Monday, October 8, 2012


Jin

This is not meant to be an exhaustive treatment of Jin.  Like everything else on this blog, as stated previously, the idea is simply to give people access to enough basics to raise the baseline level somewhat.  Hope it helps.

Jin is a word that implies a form of trained strength that is “willed” into being as opposed to the common reflexive, brute-strength in humans.  Jin also has an implication of a “force vector” in the sense that it is a directed strength originating at the ground or from weight.

Going back to the initial blog on silk-reeling and six-harmonies movement, let’s re-state the primary idea that as much as possible we should use the force from the solidity of the ground for upward forces and the force from gravity pulling downward for all forces going down.   I.e., there is Up and there is Down and those forces power Open and Close, respectively.   There are no pure horizontal forces since ultimately movement to the sides can always be traced back to thrust against the ground, factors involving body connectivity, or gravity.  Often all of these factors work together to shape forces.

The purest and most effective force from the ground’s solidity (or the gravity’s down-pull, but let’s stick to the ground-derived forces to keep the discussion simple) is straight from the ground to the point of application.  Any deviation from a straight-line force from the ground can dilute the resulting force.  For instance, a push that also uses a tense shoulder along with some of the ground-solidity jin is no longer a pure push from the ground; it is diluted to some degree of normal strength (li).

Any path through a too-flexible joint simply robs basic power of the solidity of the ground because a loose connection does not transmit forces as well as a firm connection.  To get around reliance on joint mechanics, looseness, tension, etc., the Asian martial-arts develop the over-all body connectivity and a few other things. The blog on silk-reeling covers the general and necessary first step to developing an overall “suit” of connectivity.

In a normal push that an untrained person does, most of the power relies on the strength of the shoulder joint.  How about a push from the foot or the moving middle straight to the point of application?  That’s better, but even though the path of a push going from the foot or middle to the point of application – the body becoming simply a ‘frame’ propagating the force -- is a better idea physically, a weak shoulder joint can still affect the overall push because the shoulder is part of the “frame” that helps transmit the force from the ground to the point of application.

Sometimes the shortest (least diluted) push is from the abdominal area; almost invariably the shortest path is from someplace between the foot on the ground and the dantian.

 “Yi” or “Intent”

The six-harmonies-based arts have a commonly accepted basis of the three internal harmonies and the three external harmonies.  The standard phrase describing the three internal harmonies translates more or less into: The Heart leads the Mind; the Mind leads the Qi; the Qi leads the strength or movement.  The “Heart” (Xin) is or was traditionally accepted in China as the place where the desire to do something originated.  So we can restate the original phrase somewhat and say: The Desire to do something triggers the Mind; the Mind triggers the Qi; the Qi acts in advance of a movement or strength.

“Qi” can refer to a number of interrelated topics, but the qi in the three internal harmonies can be delineated so that the meaning of those three harmonies/relationships is not too hard to understand.  Stand up in a comfortable stance and imagine that someone is going to briefly and moderately push your chest with one hand; let the rear foot hold the push. Then the person in front stops and an imaginary someone is going to push the middle of the back from behind; let the front foot hold the imaginary push.  Go from one imagined push to the other a few times, keeping it as realistic as possible and then pay attention to your body.  You’ll probably feel a light tingle as the body as the body changes for each push: that tingle is the qi that precedes movement or strength.  Your mind’s “intent” triggered the qi.

Since in the internal-style arts, the two major forces that are utilized are the solidity of the ground and the down-force of weight, then “intent” is obviously used to bring these two forces into use as needed.

A simple, rough example of usable intent can be found in balancing a book on top of your head.  Most people put the book up there and balance it on their frame.  Good for posture, as so many mothers have instructed us.  Another way to balance the book is to relax (without slumping) and allow the weight of the book to rest, as nearly as possible, completely on the ground our feet are on.  In this way we have minutely adjusted our body to convey the solidity of the ground to the top of our skull upon which the book rests. 

With enough practice, we can learn to bring the solidity of the ground to almost anywhere on our body.  I put an example practice at the end of this article.  With some practice and helpful instruction, we can also learn to bring our weight anywhere on the undersurfaces of the body.  This is using the “intent” to bring our borrowed forces of the solidity of the ground or our weight to where we want them, when we want them.

