7/11/2009 11:38pm, #11
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- NW burbs of Chicago
- KunTao & Kettlebells
Good thread, and Rivington your first video was excellent, thanks for re-posting it.
7/12/2009 9:11am, #12
7/12/2009 9:28am, #13
Ever lift and move around, say, heavy boxes full of books or drywall or something else that could be cumbersome? The easiest way is to just balance the box on your shoulder with your hand , or lean the drywall balanced against the side of your body, instead of holding either in your arms in front of you. On your shoulder, the whole side of your body is doing the work so it's easier. In front, it's mostly just your arms doing the work. That's "structure." Organizing your legs, torso, and limbs in a way that they can absorb incoming force (or project outgoing force from your own muscles) more efficiently.
Root is the ability to balance via subtle adjustments of one's structure in response to incoming force.
Hope that helps.
7/12/2009 12:04pm, #14
Thanks for breathing life back into the CMA forum. Although, about 1/3 of these videos are in the full contact thread.
7/14/2009 6:46pm, #15
7/14/2009 9:34pm, #16
Can someone explain what grips are allowed in taiji? It seems there's a fairly silly rule against grabbing the neck, head or legs in some (not all) taiji rulesets. What's the variability with grips allowed?
The reason I asked is that a number of fairly hard-fighting taiji tournaments (with often mediocre competitors and matches, yes, but technically full contact) are totally ruined by people unable to do anything but reach for each others arms or underhooks (which many seem totally incapable to do anything with).
Last edited by 1point2; 7/14/2009 9:41pm at .What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
7/14/2009 10:38pm, #17
Simple answer: any grip that allows for either the gripper to issue force or the that helps neutralize the gripped's force is a good grip in taiji.
Complex answer: Your question is full of hidden premises, the most obvious of which is "Taiji is judo for Chinese people, and it's called push hands!"
Taiji involves striking and standing grappling. Push hands is a set of drills that can be competitive and that have over the past several decades become a spectator sport. The sportive context is not all that important, actually. Getting some push hands practice is as easy as walking up to someone doing a form in a park and saying, "Let's push." This leads to a situation where there is an infinite number of rulesets, most of which last for the duration of one encounter.
The rules in PH tournaments vary widely. They even vary within a tournament or within a division. That is, Ref #1 may disallow sweeps while ten feet away Ref #2 may allow them. Same with grabbing the neck or whatever. A lot of them do tend to worry about grabbing the neck or leg.
Further, struggling to get an awesome grip is not often a good move in tangling with a taiji player. A lot of the chin-na is really countergripping (you know, grab my wrist) and a lot of pushing actually blends into palm strikes and thrusts and what have you fairly quickly. A lot of sweeps can become low kicks if one feels like it. In PH, a good solution to someone getting a nice grip on you is "pushing" your palm into his nose, or knee into his balls (or, if he is going for a leg, the head -- shots are bit hard because dropping to a knee means a ref break). PH is not always or only "standing judo, because Chinese people don't like the dirt." They like the dirt just fine, as long as you're the one in it.
The rules are actually vague and ever-changing purposefully in traditional conceptions of PH. PH allows one to practice all the jing -- peng, an, tsai, etc. One of the more important is tien jing, or "cheating power."
Two quick examples. The first time I pushed with my teacher he said, "Want to push?" and I said "su—" and was on the ground by the term "re" left my mouth. I got up and he did it again, just with a palm thrust right in the chest.
I said, "Isn't that cheating!" and he said, "It's a cheating game." And I said "Let me get in my sta—" and again I was on the ground before I said "nce." And then he said, "You were standing. Standing is a stance." And that's how I started learning how to push.
And then some week later he paired me up with this guy who was six inches taller and eighty pounds heavier than I. And the teacher said, "Okay, you attack and [big guy] you just defend." And then the big guy punched me in the ear, tried a rape choke, pulled my shirt over my head and started doing knee lifts. This was a fixed-step pushing drill, btw, the idea being that one doesn't move one's legs at all. A bit later the teacher wandered by and asked how it was going and my opponent quickly stopped and said, "Good! I'm defending myself." Then he went back to kneeing me in the stomach and twisting my ears.
At the end of class, I told the teacher what had happened and he said, "Yeah, people sure are interesting, aren't they?" And another student, one of the senior students told me, "Don't complain. You learned a lot more than the other guy did about how to deal with all that stuff."
That's pushing hands too. It's one of the reasons why a lot of taiji guys aren't all that interested in the tournaments. "Cheating" might be barred. In pick-up games, players discuss the rules they want to play under and whatever isn't explicitly agreed as banned by both players is allowed (with the understanding that if you want to say, introduce full san shou punches and kicks the other player will do the same, or may escalate in other ways).
Hope that helps.
Last edited by Rivington; 7/14/2009 10:58pm at .
7/14/2009 10:51pm, #18
Your post was incredibly helpful. You were right, I did get into a "PH should be greco" mindset in my search. I see your points about both the varied rulesets (a conclusion that I've seen multiple people personally, and instructors/schools elsewhere, come to independently) and the striking/cheating aspect.
The "feeling out the rules" aspect offends some of my sensibilities on odd-numbered days, but on even-numbered days I'm fine with it. It's particularly useful in light of the fact that this is how conflicts arise: posture posture posture, then who knows? Is it a shoving match, wrestling match, strikes, will they pull hair or kick or choke or try to eyegouge? Feeling out what they're willing to do is a skill.
Now what I want to find is video of taiji dirty-boxing-rules sparring.What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
7/14/2009 11:06pm, #19
You won't because it isn't Tai Chi.
I say that as 100% truth and 100% sarcasm.
7/14/2009 11:11pm, #20
Slight derail, but does competitive grappling count as full contact? Because I put in my Judo school review that we don't have a team. But if that were the case, we obviously do.