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Sinking and the Relaxed Force - Wee Kee Jin

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Wonderful talk by Wee Kee Jin

 

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Thanks for posting Dwai.  Does Temple Style Taiji place a large emphasis on Ting and Song as well?

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21 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

Thanks for posting Dwai.  Does Temple Style Taiji place a large emphasis on Ting and Song as well?

Yes. One big difference with other taiji systems is that in Temple style we focus very early on, in developing the taiji ball (Qi ball) which then informs all applications. Without developing sufficient ting and song we can’t work with the taiji ball properly. By focusing on the taiji ball, we induce ting and song indirectly, and faster than with a system which focuses on releasing from the physical level (imho). 

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15 hours ago, dwai said:

Yes. One big difference with other taiji systems is that in Temple style we focus very early on, in developing the taiji ball (Qi ball) which then informs all applications. Without developing sufficient ting and song we can’t work with the taiji ball properly. By focusing on the taiji ball, we induce ting and song indirectly, and faster than with a system which focuses on releasing from the physical level (imho). 

Cool :)

 

Both of my teachers make use of the Taiji ball, but more as an ancillary exercise - though one includes it early.  It'd be interesting to see how Ting/Song developed around it.  Same line as Wee Kee Jin, btw, though I've got no idea what his method is.  Apparently his book is very good as well.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Wilhelm said:

Cool :)

 

Both of my teachers make use of the Taiji ball, but more as an ancillary exercise - though one includes it early.  It'd be interesting to see how Ting/Song developed around it.  Same line as Wee Kee Jin, btw, though I've got no idea what his method is.  Apparently his book is very good as well.

Taiji ball is a very important practice for both taiji as well as dao gong. 
 

In fact each and every taiji form movement involves the taiji ball. Those who are unaware of this, simply go through physical postures in their form - they can get really good at it, but it is a pretty yet empty shell  (this is where most outer door students tend to remain). When taiji ball is properly introduced, every movement gradually becomes taiji. 
 

Most of the “famous”  taiji people I see people following these days work inside out. They call this approach “internal” because the internal movements evoke external power/force.
 

Mark Rasmus is an exception. His way is very similar to temple style.
 

Temple style works simultaneously inside and outside. It works on the “outside” (taiji ball) and induces internal release and listening. This is called “indirect method”, where the energy creates the condition of release/relaxation and results in sensitivity, rather than using the kind. 
 

Because of the way we work on manifesting the taiji ball, we naturally develop strong listening skill, even at a no-contact level. 

 

Typically you’ll hear of ting jin being referred to in the context of internal release and/or two person practice, with physical contact. Slowly, as ting increases, the ability extends to non-physical.

 

On the other hand, in temple style, the fact that we use the taiji ball, naturally produces ting at an energetic level, which doesn’t depend on physical contact. 
 

In terms of Dao Gong, there are two aspects of the Taiji ball -- The substantial method and the insubstantial method. The substantial method is the first way we learn, wherein we "make" the taiji ball (using our will/intent). This ball is substantial. The other way is we let the ball form on its own, by emptying ourselves out (this is more advanced). In this method, we empty out and follow the universe (Dao) as it rushes in to fill the empty space (physical, mental and spiritual). 

Edited by dwai
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Very interesting!  Is there another style you trained in that you're contrasting against the Temple approach in that post, or are you speaking generally/hypothetically towards Yang style/The Taiji world at large?

 

I seem to catch some of your meaning, but I'm not sure what styles you're referring to here:

 

1 hour ago, dwai said:

Most of the “famous”  taiji people I see people following these days work inside out. They call this approach “internal” because the internal movements evoke external power/force.

 

1 hour ago, dwai said:

Typically you’ll hear of ting jin being referred to in the context of internal release and/or two person practice, with physical contact.

 

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Just now, Wilhelm said:

Very interesting!  Is there another style you trained in that you're contrasting against the Temple approach in that post, or are you speaking generally/hypothetically towards Yang style/The Taiji world at large?

I trained Yang style before starting Temple style. But I'm referring to the popular styles in general - Temple style is very unique in its approach. 

Just now, Wilhelm said:

 

I seem to catch some of your meaning, but I'm not sure what styles you're referring to here:

 

 

 

 

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After our discussion last month, I was at a book store and got really excited when I saw a book that said "Taiji Ball Qigong." 

