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Old 09-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #301
HL1978
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
There's many reasons, probably too many to list. A simple answer is that a truss's triangular geometry and constructions distribute stress more efficiently when compared to an I-beam.

Although, motion is required in the martial arts, so focusing on static things isn't too helpful IMO.



I don't see how understanding of normal ol' strength and physics equates with 'internal strength'. Perhaps you could explain if you believe this to be the case.


Justin

Try the bench press exercise, just make sure you have a spotter with you.

I'll happily explain, my take on it after you give it the ol college try!
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:08 PM   #302
statisticool
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Why don't you explain to us what it is that Cheng Man Ching is saying in chapter 7 or "Thirteen Treatises" about jin strength and pullies, Justin?
It is a great book.You are welcome to explain what from it you believe to be relevant since you feel it is relevant to this discussion.

If you'd like to discuss your published work on 'internal strength', feel free.

Same ol' cult, god, etc., rant ignored.


Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:12 PM   #303
statisticool
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
Try the bench press exercise, just make sure you have a spotter with you.

I'll happily explain, my take on it after you give it the ol college try!
Sure, I'll do it, and might enjoy confirming that you are labelling better standard old physics as 'internal strength'.


Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:18 PM   #304
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
It is a great book.You are welcome to explain what from it you believe to be relevant since you feel it is relevant to this discussion.
No... we are all waiting to see what you can do besides snipe, Justin. At least I made an attempt to answer some focused questions.... you evade.

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:29 PM   #305
statisticool
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

If one feels parts of a book are relevant, they should probably talk about why the believe parts of it are relevant, instead of pretending that the person they are talking to should defend the book that they didn't even bring up.


Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-05-2006, 07:02 PM   #306
HL1978
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Sure, I'll do it, and might enjoy confirming that you are labelling better standard old physics as 'internal strength'.


Justin
I'm certainly not inventing a new type of physics, just a portion of physics not routinely covered to a great extent in at least a high school environment, and an area you did not touch on in your replies, but one which is greatly modeled in CAD.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:20 PM   #307
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Walter Sigman wrote:
I ask again.... have you got any knowledge to contribute or are you going to continue with the negative snide questions, in the fashion of the Cheng Man Ching'er fruitcakes? Tell us something about jin, peng jin, etc., as used in the Cheng Man Ching style, Justin. You have your worshipful webpages up about the god, er man, but let's see some knowledge to back it up. I'll bet you don't know anything and that stalking and sniping is about the limit of your abilities.

Mike Sigman
One sees you didn't choose to actually put forth anything to "bet".

Ho hum.


Justin

Last edited by statisticool : 09-07-2006 at 06:27 PM.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:25 PM   #308
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

HL, it was easier to do arching the lower back a little, though it did not feel natural to do.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:11 PM   #309
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote:
Thanks Mike!

Also, let me give one more example which people can practice and perhaps understand my original example without understanding the math behind it, but perhaps can see the principle at least from a striking perspective.

Go find a bench press. Pick a weight 50-75% of your maximum (for safety). Try 5 repititions with an arched back. Rest for a few minutes and then try 5 repititions with a straight back. The number of repitions isn't important. Now, after trying that, which one feels stronger/easier to do and why? Are more muscles being recurited for one than the other and increasing strength? Is more leverage being applied though the barbell is traveling in an identical path?
Hunter you're probably going to have to qualify what you mean by a "straight" back. ^^;
You're referring to sticking the back to the bench press right?
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:06 PM   #310
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Justin,

I've let this go for quite a while, but the consistently faulty logic of your posts finally motivated me to de-lurk. I write this post in the hope that you will consider the error of your ways. Failing that, I hope that others will not be misled by the appalling quality of your "arguments."

You are making the following types of errors in your thinking, in order of seriousness: rhetorical, heuristic and epistemic. I will define the terms which I use to prevent any misunderstanding.

Rhetorical:
For the purposes of this essay, I am defining rhetoric as the "art or technique of persuasion ... through the use of language," which is the Wikipedia definition. I am speaking specifically of your particular argumentative style which tends to assume that you are in a formal debate or a courtroom.