The ground’s solidity (I call it the “groundpath”) is simply the basic jin, called “neijin” in a lot of internal martial-arts, “peng jin” in Taijiquan, and so on.  It is “the jin that starts at the feet, is directed by the waist, and expressed in the hands”, as the classics say and anyone who really understands what internal-strength is should recognize it immediately.  I.e., the term “groundpath” is so obvious (well, to a native English speaker) that any westerner who claims to understand basic internal strength should grasp it immediately.

If you hold the book on your head, but relax, sink, and let the ground’s solidity hold it, you’ll find that you can also wiggle your hips a little bit, keeping the book steady, because the body is able to maintain the basic jin even though you are changing the frame’s position.  How is that done?

The ground’s solidity can be willed (that’s why it’s called “intent”) to wherever it’s needed on the body’s frame.  It doesn’t need to just be straight up the spine from the foot.  Sometimes the force from the ground can go from the foot to the arm, shoulder, etc., because the overall, connected structure of the body will automatically adjust its alignment of forces.  Assuming the body has developed some degree of connection and the mind is deliberately maintaining the force from the ground to application, you should be able to again move the body around while maintaining the jin force.  The body can adjust to variations in force and positional changes, but doesn’t it also do that when you have a heavy backpack on or when you’re carrying a heavy sack of groceries?

I did an ad hoc (unprepared, unrehearsed, not warmed up, street shoes, etc.) video a couple of years ago to illustrate how an incoming force (in the same way that the weight of a book on the head is an incoming force) is balanced against the ground’s solidity using the neijin, peng jin, or whatever you want to call it. 

While I contort, move my feet and legs (notice that there’s always one leg/foot on the ground, though), lean back, etc., if you observe closely you’ll see that the point where my partner is pushing on my arm doesn’t really move in relation to the ground, even though I move my feet, lean back, deliberately wobble, and so on.  In other words, if you imagine a path, a dotted-line, or whatever from the point of partner’s contact to the ground, you’ll notice that that path doesn’t really change during all the extraneous movement.  The point is that the mind can adjust to all the movement and still maintain a solid path of jin so that my partner is effectively pushing against the ground.

http://www.neijia.com/PengBalanceApr11.wmv
Now, to optimize jin transmission, good and coherent postures are obviously an aid, but the point of the demonstration on the video is that set structures and postures are not needed to propagate the jin.  No matter what the position of the body, a solid force is presented to the opponent because the ‘intent’ maintains the jin from the ground.  The ability to present the jin in any posture is where “Xing Yi” (Form-Mind) gets its name and the earlier art of “Xin Yi” (Willed-by-desire Intent) get their names.

Believe it or not, that type of demonstration on the video is pretty much Internal Strength 101, but a surprising amount of self-proclaimed western ‘experts’ in Chinese Internal Martial-Arts criticized the video because the structure and postures were  bad!  In other words, they didn’t recognize a simple example that basic and traditional jin can be present regardless of postural changes.  Jin forces are directed by the mind, regardless of posture.  The strength of the body to sustain pushes, do hitting, etc., is enhanced by the strength of the “qi” and postures, though, but that’s a topic for another blog.


If the jin forces of intent are going to be used martially or for other applications, then the mechanics of the dantien and other things have to be introduced.  Since the jin from the ground often/usually goes through the middle, the dantian stores/contracts and then pushes along the ground-based path of jin, pushing against the ground and pushing against the target.  There are more factors involved, but this blog is only meant to cover the basics of jin paths.  The first blog on silk-reeling points to basic development of the dantian, but more advanced use of the dantian will have to wait for a later blog-post.

  

Jin and Conditioning

The first thing about jin is that it has to be practiced as part of reeling-silk exercise (which is what the Taijiquan form is, what the Five Element Fists are, What Baguazhang forms practice is, and so on).  The body winds and unwinds with Closing and Opening, but the jin must be practiced in order to have the ground or weight available to power all movements.  Granted there are some other power factors, but those are outside of this discussion on basics. 

It’s not too uncommon to see some rough frame-oriented jin and to develop what is called “muscle jin”, something that is not propagated by the dantian working with the suit in reeling-silk/six-harmonies movement.  Without enough reeling-silk practice, most people, if they learn any jin skills at all, tend to use mostly normal strength.  Avoiding coarse muscle-jin is why in bona fide Taijiquan training, people are not allowed to start practicing push-hands for a couple of years.  No matter how good their wrestling skills, strategies, and body-strength may be, many people who try to exhibit Taijiquan are really doing mostly normal-strength movement.  This observation that someone is “not doing Taijiquan” or “that is not really push-hands” is something I’ve heard a lot in the conversations of some Chen Village and Yang-style experts.

