Video: Fajin in the Spirit of Yang Tai Chi

beareagle

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Master Wei-Chung Lin, a disciple of the Yizungyue School and the Chief Instructor of the Chinese Taoist Martial Arts Association in Skokie Illinois, demonstrate Yang style Tai Chi fajin exercises based on Shian Tian Jin Fa (or The Pre-Heaven Power Method). Section One of the Yang style Tai Chi Chuan traditional form follows.

When you watch Part 1, please note that what is shown in the video are training exercises, not fighting scenarios!!! The practitioner is supposed to learn something from practicing these exercises with a certain amount of cooperation from the partners.

The major objective of these exercises is to measure the quality and power of the fajin movements after standing-stake training. Therefore, in most situations, the partner is requested to stay rigid and not try to yield. In other words, the person being thrown is live weight, much like a heavy punching bag. Following this protocol, the reaction of the partner faithfully reflects the efficiency of the fajin movement. If you are interested in examples of applications on resisting opponents, please watch our videos on Bagua and Xingyi in this forum.
 
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East Winds

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How can this be a demonstaration of true Fajin when he continually loses his root by lifting his back heel.

His form is Wushu influenced and owes little to Traditional Yang Family Taijiquan.

Opinion offered in the spirit of debate!

Very best wishes
 

Xue Sheng

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Sifu Wei-Chung Lin....again

OK he is a desciple of Yizungyue... who is Yizungyue and who was his teacher or teachers?

And I gather he is teaching Xingyi, Bagua and Yang style taiji is that correct?
 

marlon

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How can this be a demonstaration of true Fajin when he continually loses his root by lifting his back heel.

His form is Wushu influenced and owes little to Traditional Yang Family Taijiquan.

Opinion offered in the spirit of debate!

Very best wishes


The back heel!!! i have always been taught do not lift the back heel and teach kempo this way, others do not !! i know the reasons i was taught...keeping the root. Do you have a better detailed explaination and what do you think of arts that lift the back heel to 'add more power'?

Respectfully,
Marlon
 

oxy

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The back heel!!! i have always been taught do not lift the back heel and teach kempo this way, others do not !! i know the reasons i was taught...keeping the root. Do you have a better detailed explaination and what do you think of arts that lift the back heel to 'add more power'?

Respectfully,
Marlon

Considering that, in self defence situations, it is very common to move about, and that it is also very common that there might be a need to attack or defend while in motion, there is a definite, practical need to learn to generate power from non-optimal positioning.

And consider how some Xingyi forms (one of which I saw was the rooster or some similar name) which ends with the back foot coming off the ground. Of course, the whole idea of generating power at the moment the back foot hits the ground (as is the case with Xingyi as per my understanding) seemed completely foreign (and suggested to be impossible) to at least one Taiji-only person I've talked to.

Let's also not forget a video of one of the Chens being able to withstand being pushed while standing on one leg.

Consider, finally, that a) there has been no attempt to measure the "power output" of both kinds to compare, and b) the human body doesn't really care about minimal gains in power when being struck -- it freaking hurts whether being hit by 150 pounds or 160 pounds of force.

This is not to say the video has any merit.

It's supposed to be Taiji. Taiji's supposed to rely on the heel-on-ground style rooting. Thus any Taiji with no heel-on-ground rooting cannot be too useful.

Personally, I don't agree with the limited view of rooting Taiji has (which is not to say that I'm even halfway perfect).
 

Xue Sheng

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One must take into account when looking at a Taiji demonstration of fajin and looking at a real life fighting application of fajin that things are not the same.

And you can root with one foot quite well in both Xingyiquan and Taijiquan. Zhaobao Taiji trains one leg push hands

There is also an application from long fist that is a strike made on one leg. It is powerful and it is used to gain range in ones strike as well as momentum.
 

oxy

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Yes. In fact, I did mention an example for both Xingyi and Taiji where the back heel of the ground do not destroy a person's root.

Of course, it does not excuse the fact that the back heel in the video probably should have been on the ground since it is crucial to that posture. Proper footwork as required by the posture; not as required by ideals. It's not my motto, but it's becoming one of mine with regards to footwork.
 

East Winds

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I agree with both of you guys (Xue Sheng and Oxy) that it is perfectly possible and permissable to root on one leg. However in this instance (the original post) we are talking specifically Yang style, Issuing Fa Jin and Bow Stance. In this combination there is no doubt that both feet should be fully rooted. And, Oxy, I agree with your take on footwork.

Very best wishes
 

marlon

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Considering that, in self defence situations, it is very common to move about, and that it is also very common that there might be a need to attack or defend while in motion, there is a definite, practical need to learn to generate power from non-optimal positioning.

