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Old 02-24-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
yichuan
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Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

We recently updated yichuankungfu.com with new video clips and a detailed interview with Yi Chuan Master Cheuk Fung.

A clip where he explains the characteristics of Internal (Hunyuan Strength can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHZKo...layer_embedded

Some of his comments on the subject from http://www.yichuankungfu.com/cheuk-fung/hunyuan/:

Student: What is Hunyuan strength?
Master Fung: Hunyuan strength refers to oneness, whole body strength or six surfaces strength. It is different from regular strength. The easiest way would be to show you, but, since you're writing this down the best we can do is compare it with regular strength. In contrast to Hunyuan strength, regular strength would be called sectional, broken or one-sided strength. It is not to say that regular strength can't be strong and forceful, only that the entire body is not contributing to whatever function the strength is required for. With regular strength the majority of the load is born by the local muscle groups in the limbs. With Hunyuan strength, the majority of the load is carried by the legs, waist and back. Regular strength is delivered directly, like a ram where the force is the inertia of the weight moving forward. Hunyuan strength is delivered indirectly... the inertia of the weight moving away from the target is more than that moving into it. Regular strength dissipates with movement. Hunyuan strength is stored within movement. This stored strength results in torque or martial velocity in each movement. That's why it's called oneness or whole body strength because the entire frame supplies torque to the limbs within each gesture.

Student: So why is Hunyuan strength so important?
Master Fung: The development of Hunyuan strength is the basis for both health cultivation and self defense. You have to understand that health and self-defense are inseparable when it comes to martial arts. A healthy mind-body is the foundation of strength and awareness and therefore of paramount importance in Kung Fu. The exercises we use to discover and develop Hunyuan strength are beneficial to health. Much has been written about this...deeper relaxation, lubricating the joints, stretching the tendons, strengthening the ligaments, massaging the organs, etc. We are holistically exercising the body in a balanced way. Of course Yi Chuan is martial in nature, therefore we emphasize postures and orbits useful for fighting. When deployed with the proper footwork and timing, techniques expressed with Hunyuan strength utilize the capacity of the whole body to absorb, redirect and discharge strength. Powerful techniques can be delivered without much movement but with sudden and overwhelming force. By arranging our training to develop Hunyuan strength, we address the intertwined issues of health and self defense simultaneously.

Student: So if I understand you correctly, it's not the movement or posture that you use that's important but whether or not it uses Hunyuan strength?
Master Fung: Exactly, that was your great grand teacher's point. Various postures and exercises are not the Kung Fu, they are merely an expression of it.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Quote:
Steve Ehrenreich wrote: View Post
In contrast to Hunyuan strength, regular strength would be called sectional, broken or one-sided strength. It is not to say that regular strength can't be strong and forceful, only that the entire body is not contributing to whatever function the strength is required for. With regular strength the majority of the load is born by the local muscle groups in the limbs. With Hunyuan strength, the majority of the load is carried by the legs, waist and back. Regular strength is delivered directly, like a ram where the force is the inertia of the weight moving forward. Hunyuan strength is delivered indirectly... the inertia of the weight moving away from the target is more than that moving into it.
Hi Steve:

So, as a student of Cheuk Fung, *how* is it done? I personally think that all of these various descriptions can be reconciled (the ones that are correct power and not just talk, of course).

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

i quite liked the clip. he's got some really nice loops going on. i see a lot of similarity to how we train, but i think he doesn't quite coordinate the yin/yang of the body the same way as ILC does.

i watched part 2 as well. i still like what the teacher is saying but i think the students do him a disservice by acting like dive bunnies at his very light fajin.

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
i see a lot of similarity to how we train, but i think he doesn't quite coordinate the yin/yang of the body the same way as ILC does.
So what does "coordinate the yin/yang" mean and how does ILC do it? It seems like techno-babble to me.

Thanks.

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So what does "coordinate the yin/yang" mean and how does ILC do it? It seems like techno-babble to me.

Thanks.

Mike Sigman
so does "establishing a ground path" if you don't have a background in the terminology being used.

it's just a technical reference point, a short hand that sums up qualities of different sections of the body and how we coordinate them together.

