An - Push or Push Down

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : An - Push or Push Down

   By Eggnog (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 05:49 am: Edit Post

"When you say in your push hands szenario, that yielding with the "peng arm" is actually "Lu" would you say that stepping forward with the "peng-arm" (= lifting opponents arm slantingly upwards) then is "Lie" in your concept? "

The short answer is that Lie is applying force simultaneously in two opposite directions.

   By Hans-Peter Geiss on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 03:52 am: Edit Post

Hi Eggnog,

thanks again for your comprehensive reply. I just entered this discussion for academic reasons. Since I think to understand the practical use of different energies inherent in the Taiji postures, I never really understood, why these enrgies are classified in 8 techniques 5 steppings. Particularly since there are so many "overlappings" between them, which makes it in many cases so difficult to decide if it's e.g. ji or an or maybe peng. So I'm always searching for the "practical" use of such academic knowledge. This is particularly true for the stepping methods. I came from external arts and I found all the methods of advancing, retreating etc. used in Taiji there also, but without naming them as a method. So our discussion helps me forward to enlightning a bit more. Thanks!

BTW - concerning "peng" you write: "Of course in a self defence situation you wouldn't have to do it like this". Let me say that I frequently use exactly this method of "pure peng" in sparring.
I use it e.g. as an imagination in the opening "peng" with the right arm of Grasp S T (as I've been taught in small frame form) as well as e.g. in the deflecting movement of the right arm at the beginning of Ban Lan Chui. Here I often use the right arm first for contact and deflection (=the give of the rubberball) and directly after this to hit with the right backfist forward (=the bounce back). Before I had no idea, if this backfist would be an, ji or whatelse. Meanwhile I think - following our discussion - in this given szenario the backfiststrike is "peng" in it's pure form.

Take care

   By Eggnog (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 07:29 am: Edit Post

Hi Peter,

I didn't think this discussion would become so involved either - that's why I used the name Eggnog in what I thought was a throw-away post - didn't think it would lead to such a long and fruitful discussion!

The question of why they are classified into 8 gates and 5 steps is a curious one - I mean really the whole art is based around the idea of Taiji, so there really are only 2 basic energies involved Peng (Yang) and Lu (Yin) - everything else is made up by using these in different ways and combining them.

The 8 phases and 5 elements theory pervades most things Chinese, even if it warrents it or not.

For instance, I read an interesting post on the Empty Flower forum today (quoted from an unnamed source but I suspect it is Dan Docherty) in which the last part reads:

"It should be well understood that the identification of the Eight Powers, each linked individually to one of the Eight Trigrams, and the Five Steps, each linked individually to one of the Five Elements is artificial and, while it helps us to analyse Tai Chi techniques, it is not a straightjacket which we must don prior to practising Tai Chi Chuan, though this has not stopped some practitioners from using it as such and insisting that everyone else does the same."

While there's plenty of other stuff in the rest of his quote that I don't agree with I am 100% behind the ideas expressed above!

In terms of developing martial ability I think it is better to concentrate on the principles of push hands (the chief sparring method of the art) rather than working out whether what you just did was a Ji or an An. It's the principles (or rather the practice) of push hands that provides the most 'practical' use of academic knowledge.


   By Eggnog (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 07:45 am: Edit Post

b.t.w I don't think I managed to get my point across quite right, because in your above example, it's the bit before you do the backfist (where you bump/neautralise him) that I'd say was 'pure' Peng.

The backfist, is just that - a backfist. What you are describing is straight out of the form in the posture we called 'chop with fist and kick' just before 'step up parry and punch'.

As my previous point was trying to make out - you are not constrained by the 8 gates theory to use only techniques that can be defined by them in a sparring situation.


I picked up my copy of Tai Chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions by Douglas Wile, which I hadn't read for ages last night. _1_10_3/026-4437870-4078807

There was a set of poems in their attributed to one of the old Tai Chi masters that describe the 8 energies very well. It's all done in poetic language of course - the image for Peng is of a boat bobbing on the surface of the water, and the image of Push is of a great wave that can go up or down - but these are similar ideas to what I tried to express above with my rubber ball. Again, the problem with describing feelings is that you can only ever say 'well, it's a bit like...'

   By Hans-Peter Geiss on Thursday, February 05, 2004 - 09:26 am: Edit Post

Hi Eggnog,

yes this discussion is very fruitful for me. You've found very good words for your descriptions and I think I understand you. It's only that my English is probably too poor to describe what I think. I also follow this discussion at emptyflower forum, although I sometimes find it a little bit hard to follow - but anyhow - very interresting.

