Postures of Taijiquan

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Postures of Taijiquan

Postby Josh Young » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:12 am

Shi San Shi is an old name of the art meaning 13 postures.

Gord has recently mentioned that taijiquan is a single posture, this is a good topic wroth explanation and elaboration.

I believe the concept here is the flow of taijiquan makes the motions and postures into a single thing, despite being formed from multiple aspects/energies.

I don't believe that the numbers attached to forms have any bearing on this.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby pete5770 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:34 am

Josh Young wrote:Shi San Shi is an old name of the art meaning 13 postures.

Gord has recently mentioned that taijiquan is a single posture, this is a good topic wroth explanation and elaboration.

I believe the concept here is the flow of taijiquan makes the motions and postures into a single thing, despite being formed from multiple aspects/energies.

I don't believe that the numbers attached to forms have any bearing on this.


I think newbies to Tai Chi usually have trouble with the concept of "single posture" because they tend to want to start and finish each numbered move. This is to be expected. You don't learn everything right away. After a while you start to be more constant in motion and realize that there isn't so much an end to each move as a continuation into the next.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:20 am

I didnt recently say this! And it isnt my idea. In fact, I am struggling with it just as much as anyone :(

The idea is that there is NO posture. What we are taught is only a way to get our body to move in a particular way. When you watch someone doing the form, you notice that, in the majority of cases (myself included, at times), there is a pause after each "posture". It is how we learn the form, but it is a definite break in energy, and it is incorrect.

I believe the classic says "One Qi", which means that each posture moves into the next. The way this works is that each posture has a Yin part and a Yang part (sometimes, postures have multiple yin/yang parts in the "posture"). Even the Transitions, those things that most people ignore, have yin and yang phases to them! If you get it right, the form is just one long yin/yang change with NO breaks.

I would not try this with the basic forms (24, 48. etc). When you start to do taiji correctly, the qi flows through the meridians in order. These forms, quite clearly, do not follow that progression, so you will be forcing the Qi flow the way it doesnt want to go.

By the way, I know the idea above on qi flow is controversial to some, but when you look at it deeply, it combines ALL 3 internal styles together under a similar idea. I am not sure how much people know about Erle, but, although he never claimed to have studied xingyi in depth, he DID teach a few xingyi methods to teach certain things.

I am not sure why you want to discuss this topic. There are so few people who can even grasp the idea, never mind do it, and there are even fewer number of people teaching this (because they are stuck as forever beginners). Words do not do justice to the principle.

ANd there are so many other principles that have to be in place in the practitioner before they can even begin to worry about this (move fron centre, yin/yang, post stepping, cat walking, structure, etc).
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby Josh Young » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:49 am

Josh Young wrote:Gord has recently mentioned that taijiquan is a single posture,


wpgtaiji wrote:I didnt recently say this!


wpgtaiji wrote:You are finding it difficult because you still think taiji is 24 postures. It is one.



I don't personally find that short forms mess with qi, any more than long forms do. I do not find that the long forms activate meridians, or are even designed to, but they do unify qi. I agree with the single motion aspects, but also with the idea that it is build of smaller subunits.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:11 pm

LOL I meant that I didnt just RECENTLY say this! I have been saying it for YEARS! Maybe not on this forum, but I have been.

As to you not finding that the short forms dont mess with qi flow, that is because you dont have much experience. I recall you saying you have 5 years of training? Maybe 10. We get this information from people who have done the shorts for long periods of time, who become ill for no reason. They found Erle and explained their issues. Then corrected the problem by stopping the shorts and doing the full forms.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby Josh Young » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:41 pm

I realize that Erle credited a short forms with causing sickness in a few people, but a great many people do them without any illness resulting. I wonder how tens of thousands of people could have such clear benefits from the practice of short forms without any illness arising and someone could still think that the forms cause problems.

I don't believe that the forms are meridian activation based in their composition. I know that is a WTBA teaching, but it is one I don't credit as accurate.


However I do like the idea of a single posture for the art, conceptually. I agree very much with the idea.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:59 pm

Josh, there is a very good reason that few people get any negative affects! Most people who take up tai chi are sedentary. ANY form of movement improves their lives significantly! It has NOTHING to do with tai chi! That said, because they are taught INCORRECT tai chi, they never get any good at it. Taiji is pretty close to useless when you don't do it correctly. So we have thousands of people claiming to do tai chi, but are doing something else, with zero understanding. (if you are in that category, I am sorry. M works with you, so I doubt it, but who knows! Some people are stubborn!)

