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  1. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    Not to throw a rock, I still don't completely agree. I don't think it is a natural, rather a purposeful outgrowth. Warrior codes are a different thing than sportsmanship, there are similarities. Think Bushido here. A similar code existed/exists in all advanced warrior cultures. (There is a strong argument that this is missing here in the US now, but that certainly is another discussion altogether.) I certainly think that this is an integral part of the Martial "Art" of which we are speaking here. True, too many (bad)teachers hide behind it, or make it mystical, it isn't, it is just a codefied way of interacting with society once you are trained to kill.

    Yes, I used the word kill specifically, because that is what warriors throughout the ages have been trained to do, kill when neccesary.



    I don't think timecodes will be neccesary. I am sure you are spot on about how the conversation would go. So, it seems the conversation here should be about taiji competetively.

    It is my understanding that "sport" competitions are used to better and develop a martial art. However, the effect of a ruleset on the art can be clearly seen by what has happened to Judo over the years (this can be looked up in quite a few locations historically and even on this site). (Don't accuse me of punting because I don't waste my time linking to, or quoting a bunch of stuff here that you probably wouldn't read. I did that with the principles already. If you are too lazy to do some research on your own, you probably shouldn't follow this thread.)

    The question is which ruleset betters taijiquan, and why? That was my disagreement from the very start.

    So, to explain my assertion, first the definition of Taijiquan. Taijiquan is simply defined as a martial art that follows the stated taiji principles. There are five main styles of Taiji, Chen, Yang, Wu(Hao), Wu and Sun. Second, the objective of push hands. According to The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan by Yang Chenfu as translated by Louis Swaim,

    "Taijiquan uses the practice of push hands to convey the meaning of its applications. Studying push hands, then is learning how to sense energy!"
    Ok, there should be no disagreeing here. If there is, then we are not talking about taiji, but another art.

    So, using these two parameters we have a disagreement on which ruleset is better for the art. I assert that the US ruleset is better because it encourages the use of taiji principles. Here is where the Bullshido Brigade comes charging in asserting that the US ruleset does not allow for competition that is vigorous enough. Nothing in the US ruleset dissallows vigorous competition. The lack of skill of the practitioners is the problem. People have a hard time learning new patterns of movement, even if they are more efficient/better. If the ruleset rewards this, let's say force on force, it is doing the practitioner a disservice.

    Ahhhh, but what about the video of Chen Manching. Clearly that was force on force. No, that was a demonstration of his ability to maintain his structure and absorb force. You can't acheive that force on force. You can to a point if you are a strong guy. What he was demonstrating was sinking the chi (establishing a low center of gravity) and transfering the force to the ground. He was able to do this because he followed the principles(technique and body mechanics not mysticism).

    I am so passionate about this because I see this as similar to the Judo sport thing. I just don't want to see Taijiquan become another external form of CMA, nor do I want to see it emasculated and relegated to the Holy Tofu set.

    I am certainly open to intelligent discussions and debate. Please note, not a statement attacks an individual (no ad hominem) nor is it off subject (red herring). My arguments and complaints are conceptual about the specific topic, competition as it related to taijiquan(see definition).
    *Looks at Post*
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    Last edited by It is Fake; 4/08/2009 12:30pm at .
  2. 1point2 is online now
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 10:51am

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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    It is my understanding that "sport" competitions are used to better and develop a martial art. However, the effect of a ruleset on the art can be clearly seen by what has happened to Judo over the years (this can be looked up in quite a few locations historically and even on this site). (Don't accuse me of punting because I don't waste my time linking to, or quoting a bunch of stuff here that you probably wouldn't read. I did that with the principles already. If you are too lazy to do some research on your own, you probably shouldn't follow this thread.)

    The question is which ruleset betters taijiquan, and why? That was my disagreement from the very start.

    So, to explain my assertion, first the definition of Taijiquan. Taijiquan is simply defined as a martial art that follows the stated taiji principles. There are five main styles of Taiji, Chen, Yang, Wu(Hao), Wu and Sun. Second, the objective of push hands. According to The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan by Yang Chenfu as translated by Louis Swaim,

    "Taijiquan uses the practice of push hands to convey the meaning of its applications. Studying push hands, then is learning how to sense energy!"
    Ok, there should be no disagreeing here. If there is, then we are not talking about taiji, but another art.

    So, using these two parameters we have a disagreement on which ruleset is better for the art. I assert that the US ruleset is better because it encourages the use of taiji principles. Here is where the Bullshido Brigade comes charging in asserting that the US ruleset does not allow for competition that is vigorous enough. Nothing in the US ruleset dissallows vigorous competition. The lack of skill of the practitioners is the problem. People have a hard time learning new patterns of movement, even if they are more efficient/better. If the ruleset rewards this, let's say force on force, it is doing the practitioner a disservice.

    Ahhhh, but what about the video of Chen Manching. Clearly that was force on force. No, that was a demonstration of his ability to maintain his structure and absorb force. You can't acheive that force on force. You can to a point if you are a strong guy. What he was demonstrating was sinking the chi (establishing a low center of gravity) and transfering the force to the ground. He was able to do this because he followed the principles(technique and body mechanics not mysticism).