 

I immediately grabbed the book and saw this: 

 

Spoiler

9781594391996-us.jpg

 

:lol:

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2 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

After our discussion last month, I was at a book store and got really excited when I saw a book that said "Taiji Ball Qigong." 

 

I immediately grabbed the book and saw this: 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

9781594391996-us.jpg

 

:lol:

LOL!  I just learned recently that this is a legit tool for developing Jins, albeit far from a central one.  They're also super expensive on Amazon.

 

I imagine Dwai was referring to his schools version of this exercise, applied to Taiji as opposed to Qigong:

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

LOL!  I just learned recently that this is a legit tool for developing Jins, albeit far from a central one.  They're also super expensive on Amazon

I am very skeptical about this. Can you share some details? 

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Just now, dwai said:

I am very skeptical about this. Can you share some details? 

For sure.  I only overheard two students talking about it, but as soon as I get a chance I'll get back to you on it.

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Yes, we were discussing this last month. However, I ended up jumping on the Damo bandwagon. 

 

 

4 hours ago, Wilhelm said:

LOL!  I just learned recently that this is a legit tool for developing Jins, albeit far from a central one.  They're also super expensive on Amazon.

 

I imagine Dwai was referring to his schools version of this exercise, applied to Taiji as opposed to Qigong:

 

 

 

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I find this other video explaining another concept of taiji very well — not using force.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2021 at 2:54 PM, dwai said:

I am very skeptical about this. Can you share some details? 

The way Damo Mitchell teaches teach Taiji (see his podcast on the the matter), the first thing to do to develop jin is learn to separate the movement of the soft tissues from the movement of the skeleton, and feel the soft tissues sink toward the floor, pressurizing the feet and creating an elastic tension throughout the body. Adding taiji ball (the physical kind) adds more weight to this structure, creating more pressurization and elastic tension through the body, which strengthens the expression of jin. The feeling of tingling sensations outside the body is specifically de-emphasized. YJM is teaching something different in his books and DVDs, more of a spinal rolling/whipping action.

Edited by Creation
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51 minutes ago, Creation said:

The way Damo Mitchell teaches teach Taiji (see his podcast on the the matter), the first thing to do to develop jin is learn to separate the movement of the soft tissues from the movement of the skeleton, and feel the soft tissues sink toward the floor, pressurizing the feet and creating an elastic tension throughout the body. Adding taiji ball (the physical kind) adds more weight to this structure, creating more pressurization and elastic tension through the body, which strengthens the expression of jin. The feeling of tingling sensations outside the body is specifically de-emphasized. YJM is teaching something different in his books and DVDs, more of a spinal rolling/whipping action.

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing...but why a ball then? Why not a pair of dumbbells? :)
 

If all you want to do is add physical pressure on the fascial web, something that’s easier to hold might be better. The non-physical taiji ball way is to develop the ability to manifest the field between the palms and activate and connect the two laogong points. It also serves a purpose of learning how the taiji jins operate once the student learns to work with the taiji ball. How to expand and contract it, how to make it heavy, light, split it into two, compress it, move it forward, backward and so on. You get the different Jin expressions by this process. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, dwai said:

Thanks for sharing...but why a ball then? Why not a pair of dumbbells? If all you want to do is add physical pressure on the fascial web, something that’s easier to hold might be better.

Just a guess, perhaps to match the palm shape you would already be using and not introduce unnecessary tension in the hands and forearms?  "Easy to hold" in practice means "relies on hand and forearm tension to hold". But weapons training in Taiji is probably doing something similar.

 

1 hour ago, dwai said:

The non-physical taiji ball way is to develop the ability to manifest the field between the palms and activate and connect the two laogong points.

Right, that's what I was referring to when I said "The feeling of tingling sensations outside the body is specifically de-emphasized [in the system I'm describing]." It really does seem to be quite a different method. As you note, Rasmus also utilizes the sensations outside the body, despite training in the Huang lineage. Clearly it works, I wonder where it comes from though. 

Edited by Creation

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17 minutes ago, Creation said:

Just a guess, perhaps to match the palm shape you would already be using and not introduce unnecessary tension in the hands and forearms?  "Easy to hold" in practice means "relies on hand and forearm tension to hold". 