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Old 03-06-2010, 03:09 PM   #6
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Quote:
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so does "establishing a ground path" if you don't have a background in the terminology being used.

it's just a technical reference point, a short hand that sums up qualities of different sections of the body and how we coordinate them together.
Actually, I have a lot of laughs about people who think "groundpath" is an obscure term (seen some people people say something about it for years). Yet most people with any real knowledge of CMA's have seen the references to "jin" (specialized/learned force path through the body) and, as a common example, Taiji very clearly talks about the jin that starts in the feet (from the ground) is controlled by the waist and is expressed in the fingers. Not to mention that I've seen a number of people from very different backgrounds but who had some jin skills (of varying degree) click instantly with "groundpath". But rather than go off any further into the diversion, let's go back to your yin-yang comment. You made it. I never said a word about groundpath, so you're attempting to shift the subject.

I just explained "groundpath" very quickly and tied it to physical function and to the classical literature. It's not a vague term at all.... it's actually pretty precise. Yin-yang is very vague. Perhaps, as I suggested to you before, if you actually formulated and articulated explanations rather than using vague terminology, it would help your own progress?

BTW.... the core principles in all of these arts are the same, regardless of some terminology differences. I.e., Sam Chin is doing nothing in ILC that Cheuk Fung is not doing in Yiquan, when it comes to the basic principles. Same with Taiji, Xingyi, Hun-gar, Wing Chun, etc. There are often the appearances of differences and certainly there are different utilizations of the core principles, but there is no valid argument that legitimate (correctly done) traditional Asian martial arts are somehow doing something that another knowledgeable Asian martial artist can't understand. That's a neophyte's argument.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Yet most people with any real knowledge of CMA's have seen the references to "jin" (specialized/learned force path through the body) and, as a common example, Taiji very clearly talks about the jin that starts in the feet (from the ground) is controlled by the waist and is expressed in the fingers.
you're very selective in which parts of my posts you choose to focus and / or comment on. very duplicitous of you mike. my caveat of "unless you have a background" was very explicit.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Yin-yang is very vague.
depends on the context. if you want to know more about how we use the term you can find out all about it here, complete with full color illustrations. or better yet, we're having our Spring workshop here in Phoenix in April. You could come on down.

but referring back to the OP where CF talks about directing force in multiple directions vs. force in only one direction, is something that we would put under the balance of tai chi (i.e. balance of yin/yang), although what i was specifically referring to in the clip posted was the state of his sternum which he held very open throughout most of the clip, and is different than the general posture we try to maintain.

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Old 03-06-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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you're very selective in which parts of my posts you choose to focus and / or comment on. very duplicitous of you mike. my caveat of "unless you have a background" was very explicit.
So you have the background? What about that video you posted?
Quote:
Turns out I'll be in Phoenix around the weekend of Mar 19. What are you doing then? BTW... I think various people like Chen Xiaowang, Chen Bing, and other people come to Phoenix and do workshops. They are experts in pretty well-established styles and you might enjoy going to their workshops.
Quote:
but referring back to the OP where CF talks about directing force in multiple directions vs. force in only one direction, is something that we would put under the balance of tai chi (i.e. balance of yin/yang), although what i was specifically referring to in the clip posted was the state of his sternum which he held very open throughout most of the clip, and is different than the general posture we try to maintain.
So what is the advantage, jin-wise, of the posture you try to maintain? Why not just say jin, if you have the background? "Yin-Yang" as a descriptor sounds more like a vague buzzword.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:39 PM   #9
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So you have the background?
do i have a background in what? ILC terminology? yes i do.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What about that video you posted?
what about it?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Turns out I'll be in Phoenix around the weekend of Mar 19. What are you doing then?
on sunday i'll be in casa grande but i'm free on saturday, but if you're interested in learning about the system itself then the workshop would be a much better choice.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
BTW... I think various people like Chen Xiaowang, Chen Bing, and other people come to Phoenix and do workshops.
CXW hasn't been to the valley for a few years i think, same with CB, but as i just got done telling someone else, i don't get out to other people seminars for various reasons.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Why not just say jin, if you have the background?
because i wasn't talking about jin.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
"Yin-Yang" as a descriptor sounds more like a vague buzzword.
a buzz word? that's funny. a 2500 year old buzz word maybe.

