Well, I give up.....

Xue Sheng

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Been involved in Taijiquan for over 30 years, mostly Yang, but a fair amount of Chen with a little Wu and some Sun. At one point, in my Yang Shifu's class, there was about dozen of us martial arts war horses (now I should say dinosaurs) training, working on push hands, how it is used and what it was for as well as working on the martial arts side and applications. At one point I was helping my shifu teach push hands and doing push hands with him regularly after class (occasionally finding myself on the floor looking up),

I watched, as time went on, the number of those interested in the martial arts side dwindle, watched as push hands became thought of as a 2 person moving meditation, and at one point there was a group coming into taijiquan that was literally offended by any mention of martial arts.

I have found a few over the years that were still interested in push hands training and the martial arts of taijiquan, but even there the numbers were and are shrinking. There is a class going on now, that I was part of, that is a good class, and I would recommend it. But it does not go far enough, as my shifu did, and at the moment I can't get there. And that too is a very small group, and to be honest I am not sure how much longer it will survive.

I have tried several times to get a push hands group started, but I think I have just tried for the last time. Spoke with some folks about it, talked about working with what my shifu taught as well as the stuff I learned at YMAA years ago and maybe even looking to work with the Chen version I learned several years ago...... I have tried in the past with a less specific game plan and it fell through, so I thought a game plan might help.... well...it fell through again....so.... I give up.... not saying I give up on push hands, just saying I'm tired of trying to keep push hands and the martial side of taijiquan going, at least as far as Yang style goes, but then, after a talk with my shifu, I have pretty much given up on Yang style all together.

For now, a return to Chen style with side of Sun style seems to be in order. Also there is a very good Chen guy close by, I have done push hands with him before and he is very good, maybe I will talk to him at some point. I am still working on my 13 postures form, but I doubt I will ever show it to anyone. And I am still seriously hoping to be able to return to training with my Wing Chun Shifu in late June.

But to all those looking at taijiquan, particularly Yang style and it derivatives, as only a moving mediation that is good for health, who know nothing about its martial side, and don't want to know.... I surrender..... enjoy the training
 
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Rich Parsons

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Sometimes we :banghead:
.
Sometimes we :arghh:
.
Sometimes we get :vomit::doctor:
.
Sometimes we :brb:
.
And we hope for :D:cool:
 

windwalker099

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I watched, as time went on, the number of those interested in the martial arts side dwindle, watched as push hands became thought of as a 2 person moving meditation, and at one point there was a group coming into taijiquan that was literally offended by any mention of martial arts.


What do you feel push hands is for ?
It's not fighting or sparring, or is it ?

If one is good in push hands,,what does it mean
 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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What do you feel push hands is for ?
It's not fighting or sparring, or is it ?

If one is good in push hands,,what does it mean
Push hands is a learning tool for feel, proper relaxation, redirection, stick and follow, finding the opponents center, protecting shrinking your own, but that tool that does have uses in SD as it applies to taijiquan. However it is not sparing.
 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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Sometimes we :banghead:
.
Sometimes we :arghh:
.
Sometimes we get :vomit::doctor:
.
Sometimes we :brb:
.
And we hope for :D:cool:
Very true, but you can only do this
banghead.png
for so long
 

Kung Fu Wang

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at one point there was a group coming into taijiquan that was literally offended by any mention of martial arts.
I'm offended who someone wants to learn Taiji self-cultivation from me. Even today, I still don't know what "self-cultivation" mean.

People who are interested in combat and people who are interested in inner peace, they are completely different kind of animals. Trying to worry about those people who are not interested in combat, you may waste your time and effort there.

Adam Hsu has very good explanations about why Taiji is a good MA in this clip. It's so sad that not too many people want to get into this level of understanding such as:

- Use opponent's leading arm to jam his own back arm.
- Use leg to control your opponent's leg.
- Use your body to attack your opponent's body.
- Use your body to push/pull your limbs.
- Lead your opponent into the emptiness.
- Don't block on your opponent's forearm, but to block on his elbow joint.
- ...

 
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Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

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I'm offended who someone wants to learn Taiji self-cultivation from me. Even today, I still don't know what "self-cultivation" mean.

People who are interested in combat and people who are interested in inner peace, they are completely different kind of animals. Trying to worry about those people who are not interested in combat, you may waste your time and effort there.