It’s not that hard really...just loosely grip the dumbbells in hollow fists. 

17 minutes ago, Creation said:

Right, that's what I was referring to when I said "The feeling of tingling sensations outside the body is specifically de-emphasized [in the system I'm describing]." It really does seem to be quite a different method. As you note, Rasmus also utilizes the sensations outside the body, despite training in the Huang lineage. Clearly it works, I wonder where it comes from though. 

Not sure about Rasmus, but Master Liao’s lineage is not from any family style as far as I know. He trained with a Daoist monk who lived near/in his village in Taiwan (that it is from the southern Daoist tradition per some of our seniors).


 

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3 hours ago, Creation said:

Adding taiji ball (the physical kind) adds more weight to this structure, creating more pressurization and elastic tension through the body, which strengthens the expression of jin. 

Thanks.  This was what I was guessing, but haven't seen it play out practically yet.

1 hour ago, Creation said:

Just a guess, perhaps to match the palm shape you would already be using and not introduce unnecessary tension in the hands and forearms?  "Easy to hold" in practice means "relies on hand and forearm tension to hold". But weapons training in Taiji is probably doing something similar.

 

41 minutes ago, dwai said:

It’s not that hard really...just loosely grip the dumbbells in hollow fists. 

This one I can answer.  In this system Jin is transferred through conductivity of the soft tissues, which can only happen when the contractile muscles are released.  Even with a light grip, closing Laogong would cut off the conductivity as far up your arm as it takes you to maintain a grip on the object.

 

That said, I've heard of students training with weighted vests for the same purpose, as a way to spread the force more evenly.

 

In both cases though a base level of connective tissue strength is needed to handle the additional load, otherwise you just resist the weight with your muscles and create the wrong kind of tension.

 

41 minutes ago, dwai said:

Not sure about Rasmus,

He mentioned it in a video a couple months back.  It was a European sounding name that I didn't recognize and can't recall, and I assumed it was one of Huang's students from his native Australia.

 

To your point Dwai, I think Rasmus uses kettlebells at a later stage of training, but only with an open palmed grip using the hook of the thumb to hold it, and only after the students structure is strong enough to bear the load without sacrificing conductivity

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12 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

Thanks.  This was what I was guessing, but haven't seen it play out practically yet.

 

This one I can answer.  In this system Jin is transferred through conductivity of the soft tissues, which can only happen when the contractile muscles are released.  Even with a light grip, closing Laogong would cut off the conductivity as far up your arm as it takes you to maintain a grip on the object.

Try this out with a hollow fist — laogong once activated will not close out. In fact a lot of taiji application can happen  with a hollow fist. For example, the hook hand of single whip is not a beak that many people think it to be. It is a hollow fist with the thumb and index finger lightly pinching together .  Inside the hollow fist is a condensed taiji ball. Condensed taiji ball inside hollow fists is a very potent way to apply power. 

12 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

 

That said, I've heard of students training with weighted vests for the same purpose, as a way to spread the force more evenly.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to train with weights btw — neither a heavy ball nor dumbbells or kettlebells. Weapons are different because you use them to extend and direct the Jin (like with the Jian where the Jin goes to the tip), or the blade edge  of a broadsword, tip of spear etc. 

12 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

 

In both cases though a base level of connective tissue strength is needed to handle the additional load, otherwise you just resist the weight with your muscles and create the wrong kind of tension.

I agree. I think a better way to train is by dealing with active incoming force — in two person drills. 

12 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

 

He mentioned it in a video a couple months back.  It was a European sounding name that I didn't recognize and can't recall, and I assumed it was one of Huang's students from his native Australia.

 

To your point Dwai, I think Rasmus uses kettlebells at a later stage of training, but only with an open palmed grip using the hook of the thumb to hold it, and only after the students structure is strong enough to bear the load without sacrificing conductivity

I’ve heard him mention that in context of benchpresses too...and when I was experimenting with weights (barbell, bench press, deadlifts), I didn’t see any tangible muscular changes, as my fascia would conduct the force through out the body — and I became really “strong”. I stopped that because it was changing things at the mental level  — which was interfering with meditation. :) 

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Posted (edited)

It's pretty cool how two styles from (most likely) the same source could branch out so differently :) makes me want to read Master Liao's book again.