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Old 03-06-2010, 08:21 PM   #10
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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because i wasn't talking about jin.
Sure you were. You just don't know it.

P.m. me and let's set up a meeting so you can show me your "system". I've seen tapes of what Sam Chin does. I know what he does. That's not the same thing that your video shows that you do. Why is your "system" different from what Sam Chin does? If you don't mind, please explain with something other than just buzzwords and vague terms like "Yin-Yang".

Everything is Yin-Yang. It's like saying "String Theory" or "Angular Momentum". Internal strength has some fairly physical phenomena, despite many peoples' belief that there are somehow different ways of doing these things that no one but paying acolytes can understand.

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:44 PM   #11
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I've seen tapes of what Sam Chin does. I know what he does. That's not the same thing that your video shows that you do. Why is your "system" different from what Sam Chin does?
or so you think. i'll get back to you sometime after tuesday about a good time to drop by.

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Old 03-06-2010, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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or so you think.
Actually, I know of a few people that have seen your video and who think the same thing as I do. Why do *you* think what you do is what Sam Chin does?

"Drop by"? Let's talk by pm.

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:16 PM   #13
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Why do *you* think what you do is what Sam Chin does?
because i've been trained by him and certified by him as well within our curriculum.

the differences are merely a matter of big, medium, small, and preciseness etc, as well as differences in structure, but the principles are there.

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Old 03-06-2010, 10:39 PM   #14
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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because i've been trained by him and certified by him as well within our curriculum.

the differences are merely a matter of big, medium, small, and preciseness etc, as well as differences in structure, but the principles are there.
OK, so what "principles" are you talking about? "Yin-Yang" is not a principle, it's a basic theory of Chinese cosmology and is generally true in the same way that "the theory of opposites" is a principle (for every hot there is a cold; for every up there is a down) of everything. Here's 15 general "rules" (let's call them) that are found on many ILC pages. Let's look at them:

1. Stance
2. Relaxation - Absorption & Projection
3. Horizontal Plane
4. Frontal Plane
5. Sagittal Plane
6. Incorporating 3 Planes of Movement
7. Condense & Expand
8. Macrocosmic Orbit Flow
9. Tu'na (condensed) Breathing
10.North, East, South, West
11.Concave & Convex
12.Weight Shifting & Hips Rolling
13.Footwork
14.Four Directional Kicks
15.Throwing Hands


"Stance" is fine, but that's not very defined, is it? So there are no principles in the word "stance", unless you want to state a few.

The three "planes" are the standard planes of all Chinese martial arts. They equate to the X, Y, and Z Cartesian planes. Always have and always will. In fact, not surprisingly, those same planes are also standard perspectives of western physics.

"Condense and Expand"? That's part of the very standard Four Poles of Chinese martial arts. Why not list them all, since they're obviously borrowed from the classical principles?

"Macrocosmic Orbit"? Well, that sort of gives it all away right there, doesn't it? That's the use of jin/qi. Since you know the principles, perhaps you could explain why you use arm strength so much, but the classical use of jin/qi uses the dantien to control the qi?

Tu na..... that's the breathing system from which every Asian art bases its exercises (Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, Aikido, you name it). Koichi Tohei's breathing exercises are basic Tu na.

North,South, East, West. Standard. Concave, convex? Standard. The last four are so ambiguous they're not worth cavilling about.

Bear in mind that I just watched (for the first time in a couple of years; I watched some of his stuff a couple of years ago and I've met some people who studied directly with him, more or less full-time) a video of Sam Chin and my impression is more that his system comes from southern Shaolin, not one of the neijia, so I'm not going to get into the Microcosmic Orbit stuff too much.... but what "principles" are you using when you move your arms that I'm missing?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:43 AM   #15
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Steve, i'd like to apologize for your topic being completely derailed. Hopefully the activity here is at least improving the click through to your site.

