Posture/Form names

jks9199

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The names can be very important because many of them provide an insight as to the true nature of the posture/form. Most of the names weren't just selected arbitrarily...
But, it's very easy for those meanings to get lost in translation between different languages. Especially if the person who translated the name isn't idiomatically fluent in one of the languages.
 

pstarr

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Then I would suggest that he do some studying - perhaps enlist the aid of someone who does speak the language - and find out. Otherwise, he may miss a very important point regarding the nature of the form.
 

TaiChiTJ

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I think the way Chuck Sullivan and Vic LeRoux came up with names for their IKCA Karate Connection system is interesting. They did a code system which is as follows:

Chop = Sword
Defender = Tiger
Attacker = Dragon
All Kicks = Thunder
Grip or Claw = Talon
Gun or Club = Disaster
Backfist = Serpent's Strike
Roundhouse Punch = Storm
Head Butt or Butt Bunk = Ram
Straight Torque Punch = Lightening
Elbow or Forearm = Devastation
Hammerfist = Hammer

It's kind of a cool idea because once you learn the code you have a sense of what any future technique is going to be about. :ultracool
 
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Xue Sheng

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Then I would suggest that he do some studying - perhaps enlist the aid of someone who does speak the language - and find out. Otherwise, he may miss a very important point regarding the nature of the form.

Very good and important point.

My wife was once the translator for Chen Zhenglei and although she does not study Tai Chi she did have a basic understanding of many of the postures since the names where associated with Chinese history, mythology and/or metaphors.
 

pstarr

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Yes! A good dexample are the names of the five fundamental postures of Xingyi, for instance. These are sometimes mistranslated and frequently misunderstood. The same is true of Taiji - sometimes taking the characters that form the name of the posture or form and breaking them down into their separate radicals (as possible) is helpful-
 
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Xue Sheng

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Yes! A good dexample are the names of the five fundamental postures of Xingyi, for instance. These are sometimes mistranslated and frequently misunderstood. The same is true of Taiji - sometimes taking the characters that form the name of the posture or form and breaking them down into their separate radicals (as possible) is helpful-

This is true, I was once trying to get some Xingyi VCDs from China via my sister-in-law (via e-mail and phone call) and due to an error in the character I ended up with Yiquan VCDs instead. It was a very bad mistake on my part.

And this is very true the postures are often misunderstood in Xingyi, I have was guilty of that myself in the beginning, but if you continue to seriously study you will eventually get to the right meaning and at least some understanding.

As to Tai Chi I have heard an awful lot of very bad posture names over the years that came form bad translation or Americanization of the postures themselves.
 

Flying Crane

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I think the way Chuck Sullivan and Vic LeRoux came up with names for their IKCA Karate Connection system is interesting. They did a code system which is as follows:

Chop = Sword
Defender = Tiger
Attacker = Dragon
All Kicks = Thunder
Grip or Claw = Talon
Gun or Club = Disaster
Backfist = Serpent's Strike
Roundhouse Punch = Storm
Head Butt or Butt Bunk = Ram
Straight Torque Punch = Lightening
Elbow or Forearm = Devastation
Hammerfist = Hammer

It's kind of a cool idea because once you learn the code you have a sense of what any future technique is going to be about. :ultracool

This is kind of a common theme in the kenpo arts. I believe Mr. Parker also codified the names in similar ways, to give clues to the type of defense and whatnot. I think Tracy's kenpo names are a bit more random.

However, this is very different from the names used in the Chinese arts. The Chinese names tend often to hint at the quality and intent of the movement, deeper than the movement itself. While the names used in Kenpo indicate WHAT the movement is, the names used in Chinese arts tend to go beyond that an suggest HOW the movement is used.
 
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