Yang Taiji Application Project

O'Malley

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Be careful though as trying to do the form "with power and speed" might just make you revert to external strength (muscular contraction) which Taiji is specifically designed to move away from.

It's good to see people from the internal arts that try to keep it martial. I completely agree with JGW on the subject of alive training, I think it's missing in aikido as well and once I'll feel more confident with the kata (so much to learn...) I'll incorporate that element into my practice.

An example you could definitely draw inspiration from (with some beautiful moments such as the one at 1:18):

 
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Diaitadoc

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Be careful though as trying to do the form "with power and speed" might just make you revert to external strength (muscular contraction) which Taiji is specifically designed to move away from.

Agreed. Although the main thing driving the tempo/timing of the form is now intent informed by the applications, relaxation, structure, balance and flow are still the order of the day.

As for Chen Ziqiang, he definitely has chops and is absolutely inspiring.
 

DaveB

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Be careful though as trying to do the form "with power and speed" might just make you revert to external strength (muscular contraction) which Taiji is specifically designed to move away from.

It's good to see people from the internal arts that try to keep it martial. I completely agree with JGW on the subject of alive training, I think it's missing in aikido as well and once I'll feel more confident with the kata (so much to learn...) I'll incorporate that element into my practice.

An example you could definitely draw inspiration from (with some beautiful moments such as the one at 1:18):


What would be the difference between this and Judo?
 

O'Malley

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What would be the difference between this and Judo?

While you could find similarities in the use of angles and leverage, the biggest difference is the power generation method: Judo uses muscular contraction while this guy stays relaxed and aligns his structure, allowing him to send his opponent's strength into the ground (the much bigger guy can't push him around), rebound it into him and push him away by transmitting the power of his hips and lower back into his hands (best example is at 1:18).

A typical judoka would have compromised the opponent's structure by pushing-pulliing the wrestler around to unbalance him, then would have capitalized on this imbalance by forcefully driving him into the ground. The Tai Chi guy just "grounded" the wrestler's push and rebounded it into him.

Chen Ziqiang is a top-level practitioner and not everyone can reach that level. His grandfather (?) Chen Xiaowang actually stopped building his family's house in order to train more. But he hits like a truck. Literally.
 
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Diaitadoc

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While you could find similarities in the use of angles and leverage, the biggest difference is the power generation method: Judo uses muscular contraction
...
A typical judoka would have compromised the opponent's structure by pushing-pulliing the wrestler around to unbalance him, then would have capitalized on this imbalance by forcefully driving him into the ground. The Tai Chi guy just "grounded" the wrestler's push and rebounded it into him.

Im going to disagree on this point.

Check out Kyuzo Mifune : He definitely does not use muscular contraction as power generation. If there was such a distinction as internal Judo, then this would be it, IMO.

 

O'Malley

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I get what you're saying and I refrained from nuancing my earlier post with this example. Typically, judoka rely heavily on muscular strength as it can be the deciding factor when one competes against an opponent of equal skill.

Mifune is an example of virtuosity in timing, technique and balance but he was not your average judoka and, still, I would not define his method of generating power as "internal strength". He used gravity, angles and the strength of his opponent with superb efficiency and subtlety but he did not channel opposing forces within his body to project power as in the CZQ video above.
 

Tony Dismukes

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All movement and power generation in the human body comes from muscular contraction. Unless you have discovered the secret of telekinesis (spoiler - you haven't), your ability to stand, walk, breathe, maintain a beating heart, swallow food and water, perform tai chi, perform judo, type messages on a forum, or anything else all depends on muscular contraction.

What distinguishes exceptional martial artists like Chen Ziqiang and Kyozu Mifune is how efficiently they use their muscular contraction. Proper alignment of structure and relaxation are a big part of that.

Most people waste a significant percentage of their muscular effort. They attempt movements from positions where they have poor leverage. They activate muscles which are unnecessary for the movement at hand. They activate muscles more than are necessary for that particular movement at that moment. They even activate muscles which work against the movement they are attempting to perform.

In contrast, masters like Ziqiang and Mifune maintain structural alignment which maximizes their leverage. They contract only those muscles which are actually necessary for the movement in question, with the perfect timing and amount of effort in each muscle.

If you're used to the feel of wasted muscular effort then this sort of efficient use of the muscles feels like something fundamentally different. It really isn't. It's just muscular contraction used correctly.
 

Xue Sheng

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All movement and power generation in the human body comes from muscular contraction. Unless you have discovered the secret of telekinesis (spoiler - you haven't), your ability to stand, walk, breathe, maintain a beating heart, swallow food and water, perform tai chi, perform judo, type messages on a forum, or anything else all depends on muscular contraction.

What distinguishes exceptional martial artists like Chen Ziqiang and Kyozu Mifune is how efficiently they use their muscular contraction. Proper alignment of structure and relaxation are a big part of that.