On numerous occasions you have used phrases such as "burden of proof." You have made regular allusions to "the currency of evidence. " These are procedural issues to an argument, by and large, and are, in the legal or Oxford debate arenas, resolved by a judge or panel of judges.

The fundamental error you are making is that we are not in a courtroom and there are no judges. We are not even at the Oxford Union. We are on an internet webforum which is different because it is generally a place where people come to share information about martial arts (spec. aikido) and perhaps learn something. This is, to some extent, an unwritten rule.

By choosing a rhetorical style consistent with formal debate, you miss the point entirely since this forum is not a formal debate. By using legalistic rhetoric, ironically, you reduce your credibility with the average poster. The rules of evidence in the courtroom are agreed upon by the participants and codified by law and practice. In contrast, on a web forum the rules are almost completely determined by practice. Attempting to import the conventions of one in to the other is like trying to ford a river in spats and a top hat. Without a judge, the rules of evidence are of questionable virtue.

Indeed, since there is no judge, it is not clear to me why you chose the legalistic rhetorical style, since there is no one who can rule in your favor. If the intent is to show your erudition, I can assure you that it does not. Rather, it shows your poor understanding of the role of the rules of evidence in the (common law) legal system. Additionally, your choice of rhetoric also has some unpleasant epistemic implications, which I will detail later on in this post.

Heuristic:
For the purposes of this post, I am defining a heuristic as a rule of thumb, ''common sense'' or a shortcut to analytic reasoning. Or, " Of or relating to a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem," which is the definition from the online "Free Dictionary."

I divide your heuristic errors into two further sub-categories, cultural and source evaluation.

Cultural:
Your biggest error with respect to culture is that you continually assume that Chinese cultural norms are the same as the "common sense" norms you have learned living in the United States. For example, you have frequently asked why a certain taiji teacher of Chinese origin would praise a student or other teacher, if in fact the teacher receiving the praise had poor skills. If you knew anything about Chinese culture you would understand that people say all kinds of nice things to be polite _in public_, while reserving their true thoughts for only their close friends or family. Since I am sure you will want a cite for this statement (beyond a simple "ask a good Chinese friend") you should take a look at the book "Culture Shock: China" which is usually available in the travel section of a large bookstore. As a sidenote, this characteristic is also common in Japanese culture as well, the idea of the public/private face. You, on the other hand, seem to be stuck with the cultural heuristic that teachers always speak honestly about their students or contemporaries. In dealing with East Asian cultures, that kind of assumption is an impediment to seeing the truth of the situation.

You have also failed to understand the extent that the Chinese martial culture from which taiji originates distinguishes between students and outsiders. Since the traditional kung fu schools viewed itself as a family, students were those who had been initiated into the family. No initiation means not a student, and therefore, subject to lies and deception.

Since you are unable to grasp even these basic concepts about Chinese culture, I can know with certainty that your heuristic for understanding traditional (pre 1949) Chinese cultural practices is deeply flawed.

Source Evalution:
Your major error here is that you are evaluating your sources based on whether they use a style of writing which is well mannered and aims at an educated audience.

I took a look at your suggested reading page on taiji, and noticed that you included Wolf Lowenthal and Herman Kauz. I can agree that both of those book are written in a style which is likely consistent with a person of moderate , liberal education. I can also assure you that both of them are clueless when it comes to taiji. I have also noticed that you take great pride in your academic achievements (as well you should) and that you consider UFC fights to be a "highly marketed fad" which is unsophisticated compared to the street. This also ties to your epistemic errors, which I will discuss in the following section.

The biggest problem with your evaluative heuristic is that whether a martial arts book is useful has very little to do with the style of writing which it embraces. My counterpoint to the Lowenthal and Kauz books would be, insofar as martial arts books go, "Savage Strikes" by Mark Hatamaker. Lowenthal alleges that there are no secrets and that it's "just" good , conventionally understood bodymechanics. If you understood what decent conventional (dare I say external?) body mechanics were, you'd understand that a book like Hatamaker's is a lot more useful for mastering those mechanics than anything Lowenthal ever wrote or said. From your perspective perhaps Hatamaker's book is declasse, with grainy pictures and poor editing, but that does not mean that what he's saying isn't applicable to fighting.

