I was perusing through an old Pa Kua Journal (Vol. 5, No. 4) and stubbled upon your interview and background. You seem to have had some wonderful experiences. Since I am primarily a Yang style Tai Chi practitioner, you mentioned that Chen Zuo Zhen medium frame form came directly from the Yang family, I was wondering if your teachers style came from Yang Sau Chung? And if it does, did you find the "turtle back" posture prevalant within the form.
Thanks for your time, Keith
Hi Keith- Tim is in Brazil this week competing in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Games- it may be a few days before he gets back to you.
(pop in a reminder next week in case he misses your post).
No, my teacher's form is not in Yang Shou Zhong's lineage.
The form was taught with the same posture as all older Yang forms, with the lower back arched and chest lifted, just the opposite of the "turtle back."
Thanks for taking the time to answer. Hope you faired well in Brazil. A while back ago I asked you how you were able to incorporate the Brazilian jiu-jitsu with the Chinese internal martial arts and if my memory serves me correct, you responded that BJJ was the ultimate expression of "internal" in practice. Since that time I have taken the time to train at Jean Jacques Machado on occcasion and your observation opened my mind to a new concept and an incredible training method.
This Tai Chi thing continues to fascinate me as I am sure many others all trying to make sense out of the tidbits of information we are given or able to figure out on our own. I am not sure what 'older Yang forms' really consist of. There seems to be a wide discrepency what was actually practised pre-Yang Cheng Fu, although many claim it resemebles the Chen style forms, but I am not sure if that is what you are referring to since you have such a wide range of exposure to different teachers and styles. My own personal experience is with the Yang Sau Chung or Yang Shou Zhong lineage through his disciple's students, his daughter's students or the Dong family lineage. Even Cheng Man Ching's form reflected this "turtle back" posture, which from personal experience can cause lower back pain if not performed or taught correctly.
The "turtle back" posture has been a bit of a question mark with me. Recently there was an interview conducted with Michael Guen in Inside Kung Fu, also a Gao style teacher located in California, in which he made some interesting comments concerning the alignment of the back. I was interested in your perspective based on your personal experience comparing and contrasting the techniques of a Yang family style Tai Chi and the Gao method of Bagua. Could you also provide a brief description of what you mean by 'lower back arched and chest lifted'. I have an idea, but was looking for a little clarification for the benefit of exploring my own practice. Thank you.
Best Regards, Keith
Guen is from the Gong Baozhai lineage of Yin Fu, not Gao.
If you want a ready and perfect example of "lower back arched and chest lifted," look at the posture of any small child.
I'm happy you're enjoying your BJJ training.
Great point. I have a two year old running around the house, and let me tell you having a baby certainly helped my understanding of qigong and taiji.
That certainly makes sense and is something I have heard before as well as being written about in the Taoist text. I was looking for a more specific definition or description, but I realize that not only do you have many other posts to address, but is something that really must take place through personal hands on instruction.
I stand corrected. Michael Guen's teacher was Gong Baozai in the Yin Fu bagua quan system. I am traveling to Beijing in October to train with Gao Jiwu, so I got the two briefly mixed up. I do not have that much experience with Bagua so please forgive me. Though I am looking forward to the adventure.
don't forget the origen of jiujitsu is qi'na and perhaps shuaijiao so they complement each other.
Zhang Dungshen did not know tuishou per se but he bested many of the martial push hands competitors as they came. Train hard and the soft comes easy.
Again, many did not want to compete with Zhang.
xan0q, I really like that saying, "Train hard and the soft comes easy." I'm adding it my list of quotes to memorize and incorporate in my shen wu posts and daily conversation.
I've got a few so far,
"Sounds like good boxing to me."
"Train hard and the soft comes easy."
"This is Chinese Boxing."
"You are all too weak!"
"Lets see who can take the most punishment."
"We could just go to his martial arts school and beat him up." (one of my friends came up with this one and actually meant it)
"My uncles knows someone who beat up Steven Seagul in a bar fight."
"I have not yet begun to fight."
"Damn the torpedoes."
"I really don't like to hurt those weaker than me but..."
"Don't worry if he hits you a few times. Wait for an opening and hit him hard. You can kayo people if you try. Nothing else matters if you can kayo your opponent." (Yes, one of my old instructors has said this to me on occasion, needless to say he was Korean and gets really excited when standing in my corner when I used to fight in tournaments)
"You broke my shin." (Hahahahahahha, served that silly point fighter right)
"That's it, I'm going to go train a racoon in martial arts and take over the world." (Courtesy of Bob #2)
it's "man the torpedoes"
And the raccoon is coming along nicely.
'Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead'. The torpedoes were in this case, naval mines.
I always wondered about that one.
It is 'Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.' I just really like the first part. I believe the torpedoes were actually (this was a long time ago) just barrels filled with gun powder with some simple type of impact detonator. So you could actually see the mines floating towards you as you sailed. It's not like the captain quoted was firing the deck guns at a Japanese destroyer while ignoring japanese kamakazi torpedo bombers with a good chance of sinking the ship. (I do watch a lot of history channel)
Anyway, I just thought up a new quote from Chesty Puller (the most decorated marine in history, 4 navy crosses, the only reason he never got a congressional medal of honor was because Washington hated his guts)
"The machine gunners had to go out and clear the firing lanes several times during the night because the jap bodies got stacked so high as they climbed the hill and got chopped down that the machine gunners couldn't get a clear shot. We stacked them Japs like cord wood."
no. It's "man the torpedos" because in the early days someone had to ride them and steer.
that's where terms like "straight shooter" and "from the hip" came from.
"man the torpedoes" is another quote but not my one of my favorites. I'm not saying what you said is wrong but I like the "Damn the torpedoes" quote better. Also, I wonder if they have racoon vs pitbull fights in other countries without animal rights lobbies. It would be cool to see some footage on the internet (of course its cruel and inhuman but I'm not a racoon or dog...)
Do us all a favor then, and take a ride on a torpedo...
Re. Chen Zhuo Zhen, is he the guy on a 'White crane style' page I recently came across on www.chinesemartialarts.eu ? It says he trained with Huang Lao-Yao, you mentioned in connection with Xu-Xi Dao, training in Taiwan.
That's him. His picture is the second one down in the right hand column. He was an indoor student of Huang Lao Yang, the founder of Xu Xi Dao.
Thank you for the prompt reply. Do you happen to know if Mr Chen Zuo Zhen is still in Taiwan and possibly still practicing or teaching crane style?
The pics on that web-site look like they might have been taken a long time ago.
He emigrated to Canada, but I believe he still spends time in Taiwan. I don't think he has taught martail arts for quite a while.
I'd guess those pictures are 20+ years old.