Small Circle

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by wingchun100, May 11, 2017.

  1. VPT

    VPT White Belt

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    Well actually, I am somewhat well versed in linguistics as well. I speak two Asian languages (Mandarin and Vietnamese) and study Cantonese on a casual level because Sinitic loanwords and stop finals, obviously. Duh.

    And yes, I did make a silly mistake with saying Cantonese has no diphthongs (where did that even come about? Of course it has. I use words with it all the time: bui gim, cung ceoi, soeng zoeng and so on). Anyway, in my opinion you were being rather hostile, I recommend maybe having a beer or two to relax and chill out? It is also not acting in bona fide to to make belittling assumptions of the person you are talking with as you seem to have done.

    Just for clarity, I will get back to the issue, but I don't really feel any need to get back to it anymore afterwards:
    Both me and LFJ obviously know by now that in Yale romanization of Cantonese "eu" represents the sound of /œ/. Now, in the message quoted above he clearly says that there exists a diphthong /eu/ in Cantonese (while there does not), which glides from /e/ to /u/, and gives instructions to pronunciation accordingly: /e/ before /u/. I interpret that being an instruction to how to say a diphthong such as, say, "leuka" (/'leukɑ/, meaning "chin" in my native Finnish) instead of a monophthong such as /œ/ (e.g. /'lœ:ŋ/, "Leung/Loeng").

    Here anyone can review the Yale romanization and the corresponding IPA sounds, to settle the argument: Yale romanization of Cantonese - Wikipedia I rest my case here and let the normal states of affair continue. Bring in the circles again!

    Here's also the most vowel-to-consonants-ratio you must have ever seen in a word: HÄÄYÖAIE (/'hæ:ʔyø̯ʔɑije/) :D
     
  2. LFJ

    LFJ Master of Arts

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    Well, for example, in a northern style I know, there's a double low palm action in a form that the poem literally says is supposed to push the waist while headbutting.

    It would be used as an escape from a clinch type hold, to prevent knees and collapse the hips while hitting center and forcing the opponent back, followed by an action to break free from the arms.

    But many people just do it standing upright as a double low palm strike, which does nothing and would be dangerous outside of close range, grappling context.

    Problem is most people have never seen the old poem associated with the form. It is not passed on in many lineages, so the practical applications get lost by those who just practice the form, and the form is allowed to degenerate without guidance from the poem telling you what something is, and therefore how it should be performed and used.

    Unfortunately, lots of kung fu in China has been reduced to dance because of this. You often have to go to remote villages where the forms originated to find people who still know the old poems.

    In the case of Wing Chun, the problem is that much of the terminology is either ambiguous or borrowed from other southern styles and reinterpreted for Wing Chun, and this requires oral transmission of theory along with the terminology, because it's just not written down like older styles.

    Just having the actions and corresponding terms doesn't help much if no explanation was received. Easy for native speakers to come up with numerous contradictory interpretations of the same things due to the abstract nature of the system and often ambiguity of new or repurposed terminology.
     
  3. LFJ

    LFJ Master of Arts

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    The audio was provided. My explanation matches the sound that is natively produced.

    As a casual learner, feel free to say it however you think is correct.
     
  4. anerlich

    anerlich Purple Belt

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    Does he have a second gear?
     
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  5. wckf92

    wckf92 2nd Black Belt

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    Thank you.
    So, are you saying that wc/wt/vt forms originally came with corresponding poems? Are you referring to the kuen kuit? Or something else?
    Do these still exist?
     
  6. LFJ

    LFJ Master of Arts

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    No, and that's part of the problem. Other older styles have writings that make things clear.
    WC invents or repurposes terminology and kyun-kyut from other styles, without written records.
    Without the meanings clearly written down, it's anyone's guess and "everyone is correct".

    Other TCMA styles have names for each individual action in their forms, but these names can sometimes be ambiguous or have their meanings encoded in poetic terms. But what they also have are associated poems that sing a song of the entire form and decode the poetic terms.

