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  1. hooky is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/02/2008 1:28pm

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     Style: wu/hao taijiquan

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Taiji 'Literature' helpful or not?

    Over on a thread called Is Taichi BS? http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=64177 I have been posting and found myself bringing up the Taiji 'classics'.


    My reason for doing so was I wondered if anyone felt they offered any guidelines as to what actually constitutes Taiji, as my teacher has occassionally said that such and such that so and so is doing in such and such a style does not 'follow' the classics.

    The Taiji I practice is Wu Yu Hsiangs style and as the Wu family played [ apparently] a big role in the formation of Taiji literature I can see why my teacher may value the 'classics' as they are a codification of Wu/Hao Taiji written by the founders. I know there are Yang family writings and others also and am wondering what if any use these writings are perceived to be by other practitioners on this board, and if so in what way.

    I am posting it in Newb town because well i am a noob here and also it is possibly of low interest given the 'hands on' orientation of most posters here...if someone wants to move it to a more appropriate place thats all good [ ive a feeling it might end up in Trollshido or just moulder here lol ..#ah well# ].

    I did a quick search to see if any previous thread has started on this topic and came up blank so apologies if this is redundant!

    :happy6: :5thanks: Hooky
  2. GhostOfKimura

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    Posted On:
    9/02/2008 1:29pm


     

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    In spite of what some other web-sites would have you believe, we here at Bullshido.net welcome you, hooky, with open arms and hope that you will share with us your unique experiences and ideas on the martial arts.... so that we may then make fun of those experiences and ideas.
  3. Minami no Kaze is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/02/2008 6:29pm

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     Style: Nowadays Enshin & Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Chen family Taichi was the original. As impractical as Taichi is for "t3h r3al f1ghting", it's the most... "combative" of all the styles with more emphasis on "practical" postures and movements, and also has more "fa jing" movements ("power release" is about as good a translation as I can muster)

    Yang is a derivation out of the Chen style as was designed to be as pretty looking as possible. Don't bother with them unless you just want to look pretty.

    That's about all I know about Taichi, in terms of style derivation.
  4. Rivington is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2008 1:23am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The classics tend to be gnomic. When people talk about stuff, they tend to say the stuff that was, at one point, written down by somebody.

    It's not necessarily a huge deal, though some people make a big show of contemplating the classics. They're not even all that classic, really, as the earliest of them seem to have been written down maybe in the late 1800s at the earliest.

    Really, the specific content of your teacher's criticisms is probably a lot more interesting than whatever might be written down in a book, and any time spent readings the classics and scratching your chin and going "Hmmm" is probably better spent training.
  5. hooky is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/03/2008 10:55am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivington
    The classics tend to be gnomic. When people talk about stuff, they tend to say the stuff that was, at one point, written down by somebody.

    It's not necessarily a huge deal, though some people make a big show of contemplating the classics. They're not even all that classic, really, as the earliest of them seem to have been written down maybe in the late 1800s at the earliest.

    Really, the specific content of your teacher's criticisms is probably a lot more interesting than whatever might be written down in a book, and any time spent readings the classics and scratching your chin and going "Hmmm" is probably better spent training.

    Sure, so gnomic you can prob read what you like into alot of it.I think people say what was written as a kind of appeal to authority ...
    Im not sure but i think the way the chinese use the term 'classic' has less to do with age and more to do with 'profundity' or literary qualities?

    My teachers ' criticisms ' were not a judgement of the value in itself of what was being done more that he feels it should perhaps be called something other than Taiji..he can be funny like that..but say someone teaches or performs a technique from BJJ or Muay Thai, there is a strong consensus and culture of practice against which that technique can be said to be a genuine method of those styles . As a counterpoint look at Yang style Taiji..there are so many people claiming to teach it that what the ' original' or ' correct' Yang style is almost seems to be anyones guess. I have seen it done with the posture very upright, slightly inclined [ almost like Wu { not Wu/Hao] to being done quite hunched over with pronounced spinal curvature.. so the question for me is does the 'literature' have a place in clarifying such things. Also Chen Taiji was not called that til quite late in the day..after Yang Lu Chan had success in teaching his version under the Taiji moniker, and all the 'classics' were written by non Chen practitioners [ Chen Style does have its own literature i understand ] so if they dont apply to Chen style do we call Chen style Taiji?

    I want to make clear im not casting qualitative judgements here its just a name after all, but every one wants to claim the real deadly Taiji lol so im interested in narrowing the playing field..perhaps the literature can help with that?

    I have found that the usefulness of the classics [ or most written stuff on practical skills ] is limited and only seems to mean anything after the skill has been aqquired anyway. prob just because im so low level .
  6. Rivington is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/03/2008 1:27pm

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     Style: Taijiquan

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooky

    My teachers ' criticisms ' were not a judgement of the value in itself of what was being done more that he feels it should perhaps be called something other than Taiji
    i suspect that he was making a value judgment, albeit a subtle one. He's not saying, "What they do is not Taiji. It's so much better than I'm closing my school and starting over again with them because they are so awesome, yay!" is he?