You can’t really relax the shoulders and other instances of local strength, though, until you have conditioned something to take their place.   I saw the owner of a fitness gym softly and very relaxedly slap a smart-alecky kid around and shove him into a locker.  I noted at the time that basically the owner was relaxed because he was very strong.  If he had tried to tell me that he was “relaxed” because he was using internal-strength, I would have laughed at the idea, though.  The basic point, whether using normal muscle or internal-strength, though, is that no one can “relax” without having conditioning of some sort to support it.  If you want strong, relaxed internal strength, you have to condition it gradually.

If someone is trying to learn to move using jin and the coordination of reeling-silk/six-harmonies, they have to practice a fairly long time to re-coordinate the body to use dantien, ‘suit’, and jin (and a couple of other things).  If you interrupt your re-coordination and patterning constantly with normal strength usage, you will never develop very much.  So, for example, if someone is practicing Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, etc., and they’re also doing normal weight-lifting at the gym, it’s pretty certain that they have never developed or will not develop the body coordination of traditional internal strength.  On the other hand, after someone has spent a few years learning how to move with proper internal strength, they can of course move weights with dantien, jin, ‘suit’, and so on.

  

Jin and Contact

As mentioned earlier, the body has the ability to aim forces from the ground and from the weight and to bring them where they’re needed.  The dantian is the main control of direction, jin, and the body’s connectivity.  

Basically the body becomes a changeable structure that propagates the solidity of the ground to where it’s needed.  Here’s an illustration of one way in which the body can be viewed as a frame; in this example a bookshelf bracket is the model for the frame:


 

 

 The dantien and the connected body control the shape of the frame and the mind directs the jin across the frame.  The shortest path from the ground to the application force is the most efficient. 

Again, note that the incoming force from the opponent is really no different in principle than the weight of a book resting on the head and relaxedly being supported by the ground and more or less balanced against the ground in the same way that the book is balanced against the ground.  Lean too far one way or another and the balance is broken and control is lost for the book.

Something else happens, though, when a firm contact is made with another person or object.  A person alone can bring the support of the ground to where it is needed to counter in incoming force, usually at an angle that is underneath the incoming object or push or whatever so that the incoming force is pushing against the ground, thus thwarting the push.  But if someone pushes hard enough into another person or grabs firmly enough, no matter how briefly, those two people become essentially one object.  The traditional description is that you “become one with the opponent”.  Koichi Tohei, of Aikido fame, coined the term of “become a four-legged animal”, but the idea of becoming one combined unit is the same, no matter what the words.

When two people become one unit, no matter how briefly, the dantien/center can be used to control the whole unit.  In the below illustration, two protagonists have engaged firmly enough so that they are effectively one unit.  The person on the left, by maintaining a firm frame, can move the other person’s dantien because they are both part of the same unit.  By “acquiring” or controlling the other person’s dantien through the joined framework, the person on the left can direct the opponent’s dantien in a favorable direction in order to take his balance, apply a technique, and so on.

 

 

There are many more details and tangents that could be discussed, but hopefully this primer on jin will get people thinking and experimenting along the lines of traditional principles of the internal martial-arts. 

If you want a method for setting up a jin path from the ground to something, here’s a suggestion. Put your hand or forearm (or shoulder or whatever) against a wall so that there is a moderately firm connection.  Push from your rear foot (for this example) directly to the hand/wall connection so that you can feel almost a direct line from the foot to the hand.  That is the optimal path from ground to hand.  Maintain that path while you back off your push somewhat and while you relax every bit of tension in your body that you don’t need to maintain that path.  That’s a jin path.

 

 

27 comments:

  1. Mike, the video link isn't working. I get a blocked link message when I click.

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  2. I'm pretty new to this stuff. But your explanations seem pretty clear, and the illustrations help me understand the concepts. I'm learning Yang tai chi, and one of the books I picked up to supplement the class is called "The Intrinsic Energies of Tai Chi Chuan" by a guy named Olson. It's a translation of some Chinese text. It lists over 30 different kinds of "jin." Are these just different aspects of what you describe? Any kind of clarification would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Joe Seely

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  3. Thanks, Dana. I fixed it.

