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Old 02-10-2010, 11:22 AM   #26
Michael Douglas
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

Quote:
Johann Baptista wrote: View Post
... if a big, mean, and ugly brute just came up to you and shoved you back ...
I'd either fall on my arse, or take some big panicky strides and stop as soon as possible. Completely and utterly unlike what happens in this and many other videos.
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Old 02-10-2010, 03:57 PM   #27
gregstec
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
[i] I think there are a couple of different scenarios regarding the hop. One, as Jerry suggests, is a voluntary hop that one does when one knows that an opponent or push hands partner has you at a disadvantage, and you're about to be launched. It's a way of maintaining your frame, and quickly re-establishing your equilibrium... .
I do this occasionally when I get hit with a lot of energy that I know will not be pleasant to deal with - just another tool in my ukemi tool box. Of course if the focus of the training is to receive the energy and work with it in some manner, than that is different - but if I am attacking and someone gets my energy coming back at me hard, I will do the voluntary hop back to help dissipate the effect - much easier on my old body

Greg
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:42 PM   #28
Johann Baptista
Dojo: Aikido Institute Davis
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Yeah, but those people in the video didn't get pushed "really hard". That was the whole point. They were reacting violently to pretty small pushes (albeit ones that Phillips was fairly grounded and they weren't).
But the point is to assume that the force pushing them back is larger! If you don't assume that Phillips is right then you can't test any of his situations. He claims that by relaxing you can project the attacker's force back to them, so when he pushes he claims that his arm strength is not the major factor. We have to assume that he's right if we are to analyze any of the scenarios.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

Quote:
Johann Baptista wrote: View Post
But the point is to assume that the force pushing them back is larger! If you don't assume that Phillips is right then you can't test any of his situations. He claims that by relaxing you can project the attacker's force back to them, so when he pushes he claims that his arm strength is not the major factor. We have to assume that he's right if we are to analyze any of the scenarios.
What's the point? I'll be happy to have Phillips push me or "fajing" me. I knew his teacher and I knew what he could do and how he did it.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:32 PM   #30
Mike Sigman
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

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Johann Baptista wrote: View Post
We have to assume that he's right if we are to analyze any of the scenarios.
And no, we don't. If you go into every scenario thinking that it's mysterious, unexplainable, and the other guy is telling the truth, then you're beyond hope.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:19 PM   #31
bob_stra
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

Quote:
Johann Baptista wrote: View Post
But the point is to assume that the force pushing them back is larger! If you don't assume that Phillips is right then you can't test any of his situations. He claims that by relaxing you can project the attacker's force back to them, so when he pushes he claims that his arm strength is not the major factor. We have to assume that he's right if we are to analyze any of the scenarios.
Well, this may be a language issue...but if not, I certainly hope you're kidding.

Assume nothing. Trust no one. Test everything

From that video, here what we see: one guy pushes a little, the other guy moves a lot. Ok. Question: if we discount the impossible...like a wizard did it, or some kind of mysterious Obi-wan esque Force Push (damn that would be cool), what are the likely possible explanations? Then, we can work our way through those, one by one, until we get enough info to form a opinion.

Mr Phillips claims he's not 'just pushing against the ground'; ok, if that's true, then if we were to remove 'the ground' (sitting on a chair doesn't remove the ground), he should still send those guys careening across the screen - right? Else...what he's saying and what's he's doing aren't the same thing

Or - if something takes X amount of force to move...it takes X amount of force to move. Ok. So...if you're going to say 'I can do Z'...well... Z has to generate X amount of force.

Last edited by bob_stra : 02-10-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:06 PM   #32
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
[snip]
With respect to "hopping," I tend to think it follows more particular styles of taiji than whether the taiji is "southern" or "northern" Chinese. Hopping happens in Beijing as well as Hong Kong or Shanghai:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQu_smT9bU8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJaaVm7rKqE

In general, I've seen much more "hopping" in connection with Yang and Wu (Jianquan) lines of taijiquan than with Chen.
David--

This is the example of taiji "hopping" in Beijing that should have been posted instead of the first clip in the quote above:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVJFE1OY988

Same line of Yang taijiquan via Wang Yongquan, who is the elderly gentleman in the chair in the second clip in the quote above. Wang was in his 80s at the time, and had suffered a stroke (which is why he was in the chair). Wang is commenting (in Chinese) about different jin he is using, how it comes from the back, and other miscellaneous remarks. There is a strong element of visualization in the training of mental intent (yi) in this line of taiji (i.e., different mental images used to train the body's expression of intent).

Is it "real," or some kind of subtle tactical use of suggestion with the person demonstrated on . . . along the lines of the made-for-TV hocus-pocus of the discredited Shi Ming featured in the Bill Moyers segment from the early-1990s PBS television series, "Healing and the Mind," where the cavorting contortionist people Shi was waving around were all his students:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzIjUR-mHCY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFijeHmOPlQ

In Beijing I had a chance to watch an 86-year-old gongfu cousin of Wang Yongquan's line in work in a park with wrestlers and other people that he hadn't met before . . . all I can report is that those people left with a lot more dust on their clothes than they had come with. As far as I could tell, there was no previous opportunity to "condition" those people, and they were not students vying for the teacher's favor by out-acting each other to make him look incredible. And it clearly was not due to the teacher's superiority in physical strength or overt physical technique. Yet it didn't appear that any of the teacher's actual students, even ones who had trained with him for twenty years or more, could show anything close to the abilities he apparently demonstrated with the outsiders. If the old teacher's skills were real, he was an outlier.

The best taiji teachers I've encountered in terms of being able to consistently show and explain what they were doing with their own bodies in push-hands or throwing have been from the Chen style. You can feel, hands-on, the chansi jin (silk-reeling) and compression/expansion working in good Chen teachers' bodies when they are demonstrating with another student.

Last edited by Thomas Campbell : 02-13-2010 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #33
ashe
 
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

i actually know michael phillips a bit. from what i understand he grew up on the mean streets of NYC and learned his stuff from a lot of shady characters in chinatown and really used his stuff for fighting.

by the time i met him he was already in his 60's and had suffered a serious back injury in a fall from a horse, so i never got to play any kinds of hands on stuff with him (he no longer teaches taiji at all, just qigong).

fwiw, there's more than one kind of ja jing. it depends on the effect you're after. chen guys use a lot more long, striking type fajin and say, southern mantis, uses more short fa jing, which is often used for say, snapping a wrist. in order to do that you need to lock the opponents structure, which when applied more gently can result in a bouncing out type of effect on a training partner, but it's not the point necessarily.

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:33 AM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

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Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
fwiw, there's more than one kind of ja jing. it depends on the effect you're after. chen guys use a lot more long, striking type fajin and say, southern mantis, uses more short fa jing, which is often used for say, snapping a wrist. in order to do that you need to lock the opponents structure, which when applied more gently can result in a bouncing out type of effect on a training partner, but it's not the point necessarily.
So how do they work? What's the differences between the two?

I was just in Tempe for a meeting. I forgot you were there.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:17 PM   #35
ashe
 
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Re: Mysteries of tai chi

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What's the differences between the two?
striking doesn't require a point of contact or any skill on touch. it's striking skill.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I was just in Tempe for a meeting. I forgot you were there.
it doesn't matter because i wasn't here. i was in New York at a training retreat at my Sifu's with other ILC members.

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