    I am so passionate about this because I see this as similar to the Judo sport thing. I just don't want to see Taijiquan become another external form of CMA, nor do I want to see it emasculated and relegated to the Holy Tofu set.
    A) Don't assume that we won't read links. I'm a voracious reader of well-translated texts and was very happy that you posted your 2 versions of the taiji lun. More references = better understanding between us.

    B) It appears that you are opposed to a ruleset that improves taiji ability, yet often doesn't look like perfect taiji. What do I mean?

    In low-level judo competitions (to run with your example), you see very little good judo. In Olympic competition, you see very little good judo. But, many elite competitors have excellent judo, and it can be seen in randori (sparring) and at shiai (tournament) when they aren't fighting for the achievement of their career. Highlight reels show judo of a simply amazing caliber--absolute perfection of kouchigari, seoinage, tai-otoshi, osotogari and many others.

    If judo regulated the lower levels of competition to strongly penalize bad judo, we'd see a decrease in overall judo quality. Good judo is nearly effortless, with perfect timing and application of force--just like taiji. You simply can't mandate good timing.

    You seem to want taiji competition to somehow distinguish between knocking someone over with brute force and knocking someone over with pure skill. But mandating pure skill by outlawing force is farcical--it creates situations where properly and skillfully generating force is penalized.
  3. taijirichm is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 10:56am


     

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    The san shou aspect is already there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kagan View Post
    If the purpose of a martial art is to learn to fight better, which ruleset is better to the development of a practitioner can be proven or disproven objectively: It would be a simple matter to examine each group under a less restrictive ruleset (Sanda/SanShou/Kuoshu, et. al.).
    This conversation was about push hands remember. The full contact aspect is already available.

    It has, and is the US model. You have to stay within the definition of Internal Martial Arts and specifically taijiquan.

    A totally seperate conversation, idea for a thread, is the effectiveness of taijiquan, and how we can save this art from relegation to the holy tofu folks while maintaining its true identity (ie - principles).

    You just cannot seperate taijiquan from the principles by definition, nor can you seperate it from taoism. It is a martial art that was born of Taoism, its very name taiji quan says so.
  4. 1point2 is online now
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:02am

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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    This conversation was about push hands remember. The full contact aspect is already available.

    It has, and is the US model. You have to stay within the definition of Internal Martial Arts and specifically taijiquan.

    A totally seperate conversation, idea for a thread, is the effectiveness of taijiquan, and how we can save this art from relegation to the holy tofu folks while maintaining its true identity (ie - principles).

    You just cannot seperate taijiquan from the principles by definition, nor can you seperate it from taoism. It is a martial art that was born of Taoism, its very name taiji quan says so.
    ...Are you saying that the push hands aspect should be noncompetitive, solely as an in-class sparring/drill activity to teach concepts, and full-contact (with striking) taiji san da/lei tai/san shou sparring (in-class) and competition (outside of class) rounds it out re: fighting ability?

    Or am I stuffing words down your throat? If so, I apologize.
  5. Rivington is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:08am

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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    Warrior codes are a different thing than sportsmanship, there are similarities. Think Bushido here. A similar code existed/exists in all advanced warrior cultures.
    What does bushido have to do with wu de? Japan often found itself ruled by the bushi—the military caste was near or at the top of the social heap. Bushido reflects the relationship between regional powers and the imperial center.

    In China, an intellectual bureaucracy tended to rule. The military caste was often at the bottom of the social heap. A fair number of martial arts emerged from criminal groups, the losers of dynastic struggles, and counterhegemonic populations. Wu de, guess what, reflects an entirely different social milieu and mindset. Specifically, wu de has relatively little to say spiritual or moral virtues, except as regards one's gongfu relations—don't be an ass to your teachers or fellow students. If there is a culture on Earth—"warrior" or otherwise—that valorizes being an ass to the teachers one volunteers to study under I've yet to encounter it.



    (Don't accuse me of punting because I don't waste my time linking to, or quoting a bunch of stuff here that you probably wouldn't read. I did that with the principles already. If you are too lazy to do some research on your own, you probably shouldn't follow this thread.)
    Punter. I specifically addressed the principles you cited; you ignored what I had to say because you simply don't even understand what you're looking at when you look at the principles.

    "Taijiquan uses the practice of push hands to convey the meaning of its applications. Studying push hands, then is learning how to sense energy!"
    Ok, there should be no disagreeing here. If there is, then we are not talking about taiji, but another art.
    Fascinating. I wasn't aware that Yang Chenfu was the founder of taijiquan and the first and last words on the subject.

    Here is where the Bullshido Brigade comes charging in asserting that the US ruleset does not allow for competition that is vigorous enough.
    No, here is where some people correct you, by pointing out that in Chinese competitions the principles remain intact and the competition is rigorous. And then you come charging in to point to a single "violation" of the principles in a worked bout, because you can't tell the difference between a competitive encounter and a cooperative one.


    Ahhhh, but what about the video of Chen Manching. Clearly that was force on force.
    Who said that was force on force? I mean, other than the imaginary people in your head.