    I think people should go to rumsoakedfist.org and look at how far off-topic and how wrong too many of the people there are. This is why martial-arts stagnates. Look at how badly "Interloper" (Cady Goldfield?) and Bodywork (Dan Harden)mangled their understanding of what internal strength actually is. If anyone has something to discuss, debate, etc., they're welcome to debate it here, but they have to use their real names. Not something you'd expect from the RumSoakedFist crowd, though.

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  4. I did what you suggested. It was just confusing at that forum. I guess I don't really have the background for this stuff. At least what you wrote on the blog here is something I can understand.

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  5. Hi Joe:

    There are a number of jin applications doing slightly different things like twisting, short-powered jin,different directional releases that depend on various rotational uses of the dantian, etc., but there is only one basic jin. The old saying is "there are many jins, but there is only one jin".

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  6. It's really odd that Dan lays bare how far he's missed the mark re: silk-reeling and then clouds over that with an overly complex model of bows, cross-body spirals and what looks like a misunderstanding of double-weighted but his reply is so "over-weighted" that I can't really tell if he actually knows what he says he knows about that.

    I considered registering on RSF to make this point but now the thread has gone the way that all these online forum threads go with a page or two so semi-commited discussion then onto LOLs and shallow applause and people basically talking about themselves...Hard to raise the bar of discussion when it so quickly devolves on its own.

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  7. He doesn't really understand what those things meant, Serge. If he completely botched his down-putting "analysis" of a video that was obviously about jin and intent, then logically he cannot know what all the other buzzwords really mean. Once more, the cover is blown. Think Dan will admit it? Pffft. ;)

    RSF guys have a tendency to argue by "appeal to authority" .. the problem is that the authority is always their own opinion.

    As stated in the opening blog, if someone has a valid argument starting from the basics and going forward to support their point, this is the place to do it.... but it requires being man enough to use your own name, which is difficult for some people claiming to be martial-artists.

    One guy that just came on the RSF forum, LaoDan, seems unclear about gravity being a part of Heaven, Earth, Man. That's pretty much RSF in a nutshell.

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    1. well, gravity is a pain in the ass that way....

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    2. Well, granted I'm encouraging people from the Rum Soaked Fist forum to "man up", but there are some levels of reply that simply show the poster has no clue of what the discussion is about. LaoDan is one.

      Giving the benefit of the doubt to the poster who anonymously calls himself "Bao", I ask him to state his reasoning. I've seen his posts in the past, but I'm not going to cavil about them without some solid reasoning... as opposed to "here's my opinion and therefore yours is wrong". If he wants to go back over his past posts so I can show why I think he's only partially informed, I'll do it, but that needs to be apart from this forum. Other than him, I haven't seen a single poster on RSF who is doing other than blowing smoke. Including the arch-rationalist of RSF, Shawn Segler, the poster boy of all RSF argumentation. ;)

      Serge, I think you met Tom Campbell at the S.F. workshop. You know what level we're talking about.

      Best.

      Mike

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    3. "Tom" is that guy? ...wow....I suppose Shawn is of a similar caliber given his confident reply.

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    4. Hi Mike. I am "Bao", a name given to my by my chinese teacher because he wanted me to be honest and righteous as the legendary "Judge Bao". I think that's a good name. All I do is seeking truth within myself and trying to be honest about what I do, flaws or qualities, call it what you wish.

      But I am not anonymous. I often sign posts by my own name, David, and I link to my blog, have my e-mail and Twitter account publically. I have also met a few RSF-members.

      But you are correct. I am by no means anything even close to a "master" and I don't consider myself as a complete practitioner. I have not been able to test my things and work things out together with others due to lack of good partners. And in the recent years, I have been too busy working to keep up partner practice. I do have some good knowledge and have had great teachers, but the lack of practical practice has been very obvious in a few recent meetings, now when I am trying to catch up with myself again. Oh yes, here there are gaps, holes and weekness. I am completely open with who I am and what I can do and can not. Sometimes,

      Sometimes I don't choose my words too well. Maybe partly because English is not my mother tongue. On one occasion when I spoke about things purely in a general manner, Dan took it personally and went for an attack. I don't blame him and I don't take it personally. I respect him for what he does and for his great passion for his art. I never take things personally, why should I when people don't know me?