Josh, we all know that you are a closet WTBA member! Just come out of the closet! Embrace the "Dark side"! Let go of your hate! :P btw, Erle talked nice to EVERYONE! He liked EVERYONE! That gave him the freedom to not give a rat's bottom about what they thought or said about him. I know the meridian activation is hard to swallow. There are many forms of taiji out there, and few, if any of them talk about it. They all prefer to teach 24 form and such. Go figure! I was talking with a friend of mine who studied Yang taiji for 10 years here at a local school. In 5 minutes he learned infinitely more from me than he had in the entire 10 years. I joked with him that I should start an ad campaign "Tai chi: When you want to start at the top!" The basics we teach are more advanced than the end product of most of the Yang tai chi out there. LOL
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby pete5770 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:34 am

wpgtaiji wrote:Josh, there is a very good reason that few people get any negative affects! Most people who take up tai chi are sedentary. ANY form of movement improves their lives significantly! It has NOTHING to do with tai chi! That said, because they are taught INCORRECT tai chi, they never get any good at it. Taiji is pretty close to useless when you don't do it correctly. So we have thousands of people claiming to do tai chi, but are doing something else, with zero understanding. (if you are in that category, I am sorry. M works with you, so I doubt it, but who knows! Some people are stubborn!)

Josh, we all know that you are a closet WTBA member! Just come out of the closet! Embrace the "Dark side"! Let go of your hate! :P btw, Erle talked nice to EVERYONE! He liked EVERYONE! That gave him the freedom to not give a rat's bottom about what they thought or said about him. I know the meridian activation is hard to swallow. There are many forms of taiji out there, and few, if any of them talk about it. They all prefer to teach 24 form and such. Go figure! I was talking with a friend of mine who studied Yang taiji for 10 years here at a local school. In 5 minutes he learned infinitely more from me than he had in the entire 10 years. I joked with him that I should start an ad campaign "Tai chi: When you want to start at the top!" The basics we teach are more advanced than the end product of most of the Yang tai chi out there. LOL


I'm just curious "wpg..". Do you have any thoughts about Tai Chi that are your own as opposed to just repeating everything this "Erle" person ever said? Remember he was most likely a human being and not a GOD and that makes him fallible too. Just like the rest of us, you, me, us, them.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:43 am

pete5770 wrote: I'm just curious "wpg..". Do you have any thoughts about Tai Chi that are your own as opposed to just repeating everything this "Erle" person ever said? Remember he was most likely a human being and not a GOD and that makes him fallible too. Just like the rest of us, you, me, us, them.

Tons pete. You just aren't ready for them since you dont have basics nor a fundamental understanding of anything that is taiji. It is just, in this case, with respect to the medical applications, Erle is the expert.
Last edited by wpgtaiji on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby pete5770 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:02 am

wpgtaiji wrote:
pete5770 wrote: I'm just curious "wpg..". Do you have any thoughts about Tai Chi that are your own as opposed to just repeating everything this "Erle" person ever said? Remember he was most likely a human being and not a GOD and that makes him fallible too. Just like the rest of us, you, me, us, them.

Tons pete. You just aren't ready for them since you dont have basics nor a fundamental understanding of anything that is taiji.


Well, let's have them then. I can find Erle's take on things on the web if I so desire. What I'm interested in is opinions about Tai Chi for people who are working and struggling with it today.
To be honest it's amazing what you can glean from this kind of input. As I've said before, it's not all good or great or even passable advise or thoughts but there are bits of gold to be had from everyone.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:32 am

pete5770 wrote:
wpgtaiji wrote:
pete5770 wrote: I'm just curious "wpg..". Do you have any thoughts about Tai Chi that are your own as opposed to just repeating everything this "Erle" person ever said? Remember he was most likely a human being and not a GOD and that makes him fallible too. Just like the rest of us, you, me, us, them.

Tons pete. You just aren't ready for them since you dont have basics nor a fundamental understanding of anything that is taiji.