Most people waste a significant percentage of their muscular effort. They attempt movements from positions where they have poor leverage. They activate muscles which are unnecessary for the movement at hand. They activate muscles more than are necessary for that particular movement at that moment. They even activate muscles which work against the movement they are attempting to perform.

In contrast, masters like Ziqiang and Mifune maintain structural alignment which maximizes their leverage. They contract only those muscles which are actually necessary for the movement in question, with the perfect timing and amount of effort in each muscle.

If you're used to the feel of wasted muscular effort then this sort of efficient use of the muscles feels like something fundamentally different. It really isn't. It's just muscular contraction used correctly.

Oh sure leave it to the BJJ guy to show up and start talking like he has ANY clue as to know what taiji is......wait...what...you mean he's right.......never mind :D

Proper alignment, structure, relaxation plus proper use of power, root, as well as using core or body unity, or large muscle groups as opposed to isolating specific muscles and over using them...... use only as much force as necessary.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If you always

- wait for your opponent to move and make mistake, you then take advantage on it, you can use the minimum effort to achieve the maximum result.
- force your opponent to move, you then take advantage on it, you have to use more effort.

If the following clip, he uses extra force to move his opponent in circle, he then borrows his opponent's resistance force. How can you borrow your opponent's force if you don't give first?

I like "give and take". I don't like "wait and take". Acting like a tiger and trying to eat your opponent alive is the Chinese wrestling spirit. It's not the Taiji spirit and that's for sure.

 
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Kung Fu Wang

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The Tai Chi guy just "grounded" the wrestler's push and rebounded it into him.
The ground concept may work in

- pushing. It won't work in pulling.
- against a push to the chest. It won't work against a punch to the face.

This is why the "pulling" is almost not used in the Taiji push hand.

Here are examples that you will need to use extra effort to pull and to move your opponent. When your opponent is moving, you then take advantage on his resistance, or yielding.




 
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O'Malley

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All movement and power generation in the human body comes from muscular contraction. Unless you have discovered the secret of telekinesis (spoiler - you haven't), your ability to stand, walk, breathe, maintain a beating heart, swallow food and water, perform tai chi, perform judo, type messages on a forum, or anything else all depends on muscular contraction.

What distinguishes exceptional martial artists like Chen Ziqiang and Kyozu Mifune is how efficiently they use their muscular contraction. Proper alignment of structure and relaxation are a big part of that.

Most people waste a significant percentage of their muscular effort. They attempt movements from positions where they have poor leverage. They activate muscles which are unnecessary for the movement at hand. They activate muscles more than are necessary for that particular movement at that moment. They even activate muscles which work against the movement they are attempting to perform.

In contrast, masters like Ziqiang and Mifune maintain structural alignment which maximizes their leverage. They contract only those muscles which are actually necessary for the movement in question, with the perfect timing and amount of effort in each muscle.

If you're used to the feel of wasted muscular effort then this sort of efficient use of the muscles feels like something fundamentally different. It really isn't. It's just muscular contraction used correctly.

I agree, though I might need to make myself clearer.

I was using "muscular contraction" as opposed to "muscular tension". From what I understand of internal strength, in regular movement, the muscles in areas like the arms and shoulders contract, effectively blocking the transfer of power from the ground to the hands. In "internal" movement, the same muscles and the fascia are stretched and the bones aligned in a specific way such as to transmit force to and from the inguinal region (hara/tanden/dantien) like a web of elastic cables around the bones. Through such an alignment, one can absorb forces applied to his body into the hara, then send it through the legs into the ground ("grounding" a push), rebound it from the ground to his hands and add power to it, throwing away the opponent. Muscular contraction intervenes only to align the structure, except for the hara that generates the necessary power.

I feel like we are talking about similar things, there aren't 36 ways to make a human body function properly and the elements you and Xue Sheng cited in Mifune's case are key to efficient movement. The question would then be "Is internal strength just a specialized/extreme application of the above principles of efficiency in movement or are there elements that make it different?"

Frankly, I cannot answer yet. From what exponents of IMA told me and wrote in books, there seems to be more to it (the role of intent in directing forces within the body, the specific conditioning that needs to take place and that is different from regular physical conditioning) but honestly I can't tell from experience.
 

O'Malley

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The ground concept may work in

- pushing. It won't work in pulling.
- against a push to the chest. It won't work against a punch to the face.

This is why the "pulling" is almost not used in the Taiji push hand.

Here are examples that you will need to use extra effort to pull and to move your opponent. When your opponent is moving, you then take advantage on his resistance, or yielding.





For pulling, you can use gravity.