Mike, those aren't a list of rules that's a list of our jibengong. Care to mention the names of these folks who've studied 'full time' with my Sifu?

By the way I cleared my schedule for that Sunday, so why don't you come by then? Does 10am work for you? 931 E Elliot rd. Suite 114.

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Old 03-07-2010, 09:55 AM   #16
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Quote:
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Steve, i'd like to apologize for your topic being completely derailed. Hopefully the activity here is at least improving the click through to your site.

Mike, those aren't a list of rules that's a list of our jibengong. Care to mention the names of these folks who've studied 'full time' with my Sifu?

By the way I cleared my schedule for that Sunday, so why don't you come by then? Does 10am work for you? 931 E Elliot rd. Suite 114.
OK, so maybe if you just gave us a list of there "principles" (or a URL, etc.) we could take a look at them? If you notice, my questions have been slanted at asking you what "principles" you're talking about.

If the way Cheuk Fung holds his chest is different (I would hesitate to call that element a "principle", but let's say it is, for discussion's sake in order to move forward), what positional principle do you use that is different and why is it different?

BTW, I shrugged off the initial comment indicating the "Hunyuan" is the same as "internal strength". That's not quite what Hunyuan refers to. Maybe "Neijin" would be a better word, although that's pretty general. Hunyuan is a more specific term and refers to a more classically specific form of strength. There are various levels of "internal strength" and various usages and not everyone puts Hunyuan qi as a goal of their art. I've never seen any indication of ILC talking about "Hunyuan qi" (I welcome any corrections) or Hunyuan strength, but it's worth pointing out that "Hunyuan" may not be a specific goal of ILC.

The Cheuk Fung interview in the OP seems to indicate that there's Hunyuan strength and then regular strength (only two choices), but actually there are a lot of in-betweens where people do legitimate neigongs (internal exercises) that don't necessarily come up to the level of Hunyuan qi.

That being said, my point is generally that there are only a few basic principles for internal strength and if any style simply lays out what their "principles" are, they almost always devolve back to the same basic ones that are codified.... assuming we're talking about people with enough skill level to do their art at a high level, of course.

In other words, when you cut to the chase and look at the real "principles", you'll find that Aikido, Yiquan, Taiji, Tongbei, Xingyi, Dabeiquan, etc., etc., all have the same basic principles. ILC may not have those same principles since it is a recently-devised family system, so that's prompted my asking the question. Of course technically the use of "Macro-cosmic orbit" would normally indicate that ILC conforms to the normal logic of styles that use "internal strength", but it's difficult to say. Since Ashe indicates that he is an expert, I was asking a simple question about principles that any expert should be able to answer.

Ashe, as I indicated in post #8 I will be in Phoenix on that weekend, but I haven't laid out my plans yet so I don't know when I'm free. I'll pm you when I get a better feel for when I'm engaged and when I'm free.

BTW.... a list of ILC's principles would certainly move the discussion forward.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:11 AM   #17
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

No worries Ashe. I think we are talking about the same thing....Internal Strength is different and you train differently to get it. I have enjoyed the materials and vids posted on ILC.

Its too bad the words get in the way so often with this material. Here is how my teacher straightened me out on the concept of Chi:

Student: How does Yi relate to Chi?
Master Fung: Chi means energy. Intent and energy are directly related.

Student: I've spoken with several people who don't believe in Chi. I never know what to say, any suggestions?
Master Fung: Ask them what they don't believe in.

Student: I don't understand.
Master Fung: Ask them what they mean by Chi. If they don't believe in it, chances are they misunderstand what is meant by Chi.

Student: O.K....So Chi is energy, what energy?
Master Fung: Chi is what manifests in response to Yi. The Chinese concept touches on several western ideas so it can be a little confusing at first. Let's use driving and making a left hand turn as an example again. The Yi is to go left. That intention creates countless electro-chemical signals that trigger electro-chemical reactions in the muscles that simultaneously work the wheel, turn signal, gas, brake etc. The Chi is the coordinated and concentrated electro-chemical energy that converts into Li or physical strength in the body.

