Sun Style Taijiquan - Opening Hands/Closing Hands

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Sun Style Taijiquan - Opening Hands/Closing Hands
   By Jason Haynes on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 06:25 pm: Edit Post

Hi everyone this is the first time I've used this board so Hi.

Hopefully I can get some different perspectives on stuff and some misconceptions cleared up.

I'd like to express my thanks to Tim Cartmell for setting up such an imformative Website and for all the hard work put into translating Books for English usage which is much appreciated.

So my first discussion is on the Sun Style and a study of Opening Closing hands - what is this developing from a Martial Application POV, I've had varied responses on this one hopefully I can get some good feedback. Namely if we can start from basic, any obvious applications, hidden apps, to the advanced. I've also seen old chinese TV footage of an old chap doing Sun Style but his open closing hands on the compression closing stage the hands turned right over with palms facing similar to baguas upward palm up and pushed out and up before fully opening to single whip, maybe that was his signature, or maybe an overt expression to show the direction of energy/inner mechanics use.

Thanks for now
looking forward some informative replies.

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 11:52 am: Edit Post


The variations and influences are endless!

Hidden apps are not such. The thing is that they are never taught or people have no clue on usage.
Any way that you can utilize application is the best way.

   By Tim on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:46 pm: Edit Post

Hi Jason,

The opening closing hands movement has several fighting applictions (the first one usually taught is an escape from a rear, overarm bear hug. The movements also describe the parameters of your defensive covering techniques).

But, more importantly the movements are repeated after every section of the form as a method of centering. As you open and close your hands, you look directly into the space between your hands, this causes you to straighten you back, lift the crown of your head and tuck your chin, thus making sure the primary alignment of the torso is correct. The opening movement is not generated from the arms, but from the torso muscles, insuring the chest is open and not collapsed. The closing movement is actually returning to the neutral or centered position before the next section of the form is practiced.

Sun Lutang was very perceptive in realizing it is often difficult to maintain perfect alignment when practicing complex movement. By inserting a method of centering the body after every few movements, the practitioner is constantly reminded to right the alignment, the form becomes "self-correcting."

   By Michael Andre Babin on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 02:49 pm: Edit Post

Very true, Stan, but it is also true that postural form follows martial function and vice-versa.

You can't just say that a particular posture can be ANY martial application unless you are talking about an expert in a particular style. If you improvise too much outside of the parameters of body-usage in a particular posture, then doing so won't help you understand the basic applications that the designer of a form meant that posture to have.

   By Tim on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 07:55 pm: Edit Post

All movements in all Taijiquan forms have specific applications. One type of movement may have several methods of expression in use (variations), but the forms were designed very specifically around specific groups of techniques, unified by a coherent body method.

Unfortunately, in modern times many if not most of the applications have been lost or are not commonly taught. The correct applications of force and leverage are seldom seen in Taijiquan presently.

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