    For that matter, why on Earth do you think the ability to maintain structure requires no force? No force==no structure. Song does not mean noodle-limp.
  6. taijirichm is offline

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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:14am


     

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    not quite the conversation

    Quote Originally Posted by 1point2 View Post
    ...Are you saying that the push hands aspect should be noncompetitive, solely as an in-class sparring/drill activity to teach concepts, and full-contact (with striking) taiji san da/lei tai/san shou sparring (in-class) and competition (outside of class) rounds it out re: fighting ability?

    Or am I stuffing words down your throat? If so, I apologize.
    That would be pretty close to my true beliefs.

    Push Hands is however a competetive event, that battle was already lost before I even got to taiji. This conversation is about which ruleset of push hands is better for taiji and why. I have stated my case, using principles and definition of taijiquan. I certainly could play devils advocate too, but I really believe, if we are going to publicly compete, it should be with a ruleset designed to help better taiji (help more players embody the defining principles of the art).

    Feel free to disagree, I know many will, but it should be kept within the accepted definition of taijiquan and push hands objectives.
  7. Rivington is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:18am

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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    Feel free to disagree, I know many will, but it should be kept within the accepted definition of taijiquan and push hands objectives.
    No, I doubt anyone disagrees with this, as to disagree would mean to hold the position that push hands competitions should be organized to teach bad taiji habits.

    The actual disagreement is whether US rules as depicted in the "Pushing the Issue" video actually do what you say they do (encourage principles) or do not. Well, I don't think a ruleset that doesn't allow for cai or kao or chin-na is an appropriate expression of taiji. My teachers don't. It appears that most of the people in China don't.

    So, why do you, especially since in the Chinese video we showed you, you couldn't spot any violations of principles in the competitive rounds?
    Last edited by Rivington; 4/08/2009 11:25am at .
  8. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:20am

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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    Feel free to disagree, I know many will, but it should be kept within the accepted definition of taijiquan and push hands objectives.
    .....and this is where you have dropped the ball. Like the current chun thread I'm on, everyone has the principles but, no one can define them outside of their short sighted reference.

    There is no "accepted" definition of Taiji except, within a particular school.

    Also, address the videos. Why we keep moving to bushido, principles and rules is beyong me.
  9. Jack Rusher is offline
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:26am


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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    Taijiquan is simply defined as a martial art that follows the stated taiji principles.
    Following the principles is necessary but not sufficient. The principles — though stated differently, given the differences in cultural/historical background for each system — are the same as the tenets of Judo, shuaijiao and Greco-Roman wrestling. Does that make them taiji?

    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    Nothing in the US ruleset dissallows vigorous competition.
    Do you remember the video I posted before of the competitors from Chen Village cleaning up at a tournament in Hong Kong? I have been disqualified for using those same techniques, including being told that throwing of any kind was "excessive use of force."

    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    If the ruleset rewards this [ ... ] it is doing the practitioner a disservice.
    The ruleset rewards throwing the other guy. Beginners are, naturally, going to be sloppier, but they're not going to get any better at applying taiji principles if they aren't throwing fully resisting opponents.

    Judo, Greco and shuaijiao all start off with beginners clumsily mashing each other, from which they progress to greater skill that converges on the principles. Why do you believe that the same framework can't work for taiji? To put it another way, what makes you think a taiji player can learn to overcome resistence, aggression and strength without that kind of progression?
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
  10. 1point2 is online now
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    Posted On:
    4/08/2009 11:28am

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    Quote Originally Posted by taijirichm View Post
    That would be pretty close to my true beliefs.

    Push Hands is however a competetive event, that battle was already lost before I even got to taiji. This conversation is about which ruleset of push hands is better for taiji and why. I have stated my case, using principles and definition of taijiquan. I certainly could play devils advocate too, but I really believe, if we are going to publicly compete, it should be with a ruleset designed to help better taiji (help more players embody the defining principles of the art).

    Feel free to disagree, I know many will, but it should be kept within the accepted definition of taijiquan and push hands objectives.
    You say you agree...yet say that competitive push-hands is bad...and then that the ruleset should help players embody the defining principles.

    If push-hands were not competitive, what would it be? How could it still be push-hands, except in a patty-cake, now-it's-my-turn kind of way?

    What ruleset would help players exemplify these principles, if not one based on standing grappling where the players knock each other over, and points are awarded for staying up when the opponent goes down? Does it involve muscle relaxants and penalties for making a face other than one of supreme Oneness?

    EDIT: To clarify, I asked the original question because it seemed you were suggesting that push-hands was to be a semicooperative in-class drill/exercise wherein one specifically used a strict subset of techniques, and full-contact, fully uncooperative striking, locking and throwing was to be the fight training. This is actually not crazy, IMO--I see parallels to Tim Cartmell's method. It would make push-hands into a freeform apply-the-basics area, not a method of sparring, and would therefore drastically limit its usefulness. I'm not sure how you'd get from there to applying the taiji principles against a fully resisting opponent...
    Last edited by 1point2; 4/08/2009 11:34am at .
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