Use of the hips V.S. waist question

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Use of the hips V.S. waist question
   By jill (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 05:50 pm: Edit Post

I have been studying yang style medium frame from a student of Shen Zaiwen for a while. It emphasises the use of the "tailors waist" and turning into the kwa to generate power (as well as opening the back etc.....). I have recently started to practice wu style as well. The wu style emphasises use of the hips and squaring the hips. I am just wondering what the rational is for both approaches?
I have also noticed that wu style is allways single weighted while shens is allmost allways double weighted. I am wondering if perhaps the squaring of the hips is practiced because of the single weight and perhaps a double weighted style uses the waist and kwa as to not put tourque on the knee.
Any help on this issue would help me a lot.

   By Karl on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 03:42 am: Edit Post


i use the waist and let the hips follow. All the big muscles of the upper body are conected to the pelvis.

Just take an partner, place him in front of you in something like an high horse stance. Now grab his shoulders and try to move him to the left or right using turning the hips.

Next hold your hips "realaxed" in place and try the same using the waist. If you have cultivated initiating movement from the waist, you can move him easyly.


   By Bob #2 on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 12:36 pm: Edit Post


double-weighted is not the same a 'evenly-weigthed'.


   By jill (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 02:35 pm: Edit Post

There are lots of different theories as to what double weighting is. What I specifically mean has nothing to do with intent etc.... I'm just talking about even weight between the feet.
What I'm really asking though is why these two styles of tai chi differ in the use of waist/hips.

   By Bob #2 on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 08:03 pm: Edit Post

Ah. Those two styles of Tai Ji Quan differ in the use of waist/hips because they are different styles.

If they were the same, they would not be different styles.

(intent doesn't have anything to do with double-weighting or evenly-weighting.).

   By Bob #2 on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 08:03 pm: Edit Post

You're welcome.


   By Buddy (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 10:10 pm: Edit Post

And yet "Bob", you didn't answer her question. Give it another try.

   By Bob #2 on Sunday, October 02, 2005 - 10:24 pm: Edit Post

...because they are not the same style of Tai Ji Quan. Each style has it's specific method of body use.

This is a little rediculous.

   By Tai Chi BOB on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 04:01 am: Edit Post

I have studied Tai Chi for decades and have no Idea of what a "Tailored waist" or KWA or who Shen Ziawen is. I have not found in any of the Tai Chi writings of a YANG family medium or small frame.
My understanding is much more consistent with what you describe in your WU class. I must believe this is Wu Jian style with its strait back leg, weight on the front leg, leaning a bit forward, and hips squared to the front.
This is exactly how Yang Chen Fu describes and looks in the photos of his book from the 1930's.
The upright back open hips and 70/30 weight distributions are Changes more commonly associated with Zhen ManChing (Chen Man Chin) or Man Jan style of YANG family.

I hope that answers the question, but I must agree with Bob the elder-They are different Families of Tai Chi.
Also double wieghted in the classics is often misunderstood.
It does not mean having wieght in both feet in the single person form- although this is what the losers at the park may tell you.
It means force against force- to but it simply.
I wonder if you could clear up "tailored waist" and KWA... ECT, ECT, ECT,.

   By Buddy (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 08:36 am: Edit Post

Don't know what kwa is? Hmmm. I think styles are just names, that the principles are the same.

   By Tai Chi BOB on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 10:55 am: Edit Post

Buddy I looked KWA up in the dictionary and there was no English word for it , so I looked it up in a PinYin dictionary and no Chinese Character for it there, could you put the Chinese Character so I could find what your talking about.

If it were a matter of principles we would not be having this thread now would we.
Maybe it is a misunderstanding of the principles like when somebody say OLD YANG FAMILY MEDIUM FRAME if it were truly a YANG family the modifier "OLD" would not be required to differentiate. So maybe we then call it the "SHEN" style, but nobody has heard of that either so it becomes the OLD YANG FAMILY SHEN STYLE.
I think I will stick to the BOB style and the understandable principles it is founded on.
Thanks Buddy
(Or is that BUDDY just a name?
an unregistered one?)