Adam Hsu has very good explanations about why Taiji is a good MA in this clip. It's so sad that not too many people want to get into this level of understanding such as:

- Use opponent's leading arm to jam his own back arm.
- Use leg to control your opponent's leg.
- Use your body to attack your opponent's body.
- Use your body to push/pull your limbs.
- Lead your opponent into the emptiness.
- Don't block on your opponent's forearm, but to block on his elbow joint.
- ...


Always like Adam Hsu, read many of his articles and watched many of his videos. However I have not seen that one, thank you. I always liked Chen emphasis on using the legs for attack. I was introduced to thst many years ago when I had the opportunity to learn some Chen style push hands
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Push hands is a learning tool for feel, proper relaxation, redirection, stick and follow, finding the opponents center, protecting shrinking your own, but that tool that does have uses in SD as it applies to taijiquan. However it is not sparing.
If "leg control" can be added into Taiji PH, the PH game can be more fun to play.

 

O'Malley

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I feel you. Truly. But if those people want to train that way, they have the right to do so. If you can't change your training environment, you just have to take responsibility for your own training and assess what you can do that interests you in that context.

We are the last aikido dojo in my area, and we're probably closing next week so the art will soon be dead in my part of the country. We are three people including the instructor, who's a 2nd dan. He's a friend but we have very different interests and, while he's earnest and passionate, he doesn't know enough.

He thinks that aikido is a superior form of martial arts because of "the founder's philosophy" (although he doesn't know anything about it) and because "MMA and boxing have no technique nor depth". We drove four hours to go to an inter-style seminar and he walked out of the mat after five minutes and spent the day criticizing the other instructors (especially the aikido guys) from the sidelines (the other dojo member followed suit). In class, I'd like to incorporate sparring and internal work, he doesn't want to. He just expects us to do the kata the exact same way he does it, even when the mechanics don't work or even when it's radically different from our lineage's references. We've lost a couple of experienced members because they saw these issues and didn't want to train that way, especially after a lesson on air chokes where he almost hurt several training partners because he lacked control.

That dojo is clearly holding me back, so how can I train? I take responsibility for my own training. I do solo training every day on the stuff that interests me, then when I walk into the dojo I use the instructor's kata as a framework to check my progress, as my solo work should make it easier to do any kata, however flawed. I make micro-adjustments so that it still looks like what he's shown but it still respects the principles that I believe make it work. When he shows that particular air choke, I dig my chin in to protect my throat. When he shows a shiho nage and doesn't pay attention, I close my shoulder cuff so it doesn't get torn. That's my training. And I still do my best to learn from the instructor, as he may sometimes be right. When we close, I'll sign up for judo or whatever and my journey will continue. The dojo is wherever you are, or something like that.
 

mograph

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But to all those looking at taijiquan, particularly Yang style and it derivatives, as only a moving mediation that is good for health, who know nothing about its martial side, and don't want to know.... I surrender..... enjoy the training
Yeah, there are so many moves that are utterly pointless if you're just doing the thing for health.
Baduanjin qigong would be better ... combined with Zhan Zhuang, and hip mobility exercises.
 
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Xue Sheng

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I feel you. Truly. But if those people want to train that way, they have the right to do so. If you can't change your training environment, you just have to take responsibility for your own training and assess what you can do that interests you in that context.

We are the last aikido dojo in my area, and we're probably closing next week so the art will soon be dead in my part of the country. We are three people including the instructor, who's a 2nd dan. He's a friend but we have very different interests and, while he's earnest and passionate, he doesn't know enough.

He thinks that aikido is a superior form of martial arts because of "the founder's philosophy" (although he doesn't know anything about it) and because "MMA and boxing have no technique nor depth". We drove four hours to go to an inter-style seminar and he walked out of the mat after five minutes and spent the day criticizing the other instructors (especially the aikido guys) from the sidelines (the other dojo member followed suit). In class, I'd like to incorporate sparring and internal work, he doesn't want to. He just expects us to do the kata the exact same way he does it, even when the mechanics don't work or even when it's radically different from our lineage's references. We've lost a couple of experienced members because they saw these issues and didn't want to train that way, especially after a lesson on air chokes where he almost hurt several training partners because he lacked control.

That dojo is clearly holding me back, so how can I train? I take responsibility for my own training. I do solo training every day on the stuff that interests me, then when I walk into the dojo I use the instructor's kata as a framework to check my progress, as my solo work should make it easier to do any kata, however flawed. I make micro-adjustments so that it still looks like what he's shown but it still respects the principles that I believe make it work. When he shows that particular air choke, I dig my chin in to protect my throat. When he shows a shiho nage and doesn't pay attention, I close my shoulder cuff so it doesn't get torn. That's my training. And I still do my best to learn from the instructor, as he may sometimes be right. When we close, I'll sign up for judo or whatever and my journey will continue. The dojo is wherever you are, or something like that.