I can theorize that your failure to develop a good heuristic for source evaluation in the martial arts is a result of your academic training and specialization in statistics. You likely expect that martial arts books should ape academic standards. Unfortunately, simply because a martial arts book apes the academic style does not mean it is useful. This is because there is no scholarly peer review system for martial arts books like you see in academia. There is something similar to a peer review system for martial arts, namely actual fighting.

Epistemic
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, epistemology is the "branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity." In short, it concerns how to find out the truth. Reading your webpage, I noticed that you enjoy using your calculator to explore statistical questions. Martial arts, on the other hand, require real world verification through practice, which is the martial arts equivalent of peer review. This means fighting in some form or another. You, on the other hand, regularly employ a misguided dialectical method in your forum posts. You have repeatedly attempted to drag the rhetoric of the court room or the debate floor in to forum posts. This does nothing to advance the cause of the knowledge, since it is, in fact, divorced from the objective reality of movement.

If you are interested in increasing your knowledge of martial arts, you would be well advised to dispense with your misplaced scholasticism and instead attempt to develop knowledge through your own experience. (My cite for that, since I know how much you love citation, is Wang Xiangzhai.) This would also aid you in developing an accurate heuristic with which to evaluate the taiji books you are reading. I am heartened by the fact that you have recently made comments to Mike Sigman that you would like to see video footage of people fighting or sparring with internal strength, and that you took up Hunter's challenge to test your bench press.
It seems that you are beginning to understand how to determine the truth of martial arts.

Hopefully this new development will also cause you to re-evaluate your assessment of MMA type events as unrealistic. This is is a groundless point-- you confuse broader strategies such as avoidance and de-escalation with actual fighting. True, those are part of "self defense" but that misses the larger point, which is that a practitioner can absorb those strategies in simple chalk-talk sessions. A person who trains in MMA can easily attend a seminar or class on avoidance and de-escalation, while a person who trains in a non-force on force style cannot easily learn to fight at the level of intensity and contact found in MMA. You might continue to claim that MMA type training is not useful for real combat found on "the street." However the American armed forces apparently disagree with you, since both the Marine Corps and Army Special Forces have adopted systems based on hard force on force contact. The Marine Corps has adopted a system based on koryu jujutsu, submission wrestling (taught by Ken Shamrock, no less) and jukendo, while the Army has adopted a system based on Gracie jujitsu and the Filipino weapon arts as taught by the Dog Brothers. Although I have not been there, it is my understanding that the streets of Baghdad, Iraq are tougher than any you will encounter in the USA.

If none of that convinces you, then perhaps you could carry out your own empirical experiments to determine how good you are on the street-- you could find employment as a police officer, or simply pick fights with the denizens of your local biker bar. Sparring in a competitive sports environment is probably an easier and safer bet that will still yield some useful data.

You have regularly complained about Mike's use of the concepts peng, as well as the phrase ground strength, and his inability to remember which books he read during his stint in the Corps several decades ago. Your complaints are based on the fact that ground strength is not found in any of the books you have seen. You have complained that peng is not found in certain taiji texts which you hold in high regard. All of this complaining is useless. Rather, you could resolve the situation empirically one of two ways. One way would be to attempt to follow a training protocol designed to develop peng, and periodically test your strength to see if it is developing. In this way you could determine if it was a type of bodyskill outside your current paradigm. Alternatively, you could search out a person who had the skillset, watch what they do, touch hands with them and directly experience it. This would show you the difference immediately.

You will only find knowledge about martial arts through the iterative process of testing, knowledge sharing (with other knowledgeable practitioners) and then more thinking and training, and testing again. Your reliance on empty dialectic is an epistemic error.

Conclusion
The ki/kokyu (or qi and jin) phenomena that Mike, Ron, Rob and others are discussing is very real. Mike was kind enough to meet with me to show me his training method and help me begin to understand what it is that he does. I freely admit that I have very meager skill at what Mike does, though I am working on elements of training which do involve qi and jin. I do know that there is a physical, scientific explanation, but I do not know what it is exactly. The ki/kokyu or qi/jin paradigm is simply a folkway that allowed people to train the skill without necessarily understanding the actual physiological (in the sense of cell biology, neuroscience etc) basis for what they were doing.