BTW - I'm interrested in the posture you describe as "chop with fist and kick!". I've already had contact with practioners who also had this as a posture of own right after brush knee, before Ban Lan Chui, or after Fan through the back. What's new for me is the kick. My informations are, that some Yang style forms divide Ban Lan Chui in "Chop with fist" and "Step up, parry punch", but that would more or less looks the same as Ban Lan Chui from YCF-form. So where are you doing the kick? After the backfist/before it? Is this posture always located before !"Parry and punch" (after Brush Knee) and do you kick with right foot or the left?
Best regards

   By Eggnog (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, February 05, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit Post

Hi Peter,

Right, the Yang Cheng-Fu version of the form contains many 'simplified' versions the techniques (I believe to make them easier to learn, for teaching to the masses who were primarily interested in the health benefits of Tai Chi). Keeping the more marital flavour makes it more difficult to teach and perform. The more martial version of the Yang style I practice is actually 'softer' to look at than the Cheng-Fu form - by that I mean that the stance is softened - the hard angle of the wrist is gone, the straight back leg is gone, the slight lean is gone. The length of stance is reduced (to a medium one more applicable to combat). Making it 'softer' I believe makes it much more martially effective. It does however contain much more obviously martial moves - there are percussive kicks in there instead of the 'hints' of kicks favoured by the Cheng-Fu form. One such example of this is the move we are discussing. We intercept the oppoent's punch with the fist (in an outward move very similar to XingYi's Zhuan) and simultaneously kick (right foot to their knee), then step in and backfist, then we step up, parry and punch. In the Cheng-Fu version of the form I've seen the kick is replaced by raising the leg quite high as part of a step and the two techiques have been merged into one.

In the long form it's always done on the right.

It should be noted that one man's 'simplification' is another man's 'evolution' and I think at the end of the day if you can make the application in the form work (in a martial senese) and you understand and adhere to the principles then that's the important thing, regardless of the particular 'form' you practice.

   By Hans-Peter Geiss on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 02:42 am: Edit Post

Hi Eggnog,

thanks for your explanations. In the small frame form I mainly practice I have also nearly the same differences to the YCF-Form you've talked about, but the Ban Lan Chui section is different to yours. But I understand what you describe and think that's a very useful posture. In one of your last posts you said, that ther are only 2 main energies - peng (yang) and lu (yin). After thinking some time about this words, I find that this also is similar to what I've been taught, but only in small frame. As I remember the focus was mainly put on peng and lu,but not with the "rubberball" analogy. It was explained to me, that peng is so important since peng should be used to raise the opponents point of gravity. Due to this I actually have an somehow "upward" feeling for peng, so at least this would correspond with the direction commonly assosiated for peng in the 8 gates theory. As for Lu I was taught to use it espacially to pull the opponents point of gravity out of the base of his feet (opposite of to raise this point)I have a backward/sideway feeling for Lu. Since An and Ji hasn't played that role, I have not build particular feelings for them (in terms of "certain direction"). I think that's what's puzzling me (for peng and lu I can agree with the common theory- for an and ji not). So thanks for your engagement in this discussion. It's really very helpful.
Take care

   By qui chu ji (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 06:56 am: Edit Post

I practice chen and not yang style so do not have grasp of yang techniques. However how would you reconsile the techniques/powers based on body energy ie water and fire triagrams as expouned in daoist alchemy. Would this be a better reference for two power theory and there various combos than yin and yang?

   By Bob #2 on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 07:59 pm: Edit Post

qui chu ji,

repeat this phrase 3 times very slowly and 3 times quickly-

wha ta dor ki yam
wha ta dor ki yam

It will help your Chi nuggets.

   By qui chu ji (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 09:24 pm: Edit Post

Actually I say these phrases really slowly, while rubbing vasaline on my face.

I luv cumof sum yung guy
I luv cumof sum yung guy

Thank you very much

   By Bruce Leroy (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 01:55 pm: Edit Post


You're creepy!!!

Is that chant part of the Daoist principles that you follow? You sound more Catholic to me. You've got your wires crossed in more ways than one.

   By que chu ji (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 03:38 pm: Edit Post

Do you want some of this Bruce.

   By que chu ji (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 03:39 pm: Edit Post

The chinese actually believe if you consume an other person's sperm it increases your chi level, since semen is a primary source of Chi. So Who is the smart one.

   By Bruce Leroy on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 03:46 pm: Edit Post

I am the smart one because I didn't fall for that trick...

Now you're a cum swallowing disciple. When people say that you're a sucker, it's actually true. LOL

So how often do you service you sifu?

   By cherry (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit Post

ich bin ein beliner
ich bin ein beliner
ich bin ein beliner

(Say that three times really fast and then conclude with)

hey ya / hey ya / hey ya
hey nonny no / hey nonny no
olly olly oxen free / olly olly oxen free
how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood
the ants in france stay mainly on the plants
camp town ladies sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah
shoo fly don't bother me / shoo fly don't bother me
there's a hole in the bucket dear liza, dear liza
naaa-aaaa-ah-aaaaaaa . . (intro of LZ immigrant song)
then throw in some
sashay, sashay, sashay
whatchyou talkin 'bout willis
one adam twelve one adam twelve (make siren noises)
bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come for you
(then cup your hand around the pit of your underarm and making farting noises and dance a polka)
Do all of that 3 times and your chi will improve greatly. That whole vaseline thing was very creepy, but this should help.

   By que chu ji (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 06:45 pm: Edit Post

Lets not get to personal.

   By Bruce Leroy on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 07:01 pm: Edit Post

You shouldn't have revealed you freaky side.

   By qui chu ji (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, February 23, 2004 - 05:27 am: Edit Post

you spelt the name wrong good try though I found the conversation very amusing. Next time you want to be me it qui chu ji. Sorry to eggnog and Hans for letting Bruce, bob et al, spoil your thread.


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