My daughter spent 8 years in Aikikai Aikido and they had no katas. I was not aware that Aikido had any, but there are many different Aikido organizations

They also did not have sparing, but they were heavy on Randori for advanced belts
 

O'Malley

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I'm pretty sure they have kata. Kata refers to series of movements that follow a predetermined pattern. In short, they are drills. There can be solo kata, like in karate, or there can be paired kata, like in Japanese jujutsu, or karate bunkai.


The opposite of kata is live training, where the timing, distance and force direction are not prearranged.

Like most traditional Japanese jujutsu, aikido is almost exclusively trained through kata (Shodokan/Tomiki aikido being a notable exception). The randori in aikido is little more than a randomised series of kata as the distance, timing and force direction are prearranged. For example, uke only moves towards tori (never retreats or uses feints), doesn't stop or change his attack, and does not change the force direction once tori has started the technique. It's similar in principle to boxing mitt drills.


Compare this to judo randori, which is live training.

 
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Xue Sheng

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I'm pretty sure they have kata. Kata refers to series of movements that follow a predetermined pattern. In short, they are drills. There can be solo kata, like in karate, or there can be paired kata, like in Japanese jujutsu, or karate bunkai.


The opposite of kata is live training, where the timing, distance and force direction are not prearranged.

Like most traditional Japanese jujutsu, aikido is almost exclusively trained through kata (Shodokan/Tomiki aikido being a notable exception). The randori in aikido is little more than a randomised series of kata as the distance, timing and force direction are prearranged. For example, uke only moves towards tori (never retreats or uses feints), doesn't stop or change his attack, and does not change the force direction once tori has started the technique. It's similar in principle to boxing mitt drills.


Compare this to judo randori, which is live training.

They had no kata, as in your first Judo video, did train as in the aikido video you posted, randori, was not free style, but ir was a committed attack at speed. they trained various throws, takedowns and joint locks, but there was no kata.

But then Aikido is not Judo, want to train like Judo....train at a Judo dojo.

This is where I get annoyed with taijiquan, first folks do not want to know the martial arts of it, that actually does not annoy me that much. But then you have those who go and claim they have made taijiquan a martial art, and what they have done is take a taijiquan posture/form applied Judo or karate or whatever martial art you choose to it. It may be effective, but it is not taijiquan. It is missing many of the basic fundamentals. Basically it bugs me when folks train an art, don't understand that art and then try and change it to something they understand..... and that is fine, but don't call it what it isn't after you do.
 
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O'Malley

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They had no kata, as in your first Judo video, did train as in the aikido video you posted, randori, was not free style, but ir was a committed attack at speed. they trained various throws, takedowns and joint locks, but there was no kata.

But then Aikido is not Judo, want to train like Judo....train at a Judo dojo.

This is where I get annoyed with taijiquan, first folks do not want to know the martial arts of it, that actually does not annoy me that much. But then you have those who go and claim they have made taijiquan a martial art, and what they have done is take a taijiquan posture/form applied Judo or karate or whatever martial art you choose to it. It may be effective, but it is not taijiquan. It is missing many of the basic fundamentals. Basically it bugs me when folks train an art, don't understand that art and then try and change it to something they understand..... and that is fine, but don't call it what it isn't after you do.
I might have expressed myself poorly. I'll try to clarify the terminology. It looks like, coming from a non-Japanese art, you may be understanding kata as a series of techniques. Kata just means "form". It can be made of one technique. In jujutsu, it just means that both partners are following pre-set movements: A grabs B, B moves to the side and unbalances A, who reacts in a pre-defined way (A doesn't spin out of the technique or try to react), then B throws A. For more on kata training, see: Katageiko : A Necessary Cooperation Between Uke and Tori

Below is a drill where uke attacks with an opposite-side wrist grab (gyakuhanmi katatedori) and tori responds with a hip throw (koshi nage). From the attack to the outcome (tori throws uke), the movements follow a pre-agreed upon pattern. This is called a kata. It is choreographed, if you prefer.


Similarly, this is kata as well. Uke attacks with a sleeve grab (sode dori) and tori responds with a gokyo pin.


This one is actually straight from judo nage-no-kata (perhaps it's tsurikomi goshi?), practiced with similar methodological conventions (pre-set attack, response and outcome, etc.) as in the judo nage-no-kata video (1st one in my post above) around 2:30, the only difference being the starting position and the steps:


Here again, this is a kata. The fact that the punch is a "committed attack at speed" does not change the fact that both partners are following pre-set patterns.