2 hours ago, dwai said:

Try this out with a hollow fist — laogong once activated will not close out. In fact a lot of taiji application can happen  with a hollow fist. For example, the hook hand of single whip is not a beak that many people think it to be. It is a hollow fist with the thumb and index finger lightly pinching together .  Inside the hollow fist is a condensed taiji ball. Condensed taiji ball inside hollow fists is a very potent way to apply power. 

That's cool.  It's possible that our system functions this way at a later level, but while I'm still working on Peng - any kind of hollowness is counterproductive.  The instruction I was given initially to hold birds beaks with quite a bit of stretch over the back of the hand.

If I go through the Ba Men with a relaxed hand, my power seems to go about halfway up my forearm.  With a slight stretch it gets to my wrist, and a medium stretch reached my fingertips.  Probably means I need to train more :D

Quote

I don’t think it’s a good idea to train with weights btw — neither a heavy ball nor dumbbells or kettlebells. Weapons are different because you use them to extend and direct the Jin (like with the Jian where the Jin goes to the tip), or the blade edge  of a broadsword, tip of spear etc. 

That makes sense - several of the teachers mentioned in this thread prescribe weights only after the internal body is built.

Quote

I agree. I think a better way to train is by dealing with active incoming force — in two person drills. 

Sure.  The way I understand what I've been taught about Huang's method so far - voltage gets built primarily from solo work, but the partner work is needed to build correct applications, as well as conditioning the body to receive force without resorting to contraction.  

Quote

I’ve heard him mention that in context of benchpresses too...and when I was experimenting with weights (barbell, bench press, deadlifts), I didn’t see any tangible muscular changes, as my fascia would conduct the force through out the body — and I became really “strong”. I stopped that because it was changing things at the mental level  — which was interfering with meditation. :) 

Cool!  That makes sense.

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On 4/9/2021 at 1:52 PM, dwai said:

Here’s the method shown by Master Liao, the grandmaster of Temple Style —

 

https://www.taichitao.tv/programs/taichi-connect-engineering-a-taichi-ball-master-waysun-liao-4192020

 

I haven't watched all of this, but I was following along for a few minutes. Good stuff. Thoughts on using the imagination? 

 

21 hours ago, dwai said:

Not sure about Rasmus, but Master Liao’s lineage is not from any family style as far as I know.

 

The Tai Chi is CMC Yang. I haven't really seen anything like his qi stuff, though. I haven't really seen anything like it, but I recall Buddy accusing him of using Fukien White Crane back in the day. I have not seen anyone fajin like him and G. 

On 4/11/2021 at 8:41 AM, Creation said:

The way Damo Mitchell teaches teach Taiji (see his podcast on the the matter), 

 

I thought Damo was anti-weight until one had built the properly bodily structures?

 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

I thought Damo was anti-weight until one had built the properly bodily structures?

My impression is more like anti - heavy weight, anti - weight that would compromise song. For instance semi cooperative partner partner drills apply weight to the structure, in a controlled way.  Taiji balls are 5-7 lbs iirc. 

Edited by Creation

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

I haven't watched all of this, but I was following along for a few minutes. Good stuff. Thoughts on using the imagination? 

It is perfectly okay to use the mind to focus on the generation of the taiji ball...it becomes very palpable and tangible in a matter of weeks to months. Of course the volume, size etc will continue to grow, as will the ability to adjust/split/join/expand/contract etc. 

Quote

 

The Tai Chi is CMC Yang. I haven't really seen anything like his qi stuff, though. I haven't really seen anything like it, but I recall Buddy accusing him of using Fukien White Crane back in the day. I have not seen anyone fajin like him and G. 

The long form is CMC long form because as I was told, Master Liao wanted to honor CMC (who was his friend). But in Temple style, long form is not the primary focus -- it is only used as a tool to validate the ability to transition in taiji state between individual forms (that are chained together in the long form).
 

wrt white crane — I've heard a few unverifiable sources claim this -- none of my teachers have ever acknowledged this, including one of his earliest students who is currently my teacher. 

Edited by dwai
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On 4/12/2021 at 10:27 AM, dwai said:

It is perfectly okay to use the mind to focus on the generation of the taiji ball...

 

I should have said, "Thoughts about doing it without imagination?" For me, the internal arts seem to work better without. 

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