And consider how some Xingyi forms (one of which I saw was the rooster or some similar name) which ends with the back foot coming off the ground. Of course, the whole idea of generating power at the moment the back foot hits the ground (as is the case with Xingyi as per my understanding) seemed completely foreign (and suggested to be impossible) to at least one Taiji-only person I've talked to.

Let's also not forget a video of one of the Chens being able to withstand being pushed while standing on one leg.

Consider, finally, that a) there has been no attempt to measure the "power output" of both kinds to compare, and b) the human body doesn't really care about minimal gains in power when being struck -- it freaking hurts whether being hit by 150 pounds or 160 pounds of force.

This is not to say the video has any merit.

It's supposed to be Taiji. Taiji's supposed to rely on the heel-on-ground style rooting. Thus any Taiji with no heel-on-ground rooting cannot be too useful.

Personally, I don't agree with the limited view of rooting Taiji has (which is not to say that I'm even halfway perfect).



Hmmm. i have a few forms where i move forward on to one leg and strike ( even a rooster form) in all of these instances the applicaction calls for a `throwing`of the wieght behind the strike, more than a one legged stance.
i have a few other forms where i move back or to the side into a one legged stance usually blocking or block then strike. The rooting for me in a stance such as this is very different becuase you are on one leg. the body alignment and weight distribution is specific to a one leg stance.
When one is supposed to be standing on two legs the rooting is different because the central equilibrium é body aligment is different. in such a case lifting the heel will give suboptimal fajin. Wiehgt and lbs of pressure are something different to my understand ing than fajin. Perhaps, i am greatly mistaken and i am willing to learn.

respectfully,
Marlon
 

marlon

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Considering that, in self defence situations, it is very common to move about, and that it is also very common that there might be a need to attack or defend while in motion, there is a definite, practical need to learn to generate power from non-optimal positioning.

And consider how some Xingyi forms (one of which I saw was the rooster or some similar name) which ends with the back foot coming off the ground. Of course, the whole idea of generating power at the moment the back foot hits the ground (as is the case with Xingyi as per my understanding) seemed completely foreign (and suggested to be impossible) to at least one Taiji-only person I've talked to.

Let's also not forget a video of one of the Chens being able to withstand being pushed while standing on one leg.

Consider, finally, that a) there has been no attempt to measure the "power output" of both kinds to compare, and b) the human body doesn't really care about minimal gains in power when being struck -- it freaking hurts whether being hit by 150 pounds or 160 pounds of force.

This is not to say the video has any merit.

It's supposed to be Taiji. Taiji's supposed to rely on the heel-on-ground style rooting. Thus any Taiji with no heel-on-ground rooting cannot be too useful.

Personally, I don't agree with the limited view of rooting Taiji has (which is not to say that I'm even halfway perfect).

i fully agree with being able to fight from any position and generate power. however this comes from approximating as closely as possible the optimal body mechanics. So my focus is the optimal (as best as i know it0 with the thought that with proper reaction training and situational training the reflex or the natural will become a close approximation of the best mechanics, alignment and accordance to principles

Respectfully,
marlon
 

kaizasosei

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one time, i experienced something interesting that i still cannot fully explain because i wasn't paying attention at the time. it was back when i was still going to acupuncture treatment. the doctor kusuharasensei seemed to push me back and knock me against the nearby wall.
thing is, he didn't push me at all. although his handshake was spirited, he definately did not push me. i just lost balance somehow but i remember that it seemed that he did it and it was just like in this video except without pushing with hands- i would have felt that and wondered--- it seemed more like he withdrew his hand in a certain way.
 

oxy

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...

When one is supposed to be standing on two legs the rooting is different because the central equilibrium é body aligment is different. in such a case lifting the heel will give suboptimal fajin.

I tried something when I read this. It goes back to an early part of my training which I'd forgotten about.

What I did was do a two-leg stanced posture but with my back heel up (not much). Instead of using the ground connection to generate power, I tried it with Yi (intention). What I mean by Yi is the imagining of pushing off a sprinter's pedal under my lifted heel. The result is not much difference in fajin.

What makes heel lifting suboptimal is if the Yi is not there (and you haven't trained enough in the variation).

Wiehgt and lbs of pressure are something different to my understand ing than fajin.

I was talking about it from the objective point of view. Whatever you understand about fajin, it doesn't change the fact that the only effect it will have on the opponent is the force they are hit with (which I gather is measured in pounds in the imperial system). Of course, the effectiveness of the fajin is more effected by the way it's used and where it's used on the opponent.