      I have not much more to add. I do respect your work, so you are welcome to point out anything you believe that I've got wrong or where you see any holes or lack of understanding. You can reach me on rothlindberg[at]gmail.com, using Google+ or through my blog, https://taichithoughts.wordpress.com (I see you have one or two comments there. ;) ) I don't know if any of this answers your question, if not, pls ask. Thanks.
      Kind regards, David

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    5. I thought this was posted recently, now I see it's 3 years ago. Lol. I was going to delete it, but I'll leave it as you have asked about me, and I haven't seen this post before.

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  8. Baguazhang and Xingyi famously share the same principles (along with Taiji, if you understand the six-harmonies). A comparison, not to mention the anecdotes confirms that. That's why some Xingy and Bagua schools combined, long ago and famously. Besides, if you know anything about Bagua, you know that the comparison is common.

    Even though not of the Dong Haichuan school, the Tian family Baguazhang mixed easily with some of the Beijing Chen-style practitioners. Baguazhang is one of the internal styles that uses the six-harmonies movements and that's pretty easy to research. If there's a problem with the comparison, it tends to be that some of the Bagua styles are to "flexible" and produce a notably different flavor in the Chen-style Taiji that some of the purists reject.

    FWIW

    Mike Sigman

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    1. Tian Family Yin Yang Baguazhang actually does come from Dong Haichuan.

      DHC to Yin Fu to Men Baozhen to Shi Junjie(史俊杰 1924-84) to Tian Hui

      Tian Hui, for some reason was kicked out of the Yin Fu school. He later changed some terminology around, made up the things he never learned, and fabricated a new lineage. This Tian Family Baguazhang is what he taught to his son - Tian Keyan.


      Glenn


      .

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    2. Glenn, I'm aware of the background lore on Bagua and the Tian family. I said that the Tian family is not really via the Dong Haichuan school, but I said that only because I know a number of people in Beijing and I heard it via one of Tian's direct Chinese students. However, I could be wrong... but since the point is extraneous to what I was talking about, I don't care to go too far out that tangent.

      Incidentally, since at one time I studied from one of Tian's students, some Chinese Chen stylists from Beijing spotted it in my movements and suggested I change. They thought there was too much winding in what I was doing. Just goes to show that you never can tell.


      Mike Sigman

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    3. Make that "via one of Tian's direct Chinese student's students". My mistake.

      M.

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  9. re: jin/6H its sorta hard to quantify these things in a practical sense. Like, "I can do that, this is nothing new, Sifu/Sensei _____ knows how to do this and sends me/MMA BJJ black belts flying across the room" and such nonsense seems to be the litmus for online authority.

    With something like, say, powerlifting its pretty easy: rack up some weight and show me you can DL 700#s....or maybe STFU?

    It gets really tiresome. Mike, I've felt you and there is a palpable difference that isn't there in almost all of the other IMA exponents I've met the exception being a student of Zhang XX's) The rest of the lot, such as "Tom" are paltry and it blows any authoritative argument they might make.

    I think this is really important, IMA in the States is pretty weak sauce if you only pay attention to the internets but I think that the type of personality that is drawn to the earnest study of Internal Strength is not going to bother too much with arguing with anonymous blowhards on the internet.

    Much the same with all things Judo/Sambo, I can log onto Judo Info and argue nomenclature and Judo cannon or mythology or just hit the mats...

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  10. Mr. Sigman,
    I am not somebody of note in the IS world. I was enjoying your blog until the comments section. Did you open this blog to trash RSF and Dan Harden or to further people's understanding of this work? Here is what I see, not being a person of note in IS, Dan Harden putting himself out there to meet any detractors seminar after seminar on Aikiweb and you not so much with a group that it seems you have screened so that are on the same page with you.
    I am not debating your grasp of this material, rather the outright non truths being solicited here. People are sincerely pursuing this material and this material only, not the teachers "idea" and personal vendettas for some perceived loss of face. Anyone can see there are differences of opinion about what constitutes true IS amongst people who can actually do it. Why not just articulate the differences of opinion, dissect it, dispel it and leave it at that.
    Sincerely,
    G.Gargiso

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  11. One reply, Gregory, and no more on the Dan topic in the comments section (email me if you want). If, instead of just defending your teacher's virtue, you yourself actually have a grasp of the principles and you want to argue/debate/discuss/question, you're welcome to do it.