Student: So people who don't believe in Chi simply have a misunderstanding of what Chi is?
Master Fung: Pretty much, Chi is a very 'loaded' word...it means different things to different people. Don't worry about believing or disbelieving in Chi or this or that definition of Chi. Chi is just a concept, just a word used to represent the energy that is actually there. Like I just told you, in Yi Chuan we are studying how the Yi and Chi create the Li or mechanical force. From a western perspective you could say it's like that conservation thing....remember we talked about it the other day.

Student: Conservation of energy, that energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed?
Master Fung: Yes, that's the one. A human being of course follows this principal. In Chinese concepts we say from Shen to Yi to Chi to Li. In western concepts this means we are studying how the intent directs the potential human energy to transform into the bio-electric nervous system energy and finally into mechanical energy in the muscles. You see? Anything a human being does is a result of this energy transformation process, regardless of how you name the steps or what you call the parts. All the debate over whether Chi is real or not is the talk of amateurs, don't even bother with it. Just remember we are studying energy by working with it directly through our practice.

http://www.yichuankungfu.com/cheuk-fung/energy/
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #18
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

Steve,
Thanks for posting this. I thought there was interesting stuff on the site.
I liked this part of an interview
Quote:
Master Fung: You've been around Yi Chuan circles for a while now, what do you think people don't get?
Student: Let me think for a moment. First I would say the idea of Hunyuan strength is very misunderstood. You've talked a lot about the qualities and characteristics of Hunyuan strength but its really difficult to grasp how different using it is until you have first hand experience. Having your own strength used like a handle to throw you around changes your perspective of what effective strength is.
Master Fung: How has your perspective changed?
Student: When you began teaching me my mind was fully rooted in the idea of force equals mass times acceleration. Even when I got more consistent in linking my frame I could barely keep from using it as a battering ram because I was holding on to the wrong idea of Hunyuan strength. It was really your patience and the patience of everyone kind enough to play 'shove-hands' with me that got things turned around. Now I understand that Hunyuan strength appears when the frame is sealed and balanced within itself. When I was younger I spent many hours in the gym weight training. One of the things I liked about heavy exercises like squats or dead lifts was how the weight compressed me and gave me leverage to squeeze and stretch muscles that didn't get much use in everyday life. The heavy weight basically sealed my body against the ground allowing me to access a much greater percentage of my total strength during the exercise. With Hunyuan strength the same basic thing is happening, except, instead of my frame leveraging against the weight on the barbell it leverages against itself and the strength of the opponent. This way the frame stores energy like a mousetrap, all wound up and ready to spring.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #19
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Student: Conservation of energy, that energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed?
Master Fung: Yes, that's the one. A human being of course follows this principal. In Chinese concepts we say from Shen to Yi to Chi to Li. In western concepts this means we are studying how the intent directs the potential human energy to transform into the bio-electric nervous system energy and finally into mechanical energy in the muscles. You see? Anything a human being does is a result of this energy transformation process, regardless of how you name the steps or what you call the parts.
This is not representative of any conservation of energy principle from western physics that I'm aware of. 'Potential human energy' of course needs to be more clearly defined but 'intent' has no where near energy to transform into substantial muscular motion.

If folks want to use the rules of physics then they have to follow the rules and not just make nifty sounding analogies. Of course, one does not need to know the rules of physics to follow them! Those who are familiar with the rules can see when they are not being used properly as easily and surely as ones teacher can tell when correct practice has not been done sufficiently (presuming they actually know).

I could care less is someone cannot explain things using the rules of physics but when they try and make a mess of it it does not help anyone. For all I know Shen-Yi-Chi-Li is all the explanation that is required (and may even be correct) but it ain't an example of conservation of energy.

I'm a strong advocate of a 'unification' of eastern and western practices and ideals (we call all only benefit from it) but it must be correct as viewed from both perspectives. If there is no unification on some points then one or maybe both perspectives are actually wrong (this would be a statement of principle).