   By jill (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 12:15 pm: Edit Post

The kwa is known in english as the enguinal fold (SP?). it is the spaces on the inside of your legs on either side of your groin. Both styles turn into it but differently, shen family doesnt turn the pelvis (it turns the waist, which is the section between the pelvis and the ribs) while wu jian chuan style does.

   By harold (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 03:18 pm: Edit Post

I think the Taiji movements sometimes include magnified versions of typical approaches to power generation. Maybe Yang and Wu really have different "favorites".

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 03:53 pm: Edit Post


The best way is to stick to your teacher's mode of teaching.
Chen style specifically, the waist/hip/kua(inguinal fold) complex is important in the lowered foot placement but not so in Yang style (at least not explicitely demonsytated).
As you see not all Yang style is taught the same way. Most Yang style practiced today is high stance so kua involvement is usually implied but not actually shown.

Are you at the stage of differentiating taijiquan styles? Start there.
The quality of Yang and Wu styles (Jianquan vs Yuxiang?) are different. From my Wu style (Quanyu/Jianquan) reference, I feel more grounded and it is good effects for people with arthritis (OA/RA).

Wu style has above avrage diffusing energy push hansd training comnpared to Yang style (releated to teacher knowledge).

   By Tai Chi BOB on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 04:00 pm: Edit Post

Yes... I understand your question
I have done both of these methods of turning, the "SHEN" family as you call it sounds as if it has an open or diagonal orientation that may be more flexible in defending, nuetralizing or changing the opponets enegy as in roll back.
The Wu Jian from your discription seems more stable for a forward attack, press, push, ward off.
I have listened to several points of view as to what is best for the single whip posture, squared or open? I personally understand the posture to be squared forward.
and all of the forward attacking postures to be the same whereas the more open is used for yielding.

   By Jamie on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 04:34 pm: Edit Post

I hate to agree with the Bobs or BOOBs but they do have their merit.

seriously, Jill; the best way for you to determine is to fight, moving step push hands-whatever applications you do against a resisting opponent- using both manners "Shen" and "Wu". If you not interested in the application the this entire thread IS ridiculous.
Tai Chi is a martial art and any thing less than a good empirical test giving YOU what is best for YOUR Tai Ji is just more rhetoric of talk talk talk with no walk walk walk.
The proof is in the pudding and the pudding here is application, they may both be correct for different scenarios however one may be more correct for you than the other. The question is best put to sparring and not a discussion board.
My teacher always tells me try this or try that and see what happens, see what you get (photos of teaches attached) end of discussion.
I know I have my preference.

   By Bob #2 on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 05:06 pm: Edit Post

love it or hate it, sooner or later, everyone agrees with Bob#2.

   By Buddy (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 06:09 pm: Edit Post

Tai Chi Bob,
You have your answer-yao/kua. But still, styles are just flavors. The names are a recent development. All should share the same principles. And Buddy is my name.

   By Jerry (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 01:58 pm: Edit Post


I have never understood what the difference is supposed to be between turning the waist, turning the hips, or rotating the pelvis. I think it's because I often have trouble understanding things that don't make sense.

I'd be seriously interested to know if there is a difference in how you turn the waist between styles.

Anatomically, it really isn't possible to turn the pelvis and not turn the "waist" as you defined it.
You said it's the "space between the pelvis and the ribs"; that, then would be the lumbar spine.
If you look at a skeleton or skeleton model, and try to rotate the joints, you'll see that the lumbar vertebrae have large, interlocking lateral processes and really can't rotate so's you'd notice. They can bend laterally, and flex and extend, but rotate, no. Higher up, the thoracic and especially the cervical vertebrae can rotate.
So if you want to twist the spine, that twist is in the thoracic and c-spine. If you want to turn the pelvis, you rotate it on the hip joints, and the lumbar spine (waist) has to follow.


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