We are only beginning to understand how these things work in a Western scientific way. The discussions on Aikiweb and other fora are a part of this, as a community emerges that is interested in bringing the old ways out of the shadows. There is a wave of revolution sweeping through the martial arts community as we unlock the old secrets and leverage the power of the Internet and connectivity to share knowledge and develop training protocols. Many instructors and other people of stature in the martial arts community are discovering a large gap in their knowledge.

Justin, you have a very simple choice. Obviously you are an educated, intelligent individual. You can embrace empiricism and join the search for knowledge and scientific understanding of the ki/kokyu phenomena. It is very exciting to be part of an international effort to sweep aside the cobwebs of deception and cut to the truth of the matter. On the other hand, you can continue with your current thinking and be swept away by the wave when it crashes through your little section of the martial arts world. Understand that now that the knowledge is out in the open, there is no stopping the wave.

The choice is yours.
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:58 PM   #311
statisticool
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Tim's misconceptions were PMd to him as to not clutter up the thread.


Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:19 AM   #312
Tim Fong
 
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

I have not received any PM's from Justin.
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:24 AM   #313
Mashu
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

I guess that means you had no misconceptions.
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:44 AM   #314
statisticool
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

I had more important things to do right when I was going to press send.

But Tim has them now.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:49 AM   #315
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

I received the PM(s). Justin, I have zero interest in responding to you any further. You were given a chance to engage intellectually, which you threw away in favor of what was frankly more of the same. You are now on my ignore list.

Last edited by Tim Fong : 09-10-2006 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:13 AM   #316
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

I think Tim's points about the Asian cultural modes, which Justin was obviously totally unaware of, are the same one which I pointed out earlier, although not as well as Tim did. Douglas Wile, the Chinese historian, has pointed out the same thing in the past about some of the compliments which have been paid to Cheng.... a lot of them don't necessarily reflect the truth and no Chinese is going to take those vague complimentary remarks for anything more than what they are; westerners will put too much weight on them.

But not being aware of that and mentioning it in his arguments was one giveaway for Justin.

The other giveaway was his focus on the "ground-path" idea while carefully avoiding any acknowledgement that the basic jin is indeed mentioned in the Taiji classics, albeit in slightly different terminology. The fact that Justin simply avoids any real discussion of his own points shows that he's on some sort of "mission" (he won't discuss that, either, although there has to be some small part of his conscious mind that admits he's not really looking for "facts" with any true interest).

The "public forum" nonsense, when everyone can see who he's focused on, is a waste of typing.

I'll ask again.... why don't you tell us what you're really after, Justin? And what does it have to do with Aikido, since it's interrupted a number of fairly good threads, surely you must have some reason for forcing yourself into these conversations with your snipery?

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:22 AM   #317
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Tim,

I disagree with your points and point out your misconceptions, in detail, and won't change my mind without evidence. I can see how this frustrates you.

If anyone would like to see my response they are free to PM me for a copy. I won't spend further time on this very boring "issue" here, and then get accused of sniping, when Tim could have PMd me to begin with.

Re:

Quote:
The other giveaway was his focus on the "ground-path" idea while carefully avoiding any acknowledgement that the basic jin is indeed mentioned in the Taiji classics, albeit in slightly different terminology.
Actually that's not my focus at all. I simply point out that what one calls "slightly different", others call 'the term one favors apparently isn't used at all in those sources'.


Justin

Last edited by statisticool : 09-10-2006 at 10:35 AM.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:32 AM   #318
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Let's move this discussion back on track somewhat:

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
HL, it was easier to do arching the lower back a little, though it did not feel natural to do.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:36 AM   #319
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Slightly different, as in the term apparently isn't used at all in those sources. You still have some questions to answer. Won't you?
But Justin.... the point was already made that the "Tai Chi Classics" are not very old and that they represent Yang loyalists (and a fabricated Wang Tsung Yueh) only. Why on earth are you disingenuously holding up the "Tai Chi Classics" as being anything important? Have you ever *read* the Tai Chi Classics"????? Do you understand that they contain only the simplest remarks about Taiji, qi, and jin? They are the equivalent of "Dick and Jane" books. So when you say "peng jin" is not mentioned there (while not conceding that it's mentioned in a number of other places), you look somewhat the fool... except perhaps to another obvious beginner.

