Thursday, October 11, 2012

About this Blog

NOTE:  I DELIBERATELY CHANGED THE POSTING DATES OF THIS BLOG SO THAT THEY COULD BE READ IN A VERTICAL SEQUENCE WITH THE OLDEST BLOG ON TOP, ETC.  THIS IS SLOWLY COMING BACK TO HAUNT ME, BUT SINCE I DON'T PLAN A LOT OF BLOGS, I'LL JUST LET IT GO FOR THE MOMENT.  It's a lot easier to copy the blogs (if someone wants to) in the vertical format that I've done by altering dates.

This blog is meant to be an open-source accumulation of basic facts about internal-strength in relation to the arts that use the Six-Harmonies (Liu He) type of movement that is controlled by the dantian.  Those arts would include legitimate styles of Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, Tongbeiquan, and a number of others. The idea is to base all comments and observations against the very basic logic and facts of internal-strength.   In other words, if an assertion is made there should be the ability to track the assertion back to the basic powers of ground-support, gravity-derived forces, dantian usage, and the use of air and pressure.  From there, it should be possible to argue the position in terms of muscle-tendon channels, accepted dantian usage, and jin forces.  Jin forces are also able to be analyzed in terms of math and physics, so there is no way to escape a logical reasoned argument if we stick to the above.

Comments, criticisms, questions, etc., are a welcomed part of the discussion, but the posters are required to use their real names (like real martial-artists do), and the questions and comments need to adhere to the the traditional theory points indicated above.  "My teacher said this..." is not acceptable unless the comment is support with a "how does it work" explanation that can be logically developed from the accepted basics of Chinese/Asian views on traditional internal strength.

"How does that work?" is meant to be the working basis for all conversations, in other words.

Occasional guest posts, as long as they can be tracked back to tradition and physics, can be posted.  If someone has something they would like posted, please send it to me privately and I will go out of my way to be accomodating, as long as the relationship to the factual world of physics is relied upon.

One of the reasons I decided to do this small series of articles (I have one ready and a couple of more in my mind to develop) is that I'm beginning to see interest in the actual "internal arts" beginning to flag and I think part of the reason for that was that it never got a solid start.  The ultimate problem is that as interest drops because of poor results, etc., in the West, the number of qualified teachers who visit us will decline or be curtailed... and that hurts all of us.  Internal Strength is a fascinating topic and I hope these posts will help sustain the topic.  I hope that you will also do what you can to further the idea of supporting the interest of internal arts' relationship to the physical world.  As my sainted grandmother in Iowa used to say: "Let's cut through the bullshit, guys".


Addendum:

Please note that I encourage people to debate from basic principles.  The martial-arts world is full of people who have "been to China", "Speak Chinese", "Speak Japanese", etc., so please don't clog up the comments with kanji, ideograms, and subtle personal takes on the meaning of words.  Most of us who have been around for a while all know people who are great shakes at the lingo, forms, and all the rest, but who don't even have basic jin skills.  Some of the best talkers are taken as certain experts on some of the martial-arts forum.  And of course, some of these people know some good stuff, but the percentage is disappointingly small.  So let's try to base the comments, etc., on what is actually happening rather that subtle distinctions on meaning.  Think, for instance, about how many year of western Taiji were wasted because the "expert" translators, called jin "energy" or "intrinsic strength".  Every time I see people type in ideograms I get a slight sinking apprehension.  ;)

12 comments:

  1. Nice Mike... You have helped me tremendously over the years with what you so honestly shared with us in so many forums, publications, and seminars. Now I look forward to reading your blog here!

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  2. Thanks, Rick. These blogs are also wide open and welcoming to any factual discussions. Someone pointed me to a typically childish character-assassination thread on Rum Soaked Fist about this blog and in the thread there was not one single fact on this blog discussed. That's the sort of BS I'm trying to get around this blog and have blunt, factual discussions. In other words, I'm asking for critical discussion of the issues, not some vague "he did it wrong and is missing things".

    I'll have a blog on basic jin stuff up in a few days. and then I have one or two more. The point is to try and raise the baseline discussion and to raise the baseline level in a way that gets around the usual problems. Please feel free to join in, etc. Good hearing from you again.

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  3. Hi Mike,

    Very nice to see you putting these out, I hope it stirs up some (constructive) conversations!

    Best,

    Chris

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  4. Hi Chris:

    Thanks. I think in a limited number of people there will be some good discussions of the issues. Most of the martial-arts world in the West, being what it is, is going to not utilize it.

    The first topic is the one I thought most critical because it delineates what is an "internal" martial art and what isn't. The vast majority of people who are talking about and even 'teaching' supposed internal martial arts.... well, they're not.

    And as many times in the last 3 decades where knowledgeable Chinese experts have said that most westerners "aren't doing Taiji" (or other arts), the response has almost always been outrage and personal attack... but that's because most of the western 'experts' don't even know enough to know what the difference is. The first article is to point out the difference and explain it logically. Hopefully some people will utilize it.

    I'll try to structurally explain, in a short and condensed way, a couple of other things that are very basic and then let's see if it makes a change anywhere. In my experience, few people can or will make the effort to change from what they're doing. But there are some fairly sincere martial-artists that will make the effort... those are the ones I wish well.

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  5. Hey Mike, nice to see you hanging out your shingle in public again! Looking forward to moar posts!

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  6. Still not sure which blog is first. I started with the first date and keeps referencing other post. Completely fascinating and I want to get it all accurately.

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  10. you've been trash since newsnet! lol. Videos of you doing 'taijiquan' are freakin hilarious, old man balance, poor techs. IMO of course. -Chas

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