Principles can be wrong as well.

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Old 03-07-2010, 03:34 PM   #20
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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If you notice, my questions have been slanted at asking you what "principles" you're talking about.
if you don't share the common frame of reference (i.e. shared vocabulary) then any principles i might name (like circle to center) would just sound like more buzzwords.

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Steve Ehrenreich wrote: View Post
Like I just told you, in Yi Chuan we are studying how the Yi and Chi create the Li or mechanical force. From a western perspective you could say it's like that conservation thing....remember we talked about it the other day.
this is very similar to a discussion that my Sifu gives about I, Chi, Liq.

as Mike already pointed out pretty much all the MA share common principles (after all the human body is the human body), and many arts share common philosophy (like zen), but often times it's the concepts, which bridge the two that make the differences between arts.

anyway, as i said i quite like the clips and look forward to more!

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Old 03-07-2010, 03:40 PM   #21
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
This is not representative of any conservation of energy principle from western physics that I'm aware of. 'Potential human energy' of course needs to be more clearly defined but 'intent' has no where near energy to transform into substantial muscular motion.

If folks want to use the rules of physics then they have to follow the rules and not just make nifty sounding analogies. Of course, one does not need to know the rules of physics to follow them! Those who are familiar with the rules can see when they are not being used properly as easily and surely as ones teacher can tell when correct practice has not been done sufficiently (presuming they actually know).

I could care less is someone cannot explain things using the rules of physics but when they try and make a mess of it it does not help anyone. For all I know Shen-Yi-Chi-Li is all the explanation that is required (and may even be correct) but it ain't an example of conservation of energy.

I'm a strong advocate of a 'unification' of eastern and western practices and ideals (we call all only benefit from it) but it must be correct as viewed from both perspectives. If there is no unification on some points then one or maybe both perspectives are actually wrong (this would be a statement of principle).

Principles can be wrong as well.
Hi Rob:

Well, that quote was a classic, in my opinion. I get so used to seeing all the mangled claims in Asian martial arts that I quit paying close attention some time back. Basically, the student mangled what was going on and I don't think that Cheuk Fung's grasp of English or Physics is enough to help out.

Throw out the student's question (based on his perception of what Fung has tried to say in the past, apparently). What Cheuk Fung's trying to say has little to do with the conservation of energy (and it really doesn't explain much, even though it sounds nice). What he's explaining is the classical concept of how movement works in the qi-paradigm. While the qi-paradigm didn't fully work out (it's more explicative than it's predictive), the observation about movement isn't a bad one.

Incidentally, the student perhaps should have transcribed the interview so that it says "Xin to Yi to Qi to Li". It's the same "Xin" that equates in Japanese to "Shin", as in "Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido".

Basically, what Cheuk is saying is that in the old perspective there is a "desire" to do something (like a punch, for instance) and that "desire" triggers (via the mind "intent") the "qi" which alterations within the body which in turn result in a tangible force (Li). Look at the "Cast in Resin" posts on QiJin if you want to see a more extended discussion of functional reality.

If you look at O-Sensei's writings, he mentions the same classical perception in his discussions about the "Divine Intent". Ueshiba's and Tohei's ki-demonstrations are considered to be classical examples of that very phenomenon, too.

But, the main response to your (valid) comment is that the student simply misunderstands what Cheuk Fung is talking about.

Oh, as a side note, "Hunyuan" training actually relates to 3-dimensional stressors on each "molecule" (if you will) of the body, done by setting up jin using the mind-intent.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:55 PM   #22
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
this is very similar to a discussion that my Sifu gives about I, Chi, Liq.

as Mike already pointed out pretty much all the MA share common principles (after all the human body is the human body), and many arts share common philosophy (like zen), but often times it's the concepts, which bridge the two that make the differences between arts.
Ashe, that interview was pretty mangled, too, and maybe you shouldn't have been so polite in your suggested correction because you were absolutely correct. What Sam Chin was obviously trying to say was pretty much that classical comment that Cheuk Fung made and which I just superficially translated (I can translate it in more depth, if need be). In other words, your use of the word "follow" is accurate. "Way" simply misleads people. By being overly polite, you are "polite" but at the expense of not helping your fellow students as fully as possible.

