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Are "hard" martial arts an obstruction for those on the path of Neidan?

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2 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

I guess we all see features of what we know best in different but related arts. :) To me all things Yang always looks like "simplified Chen."  I would even go so far as to draw a parallel between them akin to the parallel between "traditional" and "simplified" written Chinese --

太極 vs. 太极   -- the same word, first in traditional script, second, in simplified.  

I just see lot of yang in Chen taiji. Yang is more yin. ;) 

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2 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

If you wind up getting deeper into taiji, I predict you'll start finding more, not fewer, differences.  But they are not limited to technical ones, and among those that are deeper-than-technical, the differences might be even more profound at a high level.  I'm not talking some woo woo, I'm talking wuwei...  which, because words "about" it can only mislead, is not worth talking about.  But really worth experiencing...  it's a one-way door of sorts -- once you've convinced your body (after much preliminary ado) that the wuwei way is the best way to do things, and secured its cooperation, there's really no going away from that in any direction.  Just MHO of course. :)  

My master was a hard style kungfu guy who did leopard and snake style for many years. After starting taiji he gave up the Li and hard approach. He is one of the most powerful taiji people I’ve seen or met yet. 

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1 hour ago, dwai said:

He’s manifesting Peng, Lu, Hwa, Na and Fa.

Yes.

 

One of my senior taiji friend attended his seminars, touched hands with him and says the guy has real skill. I believe it.

I didn't suggest that he does not have mad skillz. His calm demeanor and apparent softness/relaxed state look great. If I say something looks like bagua, that is a compliment. Thanks for sharing the video, I enjoyed it.

 

in my practice set too I have many “palm” standing meditations that look like bagua palms. But it’s part of how I’ve been taught taiji meditations. We call them prayer hands. I don’t think internal concepts are that different across the IMA. 

^^

I was suggesting that there are some commonalities across ima. My perspective, and as Taomeow alluded to, I see through a bagua lense, imo bagua is better at hiding whatever you find useful to hide. From my perspective they (IMA) are equal in sensing what your opponent is up to.

 

dwai, I visit your ppf, thank you for sharing. there are some great nuggets contained there and recognize your sincerity.

 

edit>>when I play with tai chi, i use the same form that you do dwai. Your teacher goes into great detail.

 

 

 

 

Edited by zerostao
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2 hours ago, dwai said:

I just see lot of yang in Chen taiji. Yang is more yin. ;) 

 

Chen as I've been taught it (fully orthodox straight from Chenjiagou) is perfectly yin-yang balanced in every move.  Of course we have the explosive Cannon Fist that throws all the yang in your face, but it is not doable at all as an external/yang-skewed routine without doing damage to your body -- it has to still be yin-yang balanced in every move...  It's just that yang is what "everybody" can see there but yin preceding and following every yang move is what only a trained eye sees -- but it's there, trust me, always there. 

 

One reason no one should put fighting taiji on a fast track is that this continuous yin-yang flow must be established first -- if it's not there, if you go yang and then yang again and get stuck in the yang expression without instantly returning/restoring/replenishing/settling into yin in between, you are invariably using li and losing qi, a taiji anathema.  The yin phase of the move can be very short, as short as the fajin phase -- but it's always there.  If it's not, it means the practitioner is a beginner (no matter how long he or she has remained at that level.)  

 

Yang style I don't comment on because I don't have much to say, except it has everything too, but not the kind of "everything" I could use.  It bores me...  :( ...but that's just personal preferences and body type (I'm a natural born Chenster, LOL), Yang is not inferior.  Just differently flavored.   

Edited by Taomeow
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The slowness of practice is not a feature of any one taiji style, it is used in all of them, and how slowly you practice only depends on how strong and skillful you are.  I remember the days of a continuous internal scream for mercy when my teacher wanted me to do Chen laojia, which at a normal-slow pace takes some 15--20 minutes to complete (and 15 is a breeze compared to 20), so slowly that every move could be picture perfect -- stop externally (but not internally) long enough for someone who wants to illustrate a book on all postures of the form to take a picture of your every move.  That torture sometimes took upwards of 75 minutes -- but the number of "bugs" caught and eliminated in the process simply shocked me -- at that time I thought I got it to perfection already, well, maybe someone very nitpicking might catch five or six bugs...  we caught more like fifty or sixty.  There's no way to catch them if you go fast.  You just jump over them, and never find out they're there until they start biting you in push-hands and you don't know why.  

 

Then of course, all styles can be sped up to be lightning fast -- aside from the forms designed to be fast to begin with, the slow ones can be executed in a blur.  It's just that it's counterproductive to do that before you can do the slow thing perfectly.  I've noticed in classes that people who have left too many bugs of assorted sizes unaccounted for always tend to rush it.  Slow is hard where there's a flaw in your execution -- whatever the flaw, you tend to try to get out of that uneasy spot as fast as you can.  I was trained to stop right there, in the uneasy spot, and find out what it is that makes it uneasy.  And to make every single spot easy by leaving none of them in the blind zone.  And that meant slow down, slow down...  slow down till you can't take it and find out what it is that makes you unable to take it.  And then you can fix it and then you can take it.  And then when you speed up, it's soooo easy...