    As a counterpoint look at Yang style Taiji..there are so many people claiming to teach it that what the ' original' or ' correct' Yang style is almost seems to be anyones guess.
    Perhaps, but original and correct are two different things. A correct movement or practice is a movement or practice that allows the practitioner to achieve his or her goals in practicing.

    Also Chen Taiji was not called that til quite late in the day..after Yang Lu Chan had success in teaching his version under the Taiji moniker, and all the 'classics' were written by non Chen practitioners [ Chen Style does have its own literature i understand ] so if they dont apply to Chen style do we call Chen style Taiji?
    Various Chen documents are also referred to as classics and are often listed alongside various other texts in bibliographies of the classics. As far as why Chen taiji might be called taiji, it would be because the movements are reminiscent of the Taijitu, and not simply thanks to historical accident or coincidence. The classics are describing the movements and concepts codified by, perhaps, Chen Wangting. At any rate, the art antedates the classics.

    I want to make clear im not casting qualitative judgements here its just a name after all, but every one wants to claim the real deadly Taiji lol so im interested in narrowing the playing field..perhaps the literature can help with that?.
    It hasn't helped so far -- I mean, across the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first, has it?
  7. hooky is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/10/2008 5:22am

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     Style: wu/hao taijiquan

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    [quote=Rivington]
    i suspect that he was making a value judgment, albeit a subtle one. He's not saying, "What they do is not Taiji. It's so much better than I'm closing my school and starting over again with them because they are so awesome, yay!" is he?
    By value judgement I meant he's not saying what their doing is rubbish just that it doesnt line up with his understanding of Taiji , the specific content might be to do with postural mechanics ..no he isnt saying they are so awesome im starting over with them but he has done so in the past.


    Perhaps, but original and correct are two different things. A correct movement or practice is a movement or practice that allows the practitioner to achieve his or her goals in practicing.
    Agree with that, it is one reason for the proliferation of different styles of Taiji. I have been taught that Taiji should and is evolving and changing, again my question is : What is it that keeps it 'taiji' ? Do the 'classics' help if only with defining that name? As in your answer below:

    Various Chen documents are also referred to as classics and are often listed alongside various other texts in bibliographies of the classics. As far as why Chen taiji might be called taiji, it would be because the movements are reminiscent of the Taijitu, and not simply thanks to historical accident or coincidence. The classics are describing the movements and concepts codified by, perhaps, Chen Wangting. At any rate, the art antedates the classics.

    On a thread concerning the 5 element theory as applied to Hsingyi Dr Tzun Tzu wrote about BJJ 'flow charts' :

    "You can't learn from books" is another non-answer. I can't learn from your post then either....The point is not to ONLY read the flowchart. It is to contemplate the theory in your down time and memorize the patterns so when you do practice with people its easy to remember the cycles. The point of the book is to memorize the details and to see the technique from the outside looking in
    .

    Are the 'classics' not any use in this sense as well?



    It hasn't helped so far -- I mean, across the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first, has it?
    Might it help with something like this? From : http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...t=75495&page=4

    Shouldn't you be off pretending that your kickboxing is taiji?
    A reply from one Taiji person to another .
    Last edited by hooky; 9/10/2008 5:31am at .
  8. hooky is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/12/2008 11:24am

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     Style: wu/hao taijiquan

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    Rivington dunno if you are still following this thread but i wonder if you could point me in the direction of some good Chen style books that have translations of the literature? Used to have one by David Gaffney and Viet soon soomething [cant remember her name] but gave to a friend who was Chen style, who has moved far away now. I remember they had diagrams of 'silk reeling' exercises and showed them corresponding to the yin/yang diagram. Is that what you meant by:

    it would be because the movements are reminiscent of the Taijitu, and not simply thanks to historical accident or coincidence.

    Cheers
  9. lee is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/12/2008 1:26pm


     Style: pak mei

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    l learned wu years ago from a shanghai teacher . what l see to-day is quite different . l had a book from ng kam cheun which was old it was stiched to gether . it was helpful with postures . modern books on most martial arts has only in my opinion one thing in mind. that is to sell and contains very little meat. l think shouldnt be taken as the hard truth . back in the 80s l was practiceing in a park we have at the top of a small mountain called in shart q e park . l saw a man practiceing something quite different . his woman told me he was from the chen village . l spoke to him he said he was doing chen. he explaine that they do not call it tai chi but chen boxing. now l cant prove he was right but he proved he was from the chen village and a family member. that why l take books about martial arts with a grain of salt . l do believe writers write to make money not to educate .
  10. DerAuslander is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/12/2008 1:29pm

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     Style: BJJ/C-JKD/KAAALIII!!!!!!!

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was always more of a Gu Long fan, but Jin Yong's stuff is pretty good.
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