 

Kung Fu Wang

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For pulling, you can use gravity.
It's true that if you

- go down to the ground yourself, nobody can throw you.
- run faster than your opponent, nobody can punch you.
- kill yourself, nobody can kill you. :)

IMO, the BJJ "pull guard" can hurt the throwing art big time. Why should you train any throwing skill? All you need is to drag your opponent down with you.

When a boxing ring can be as big as the football field, nobody will train the boxing skill. All you will need is whether you can run faster than your opponent.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Ever hear of the 13 postures.....ever here of Cai (Tsai)
Yang Taiji "double pulling" is pull. But you just don't see it is used in the Taiji push hand. IMO, if pulling is used, there will be no Taiji push hand game.

In order to pull, you have to grab. Taiji guys don't like to grab. When you push me, if I grab on your arm, your body and my body are connected. Since I'm part of your body, you cannot push me away.

When your opponent grabs on your arm, it's very difficult to push him away.

arm-grab.jpg


When a clinch is established, to push away your opponent is almost impossible.

dead-lock1.jpg
 
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Xue Sheng

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Yang Taiji "double pulling" is pull. But you just don't see it is used in the Taiji push hand. IMO, if pulling is used, there will be no Taiji push hand game.

In order to pull, you have to grab. Taiji guys don't like to grab. When you push me, if I grab on your arm, your body and my body are connected. Since I'm part of your body, you cannot push me away.

When your opponent grabs on your arm, it's very difficult to push him away.

arm-grab.jpg


When a clinch is established, to push away your opponent is almost impossible.

dead-lock1.jpg


Which means you and none of the Yang taiji guys you have done push hands with do not know Cai, or that there are times and reasons to grab, kind of hard not to grab if y ou are going to apply qinna.

You seem to think all Yang Taiji does is push and we have been through this many times and although I do feel you are rather knowledgeable about many things martial arts, but not so much Taijiquan.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Which means you and none of the Yang taiji guys you have done push hands with do not know Cai, or that there are times and reasons to grab, kind of hard not to grab if y ou are going to apply qinna.
Tauiji has pulling and grabbing. But the Taiji PH rule does not encourage it.

According to the Houston Kung Fu tournament Taiji push hand rule, the pulling is only allowed for 1 second. In Sanda, the clinch is allowed for 3 seconds. That 1 second pulling limitation is just too short.

In Taiji PH, you can push for as long as you want to. But you can only pull for 1 second. Why?

Rules - World Star Chinese Martial Arts Competition
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taiji Push hand tournament rule

Techniques allowed

Pulling with one hand no more than 1 second, trapping techniques, non-impact techniques to off opponents balance.

Contact is allowed between hips and collarbone.

The head, neck, spine and legs cannot be attacked, or will result in a warning or disqualification.

Scoring:

The center and corner judges can call for a point, points are awarded by majority judges.

Warning:

Grabbing longer than 1 second or with both hands, grabbing clothing.

Wrapping hands around the back.
 
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Tony Dismukes

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Tauiji has pulling and grabbing. But the Taiji PH rule does not encourage it.

According to the Houston Kung Fu tournament Taiji push hand rule, the pulling is only allowed for 1 second. In Sanda, the clinch is allowed for 3 seconds. That 1 second pulling limitation is just too short.

Rules - World Star Chinese Martial Arts Competition
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taiji Push hand tournament rule

Techniques allowed

Pulling with one hand no more than 1 second, trapping techniques, non-impact techniques to off opponents balance.

Contact is allowed between hips and collarbone.

The head, neck, spine and legs cannot be attacked, or will result in a warning or disqualification.

Scoring:

The center and corner judges can call for a point, points are awarded by majority judges.

Warning:

Grabbing longer than 1 second or with both hands, grabbing clothing.

Wrapping hands around the back.
I could be wrong, but I don't think most Tai Chi practitioners are focused on competition.
 

Xue Sheng

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Tauiji has pulling and grabbing. But the Taiji PH rule does not encourage it.

According to the Houston Kung Fu tournament Taiji push hand rule, the pulling is only allowed for 1 second. In Sanda, the clinch is allowed for 3 seconds. That 1 second pulling limitation is just too short.

In Taiji PH, you can push for as long as you want to. But you can only pull for 1 second. Why?

Rules - World Star Chinese Martial Arts Competition
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taiji Push hand tournament rule

Techniques allowed

Pulling with one hand no more than 1 second, trapping techniques, non-impact techniques to off opponents balance.

Contact is allowed between hips and collarbone.

The head, neck, spine and legs cannot be attacked, or will result in a warning or disqualification.

Scoring:

The center and corner judges can call for a point, points are awarded by majority judges.

Warning:

Grabbing longer than 1 second or with both hands, grabbing clothing.

Wrapping hands around the back.

Here is the issue, you are quoting competition rules and I'm talking traditional Yang push hands....don't much care about competition rules of Push hands because, IMHO, it is not push hands
 
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