I strongly suspect that this is how your daughter was taught (because this methodology is overwhelmingly prevalent in all lineages of aikido that I am aware of). If it is not the case, please describe the differences because it would interest me a lot. The fact that you mentioned "committed attacks" is telling, as people commonly use that to refer to an attack that does not vary its rythm, usually comes in a straight line and does not change directions. In other terms, they do not break the choreography, the form, the kata. Are we on the same page here?

It is in that sense that I said that randori in aikido is little more than randomized kata. You know when uke will attack and that he will not resist once you have begun the technique. You may have a bit of footwork thrown in and it can be very fast, but you just need to recognise the attack and choose a form to execute, and uke cooperates with you to arrive at the pre-agreed outcome. Am I making sense?

I don't know whether your last paragraph was directed at me or whether you were strictly referring to your experiences in tai chi, but in case I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on what I am allowed to call aikido or not :)
 

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I taught aikido (and judo) for years until I retired. We did practice techniques one on one at half speed to gain smoothness and proper technique. We also did randori, often with multiple attackers; and it did occasionally get gnarly.

I found a connection between Tai Chi and aikido in that the give and take of push-hands is a part of both. But I taught aikido as a martial art and not "dance-like" internal meditation. So it appears I am solidly on the martial side of the art. Over the years a few of my students actually used aikido training in real-life situations.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Basically it bugs me when folks train an art, don't understand that art and then try and change it to something they understand..... and that is fine, but don't call it what it isn't after you do.
After kick/punch have been integrated into SC, we no longer call it SC, we call it CSC (combat SC).

csc.jpg


One of my students wants to take his 4th degree BB test. Since in ACSCA, we don't have 4th degree BB test requirement defined, I gave him a research subject and that is to integrate the leg skill into the Taiji system.

Leg skills are:

- cut,
- bite,
- scoop,
- stick,
- sweep,
- sickle hook,
- inner hook,
- outer hook,
- break,
- twist,
- block,
- spring,
- leg lift,
- knee lift,
- ...

For example, you can add:

- outer hook into Peng (ward off).
- sweep into Lu (pull back).
- bite into Ji (press forward).
- inner hook into An (double push).
- sweep into cloud hands.
- inner hook into brush knee twist step.
- ...

My student is using the 108 moves long Taiji form as the base. After he has integrated leg skill into Taiji, will you still call that Taij?

Example of adding "bite" into Taiji "Ji".

 
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Flying Crane

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I feel you. Truly. But if those people want to train that way, they have the right to do so. If you can't change your training environment, you just have to take responsibility for your own training and assess what you can do that interests you in that context.

We are the last aikido dojo in my area, and we're probably closing next week so the art will soon be dead in my part of the country. We are three people including the instructor, who's a 2nd dan. He's a friend but we have very different interests and, while he's earnest and passionate, he doesn't know enough.

He thinks that aikido is a superior form of martial arts because of "the founder's philosophy" (although he doesn't know anything about it) and because "MMA and boxing have no technique nor depth". We drove four hours to go to an inter-style seminar and he walked out of the mat after five minutes and spent the day criticizing the other instructors (especially the aikido guys) from the sidelines (the other dojo member followed suit). In class, I'd like to incorporate sparring and internal work, he doesn't want to. He just expects us to do the kata the exact same way he does it, even when the mechanics don't work or even when it's radically different from our lineage's references. We've lost a couple of experienced members because they saw these issues and didn't want to train that way, especially after a lesson on air chokes where he almost hurt several training partners because he lacked control.

That dojo is clearly holding me back, so how can I train? I take responsibility for my own training. I do solo training every day on the stuff that interests me, then when I walk into the dojo I use the instructor's kata as a framework to check my progress, as my solo work should make it easier to do any kata, however flawed. I make micro-adjustments so that it still looks like what he's shown but it still respects the principles that I believe make it work. When he shows that particular air choke, I dig my chin in to protect my throat. When he shows a shiho nage and doesn't pay attention, I close my shoulder cuff so it doesn't get torn. That's my training. And I still do my best to learn from the instructor, as he may sometimes be right. When we close, I'll sign up for judo or whatever and my journey will continue. The dojo is wherever you are, or something like that.
Whereabouts do you live?
 

O'Malley

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South Eastern Sicily, Italy. Five years ago there were about five dojos in the province but now they're gone.
 
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