Well, let's have them then. I can find Erle's take on things on the web if I so desire. What I'm interested in is opinions about Tai Chi for people who are working and struggling with it today.
To be honest it's amazing what you can glean from this kind of input. As I've said before, it's not all good or great or even passable advise or thoughts but there are bits of gold to be had from everyone.

pete, i have no interest in supplying you with "free" training. You have had 40 years to flounder and learn nothing. please just stop and move on. Thanks mate.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby adamfuray » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:48 am

and all this time I was learning Taiji for combat training! What the hell was I thinking? All this talk of meridians and health is seriously making me question my perspective on Taiji. (sarcasm off) How can any Taiji thread go this long without ever mentioning applications, dan tien rotation, rooting, striking, throwing, kicking, joint locks, stepping, leaping, grappling, standing meditation, FORMS WITH MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT POSTURES, etc etc etc. The aforementioned are martial art techniques. If you aren't learning to fight, you aren't learning TaijiQUAN. And further more, be severely skeptical of any "martial art" developed after guns were made available to the general population.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:08 pm

adamfuray wrote:and all this time I was learning Taiji for combat training! What the hell was I thinking? All this talk of meridians and health is seriously making me question my perspective on Taiji. (sarcasm off) How can any Taiji thread go this long without ever mentioning applications, dan tien rotation, rooting, striking, throwing, kicking, joint locks, stepping, leaping, grappling, standing meditation, FORMS WITH MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT POSTURES, etc etc etc. The aforementioned are martial art techniques. If you aren't learning to fight, you aren't learning TaijiQUAN. And further more, be severely skeptical of any "martial art" developed after guns were made available to the general population.

I think you should do some research on Erle mate. He was the first and the loudest on teaching that Taiji is, not only a martial/fighting art, but the ultimate fighting art.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby adamfuray » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:16 pm

I have never met Erle, and all of his videos are 100% junk. He regurtitates knowledge that is available to every common citizen, and makes up and/or screws up the rest. I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, but after 2+ hours of investigating your claims about Earle I have to strongly suggest that you stop quoting Earle if you want to maintain credibility with anyone. anywhere. anytime. That is the furthest thing from martial arts training or Taiji training that I have ever seen. I trained with members of the Chen family and their disciples for years, and If you want to call what Earle teaches "Taiji", then you need to encourage the Chen family to stop calling what they do "Taiji" because they are not even close. If you hadn't turned into such an assertive little twerp, I wouldn't be pouncing on you, but you earned it. mate.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby pete5770 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:15 pm

wpgtaiji wrote:pete, i have no interest in supplying you with "free" training. You have had 40 years to flounder and learn nothing. please just stop and move on. Thanks mate.


Hate to say it but I believe you're stuck with me. I found this forum on my own, without your help. I kind of like it, although many may question my opinions. Also, I have never been afraid of bullies, even in cyber space. Just put me behind you and you'll be a better person for it. :wink:
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby wpgtaiji » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:15 pm

adamfuray wrote:I.. I trained with members of the Chen family and their disciples for years, and If you want to call what Earle teaches "Taiji", then you need to encourage the Chen family to stop calling what they do "Taiji" because they are not even close.

I worked with a chen stylist (Ma hung tradition or something like that), and he had all these grand ideas on "taiji"... when I asked him to apply them to me, he was dumbfounded that they didnt work.

I have also chatted with a fellow who studies Chen as well as WTBA. He told me that they two arts are designed in two very different ways. Chen is based on grappling and close quarter stuff(he told me this, so if it isnt true, that isnt my words), while WTBA is about striking and such. This leads to a very confusing state if you look at one with the ideas of the other.

It is funny though, that you came to the same conclusion as most of the other taiji masters (chen not being taiji). Maybe you shouldnt post that though (seeing that you have trained with the family).
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby adamfuray » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:12 pm

wpgtaiji wrote:I worked with a chen stylist (Ma hung tradition or something like that), and he had all these grand ideas on "taiji"... when I asked him to apply them to me, he was dumbfounded that they didnt work.


and his teacher was? that statement has zero credibility without this. What was the technique he was claiming?

wpgtaiji wrote:I have also chatted with a fellow who studies Chen as well as WTBA. He told me that they two arts are designed in two very different ways. Chen is based on grappling and close quarter stuff(he told me this, so if it isnt true, that isnt my words), while WTBA is about striking and such. This leads to a very confusing state if you look at one with the ideas of the other.