Go argue about peng and peng jin on the TCC list.... there are a number of superficial role-players like you on the list, but you'll find a number of other people who'll tell you point blank what's going on and that everything comes from peng jin. It's an uncomfortable topic on the TCC list because the "founders" of that list represent a group of people who indignantly insisted (like Peter Lim) that "peng jin" was no big deal but who were completely embarrassed to find out that they had been quite wrong. And some of them were/are "teachers".

I often wonder how someone, even of the lowest ethics, goes to a class and introduces as a new topic something that is known as the basis of the internal arts. How can someone "teach" something that they are just learning themselves? It's an interesting philosophical and ethical question. Go ask. Mention my name, while you're at it, and ask if people on the list used to insist that peng jin as a basic jin didn't exist (they were thinking "wardoff energy", not core jin, and they thought it was "equally important" with lu-jin, an-jin, etc.; missing the point entirely).

In some ways, this is becoming a part of the same discussion that is germane in Aikido, incidentally. So maybe discussing it in a Taiji context is actually a desireable thing to do.

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:39 AM   #320
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Tim,

I disagree with your points and point out your misconceptions,
Justin, how about publicly explaining Tim's "misconceptions" about Chinese culture. Odd.... he's saying exactly the same thing Douglas Wile and other experts have pointed out. Is a "misconception" something to do with someone who disagrees with you and who knows more about a subject than you do? Why this nasty "attack" mentality all the time, Justin?

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:55 AM   #321
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

The taijiquan classics are held up by many others.

One should expect people to point out that overemphasis on what they call pengjin is more of a recent thing, and in small circles, and such interpretation and overemphasis is disputed.

I'm constantly on the lookout for a book devoted to it being the basis for taijiquan, so the taijiquan community can evaluate it, but I'm always disappointed such a book doesn't exist.


Justin

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"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:06 AM   #322
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
The taijiquan classics are held up by many others.
If you're trying to point out that most people doing Taiji are clueless, that's one way of stating it, Justin. They are the "Dick and Jane" of Taiji literature. There is nothing new or deep in the so-called "Classics". Go read Douglas Wile's very polite demolishing of Wang Tsung Yueh (who "wrote"-fabricated a lot of the "classics"). Besides, from a debate standpoint "held up by many others" is about as irrelevant a support as can be offered, even in high-school debate.
Quote:
One should expect people to point out that overemphasis on what they call pengjin is more of a recent thing, and in small circles, and such interpretation and overemphasis is disputed.
What kind of vague comment is that? "One should expect" and "is disputed" (by whom?)?????
Quote:
I'm constantly on the lookout for a book devoted to it being the basis for taijiquan, so the taijiquan community can evaluate it, but I'm always disappointed such a book doesn't exist.
Why don't you look in Chen Xin's book, then???? Even the Yang family considers that book a heavy-duty source for the knowledge in Taiji. But first, you should learn what "peng jin" is, Justin..... no one who has even the vaguest clues about jin would be making the silly comments you are in questioning the general statements I've made.

Again..... why this silly jihad of yours, Justin? You're obviously just looking to pick a fight and "disprove" anything I say. What's the source of contention that is so important that you'd make the entire Cheng Man Ching style an object of mockery???? And as I said, you seem to represent a common part of the CMC faction.

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:13 AM   #323
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

These comments have already been addressed.


Justin

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Old 09-10-2006, 06:50 PM   #324
HL1978
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Hunter you're probably going to have to qualify what you mean by a "straight" back. ^^;
You're referring to sticking the back to the bench press right?
Correct.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:30 PM   #325
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Re: Aikido Supplemented with Push-Hands?

try it justin

Maybe you'll want to post a vid of yourself doing it?
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