2 styles of Yang Taijiquan

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : 2 styles of Yang Taijiquan

   By Dragonprawn on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 08:38 pm: Edit Post


IMHO is appropriate because evolution is, after all, just a theory & we would not want to offend staunch creationists like Bob #2.

Anyway since you know what neoteny is you know that it possibly led to rapid advances in walking upright for our ancestors. This was adaptive in that it allowed us to get from cover to cover in the less forested areas, it freed up our hands, & perhaps most importantly let us see much further (walk on your knuckles & you won't see very far).

So these adaptations were so good that they increased overall fitness & were passed on. The mutated regulator gene, or what have you, gave us an advantage, but not without a price. Smaller snouts, hence smaller mouths, hence useless, painful wisdom teeth. Small tight hips - leading to childbirthing difficulties for women. Not to mention hemoroids from the weight of the instestines on the lower circulatory system now that we were suddenly upright!

But more to the point - really messed up spines. The curviture is weird. Even MDs don't get it. Most things designed by nature should suit us after all - it is argued. But back problems abound.

As for being unable to change it. Please don't fault me for trying. I want a gorilla back. A gorilla can kick ass, after all. I'll settle for a chimp back. Good enough for now. Nice & round and "C" shaped & fully able to handle Shane's monkey ass!


Just kidding! Take it easy. This is a faceless debate remember. I don't want your $100.

By the way, I post with a pseudonym so as not to bring shame on my teacher. But at least dragonprawn suits my posture.


Don't feel left out. What was it you said again?

I will finish by saying that although I may differ from Tim on certain points, I still respect him & wouldn't mind training with him if I'm ever on the left coast. Tim provides an easy to use open forum for people in the MAs & this is invaluable. I really like his book on Nei Kung too.

At least the amount of posting on this board has picked up again.

   By Kenneth Sohl on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 - 09:06 pm: Edit Post

Um, I forgot.

   By Mike Taylor on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 04:16 am: Edit Post

FLAME ROOM time indeed...

Things devolve, just as this discussion has devolved from a question concerning a second style of Yang Tai-Ji to another tuck-or-not-to-tuck debate to a discussion on so-called "evolution." Evolution -- Ha!

Since many people do things differently than their instructors, I'd be willing to bet that there are many different "styles" being taught as Yang Tai-Ji today: many (if not all) of them inferior to the original due to a devolving situation rather than an evolving one. Just call it a hunch (or would that be a "C" back?).


   By anonymous (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 09:43 am: Edit Post

If you don't do things different than your teacher, than your teacher has failed to teach you.

   By Mike Taylor on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 12:42 pm: Edit Post

Anonymous (fortune-cookie scribe?) wrote "If you don't do things different than your teacher, [then] your teacher has failed to teach you." What a wierd, warped theory.

So if I do contrary to what I'm taught, then that proves that I'm a learned student, eh? What hogwash!

If done differently, then it's not the same (a given); so how could one doing differently say that he or she is teaching someone else's style?

If generations ago some guy named Yang made up a form complete with principles of training & martial application & everyone taught this form by him ended up doing something different (because their teacher didn't fail to teach them) & then they in turn instruct others with these different somethings & create a wide variety of third generations who once again each do something different (because their respective teachers didn't fail to teach them) -- & so on down the line -- then tell me, unless one's name just happens to be Yang, how can one say today that he or she is an instructor of Yang-style anything?

By this same reasoning, only those who an instructor tried but failed to teach will be the ones eventually instructing as they were originally instructed. It's absurd.

One's often free to do something that's different, but please don't call it by a name that it's not.

Anonymous, is this what they're not teaching in philosophy class these days (if I were to ask, "Is this what they're teaching in philosophy class these days?", then anonymous would have to answer, "No!" in order to show that his philosophy teacher didn't fail him; so I ask in the negative)? Weird & warped, ain't it?

   By anonymous (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 01:37 pm: Edit Post

scribe? hardly. I only posted this time as anonymous because you won't hear from me again in your "partyline" debates about whether it's tuck or drop or stick your ass out. As Tim said, whatever works for you is fine by me. The point is when people simply copy their teacher they don't understand the first thing about underlying principles. Everyone is built differently with different temperaments and if your teacher doesn't recognize that and can teach accordingly than you're left with a shell that gets passed on to the next and that's how things "devolve". I'll give you the points on misunderstanding the classics. Very few actually get it right based on what you see online. The classics don't say anything about rounding the back, concaving the chest, or tucking the butt. But any physical therapist will tell you a pelvic tilt is the best way to stretch open the spine. In bagua there are several ways to issue power with the spine like bowing, opening and closing, twisting. The spine needs to be strong and flexible enough to withstand the force. The way to get to that point is taught differently by different teachers. Most people who post online have a limited understanding of why they do certain things and the significance or lack thereof is lost in the translation. I'm not here for a philosophical debate, or to teach anyone anything of importance. At other times I post here openly and am a registered member. I just get sick of weeding through the bullshit in my e-mail about who's right on the issue and everyone else is full of it and wasting time with their chosen course. I like this forum for the most part and sometimes even learn something of interest here. Maybe you need a separate section for butt tuckers so I can avoid these stupid debates.