Chen style is based on proper body mechanics manifested with Taiji principles. And again, who was his teacher?

wpgtaiji wrote:It is funny though, that you came to the same conclusion as most of the other taiji masters (chen not being taiji). Maybe you shouldnt post that though (seeing that you have trained with the family).


can you name one of the masters who said this? And for the record, I didn't say Chen style wans't Taiji. You twisted my words, obviously.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby Josh Young » Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:50 am

adamfuray wrote:How can any Taiji thread go this long without ever mentioning applications, dan tien rotation, rooting, striking, throwing, kicking, joint locks, stepping, leaping, grappling, standing meditation, FORMS WITH MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT POSTURES, etc etc etc. The aforementioned are martial art techniques.

I believe that the structure of the form is application based and not meridian based, but that this tends to hold true for many forms relating to TCC, such as weapons forms, which I also don't believe are based on meridian activation.

The highest level of skill I have seen firsthand was in a man trained in Chen style in Bejing. His form work was just amazing and his applications skill was also excellent. His skill in 4 years of training was better than the skill of anyone else I've ever seen in any style.

I like the Chen Postures of taijiquan, learning the 8 energies (like Peng and Lu) of the Chen style makes them much clearer for Yang stylists.

I'd caution against taking the WTBA issue too far, they are like tai chi Scientologists.
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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby Dvivid » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:21 am

We accept all forms of Tai Chi here.

Some people practice only for their health, as it has been proven that Tai Chi benefits your health greatly. More Tai Chi in the world is a good thing! You can do so by just learn a form and practicing it often, with a deeply relaxed mind. Or you can learn about meridians and Qi and make it into a more concentrated qigong practice. Either way, it is fine, and a legitimate practice.

Some people practice the martial side, and we need to accept all styles in this area too. Im so tired of the Chen vs Earle vs Yang debate thats been raging since the internet was born. "That's not real taijiquan!" As the elders used to say in rgard to training, "Keep your head down and keep plowing." IMO There's no need to argue. Tai Chi is not a competition, its an internal learning process, and each style has its specialized benefits.

If you train the martial side, but are skeptical about Qi and Meridians, then, there is a problem. Taijiquan was initially developed BASED UPON deep knowledge of Qi and Meridians. You cannot remove them from your taijiquan and still call it by the same name, and be taken seriously. Ignorant and arrogant is the worst combination.

If you want to compete go to a martial arts tournament.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Re: Postures of Taijiquan

Postby Josh Young » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:55 am

Dvivid wrote:If you train the martial side, but are skeptical about Qi and Meridians, then, there is a problem. Taijiquan was initially developed BASED UPON deep knowledge of Qi and Meridians. You cannot remove them from your taijiquan and still call it by the same name, and be taken seriously.


I don't think meridans or qi are being treated skeptically here.
I did contest the notion that the structure of the form is meridian activation based.

Some say that the form is merdiian based and that changes make you ill.
I disagree on both counts.

The idea is that if you took something from the form, like ward off left, and did it over and over, it would mess up your qi, but this is actually how training often proceeds, sections of the form are repeated over and over, without ill effect. The idea is also that the count of repetitions in the form is based on this meridian thing, so if you vary the count, say throw in an extra repulse monkey, then you mess with your qi, again I disagree.

I'll go a bit further and give an example:
http://www.taijiworld.com/tai-chi-healing.html
INTESTINAL


Wave Hands Like Clouds. Repeat as many times as you like. But usually ten X four steps.


WEIGHT LOSS


From the Old Yang Style, use Fist Under Elbow. This should only be form the Yang Lu-ch'anstyle of Taijiquan and not from the yang Cheng-fu system! As many times as you like. Also use Lotus Kick.


WEIGHT GAIN


Use Fist Under Elbow from Yang Cheng-Fu Form and hold as qigong for five minutes each side.

Ok, here is an example of the WTBA teaching I contest, this ones goes to the idea that Yang Cheng-fu died of doing too much slow form and that he was fat because of a posture. The teaching is that if you do the "fist under elbow" one way, you will get fat! Or that if you do it the other way, you will lose weight... I have no problem saying I don't believe that.
Dvivid wrote:We accept all forms of Tai Chi here.

Please note that this is good, but that Erle made a living denouncing the practices and teachings of others and that this sets his teachings and some of followers up in a pattern of denouncement and insult of other styles.
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