    So like, "straddle the tiger" (跨虎 kua hu) may be the name of a posture in a form. People think it just refers to the stance, but poems reveal that it's code for "guard the hip" (护胯 hu kua) and has to do with the whole action; step, arms, facing. The different characters are homophones and reversed in order to encode the meaning.

    Or like, "tiger holds head" (虎抱头 hu bao tou) which people think is some sort of headlock, but it's code for "protect the head" (保护头 baohu tou), which is a method of shielding with the arms around the head to deflect punches with the forearms and elbows. Again with the homophones and mixed order.

    So, you can see how without the decoder, people are left with pretty names that they don't know the meanings of, and come up with all sorts of ideas based on incomplete information, and the practical applications get lost. Same thing happens in WC, but the real meanings of things are passed down orally, or not...
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  7. wckf92

    wckf92 2nd Black Belt

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    I see. Wow. Interesting for sure. So, is this maybe the reason why, in a thread from months ago, we were all reading/discussing how WSL's pole form (and I guess YM's) was encapsulated within an older kung fu styles pole form? So to understand more about that example, we would need to learn more of that older kung fu styles poems (if they even exist) to "maybe" decode VT's pole methods and meanings?

    I guess what I'm asking is: did WSL get passed some oral poems from YM? And, if so, did he write them down or did he pass them down orally to his students to ensure clearer understandings of the forms? I've never heard of this, just the kyun-kyut that some families have.
    And TBH, some of the kyun-kyut are simply shallow and obvious and one wonders why they were ever created. i.e. "be fast with your fist"... well no sh1t! haha. As opposed to what?... :D
     
  8. LFJ

    LFJ Master of Arts

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    Well, the LDBG section was also embedded into a separate form from an outside source, so that particular Hung-kyun system is kind of irrelevant. The LDBG just leads back to legendary figures. But the thing about that LDBG is that it is distinctly primitive compared to the rest. It's just basic spear methods, which in turn is just ancient Chinese warfare. It's really very simple. There's not much to it. It's basic stuff included in most spear methods of China.

    There are no poems for VT like other styles to my knowledge. The poems I'm talking about are much longer and more detailed than the kyun-kyut. It's a proper song of praise and description of the styles' strategy and tactics. I have read similar things in other lineages, but their origins are dubious.

    What we have in WSLVT are a few short and common maxims, and of course the common terminology, the sau's, but these can be easily misinterpreted if not instructed by someone who knows the meanings as they relate to fighting strategy and not what you're doing stuck to each other's arms in chi-sau.
     
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  9. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I know what you mean about there being a reason beyond, "This is how we do it," And that being the end of the discussion. That is why I am always questioning. I have asked my LS Lineage teacher about EVERYTHING I can think of, mainly because LS is so different from Ip Ching lineage. He says, "There is a reason for everything. The most important thing is you understand the purpose behind each move."

    So if I ask him why we do techniquie A in section B of the form, and he says "it's an arm break," he will actually show me how it is applied. And it works.

    Well, what I mean by that is I SEE how it could work. I don't mean he actually breaks my arm!
     
  10. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Right, but...why wouldn't you pass on the new way of doing things to your old students? I know I would, especially if the student was my son! :)
     
  11. wingerjim

    wingerjim Green Belt

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    In some rare cases there are falling outs, in other cases the student may not like the new way, in other cases people are simply resistant to change. I know my teacher's teacher has shown new ways and we simply don't adopt them, while other we do. Just the way evolution of a martial art works.
     
  12. JP3

    JP3 2nd Black Belt

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    From my Tomiki stuff, my instructor had a way of teaching kata. He deliberately selected the hardest possible variation of the technique to be the one to perform for kata demonstration. His theory was that, "If you can learn that version, the other ones will be easy."

    So far, 20 years into it... it's proving true.
     
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  13. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I would have to agree with him too.
     

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