Internal Arts IA

martial arts , health enrichment, development of consciousness

Students Q & A and Comments

Posted by Editor on July 23, 2006

In this section students of Taiji can ask questions, describe experiences and perspectives, provide feedback, or contribute anything relevant to their Taiji practice. It is open not only to students of Internal Arts IA, but also to any students of Taiji, who can feel free to join the open dialogue.

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7 Responses to “Students Q & A and Comments”

  1. Paul Mushrush said

    Hi, I posted a comment to “Mind-Intent and Force: Hong Junsheng’s Perspectives” and wanted to ask if anyone can shed some light on the “triangles”. (Some of my text got cut off; but it was just vague attempts to grasp what this concept refers to.) I do have some hazy notions about this topic but mostly, it’s another of those areas that seems rarely mentioned, and even less explained, in Taiji writings. I am going back to the Practical Method book, rereading and re-pondering the movement descriptions which are detailed and full of complexity. I’d be grateful for any words that pertain to the “triangular” movements in Grandmaster Hong’s method. Thanks!

  2. Hi Paul,

    You have identified one extremely fascinating and unique “angle” on Taiji theory, put forward by Hong in his book. It is also one of the most difficult concepts to discuss, without visual or hands on feedback. I am hoping to take a stab at it in some future post, if readers express interest in that topic. But it will be an article which requires a lot of preparation to get the ideas across.

    For starters, I recommend you read verse three in Hong’s Annotations (pages 87 and 88). Then re-read and re-read over and over again. Study it carefully, and try to get a feeling for the point of contact experience with a partner in push hands.

    (This approach assumes you have some facility to use the circle as Hong teaches it, with the unique coiling energy always rotating. To help in this area, I recommend studying Chen Zhonghua’s instructional material, from his “Fundamentals” DVD, and his “Detailed Instruction” DVD. If you would like more information on that, you might reply further to me here.)

    To begin to give you some focus to understand Hong’s distinctions of circular and angular, as you read those pages, think about the meaning of the “dots” which make up the circle. So a 180 degree positive circle could be viewed in terms of 180 dots. That implies the circle is constantly rotating, in the coiling of the silk reeling motion. At any one of those points, you are constantly providing the opponent with a “softening” redirecting influence, never meeting hard force with hard force. If the opponent commits his force, exposing his center, and you are sensitive to that exposure, then you can easily control his exposed momentum. At that moment, the opponent becomes trapped in the “gears” of your rotating body parts. All of this is dependent upon having the correct stance and structure, and command of the circular movement of upper body in connection with lower body—all with the proper alignment in terms of facing the opponent.

    You could say this is a process of “triangulating” your opponents attacking position. Then your aligned structure applies the leverage you have gained on your opponent. The constant circular coiling motion is essential to allow for the correct reponse to the opponent’s angle, force, and momentum.

  3. Paul Mushrush said

    Internalartsia, I really thank you for this, it gives me something to work from. I suspected that this was something – like peng? 🙂 – difficult to manifest and yet still more difficult to discuss! So I had a premonition of your answer perhaps beginning with a reference to push hands. Also, I’ve heard of the primacy of the 45-degree angle in Hong method taiji, and I infer that that pertains here also… in a 3-dimensional sense. And I had thought of the tooth of a gear being triangular. So much for my penetration; now I need to work on this mentally and physically as you suggest. (Along with the Kua method!) I’ve barely gotten a grip on the Two Circles for that matter. It’s great to have this “taijiquan garden” to till and weed!

  4. Chenquestion said

    I’d like to ask a question about a term that appears frequently in Hong Junsheng’s book. That is, where he describes movements as “grinding” or descibes a body part motion as “grinding out”. This is not a term I’ve encountered before in taiji! But of course this is a translated expression and perhaps it’s more common in China. Or is it particular to the Hong system? In English, “grinding” can suggest clashing forces, but I suspect that Hong means the grinding of a millstone, or mortar-and-pestle? Thanks for any enlightenment on this.

  5. Chenquestion said

    Ah! On page 102 of the “Practical Method Vol. 1” I found further explanation in a footnote. Apparently I’m looking for a simple explanation of something very complex indeed; perhaps to the extent that “movement” is not even at the heart of it, but rather internal energies that must be felt to be comprehended. Still I note that it’s this book that’s brought it to light for me at least!

  6. Hi Chenquestion,

    Thanks for your investigation of this interesting point. I felt it to be quite interesting, so it became the subject of a post of its own. Check it out, and see if that helps your understanding. Hope you keep enjoying the gems hidden in the book.

  7. […] A reader named chenquestion submitted a very interesting question in our Student’s Q & A section. Chenquestion Says: (Which is open to anyone for these types of questions by the way.) He wondered about Hong’s usage of the term “grinding” which he refers to sometimes as he explains circular movements during applications. He wondered if the term implied force against force. So here we can explore Hong’s ideas in a section from Volume one of Theory. […]

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