So whatever way you look at fajin, the opponent is only ever affected by the force. So the way I'm looking at it is that if there's no more to gain in the area that matters, then there's no point in going for that tiny extra bit of gain which takes a disproportionate amount of effort. Furthermore, my experience is that most tiny extra bits of gain from the subjective perspective are really only a placebo (or have some other psychosomatic effect). Hence my preference to look at the end result on the opponent. Whatever "holes" might be left for having "imperfect" fajin should be remedied by training other aspects of martial arts.

i fully agree with being able to fight from any position and generate power. however this comes from approximating as closely as possible the optimal body mechanics. So my focus is the optimal (as best as i know it0 with the thought that with proper reaction training and situational training the reflex or the natural will become a close approximation of the best mechanics, alignment and accordance to principles

I don't disagree with this. I disagree with the view that heel-on-ground rooting is always optimal body mechanics. It's not.

Which is why (a few months after that discussion about foot turning in the Liu He Ba Fa thread) I started practicing both ball-of-feet and heel-on-ground variations of many stances. I was taught to use ball-of-feet, using the heel only at the bookends of a stance to generate impulse power (and of course during non-moving postures as well).

Like I said before, I think postures should guide footwork rather than principles guiding footwork. And training postures should involve variations footwork, power generation, application etc etc.

And then it goes back to the question of diminishing marginal gains. The heuristic there is that if marginal gains are small, it usually means there is a much better angle to attack the problem.
 

kaizasosei

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i think that putting heel down shows some control and concentration of power, but if one uses it at the wrong time, i think ones stance would be weaker. fighting on your toes you'd quickly fall forward and standing on your heels you could fall back easier. however, i think that when taichi practicioners do the step out with raised heel-actually raised foot and toes and heel extended- they are standing on one leg. it looks like they're standing on both feet. but to be able to change smoothly and adapt to any variations of offbalancing movements without truly losing control. that must be dealt with realistically.
 

marlon

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I tried something when I read this. It goes back to an early part of my training which I'd forgotten about.

What I did was do a two-leg stanced posture but with my back heel up (not much). Instead of using the ground connection to generate power, I tried it with Yi (intention). What I mean by Yi is the imagining of pushing off a sprinter's pedal under my lifted heel. The result is not much difference in fajin.

What makes heel lifting suboptimal is if the Yi is not there (and you haven't trained enough in the variation).



I was talking about it from the objective point of view. Whatever you understand about fajin, it doesn't change the fact that the only effect it will have on the opponent is the force they are hit with (which I gather is measured in pounds in the imperial system). Of course, the effectiveness of the fajin is more effected by the way it's used and where it's used on the opponent.

So whatever way you look at fajin, the opponent is only ever affected by the force. So the way I'm looking at it is that if there's no more to gain in the area that matters, then there's no point in going for that tiny extra bit of gain which takes a disproportionate amount of effort. Furthermore, my experience is that most tiny extra bits of gain from the subjective perspective are really only a placebo (or have some other psychosomatic effect). Hence my preference to look at the end result on the opponent. Whatever "holes" might be left for having "imperfect" fajin should be remedied by training other aspects of martial arts.



I don't disagree with this. I disagree with the view that heel-on-ground rooting is always optimal body mechanics. It's not.

Which is why (a few months after that discussion about foot turning in the Liu He Ba Fa thread) I started practicing both ball-of-feet and heel-on-ground variations of many stances. I was taught to use ball-of-feet, using the heel only at the bookends of a stance to generate impulse power (and of course during non-moving postures as well).

Like I said before, I think postures should guide footwork rather than principles guiding footwork. And training postures should involve variations footwork, power generation, application etc etc.

And then it goes back to the question of diminishing marginal gains. The heuristic there is that if marginal gains are small, it usually means there is a much better angle to attack the problem.


Well please consider that my training in the internal arts is limited. and this is the type of power generation we are speaking of here and not other kinds...all of which are validNevertheless, i will say that if you are on your toes you will have , at least , a propensity to lean forwards. this to me seems unstable. My understanding of fajin is that it occurs in relationship to the other person and thier movement. Therefore, the dynamic of the strike and its effectiveness is measured in effect rather than in the weight and force of the strike. So perhaps we do not disagree there but are speaking of different things. I will do your stance exercise and let you know, agian i must point out that there is a relational component to fajin as i understand it (my understanding being limited). as for marginal gains, my opinion is that early on in training one can deal with most average attackers and everything else is refinement of an art form. Also, although now those marginal gains may seem inconsequential, later in life (think 20 -40 years later) these things make a huge difference. As for what is optimal. I guess we disagree, and that is ok. Lastly, taiji has more goals than self defense so that may affect its approaches and methodology

Respectfully,
Marlon
 

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