The classical saying is usually just 6 words in Chinese but it (loosely) translates as "Heart leads Mind, Mind leads Qi, Qi leads Li". It's also known as the Three Internal Harmonies (Nei San He). It's about as basic and as classical and famous as you can get. Aikido, Tai Chi, and any other Asian martial art that uses the word "ki" or "Yin-Yang" or etc., is talking about this type of intent-directed strength/force-vectors.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:15 PM   #23
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Incidentally, the student perhaps should have transcribed the interview so that it says "Xin to Yi to Qi to Li". It's the same "Xin" that equates in Japanese to "Shin", as in "Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido".
I really regret not being able to read the characters of either Chinese nor Japanese as 'shin' has always confused me. In Japanese 'shin' actually refers to three or four (at least) different characters and concepts heavenly(or divine), mind/heart/spirit (kokoro), true, body (mi-which also means fruit/nut) and new. Something like shin shin toitsu uses two different characters and means spirit body toitsu so I'm still a bit confused.

Here 'Xin' must mean mind/spirit/heart? I don't quite understand the difference between 'desire' and 'intent' in this context.

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Old 03-07-2010, 05:41 PM   #24
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
I really regret not being able to read the characters of either Chinese nor Japanese as 'shin' has always confused me. In Japanese 'shin' actually refers to three or four (at least) different characters and concepts heavenly(or divine), mind/heart/spirit (kokoro), true, body (mi-which also means fruit/nut) and new. Something like shin shin toitsu uses two different characters and means spirit body toitsu so I'm still a bit confused.

Here 'Xin' must mean mind/spirit/heart? I don't quite understand the difference between 'desire' and 'intent' in this context.
Well, the basic implication in much of the discussion about "internal" arts is that the mind causes forces to exist. That's what they mean by "intent" and all sorts of other phrases along those lines. When Ueshiba, Tohei, and a myriad of other Asians demonstrate that they can stand at impossible-seeming angles, or hit incredibly hard, or not be moved by extraneous forces, they are demonstrating that instead of using normal strength to do these feats, they are using forces within their body that they have learned to do by "intent".

In the classical Asian view there was a way of looking at things that said your "desire" (which resides in the heart) then causes the mind to do something. Hence the part of the saying about "the heart (xin) leads the mind (shen)". We westerners tend to think of "desire" and "mind" being the same thing.

The idea of the mind-intent coordination (body-mind coordination) is found all over the place. The idea is found in "Xing yi" fist/boxing, in "Yi Li" (Mind Strength) boxing, in "Yi Quan" (Mind boxing), and in many other places. They all use the idea of forces manipulated by the mind (and also more than that, but I'm trying to do a thumbnail sketch).

But anyway, the short answer is that they tended to view the desire to so something as separate from the mind, hence the strange-seeming dichotomy, while we tend to think of "desire" and "mind" as facets of the same thing.

Best.

Mike
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:48 PM   #25
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Re: Internal (Hunyuan) Strength from a Yi Chuan Perspective

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Here 'Xin' must mean mind/spirit/heart? I don't quite understand the difference between 'desire' and 'intent' in this context.
My experience is it's best to take each term on a case by case basis as opposed to translating any of them directly as often times they won't make any sense or won't be in the proper context, which is why its important to have a good teacher to guide you.

For instance we can look at the term xin fa, which would translate literally as 'heart technique', which either doesn't make any sense or would give the reader entirely the wrong idea.

My Sifu calls it the 'heart method', which still sounds a bit vague, but he explains it like this;

The heart method is the essence of the teachers experience over their life time, transmitted to the student. It's the fine details that make the difference between just waving your hands around in the air and actually getting some tangible results from your nei gong. So the implied meaning behind the term xin fa is more like 'the secrets of the practice which only an experienced teacher can impart'. In many cases these terms are very contextual to martial arts practice and wouldn't even make sense to native speakers without a teachers guidance.

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