   By nANCY pANCY on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 02:06 pm: Edit Post

dragonprawn -
you'd train with Tim...

Like you freakin' even read classical chinese and understand the idiosyncratic complexities of the language and the art.

that skinny bastard cartmell can. I might not like him or his shenwuninnies but at least he can put it on the line and fight.

I don't think he follows what some old fat f*#$ Chinese dead guy did or that guys grandfather did when it comes to their feet.

bottom line, no old chinese dead guy is coming back from the grave to help you out when someone's grabbing your frickin' throat.

   By Robert on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 03:17 pm: Edit Post


Yea these discussions can be a pain. But I don't mind them because proper structural allignment forms the base of martial power. So it is a core issue and i welcome dialog.

MD's don't know the reason for the curves in the spine? Are you serious? Here, for your edification is some text from anatomy 101...

"The spine is designed to meet three specific purposes/functions:

Protect the spinal cord & nerves.

Support the trunk, head and upper extremity.

Act as a shock absorber.

Allow for flexibility.

Provide a point of attachment for muscles and ligaments and allow body mobility.

Four continuous normal curves together form the spine when viewed from the side. These four curves are the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral curves and are named after the vertebrae and bone that make them up. The cervical and lumbar curves are anteriorly convex (bulging in or a lordosis) while the thoracic and sacral curves are anteriorly concave (cupping in or a kyphosis). Their composition, when together, resembles a S-shape. These curves allow for flexibility, increase the spines strength and assists in its role as a shock absorber. They also allow the body?s weight and forces acting upon it to be evenly distributed throughout the spine, keeping the body balanced and supported when moving."

As was explained to me.... " why is a serated knife serated? It allows for more surface area in a shorter space therefore when running the blade across, say a piece of rope, more cutting surface crosses the rope in a shorter and faster space of time. In the same way, in addition to allowing twisting and turning, the curves of the spine allow more weight to be carried because there is more surface area for muscles, ligiments et. al. to attach"

That's why a fat guy like me can hold up all the excess adipose!

I like those curves, otherwise I would just be a blob, unable to move. Now I'm a blob that can move a little bit.

   By Dragonprawn on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 04:24 pm: Edit Post


Go look at a nonhuman ape spine. Then tell me how apes cannot move.


I get your point about not learning from imitating. But the classics do say these things. I just looked them up again. And if you are tired of the debate ignore it.


My Snapple cap says Chinese is the most spoken language on earth, so excuse me for not being floored that someone can speak it. My teacher is from China. So, what's your point?

   By nANCY pANCY on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 04:57 pm: Edit Post

My point is that YOU don't read Classical Chinese nor understand the subtle nuances of the classical characters. And based upon what you've written, I don't believe your use of body structure is effiecent from a fighting perspective.

Also, just because your teacher is Chinese doesn't mean that he understands the classics as they are written in Classical Chinese. He might; however just because your teacher is from China means nothing. Most Chinese speakers do NOT study classical chinese.

And finally, just because your teacher might understand classics and CAN convey the subtle points of body structure/posture doesn't mean that you automatically do because you are his student.

Just because you train with someone who is good, isn't going to guarantee that you will be good.

Just because you train with someone who is Chinese, doesn't mean that he will be good at Chinese martial arts. Nor you.

Just because you read some esoterical philosophy doesn't mean that you will be some sage.

That's my point.

   By Anonymous again (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 05:00 pm: Edit Post

Chinese might be the most spoken language in the world, but than why does Chinese television have to put Chinese subtitles on their own soap opera's? There is a difference between lift and sink, as opposed to round and concave. My Chinese may not be good enough to read classics in the original text, but even those texts have errors and writing mistakes. Thank godness I have a teacher who understands martial arts well enough to read/teach past the errors. And don't get me started on the translations that are out there :D

"shenwuninnies" Now that's a classic :D

   By Shane on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 05:01 pm: Edit Post

"the classics do say these things. I just looked them up again"

what 'things' and where did you find them when you looked them up again?

If you provide a reference we can all check, agree on or refute- then maybe we can actually 'debate' these "things".