    Dan's problem is that he started using that swiped video (yes, Dan has "borrowed" a lot of his material from the QiJin forum, either that or by some miracle coincidence he learned the same terms I use and made up personally). But he has taken that video above that I made to demonstrate how peng jin is a mental "balance" skill and posted it various places to, he thought, attack my skills and personality. You'll find instances of him doing that (using that same video in the Jin blog) on AikiWeb and other places. His problem is that he doesn't recognize basic peng jin and he thought I was showing something else ... so he put himself in a very bad position by publishing an uninformed analysis of obvious and basic peng jin. Go look at the deliberate attempts on RSF to attack my skills when in reality, Dan simply showed that he has no real knowledge of tradition internal strength.

    So that leaves the question of what it is that Dan is teaching and indicating that it follows traditional neijia criteria? Beats me, but if he knew what traditional internal strength was, he wouldn't have made such a spectacular mistake for everyone to see. Whatever you're studying from him, enjoy it. But understand that it's obviously not traditional internal strength... which is what Morihei Ueshiba read and quoted.

    OK, so now we're caught up to date on the gossip and recriminations. I put up this blog to attempt to raise the knowledge level, not to compete against some tangential "system" that Dan or anyone cobbled together from various places. If you think that you can meaningfully debate/describe/discuss the issues, you're welcome to do it here in the comments section. If you just want to defend your teacher, this blog is not the place to do it.

    I appreciate your writing and also using your real name. You're better than a lot of others to step up like that, so you have my respect.

    Best.

    Mike Sigman

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  12. That was my hope , not as you suggested to "protect my teacher's virtue", although that would be nice. Problem is my understanding is limited. If you think that you know me, then you would see that I follow this "stuff" through several different places or teachers. Chen Village and their disciples among them as also Sam Chin and others. It is the purity of the info that is important, but as Tohei once said, "Aikido is like many muddy streams joining together into one great river".
    So , in furtherance of the above. What is your take on "double weighting" and does it have any place in this discussion and also any of fascial cross connections , or is it simply muscle/nerve pathways. I would argue albeit w/ limited understanding, that developing the fascial and or muscle nerve cross connections would have use in martial applications so as to avoid the double weighting. May not be Jin or Taichi but as there are a number of martial applications taking advantage of this, it may be worth exploring.
    Sincerely,
    G. Gargiso

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  13. Hi Gregory:

    Double-weighting is about jin, but you need to learn jin to understand it. Here's the "official word" on double-weighting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxrdPNw4Nyo

    If your jin is good and you practice it with all the tricks (the way you would, say, practice a skateboard or billiards), you can approach a goodly level that avoids a lot of double-weighting, IMO.

    Best.

    Mike

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  14. As Chen Xiaowang describes in that clip - some people erroneously think 双重 Shuang Zhong (double-heavy/weighted) means standing with one's weight distributed 50/50 on their own feet, or other ridiculous variations of that.

    What it actually means is, in the midst of a fight, you become stuck where you can't move or step, basically like in describing the chain of events happening in a good 'Grapple or Lock' (Qin) - if you're put in a position where you can't even take a step then you've exhausted you're ability to 'change/ transform' 'Bianhua'.


    The rule is meant for what happens when there is an opponent giving and imparting an outside force on yourself, handle the situation properly by 'changing' and you can avoid becoming 双重 Double Heavy/ Weighted, resist with strength vs strength and the stronger person will eventually win. The initial action or start of becoming 双重 Double Heavy/ Weighted can be in many different places where force is meeting force, like out at the hands at the bridge/meeting point made with the opponent but you can 'change' by relaxation at the bridge, or by stepping' taking a step, or turning the waist and body, etc.


