Becoming more martial

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Taiji Wuji
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Becoming more martial

Post by Taiji Wuji » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:00 pm

I'm studying the YMT form and have completed the 13 postures and Duan 1. I attend a Tui Shou class offered once a week. I practice sitting meditation at each class and I have some questions.

My eventual goal is good health and to merge chi, li and shen and develop my martial skills with the intent of honoring the full potential and original use of YMT. My feeling is if you strip the martial intent from Tai ji, it's no longer Tai ji, but something else.

Many of the students in the class perform their Tui Shou is so softly and non-martially, that you don't really need to deflect anything. Most of the time the Du Fang (have I used this and spelled it correctly?) will move their strike off to the side that your supposed to be clearing it to, before you even deflect them. I understand trying to be soft, but this seems too extreme to me. For example, if they Chi/Press, shouldn't they direct that at my centerline, and shouldn't I need to turn my waist and use my arm/hand to deflect the strike clear of my centerline. Instead, they seem to strike me off on the shoulder on the side you'd normally deflect to and then slide their press off me softly on their own. This ultra soft, approach seems to defeat what I perceive as the intended purpose of the exercises.

Are there any resources I could turn to for guidance on how to make sure I'm performing my form and my Tui Shou properly and correctly for it's martial purposes?

Also, other than doing the form and Tui Shou, how should/does one develop the ability to absorb and release energy?

ynze
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Re: Becoming more martial

Post by ynze » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:06 pm

The same goes for practicing the aplications. Sometimes I deliberately do not move and they strike somewhere in mid air. I then tell them to really hit me. How else can one learn.
Maybe if you explain them that they hinder you in learning in stead of helping you by protecting you from harm.

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J HepworthYoung
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Re: Becoming more martial

Post by J HepworthYoung » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:28 am

I am a believer that both the soft methods and faster harder methods are equally indispensable for developing martial skill.

This is also why I feel that weapons training is vital to martial skill, it involves the manipulation of energies and momentum, that when approaching real application speed inevitably involve redirecting a decent amount of force at a decent speed.

I have noticed a potential tendency for harder methods to not be light enough in response, if there is considerable force and tension in a strike sometimes this gives an advantage to the person using a lighter touch to deal with it. With a light touch the response can be extremely fast and end up releasing a large amount of force, deceptively at that. I like to make the analogy of snapping a towel, which for as soft as a towel is can still transmit a lot of force. In and of this I really try not to sacrifice my softness even when working with much more force and speed.
Also, other than doing the form and Tui Shou, how should/does one develop the ability to absorb and release energy?
Weapons and energy issuing training.
I am a bit unconventional and have trained with trees for striking and energy release.

Likewise however there is a lifestyle aspect that i find valuable in that when I work I employ taiji methods. I work in housekeeping at present, my use of a duster, broom, mop and washrags all makes use of and incorporates taijiquan methods into it, including in terms of footwork as well. This goes a decent way towards advancing the skills I practice thus.

Laoshi Rodell has posted in the past about striking training, using phonebooks among other things, if I am not mistaken.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=876&p=6272&hilit=phone+book#p6272

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Tashi James
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Re: Becoming more martial

Post by Tashi James » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:41 pm

IMHO Don't be too concerned, it's part of the progression. Journey not destination and all that.

Practically speaking there is always a refinement that can be made in terms of the form and applications as an art form. In a martial context - combat is chaos - you need to be adaptable, make minor adjustments to distance, trajectory and maintain awareness of your environment and other duifang. (Think about the cat analogy in the classics) In time your movement will become intuitive and spontaneous, it will all begin to click, and you may sit back thinking about what you did that was different/correct. Ultimately you want to go back to basics, and not try to replicate it because its impossible. There is always change, thus the duifang will have slightly different angle of approach, your footwork will be slightly off or there will be some other misalignment or tension that throws things off.

Just flow with it, take in the details and technical components of the art, dare I say experiment...with patience and perseverance it will all fall into place.

All the best
"There is nothing that does not become easier through familiarity" (Santideva).

"We become what we do repeatedly. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit" (Aristotle).

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