 

People don't understand why taiji is practiced slowly to be used fast because it seems so counterintuitive until you actually do it -- and do it right.  The best analogy from the world of sports (which of course is only very remotely analogous) is a marathon.  They don't run slowly because they can't run fast.  They run slowly because they want to go the entire distance.

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Thank you for your thoughts, CH. 

 

Yup, we would have to push hands to really discuss it.  :)

 

Chen isn't "learned by slowness, then accelerate"  --  no one abandons the slow form after adding the fast one.  Cannon Fist can't be slowed down unless you know how to levitate, but the first routine -- once you've made it your own, you decide how you want to do it.  You can slow it down more whenever you decide you need to or want to, and you speed it up when you have to -- e.g. when doing a demo or teaching.  I can't teach a beginner the slowest version, nor the fastest -- there's a medium pace for learning, which from other arts' perspective is slow, but in taiji, just that -- medium pace, for the learning stage (which can and should last a number of years), for beginners.  Slower and faster than that, for more experienced folks.  Beginners who do it slower or faster than the medium pace are making a mistake...  actually, I've never met a beginner opting for slower than medium. 

 

Yang is the same.  If you have a standard 18--25 minute pace, that's the learning pace, the beginner pace.  And it is pretty much the same as the learning pace of Chen, only our form is a bit shorter. :) 

 

If you want to say that the learning phase never ends, in a sense, yes, it's true -- but there's something like, I dunno, I can compare the time when I started learning English, memorizing words and grammatical rules, to the time I could honestly call myself bilingual, and they are not the same.  Not that someone bilingual has nothing left to learn -- but you've made the language your own at some point, not foreign.  It's the same with taiji.  But of course there's always deeper to go, it has no bottom.  When the great pianist Horowitz was asked, at the age of 85, why he keeps practicing every day, he responded, "because I think I'm making progress."       

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In temple style we do single forms, we don’t usually focus on the “long dance”.

 

But when we do, we focus on flowing with the same feeling, make it one Long single flow instead of a stitching  together of several single forms into a long “dance”. 

 

Fast and and slow, etc are not the point. What’s important is to remain present always. Every moment is “now-o-clock”...

 

 

 

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Hard and soft meet, train soft to hard or hard to soft depends on a person's interest. I was taught traditional in actual temples. When I began training it was basic training, hard work, physically demanding. no one just started Tai Chi one had to have kung fu skill first.  Tai Chi being a high level of fighting skills in china it was reserved for high level fighters 

 

 

Flower fist and brocade leg is a term used for those who practice Tai Chi Chuan and have no Kung Fu. This just doesn't make sense because it is opposite of traditional methods of training so this does not happen.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Wu Ming Jen said:

Hard and soft meet, train soft to hard or hard to soft depends on a person's interest. I was taught traditional in actual temples. When I began training it was basic training, hard work, physically demanding. no one just started Tai Chi one had to have kung fu skill first.  Tai Chi being a high level of fighting skills in china it was reserved for high level fighters 

 

 

Flower fist and brocade leg is a term used for those who practice Tai Chi Chuan and have no Kung Fu. This just doesn't make sense because it is opposite of traditional methods of training so this does not happen.

 

 

 

Excerpt from the article "Master Li Tian Ji and the Development of Simplified 24 Step Taijiquan"

  by Niu Sheng Xian 

"...
The problem appears to have stemmed from the over-intellectualizing of Taijiquan theory that had no direct historical connection with the developed body of correct traditional knowledge, and that possessed no genuine understanding of Taijiquan as a subject. It was a disconnected intellectualism produced by individuals who were academics, and who often served as the referees and judges in modern martial arts tournaments. These people did not understand what they were watching, and so awarded points to practitioners whose forms looked ‘eye-catching’, but who had bad hip and chest position and alignment. This led to the situation of competition participants mimicking these errors in the hope that they would score high points and win the prize!

 

The problem originated with the academic professors who had knowledge of the theory and practice of Long Fist (长拳 – Chang Quan) – that is the martial arts associated with the Shaolin Temple (少林拳 – Shao Lin Quan) – and who adequately understood its foundational principles. The theory and principle of Long Fist Style martial arts which are associated with Shaolin Temple Boxing, is that they are very different to those principles which govern the correct traditional teachings associated with the authentic and genuine practice of Taijiquan. These so-called ‘experts’ seemed to spring up overnight, and thought that they could ‘transfer’ the principles of Shaolin Temple Boxing onto the practice of Taijiquan – this is exactly why some modern students get confused about what is the ‘right’ way, and what is the ‘wrong’ way to practice Taijiquan. What gave these professors the moral right to do this?..."

 

 

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