaiJiQuan world, and they all seem to tout their trickery on YouTube. :bang:
  8. BigJohn

    BigJohn Valued Member

    never mind.
    you know it all..............
  9. crushing step

    crushing step Valued Member

    Interesting video Big John. I do agree there was some structure breaking there, and that the participant had his balance thrown off, no doubt. I also think he overacted a little bit, though it's possible he did this as to not fall on his face!

    As far as compliant goes, yeah, that's why he said "in a classroom environment" when he posted the video. You must start at the instructional level, no matter what the technique is. I never see BJJ videos showing moves done at a slow pace with compliant partners criticized as garbage.

    For an interesting discussion of root, you have to know what rooting is in order to disrupt it, check out this article from William CC Chen:

  10. BigJohn

    BigJohn Valued Member

    if your talking about the last push, i see it as he did not expect a strong push and ended up on his ****.

    but i was not talking about that part at all. what i found intersting is the pushes that come before, there i belive the teacher is trying to show, how to go about breaking the opponent root first.
    as for wccchen, i agree a talented tcc teacher.
  11. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    I have never made any reference to my knowledge...or lack of it.

    When I am teaching/demonstrating techniques, or being the person said techniques are being demonstrated on, there is no complicancy. Such behaviour serves no purpose and simply gives students false ideas about how it looks when applied. Ime, the only teachers who get their students to falsify demos like this have no real skill. And yes, I have had hands on experience.

    However, as I have said so many times before, when a technique is done well...onlookers cannot "see it". It can only be felt when done by or done to yourself.
  12. lieqi fan

    lieqi fan Valued Member

    Bet he didn't say "watch how I step in ...". It's all over before it's started. Maybe the student will eventually wise up to his teacher's little tricks to create a positional advantage. More likely he will spend years feeling honoured to be bounced around the room without understanding how he does it.
  13. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Exactly, well put lieqi fan.

    I have no time for teachers who set themselves up as gurus..."look at me..look what I can do...you're not worthy yet to know the secrets...keep giving me money for lessons."

    I have been very lucky because my foremost teachers have had one main goal...to teach their students in such a way that they surpass their own skills.

    If only all teachers were like this.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  14. Dillon

    Dillon Valued Member

    This is a much better video for examples of breaking structure:

  15. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Thanks for posting that Dillon.

    Tim Cartmell is one of the people I would love to train with. :)
  16. Dillon

    Dillon Valued Member

    Same here.
  17. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    While I think the video is a little silly - the guy in it is hardly a charlatan. I think that's Mario Napoli, the dude who went over to the Chen village and won their competition. Just FYI
  18. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Can you see this?

  19. BigJohn

    BigJohn Valued Member

    the video is for beginners. Now, where if not in the begining, do teachers, show how to do/practice, the thing right.
  20. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Nope...I've gone fishing.

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