   By half a (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 05:34 pm: Edit Post

these hyper mobile primates you mention, are they any good at walking on two feet? I can't say I've seen all that many Gorillas managing an efficient bipedal gait.

I'm particuarly fond of Gorillas and Orangutans in particular, but I suspect that some of their formidable strength comes from the mechanical advantage of where their muscles insert relative to their joints, and the fact that their arms are weight bearing a significant amount of the time.

Does the Tai Chi you practise involve scraping your knuckles along the ground. Perhaps this is the true secret tradition (just thought I'd throw that in so we're back on topic)?

   By Robert on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 07:13 pm: Edit Post

I've met a few screwed up PHD's in my time but this one wins hands down.

"okay, I'm human, but because we didn't evolve right our structures aren't really made for walking upright, and Apes are really strong and have kyphotic spines and tuck so I'm going to round my back (self-inflicted kyphosis) and imitate a different species structure."

The logical fallacies in your post are incredible." I use science, but it's only based on my experience and how about neoteny for science, and apes are strong and have a different structure" Huh?

But I suppose if we evolved, and not very well at that, then logic is an artificial construct and has no meaning anyway so we don't even need logic or physical laws (since they are accidents as well) to support our belief structures which come down to individual truth not TRUTH and apes don't use a lot of logic and look how well they can fight and how strong they are! So, I'm not going to use logic!

I'm FREE... My mind is Free... Whoooo Hoooo!

I'm going to watch the Matrix!

   By Kenneth Sohl on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 08:20 pm: Edit Post

I just wanna know how come Anon can swear in messages, and I just get these red dots!

   By Dragonprawn on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:03 pm: Edit Post

Since the rapid change brought about be the neoteny there had to have been many structural gene mutations as well. This is why we no longer look like Neanderthals (Bob #2 excepted). So yes, our spines do the best they can under the circumstances & are probably in better shape than our aforementioned ancestors. That may be a another reason they had shorter than YCF life spans.

I hear what you are saying - a "C" back goes better with knuckle dragging. I think you are correct there. However, I still say it is better for power & rooting. As for speed, I don't know - could a gorilla with no arms, forced to walk upright, chase down a human? Well maybe not Jason Sehorn.

But although reflexes are one thing, the point of my training is not to outrun someone. Speed against speed is not TCC, just like force against force isn't.

As for my credentials - evolutionary theory was a class I took in grad school & though pertinent to biopsych it is not my area of expertise. My thesis was on strongly electric fish behavior. They have plenty of chi & are well known tuckers.

I don't know any classical Chinese, but I am learning caligraphy - pretty classic.

Just trying to get you guys to post more & to think outside the box. I believe in what I say even though some of it is tongue in palate & I lack the emoticons to make that clear.


   By anonymous (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, May 15, 2003 - 10:51 pm: Edit Post

"I just wanna know how come Anon can swear in messages, and I just get these
red dots!"

HeII if I know?

   By SysOp on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 02:37 am: Edit Post

I have to put swear words that I want blipped in a special table. What is the swear word? Bullshit?

   By Mike Taylor on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 03:02 am: Edit Post


I liked your more descriptive post -- being more specific, it makes more sense to me & it gives me some things to consider (whereas earlier that little half-baked saying had my pea-brain just running amuck). Thanks. :-)

Knuckle Draggers,

Please, get off of "evolution." If you knew just how much of this "theory" is based upon false & manufactured "evidence," you'd stop dragging your knuckles (you'd probably have them on your belly instead -- as you laughed uncontrollably... but alas, it's a topic worthy of the flame room). :D

To tuck or not to tuck? I really don't give a tuck anymore.

   By Robert on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 04:17 pm: Edit Post


What the TUCK?

   By Bob #2 on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 04:20 pm: Edit Post

tuck you all, you tuckin' mothertuckers!

   By Kenneth Sohl on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 06:44 pm: Edit Post

My Tegu Lizard tells me that reptiles evolved from man.

   By Kenneth Sohl on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 06:49 pm: Edit Post

BTW, Bob#2, don't be ashamed of looking like a neanderthal. Modern scientific thinking has it that neanderthals weren't really that much more primitive than cro-magnons, in fact they may have disappeared as a result of breeding with the later. That probably explains why we are all so stupid.

   By Kenneth Sohl on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 06:55 pm: Edit Post

, , .....(sigh)

   By Dragonprawn on Friday, May 16, 2003 - 10:47 pm: Edit Post

So I like to & you guys don't.

I too tire of this debate.

Yes there is more than one Yang style. One for each person who practices it.

   By Kenneth Sohl on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 07:26 pm: Edit Post

Sheesh, that's a lotta red dots.

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