    滞在双重,通在单轻
    虚在当守,实在必冲

    {To avoid the stagnation/being stuck (滯 Zhì) of 'Mutual Resistance' (双重 Shuāng Zhòng), make your Single meeting point light/ weightless (輕 Qīng); Use Emptiness (虛 Xū) out at your guard (守 Shǒu), to defeat the opponent's strength.}


    In 'Qin Na' (Seizing and Grasping) and 'Counter-Qin Na' the term 双重 'double-heavy/weighted' often comes up. For instance - as the opponent is trying to 'arm-bar'/ hyper-extend your elbow joint, the instinctive reaction is to try and resist by keeping your elbow bent, that's 双重 'double-heavy/weighted' as both of you are resisting with strength at that joint. So you want to be soft and move areas of your body that are further away from that joint and 'change' the situation to your advantage by using your shoulder joint, or continue down the chain to 'turning' the shoulders and waist, or stepping to change the angles and ease the pressure on the place(s) that are 双重 'double-weighted'.

    When applying Qin Na you want to be aware of this and try to make sure to extend your locks into the opponent so that it affects his whole shoulder, then use your own turning and stepping, foot placement, etc. to try and 双重 'double-weight' all his joints and feet so he can't counter your Qin/ lock and possibly extending through all the consecutive joints until he can't take a step and has to fall.


    Glenn


    .

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  15. Glenn, as I've tried to state a few times, this is not a place to post anonymous comments/assertions. I can appreciate that you have an opinion, but you're simply laying out some orthodoxy of yours without backing it up. Please provide a more complete post, including your name, and tell us why you're conflating your opinion with that of Chen Xiaowang (hopefully you're a student of his to lean on his name, though).

    Instead of digressing to qinna's, etc., let me mention that I've sat with Chen Xiaowang and had him point out to me in various people *forms* where they were double-weighted. I.e., it's not something that totally depends on feel, although feel is the best way for most people.

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  16. Sure, not a problem.

    I have studied with Chen Xiaowang where he gave a lecture on 双重 and had him personally adjust my structure, or alignment of joints rather, so that I wasn't 双重 'double-weighted' (unable to 'turn' or 'change' if there was an actual opponent). He would come around giving adjustments while we were standing (ding shi) in the ending positions of the form. So yes I'm fully aware that one can have the potential to be 双重 'double-weighted' in solo form practice. I don't think I'm "conflating" but rather expounding on CXW's teachings.

    (note -- In that video clip he spends the first 03:50 minutes describing what other people think it is, only after that is he talking about what it really means.)

    What he shows in the later half of the clip is the same things I've learned about 双重 'double-weighted' in Baguazhang, which is my main martial art and area of study.

    The reason I brought up Qinna is that 双重 'double-weighted' doesn't really come into play in the 'Da' (striking) part of the art as it only really becomes a matter of importance in 'Shuai' (throwing) and 'Na' (Locking) where the amount of time one is in physical contact with an opponent is greater. I'm not saying that when striking you would want to strive to be 双重 because every strike can become a throw, every throw can become a strike.

    In our solo form practice it's also an issue we try to pay attention to, for example, if you don't have the leg strength to go into and out of low postures then it's 双重 'double-weighted' because you don't have the ability to (like CXW says:) 变 Bian (change). And lot's of other similar structure issues. Issues that can be fixed with more practice. Not mindless practice though. It needs to be focused, listening to and feeling one's own body, combined with intermittent corrections from one's teacher.

    Glenn Horinek


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  17. Hi Glenn:

    I can remember having a discussion (he was talking; I was listening... so maybe it was just a 'teaching moment') with Chen Xiaowang in my kitchen one time about double-weighted. Basically he was saying what he said in the video, but let me put it more in the context that he used. As an example, he asked me to get in the best unmovable stance that I could get into. So I got into my stance... basically I just stood there with my jin ready to go in any direction. I knew better than to do something silly like lean into him when he pushed (which is what an amateur will do). CXW looked at me for a half second and then put the ends of his index and middle fingers (straight out) onto a point of my chest and pushed in a certain direction an moved me right over. As he did it, I attempted to move my dantien in such a way that I escaped his push... but he got me.

    The point is that, using jin, you never want to be in a position that you cannot evade (or "change") the push. Even if you are on one leg you can be "double-weighted" because the opponent can lock you into a position from which even with jin you cannot "change" his push. If you cannot "change" an attack with your intent and dantian, you are double-weighted. The idea of "change" is, as you know, paramount in this issue.

    Best.

    Mike Sigman

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  18. Hey Mike. I'm a relatively new practitioner and was looking for some clarification on the last exercise in this post...

    Does it matter which hand/foot you use? And by that, I mean if you use your right hand does it matter if you use your right or left foot as the rear? Thanks.

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